Nimoy On Aging and Revitalizing Trek

In a new interview Leonard Nimoy talks about photography, aging and Trek. The 76 year old actor/director/photographer tells that he thinks about death and has even set up a clock that runs backward which tells him how much time he has left. He also feels that the new Star Trek will ‘revitalize’ the Trek franchise.

Excerpts from Nimoy interview

Hossli: Why is it important for you to know how much time you have left?
Nimoy: I don’t want to waste any time. Even if I’m not doing anything I want to enjoy that time. If I’m conscious of the time, then I don’t waste it. I’m conscious of the time I’m spending with you. I’m giving you time that is part of my life. I’m okay about it because it is not wasted. It’s a useful conversation.

Hossli: Currently you´re preparing another “Star Trek” movie. You play Spock as an old man. What kind of ailments does he have?
Nimoy: [laughs, then picks up a photograph] whenever you go to Rome next time you need to visit Villa Borghese. You´ll find Canova´s Paulina sculpture. It´s simply gorgeous. Yes, I´m in the new “Star Trek” movie. Let´s leave it at that.

Hossli: “Star Trek” still has tremendous culture resonance. How has its impact changed over the years?
Nimoy: I haven´t paid much to what´s been happening to “Star Trek”. I´ve been out of it since 1989, almost 20 years. Now were going into a project that in its own way is going to be a very important project if it works. It will revitalize the entire “Star Trek” franchise. It will be a very big, very expensive movie, much more expansive than any of the movies I was involved with. I directed two “Star Trek” films, the last one I directed, the budget was about 27 million dollar. With this one, the budget will be about 150 million dollars.

Star Trek excerpt provided to by Peter Hossli. More excerpts at

Photo by Charly Kurz

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It’ll be a depressing day when Nimoy and Shatner move on to the next life…

I like the bit about being conscious of how much time one has left. I think that’s a good philosophy for anyone of any age. It certainly makes you strive to make every moment count…


True, but it’ll be a glorious day when all the nimrods who type “First!” move on to the next life.

I hope Nimoy’s right about Trek 11 revitalizing the franchising. If Trek goes dormant for too many years, the next incarnation we get might be like the 1980 and current versions of “Flash Gordon”–that is, nothing in common with the original but the names of characters and places.

Of course, Trek 11 might be that bad…but somehow, I’m still hopeful.

Redjac – Shatner & Nimoy are going to being dying on the same day? Do you know something we don’t? >;)

Um, I mean…on different days…whatever days those are will be depressing…ya goose! LOL!!!! Any relation to Douglas Trumbull? That would make you a non-goose….lol!

Does he have his dates mixed up? Wasn’t Trek VI & his TNG appearance in ’91?

#4 — LOL!!! I only did it to annoy cos I know how much peeps like you love the “First” thing. I happen to agree with your sentiments on those who do the “first” thing…myself excluded of course…lol!

I became excited that Lenord Nemoy is in this film. But, why Spock is so old — he was still in TNG, but Vulcans live much longer. I wish, Mr. Nemoy more plot details given and I wish that Nemoy would say more in his interviews.

Does Spock become younger here than in the film? Is he on planet Vulcan, or Romulus, or Starship Earth? Is he younger or older than when he was in Film VI?

— Manrum (Manöverrum)

I think Mr. Nimoy’s perspective is quite common. Heck I think about death and I’m 37. I’m sure that when I reach his age, God willling, I’ll think about it even more.
I remember hearing Mr. Shatner talk about it too at a convention a few years ago.
But to see these guys today, Nimoy in great shape (from what I can see), and the Shat with the energy to be starring in a TV series and being constantly on the go as he is, you can’t help but think these guys have a lot of living to do yet.

To both (and all of the TOS crew) I say Live Long and Prosper, and be comforted by the fact that you have already led such full, wonderful lives!

1989??? Didn’t the last movie with Spock come out in 1991 or 92?

I think it was Trek V that came out in 89.

It takes a very special lifeview to live by a countdown to wormchow clock and remain positive. Personally, I want death to be a big fat flippin’ surprise. And I want it to happen whilst I am 299 years old and making love to two 18 year old nymphettes.

Not that I’m telling God what to do. I’m just saying…

But, I think Nimoy IS as prolific in his 70s because he is an optimist. Shatner, and the rest of the cast, too. (Who’s the youngster, Nichelle?) Anyway, I hope I’m still taking on new challenges until the day I touch the face of God.


