Friday, February 27, 2015

Do Not Grieve, Admiral...


...and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human...
Science fiction is at its best not about space rockets firing lasers at each other or furry creatures threatening to invade planets, but about the human condition, of who we are and where we are going.

Star Trek at its best was about the possibilities of life, of life on other worlds, of other perspectives and philosophies.  The show's producers came up with a Vulcan concept of "infinite diversity in infinite combinations," of which Spock - its truest representative - was a perfect example.

Spock, half-Vulcan and half-Human, trapped between the philosophies and yet the most ardent defender of the Vulcan way, even when by the time his character aged into a wisdom that realized his Human traits had value as well, meshing them into an iconic figure that outgrew science fiction into one of legend.  There are few fictional characters who grow to such a stature - Sherlock Holmes, Superman, Robin Hood, Hamlet, perhaps today Doctor Who - but Spock stands there as more Human than Human, more Vulcan than Vulcan...

The actor Leonard Nimoy was basically appearing in this thing Star Trek back in the 1960s as a paying gig, but it was one that quickly grew into a phenomenon with his character one of the major draws.  For a time there he railed against the expectations that he had to play Spock as a person, but later on he settled down, and came to terms with him.  Spock was, after a fashion, himself: Nimoy threw in a few things from his own life - the Vulcan salute is from his Orthodox Hebrew upbringing, and he put into play character quirks he felt were appropriate to what a logical Vulcan would do - to where he could never really leave the character.  Not every actor gets to play a character for the first time, and have that character become as important, as iconic as to how that actor fit into that role.

Nimoy passed away today.  He lived long enough to see other actors take on the role of Spock.  There will be others long past us who will play the role, add to the legend perhaps.  But they will be building on the archetype that Nimoy forged.  A great legacy...
...to boldy go...

1 comment:

Justine Farrell said...

The world was a good place with him in it. It would be selfish of me to feel sadness or anger over his passing. Instead I choose to feel enjoyment over the legacy he has left behind. He was a great man whom choose to show love and compassion in what he did. I feel blessed that he walked this earth.