Leonard Nimoy had an extremely important role in J.J. Abrams’ re-imagining of Star Trek. Nimoy had to represent the anchor that held the new Trek within the decades-long continuity established before, and helped allow the film to function for audiences new and old.
Just having him appear in the film as old Spock to tell someone to “live long and prosper” helped sway hordes of Trekkers who may have been skeptical about what the new Trek would be bringing to the franchise.
To me, his role was perfect and it did make a big difference having him as a key element of the plot. Having accomplished that and knowing Trek is a viable film franchise again, will Nimoy appear again in the sequels? According to him, it doesn’t sound likely…
Over the weekend, Nimoy and William Shatner appeared together on a panel for this year’s Dragon Con and while on stage, Nimoy revealed that he will not boldly go in Star Trek 2.
“There are no plans for me to return for the second movie. I think the Spock character is very well established as portrayed by Zachary Quinto. And I think if you saw the movie Bill, you'd say the same of Chris Pine.”
To which, Shatner responded with some teasing profanity.
Nimoy passes the Vulcan torch to Zachary Quinto
You can check out some great videos of Shatner and Nimoy on stage at the con at io9 and watching them really makes you realize how strong of a relationship they’ve built over the last 44 years. They’re incredible together and very funny. In the vids, they poke fun at the fact Shatner wasn’t in this year’s Trek and certainly don't shy away from the issues between Shatner and George Takei (the original Sulu).
As a sample, here’s the first of seven parts:
I’d like to see Nimoy have some small appearance, even as a brief cameo as classic Spock, but I fully understand from both the perspective of the writers and the actor if he’s not (He’s 78 now). His story has been told and we know from the latest Star Trek what Nimoy will be doing with the rest of his life, helping the Vulcan community to survive after the loss of their homeworld.
Now, about the Trek sequel; from what we’ve been hearing over the last few months, writers Bob Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof are working out the story ideas and plan for the franchise going forward. We’ve seen hints pop up online about the next two working together as one large two-parter but we’ll know more in the coming months as the script my be done by the holidays.
What do you think about Nimoy hanging up his ears?
Star Trek 2 may start shooting next summer with a tentative release in 2011, but nothing is confirmed as of yet.