Star Trek: There’s no real debate between who’s the better Spock

(Left to right) Chris Pine is Kirk and Zachary Quinto is Spock in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.
(Left to right) Chris Pine is Kirk and Zachary Quinto is Spock in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. /

Three men have played Spock in different variations of Star Trek, and all three men have his fans but there’s no real debate on who’s better.

When we discuss who’s best at playing a role in Star Trek, we have to be careful. Each iteration of a series will have its fans and it’s important to not alienate any one group of fans just to try and win an argument. In the case of Spock, three men can claim they’re a worthy candidate for the title of “best Spock.” The original Spock; Leonard Nimoy, the rebooted Spock; Zachary Quinto and the Nu-Trek Spock; Ethan Peck.

Nimoy was the original and therefore has the easiest legacy to defend. He was the first man to ever play the role, he was the man who defined the look, and the character. There was no need to worry about how he played the role because no one knew who Spock was, let alone a Vulcan.

Since that time though, fans know all too well about both. So when Quinto took over the role in 2009, he both had to model himself after Nimoy’s Spock, as well as embrace his own version of the character. He did a fine job too, earning a lot of praise for his portrayal. It didn’t hurt that Nimoy himself helped usher in Quinto’s Spock, nor did it hurt either that Quinto’s Spock was from a different universe. Thereby creating an allowance for his version to behave differently than Nimoy’s if needed.

Peck didn’t get that leeway, however. Peck’s Spock didn’t have Nimoy to help usher him in to new fans. Peck didn’t even have Quinto to help with that. To make matters worse, Peck debuted his version of the character in a series that was maligned by the fandom like no other series had been before. He had nothing but an uphill battle.

They all have their own strengths and weaknesses and they all have their own reasons for why they get to claim to be the “best”. So who gets to have the honor of being called the best version?

They all do. There is no one Spock anymore, therefore there is no “best”. Just “next”. This may upset some fans who have issues with anyone but Nimoy playing the role, but that’s life. Characters get replaced, new versions come around, and hopefully attract new fans. Each actor put their own twist on the character, and if characters like Dracula and James Bond can have actor after actor replace them, why not him?

If he and other Star Trek characters become such monuments of acting like Batman, Superman and others, isn’t that a good thing? There is no need to debate about who the best Spock is. The character is great and anyone who portrays him is already special for being able to land the role. So sitting down to split hairs over who’s the true embodiment of the character is silly and pointless. It drives fans away from the fandom, and it needs to embrace all the new fans they can get.

End this Star Trek debate.

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