Leonard Nimoy: Spock Most Human Of Original Star Trek Crew

This weekend Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy will be appearing at Dallas Comic Con, and in an interview promoting the event he got philosophic regarding the nature of Spock. He also talked about how he was never skeptical of JJ Abrams and the new team behind the 2009 Star Trek movie. Details below.


Nimoy: Spock is most human of TOS characters + talks Abrams trek

In a new interview promoting this weekend’s appearance at Dallas Comic Con, Leonard Nimoy covered a lot of familiar ground, but he did also get into some interesting views on the character of Spock. Here is the exchange (from QuickDFW).

Q: The two most recent books, ‘Secret Selves’ and ‘The Full Body Project,’ have somewhat of a common theme, in that they both deal with the beauty and truth of the human condition.

Nimoy: Absolutely.

Q: This is where the serious artistic subject gets a corny sci-fi question. What do you think Spock would say about such stark human depictions?

Nimoy: Well, I’ll tell you something. I came to believe finally that Spock was at least as human, and perhaps more human, than any of the other characters on the show. Spock’s condition was a quintessentially human condition. I think that’s maybe the underlying secret to why so many people identify with him, because he had this inner life that so many people recognize, which is the struggle between our logic and our emotion; our right or left brain. We all, to some degree, have this process to deal with. Particularly young people who are in their formative years, trying to figure out how you’re supposed to function in relationships, in your career, in your personal choices. It’s a condition that’s easily recognizable.

So, it’s interesting that you ask a question about how Spock would respond to these human issues. I say, he would recognize them totally.

Spock the "most human" member of the crew?

In the interview, Nimoy also says that from the beginning he was not skeptical of JJ Abrams and the 2009 Star Trek project:

Q: As a fan, I was very skeptical of them remaking ‘Star Trek’ because Hollywood had pretty much ruined everything I loved as a kid. Did you go into the reboot with a healthy sense of skepticism?

Nimoy: No, I’ll tell you why. It all started with a meeting. [J.J. Abrams] asked me if I would come to a meeting. And this was before they started writing, I think. I met with him and his writers. The conversation, frankly, was actually moving to me, because it had been a number of years since I’d been asked to do anything with Star Trek.

And here comes a guy named J.J. Abrams who has a lot of cache, I thought, a very good filmmaker and his writers, and they’re telling me about their sense of Star Trek and their sense of the Spock character. I thought it was profound, frankly. I thought, "Wow, these guys really get it." I was very touched. And they asked me if I would go along for the ride and at least explore it with them. Because what they said to me was that the Spock character was central to their story, and if I wouldn’t at least explore it with them, they would have to go off in another direction with their story.

I was immediately intrigued. I promised to explore it with them, and then when they sent me the script, I called immediately and I said, "Yes, let’s do this. I think it works." So, that’s the way it happened.

Nimoy never skeptical of JJ Abrams and team for 2009 "Star Trek" movie

Leonard Nimoy appears Saturday only at Dallas Comic Con at the Irving Convention Center. See scifiexpo.com/DCC for full schedule and details.

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This is not logical.

Wow, anoe comic con here in Dallas that I didn’t know about. How do I get warning of such things? Wonder if I can still get in too see it.

To see it….dumb I pad correction.


this is about the fifth article we have done over the last few months that has mentioned Nimoy’s appearance at Dallas Comic Con. It has also got additional tweets on the @trekmovie twitter


I am going to try and get there this weekend. Mr. Nimoy is such a class act and Yes. As Admiral Kirk said in Trek 2. Spock or his Soul was the Most Human.

I would’ve loved to see this interview on video. But I agree with his summing up of Spock’s character as “more human”. For a lot of the other characters, everything was dealt with slightly… nonchalantly. As if nothing was new. When it came to Spock, EVERYTHING was new, everything was “fascinating”, as if it was seen for the first time. From that sense, Spock was how the viewer came to relate to Star Trek. And from that sense, he was more Human. Everything was approached with the wonderment that a new explorer would greet it. And it’s another comparison that could be drawn with Data in The Next Generation.

That way, Mr. Nimoy describes his entry into Star Trek 09 … it’s great! … so good that he agreed to participate and things happened as we know…

:-) :-)

The article headline eliminates the “perhaps” qualifier Nimoy added to Spock’s being the most human character. Of course, headlines will do that.

