Leonard Nimoy Says Star Trek ‘On Track’ Again – Feels He Isn’t Needed In Sequel

Star Trek’s Spock Prime, Leonard Nimoy, is helping promote the new Star Trek Online game (in which he does some voice work  — see previous article). The USA Today has a great interview with the actor where he talks about the game, the enduring popularity of Star Trek, favorite scenes and more, including Star Trek sequel. Excerpts below.


Spock Prime gives a State of Star Trek
The following are excerpts from the new USA Today interview with Leonard Nimoy.

Is there something at the core of the Star Trek stories that people come back to?
I don’t think there’s a simple answer to that. Star Trek has always been a hopeful view of the future, as opposed to some of the doomsday stuff that we have seen. I think the collection of characters has always been intriguing, the chemistry between these various characters and where they come from and what they bring to the party, particularly the Kirk, Spock and McCoy characters, the triumvirate. I don’t mean to diminish anybody, the whole cast made contributions. I think people enjoy watching this group of characters solve problems together. This film (the 2009 Star Trek),  I think gives us a really wonderful look at how these people came together as a group and how this team was formed. It’s just fun to watch. It’s an exhilarating movie. So we are on track again. I say ‘we,’ I really think – I’ve said, ‘I am done’ several times — I don’t think they need me anymore. I think I was useful in this last film. I don’t think they need more for the next one.
There will be another one.

Over the years, is there a favorite line of dialogue from Spock?
Yeah. (Laughs). ‘Live long and prosper’ has become part of the culture. But the one that I had most fun with was at end of an episode we did in the second or first season many years ago (The Devil in the Dark from the first season; details here). We used to do a scene, typically at the end of each episode, which was kind of a wrap-up of the episode. We’d be standing around the captain’s chair on the bridge and it would be McCoy, the captain and myself and maybe others and we would do kind of a wrap-up conversation. In this particular one I am thinking about, Kirk says to Spock something like "Spock, there is hope for you after all. You’re becoming more human all the time." And Spock said, ‘Captain, I see no reason to stand here and be insulted.’ I always enjoyed that.

Did Zachary Quinto have any lines as Spock that stood out for you?
He was very good in this movie. I was really impressed in the scene where he rejects the entry into the Vulcan Science Academy, when they tell him that in spite of the flaw in his genetic makeup they are accepting him and he refuses the offer saying in effect, ‘Go screw yourself.’ But what he did with ‘Live long and prosper’ in that moment was very refreshing to me. …  I don’t know whose choice it was, his or J.J. Abrams’ but whatever. When I saw that I thought, ‘Whoa, that’s good.’ Nobody ever said, ‘Live long and prosper’ with that subtext before.

There is much more from Nimoy on Star Trek. Read the rest at USA Today

Leonard Nimoy in "Star Trek"

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Well said, Mr. Nimoy!

I <3 Nimoy

I think my favorite Mr. Spock line comes from the first movie…

“This simple feeling is beyond V’Ger’s comprehension. No meaning, no hope. And Jim, no answers. It’s asking questions. ‘Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?'”

What a great great line… and but one reason why I like ST TMP so much!

They may not NEED Leonard Nimoy in the next movie, but it would be a nice salute!

and then there is this classic…

“What does it mean, ‘exact change?'”


A big thanks to Mr. Nimoy for all his work with the Star Trek franchise. The Spock character had a profound affect on my life from philosophy and ethics to science and Humanism.

While he may not be needed in the next film, I would love to see him. It was Mr. Nimoy’s faith in the script that gave me hope for a great movie. Thank you! It was a great movie.

#3, 4, and 5 – I agree!

The next Star Trek film may not “need” Leonard Nimoy, but it would be a hell of a lot better with him involved.

My favorite Spock moment is from the end of TSFS when the reborn Spock is greeted by his shipmates. Then he looks at Kirk and gives the iconic eyebrow raise. Classic!

Leonard is the best!

Glad to know someone involved with ST09 remembers the triumvirate ;)

And a hearty thumbs-up for Devil in the Dark. One of the most fundamental Trek eps, IMO.

“Nobody ever said, ‘Live long and prosper’ with that subtext before.”

