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Review: For the Love of Spock

By Source, Fair use,

By Source, Fair use,

I know this came out a while ago but I wasn’t ready before. In fact, I probably still wasn’t ready.

There is no way to do this review without explaining the effect that Mr. Spock had on me, on my life. My first television memories are of Star Trek and Doctor Who. Yes, my mom was an old-school Geek Girl, and it was her love of science fiction and fantasy that nurtured my own. Spock was the first fictional character I wanted to marry – he embodied all the things that, even then, were my most desired attributes: intelligent, logical, brave, and strong.

For many Spock fans, they were drawn to the community of otherness. I was drawn to Trek for the feeling of sameness – here was a universe in which a bookish tree climbing girl who struggled to understand most people belonged and could thrive.

Directed by Nimoy’s son, Adam, For the Love of Spock began as a tribute to Star Trek for the 50th anniversary of the original television series but, with Leonard Nimoy’s passing, evolved into something else.

It starts with a bit of an interview I had never seen before with a snippet of a poem written by Leonard Nimoy about being one’s best self and doesn’t that just say it all. We should all strive to be our best self.

With interviews from the original series cast, the new movie universe cast, celebrity fans, scientists, his family, and the man himself, the documentary covers a lot of ground. But there is certainly a lot of ground to cover.

The character evolved so much over the years, always deepening the character, bringing a richness to the character that is impossible to replicate. From mind melds to the Vulcan neck pinch, we find out some of how these pivotal elements came to be. We learn about the Vulcan salute, how it comes from Nimoy’s Jewish background. How the hand makes the shape of the letter Shin, standing for El Shaddai, the name of God.

I liked that they didn’t sugar coat things, especially from his children. He wasn’t always available when his kids were young. Answering fan mail became a family activity. I can only imagine how frightening it might have been when fans started showing up at the house and knocking on doors. They talk about the evolution of fame, how it becomes too much for them. They don’t shy away from the darker parts of his life that fans were never privy to, the stress and strife and tension.

Leonard Nimoy was an incredible actor and man. He was human, flawed, and talented as an actor, director, writer, and photographer. He both was and wasn’t Spock but, whatever he was, he won’t be easily forgotten.

In the watching of this, I discovered something about myself. I may never be capable of watching those incredible moments from Wrath of Khan without sobbing. Now, it’s even worse because, for me, it’s also saying goodbye to Leonard Nimoy. Again.

If you are a Star Trek fan, a Leonard Nimoy fan, or a documentary fan, there is a lot to love about For the Love of Spock. If you’re like me and prone to fits of weeping, bring your tissues or handkerchief.


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