Wednesday, April 27, 2016

And the Children Shall Lead: Two Nimoy docs

The death of Leonard Nimoy continues to be felt throughout Trek fandom and the world at large, over a year later. Now, his children have chosen to honor his legacy with two different forthcoming documentaries.

Adam Nimoy, an experienced actor, director and author, is helming For the Love of Spock, a doc that started out as a meditation on the Spock character and his impact on the world, but after Leonard's death, it morphed into a much more personal story about Adam and his relationship with his father. As he told
...The thing I kept coming back to is that a lot of fans and family were supportive of the idea that I delve more deeply into my point of view of the whole [Star Trek] experience. That was kind of the unique element that I could bring to the film, that no other documentarian could really tell. And what I tell is... how Spock affected me, the impact of being a celebrity family, my relationship with my dad.... I was at first resistant, but more and more people responded to the idea of making it more of a personal journey.
I wouldn't say Spock had a huge impact on me. By the time I first saw The Original Series on TV as a kid, I was already well receptive to the idea of funny-looking aliens interacting with humans, thanks to comics and other sci-fi TV shows and films. Spock wasn't necessarily unique to me, although I still thought of him as a cool character. I'd say it was more through the movies that I first began to truly understand his importance: his close friendships with Kirk and McCoy, his value to the crew of the Enterprise, and his importance to the Federation and Starfleet. Once I started reading the novels, I understood it even more.

I think what makes Spock special to me is not just his ability to come up with a solution for the dilemma of the week, but the way he's accepted by the Enterprise crew and Kirk in particular despite how different he is. They learn from him as much as he learns from them.

The second Leonard Nimoy doc is headed by Julie Nimoy and her husband David Knight. It deals with the condition that ultimately took her father's life, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD: Highly Illogical - A Special Tribute to Leonard Nimoy charts the origins of the disease as well as how Leonard used his final months to spread awareness of it. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of the disease, and Nimoy was a heavy smoker for years. As Julie told the website Blastr:

...Having a famous dad as an example of someone who had COPD greatly helped us to partner with a number of medical organizations. I thin kthe feeling was if someone like "Mr. Spock"/Leonard Nimoy can get diagnosed with COPD then no one is immune to the disease if they've also followed a similar lifestyle path.

In the past decade-plus, New York has taken steps to curtail the places where one can smoke in public, but in a city as big as this, it's impossible to avoid entirely. For a long time, I was able to tolerate being around cigarette smoke, but now, not as much. I'm more likely to move somewhere else if someone's smoking near me, not so much for health reasons as for the simple fact that I just don't like it, and I don't want to be around someone who's doing it in front of me. (To all my friends who do smoke: nothing personal.)

I may have mentioned here before that I have a Trekkie friend who absolutely cannot be around smokers for health reasons. She can't even tolerate the smell of nicotine on clothing. I've already told her about this doc. I'm pretty sure she'll be quite appreciative of its message.

It's sad that Leonard Nimoy isn't around to help celebrate Trek's half-century mark. It's comforting, though, to know that he's being remembered in a multitude of ways, and these upcoming films made by his children have to be among the most heartfelt.

Axanar and fan fiction
William Shatner's 'Leonard'

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