Watch: Pine, Saldana and Quinto Talk Star Trek Into Darkness Pressure, Romance & Secrecy | TrekMovie.com
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Watch: Pine, Saldana and Quinto Talk Star Trek Into Darkness Pressure, Romance & Secrecy January 2, 2013

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: ST09 Cast,Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

Another video interview with Star Trek Into Darkness stars Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana and Zachary Quinto has emerged, this time they talk romance, secrecy and why Kirk has to earn the captain’s chair in the upcoming sequel. Pine also says that he felt more pressure in the sequel, than the first time he took on the role of Kirk. Watch it below .

 

Pine, Quinto, and Saldana talk Into Darkness

Chris Pine, Zoe Zachary Quinto, and Saldana talk to Extra about Star Trek Into Darkness. This interview appears to have been one at last month’s Bad Robot event and doesn’t seem to add much, but it is interesting to see how the movie is being promoted in the mainstream Entertainment press on TV.   

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“Extra’s” Ben Lyons asked, "Does it feel like there’s more pressure this time around because you raised the bar so high?” Chris, “I suppose I feel more pressure with this one.” Zach saying, “This one really took me to a new limit.” A new limit for an on-screen bromance as well. Zach tells Ben, “Kirk really earns his leadership. Spock really earns the understanding of friendship.”

Spock also lands the woman, Zoe Saldana. Ben asked Zoe, “There’s gonna be a romantic theme to the two of you?” Zoe, not giving any secrets away, said, “Whether they’re together or not that will remain to be seen. But come on, I’m not gonna ruin the element of surprise!” Zoe continued, joking, “I signed papers, trust me! I will lose a kidney if I say too much!”

The actors were careful not to reveal any specific details about the plot, but on his own impressions of the film, Zach saying, “Even though you think you can imagine how big it’s gonna be when you’re shooting it, it never quite translates to how staggering it is on the big screen.”

Tune in to Extra on TV for more tonight, check local listings.

Comments

1. CAPT KIRK - January 2, 2013

I just don’t know about this Spock-Uhura romance thing…but whatever…May just can’t get here quick enough!….1st?

2. The Professor - January 2, 2013

#2! Not too bad. I enjoy watching the clips within the interview, even though I have seen them something like 500 times.

3. T'Cal - January 2, 2013

Four years of waiting…

4. PEB - January 2, 2013

I really like the fact that the actors really seem to enjoy each other. And not just the main actors. All of them really seem to enjoy working around each other and building friendships. I dig that.

5. Jeff O'Connor - January 2, 2013

#4

I agree. Came here to say the same thing. It makes the whole filmed experience feel that much more believable to me when a cast gets along smoothly.

6. First Maj Cullah - January 2, 2013

4-Every version of Star Trek seems to be like that. I don’t know what it is, but all 6 casts seem to genuinely enjoy working with eachother.

7. Rob - January 2, 2013

Saw the nine minute preview today. Jinkies, Scoob…it looks fantastic.

8. The Last Vulcan - January 2, 2013

@1. CAPT KIRK – +1. Unfortunately one of the several inexplicable plot and character choices made by JJ & Co.

9. PaulB - January 2, 2013

#8 – There’s nothing inexplicable about the Spock/Uhura romance. Did you never actually see TOS? First, Spock half human, so he grew up with a human-Vulcan relationship as his primary example of romantic relationships. Second, Uhura clearly flirted with Spock on more than one occasion. Third, there is nothing in canon to suggest a reason why they wouldn’t hook up at some point.

The problem is that JJ & Co. used that relationship so stupidly, such as Uhura’s insistence that she get assigned to the Enterprise (plus her godawful innuendo about oral sensitivity, or words to that effect). But that’s just part and parcel with the extremely sexist style of Trek2009.

From what I’ve seen of the sequel so far, it looks like female officers still don’t get to wear rank insignia. Hard to have sleeve-worn insignia when you don’t have sleeves! Grrr…

10. Kirk nelson - January 2, 2013

The cast is great. I love the new twists. Star Trek would be stale without them. The whole franchise was run into the ground in the later years, so it is a bigger miracle to see it flying high today than it is to see the enterprise coming out of an ocean!!!

11. joeyjojojrshabado - January 2, 2013

fascinating

12. The Sinfonian - January 2, 2013

We have to wait four years. Good thing JJ isn’t a Vulcan, or we’d have to wait SEVEN years in between movies!

13. LogicalLeopard - January 2, 2013

9 Paul

I think that was “aural” sensitivity, and I don’t think that was really innuendo. More like fanboys going back and saying, “Uh huh huh…she said oral” I think they handled the relationship perfectly. During the whole Enterprise assignment thing, how many people caught any relationship overtones? I thought he didn’t want to seem like Uhura was a teachers pet. So when they finally spring it on us, it’s a genuine surprise. The turbolift scene is stellar, ans is one of the most emotionally profound scenes in Trek.

14. Brevard - January 2, 2013

#9

It’s “aural senstivity,” as in the ears. NOT “oral.” She’s a communications officer, so aural makes a whole lot more sense. Although, I totally agree with you on the way the relationship is used in the film. Not crazy about it.

15. I'm Dead Jim! - January 2, 2013

@9 Yeah, there was never anything sexist about TOS! C`mon! Sleeves aside however, I wish the women in JJ’s Trek did have a more respectable duty uniform than anything similar to TOS.

16. CmdrR - January 2, 2013

“I signed papers, trust me! I will lose a kidney if I say too much!”

So? You have two. C’mon! Spill your guts, Zoe.

17. mike - January 2, 2013

good god how did that narrator get the job? i feel like she is talking to a baby which is actually sort of offensive.

18. Mad Man - January 2, 2013

I hope they cast a hot Nurse Chapel in the next one and then she and Uhura can cat fight over Spock! That’d be hot!

Anyway, cool.

19. Emperor Mike of the Empire - January 2, 2013

Sound’s like Fun!.

20. chrisfawkes.com - January 2, 2013

Zoe Saldana could stir feelings in an emotionless man for sure.

21. BulletInTheFace - January 2, 2013

#6: Actually, many of the Voyager cast didn’t like working with Mulgrew, while others didn’t like working with Wang.

22. BulletInTheFace - January 2, 2013

#9: Actually, she said “aural,” not “oral.” But yeah, it was a pun on “oral.”

23. sean - January 2, 2013

#22

i don’t know why people insist on reading a dirty meaning into that line. She said ‘aural’ because she’s talking about her ears. It’s like Beavis and Butthead laughing whenever someone said ‘tool’ or ‘unit’.

24. The Last Vulcan - January 2, 2013

9. PaulB – Dude, I watched every ep of TOS in first run on NBC which might have been when you were a glint in your daddy’s eye, so please don’t try to school me. IMHO: The Spock Uhura romance is a transparent add-on plot point which is only set up to divert Kirk from chasing her. It’s poorly conceived, bereft of reasonable backstory, and an overall distraction. But then again, this Spock has The Cage level of emotionality, so sure, it’s a parallel universe so anything goes, including the Federation being a peacekeeping armada. :P

25. BulletInTheFace - January 2, 2013

#24: If that were true, then you’d know that Spock and Uhura had several flirtatious scenes in the original series.

26. BulletInTheFace - January 2, 2013

#23: The “aural/oral” pun is very clearly intentional. People are not reading into it.

27. The Last Vulcan - January 2, 2013

@25. BulletInTheFace – Only when under the influence of some silly influence or another concocted by some of the worst TOS writers.

28. stunkill - January 2, 2013

well there are fanboys and those that actually know how how to be serious.

29. sean - January 2, 2013

#26

So you believe the writers decided to make a blowjob joke, thus implying Uhura attained her position by servicing Spock? Nope, don’t agree.

30. Gorn Captain - January 2, 2013

#27 What “silly influence” is affecting Uhura in “The Man Trap” when she’s clearly flirting with Spock then?

31. FarStrider - January 2, 2013

In the episode “Is There in Truth No Beauty” Spock’s thoughts on his crew mates are revealed by the by the Medusan ambassador Kollos sharing his consciousness after a mind-meld:

Spock/Kollos: This is delightful! I know you! All of you! James Kirk, captain and friend for many years. And Leonard McCoy, ha-ha, also of long acquaintance. [b] And Uhura, whose name means “freedom”. ‘She walks in beauty like the night.'[/b]
McCoy: [to Kirk] That’s not Spock!
Spock: Are you surprised to find that I’ve read Byron, doctor?
McCoy: THAT’S Spock!

32. Bunkzzz - January 2, 2013

Wow, Pine and Quinto always look as tho there really trying hard to look enthusiastic. They ain’t no Shatner and Nimoy that’s for sure.

33. Matias 47 - January 2, 2013

I think I may have bought into Spock/Uhura if there had been a better set up. Maybe an exchange with hot, green roommate about Uhura not quite being able to close the deal, as it were,with tall, dark and handsome. Or at least some bg info that she has some sort of relationship that doesn’t fit the norm. Then, when Vulcan’s destroyed and Mom’s killed, Spock’s emotional response to her would have really worked for me.

Given that the turboshaft scene almost worked, I really disliked the snuggle on the transporter pad. But I still laughed, so I guess I didn’t hate it.

All in all, it’s fairly minor to the rest of the movie.

34. Vultan - January 2, 2013

#29

How familiar are you with these writers? Those sort of jokes are right in their wheelhouse.

35. FarStrider - January 2, 2013

@34 That sort of joke may or may not be right in the writers’ ‘wheelhouse,’ but that scene wasn’t played as a joke, which sort of invalidates your premise.

~FS

36. Vultan - January 3, 2013

#35

Doesn’t matter how it’s played; a scene with a bad double entendre comes off as a joke.

37. Jack - January 3, 2013

36. Agree with you here. Especially right after we’ve seen her get her chest grabbed and then get ogled by the camera while in her bra and panties.

38. Jack - January 3, 2013

But, it was fun… and I think we go a little overboard with this idea that TOS was as solemn and serious as a funeral.

I was reading a bunch of the reviews of Trek ’09 at IMDB and most people seemed to have been expecting Schindler’s List.

