LA Times Film Fest: Leonard Nimoy Talks Star Trek, Fringe & More: Full Video & Highlights

Last night the LA Times kicked off their Hero Complex Weekend Film Festival with a showing of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, with guest Leonard Nimoy. Video from the event is now online, and you can watch the entire Nimoy discussion and Q&A below. We also have some highlights of his comments.


Nimoy at STIV Screening 6/11/2010 

Highlights from Nimoy

On Star Trek (pre-ST09)

  • "very grateful" that ever since Star Trek he has never had to worry about work
  • George Lucas "did us a favor" as Star Wars "put Star Trek back into production"
  • On Star Trek: The Motion Picture, director Robert Wise wanted it to be big and grand like 2001, focusing on long shots of the ships and the characters ended up "Just like passengers"
  • Does Shatner impression of the "Of all the souls…" Kirk eulogy from Star Trek II (Pt. 1)
  • On directing Star Trek III, he was impressed with Nick Meyer’s Star Trek II, but "felt jealous" and that he knew Star Trek and used his "leverage" to get directed gig for III
  • Only agreed to direct Star Trek IV after Jeff Katzenberg agreed to let him make "his" Star Trek movie and "take the training wheels off"
  • On trying to get Eddie Murphy into Star Trek IV "we kept working on it, but it just didn’t work, it felt like an implant", Murphy was going going to play radio talk show host who believed in UFO’s and was trying to find the crew
  • "One big regret" on Star Trek VI was it never met goal finding out more about Klingons and "what makes them so angry", felt "got certain level of it, but not to the heart of it"
  • On Next Generation: "I was happy to see it go on, I didn’t watch a lot of it, I thought there was a lot of good work done, good talented people."
  • Said he would only direct Star Trek Generations, if Paramount agreed to let him work on major rewrite, which they didn’t agree to so he didn’t do it

On Star Trek 2009

  • On Abrams, Orci, & Kurtzman: "they really got it" and "they treated me very well, whenever I arrived they were appropriately in awe"
  • One of the reasons he agreed to return to Star Trek 2009 was that he didn’t feel he had "closure" for the Spock character and got "teared up" after hearing Orci, Kurtzman and Abrams talk about their approach
  • On first reaction to Zachary Quinto: "He looks enough like me to make it work, but more importantly he has some brains, you can see some thinking"
  • On Star Trek 2009: "I thought the movie was terrific. I thought they gave me interesting stuff to play as Spock. I thought they handled the whole Spock story extremely well."

On Fringe:

  • Nimoy didn’t like the work in his first episodes in Fringe and was resistant to return this season, felt he was just their for exposition.
  • Took JJ Abrams to call to get him to return to Fringe, and was now "glad" he did it, and happy that William Bell "went out in a blaze of glory saving everybody, like Spock did at the end of Star Trek II."


Here is the entire video in 8 parts (via bdbdb)

[on YouTube]


Big thanks to YouTuber bdbdb


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Love that man.

I truly love Nimoy. He is by far one of the classiest people out there.

He is one Classy Guy. I hope he does the next Trek Movie and have that be his Retirement Movie. May you Live long and Prosper Mr Nimoy.

“Thrusters on full.”

Nimoy is terrific. The Generations deal is really surreal, very strange, that Paramount was seriously going to let him direct a TNG movie. Berman probably lied to him.

5. Thanks for chiming in with another ignorant critique of Berman (and soon to be Braga, knowing how these threads go). Way to keep it classy.

This is great. I think I’m on part 15 now. When does it end?

Nimoy did great with his last episode of fringe–funny,exciting n touching all at the same time with some awesome character revelations–
I am watching tng on bbc america-strange they advertise it as all new-only new to their channel–the depth of humanity in tng is great–i for one enjoyed the series n braga n berman et al did awesome work–

Star Trek 4 was by far the best movie and production. You can tell Leonard poured a lot of time, effort and detail into it. Good read and move on his part also with Generations.

A true man of class, and a blessed man indeed! God bless you, Mr. Nimoy.

Nimoy is pure class!

When I met him last summer at Comic Con (and yes, I was VERY appropriately awed), he seemed to be a man truly at peace with himself. A very classy, but accessible man. Got an immediate good impression off of him.

May he really live long and prosper!

as far as the “blaze of glory” for William Bell, Nimoy has also suggested “never say never” about more Fringe work.

I am busting to know what Nimoy had in mind for Generations.

Could you get an interview and get that out of him? I have no doubt it would have been great.

I wonder if he would have appeared as Spock.

I think it is a safe bet that Shatner would have been playing Kirk rather than just a caricature of Kirk as was the case in his latter appearance in that movie.

Nimoy would gave gotten the TNG film franchise off to a strong start instead of the nonsense that Generations became.

u are the man !!!!!

Just simply a real true treasure!!!

15: I’m not as negative about the TNG films, but I agree: Nimoy could very well have done a much better job.

“One of the reasons he agreed to return to Star Trek 2009 was that he didn’t feel he had “closure” for the Spock character”

I disagree. I thought his last appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation two-parter “Unification” was a nice closure to his character, especially after Star Trek VI, the movie that brought closure to the original cast! What better way to further close a signature Star Trek character who was attempting to bring unification between Romulans and Vulcans? Simple. Make all of that pointless by having Romulas get destroyed, have an angry Romulan destroy Vulcan for some odd reason, and end it all by having Spock be cheery at the end.

I was really hoping for some follow up to Unification that would have gone somewhere interesting, but since Trek09 needed a bad guy who’s motivations matches that of a cockroach’s attention span, that will never happen. And I seriously doubt NuSpock would be up to the task since his sole development in Trek09 was to put aside logic so he would feel ok bout murdering a bunch of defenseless Romulans. Yahoo.

