Author’s Note: I wrote this article for my original blog in February 2015, the day after Mr. Nimoy’s passing.
If there had been no Spock, the original Star Trek would have lacked the depth and germination to propel Gene Roddenberry’s optimistic fictional future to the longevity it has enjoyed for a half century.
If there had been no Spock, the original cast of Star Trek would have been just a bunch of “Earthmen” roaming space and encountering generally hostile non-humans.
If there had been no Spock, there would have been no three-way counterbalance of the Kirk, Spock, and McCoy characters. Each fed off his interactions with the other two, building a tri-bond that developed from the original series and later through all the classic Star Trek Movies.
If there had been no Spock, the original series would not have been able to explore, with its own unique Star Trek edge, how those very different from us can be accepted while strengthening all those around us.
If there had been no Spock, we would not have had the beginnings of the Vulcan backstory and its relevance to the United Federation of Planets. In some respects, how we view the Klingons, Romulans, and other major alien races were done within the context of the similarities or differences with the Vulcans.
If there had been no Spock, we may not have seen what it meant for an alien to be half-human, and how he struggles with his sometimes very different heritages.
If there had been no Spock, there would have been no classic Star Trek movies, at least not as memorable as we know them to be today. Mr. Spock was the key subject or highly significant contributor in the second through sixth movies.
If there has been no Spock, Star Trek would have been impaired in its exploration of friendship, sacrifice, death, resurrection, redemption, family, and causes for the common good.
If there had been no Spock, today we would usually assume, in science fiction and fantasy, that those who die will stay dead.
If there had been no Spock, a key plot mechanism introduce in the original Star Trek may not have taken hold, that of having one cast/crew member who should be generally immune to those unknown forces of the galaxy that typically impair your average human. The latter Star Trek characters of Lt. Commander Data, Odo, and Voyager’s Doctor all fulfilled this role in their respective shows.
If there had been no Spock, what type of character would Kirk had been perceived as? Perhaps a young, arrogant, womanizing commander with a lot of talent and far too much ego (yeah, see the 2009 Star Trek redo). Spock, in his own way, helped to make the Kirk character as memorable as he was.
If there had been no Spock, we may never have known, “Live long and prosper.”
If there had been no Spock, we would not have today’s face of contemporary sci-fi fantasy. Even after all this time, there still is only one true Spock, recognizable by all for who he was and what he stood for.
Spock was made possible through the acting of Leonard Nimoy. In Mr. Nimoy would owe much gratitude for what science fiction and fantasy has become, as well as their abilities to deal with sometimes complex stories and issues. Mr. Nimoy shaped so much of Star Trek and beyond, and will continue to do so even though he is no longer with us.