Spock-the legend, the icon, you say. But why? What's the appeal? How has this largely unprepossessing character--originally intended as an undefined background oddity, who very nearly didn't survive the first pilot episode, and who inherited his ultimate personality from another character who was 'axed' because she was a woman in authority (Yech!)--managed to overshadow even the charismatic, larger-than-life, some might even inexplicably say 'sexy' Captain Kirk in the minds and hearts of so many die-hard Star Trek fans? As you might well expect, I have a theory.
On the one hand, Spock is deeply flawed, constantly 'handicapped' by his cultural need to suppress his emotions. It's no coincidence that these are the self-same emotions with which WE have struggled all of our lives; you know the ones that confuse us, make us miserable, get us into trouble. Being who we are, we anxiously watch for him to fail in his endeavor, so that we can sub-consciously feel a little better about our own shortcomings. When he DOES 'stumble', showing the ghost of a smile, or a twinkle in the eye, or making an enthusiastic outburst upon seeing a crewmate alive who was thought to be lost,...