Spock’s death happened back in 1982 (or rather, 2285?) in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. As a kid, I didn’t see the movie till the late 80s — early 90s, so I knew he wasn’t really dead. The subsequent films had since been released, and I’d also learned the flexible nature of death where Hollywood/popular culture and popular characters were concerned. In any case, I was introduced to “old” Spock first. My favorite Star Trek movie was number 6, The Undiscovered Country. (I didn’t yet know about the odds/evens theory, about which films were great and which were hooey.) I didn’t watch the original series until years later, when I was into Star Trek: Voyager and stayed up regularly Saturday nights to catch the latest episode. One night I left the TV on after STV had finished, and was greeted by a very different primary-colored Enterprise bridge, where the navigators drank coffee in (futuristic?) paper cups:
(Probably with a hint of Southern Comfort, eh, Doctor?)
And then this gentleman briefed his captain on some sciency-stuff:
Check that purple eyeshadow. I was immediately sold. I stayed up till 1 a.m. to enjoy The Squire of Gothos (which you too can enjoy over at hulu right now: TOS on Hulu/Squire of Gothos) and though I didn’t know it then, I had already created a standing date for the foreseeable future: 12-1 a.m. on Saturday nights. What can I say — I was a crazy party animal back then. Spock was my favorite. I’m not going to get into the I Am Not Spock/I Am Spock stuff, or talk about his career outside of Star Trek. I know he had one, and other interests such as photography, poetry, etc. I think that’s great. But for me, he was Spock. He was the best part of the Trek Reboot films. He even made the Shat Priceline commercials more palatable.
His death this week is hard to parse. On one hand, I’m as heartbroken as the rest of the Nimoy fans out there. On the other, because this is Spock we’re talking about here, I can’t really believe he’s gone. Even if we operate outside of the Trek universe, there’s always another way.
Live long and prosper, sir. Even if it’s just your head in a jar.