39. Jemini - January 3, 2013

I love Zoe Saldana.

13 TBH I understood that they had a relationship since that scene but that’s because I have a radar for this kind of things lol
but it was fun with my friends because some of us got the hints while one of them didn’t and was “no way!” so when the turbolift scene happened the two of us turned to their direction and said “ha! told ya!”
I think that the writers definitely put some clues before the turbolift and it’s up to you to be able to notice them. I like that it was subtle because if it wasn’t it would ruin the element of surprise, after they were supposed to have a secret relationship.
Another important scene to me is the one where Spock wanted to save his parents and Uhura briefly stopped him at the turbolift. She had called him “Spock” then and he had actually explained her what he wanted to do (the whole “my parents will be among them” sounded personal to me also, like he was admitting to her that he didn’t want to risk his life just because the vulcan elders where there.. he wanted to do that because he wanted to save his family) the way they look at each other felt like there was more to that there…
Notice that when Kirk asked him the same question he dismissed it (this shows that Spock didn’t have to explain himself to other crew members though as the captain the others were entitled to ask him why he had abandoned his post)

31
that scene always had me wonder about Spock and Uhura
it seems like if the medusan ambassador had made him able to admit what he wouldn’t admit otherwise.
I mean, Spock reads poetry and uses it to describe Uhura (and he found the meaning of her name. Yes, Uhura means “freedom” while Nyota means “star”)
I think that he had a soft spot for her
In a deleted scene he offered to teach her how to play the vulcan lyre (that is a compliment as he also said that humans wouldn’t be able to play it and you see later that Uhura is able to play so the implication is that he did teach her)
Of course, part of this subtle attraction between them could be somehow intentional as Roddenberry had actually tried to explore a bit of romance between them if only the time wasn’t so racist and the network dictated that neither Kirk or Spock could have a stable relationship.

Nichelle Nichols:
“I decided then from the character that I read [Spock] that I wanted to be very much like that character but in a feminine way. And Gene said, and I was sharing this with George [Takei] the other day, when I told him that I thought of Spock as my mentor. Because if you remember Uhura was the only one he was able to teach the Vulcan lyre too and he sang and spooffed on Spock. Now, you could have never had a love scene in 63 between Uhura and Spock but there were several hints and [back to Roddenberry] Gene was one in the kind of beginning to follow that and he wanted to do episodes if we had gone past the third year”
source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQrHIQhvWNo

In this reality they’re younger and they met each other sooner and under different circumstances (if I remember well he hadn’t been her instructor at the Academy in the other reality and she hadn’t been his TA) so it’s totally plausible that here they got the chance to fall in love and explore what could have been between them had things been different.
In the same way Amanda’s death while sad made it possible for this Spock to resolve part of his issues with his father (the whole “I married her because I loved her” don’t tell me that Sarek’s admission didn’t change something important) perhaps he will also have a better relationship with him this time.

Remember the basis of Vulcan philosophy is “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”?
The Spock/Uhura relationship is essentially that.

40. pilotfred - January 3, 2013

it was a bad pun however whatever no harm

the Spock and uhura relationship why not? this is not the prime time line! Spock is half-human, he did have a thing for Christine, which OK did not go anywhere however the background to this relationship is different, as someone pointed out Spock is very much like he was in the cage is his shields are not up and his own personal prison is not in place, and again this is not the prime timeline

oh by the way i am so glad the voice over pointed out this is not star wars because i was wondering lol

41. Lt. Daniels - January 3, 2013

Do you think Peter Weller is playing Dr. Soong and the andriod in the movie is his?

42. sean - January 3, 2013

#34

The entire point of that scene is that she earned her position and that Spock has overcompensated by giving her a less desirable post. The joke doesn’t fit, as it would completely contradict the scene it’s in. Sorry folks, there is no innuendo there.

43. LogicalLeopard - January 3, 2013

39. Jemini – January 3, 2013

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, no one could really say it any better.

So, for the Spock/Uhura detractors, there’s really no valid argument other than the fact that you may not personally like it, for whatever reason. And that’s fine. But it’s a perfectly valid relationship. Spock and Uhura are both geniuses, they both like music, they both speak Vulcan, and there’s enough from TOS to show that a close relationship and an admiration was present. Perhaps in TOS, those Vulcan lyre lessons didn’t lead to anything else because of duty shifts, Spock’s desire not to show favoritism, other relationships, etc. And I don’t care how much Byron Spock has read, you don’t describe someone with the line “She walks in beauty as the night” unless you find them attractive. And Spock must have REALLY liked her, not to describe her as maybe a capable officer, excellent musician, etc.

So lets hear it gang! It almost looks like….JJ & Co….did….their…..research!

44. LogicalLeopard - January 3, 2013

42. sean – January 3, 2013

The entire point of that scene is that she earned her position and that Spock has overcompensated by giving her a less desirable post. The joke doesn’t fit, as it would completely contradict the scene it’s in. Sorry folks, there is no innuendo there.

*********************************

Exactly. And, I don’t want to be graphic here, but what else would Uhura be talking about? I understand that ponn farr isn’t the limit of Vulcan sexual activity, but really! .And do you think Spock is doing all that, then writing reports to Starfleet Academy about it? “Tee hee….I’ll write THIS in her review, because I want to flaunt to SFA that we’re secretly having a luurrvvee affair.” And then, Uhura demands to be placed on the Enterprise in return for sexual favors? When you look at it as innuendo or a double entendre, it makes NO sense. Like I said before, mostly fan boys going back and watching the scene and chuckling like Beavis and Butthead.

45. BulletInTheFace - January 3, 2013

#27: Nope. In early episodes, Uhura flirted with Spock about the moon, asked him to tell her she was a beautiful lady, and teased him coquetishly as he played the harp in the Rec Room. You’re misremembering the series.

46. Iva - January 3, 2013

Again with this discussion?

Sigh, the character of Nuhura fulfills the purpose of showing the audience that Spock can get laid. She has no other role outside of being slept with and if they removed her affair with her superior officer she would have no scenes in the movie at all given that the role of a language speaker is irreverent on the 23rd century Enterprise UT technology. Outside of connecting calls to people, which is shown in 2009 movie as something anybody else can do too, there is no purpose of her existence.

Therefore – they can’t and won’t do break them up. Now stop moaning.

47. LogicalLeopard - January 3, 2013

46. Iva – January 3, 2013
Again with this discussion?

Sigh, the character of Nuhura fulfills the purpose of showing the audience that Spock can get laid.

*****************
Objection! No evidence that their relationship is sexual!

*****************

She has no other role outside of being slept with and if they removed her affair with her superior officer she would have no scenes in the movie at all given that the role of a language speaker is irreverent on the 23rd century Enterprise UT technology.

*******************
I’d object to that too. Uhura is more than a language speaker, she also has vast knowledge of communication protocols, methods, systems, etc. A human being is required to pick up things that a computer can’t. Also, even with language, I’m guessing the translators can’t always pick up subtleties of language that a human can translate, but a computer cant. Case in point, everyone seemed to be under the belief that Uhura’s “aural sensitivity” comment was a double entendre. A computer may not be able to properly discern and convey such shades of conversation. Plus, what other skills goes along with that primary skill that she’d be useful for? You’ve got to know science, engineering, sociology, and maybe other things to do that job. This is probably why we see her on Qo’noS, she probably knows more about Klingon culture than others do. And I don’t think Universal Translators help you READ other languages on signs.

******************************

Outside of connecting calls to people, which is shown in 2009 movie as something anybody else can do too, there is no purpose of her existence.

******************************

Really, this argument for Uhura could easily be said about Sulu and Chekov. You have to sort of find reasons to display the characters. That’s why Sulu goes on the Away Mission, and Chekov somehow knows more than transporter techs that have probably been doing the job longer than he’s been out of elementary school. They have very specific jobs, so if the writers have to work a little harder to fit them in, so be it.

**************************

Therefore – they can’t and won’t do break them up. Now stop moaning.

***************************

Now I don’t believe that. If breaking them up serves an emotional purpose, they’ll do it. It may even happen this movie. I mean, you could say that the existence of Earth and Vulcan present balance for Spock, so they’ll never blow up Vulcan, but that went right out the window last movie.

48. 750 Mang - January 3, 2013

Tell me again how Kirk’s dad dying led to Spock riding the hobby horse with Uhura?

49. Iva - January 3, 2013

@ 47. LogicalLeopard

Humans are physically capable of perceiving a fixed range of sound so, no, a human ear is not more useful than technology. Machines operate on a much wider spectrum outside of our perception capabilities for a while now, let alone in the 13rd century.

In a deleted TOS scene we learn that even as a fan she is still incapable of understanding Vulcan music and draws opposite conclusions of what is actually being played because human hearing is inferior to Vulcan and she is just projecting her own wishes and presuming what isn’t even there.

She doesn’t know more about the Klingons than anybody else, she doesn’t even speak Klingon when she’s in her 50s.
Unless you are going to argue that Nero destroying Kelvin somehow affected her DNA and she is now extremely intelligent as opposed to canon.

Enterprise has a full science team on board. Nuhura works in ship maintenance, her technical capabilities go as far as tinkering with her console, nothing else.

Any investigations are handled by the science officer and his science team, because that is what they are trained for and the whole point of having them on the Enterprise.

I suppose she can go down on somebody else if not Spock. Because, really, that is all there is to that characters existence.

50. Iva - January 3, 2013

@ 48. 750 Mang

The writers didn’t know better.

51. Maja - January 3, 2013

46
“the character of Nuhura fulfills the purpose of showing the audience that Spock can get laid.” LOL1
“She has no other role outside of being slept with and if they removed her affair with her superior officer she would have no scenes in the movie” LOOL2
” there is no purpose of her existence. ” LOOL3

dear writers, as you can see you are not the only ones that created an alternative reality here as some “fans” obviously make up their own alternate “reality” version of your story too ^
isn’t that cool?

52. Space - January 3, 2013

Ok, thank you Logical Leopard!!! So totally right! Anyway, I like Spock/Uhura as a couple in this new series, it adds something new. The movies would be boring if they just recycled every aspect of TOS.