I’m not saying he wasn’t the most human character; I’m just pointing out how headlines can distort the story.

‘I find that remark….insulting’.

I agree with Mr.Nimoy 100%! Spock is my favorite character in TOS,my favorite character out of Star Trek above them all,and I really find it great that Mr.Nimoy would come back after all these years and be Spock for us again one more time in Trek09.

Can’t wait for George Takai to weigh in on how it is Sulu who was the most human and great of all characters………………….EVER!!!!!!!
So sayeth none

Those who haven’t, really should take a look at Mr. Nimoy’s photographic work.

It does definitely say some things about beauty and our culture’s very narrow perception of what means, that might resonate with quite a few people here.

11. Alec – Agreed.

‘I see no reason to stand here and be insulted’.

#13 No, Takei would only say something like that or as equally “meaningful” if it was Shatner talking about the Kirk character. Takei has a thing about/for Shatner, you see. Takei does not have anything/for about Nimoy, which is fortunate for Nimoy, but not so good for Shatner though.

Right. Like taking Kirk’s last words and merrily skipping about with them.

Yes, I agree. Spock could be the most “human” of the crew at times, right down to his mean sarcasm – so very human indeed, which is why Spock preferred to be first officer, Science Officer, rather than captain. Spock can be forgiven because he possessed enough self-awareness to realise his limitations and work within his strengths. Kirk was definitely a better captain and Spock knew it.

#17 Yes, exactly. “Oh my!” is a common enough expression even when Generations was made. Anyone else, other than George Takei or another Star Trek cast member, using that expression wouldn’t raise even an eyebrow, but given the “bad blood” between Takei and Shatner, the fact that now Takei is “taking Kirk’s last words and merrily skipping about with them” does stick in my craw more than a little bit. It feels like Takei is mocking Shatner AND JAMES T KIRK.

Great thing about the TOS characters, especially the triad, was that they all had their foibles as well as their strengths, and this only made them all the more believable and endearing.


I’m *pretty sure* Takei doesn’t have a beef with Nimoy.

*I could be wrong, though.

#13,I hope Takei doesn’t have anything out for Mr.Nimoy,because to be frank with you,I don’t want to hear it!

There’s a lot of chat around here about JJ directing again, but after reading this article I’m thinking…Wouldn’t it be really interesting to have Nimoy direct the sequel?

Some people playing Vulcans in the various incarnations seemed to think that all they had to do was work hard to keep a poker face and show no emotion. But watching Nimoy it’s clear that all of Spock’s emotions were easy to spot. He played it at a lower level than the others but never made him appear to have none.

I grok Spock!

I have always identified with the Spock character, as have many. And I think it is because of what Nimoy said, because of Spock’s inner struggle with the emotional and the logical. Truthfully, I wish I could be more like Kirk.

Hey look. A group shot of the cast that’s not reversed. How’d you manage that?

Nimoy is a class act, and also showing his loyalty. Clearly JJTrek is NOT GeneTrek. That’s OK. I think the seed survives. I know the sense of wonder does.

23. Agreed. He was never a robot, disconnected from everyone and everything around him… except in TMP, where he’d really been trying to extinguish his humanity.

I, too, grok Spock.

Great interview.

Not sure why people brought up George Takei, but I gotta say this.

I’ve been to the fast-growing Calgary Comic show since it started.

A couple of years ago, I met Mr. Takei. He was warm, funny, entertaining, and took the time to chat with each and every person waiting for a signature.

Nimoy came last year. I’d always heard what a class act he is, and what a great person.

My wife and I were first in line to see him. He was unresponsive, unreactive, and not at all friendly. My wife is a huge fan of his photography, and had hoped to at least compliment him on it. He barely acknowledged her presence as he signed her book… (naturally without any personalization.) She was utterly disappointed… as was I.

Still love Spock, but my thoughts on Mr. Nimoy were soured by this experience… sad…

I am not sorry to say i think Nimoy should have gone with his first gut reaction to the JJ movie, they have destroyed star trek the same way Lucas has destroyed star wars for the modern general audience. Not for fans.

#29 Read the article again. Nimoy said he was not at all skeptical about JJ Abrams’ approach to Star Trek. It was the interviewer who asked Nimoy about any skepticism.

