Although we share an immortalized connection to our Vulcan friend, we have not met many times—maybe three, or four at most. I feel somewhat uncomfortable writing to you, then, because our encounters have been few and fleeting, and so I feel I don’t have very much to say. I’m sure you have close friends and family members that have far moe to say about you. But the profound implications of film—its nature as an eternally frozen moment, consumed by audiences across the globe and over decades of time—do, in fact, connect us.
Perhaps this connection does not concern our true selves, but it links us as actors, as humble servants of Spock, from now until the day Spock is forgotten. I expect—and sincerely hope—that this legendary cultural icon, this personification of human rationality to whom we have given a piece of our lives, will live on for centuries to come.
I believe we first met at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, in the summer of 2009. I was 14 years old. Before we went on stage with Zach Quinto, we ran into each other backstage. While I cannot remember exactly what you said, I remember your demeanor: humble, courteous, and attentive. I’m sorry to pull the “Stars: They’re Just Like Us” card, but you really were just as down-to-earth as an uncle or grandpa would’ve been. From all that I’d heard, you’d never displayed a shred of egoism or boastfulness, but it was still nice to see firsthand that your stardom had not corrupted your basic, natural goodness.
I regretfully do not remember our conversation, but perhaps words are only vessels for the transmission of feelings between souls, and I have no doubt that your feelings were nothing but amicable.
Then we went on stage, along with the wonderful Zachary Quinto, in front of a crowd of awestruck Trekkers. There’s a video of it on YouTube, if you’d care to watch it.
This was, without a doubt, one of the most memorable moments of my life. We stood on that stage, humbly existing, three people with nothing to say, but we also stood for so much more: a saga that had fully cemented its status as a cultural landmark, the legacy of Spock, and the magic and joy that our character had brought to so many lives.
At one point, you commented on my overzealous efforts to seem charming and articulate: “He’s not at all like he is in the movie, is he? He’s like, ya know, ‘hey, hey!’” (I think that may have been the most accurate psychoanalysis I’ve ever received). You shared a hug with Zach, wished us the best as we walked off, turned to the audience with a smile and said, “Isn’t that great?” It truly was greater than my words can express.
I thank you, and the world thanks you, for being a great human being. Live long and prosper, Mr. Nimoy.