53. Trekkiegal63 - January 3, 2013

Count me as another who grew up watching TOS and never had any inkling of ‘flirting’ between Spock and Uhura. And based on what has been used as ‘evidence’ here, you could actually say that all six of the male leads ‘flirted’ with Uhura during the course of the series, thus had potentially deep feelings for her. There was Sulu in “Naked Time” physically coming on to her, McCoy consistently referring to her as a ‘lady’ (which, for him, was the utmost comment he could bestow on someone of the female persuasion), etc. She held the respect and admiration of her male dominated crew, that does not a pairing make. The Enterprise wasn’t the Love Boat. That was a different show.

Frankly, the fact that there was a Spock/Uhura romance in the last film doesn’t bother me… but rather the fact that there was a romance at all between the ONE female lead and any of the male leads. It’s the “Smurfette principle”, plain and simple.

From tvtropes.org:

The Smurfette Principle is the tendency for works of fiction to have exactly one female amongst an ensemble of male characters, in spite of the fact that roughly half of the human race is female. Unless a show is purposefully aimed at a female viewing audience, the main characters will tend to be disproportionately male. Said only woman will almost always be used as half of a romance subplot.

Because, you know, we wouldn’t want a movie to actually PASS the Bechdel test, now would we?!

Also from tvtropes.org:

The Bechdel Test, Bechdel-Wallace Test, or the Mo Movie Measurenote , is a sort of litmus test for female presence in fictional media. The test is named for Alison Bechdel, creator of the comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, who made it known to the world with this strip.

In order to pass, the film or show must meet the following criteria:

It includes at least two women,
who have at least one conversation,
about something other than a man or men.

I thought ST:2009 would have been just as fabulous film without the romance added in there. Even tvtropes.org lists the S/U romance as a ‘token romance’ (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TokenRomance – look under films).

I respect the need of everyone to take from Trek what appeals and resonates the most with them. You like Spock/Uhura, that’s great, but I’ve got to be honest, I’ve lurked on this site for well over a year, and I’m absolutely baffled by this attitude of ‘if you don’t support S/U you’re blind, clearly it was meant to be, look at TOS!’ when I have watched TOS, every episode, many times over and for years – I could recite dialogue back at you, in fact – and I never got that out of it. Never. Didn’t even consider the possibility until ST:2009 went there.

And when I did see it in the 2009 film, I didn’t like it. That doesn’t mean I thought ST:2009 a bad film. On the contrary, I went to see it many, many times. But that aspect of it? I could have totally done without and still come out loving the film, which was a sign to me that the romance subplot was superfluous (and I personally believe it was added in there because Hollywood has this mistaken ideal that this type of superfluousness attracts female viewers, which, as a female, I find insulting on behalf of my gender. Believe it or not Hollywood, some of us do prefer Sci-fi to romcom, honest! We don’t NEED a token romance to enjoy a good film. The Wrath of Khan is a stellar example of this).

54. Iva - January 3, 2013

53. Trekkiegal63

And don’t forget this mess said by Damon Lindelof:

I think, for us, when we first started talking about Trek – I remember in the very first meeting – probably about five minutes in, we basically said, “How in god’s name are we going to get our wives to go see this movie?” Other than the fact that they’re married to us.

You know, we will not be sucsessful in rebooting trek unless we can get women to enjoy the movie. And that’s where I feel, like, at least the birth of [Kirk] really had that going for it.

____________________________

Basically he says there were no women Trekkies or SF fans before Abrams, and the only reason there are now is because he included womanly things like giving birth into the movie.

That’s who you get to blame for the 2009 AbramsFail.

If you’re a woman in this Abrams universe, your whole point of existence is either to give birth to a main character or to get laid by him.

Let’s not pretend like women are capable of liking unwomanly things like intellectual SF, we’re all about nonsensical romance and babies it’s just how out lowly brains are built.

55. Danpaine - January 4, 2013

48. 750 Mang – January 3, 2013
“Tell me again how Kirk’s dad dying led to Spock riding the hobby horse with Uhura?”

That was pretty funny. And I agree. Kudos.

56. Randall - January 4, 2013

I’m guessing the romance between Spock and Uhura comes to an end in this film. At least I hope it does. It bothered me from the get-go, but I tried to get my head around it. And it was okay, in the film, until the transporter pad scene. THAT was over the top, unnecessary, and it was hugely unprofessional of the characters. Spock would not allow emotions to be so brazenly displayed in public. I don’t care how young he is or what recent cataclysms he’s faced. It’s not just a Vulcan thing, it’s a professional thing. You have a job to do, you don’t grope and lick on the transporter pad in front of others. And Uhura would respect that too. She’s supposed to be smart and classy.
The whole thing was a stupid set-up for a joke, that was all, and it shows the willingness, unfortunately, for this group (Abrams, etc.) to toss out character logic and cheapen the characters instead.
But something tells me the relationship will cease in this film. I get a sense that they’ll have Spock growing out of it. I could be wrong, but I hope not… because it’s also a disservice to Uhura’s character. They made her into nothing but Spock’s girl friday in the first film—she literally did next to nothing except follow her man around. Deeply sexist treatment of a character that was so non-sexist and progressive and diversity-based in the first place.

57. Trekkiegal63 - January 4, 2013

54. Iva:

Good lord, did he really say that? My condelences to his wife. Were he my husband he’d be spending a lot of quality time on the couch until an attitude adjustment is made.

But yes, the quote you provided does indeed explain a lot about Nyota’s and Winona’s roles in the last film *sigh*.

And speaking of Hollywood misconceptions and the mythos that women only want to see romance, I have the most fascinating article link for you. It delves into this myth, and asks the question, if women can’t lead a film as anything other than a romantic interest, why did Alien and Aliens succeed? It raises interesting points, like Hollywood claiming women can’t be anything other than a romantic interest because of flops like Catwoman or Aeon Flux, yet pointing out that Ellen Ripley was often dirty and covered with grime, if she wore make-up it wasn’t obvious, she did not wear revealing clothing, she was, in essence, believably presented as a woman fighting for her life. In the other two examples the women were perfectly groomed and dressed scantily… i.e. were these leading roles ACTUALLY geared for a female audience or for men who like to go to a movie theater and oogle? And moreover, did the later two films fail because they had a female lead or because the sexpot look of the films was worrying for women and not enough of a motivator for men to go see these films?

Excerpt from article:

Taking women seriously

Or here’s a slight twist on my above theory: what if audiences never rejected female leads, but instead reject leads they can’t take seriously? When someone’s being served up on a sexual silver platter for you, it’s hard to imagine they’re in control of their destiny, or even trying to be. Action leads need to have agency. What if overly sexy costumes work against actors the way Botox does, rendering them incapable of putting across that authenticity that’s so essential in movies where outlandish things are happening?

And here is the link: http://thehathorlegacy.com/if-audiences-dont-want-women-as-leads-why-did-aliens-succeed/

Enjoy!

(I’ve got so many more links if you want them, the topic of sexism in Hollywood gets my blood boiling so I’ve done a lot of research, lol)

58. LogicalLeopard - January 4, 2013

49. Iva – January 3, 2013

Humans are physically capable of perceiving a fixed range of sound so, no, a human ear is not more useful than technology. Machines operate on a much wider spectrum outside of our perception capabilities for a while now, let alone in the 13rd century.

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I’m sorry, I wasn’t clear. What I was trying to say was that humans are capable of INTERPRETING the data better than a computer. If they weren’t, there wouldn’t be a communications officer.

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In a deleted TOS scene we learn that even as a fan she is still incapable of understanding Vulcan music and draws opposite conclusions of what is actually being played because human hearing is inferior to Vulcan and she is just projecting her own wishes and presuming what isn’t even there.

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What ep was that? I’ll have to look into it. But like I said, I wasn’t meaning that her hearing was the best on the ship, even though it’s pretty good for a human, apparently.

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She doesn’t know more about the Klingons than anybody else, she doesn’t even speak Klingon when she’s in her 50s.
Unless you are going to argue that Nero destroying Kelvin somehow affected her DNA and she is now extremely intelligent as opposed to canon.

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*LOL* Forgot about that, with the dictionaries. That was pretty funny, even though it was silly, because if I want to speak another language, I’ll go to Babelfish instead of busting out an actual dictionary. As far as Uhura knowing Klingon, heightened tensions along the Romulan and Klingon border could lead to her knowing both languages in this timeline. There certainly wasn’t a reason for Uhura to speak all three dialects of Romulan when the Romulans didn’t TALK to anybody much in TOS.

As far as intelligence, I think all the characters on TOS are probably more intelligent than we give them credit for. The Nu-trek is demonstrating that by showcasing people’s talents. Chekov and Kirk never seemed particularly brilliant (tactically for Kirk, maybe), but that doesn’t mean that they werent.

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Enterprise has a full science team on board. Nuhura works in ship maintenance, her technical capabilities go as far as tinkering with her console, nothing else.

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Well, that’s kind of unfair. If you’re a communications officer, you would probably have a basic or rough understanding of how communications equipment works, I would imagine. Not only Starfleet equipment, but the equipment of various races. Also primitive equipment, if you’re an explorer.

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Any investigations are handled by the science officer and his science team, because that is what they are trained for and the whole point of having them on the Enterprise.

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Well, when you watch TOS, “the science team” and science officer weren’t always beaming down to the planet. A little of everyone went. Why Bones went on so many, I don’t know….

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I suppose she can go down on somebody else if not Spock. Because, really, that is all there is to that characters existence.

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That’s a horrible way to describe Uhura. I think that the writers have brought new life to the character, and hope they continue. I don’t get exactly why people are coming down so heavy on Uhura, when like I said, there really shouldn’t be much for Bones, Chekov, or Sulu to do either. And blasting the relationship is beyond me. Even though it only spans one movie, it’s probably one of the best portrayed relationships in Trek.

