Others have said good things, better than I shall say, about the death of Leonard Nimoy, the most famous pointy-eared green skinned space alien of all space-time: Spock. Here’s my 2 cents:
I was 8 when Star Trek hit the airwaves. My older brother, who was about 18 at the time, was immediately hooked. Before each broadcast, he would take the massive TV from the living room and put it into the middle bedroom, where we could close all the doors and windows and make it completely dark. He’d pop up popcorn, make some iced tea, and all 7 of us kids who were still at home at the time would pile in, spread out on the floor and beds, and raptly watch. That’s how I saw the first year of TOS.
It’s hard for those who didn’t go through it to understand how totally mind-bending Star Trek was when it first came out. For a long time now, every cheesy TV show has a look and effects of a quality hardly imaginable in the 1960s. But they are imaginable now, because Trek imagined them first, even if budget and technology didn’t always allow much a realization of them. Before Trek, space effects were models, wires and sparklers; people rocketed about with no regard to actual distances or physics; aliens were less alien than some of the guys working at the local market (OK, so Trek didn’t exactly improve on that). About the best pre-Trek was Lost in Space, which offended even my 7 year old self’s sense of what was supposed to happen on space adventures. (Seriously, I remember getting into 2nd grade schoolyard arguments about how some such thing, such as getting from one planet to the next in a couple days, couldn’t really work that way. Yea, I’m weird.)
So, when the Enterprise wafted into view to that iconic music, man – the best thing ever! You could imagine a space ship like that! All the ‘science’ technobabble at least showed they *cared* – it wasn’t just fairy-tale magic (even when it was). The crew was wonderful, cowboys crossed with James Bond or something. And of course, the best crew member was Spock.
Spock was cool. He was smarter than anybody else, saw things more clearly, and, despite or maybe because of all that, felt them more intensely. You always knew Spock was battling his human side, but not into submission, but rather to purify it into something worthy. He never really tried all that hard in his smackdowns of McCoy – Bones rarely got under his skin. Nope, the real battles with his human side were revealed in his struggles to harmonize his devotion to logic with his affection for the ship, the crew and Kirk.
It made for gripping TV, and even more gripping movies. Loved that guy.
As Spock warps off to the Undiscovered Country, we pray for the eternal rest of the soul of the man who brought him to life in our lives. We are better, more full of wonder and imagination, more geeky in the best way, thanks to him
Damn, I’m tearing up. May flights of angels sing Leonard to his rest.