…’Cause none of the other TREK films had that big, epic, majestic scope that THE MOTION PICTURE had. It’d be nice to see that element brought back to STAR TREK. But without the chilly humorlessness of TMP!

Oh, and Unification and ST:VI were both 1991. So, he’s been away 18 years.

Well, 17 and change.

re: 4
“it’ll be a glorious day when all the nimrods who type “First!” move on to the next life.”

I like when they type, “first.”


I’m sure Nimoy doesn’t memorize dates relating to TREK like the rest of us do. The guy was off by 2 years. So flippin’ what???

I wonder how much time Nimoy spends looking at this backwards-running clock.

When it comes to aging and death…..the day I pass away in my sleep at the age of 104, my newlywed bride will be so upset she won’t be able to attend any of her college classes that day! :)

Bravo Mr. Nimoy!:)

Bravo indeed.
Well said Mr Nimoy.

Films are shot a year, sometimes more before they are released. That would make it hard to remember dates. That, and the fact that he’s pushing 80. Hard to believe. Hey Carl, you get that internet connection up yet? We’re one nerd short here.

Leave it to Stanky to be a First-lover. Since the first Trek is the only one he loves! lol

More interested in finding out now Leonard knows exactly when he is supposed to die. What it the clock runs out and he is still kicking? And has he already reserved a receptacle to house his Katra?

I think they will have to portray Spock as older than he was in Unification. Unless they do some major special effects on Nimoy, which I hope they don’t. I’m glad Spock is back, but let us all be prepared. He is going to look like a tall green California Raisin. :)

There’s a clock to tell him when life ends
Still enough time to say goodbye to friends
Nimoy knows when to pass his katra
It’ll be in the urn, right next to Sinatra
Classy to the end, he never followed trends!

8. Redjac – I don’t really wish death on the “firsters” out there (yourself included). I just wish y’all would forget how to type that word…hehe…

Seriously, though, I think it’s great that Nimoy is a little off on his memory of his last Trek involvement. It shows that he hasn’t been obsessing about it, he hasn’t been sitting around waiting for another chance to play Spock. He was done with it, he put it out of his mind for most of two decades.

That makes me think the script is special, since it drew him out of retirement. But then again, I’m one of the few who hated Trek VI: TUC with a passion, and that was Nimoy’s baby (with Nic Meyer), so his liking of this new script might mean nothing. Maybe it’s as heavy-handed, preachy, and unfaithful to the characters as “Undiscovered Country” was.

(Sigh) I hate waiting almost 12 months for this film, but I love the excitement of anticipating a Trek movie again!

remember star trek 6 came out in 91 but i was probably filmed in 89-90, so he may only be a year out.. anyway it dont realy matter if hes a year or 2 out. hes in is 70s. i just hope i know what year it is when im in my 70s

wish i would press refesh so i could see new new posts before post my post

26. Harry Ballz

I actually liked that one! Probably because I’m a Sinatra fan. Saw him in concert in ’86, ’89, and ’93. :)

29. Diash Demar – January 13, 2008
wish i would press refesh so i could see new new posts before post my post

Perhaps refresh in a separate browser window….

#27 Paul B. –

Just curious… I agree that TREK VI is a little “heavy-handed & preachy” (and probably the most overrated of the “even-numbered” TREK films), but how is it unfaithful to the characters?

#25 –

“…a tall green California Raisin.”

LOL!!! Not far off, I’m afraid!

I would like to know how the remaining time is calculated… which clock does he use and what data does it need? There are many such clocks on the internet, but the results for me vary…

#32 SPB – I won’t go into great detail on my issues with the characters in Trek VI, but I’ll hit a few key points. Such as:
– Having them say idiotic things just to make political points (such as Chekov’s moronic “inalienable human rights” comment, which was clearly written only to give the Klingon lady a chance to complain).
– Showing them as idiots in general (Uhura needing a book to speak Klingon!?! And then doing it poorly?! No translator? No knowledge of the language after decades of hearing it?
– The entire “mystery” of the boots/killers onboard. Again, Chekov looks the dumbest, but the convenient plotting (gee, Scotty just happens to hear a vent rattling, but never thought to look there in the first place?!) made them all look stupid.
– The opening scene with Kirk & crew. All of them retiring at the same time? Spock speaking for Kirk and volunteering him to deal with the Klingons and then ACTING SURPRISED when Kirk was upset?!

