October 17, 2016 — For the Love of Spock, the award-winning documentary, is available for pre-order.
Spock, the half-Vulcan, half human first officer who gained fame with the original Star Trek series, is probably one of the most popular characters in the history of television. Adam Nimoy, son of Leonard Nimoy, who created the character and embodied him for decades, directed the film as a tribute to his father who died in 2015. The two had planned to make the movie together; after Leonard Nimoy’s death, Adam Nimoy expanded the focus to include his father’s life and career beyond the role that made him world famous.
The character resonated (and continues to do so) in part because of his “other-ness” — he was someone who did not really fit in anywhere. In a review of the movie, The New York Times describes the character as “Spock: Half-Vulcan. Half-Human. All Outsider Role Model.”
“Hands down, the most popular reason that people connect to Spock is that he makes them feel like it’s O.K. to be an Other,” Adam Nimoy concluded. “It’s O.K. to be outside the mainstream. And Spock is cool! Spock is awesome. So that makes you feel a little better about yourself, too.”
The review asks “Is there a more beloved character in all of science fiction than Spock, the half-human, half-Vulcan first officer from “Star Trek”? He’s superstrong — he could easily pummel Captain Kirk, his ranking officer, were the spirit to move him — and a whiz at science. He’s cool to the point of wintry, a master at tamping down his base needs (granted, Vulcans get the urge to mate only once every seven years) and human emotions. He’s skilled at martial arts but rarely fights. He can literally look into your mind.
However, when Adam Nimoy began asking people what they most loved about the character, he discovered that “… all that stuff — his big brain, his ability to peek into yours — was secondary. His most attractive trait? “Ninety percent of them were talking about the fact that he’s an outsider,” he said.
Outsider indeed. Spock is that rarest of 23rd-century beings, the only son of a Vulcan dad and a human mom. For years, he was about the closest viewers could get to a multiracial role model on American TV. “I had Spock,” the actress Jennifer Beals said in 2011. “And that was kind of it.” (Ms. Beals is of Irish- and African-American descent).
In For the Love of Spock Bobak Ferdowsi, a NASA engineer, describes being encouraged by the series and the role. “As someone who was from two cultures, Iranian father and an American mother, I saw in Spock the same conflict,” he said. “Which one am I? Am I both? Is there a happy medium between the two?”
The character has inspired multiracial artists, writers and scholars almost since his inception. The Los Angeles artist Kip Fulbeck, who has created short films, museum shows and photo exhibitions about the multiracial experience, is a lifelong Spock fan. “I grew up watching ‘Star Trek,’” said Mr. Fulbeck, whose father is white and mother is Chinese. “Every time McCoy would say, you’re half-human, and Spock would say, I’m also half-Vulcan, I was like, ‘Yeah, I get that.’”Pre-order For the Love of Spock; the title will release on December 12.