With the release of Star Trek XI, new fans have joined the more established fans and re-energized the Star Trek fanbase, according to Leonard Nimoy.
A veteran of many Star Trek conventions, fans had settled into a “habitual style” of fandom, said Nimoy. But the rebooted Star Trek has brought new fans into the fold, changing the dynamics of Trek fandom. “We have, this year, a big shift in the nature of the fans,” said Nimoy. “Two things: larger numbers of people are attending [conventions], and second, there are a lot of people attending who have never been involved in Star Trek, new fans. In Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago I asked how many people there were at a convention for the first time. Half the room raised their hand. We had a lot of repeats in the past; I was surprised to see so many coming for the first time.”
Nimoy is thankful for Star Trek and its fans. “I’m grateful for [Star Trek],” said Nimoy “It’s offered me tremendous creative and artistic opportunities, and an exciting personal life.”
There was a time when Nimoy’s relationship with the fans went a little sour, with the publication of I Am Not Spock. “I was asked to write a book,” he said, explaining that the title of the book came from an encounter with a little boy and his mother at the San Francisco airport. “A little boy was marched over to me by his mommy. She said ‘This is your favorite character on TV!’ He just stared at me. She said ‘This is Mr. Spock!’ He just stared”
That encounter was used by Nimoy as a basis for a chapter in the book that described the differences between Nimoy and Spock. Nimoy wasn’t repudiating Spock though. “I did say, in that chapter, that of all the characters I’d portrayed, I was most proud of Spock and that given choice of any character to play again I would choose Spock,” he explained.” “[Spock] stood for loyalty, intelligence, education.”
Nimoy thought it would be a good idea to use the title of that chapter, I Am Not Spock, as the title of the book. “I thought it would spur discussion, but my publisher advised against it,’ he said. “I fought for it and won…but I won trouble.”
“During this period when there was this great hunger for Star Trek production, I released a book called I Am Not Spock,” said Nimoy. “The thought was, here was Nimoy, rejecting Star Trek. People were reading the title without reading the book! I had a tough time.”