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William Shatner’s Social Media Shiva For Leonard Nimoy

On the day of Leonard Nimoy’s funeral, William Shatner took to Twitter to answer fan questions about both their real-life friendship and onscreen alter egos, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.

William Shatner’s Social Media Shiva For Leonard Nimoy

William Shatner couldn’t make it to Leonard Nimoy’s funeral in Los Angeles Sunday, because of a prior commitment to attend the Red Cross Ball in Florida.

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“I can’t make it back in time,” Shatner tweeted Saturday. “I feel really awful. Here I am doing charity work and one of my dearest friends is being buried.”

With his decision not to bail on the Ball eliciting criticism, Shatner took to Twitter Sunday to field questions from fans about Nimoy and their friendship both in real-life and reel-life, as Star Trek’s Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.


The thread read less like fans gushing and more like a global shiva, a Jewish tradition where friends and family visit the bereaved after the funeral to recall good deeds and funny anecdotes from the deceased’s life, as a way to cope with the loss.

Nimoy—who died Friday at 83 of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—inspired an outpouring of love and sorrow from as far away as the International Space Station.

Astronaut Terry Virts positions a Vulcan hand salute against Earth through the ISS window, while Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti tweeted, “Live Long and Prosper, Mr. Spock!”

Much to the delight of Shatner…


Here are a few of the other Twitter exchanges between Shatner and Star Trek fans:

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And, of course, there was Nimoy’s final Tweet last week:


Live long and prosper, indeed. That, he did.

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About the author

Susan Karlin, based in Los Angeles, is a regular contributor to Fast Company, where she covers space science, autonomous vehicles, and the future of transportation. Karlin has reported for The New York Times, NPR, Scientific American, and Wired, among other outlets, from such locations as the Arctic and Antarctica, Israel and the West Bank, and Southeast Asia

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