59. LogicalLeopard - January 4, 2013

53. Trekkiegal63 – January 3, 2013

The Bechdel Test, Bechdel-Wallace Test, or the Mo Movie Measurenote , is a sort of litmus test for female presence in fictional media. The test is named for Alison Bechdel, creator of the comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, who made it known to the world with this strip.

In order to pass, the film or show must meet the following criteria:

It includes at least two women,
who have at least one conversation,
about something other than a man or men.

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*LOL* So basically, Troi’s and Crusher’s ridiculous conversation about their chests from Insurrection would meet that standard? *LOL* But regardless, in Trek, they’re working with what they had in the series, which was ONE woman. So, the Smurfette Principle is already in effect. To do better, they would have to elevate the position of tertiary female characters, like Rand or Chapel, but then folks would complain, “Why is Chapel getting as much screen time as Uhura” and racial debates would pop up.

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I’ve lurked on this site for well over a year, and I’m absolutely baffled by this attitude of ‘if you don’t support S/U you’re blind, clearly it was meant to be, look at TOS!’ when I have watched TOS, every episode, many times over and for years – I could recite dialogue back at you, in fact – and I never got that out of it. Never. Didn’t even consider the possibility until ST:2009 went there.

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I never saw anything between Spock and Uhura either. Which is why I kind of like how they sprung it on us in this movie, because up until it blatantly comes out, I didnt’ see it. But however, I think that people are not saying it was clearly meant to be, I think people are using those examples of why it’s not a complete abberation. Really, without the hints in TOS, it wouldn’t be an abberation, because they’re just two people who are dating. But with the hints, it makes a relationship more reasonable.

60. LogicalLeopard - January 4, 2013

55. Danpaine – January 4, 2013
48. 750 Mang – January 3, 2013
“Tell me again how Kirk’s dad dying led to Spock riding the hobby horse with Uhura?”

That was pretty funny. And I agree. Kudos.

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Well, overlooking the whole hobby horse thing, it appears that the Kelvin incident led to some reshuffling of academy times and positions. I don’t think Spock was an Academy Instructor that early in TOS, but in NuTrek, he is, and spends time directly with Uhura as an instructor. That gives them more time to get closer.

It’s almost like what would happen if you took a different class in school. You might have different friendships and relationships than you do now, through prolonged exposure to other people.

61. LogicalLeopard - January 4, 2013

53. Trekkiegal63

Basically he says there were no women Trekkies or SF fans before Abrams, and the only reason there are now is because he included womanly things like giving birth into the movie.

That’s who you get to blame for the 2009 AbramsFail.

If you’re a woman in this Abrams universe, your whole point of existence is either to give birth to a main character or to get laid by him.

Let’s not pretend like women are capable of liking unwomanly things like intellectual SF, we’re all about nonsensical romance and babies it’s just how out lowly brains are built.

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Well first of all, he’s not saying that there wasn’t a single woman who watched Star Trek or read sci-fi before Abrams. That’s taking that comment WAY too far. He’s saying the same thing that many men, like myself, probably would say about Star Trek – it doesn’t really appeal to our wives.

I remember I tried to watch Star Trek II with my wife on video. She fell asleep before the Merchantman blew up. *LOL* Now, granted, it was at night, but not only did it not hold her attention, I even thought to myself, “This is going awfully slow for a person who isn’t very interested in Star Trek to appreciate.” This is different than in ST09, where both the action and compelling emotional story IMMEDIATELY hook you in. That’s really for both men and women.

So why specify women? I think generally, women are less likely to watch movies where they can’t become invested in the characters. There are a lot of men who might watch a movie just because it has some action in it. But women perhaps have a slightly greater need to identify with the characters. Now, let me be the first to tell you, the emotional aspects of the last movie is what made it great for me. If it didn’t have any of the romance and tragedy, it would have DEFINITELY been less appealing.

62. Trekkiegal63 - January 4, 2013

#59 LogicalLeopard:

I never saw anything between Spock and Uhura either. Which is why I kind of like how they sprung it on us in this movie, because up until it blatantly comes out, I didnt’ see it. But however, I think that people are not saying it was clearly meant to be, I think people are using those examples of why it’s not a complete abberation. Really, without the hints in TOS, it wouldn’t be an abberation, because they’re just two people who are dating. But with the hints, it makes a relationship more reasonable.

And as I pointed out there could be several hints taken out of context to pair Uhura with any of the other male leads during the course of the series. Compliments directed at her from McCoy or Sulu (“Fair Maiden” anyone?), flirtatious grins exchanged with Kirk, etc. When looking for it with a fine toothed comb, and when in possession of a certain agenda, you can pretty much support any Uhura-centric pairing in Star Trek. My point earlier was that the shipping audience for Trek does not actually represent the entirety of the Star Trek viewing population, thus implying “it was so there” is entirely subjective.

But regardless, in Trek, they’re working with what they had in the series, which was ONE woman. So, the Smurfette Principle is already in effect. To do better, they would have to elevate the position of tertiary female characters, like Rand or Chapel, but then folks would complain, “Why is Chapel getting as much screen time as Uhura” and racial debates would pop up.

I’m not arguing that the original Star Trek only had one regular female cast member, that would be ridiculous. I’m arguing that in the 2009 film they took that one female cast member and placed her as one half of a romantic subplot, thus perpetrating latent sexism in Hollywood’s views on what sells to primary demographics (ie women). If you read the last sentence of the definition of the Smurfette principle is read as this:

Said only woman will almost always be used as half of a romance subplot.

Which is exactly what happened.

And since you professed on interest, here is an article that goes into more detail on the Bechdel test and the stereotypes being taught in film school:

http://thehathorlegacy.com/why-film-schools-teach-screenwriters-not-to-pass-the-bechdel-test/

And here’s on article on female representation in Hollywood which does a better job than I’ve managed in explaining the real issue at large with a romantic subplot such as Spock/Uhura – it’s not Spock/Uhura, itself, its that they’re representative of a larger, troubling issue within Hollywood:

http://theramblingfeminist.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/women-sci-fifantasy-dont-mix-lead-me-to-a-fainting-couch-ive-heard-this-one-before/

63. Iva - January 4, 2013

61. LogicalLeopard “”””He’s saying the same thing that many men, like myself, probably would say about Star Trek – it doesn’t really appeal to our wives.””””

That’s a funny thing to say, given that ST own its very existence and long life to its female fans who were the majority of the fandom from the very beginning
when ST was a little-watched sixties TV series. The very concept of fandom was created by women, not men.

We organized the first cons and had the first successful letter writing campaigned that saved ST and gave it back. It wouldn’t have even been put on air in the first place if not for the efforts of Lucille Ball.

To say women don’t like ST is not only very ignorant coming from a supposed ST fan, but also insulting in the way it attempts to erase women’s role and contributions in existence of ST as well as decades of keeping it alive.

Look back at the history and browse through the documents before you make yourself a fool again.

57. Trekkiegal63

It’s from the movie commentary. The whole thing centers around Nuhura’s character as a sex trophy and the whole point of Kirk’s and Spock’s interaction with her is to give the audience a game to amuse them in the pauses between action scenes – which of the main characters will get her first?

The part where she has a make out session on the transporter, here’s how the comments go:

But this is genius.

How great is Chris! He’s like “oh wow. I lost”’

And that’s the whole development of her character and the point of her smurfette existence, ending with the last scene:

“This is my favorite – zoe – happy her boyfriend’s on the ship! Perfect! [beat] she’s so good though.”

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btw – Thanks! :) I’d love to read more, I’m not sure if we’re allowed to link to offsite places tho.
It’s hight time the topic gets proper attention and we start deconstructing tired sexist troupes, good luck with your work.

64. Trekkiegal63 - January 4, 2013

61 LogicalLeopard:

The comment you cut and pasted was actually posted by Iva, not myself. Though I admit I agree with her sentiment and find your stereotyping of women based on the one experience with your wife troubling.

In our household, my husband and I play the exact the opposite of the situation you described. I’ve seen the Wrath of Khan over twenty times, I own it on DVD, special edition DVD and bluray – I consider it cinematic genius. My husband only watches it for my benefit, utterly feins an interest for my sake because I sat through four hours of Gods and Generals for him and ours is a marriage of compromise. Not that I don’t find American history interesting, I do, but four hours of anything is enough to fry the brain. Simply put, he prefers non fiction, I prefer science fiction, NEITHER of us care for romcoms. ;)

Now I agree with your profession that people (not just women, thank you, but humanity as a whole) prefers to be emotionally invested in the characters. I just fail to see how consitently pairing women up in a token romance goes hand in hand with said emotional investment.

You know who one of my all-time female characters is? Scout Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird”. And I was throughly emotionally invested in her development during the several occasions I’ve read that book. She is/was not one half of a pairing (indeed that would be inappropriate as she was only 10). That book is a Pultizer Prize winner and favorably regarded. Yes, Hollywood, it can be done.

65. GG - January 4, 2013

@ 9. PaulB – January 2, 2013

#8 – There’s nothing inexplicable about the Spock/Uhura romance. Did you never actually see TOS? …. there is nothing in canon to suggest a reason why they wouldn’t hook up at some point.
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There isn’t?? Umm.. I’ve seen everything the original cast has ever been in.. every episode, every movie. Why wouldn’t they hook up at some point? They wouldn’t hook up, because they never hooked up. That’s why. It’s just not in Spock’s character to let some chick give him sloppy kisses all over his face in front of other people, regardless of the circumstances, and regardless of what “universe” they are in. The circumstances have changed, but they are still the same people. I think, if anything, Spock would cling to his Vulcan side even MORE after his planet was destroyed, seeing as how they’re an “endangered species” now. He’d protect his heritage and culture.

66. Iva - January 4, 2013

Spock’s character has been severely degraded by this decision.

67. LogicalLeopard - January 4, 2013

TrekkieGal63

I’m not arguing that the original Star Trek only had one regular female cast member, that would be ridiculous. I’m arguing that in the 2009 film they took that one female cast member and placed her as one half of a romantic subplot, thus perpetrating latent sexism in Hollywood’s views on what sells to primary demographics (ie women). If you read the last sentence of the definition of the Smurfette principle is read as this:

Said only woman will almost always be used as half of a romance subplot

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Well, let me say this if I haven’t said it before: I understand where you’re coming from, and I understand the significance of repeated tropes and stereotypes. But its my position that just because something appears to line up with that particular trope doesn’t mean it is without merit. I dont think Uhura was just the romantic interest of one of the male heroes, I think she was established as a strong character who happened to be in a relationship.

