Spock Retires

Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series and movies, is apparently retiring, and hanging up his famous Vulcan ears:

Leonard Nimoy, the actor who has famously portrayed “Star Trek’s” original alien Spock for over 40 years, has announced he’s officially hanging up the pointy Vulcan ears for good.

Nimoy, 79, plans to retire shortly from show business and the “Star Trek” convention circuit, according to the Canadian newspaper Toronto Sun…..

The retirement announcement all but guarantees that an elder, “from-the-future” Spock (at least played by Nimoy) will not make an appearance in the next “Star Trek” movie.

“I want to get off the stage. Also, I don’t think it would be fair to Zachary Quinto,” Nimoy told the Toronto Sun, referring to the actor who portrays young Spock in the new Trek film. “He’s a terrific actor, he looks the part, and it’s time to give him some space. And I’m very flattered the character will continue.”

As Nimoy notes, the character of Spock may continue to be played by Zachary Quinto in the new series of Star Trek movies that began with last year’s film, which I reviewed (mostly negatively) here.

I have many reservations about Star Trek, such as its crude treatment of socialism (see also here). Still, the original Trek and several of the TV series that followed (especially my personal favorite, Deep Space 9), used science fiction to address important issues in an interesting way that could appeal to mainstream audiences as well as genre fans. The Spock character, as played by Nimoy, was often at the center of that.

Unfortunately, the revamped version of the franchise seems intent on squandering that legacy. Though in fairness the last several movies in the “old” line were generally awful, so some sort of reconstruction (or termination) was probably necessary.

In any event, Spock will surely be missed by science fiction fans everywhere. I wish Mr. Nimoy a happy retirement.

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