I loved that line, too! It really showed the extra bit of emotion in Spock that we rarely ever get to see. Don’t diss Spock’s mom, it’s his only real soft spot.

Spock Prime? It’s moment like this where I feel old. ;)

I would love to see Nimoy back, but only if it fits the story.

And yes, Devin in the Dark is quintessential Trek.

I, for one, agree with Mr. Nimoy. His character is not needed in the next story. I would love for him to be, but realize at the very same time that I would only be satisfying my selfish desire to squeeze him in the storyline, hence coming off as pleasing the fans only, feeling forced and turning the new franchise into a series of reunion movies in which they pleased the unending desire of fan boys everywhere to have “another go at it”. Again, I agree with Mr. Nimoy and respect him for that.

Thank you Mr. Nimoy

Time to be really nerdy:

Spock: Curious. What Chief Vanderberg said about the horta is exactly what the mother horta said to me. She said she found human appearance to be revolting, but that she could get used to it.

McCoy: Did she? Did she happen to say anything about those ears?

Spock: Not specifically. Though there was the impression that she found them the most attractive human feature of all. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that only I-

Kirk: She really liked those ears?

Spock: The horta is a remarkably perceptive creature. With impeccable taste.

Kirk: Because she approved of you?

Spock: Really Captain, my modesty-

Kirk: Does not bear close examination Mr. Spock. I do believe you’re becoming more and more human all the time.

Spock: You…Captain, I see no reason to stand here and be insulted.

The “live long and prosper” scene with Quinto was my favorites. I also loved the scene with Uhura after the death of Spock’s mother ” I need everyone to continue to perform admirably”. Or something like that. These were just great!

Devil in the dark was a great tos episode–original-scary at first with a bad villain monster that really wasnt–solved by the trek trio–the horta communicates thanx to spocks mind meld n nimoys great acting we feel the hortas pain-pain-n bones also heals the horta in a non traditional way–the mob of miners that wanna kill the horta–danged–great episode–

also been watchin the trek09 dvd-we fans are so blessed-thanx to nimoy n roberto n jj n company they all went out of their ways to respect us fans n trek n pay homage to it-despite all the changes updates at its core jjs movie is purer trek than the last few trek movies have been–jj was so respectful of nimoy especially-nimoy is right- treknis on track again thanx to nimoy n jj n roberto nalex and all the talented actors n crew whose respect n luv of trek is so obvious by their care n performances-thanx leonard nimoy! They literally couldnt hace done it without ya-

I agree, exactlly what I thought when I heard Zac Quinto say that at that rejection sceene!

I wish some of the other past Trek actors would realise that they aren’t needed in the next film too.

Leonard Nimoy is so cool and classy. No other actor knows his/her character like Nimoy does his (Spock). I hope he does another stint on “The Simpsons”. “Marge Vs.The Monorail” and “The Springfield Files” rank as two of the greatest episodes of the series.

“A solar eclipse. The cosmic ballet goes on”.

Of course he is needed. He is Spock! He and William Shatner are needed.

Maybe Nimoy and Shatner are not needed for the film – who knows; but they are definitely needed to make me go and see it. :)

#18 I agree

21. Good ole Iowa girl. Have always stuck to your guns with smile.

Spock Prime is the only classic character that could be in the new movie. He is out there, helping Vulcans to rebuild their society. Nimoy is not needed, but having him would be nice, and not fanboyish.

the next film will def be better if Leonard was in it. Leonard is a great actor and would love to see him on screen again.

He is and always will be Spock to me. Quinto is good but to me Leonard will always be the real deal to me.

Nimoy and Shatner are like icing on a cake. The cake is still tasty without it, but oh, that icing, any cake is just sublime.

Bob – your appreciation is my strength. :)

21- As much as I loved the new film.. I got to agree with you…

Needed or not, he’s wanted. There is no instance in Star Trek where someone like Nimoy or Shatner would not make the film better. None.

Chalk me up as a fan of Quinto’s ‘Live long and prosper’ line! It sums up the new film’s approach beautifully: taking what we’ve seen before but giving it a different slant!

