When Captain Picard reveals his unfortunate duty of informing Spock that his father, Sarek, has died, Data posits that Spock – as a Vulcan – would surely see death as the logical conclusion of his father’s illness. Picard explains that death is never that easy, not even for a Vulcan.
And for those of us who loved one Vulcan in particular, it’s not easy at all.
The Internet was fast to react to news of Leonard Nimoy’s death on Friday, with news outlets from CNN to Buzzfeed quickly posting tributes to the beloved actor. And one point on reddit, five of the top stories were about Nimoy.
One notable tribute came from President Barack Obama:
“Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy.” —President Obama #LLAP
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 27, 2015
#RipLeonardNimoy was trending Friday, with many, many fans and colleagues tweeting out their love for the actor/director. If we were to compile every single heartfelt goodbye, this article would go on a very long time, but we wanted to share at least the following:
“I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love.” -William Shatner http://t.co/U8ZN98tVYp
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) February 27, 2015
It is with sadness that I heard of Leonard Nimoy’s death. I was lucky to spend many happy, inspiring hours with him. He won’t be forgotten.
— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) February 27, 2015
my heart is broken. i love you profoundly my dear friend. and i will miss you everyday. may flights… https://t.co/WPJmt1X4ox
— Zachary Quinto (@ZacharyQuinto) February 27, 2015
— Jonathan Frakes (@jonathansfrakes) February 27, 2015
Through Spock, Leonard showed us that things like compassion, mercy, dignity, wit and friendship were actually logical.
— Ronald D. Moore (@RonDMoore) February 27, 2015
Farewell Leonard. Glad I knew you. Thinking of Susan, Adam, and his entire family. And his vast extended family of Star Trek. — Brent Spiner (@BrentSpiner) February 27, 2015
— KQED (@KQED) February 27, 2015
Many people outside the franchise were quick to voice their love as well:
— NASA (@NASA) February 27, 2015
— Katee Sackhoff (@kateesackhoff) February 27, 2015
Leonard Nimoy brought us one of the greatest, noblest characters in the history of American storytelling. Someone find the Genesis planet.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) February 27, 2015
Entertainment can be escapist & it seems to me that Leonard Nimoy made a lot of people’s lives a bit sunnier. RIP. pic.twitter.com/BPRlJWgync
— Katrin Long (@Katrin_Long) February 27, 2015
— E! Online (@eonline) February 27, 2015
I am genuinely saddened by Mr. Nimoy leaving us. I got to tell him once that his work truly inspired me as an actor. http://t.co/iaCsDyv3zE
— Hank Azaria (@HankAzaria) February 27, 2015
Nimoy is the fourth cast member of The Original Series to pass, after the loss of DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, and Majel Barrett Roddenberry.
His impact on the franchise cannot be overstated. He was there from the very beginning, took over creative leadership of the film series, guest-starred on TNG, and passed the torch to the Abrams-verse. His autobiographies, I Am Not Spock and later I Am Spock, show his complex relationship with the character and illustrate, finally, that he was just a big a fan as any of us – to the point that he and John de Lancie wrote and performed their own fan-fic together.
Amidst all of that, his greatest legacy was to touch the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fans at conventions.
TrekMovie was in attendance at one of his final convention appearances, the Salt Lake City comic con last fall, where he chatted with fans via Skype. Poignantly, one fan asks him if he will come in person to the next con in 2015:
While people online have commemorated him in many ways, perhaps the most fitting is to rewatch the death of Spock, arguably his most powerful scene:
Or his final line in Undiscovered Country:
But the one that captures how I’m feeling now is the coda to Final Frontier:
Life is but a dream, and ours is richer because he was part of it.