Beyond the characters, there are countless examples of just plain bad logic and dumb filmmaking. The torpedoes being fired from below the Enterprise–as if their sensors wouldn’t be able to trace the torps to their source? Oh, and the conveniently added digital clock above the viewscreen just so we can see the time stamp during the video playback…

To me, Trek VI was only slightly better than Trek V. VI felt like it was made by people who had never watched these characters before. (Hell, they even have Kirk say “We’ve never been this close before” about the Klingons, despite his entire history with them (see “Day of the Dove” and Trek III, etc.). The stupidity of the Klingon trial.

Oh, and the moronic “Praxis” moon crap. The Klingon EMPIRE is dying because one moon blows up? Even if it wiped out their homeworld, they are a star-spanning empire: Praxis wouldn’t be the disaster they made it out to be (because they were trying too hard for the Chernobyl/Russian parallel).

Of the first 6 films, #6 is the only one I cannot sit through without cursing and shutting it off. I don’t like the TNG films, but even “Insurrection” and “Nemesis” were better films!!!

Sorry to blather so long…I just really hate that movie.

I’ll shut up now so we can get back to talking about how old Nimoy is and whether people should be shot for typing “first!” :)


I guess it only stood out to me since he mentioned a specific year…not like ‘Oh my last movie was 20 years ago’. No biggie, just made me wonder if there was some significance to that.


I can understand the movie might not be everyone’s cup o tea, but I don’t find it ‘heavy-handed’ at all. It wasn’t as though they pushed the allegory at the expense of the story. We all knew Klingons and the Federation were at peace by the time of TNG, this just filled in the missing pieces. That it used a current event as a template is a long-standing Trek tradition.

I assume you’re referring to the racism when you say it was ‘unfaithful’ to the characters, though I disagree there too. These two powers had been at odds for nearly 75 years, and you don’t think that they’re going to have misconceptions about eachother? That’s incredibly unrealistic. As I recall, even Spock described Klingons as savage in TOS.

#30 Oregon Trek Geek “I actually liked that one!”

Am I to take it that you strongly DISLIKED all my other limericks? :)

#36 – The racism of the characters wasn’t the “unfaithful” part I mentioned, but it’s an example of the filmmakers exaggerating something just for the sake of the story. And, yes, that’s what I think they did throughout–they “pushed the allegory at the expense of the story.”

We even saw Kirk dealing peacefully with Klingons at the end of Trek V–the previous movie, for crying out loud!!!–so it didn’t make sense for him and the others to have back-slided to such hateful, stupid attitudes.

It’s realistic to have misconceptions about each other, but it’s not realistic to ignore all of the progress that had already been made in that area just so they could have stupid dinner scenes…

Meanwhile, Nimoy’s excited about the new film, and we’re all split about whether to vaporize the “firsters” or not.

By Mr Nimoys pursuit of doing as much as he can at this point in his life he has proven that Death is overrated: you only get to do it once. Or twice if you are Vulcan.

my language difficulty:

Picard kommt auf einen unbekannten Planeten, wo er die Bekanntschaft mit einem Captain einer fremden Lebensform macht, die nur in Metaphern spricht. Da Picard ihn nicht versteht, weiß er nicht, ob dieser gute oder böse Absichten hat…


–Manrum (Manöverrum)

The only thing that makes me sad about the new film is that it is almost garunteed we’ll have a definitive Spock death. :(

I used to love Trek VI as well, but it is really hard to get past Kirk and crew, not to mention the Federation being so racist.


I do not understand, why the federation is being so racist. Rodenberry always believed his vision against racism, because he suffered under it, and wanted TOS to show tolerance. Trek VI is very good about how the Sovjets and Americans ended cold war — not racism. My wife’s family live in East Germany, so I have a perspective on Trek VI. Do you not agree?? :)

–Manrum (Manöverrum)

If the ‘only true’ Spock dies in this film I will weep for him as I would for a brother.

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if the Lenord Nemoy Spock arrives during the Academy, is he to died, in place of Kirk? I believe, because Nemoy is referred to in this project, he must survive for the following film production. I, tool, will be sad, if Spock dies. But the future of the entire film could be future dager. But the prospective of the entire film might be in the future risk, if he does.


i think i speak for everyone here, when i say: huhh???????

–Manrum (Manöverrum)