I wake up this morning and learned something very sad. It was very upsetting for myself, because I have recently been playing Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, where he does the voice of the main villain, Xehanort. He has done one of the most iconic characters in television history, and it only felt right to give him a few kind words, from my part, for whatever that ends up being worth. Leonard Nimoy has passed on today. It is a very sad day.
It seems that he was fighting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which stemmed from a smoking habit he had, which he had apparently given up three decades earlier. Still, smoking is a health risk. Today, that fight gave out. At 83 years old, he was confirmed to have died in his home. Man is this sad.
Of course, Nimoy’s most iconic role was as Mr. Spock on Star Trek. Part of the three-man decision making system in the Enterprise, along with Kirk and Dr. McCoy. His role is iconic in science fiction history, and will go down in that history forever. My favorite of his works was in the sixth film, The Undiscovered Country. There, we got to see a lot of his more human side, as he is stuck solving a mystery that will save his captain’s life. Seeing him working through it, along with his pride and anger at his protege’s betrayal, was a really good role. And it reminded me that Spock would have made a good captain himself, were he not interested in putting that career to rest, when he leaves the Enterprise.
However, that wasn’t the only role that I loved Nimoy for. I never would have imagined that he could make a great villain, but his performance as Master Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep was absolutely amazing. It’s a pity that he is not going to be able to reprise that role in the next game. That actually does bum me out in a big way. In Birth by Sleep, you see him stringing along three people, all while working to take an ancient weapon and restart a war. His manipulation is clever, and watching how it all goes to shit is pretty crazy. I think that only Nimoy could have made that character work.
Finally, there was his role as the king in Atlantis: The Lost Empire. That is one of those movies that got a lot of shit on it, and I partially understand why. The villain’s motivation was as boring as it gets, and that really did detract from the film. But still, there were a lot of great characters in that movie, and Nimoy’s was one of them. The aging ruler of the city, he is trying to keep his people hidden away, but time is running out. When his daughter is taken and turned into the Crystal, with his last breath, he begs Michael J. Fox’s character to save her. It was a rather sad end. Perhaps rather poignant, seeing what has happened now.
Leonard Nimoy was a great man. He inspired a generation of sci-fi nerds. He never talked do to us, like some people who have become big sci-fi icons have. He embraced that culture, but also worked to spread his voice through music, poetry, and the occasional ridiculous musical about The Hobbit. For real, find that video. It is so ridiculous that you can’t help but be amused. I, for one, will never forget Nimoy. And it is with this in mind that I give him my final send-off.
You lived long and prospered. Now, the world is just a little bit less logical. Rest in peace, Mr. Spock. You’ve earned the rest.
“If I were human, I believe my response would be – go to Hell. If I were human.” -Captain Spock, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country