The first thing I said after the New York Times alert appeared on my phone this afternoon was, “Spock can’t be dead!” And in a way, that’s true. Spock isn’t dead; characters don’t die.
But I struggle, as he struggled, to separate the actor from the role. Leonard Nimoy, who died this morning at age 83, alternately embraced and shrugged off his connection to the iconic Star Fleet officer, from his 1967 record Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space (an album that bears no resemblance to anything the canonical Spock might have created, but which was certainly — and charmingly — from outer space) to his 1977 autobiography, I Am Not Spock, to his 1995 follow up, I Am Spock. He didn’t have the self-seriousness of his friend William Shatner, who felt Kirk hang like a millstone from his classically trained shoulders. Nimoy would never tell a Star Trek fan, even in jest, to “get a life.” I think he understood that this, the world he helped create, was a kind of life. … Read More