Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Tribute to Leonard Nimoy: Star Trek and Beyond

Black and white photo of Mr. Spock pointing a phaser.
Photo Credit: NBC

It’s only been a little over a week since we lost Leonard Nimoy. His Spock was one of my two favourite Star Trek characters (the other being Capt. Kirk) whose calm and wise personality always inspired me in getting through the problems that everyday life can bring. This was especially the case when I was a teenager going through a big Trekker phase. But as I grew older, I began admiring Nimoy not only for his role in Star Trek, but for his work in film in general: his work as actor, writer and director. For me he was a figure of intellect which is probably what got me through high school and perhaps college as well.

Besides Star Trek, he played numerous other roles both in and behind the scenes in movies and television, both in and out of the science fiction genre. He was in the “I, Robot” episode of the original ‘60s Outer Limits series. This episode was, interestingly, based on not Isaac Asimov’s novel/short story collection of the same name but on a short story by Eando Binder from Amazing Stories magazine. Asimov’s novel was, however, inspired by Binder’s story. Nimoy also played in the same episode in the ‘90s remake of The Outer Limits.
Other works he’s acted in range from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and Night Gallery series in television to the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He was also in TV-movie adaptations of two classic science fiction novels: 1988’s The Lost World and 1998’s Brave New World. Besides playing Spock, Nimoy also wrote the stories for several of the Star Trek movies and a story for an episode of the 1970s’ Night Gallery.

For me, whenever a science fiction/fantasy super star dies the world of those genres seem to never be the same. That’s why, as a science fiction fan and writer, I’m always hoping that my favourites will never die. Of course, that would be unrealistic. But their work inspires me so much that I find it hard to imagine life without them. It was that way for me with Ray Bradbury who I was fortunate enough to meet in person at a talk he gave back in the ‘90s in Fresno, California.  I’m sure it was that way for many Disney fans with Walt Disney in the 1960s and for the many cartoonists and animators he inspired. 

But even though our favourite writers and artists won’t live forever (at least not on this Earth) their inspiration will never die. When they influence and inspire us artists they are not just another celebrity in the media; they are like family to us, even if they don’t know who most of us are.

May Leonard Nimoy “Live long and prosper” in the next life. 

Until Next time . . .  

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