In Memory of Leonard Nimoy

Yesterday, we lost Leonard Nimoy.  Though a multi-talented actor, director, and photographer who played many roles having nothing to do with science fiction -- let alone Star Trek, Nimoy's memory is inseparably intertwined with the character for which he is best known.  It is a testament to the iconic nature of this character that there is no need to mention his name.

Leonard Nimoy wrote two memoirs with seemingly contradictory titles about the interconnectedness of his identity with that of this character:  "I am Not Spock" (1975) and "I am Spock" (1995).

It is not entirely clear how much of the character of Spock was the invention of Leonard Nimoy and how much of it was the creation of Gene Roddenberry.  Though Nimoy never claimed copyright ownership of the character, he was not merely an actor playing a part that had been written by others.  He was in many ways the creative force behind this character, not only for the elements he introduced (the Vulcan nerve pinch and the split-fingered Vulcan salute, among others), but also for the way he brought his own humanity to this alien character.

Without Nimoy in the role, Star Trek might not have lasted a single season, let alone the nearly half a century it has been with us.

Nimoy managed to show us a glimpse of the conflict within us all and our ability to rise above it.  For that reason and the wisdom for and self-control he showed us through this character, on this first day on which the world is without him, let us all aspire to be Spock.