One of the more interesting things to arise from the moment that J.J. Abrams took over the Star Trek franchise in 2009 was the apparent real life friendship developed between the two Spocks. In the film, extraordinary circumstances created the introspective situation where the younger Spock played by Zachary Quinto and the older Spock, generally referred to as "Spock Prime," reprised by the late Leonard Nimoy would meet in an ultimate payoff of a scene. However, it seems that the paternal friendship dynamic we saw between the two Spocks was mirrored in reality. It’s a concept that is certainly reflected in Quinto’s touching, bittersweet tribute to the late Nimoy.
In his poignant essay to the late Nimoy, Zachary Quinto explains how the guidance of Nimoy, the original Spock, came to define not only his own experiences as Spock, but a calm, dignified outlook on life that he will carry with him throughout his own days. As Quinto notes in his tribute,
Apropos to the scene from Star Trek (2009) when Quinto’s young Spock first sees the back of the head of Nimoy’s Spock Prime and shouts "father," their friendship also paralleled a paternal dynamic; something driven home by the fact that Quinto was only a child when he lost his own father. While it was a relationship that began with Nimoy simply providing guidance in regards to handling the Spock character, it apparently grew into a mentorship that ran much deeper. According to Quinto, their discussions were diverse, but "very organic," yet managed to achieve "a depth," despite not trying for such poignance.
Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy’s non-Spock chemistry was probably best immortalized in a 2013 Audi commercial in which the two, while clearly friends, compete against each other in a race to further compete in golf. It was a lighthearted bit that managed to convey the idea that the two Spocks were playfully competitive with each other, culminating in a hilarious, Trekkie-pleasing, "who’s your daddy?" moment where Nimoy manages to sneak in a Vulcan nerve pinch, sending Quinto to the pavement.
According to reports, Zachary Quinto quickly flew back to LA to speak at his funeral and concludes his profound tribute with the line, "The world is a better place for having had Leonard Nimoy in it, and I am a better man to be sure." We couldn't agree more.
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