Star Trek Beyond was released in theaters last week (read our review here), and took the number one spot in the box office in its first weekend. The film celebrates what came before and does a more than admirable job of honoring the 50 year legacy of “The Final Frontier.”
Spock In Absentia?
Conspicuously absent though, is Leonard Nimoy, who portrayed from day one while filming that first Star Trek pilot in 1964. Nimoy passed away last year after a long struggle with COPD. The COPD Foundation defines COPD as:
“Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis.”
Nimoy, a smoker of much of his life, suffered from this debilitating disease. As the Huffington Post notes, he spent many of his later years working to convince others to quit smoking. He was a big presence in social media and in his last couple of years, he tweeted frequently about the cause.
Ill Health Prevented Spock’s Return
In a recent interview with Yahoo Movies, Nimoy’s son Adam, whose documentary, For the Love of Spock, is debuting this fall, revealed that his father was offered a role in Star Trek Beyond, but had to decline because his heath was failing. He says:
“I know, because I talked with Dad extensively about it, that he was very happy to be a part of this reincarnation of Star Trek, to be participating. It was very hard for him when they came with the third installment, Star Trek Beyond, and they wanted him involved, but he had to say no because of his health. He didn’t think he could physically do it. So that was difficult for him. … But he was very pleased and very happy to end his career as Spock with those cast members.”
Adam says that his father was pleased to pass the torch onto Zachary Quinto.
“Dad was very comfortable with Zachary continuing the tradition of playing Spock. So he’s got a professional connection with Spock and the family, but he’s also got a personal connection. He’s been like a member of the family.”
Nimoy’s Spirit Resounds
While Leonard Nimoy may not appear in Star Trek Beyond, he is present. It was promised early on that Nimoy’s Spock would be memorialized in some way. Zachary Quinto had this to say about it, again in an interview with Yahoo Movies:
“I think Leonard’s very much a part of this — with me, for me.… I feel him with me in a very powerful way all the time. And doing this film, I feel he’s a part of it for all of us. Everybody feels his absence. We want to honor him with continuing to tell these stories with integrity.”
In an interview with Film Journal International, Director Justin Lin confirms that Nimoy’s presence will be felt in the film:
“It’s something you’ll see in the film. It obviously affected everybody, because he’s been a big part of our lives. There’s an attempt to acknowledge that in some way.”
So while Leonard Nimoy may not have been able to reprise his iconic role of Spock in Star Trek Beyond, it is safe to say he’ll be included in a way that pays homage to his monumental contributions to the world of Star Trek.
Star Trek Beyond, in Theaters right now.
Have you seen the film? What did you think? Did it do justice to Star Trek’s Legacy? Please comment, LIKE and SHARE to encourage dialogue. LLAP.