The Passage From Living Legend to ‘Legend’

Live Long and Prosper, Spock. Rest in Peace, Leonard.

I’m hardly alone in my sadness today that Leonard Nimoy has transitioned from ‘Living Legend’ to simply ‘Legend’.

It’s fascinating to look back and consider the impact that Leonard Nimoy had, and has, as Spock on our culture. Even those who never watched Star Trek, The Original Series know exactly who Spock is. The icon he became echoes down so clearly in our culture that even the youngest among us know of ‘Spock’, even if they don’t know the difference between ‘VHF’ and ‘UHF’ when it comes to TV’s, or if they can’t remember ever seeing a turntable, or hearing a phone actually ‘ring’.

What many do not know is that Leonard Nimoy, despite the iron grip with which Roddenberry controlled the series early on, had on the development of the character of Spock himself. He was instrumental in bringing Spock to life for us in a way that so few have ever been able to do. To me, it was the actors and characters such as Spock that made the series what it was. The actors took a concept and ran with it; maybe no one faster and better than Leonard Nimoy.

So very many people took inspiration from ‘Spock’ the character, and from Leonard himself, as well. As the years passed, it was always gratifying to see Leonard Nimoy pop up again here and there, and it was always amazing to see the balance that Nimoy was able to strike between being willing to lampoon his character a little and yet maintain the dignity and integrity of Spock.

When you see out-takes and pictures of Nimoy himself as a laughing, engaged, fun loving human, it can be disconcerting to try and reconcile that image he projected as Spock, which to me speaks to his ability as an actor, that he was able to pull off such in incredibly believable portrayal.

His death, to me, doesn’t fall under the trope that so many might get upset about when it comes to ‘celebrity deaths’; and that is because Leonard Nimoy has been part of the family for my entire life. He came into my living room every night when I was young, and seeing him again in the latest incarnation of his character always made me feel like I was seeing a long lost friend. He helped shape some of my outlook on life. I learned from Nimoy, and from Spock.

He will be sorely missed. I know his death has touched me today, and I will fondly remember him for the rest of my life. I’m gratified that he was able to say good-bye to us, in a way. His final tweet was; ‘A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.  LLAP’

Live Long and Prosper, Spock. Rest in Peace, Leonard.

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