"Of all the souls I have
encountered... his was the most human."
Leonard Nimoy, in his role as Spock, has been at my side in some fashion for much of my life. For me it all started in 1973 when Star Trek aired in Germany on the second channel on Saturday afternoons and I was lucky that my father
didn't watch the sports news on the first channel. I was a six-year-old boy whose pajamas happened to have the same color as Spock's shirt and who tried to re-enact the series, with phasers and tricorders built from Lego. We had "The Changeling" on two 30min VCR video tapes and I was scared by the hovering tin can that even Spock couldn't stop.
The repeated exposure to this perhaps inappropriate episode didn't cause emotional damage in me (at least none that I
am aware of). On the contrary, I knew that I wanted to see more of it.
But the unaired episodes as well as any other information about Star Trek was hard to come by, especially in a time when I struggled with being a nerd
and the customary outcasting at school, in a country where science fiction was (and arguably still is) considered particularly uncool. Anyway, a German satellite TV channel aired the complete series for the first time as late as in 1988. The problem was that I didn't have a satellite dish, so I asked my dad to record everything for me, week after week. He didn't forget a single episode, and so my dad who passed away last year helped spark my passion for Star Trek perhaps just as much as Leonard Nimoy.
I usually don't like comparing actors to their roles, but I will make an exception for Leonard Nimoy. Not only did he
add essential details to his character such as the Vulcan greeting (that he saw in the synagogue as a child) and the nerve pinch (that he considered a better way to disable someone than brute force). He also brought a sense of decency into the role as he showed it in real life as well. It is quite understandable that at some point Leonard Nimoy became tired
of always being equated with Spock, and he decided to move on according to the motto of his biography,
I am not Spock. But he still was Spock for millions of fans, and so it was logical for him to return to his role and, while he was at it, to confess
I am Spock in a second book.
I regret that I never met Leonard Nimoy in person. But
although I knew him only from the screen, losing him is like losing a friend. No one could write a better eulogy than Leonard Nimoy himself, in his last tweet:
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" I believe
that despite his illness in the past few years Leonard Nimoy had a prosperous life with many perfect moments, and he deserved it. I will preserve the perfect moments I had with Leonard Nimoy and his fellow
Star Trek actors. I promise. And I will not forget how much Nimoy did for the self-confidence of the nerds, the visionaries and the scientifically minded people of this world.
Beam him up, Scotty!