When it came to Sci-Fi, even Star Wars couldn’t do it for me. The only two things that ever stood out in that trilogy for me as a child were the scenes in Empire Strikes Back where Han splits open the belly of the tauntaun and when we get to see the back of Darth Vader’s sickly-looking dome. See, I was a messed up kid.
As the 80s came, there were a handful of movies that melded science fiction and horror. Alien, the remake of The Fly, The Thing, and Lifeforce to name a few. And who can forget the terror that was Event Horizon in the 90s. But as far as I was concerned, that was as close to Sci-Fi as I was ever going to get. I could not—would not—appreciate the genre.
So about 6 years ago when I saw that Netflix had all three seasons of the original series (or the TOS as the Trekkies…excuse me, Trekkers call it), I went at it. I watched an episode, and then another. And then another. I was smitten. The writing was fantastic. The characters, memorable and real. The choreographed fighting…hilarious. And the captivating story lines certainly made up for the low budget effects. It was refreshing to finally have those old scales fall from my eyes, revealing a whole new world where I could fully appreciate this five-year mission (well, three-year mission).
And what fan hasn’t had a man crush on the testosterone-fueled Captain James Tiberius Kirk?
However, I think it was Mr. Spock in particular that helped me appreciate this long overdue experience—the mysteriousness that surrounded Spock and his Vulcan ways.
Years later, and now knee-deep into Star Trek: The Next Generation, it’s clear that the character, Data, was created to fill the void left behind by Mr. Nimoy and his character, Spock. Shoes that will never be filled.
Today I pay homage to Leonard Nimoy and the character that helped turn this hater into a lover. I would even go so far as to say that Spock and the gang made that muppet show that is Star Wars, much more palatable for this reformed Sci-Fi guy. Living 83 years on this earth isn’t bad. I’d say he lived long. And indeed he prospered.