As a child growing up, especially as an only child, I spent a lot of time by myself. My mom did a great job raising me but as a single mom, there were definitely times I had to entertain myself. I read a lot (a lot!) but also spent a lot of time watching a television show that was already a decade old by the time I saw it for the first time. While I spent a lot of my time in fictional worlds, I was never lonely.
Others have a love of Star Wars, which I love too, but for me television has always been the medium that allows actors and writers to fully develop characters into three dimensional personalities. I mean, in Star Wars you’ve got your good guys, and some bad guys, but there’s not really a whole lot of character development, at least in the movies. With Star Trek, there’s three entire seasons for the original show in addition to the followup movies. Bones, Scotty, Kirk and Spock were real characters, people that I knew.
For me, Star Trek was an experience I could share with my friends and even strangers. People laugh at trekkies and people that go to sci-fi/fantasy conventions, but if you go there, it’s one place that you will never be mocked whatever your passion is. Want to walk around wearing vulcan ears or paint your skin green? That’s ok!
I guess what I’m trying to say is that Star Trek in general taught me a lot about being open to different cultures and different ways of thinking, and in particular Spock taught me it was cool to be a nerd before it was generally accepted that it was cool to be a nerd. Because Spock is, and always shall be, a bad-ass nerd.
I had a discussion about why people, myself included, are so emotional when people (usually famous) pass away, even when you have no “real” connection to them. I never met Steve Jobs, let alone hung out with him on any personal level, but I was crushed when he died. I’ve met all of the cast of the original Star Trek series, but at most I shook their hands when I was getting their autograph or something like that. At the same time, I didn’t really understand why the world wept when Princess Diana died – I mean it was sad, but it wasn’t something personal to me. What I understand now is that people can touch your lives in strange and unconventional ways.
I am sad beyond words that Leonard Nimoy has passed on and that I will never see Spock again (I’d been unreasonably dreaming of a Free Enterprise sequel with Nimoy as co-star). But at the same time, I have to be happy too. There was absolutely no way that he could’ve known when he took on the role of a pointy-eared alien on a space western that he would eventually be touching the lives and bringing joy to millions of fans. We love you Leonard Nimoy and have a great journey beyond the Final Frontier!