Really hope he will be open for another appearance. Although at this time it does not appear that way.

the man is just great. watched all of these segments and really enjoyed listening to his comments. Thanks for posting this.
United Kingdom

I had never heard anything about Nimoy directing Generations, thats interesting because Ron Moore has said the script that he wrote wasnt his better work. I also would like to know what Nimoy wanted to do with it.

I guess Nimoy won’t tell us what he had in mind because he doesn’t want to appear like “hey, I would have done this better, and that better…”

For a retired guy, he sure is everywhere these days. Viva retirement!

He’s just great, isn’t he? ISN’T HE???

Nimoy wanted to rewrite the intro, where Kirk, Spock (Scotty, after Nimoy passed), and McCoy (Chekov, after De also turned it down) are introduced and on the Enterprise-B.

One suspects that also a much older Spock would have been there at the end when Kirk, not-quite-mortally injured, is at last reunited with his old friend in a “coda” to the script. Then, Nimoy & Shatner could have ridden off into the sunset as they both deserved.

Shame on Shatner for not accepting what K/O wrote for him in Star Trek 2009.


My understanding was that someone higher up on the scriptwriting food-chain nixed it. What Orci wrote was never offered to Shatner, i.e. he never saw it.

#19: “I disagree. I thought his last appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation two-parter “Unification” was a nice closure to his character, especially after Star Trek VI, the movie that brought closure to the original cast! What better way to further close a signature Star Trek character who was attempting to bring unification between Romulans and Vulcans? ”

Hmm…your opinion about Spock, “Star Trek” and drama versus Leonard Nimoy’s?


Gonna go with Nimoy on this one. Yeah. :-)

Defenseless romulans? Not same movie I saw. Those defenseless Romulans murdered a portion of the crew of the Kelvin, including a defenseless Captain, murdered the crews of multiple federation vessels on a distress mission, murdered Enterprise crew members, decimated the Vulcan people (killing Spocks mom), tortured a defenseless captive and attempted genocide on the earth population. Kirk and Spock did everyone a favor by blowing up the narada. With a self repairing ship stuck in a black hole that causes time travel, It would have been foolish to let Nero live after he refused Kirks offer.

Spock happy at the end? Why not? He got to see his brother have a chance to reclaim his destiny after feeling guilty about what had gone on. Take what you can get.

Nero should have known what happens when you mess with the Enterprise.

#26 ok that makes sense and would have worked better than what was put out. As far as the directing I dont think Carson did a bad job at all, I just dont think the story was that interesting or dramatic. In fact I would rather have just viewed a totally TNG story instead of the opening set up and horrible Kirk death scene (I always knew I would die alone, yep). IMO it was a rather flat footed attempt at a passing of the tourch story.


Which Nimoy do you agree with?

The one who said “I am not Spock.”?

The one who said Spock must die in the 1970’s Paramount reboot of the TV series?

The one who said Spock must die in TMP?

Or the one who said Spock should die in TWoK and then changed his mind after he got what he advocated for so long?

The one who said “I am Spock.”

Nimoy is a fine thespian, and he entertains expertly in that respect, but his history with Trek records a long struggle to try to comprehend and grasp it. There is no facile insight from him with regards to the Trek total. That comes from his collaboration with Roddenberry. Without Gene, Nimoy’s Trek genius is pretty much limited to Spock who is an important part of the pie – but nevertheless, is only a fraction of the whole.

#29. Robman007 once opined “With a self repairing ship stuck in a black hole that causes time travel,…”

Ah, ah, ah, Orci tells us there’s no time travel within the same universe in his scipt/movie. Nero would not have returned. According to Bob it would have been impossible for him to do so.

He might have popped up in some other alternate universe but Kirk had no idea whether it would have been a heavenly or hellish one for Nero, i.e. whether it deserved Nero or needed to be spared from that crazy Romulan..

But the important part is Nero posed no further threat to Kirk or the Federation, offing Nero the way that he did was purely gratuitous.

Either way, Nero deserved what he got. Fitting punishment for someone who did such evil deeds. At least Kirk offered him a way out.

I also remember in an interview with Orci that they wrote Kirk blasting the Narada away because Kirk did not want to risk Nero causing havoc in some other time.

Kirk in the new movies may have started out as an a-hole, but odds are he will end up being the same Kirk we all know. Different upbringing can do that to a person.


A constant theme of Trek is that no matter how powerful a being becomes or a situation makes him, he is not infallible and it is rarely a good thing when he makes the leap to presume to be a god.

Even though the movie tries to mask the mechanism as time travel what Orci vociferously notes is that it is only in reality a mechanism for creating alternate universes.

But one thing Orci claims all in the movie understands is that Nero is not returning to them via that mechanism. He posed no further threat in his predicament.

Kirk had no idea what fate awaited Nero. A universe is a big place – especially in space/time. He could just as easily have been sparing him from a fate far more fitting as a punishment than what Kirk chose to do.

But what this Kirk did do unlike the Kirk of old, is endanger his ship, the Enterprise, to satisfy the demands of a retributious blood lust by wasting time and energy when they should have been getting “..the hell out of here.” This is not the “I will not kill today.” (With the sub-corollaries: especially when I don’t have to, and even especially more so when it endangers my ship.) Kirk representing to the Metrons and Melkotians the hope they come to see in humans.

“Just because it feels good” is not necessarily a good enough reason to take a course of action when there are better things Kirk could be doing with his time.

Such a shame Mr Nimoy didn’t get his rewrite/directors chair on Generations. I want to be in the alternate universe where that got made.