S is for — Spock from Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek
Live long and prosper.
Words made famous by Mr. Spock, First Officer and Science Officer aboard the Starship Enterprise. Chief Engineer Scott may have been my favorite character in the Star Trek series, but Spock, played by the inimitable Leonard Nimoy, was the most interesting. Half Human, half Vulcan, Spock fought a continuous internal battle against his emotions, always trying to suppress his Human half and be the quintessential Vulcan — coldly logical and detached. Most of the time, he succeeded. On rare occasions, though, his impassive exterior cracked with powerful results.
What Trek fan can watch with dry eye Spock’s farewell to Captain Kirk as he gives his life to save the Enterprise at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn? I know I can’t.
My favorite emotional moment of Spock’s is at the end of Amok Time, an episode from the original series in which Spock is pitted against Kirk in a battle to the death. While not in his right mind, Spock kills Kirk. Once the battle is over and Spock is thinking clearly again, he realizes he’s just killed his captain and his best friend, and he prepares to turn himself in for court-martial. The moment he discovers Captain Kirk is alive, Spock’s emotional reaction is priceless.
Leonard Nimoy played the character of Spock for almost fifty years. His final performance as the Vulcan came in the 2013 movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness. He transformed Spock into an unforgettable character, a cultural icon whose words, Live long and prosper, and whose hand raised with his fingers split in a V are instantly recognizable. No one else could ever be Mr. Spock.
RIP Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015
© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.