Actually, let me stop right here because I need to explain why I’m so in love with Spockura *L* My mom died a couple years before the movie came out. And yes, her name was Amanda too. I was struck by Zoe Saldanas brilliant performance in the turbolift, because I had been in the same position with a supportive partner who was trying to do things for me but really couldn’t. When someone you love dies, there’s not much anyone can say or do except be there. So I was struck by the realism of the Spock Uhura relationship more than all the other facts that get talked about. I really don’t see any other Trek relationship that appeared to be more profound.

68. LogicalLeopard - January 4, 2013

That’s a funny thing to say, given that ST own its very existence and long life to its female fans who were the majority of the fandom from the very beginning when ST was a little-watched sixties TV series. The very concept of fandom was created by women, not men.

We organized the first cons and had the first successful letter writing campaigned that saved ST and gave it back. It wouldn’t have even been put on air in the first place if not for the efforts of Lucille Ball.

To say women don’t like ST is not only very ignorant coming from a supposed ST fan, but also insulting in the way it attempts to erase women’s role and contributions in existence of ST as well as decades of keeping it alive.

Look back at the history and browse through the documents before you make yourself a fool again.

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Uhm, I think you need to go back and look at my comments again
Nowhere did I say that women didn’t like Trek, SciFi, or were an important part of fandom. But I do believe that IN GENERAL, women are more interested in meaty character interaction than men. That’s IN GENERAL. I love meaty character interaction and motivation, just like I’m sure there are lots of women that just want to see stuff blow up. So that being the case, I see why Orci and Kurtzmann said they wanted a movie their wives would watch. And actually, it probably has less to do with the fact their wives are women, and more with the fact that their wives probably aren’t sci fi fans. Sci fi is tough to sell to non fans, so when you have a movie that has great action and character interaction, you wife, or neighbors, or brother in law, might want to see it

69. Iva - January 4, 2013

Putting “IN GENERAL” next to a sexist stereotype does not make it stop being a sexist stereotype.

70. LogicalLeopard - January 4, 2013

The comment you cut and pasted was actually posted by Iva, not myself. Though I admit I agree with her sentiment and find your stereotyping of women based on the one experience with your wife troubling.

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I wasnt stereotyping all women with that experience, I was using that as an example to illustrate a larger point- that Trek has lacked a lot of the emotional depth that was displayed in this movie, and that if a person isnt predisposed to sci fi, they wouldnt be normally interested in Star Trek.

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In our household, my husband and I play the exact the opposite of the situation you described. I’ve seen the Wrath of Khan over twenty times, I own it on DVD, special edition DVD and bluray –I consider it cinematic genius. My husband only watches it for my benefit, utterly feins an interest for my sake because I sat through four hours of Gods and Generals for him and ours is a marriage of compromise. Not that I don’t find American history interesting, I do, but four hours of anything is enough to fry the brain. Simply put, he prefers non fiction, I prefer science fiction, NEITHER of us care for romcoms. ;)

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Which brings up a point that occured to me. Maybe when they said the wanted a Trek movie their wives could watch, they werent talking about women in general, but THEIR actual wives. It would be like you saying you wanted a Trek film your husband could watch.
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Now I agree with your profession that people (not just women, thank you, but humanity as a whole) prefers to be emotionally invested in the characters. I just fail to see how consitently pairing women up in a token romance goes hand in hand with said emotional investment.

You know who one of my all-time female characters is? Scout Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird”. And I was throughly emotionally invested in her development during the several occasions I’ve read that book. She is/was not one half of a pairing (indeed that would be inappropriate as she was only 10). That book is a Pultizer Prize winner and favorably regarded. Yes, Hollywood, it can be done.

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Well ive said before that i didnt think it was a token romance, but a pretty realistic depiction of the tougher side of relationships. Everything isn’t always champagne and bubble baths like Riker and Troi. If they had done that in this movie, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. But i kind of feel like the sexism criticism diminishes what’s actually onscreen- a lovely supportive pairing of equals. To me, its like having someone dismiss Scout Finch as a tomboyish defeminized window for the reader who could have easily been written as a boy, but since she wasnt, they made sure a boy (her brother Jem) was in the story to support her.

71. FarStrider - January 4, 2013

@LogicalLeopard For another perspective on the S/U romance, you should read anything by Rawls on Uhura in STXI starting with this one: http://peri-peteia.livejournal.com/340736.html . . . I think it might help you express why being in a relationship is NOT A BAD THING. . .

~FS

72. Trekkiegal63 - January 5, 2013

71 Farstrider:

I have read that article and I don’t agree with it. Oh, I certainly believe that all ethnicities should be equally portrayed in media, don’t get me wrong. The racism in Hollywood ALSO gets my blood boiling (not that it matters, but I’m also a minority). But I don’t believe that Uhura being in a relationship with Spock makes her more sexy or appealing.

She’d be that with or without Spock.

This excerpt in particular I find worrying:

OMG A BLACK GIRL! She is one half of the principle romance. OMG A BLACK GIRL! She is in love with and desired, romanced, and loved by one of the most iconic figures, not just in all of nerdom, but in all of popular culture.

I don’t care what color a woman is – blank, white, green or purple – her worth is not tied up in who she attracts or her ability to sustain a relationship with an ‘iconic’ man. She is awesome and sexy and smart because she IS. Period. A woman does NOT need a man to be appealing. She does not have to be one half of a token romance to be have worth as a character.

This also had me concerned:

“She got to sit in the back and rarely do anything and have her sexuality ignored not because they respected her so much as a colleague and a person, but because she was not a full, real human being and when you’re not a full, real human being the idea that actual people would ever desire you or romance you or love you is ridiculous. The idea that you might have any kind of sexuality at all, regardless of what it is, is irrelevant. You are invisible.

Because it implies that a women can only be ‘visible’ if she’s attracting a man or if she’s involved in a relationship. And what does that say to the single population of the world? Of all backgrounds? Are they of little worth? Possess no sexuality? Are they invisible because they’re not dating a Spock?

Also, apparently, according to this blogger, the only type of love that is granted any worth is romantic love. Having friends and family that love you, having the respect and admiration of your colleagues, well, I’m sorry friends and family, you’re just not as important as me landing an important, attractive ‘iconic’ boyfriend, thank you Bella of Twilight!

…okay, so maybe that last sentence was a little harsh. Thank god that Spock/Uhura, while yes, a token romance, wasn’t an unhealthy, co-dependent one. However, I’m getting pretty sick of people who are fans of the romance genre holding up these token romances that have little reverence to the plot of the movie as these deep, progressive, earth shattering social progressions when in fact they’re placed in there because that’s what Hollywood believes sells. These romantic subplots are, essentially, degrading women to the role of sexpot. You like romance, fine, but trying to convince non romance fans that TOS contained it when it didn’t, and then passing these romances off as progressive social movements is a bit… concerning.

Bottom line: Uhura is a woman. A smart woman. A beautiful woman. A compassionate woman. A competent woman. In both incarnations. That’s what matters. NOT who she’s dating. And if she was Latino, Asian or Caucasian, I’d say the same.

73. Trekkiegal63 - January 5, 2013

Well ive said before that i didnt think it was a token romance, but a pretty realistic depiction of the tougher side of relationships. Everything isn’t always champagne and bubble baths like Riker and Troi. If they had done that in this movie, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. But i kind of feel like the sexism criticism diminishes what’s actually onscreen- a lovely supportive pairing of equals. To me, its like having someone dismiss Scout Finch as a tomboyish defeminized window for the reader who could have easily been written as a boy, but since she wasnt, they made sure a boy (her brother Jem) was in the story to support her.

Riker and Troi is a whole other issue and I’m not going to go there now. Needless to say, however, I do have opinions on that particular pairing.

So, you think the content of the Spock/Uhura romance overrides sexist profiling in Hollywood, so you? *sigh*

So I guess I must have just imagined that scene where Uhura was in her bra and panties then? Or where Kirk was hitting on her, and Spock actually getting her, like she was a prize to be won in a tug-of-war? What’s a love triangle among friends? It’s what we women want to watch, after all!

But here are the true million dollar questions…

Why did she have to be in a relationship at all? Why do ALL lead female character’s have to? Why is romantic love the only type that counts when it comes to women? Why do all female portrayals have to be sexualized?

74. Trekkiegal63 - January 5, 2013

Ooops, that’s interesting, I thought my first response to #67 didn’t post because I didn’t see it (convinced myself I got a little too wordy and the site didn’t like that). So I trimmed it and posted it again, and now I see its been posted twice. :(

Sorry about that to anyone following this conversation!

Note for LogicalLeopard: #72 and #75 are the same thing (it’s just that #75 is a little shorter) ;)

75. Trekkiegal63 - January 5, 2013

And now they’ve both disappeared! *sigh* Will go trim some more…

76. Trekkiegal63 - January 5, 2013

#67 LogicalLeopard:

First, I’m sorry about your mother. Having lost my father four years back I do understand grief and the need for support. You have my condolences and my sympathy.

However, I disagree with the notion that the support has to come from a romantic partner. My husband and I have been married for a very long time, dated for four years before marriage and yet he barely knew my father. Saw him maybe once a year at Christmas. See, I moved away for college, and my father remained in my hometown. I started dating my husband during college and I ended up remaining in the city of my university after I graduated.

Oh don’t get me wrong. He could grieve with me, be sad that I was sad, understand abstractly how terrible the loss of a parent feels, even though he hasn’t had experienced it himself yet, thank goodness, but you know where I found the most comfort during my grief? I have a friend I have known since elementary school. Though we live in different states, indeed, all the way across the country from each other, we’ve kept in touch through the years. I called her when my dad died because I thought she would want to know. She used to call my father ‘dad’ as she was over at my house all the time. When I told her she cried, and then we spent hours on the phone reminiscing. I got more out of that conversation during my initial grief than any other.

