MOVIES

Leonard Nimoy Almost Quit Star Trek Over A Now-Iconic Spock Detail

Luckily, Nimoy had a change of heart and stayed with “Star Trek,” and as a result, he continued to create one of the most iconic characters in television history. While Nimoy couldn’t give Spock emotion, he was able to imbue the character with parts of his personal history. Perhaps Nimoy’s greatest contribution to the character was the Vulcan salute on “Star Trek,” which came straight from Nimoy’s childhood.

Nimoy, who was Jewish, told the National Yiddish Book Center in a 2013 interview that the salute was inspired by a visit to an orthodox synagogue in his youth. It’s there where Nimoy witnessed the Kohanim raise their hands in the sign of a letter from the Hebrew alphabet — the “shin” — which he would eventually introduce as the Vulcan “V” sign on “Star Trek.” Combined with his Vulcan greeting, “Live long and prosper,” Spock’s salute and saying forever became part of “Star Trek” lore.

Sadly, Nimoy died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at age 83 on February 27, 2016. Fittingly for his iconic character, Nimoy’s last words on social media would have made “Star Trek’s” Spock proud, as the actor posted on Twitter (before it became X) — “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”

LLAP, of course, is the acronym for “Live long and prosper.”



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