Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on Star Trek right up until the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness, died today.
Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.1
My own Star Trek fandom is tragically recent: starting in about 2007, I believe. I haven’t even yet finished viewing The Original Series. But even those unfamiliar with Star Trek knew as much about Spock, his logic, his alien-ness and his curiosity about humanity. Thanks to Nimoy’s work, Spock has become as iconic in popular culture as Superman and Sherlock Holmes.
Nimoy also popularized the phrase “live long and prosper” and the Vulcan salute, which he invented himself.2 Expect to see many repetitions of both of those, as Trek fans everywhere mourn the passing of a science-fiction hero, and non-Trek fans also show their appreciation for his influence in popular culture.
For Christian fans of Nimoy and his work, we can pray for his family. We can also consciously thank for God for allowing Nimoy to show biblical reflections of humanity and human creativity, both in Nimoy’s other work and in the almost-human perspective of the beloved half-Vulcan first officer he portrayed for more than 40 years.