Actress Kirstie Alley attends the 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on August 25, 1991 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kypros/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Kirstie Alley Proved There Was Room For Vulcan Characters In Star Trek Beyond Spock
For the ultra-nerdy "Star Trek'' purists, the iconic character Spock was more intriguing when he kept his cool, and his devotion to a life without emotion presumably inflamed the imaginations of viewers. What "Star Trek'' needed to complete that notion was a full-blooded Vulcan (Spock was half human), and it came in the form of the late Kirstie Alley’s Lt. Saavik.
In “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” Lt. Saavik was relatively inexperienced and had the same questions about humans that Spock had back in 1966 when the series debuted. It was refreshing to have a familiar dynamic back in "Star Trek" without fundamentally altering the baseline chemistry of the original crew or rebooting the entire franchise.
Saavik was more comfortable, brighter, and faster than the middle-aged people around her (Alley was 29 at time of filming) and, thanks to Alley's committed performance, quite likable. The character was, for the first time, a Vulcan viewers understood entirely courtesy of Spock, and was not burdened with needing to explain her own culture to the audience.