I agree with Leonard Nimoy that there’s no more need for him to appear in the main series, although a smaller scale straight-to-Blu-ray/iTunes movie about Spock Prime, tying in with the sequel might be fun, especially if they could get an appearance by William Shatner in there somehow! ;) Indeed, the ST09 casting was so good that, while it was wonderful to see Leonard Nimoy in the movie, I think it could have worked without him, which is testament to how good the direction and casting was!

More than anything, the ST09 team, like TWOK’s team, appreciated that Star Trek can tread a fine line between having its heart in the right place and being pompous. And like TWOK, the makers managed to keep things fun!

Very dignified of Nimoy to take this stance – and great as it always is to see him in the part, he’s right. Let’s just tell a good story and not get caught up in shoehorning our favourite actors into it.

I agree that Star Trek is “back on track”. Over the years, it felt pretty confining as to how it “must be done” and given no elbow room to expands. Before, including most of Next Gen, even though they had rules and regulations, it felt like they had a lot of room to maneuver. But even when the rules be damned in recent times, the only thing that seemed to have elbow room was the techno-babble that borderline pseudo-science.

But now the story seemed fresh, the characters also refreshed, and ironically without doing a true reboot.

And I agree with Nimoy about Quinto’s line, when he told the Vulcan Counsel to go you know what with themselves, and with the hint of logic that they cannot deny.

The guy is a legend, no doubt about it.

They may not need him….but my goodness!…there’s a lot of great story potential with Spock Prime in the altered 23rd century. Friends and enemies after his knowledge of the future and technology. His 24th century prime shipmates/friends trying to retrieve him. The resettlement of Vulcan. Heady and exciting stuff!

In the matter of Zach Quinto’s memorable line reading of “LLAP”…

Bob Orci is almost certainly too modest to mention this, but an early draft of the script I managed to, um, procure (sound of whistling) includes a stage direction which clearly — and, er, bluntly — indicates how the line is to be read.

Of course, Zach took the direction and ran with it across the goal line… but Bob and Alex thought of it.

Take one-third of a bow, Bob. :)

I still like the “No, not really, not this time” line to Kirk on the bridge near the end of Star Trek 2009 the best.

Leonard “total class” Nimoy

One of my favorite lines Spock uttered, at the end of “Requiem for Methuseleh”, is the simple word, “Forget”. To me, it summed up everything that was the friendship between Kirk and Spock.

Here’s a clip:


Re-watching the series with my kids; had almost forgotten what wonderful chemistry these three actors had.

I sure as hell hope JJ, Bob and Alex re-watch some of these and remember that the next story should be about those three characters.

I wish for Leonard Nimoy in the next movie – and not just because I’d always love to see more of him, but because *his story is not done*!

Spock!Prime is literally stuck in the middle of the most meaningful story in ST – I mean Unification story and it’s ultimate failure in both timelines.

If Spock!Prime story is supposed to end like this – vow, what a message! So trying to bridge opposing cultures is useless, and your best efforts will only result in their mutual genocide?
That’s how it’s supposed to end? And in the real world too?

I just can’t accept such a message from ST, and that’s why I hope for more to be said on Unification, on Vulcans and Romulans dealing with what happened, and on whether Spock!Prime decades of work were validated or not.
And that means more Spock!Prime – not because of the fan service, but because the work of his life still needs closure.
Plus I agree – his knowledge of the future is a conflict in itself.

Mr. Nimoy is a class act and gentlemen– may he live long and continue to prosper.

They really need to kill off Spock Prime.

His knowledge of future events makes him too much of a potential deus ex machina:

“Captain, we just got a priority subspace message from Spock Prime. He reports that we should let the Botany Bay drift, that Edith Keeler must die, that the Horta is misunderstood, that we should be careful not to traverse the galactic barrier…”

On the other hand….

They could write this knowledge into the new ‘verse to avoid retelling the same stories the same way. That way the Enterprise stumble into some other problem.

By all rights, Spock Prime should be able to upgrade their technology by a few hundred years.. …Starfleet should should be able to whoop up on the Romulans and the Klingons.

My favorite, from The Doomsday Machine:

“Vulcans never bluff.”

Great article Mr. Nimoy never ceases to amaze me at he eloquence in interviews. He is in my view a truly humble man.

Note to Mr Shatner… Take a few notes on humility.

