Leonard Nimoy received the 2010 Douglas S. Morrow public outreach award last week in Colorado by the Space Foundation and as the honored speaker, he shared some of his Star Trek memories.
One of those memories included a speaking experience at Caltech several years ago, where Nimoy soon realized that he was a bit out of his league.
After his speech at Caltech, Nimoy was given a tour of the projects on which some Caltech students were working. “I met some of the very brilliant young people, 20, 21, 22 years old, working on extremely sophisticated projects. And they were explaining these things to me. It was not my language!
“I didn’t have a clue what they were talking about, but I nodded very sagely, stroked my chin a little bit and was very thoughtful. They said, ‘What do you think?’ And I said, ‘You’re on the right track.'”
Nimoy also spoke about what he thought about Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and the decision to kill off Spock in that movie. “I thought, ‘We’re going to scrape the barrel and turn out a cheap Star Trek movie, how good can that be? Ok, I’ll go out as a hero and save the crew and the ship, and go out in a blaze of glory.”
But he soon discovered that perhaps killing off Spock wasn’t such a good idea. “So we began working on the second film, and obviously, it was going to be a good one,” said Nimoy. “The script was good, the direction was good. And we were all having fun, and were back to the kind of chemistry that we had when we were doing our best television work. So I thought, maybe I might have made a mistake.”
After seeing the film and Spock’s burial tube, Nimoy realized that perhaps there was a way to bring back Spock. “And sure enough, they called me and said, ‘we’d love you to be involved in the next Star Trek movie,’ and I said, ‘Thank you very much, I’d love the opportunity to direct,’ and they let me,” said Nimoy. “I did two of them, Star Trek 3 and Star Trek 4. It was in 4 where people think maybe Bill tried to drown me, I’m not sure. Anyway, we had a great time. We made six of them, then the next generation took over.”