The ultimate event of the Grand Slam Sci-Fi Summit was the appearances of the two Spocks, Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy. The pair each had a solo portion followed by a joint appearance (in the same way they often do it when Shatner and Nimoy appear at cons). Of course the actors were not there to reveal big details about the ultra-secret Trek feature film, but their enthusiasm and chemistry was undeniable. Highlights + pics below.
Quinto plays it safe and humble
During Quinto’s solo portion he actually took a lot of questions about his pre-Trek work, mostly Heroes. For Heroes he recounted funny stories and fielded all sorts of questions, even if he actually like to eat brains. He did say that season 3 of Heroes will be back into production soon and (due to the strike falling during the Trek production) he won’t miss any episodes, but he didn’t know anything about plotlines.
For Trek, Quinto played it safe and mostly covered areas he has talked about before, such as how ‘honored’ he is to be involved, how impressed he was with Abrams and the script and that sort of thing. He did crack some good jokes about how recently renting a car at Enterprise "had a whole new meaning" and that saying certain things like ‘logical’ for him will never be the same. The crowd seem very impressed with the new Spock and he got a lot of applause. Quinto did talk about some of his thoughts on the optimism of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek and how it fits into his view of the character of Spock
One of the things that drew me to this character is that he is constantly exploring that notion of how to evolve in a responsible way and how to evolve in a respectful way. I think those are all things that we as a society, and certainly the world could implement. To be of part of something that puts that forth is really gratifying. I think that, like with Heroes, it is a show about people’s potential and people’s power to change the world for the better. And I think we could all agree that we live in a world that needs to be changed for the better.
Nimoy on the film, scale and Shatner
Nimoy spent much of his time talking up the new Star Trek, for example:
This is really a fantastic film and a reinvigoration of the franchise…This is big, in fifty-eight years in motion pictures I have never been involved with anything this size and scope. And at the same time, great performances by wonderful, wonderful people. So great script, great director, great cast. You have every reason to be excited.
On why he took the role, he said it was all about the script:
When I read the script I was very impressed. I thought they captured the characters wonderfully. It had great size, great scale. And at the same time really done some wonderful work on developing the origins of Spock and Kirk and Scotty and Uhura and Sulu and I was excited. Very genuinely excited.
Regarding Shatner and why he isn’t in the film Nimoy said it was an important question and again pointed out that, although he felt Kirk’s death in Generations was ‘gratuitous’ it was the main reason behind it:
It would have been very very difficult and maybe damaging to this movie, for them to try and inject Bill into this movie, just for the sake of having him in it. I feel bad about it, everybody feels it is a loss. It would have been wonderful, it just was not working. And would hope you could understand that and accept that. I have come to accept it and I believe Bill has. I spoke to him a couple weeks ago and he is comfortable with it.
Passing the torch…and the shirt
During their joint appearance there was great chemistry between Quinto and Nimoy and you can really see that they have bonded in the time between last summer’s Comic Con (when the met for the first time). Nimoy spoke a couple of times how he was happy to ‘pass the torch’ to Quinto, but it was still emotional for him. Nimoy believed that ‘there is a very good Spock for the future.’ And at the end of the evening, Nimoy literally passed the torch, or more specifically his #1 Vulcan T-Shirt. He noted that he had worn it to previous conventions and said "I think it is time for me to pass it on." Quinto seemed genuinely surprised. He took the shirt but demurred saying that he should have one that said ‘#2 Vulcan’
Both Nimoy and Quinto were very careful not to divulge anything, but Quinto may have revealed some spoilers when he was talking about how fun it was on the set and how every got along. He cited examples such as "when Leonard was there" and "working with Ben Cross and Winona Ryder" which indicates that there may be scenes with his Spock and the older Spock and also scenes with his Spock and his parents (Sarek and Amanda).
Photos by Tina Gill