Please – also do not presume to say whether Star Trek 09 was for fans or not. I have been a Star Trek fan since 1968. As a small girl, I remember watching TOS on a b/w television set in a small lounge room with my parents and sister.
I am pleased with the latest Star Trek offering, this time coming from the Bad Robot team and I love the new cast. I can’t wait for the sequel…

JJ? Bob? Alex? Damon? – Some of us are “starving” here…

13, 16, 20 and 21.

I see that all the haters are in attendance. George Takei is truly one of the nicest of the TOS cast and a class act, unlike Shatner!

Sorry, Anthony Thompson, not from where I am sitting…

I do not hate George Takei. I just have not liked some things that he has said and one of those did not have anything to do with William Shatner.

George Takei wrote an autobiography published in 1994 and his vitriolic smear campaign that he mounted in that book against Shatner has left a bad taste in my mouth. Gosh, even Takei acknowledged some of the (personal) pressures Shatner may have been under but it still did not stop him from “sticking the knife in”. I have tried to forget that I ever read that book but I can’t. Unfortunately, since coming to trekmovie. com, I have been reminded of it by Mr Takei himself. George Takei, if nothing else, is consistent. That book was no class act.

George Takei comes off as someone who tries too hard and seems affected and a bit pretentious.

Perhaps if I did actually meet Mr Takei in person, I might feel differently, however I really have no real desire to meet him to find out.

I repeat, I do not hate George Takei. I have no personal reason to do so. I sincerely wish him well in his life, but that does not mean I have to like everything he may say and do.

28. Canadianknight

Don’t you ever get better and worse days? Sure, both gentlemen were doing their job, so Nimoy’s disposition that day one might judge as unprofessional, but one would also have to have really big balls to say that about him. I haven’t, have you?


If you met him in person, i do believe you’d change your mind about him. When he was in Minneapolis a number of years ago he took the time to speak personally with everyone in the autograph line. The line was slow because of that but he genuinely seemed to want to interact with the fans one on one. Which was a refreshing change from the usual ‘assembly line’ approach that others take.

I’ve just read No. 28 (Canadianknight). My experience with both men was exactly the same as his.

28. You must have caught Mr. Nimoy on a bad day. At every convention appearance in my city, he’s been very kind to all the convention volunteers. Maybe he had personal issues at the top of his mind at that time, but still honored his commitment to appear at your city’s convention. It stinks that he wasn’t “on” the day you saw him, but it happens.

Judging by the comments about Mr. Shatner I’ve read on this site, I must have caught Mr. Shatner on a very good day. He was really, really nice and even posed for a picture with my husband and me.

11 – I was going to post exactly that when I saw the article title. :)

(And for what its worth, as a huge Spock fan, I completely agree with him.)


He must have been having a “bad day” in Minneapolis also. ; )

Nimoy could see that they got it. Clearly something that js consistent with his refusal to not work on other projects, particularly Generations, because that team did not get it.

This also reflected in the movie which recaptured the original feel and sense of Star trek which had been well and truly lost in latter series and Next Generation movies.

Galaxy Quest felt more like Star trek than Star Trek at the time it came out.

Abrams and crew found the balance between getting S.T suitable for the big screen whiles retaining the sense and feel we originally got from the series.

33 & 36 –

He may have been having a bad day, and that I understand.

However, George Takei seemed to understand that while it was just another work-day for HIM, it was a once-in-a-lifetime meeting for the people in line, and he treated them as such.

Nimoy didn’t.

*shrug* Not saying he’s a bad man. Just a “hello” and a smile would have been nice.

(I should add that in addition to my wife getting her photography book signed, I presented him with an original copy of “I Am Not Spock” that he gave to my father in 1976, and signed. He looked at me questioningly when he saw his own signature. I told him that he’d signed it for my Dad when my father interviewed him on his local TV program, and that I’d like to get it signed for me. He nodded and did so. Without a word.)

39. Interesting. Minneapolis was where I met him, too! Why were our experiences so different?

41. That’s too bad about your Nimoy experience. What a disappointment. *sigh* I wish that you and your wife had had the experience that we did.

George is a wonderful, wonderful person, great with everyone in line. A bunch of friends and I took him out to dinner, and we laughed all evening.