Listen: A man of our age has left us. A man with enough charisma and talent to boldly step onto a television stage with large prosthetic ears while still selling the notion that he was the most serious being on screen.
Nimoy did not stand alone in creating Spock, many folks had their hands on the scripts and concepts that went into the character, but it says something that the he didn’t simply hold aloft his meal ticket and spend the rest of his life napping once Star Trek had left the air and entered legend.
In Search Of often comes up, but many remember him for his writing, his comic creations, and his photography. Here was a man who was willing to look at what was considered strange and alien with respect, and welcome it with open arms. In an age when we flew star ships on strings and leveled nuclear weapons at members of our own species, he worked to make familiar that which was alien. In an age when body shaming was an accepted standard, he risked his reputation to take photos that demonstrated the beauty outside the supposed ideal.
He sung about Tolkien characters, and he created comics with concepts gleaned from Isaac Asimov: He was a man who would not rest on the easy thing, a man who would try something new.
Yet, here we are, nearly fifty years after he first donned the ears, still retreading the ideas of a previous century. Still building sequels to reboots of re-imaginings.
It’s sad that he’s gone, yes – but death is a cycle that allows us to move forward. We should remember the past, we should learn from it, and then we should work to surpass it.
We can not say exactly what Nimoy would have done if he’d had another ten years, but we can take his lesson and perhaps skip Star Trek the Next Next Generation Part 3 with the intention of creating something new.