Warning: This Post Contains Spoilers for Star Trek Beyond! Read At Your Own Risk!
I honestly didn't want to watch this movie simply because I knew there would be a huge void. In February 2015, we'd lost our beloved Spock, and I didn't know how his death would be handled. And I wasn't ready for the final goodbye. But, tonight, I decided to take a chance and sit through what I hoped would be an honorable goodbye to a distinguished actor and character.
Spock has long been one of my favorite characters. Leonard Nimoy's portrayal of the Vulcan with no emotion and literal interpretation lent a humorous edge to the seriousness of a show about the dangers of going where no man had gone before. Working in tandem with irrational humans, Spock was, above all, logical.
Bringing an end to a character that had been a vibrant part of the sci-fi community and the Star Trek franchise could not have been an easy task. I don't envy Simon Pegg and Doug Jung who wrote Star Trek Beyond, but I do applaud them. Spock's death was treated with both dignity and respect.
When Spock (played by Zachary Quinto) receives the notification of Ambassador Spock's death, he is visibly shaken. Throughout the movie, through conversations with both Captain Kirk and Bones, viewers see how deeply the loss of his mentor has affected the younger Spock. But the final moment of grief comes when Commander Spock is seen going through the Ambassador's personal effects, one of which is a picture of the original Star Trek cast. It's a powerful moment without words, and that one photograph said everything. Even Leonard Nimoy's son is in agreement with the homage paid to his father.
For almost 50 years, Leonard Nimoy was Spock, and with his passing, the sci-fi community lost a giant. I can't say it any better than the Editor-in-Chief of Rotten Tomatoes, Matt Atchity, did after Nimoy's death:
"His legacy as that character is key to the enjoyment of Star Trek. The way that Spock was used as a device for the writers to examine humanity and examine what it meant to be human, that's really what Star Trek was all about. And in finding Leonard Nimoy, they found the perfect person to portray that."
If I could speak to the actors and writers of Star Trek Beyond, I would thank them for honoring the memory of a man who became an icon, and for giving viewers one last opportunity to say goodbye.