29. Mitch

I love those guys as much as you, apparently, but I do not think their mere appearance in the film would “make it better.” I’m sure there are many original Trekkies like myself, who never believed anyone could step into the shoes of Shatner or Nimoy. Pine and Quinto did a spectacular job, and made me feel like Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock are still alive and well. Sure, I’d love to see Shatner and Nimoy don the suits again, but just putting them in a film for the hell of it would not insure a better movie. At this point, I think there would have to be a really good reason to put them in it. I tend to agree with Mr. Nimoy that his presence is not needed in the sequel. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to see him there. It simply means that the answer to “why is he in it?” would have to be a good one. Same goes for Mr. Shatner. I’m sure if they were to wind up in the film, the Supreme Court would have a very good reason for them being there.

Nimoy=Class act. His humility regarding his contributions and his endorsement to ZQ is always refreshing.

I would love to see Nimoy again but I also have a great deal of faith in
the fellas to deliver regardless.Their obvious love for Trek is a great source of ease for this Trekker|ie.

With his inclusion in the 2009 trek I will always feel his presence just knowing hes spearheading the Vulcan re culturing.

As for Shat…..yeah…as my Dad always told me…a closed mouth gathers no foot…nuff said.

I agree that the interview was great.

With all the interviews and the similar questions being asked of Nimoy, I appreciated his intelligence and sincerity in making the answers so interesting and fresh.

You have point there. But how can his story be properly wrapped up without Prime Kirk? They both need to ride into the sunset together.

It would be cool to see a small scene with Spock prime maybe giving (Pine Kirk) some of (Shat kirks) logs before he disembarks to aid Vulcan.

Be cool to hear Shats voice over in Pines mind as he reads them. giving him insights into himself…his relationship with his father etc.

39. Nata: ‘I wish for Leonard Nimoy in the next movie – and not just because I’d always love to see more of him, but because *his story is not done*!’

I rather think it is: he’s riding off into the sunset to found a new Vulcan and will possibly be a member of their ruling council!

‘Spock!Prime is literally stuck in the middle of the most meaningful story in ST – I mean Unification story and it’s ultimate failure in both timelines.’

Debatable: we don’t really know how much effect Spock had on Romulus except in often-contradictory licensed spin-off material. Also, there’s no indication of failure in the new timeline. Far from it, in fact!

‘If Spock!Prime story is supposed to end like this – vow, what a message! So trying to bridge opposing cultures is useless, and your best efforts will only result in their mutual genocide?’

I saw no evidence of genocide against the Romulans: merely a failure to save the planet in time. And the lack of conflict between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire following the Kelvin incident implies the Romulans disavowed the Narada’s actions. Nero’s actions were independent and he personally vouched for that!

‘That’s how it’s supposed to end? And in the real world too?’


‘I just can’t accept such a message from ST, and that’s why I hope for more to be said on Unification, on Vulcans and Romulans dealing with what happened, and on whether Spock!Prime decades of work were validated or not.’

There’s nothing wrong with the ‘message’: Spock tried to bridge the cultures, but something bigger happened and managed kibosh the whole thing. That’s believable, real world and tragic. Spock’s efforts might yet have had an impact on the survivors of Romulus and his message might have spread out into the rest of the Star Empire which probably still exists in a much-diminished form! Also Vulcan might well come to the aid of the Empire and unification happen in the ashes of Romulus’s fall!

‘And that means more Spock!Prime – not because of the fan service, but because the work of his life still needs closure.’

Spock’s life will have closure living once again among his previously long-dead friends and family creating a new Vulcan and perhaps brokering peace with the Romulans by helping Vulcan and the Federation avoid mistakes they made in his first time round. Personally, I would be happy if, as a very old man, I fell back through time and could spend my last days surrounded by my friends, my Mum and Dad and my Grandparents.

‘Plus I agree – his knowledge of the future is a conflict in itself.’

It is! Personally, I hope his knowledge is passed on to the Federation, meaning many lives are saved and different threats emerge for subsequent films. The Vejur incident is easily cleared up, for example, as all it takes is a specially-trained volunteer to merge with the probe or they use radio signals to reach Vejur and destroy it, in the event they suspect it might be an ancestor of the Borg. Like I say, there’s certainly a straight-to-Blu-ray movie in the idea.