I’m about to make a statement that is very near and dear to me on a personal level, something I truly believe with vigor: a relationship does not have to contain a degree of sexuality/attraction to be significant, to create an impact. It bothers me that Hollywood does its damnest to disabuse the world of that notion. Women, strong women, intelligent women are more often than not relegated to the role of love interest, because, apparently, she just can’t be interesting on her own. She can’t be sexy on her own. Appealing. She can’t have friends whom she talks to about things other than men. Her worth is often judged by her ability to attract a mate (and which mate it is she attracts). After ST:2009 came out I read blog after blog about how ‘awesome it was that Uhura is dating Spock, OMG, the most iconic character ever, you go girl!’ And I wanted so much to say, no, it is not awesome to define Uhura’s worth by her ability to attract Spock, she DOES NOT need a man nor a relationship to prove her appeal! She’d still be incredible whether she drew Spock’s interest or not!

I also read blog after blog of ‘Uhura picked Spock-the-nerd over Kirk-the-hero, how progressive’ when my immediate thought was since when is Uhura’s affections a prize to be won? She is not an object! Would these same people be as invested in the character if she didn’t pick either Kirk OR Spock. If she decided to focus entirely on career and put romance on hold for now, would anyone be blogging about how awesome that decision was? Would the militant romance fans still be here on this site trying to convince people that their version of TOS viewed with their shipper goggles on was more real than anyone else’s perspective on it?

My knee jerk reaction is to say no, because we’re conditioned from birth to believe that a women’s role in popular media is as a love interest and a sex symbol. It doesn’t matter if she’s super brilliant, holds an important job, single-handedly cures cancer, her love life becomes her focal point of interest to viewers… or so Hollywood thinks.

Moreover, women and men, according to Hollywood, can’t just be friends, there has to be romantic attachment there. Did you ever ask yourself why that is? My best friend from high school is a male. I have plenty of male friends. And yet, Hollywood would have you believe that is impossible.

There is a second sinister plot at play here: the idea Hollywood has that only romantic storylines appeal to women. That we, as females, can’t like science fiction or fantasy on its own merits without tacking on a romance to draw our viewership. Here is a fantastic article on the subject because, quite frankly, I’ve already beat this particular topic to death in my earlier posts:

http://io9.com/391860/what-chicks-dont-like-about-science-fiction

Article excerpt:

I love when clueless humans tell me to my face that women don’t like science fiction. Usually they tell me this at a science fiction convention, after we have talked about scifi for an hour and I have said that I edit a science fiction blog. These humans have an amazing ability to not believe their eyes, which is the only way I can explain what’s happening when somebody says to my face that women like me don’t exist.

All end this by saying, so the Spock/Uhura plot resonated with you, that’s great! I’m glad you had that experience. But it doesn’t change the larger problem at play here. A very prevalent, very common problem. One that needs to be addressed. One that Spock/Uhura feed into.

77. Red Dead Ryan - January 5, 2013

I’m no fan of the Spock/Uhura romance either. It just seems forced. Spock is supposed to be a character who is struggling with his Vulcan and human halves. He is the “outsider” of the bunch, the one with a more objective perspective on humanity. If he’s in a romantic relationship with Uhura, some of that quality is washed away as he clearly wouldn’t be struggling so much with himself, and more likely to embrace the flaws of humanity, which wasn’t the case during TOS.

As for Uhura, wouldn’t it have made more sense to establish her character first? Such as depicting her skills and abilities and her worth as a human being?

That being said, this is Hollywood we are dealing with here, and Hollywood is the business of entertainment. So accurate depictions of human characters on the big screen is probably wishful thinking.

I think if you want “real” characters, you have to look at your friends and family in “real” life as opposed to the movies, where everything is shiny, glossy, idealized, and um, I don’t want to say fake…..more like surreal.

Movies and tv shows are mainly fantasy, and I don’t see them as more than that, even though I do agree that certain tropes we could do without.

78. trekkiegal63 - January 5, 2013

77 Red Dead Ryan:

Oh I agree entirely, the ability to discern fact from fiction is an important distinction. However, fiction, particularly since, through media, its so rampart DOES influence perception. Let me give you an example:

Anorexia and bulimia. They are both more prevalent now then they ever were in the past – more rampart, more of an issue – because social media (television, movies, magazines) has led the woman of the world to believe that they must match a certain body type. That in order to be beautiful, they must be thin AT ALL COST. Even if that cost is their life (Karen Carpenter).

The point I was trying to make with the thinly veiled sexism in Hollywood is that woman are growing up watching the fact that a female character just can’t be cool on her own, that she to be paired with a boyfriend, and that this attitude is detrimental to a woman’s view of her place in the world. Even otherwise progressive characters, strong characters (Buffy, Scully, Uhura) fell into this pattern.

Off the top of my head I can only think of ONE movie that had a woman in a strong, independent role fighting for her life without a romantic subplot (perhaps there are more, but they’re not coming to mind. And even if there are more, they are few). And that movie was made in the 80’s, almost thirty years ago.

Yes, movies are romanticized, the actors and actresses are almost always exceedingly gorgeous, the dialogue almost always over-the-top (I would never say “You had me at hello” or “here’s looking at you, kid” to my husband, for example, and if I did he’d look at me like I grew a third eye) and relationships portrayed in a way so unrealistic that anyone looking for the Hollywood ideal of a romcom type relationship is in for a world of disappointment once they realize that real relationships are equal parts love, laughter and joy, mixed in with a healthy dose of compromise, considerable effort, and and the occasional swallowing of pride.

And the thing is, most people don’t take the time to realize all of this is going on, to actually think about it. They just except it as the norm, or place it on an alter to be idolized – held to a different standard – like we’ve seen people do on this site. They’ve never stopped to wonder: why are women objectified? Why can’t they be awesome on their own? Why does the world still think like Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth Bennet’s mom (“I must get my daughters married at all costs!”)? Why are sexualized/romantic relationships ALL we see when it comes to interactions between women and men in media? Why are we being told that the only thing that attracts our interest as consumers is this romanticized/sexualized ideal?

Yes, its fiction, but I still don’t think its healthy. :(

I agree with you on your assessment on Spock and Uhura. You make very good, very interesting points. Thank you for that.

79. JoJo - January 5, 2013

Love Spock/Uhura! I hope they continue on in a big way in the next installment.

The interviews are always good. I always enjoy Zachary’s answers to the questions a bit more. Wish they’d do an interview with him and Zoe though.

80. Red Dead Ryan - January 5, 2013

#78.

I agree with everything you said.

Though even a lot of male lead characters in action movies are expected to get laid with women, or else they are assumed to be gay.

Superman/Clark Kent is supposed to be with Lois Lane.

James Bond is supposed to bang multiple women in every flick, whether she’s good or bad.

If Bruce Wayne doesn’t have a girlfriend, but hangs out with Robin instead, people assume he’s gay.

Peter Parker is considered dorky since he has trouble getting the girl.

Heck, there are some on this site who demand that Kirk have a romantic relationship in the sequel supposedly because of some line spoken by Captain Sisko saying how Kirk had a reputation for being a “lady’s man”.

While these examples obviously don’t approach the level of female objectification and sexualization in Hollywood, there still seems to be some common tropes and expectations of male heroes in movies and shows.

Male heroes are expected to get laid by women, or else they are deemed as being either gay, or somehow not as interesting.

I find it annoying whenever I see male characters in movies and shows constantly hitting on women, looking for sex. It doesn’t paint either gender in a good light.

81. K-7 - January 6, 2013

@80. Yea Red Dead, of course Kirk needs to get a little action now and then. I mean, that’s part of who he is.

82. Red Dead Ryan - January 6, 2013

#81.

True. But the reason why Kirk is so popular and legendary is because he is such a damned good captain. He was so well-developed in “The Original Series” being the balance between Spock and McCoy.

His romances didn’t define the character, but added to it.

83. Jemini - January 6, 2013

77. I love how different fans can have such completely opposite opinions
For instance, you think that the Spock/Uhura relationship makes Spock less interesting and removes the conflict in his character and yet many fans (including me) like them because they actually think that the relationship adds more conflict and more depth to his character and makes him more layered and less one dimensional.
For the most part his conflict is supposed to be about logic vs emotion so I can’t see how falling in love with someone can make him someone who “clearly wouldn’t be struggling so much with himself” I think he will be struggling with his feelings even more!
and really, that’s easy to pretend you’re the vulcan without feelings if you actually never fell in love and you never had to deal with a feeling, THE feeling, that really can’t be controlled in any way.
Easy to control a feeling that you don’t even feel, to begin with. In that, Spock prime had it the easy way, actually. Yes, he loved mommy but that’s a different kind of love.
Quinto Spock is more challenged and, in contrast, more interesting to me (not that I don’t love Nimoy Spock. Far from it. He’s my favorite character )
Anyway, Spock will always be a child of TWO worlds not just one so to expect him to be only vulcan means making him do the same mistakes that Spock prime did, basically. That other version realized some things only when he was old and it was sort of “too late” for him. And I’m sorry but I don’t get this attachment with the idea that Spock must be alone forever especially when most of his characterization (and not only his) was more the result of a time where shows were made in a certain way than anything else and it’s silly to expect that the same things that worked for a story made for the audience of the 60s-70s would completely work nowadays people too.
someone here linked that spot on meta about Uhura written by peri-peteia
always written by her, I feel myself agreeing with what she wrote in another meta in particular this comment:

“First of all, it was over time and largely in the movies that the original dynamic (of Bones/Kirk/Spock) organically changed to become more about Kirk and Spock’s particular friendship. And, frankly, that dynamic where these two men’s friendship is of absolute highest importance in their lives to the exclusion of all other relationships, explicitly or implicitly including their relationships with women,is a product of its time.
I’m sure endlessly sanctifying male homosocial relationships in media in a fit of proto-nostalgia seems like an awesome idea/respecting the source/kissing the ring of the progenitor of slash to fandom, but it’s highly problematic at the very least to want to hold a modern remake of that story to this same standard when rampant misogyny and racism were a huge part of the environment that made the prominence of those original dynamics so possible.

