Friday, February 27, 2015
It's strange when a celebrity dies. We didn't know them, but we sometimes felt as if we did. This morning when I heard that Leonard Nimoy had passed away, I, like so many others was left mourning someone that I had never met. Leonard Nimoy was a very artistic person who aside from being an actor was a director, a poet, photographer, and a musician among many other things. Of course most of us remember him as Mr. Spock. I remember being very young and sitting with my Dad and my older sister watching Star Trek and then later racing home to watch the reruns with her and also my little sister. I was just a young kid, but I knew, even then that they were trying to send me a larger message with those episodes. The show was a basic good versus evil drama cloaked in the shroud of space travel, but it was so much more. Besides the idea that we could travel out beyond the confines of our own atmosphere looking for new places and lifeforms, there was the notion that it was done not with the idea of conquering worlds but in the name of science and knowledge. There was the idea that everyone was valuable no matter what color they were (green, purple, tentacles, it didn't matter). Women were officers on the ship and their opinions were valuable (even though Mr. Roddenberry preferred them in really short dresses). Star Trek suggested a future where disease, civil war, and money were vestiges of society's troubled past. The people in Star Trek were flawed, brash (think Captain Kirk) and often lead by their emotions (yes, even Mr. Spock). Each crew member had their weaknesses and strengths. Still, they sought to do the right thing and mostly, it worked out in the end.
This afternoon, Paul and I were talking about Nimoy's death. Paul, who grew up loving Star Trek and in particular Mr. Spock, told me about when he was a kid and would practice in his room raising his eyebrow like Mr. Spock until he could do it perfectly (he still can). More importantly, he told me that Star Trek was one of the reasons that he wanted to (and did) become a scientist. I wonder how many other kids were similarly inspired? Many, I'm sure. Not a bad legacy for a short running show and a handful of actors. I hope that knowledge made the years of wearing the funny haircut and pointy ears well worth it.
Posted by Cristina Leonard on Friday, February 27, 2015