An intimate portrait of the man behind the ears, For the Love of Spock is a must-see for fans of Star Trek and beyond.
In preparation for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, Adam Nimoy set out to tell the story of the galaxy’s most famous Vulcan, Mr. Spock. The film started out as a tribute to the Enterprise’s science officer, but soon after Leonard Nimoy’s passing it turned into an intimate reflection on the guy Adam Nimoy knew as dad.
If you think that you have to be a Star Trek superfan to appreciate the content Adam Nimoy curated that thinking would be deemed illogical. For the Love of Spock is a portrait of a man who at times was indistinguishable from his Vulcan counterpart. It is a family story, a documentary revealing everything from the creation of the Vulcan greeting to the design of the ears, and a reflection on fandom.
There is no stone unturned in For the Love of Spock and it takes the best aspects of previous Trek documentaries– cast interviews, fan interviews, words from Nimoy himself– and repurposes all the material looking at it through a new lens.
A look at the cost of fan relations
In recent years it’s become apparent that the more creators, actors, writers give of themselves to the fan community the more fans believe they deserve. For the Love of Spock peels back the veil on the home life that was tossed aside in service to the growing fandom. Times have changed and the demands of Nimoy in the late ’60s– having “family bonding time” while signing autographs– are nothing compared to the constant online presence some creators feel the need to keep up today.
Nonetheless they did begin a trend that resulted in his absence at home and in his children’s lives. Something creators and actors on press tours and long shoots begrudge today.
Nimoy’s conflict with success
Nimoy loved being Spock. Every single person interviewed in the film supports that sentiment. He treated the role with the greatest respect and dedication, but once it was gone, it was difficult for Nimoy to reacquaint with who Leonard was before Spock.
Addressing these concerns through a variety of interviews and segments a story about a man fearing the loss of stability and success appears. What else would drive a man to sing a song about Bilbo Baggins?
The documentary is not afraid to lean into those moments that could be considered too revealing or cast a dark shadow across the Nimoy name. Interplaying the family and friends words alongside Nimoy’s own paint a complete picture of a life overflowing with love but not without its corners of darkness.
If you happen to be a massive Star Trek fan, specifically a Spock fan, there is little knowledge to be gained about Leonard Nimoy. However, the material is curated in a way that places Adam Nimoy and his family — specifically his sister Julie and Leonard’s brother Melvin — at the heart of the film.
It’s not going to change the way you view Spock, but it will deepen your love for the man who had as much to do with his creation as Gene Roddenberry.
For those who know little about Leonard Nimoy and the creation of Spock, or for those who have only seen him in the most recent Star Trek films, this film is loaded with exciting facts and stories including a look at his career beyond Spock.
Watch as Nimoy reads Star Trek’s first review, explains to William Shatner the reason why Kirk and Spock worked so well after recasting for the second pilot, and how the Vulcan hand symbol was created out of boyhood curiosity during a religious blessing.
And the ears, don’t forget about the Vulcan ears. Watch an exclusive clip on the importance of getting them right here.
Get to a theater or your computer and see this film. For the Love of Spock will deepen your understanding of a fandom that ultimately started the fandom culture we know today. It will give you a better understanding of the character and the draw of the Leonard Nimoy. And it will show you why his loss was so profound to many, many people.
Although it is the story of an actor whose fame skyrocketed because he played an alien, it is a relatable human story. Adam Nimoy and his family’s willingness to strip away the glamour of fame is what ultimately solidifies this story as one of the most compelling pieces of Trek content.
The documentary ends with a question, “What word would you use to describe Leonard Nimoy or Spock?” After watching my answer is heart. Regardless of where it beats atomically in the Vulcan or human body, Nimoy and Spock both had it.
For the Love of Spock is playing now in limited cinemas, but is available to download now from all VOD platforms.