Now, when all is said and done even Roddenberry didn’t want Spock to be “alone forever” or asexual. Some people seem to forget about this tiny detail that even the original Spock was supposed to have an actual romance in the show and the reason he didn’t get one had everything do everything with racism and sexism that was prominent at the time and very little to do with the way Roddenberry actually intended to develop his character if he had been free to do so.
They couldn’t pair him with Uhura because the racists didn’t want that. Later they tried Spock/Chapel but fans despised her (check memory alpha, one of the writers essentially admitted that the original idea of the pair was dropped because the fans didn’t accept her as women were jealous and the fanboys saw her as a threat to Spock being just the nerdy friend of hero)

QUESTION: Zachary, in the film you have scenes when Spock has to strip himself, virtually, of every emotion. For this character, what did you have to strip yourself of?

ZACHARY QUINTO: I didn’t really see it that way, actually. I think he experiences deeply-run emotions and I think that – especially in the context of his relationship with his mother, I think there’s a real depth of feeling. The only thing I felt like I had to strip myself of was the ability to express it in a conventional way. And I think that’s really the dilemma of Spock, ultimately, because if he doesn’t feel emotion, then there’s no conflict within him. So the conflict exists in the feeling, the deeply rooted and sublimated feeling of emotion, without the opportunity to do much with it, other than hold it, which is really challenging and can be painful.

In short, it really is a matter of preference and different opinions and perceptions. What I question here in the fans like you is this idea and insistence that one perception of Spock as a character is the one and only (and if you have a different opinion you don’t get his character. e.g JJ&co) when really it isn’t so simple and opposite opinions from both parts can and actually do find – in canon – evidence to support their argument.

84. Jemini - January 6, 2013

by the way, people will have nothing to talk about if they remove the Spock and Uhura romance lol
admit it or not but half of the discussions about the movie are people making pro and anti arguments about them (this site being an example of it) in that, the writers win because people talk about the movie and it surely is one of the new things from the new reality that people will remember the most and it creates the idea of this being their [JJ, Orci, Kurtzman] own star trek and their own story not just a copy of an old one created by other people. In the end this should be the purpose of a reboot.

85. Iva - January 6, 2013

What conflict, Jemini?

He decided he is a human long time ago, there is no conflict there anymore. His Vulcan side is just his pointed ears now
(even his skin color switched from green to baby pink lol)

Vulcan bonding – he was never linked to another like a Vulcan or he is sleeping around despite his link to another; Pon Farr – he is already sleeping around; controlling emotions – he is already sleeping around what control; being professional – he’s already sleeping around both with a student as an academy instructor and fraternizing as a first officer; any Vulcan customs – nope, he’s already sleeping around and acting like a human male jock; logic – nope, he’s already sleeping around and acting like a human jock…. etc.

Conflict with what?

86. Iva - January 6, 2013

84. Jemini

Now that is what we are all agreeing on. Abrams is not about Star Trek or plot or character development.

87. Trekkiegal63 - January 6, 2013

#80 Read Dead Ryan:

I find it annoying whenever I see male characters in movies and shows constantly hitting on women, looking for sex. It doesn’t paint either gender in a good light.

Amen to that. I find myself wanting to stand up and give you a standing ovation for that. It doesn’t, at all. Indeed it only perpetrates the horrible ideology that women are prizes to be won. That women are trophies. And it paints the men as disrespectful of a woman’s free agency, and the fact that she is a critical thinking human being.

The examples you listed can be seen as a case in point, particularly James Bond. Admittedly I do enjoy a good Bond film because I’m a fan of action films as well as a fan of the pun, but yes, every time I watch one I’ve wondered, does Bond actually see the women he sleeps with as free thinking individuals? Are they even human to him? People capable of complex thought? Capable of higher emotion? Or are they simply a means to an end and a conquest?

The horrible side effect of Hollywood’s propensity to sexualize women, to offer them up as prizes to their male protagonists, is that it dehumanizes us, in a way.

We think therefore we are.

Something else you said in your last post really resonated, too. This idea that even male friendships are also being sexualized.

Now, one of my closest friends is a gay male. And the two of us have talked at length about how we find it derogatory and bigoted that the term ‘gay’ is used as an insult. That people throw out the term gay, when they actually mean “you don’t reach a level of masculinity I find acceptable”. Which is really quite horrible in a very two-fold type way. First, of course, because being gay is not an insult, is most certainly not derogatory, and secondly this idea that men must somehow meet this high expectation of masculinity to be considered, and I quote the X-files as I say this “Rugged manly men in full bloom of their manhood”. I’ve talked at length with latent sexism in Hollywood being damaging to a woman’s psyche, I also believe that holding men up to a certain standard of masculinity is damaging to their psyche.

Moreever, friendships are important. Male-male friendships, female-female friendships, male and female friendships. In fact, according to the Mental Health Foundation:

Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health.

A huge, terrible side effect of Hollywood’s propensity to sexualize relationships between their protagonists is that its undercutting the very importance of friendship. From a Hollywood perspective friendship is just not as valuable of a plot tool as a romantic pairing. Are we really surprised then by the fact that now all relationships, no matter how platonic, such in the case of Batman and Robin, are being sexualized by consumers? It is, after all, what we’re being taught to value over all other emotional attachments!

I mentioned my late father in a previous post. His all-time favorite film was “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. I thought the friendship portrayed in that film between those two men absolutely beautiful. In fact, I used to jokingly tell my father that Kirk and Spock were the Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid of the Sci-Fi world.

Friendships are a beautiful, wonderful thing, and I think that Hollywood would be surprised by how well their consumers would respond to them should they ever wise up to the ACTUAL ways of the world instead of their own antiquated perception.

88. Trekkiegal63 - January 6, 2013

83 K-7:

Oh my goodness there is so much more to Kirk than that wildly exaggerated stereotype (has anyone actually counted Kirk’s exploits in TOS… there actually not that many)! There is also so much more to Spock than who he bangs. I find it interesting that both of these men are being defined by so many for their sexual exploits (or lack thereof). As if who they are as people and as officers is somehow tied up with their romantic partnerships.

Hollywood *shakes first*.

My husband once asked me why I love TOS the most out of all the Treks that have come after it with better special effects and less of a product of their time. Now don’t get me wrong, I was a regular TNG watcher, refused to miss an episode in fact, and if I did, I was not happy about it, but TOS was the show that held a special place in my heart.

And here’s why: I always thought that despite portraying many villains: Klingons, Romulans, salt sucking monster that was the last of her kind, Excalbians, Metrons, Khan, Mitchell, Trelane, etc. I always thought the biggest adversary both Kirk and Spock faced was themselves.

Let me elaborate: Think “Enemy Within”. Kirk is divided into two halves, his good side and his evil side and had to come to the realization, through much trial, that both parts make him who he is, that there are no negative emotions (example: anger can actually be quite productive when channeled correctly) there are negative actions and reactions. By contrast, Spock spend the entire series trying to grow comfortable in his own skin, trying to accept both sides of his heritage as equally valuable and accept the duality that would always exist within his nature.

Kirk once said, in the episode ‘The Corbomite Maneuver': “The greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. There is no such thing as the unknown – only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”

And I’ve always considered that ideology the very heart of Star Trek. Man(woman) verses his/her own inner turmoil. Man(woman) searching for understanding from within, and finding inner peace, acceptance of themselves, and enlightenment. I may get jumped on for this, but its an ideology that got lost over time with a portion of Berman’s Trek (it’s too soon to tell with Abrams Trek, though I have hope that they’re on the right track).

Kirk also said, in “A Taste of Armageddon”:

“It’s instinctive. But the instinct can be fought. We’re human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands. But we can stop it. We can admit that we’re killers… but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! Knowing that we’re not going to kill today!”

Again that quote feeds my idea that the heart of TOS was this: each person battling that Enemy Within and coming out stronger for it.

And when I think of this theme my mind goes to “Undiscovered Country”, where Kirk and Spock are in Spock’s quarters following the reveal of Valeris’ betrayal, and Kirk admits to Spock the equivalent of… ‘yes, I’ve been a prejudice jerk in my approach to the idea of peace with the Klingons, this is NOT the kind of person I want to be’ and Spock comes to the realization… ‘and I volunteered you for this mission without taking your feelings, nor those of our other shipmates, into consideration, if I’m to be an Ambassador I need to have that awareness of the feelings and motivations of others’ (and we’re reminded of Galileo 7, when Spock’s ‘only logical’ approach to the situation almost caused mutiny with the rest of the small crew he commanded) and we realize how just how FAR both men had come.

In that moment enlightenment was reached. Kirk was very much the “Great Man” history had known him to become, he had battled the Enemy Within himself and come out stronger for it, and Spock became an Ambassador in spirit as well as desire. It’s truly one of the most beautiful scenes in all of Star Trek.

To relegate Kirk to “the ladies man” does him an immense disservice.

89. K-7 - January 6, 2013

@88 “Oh my goodness there is so much more to Kirk than that wildly exaggerated stereotype (has anyone actually counted Kirk’s exploits in TOS… there actually not that many)!”

You obviously way exaggerated what I said and took it out of context. Here again is what I said:

“Of course Kirk needs to get a little action now and then. I mean, that’s part of who he is.”

So “A LITTLE” and “NOW AND THEN” are exactly what I said. And I also said, “that’s PART of who he is.”

Everything I have said here is factual, and if you would have more carefully read what I said you would have found that I am consistent with your statments:

“Oh my goodness there is so much more to Kirk than that wildly exaggerated stereotype”

— yes, and if you notice I specifically said “that is PART of who his is.”

“has anyone actually counted Kirk’s exploits in TOS… there actually not that many”

— yep, again I said “A LITTLE” and “AND THEN.” exactly what you are saying.

Also, when you said:

“There is also so much more to Spock than who he bangs”

— I never addressed Spock, so please don’t imply that I ever went in this direction.

“Friendships are a beautiful, wonderful thing, and I think that Hollywood would be surprised by how well their consumers would respond to them should they ever wise up to the ACTUAL ways of the world instead of their own antiquated perception.”

— Sure, I agree with you on Trek friendships. But for the rest of what you say here I disagree — these roles are suppose to be single people crewed on a starship for multiple years at a time. So to rule sex out because it offends your sensibilities is what I find to be antiquated thinking.

90. Trekkiegal63 - January 6, 2013

89 K-7:

So to rule sex out because it offends your sensibilities is what I find to be antiquated thinking.

There is no need to be insulting. I certainly didn’t mean to insult you, and if I came off that way, I apologize. Admittedly, the idea of these characters being tied solely to their sexualized identity has got me on edge, particularly after two days of being immersed in this thread. I did not mean to vent all my frustration out on you, and I’m remorseful that it came out that way.

However, there was no need to imply that I’m some outlandish prude. That was really quite below the belt.

Sex does not offend my sensibilities. Far from it.

What offends my sensibilities is when it becomes the single factor in which someone is defined. When woman (and men) are caricatures of sexualized imagery as if it was the ONLY thing matters. It only bothers me when every single female character has to be paired up with no variable alternative because of Hollywood’s sexist ideal that female characters cannot be interesting on their own. Throughout history there has been this ideal that a woman’s mission in life is, to quote Austin’s tongue and cheek way of putting it “the pursuit of a husband”. Anyone single was labeled a ‘spinster’ or considered somehow “undesirable”. This stereotype is still being perpetuated today. Woman are being relegated to prizes and love interests as the only viable choice of lifestyle within the media, right before our eyes.

And men are judged based on the ‘hot chicks’ they attract (and indeed how many) thus cementing the idea of women as trophies. You know a guy is a “rugged manly man in full bloom of his manhood” when he gets his prize, the girl.

It is common, it is a trope, it has unfortunate psychological effects on society and how men and women measure their worth, and I hate it.

But do I hate sex? Absolutely not. Relegating everything I’ve tried to say on this board – starting with my first post to my last – to ‘ruling out sex because it offends my sensibilities’, thus attacking me as a person and not the points I’m trying to present is dismissive,and frankly, because you seem like an intelligent individual in which friendly debates CAN be had, absolutely beneath you.

91. K-7 - January 6, 2013

#90. OK, seems as if we are both unintentionally misreading each others posts here. Thanks for your apology. I apologize as well.

92. Trekkiegal63 - January 6, 2013

#91 K-7:

No worries, we’re good. Thank you as well. :)

Admittedly my concern over how I articulate myself is why I’ve mostly lurked here instead of coming forward before now. Text can come off so much more harsh or succinct then spoken words because there is no tone or body language to accompany it that can kind of… soften it.

Since my opinions are controversial, I knew I ran the risk of coming across so militant and unbending that what I’m actually trying to say, my message, as it were, could potentially be overshadowed. I’m very passionate about the message I’ve tried to convey here, which can lead to… emotional outbursts that would result in a pointed eyebrow lift from Spock, lol. I’m grateful to you for bringing this back to a personable level. I’m not preaching from a soapbox, I am speaking to peers.

Truly, I do not dislike shippers or those who choose to make romantic pairings the focal point of their interest in Star Trek. What I do dislike is the undercurrent of sexism and objectification that leads to these pairings being presented to us in the media. The fact that this is even a trope to begin with. Yet it is difficult to articulate that distinction. It’s not the people who idolize the romance so much as it is what the fictional relationship itself feeds into, and how women (and men) view their place in society because of it. Its the hows and the whys of it, not the end result, which is a fanbase.

But people, themselves, are great. No, people are wonderful. And Trekkies, no matter what draws you into watching it, are even better. ;)

93. LogicalLeopard - January 7, 2013

73 Trekkiegal

Riker and Troi is a whole other issue and I’m not going to go there now. Needless to say, however, I do have opinions on that particular pairing.

So, you think the content of the Spock/Uhura romance overrides sexist profiling in Hollywood, so you? *sigh*

******************

Sorry, for the late response, busy weekend. I don’t think it’s a case of one overriding the other, it’s a case of it being two separate issues. I think that you have to recognize the legitimacy of a good performance and good material, no matter how much it may resemble standard tropes and stereotypes. Take this for instance. I’m black, and I have seen countless black characters that play into stereotypes. The tough guy, the criminal, the cool guy, etc. But if it’s executed well, and the material makes sense, I’m fine with a performance that may play into a “stereotype.”

Take this example, for some odd reason, the first one off the top of my head. In the Civil War movie Glory (*L* Your husband may be familiar with it), most of the black soldiers are very stereotypical. You’ve got Denzel Washington’s “angry black man”, you’ve got Andre Braugher’s educated, docile black man, even down to the glasses, you’ve got an actor whose name I don’t know who plays essentially, a dumb slave, who doesn’t know left from right but knows hay from straw, and you’ve got Morgan Freeman as the “wise, old black man.” It’s a clear attempt to show some diversity of characters among blacks in the 1860’s, but the cast pulls it off, and you care about the characters. And really, the characters are probably not far from some of the sorts of people you would have encountered at the time. Although Denzel Washington walked away with the Oscar, I found the “dumb slave” guy to be more honest and compelling.

****************************
So I guess I must have just imagined that scene where Uhura was in her bra and panties then? Or where Kirk was hitting on her, and Spock actually getting her, like she was a prize to be won in a tug-of-war? What’s a love triangle among friends? It’s what we women want to watch, after all!
******************************

The bra and panties scene deserves scorn and didn’t need to be in the movie at all. It’s cheap hollywood cheesecake, and I’ll include “beefcake”, becuase Pine was also in his skivvies in that scene.

As far as her being a prize between Kirk and Spock, no, that’s not exactly what happened there. If she was a prize between Kirk and Spock, both characters would have actively had to compete for her. It wasn’t a competition in my view, it was 1) a rather uncomfortable nod to Kirk’s legendary womanizing, and 2) a nod to what I think was the first scripted interratial kiss in television. I say “uncomfortable”, because at least to me, Kirk hitting on Uhura like she was some common alien on TOS was like seeing a brother hit on his sister. The bar scene says more about what an immature louse Kirk than it does reflect poorly on Uhura. And when you bring Spock into it later, it isn’t so much about “Spock got the prize” as it is, “Cool guys don’t always finish first” and “Every nerd has his day” *L*

But, I completely agree: the chest grab and underwear scene were totally uneccessary. Well, let me say, Uhura being in her underwear was uneccessary.
***************************************************
But here are the true million dollar questions…

Why did she have to be in a relationship at all? Why do ALL lead female character’s have to? Why is romantic love the only type that counts when it comes to women? Why do all female portrayals have to be sexualized?

***************************************************
Question 1: She didn’t, but a woman being in a relationship in film DOES NOT diminish her, I believe

Question 2: That’s a bigger issue that I’m not able to address. I wouldn’t say all, because you can find several examples of female characters who arent, especially in Trek. Crusher, Uhura from TOS, Janeway, etc. But I think there’s a bigger question here…..the problem with female characters is not so much that they’re always involved in relationships, it’s the problemt that there arent ENOUGH of them period. Shouldn’t a Trek cast be split evenly down the middle? Why is there only one or two women in each series?

Question 3: I would wish that romantic love would be the only type that counts with ALL characters. But there are unconscious and conscious beliefs in the minds of the viewers that it’s acceptable for men to have purely sexual relationships but not women. It shouldn’t be acceptable for either party, in my opinion, but that’s not the mindset society has currently

Question 4: Good question. It shouldn’t be that way at all. I don’t think that being involved in a relationship discredits female characters, but being sexualized always does.

94. LogicalLeopard - January 7, 2013

76. Trekkiegal63 – January 5, 2013

Thank you for your kind words regarding my loss, and I extend the same condolences and sympathy regarding yours.

Now, I agree, support doesn’t always have to come from a partner, but I was only arguing that the support in this case reflected realistic situations spot on, which makes it interesting. And of course, in a lot of cases, your partner is going to be your primary support. That’s not to dismiss the friendship dynamic, which could use a little more exploration, especially in the case of men. Your comments bring up an interesting question to mind: We know that the Big Three of Star Trek are friends, but how SUPPORTIVE of one another are they? I mean, did Spock or McCoy comfort Kirk when his son died? Any converstations about understanding each other better after Sybok showcases their personal pain? When I think about it, they were probably more like coworkers than friends. Kirk even ordered Spock to SHOOT Sybok and stuck by it when he found out Sybok was indeed his brother. *LOL* Obrien and Bashir seemed to be a pretty nicely portrayed, if not profound, friendship. There seemed like there was a contrived attempt to pair up Troi and Crusher, which turned out to be garbage. I think probably the best friendship (and between a man and woman…sort of….no doubt) was Dax and Sisko. I kind of got the feeling that they’d be very supportive of each other.

And on that subject, of male and female friendships, I too believe that they are able to exist, and acknowledge that Hollywood doesn’t often showcase many of them. However, I also have to acknowledge that Hollywood only reflects the opinions of general society. General society doesn’t think that they can be as successful and profound as homogeneous relationships, and Hollywood holds a mirror up to it. True, art should challenge our thoughts and mindsets, but at the same time, I can’t really criticize an artist who draws a picture of a tree that looks like a tree.

95. LogicalLeopard - January 7, 2013

85. Iva – January 6, 2013

Vulcan bonding – he was never linked to another like a Vulcan or he is sleeping around despite his link to another; Pon Farr – he is already sleeping around; controlling emotions – he is already sleeping around what control; being professional – he’s already sleeping around both with a student as an academy instructor and fraternizing as a first officer; any Vulcan customs – nope, he’s already sleeping around and acting like a human male jock; logic – nope, he’s already sleeping around and acting like a human jock…. etc.

Conflict with what?

************************

Uhm…why are people assuming that the relationship between Uhura and Spock is sexual? I mean, people can’t have romantic relationships with each other and NOT sleep with each other? Before I married my wife, we kissed, but we didn’t have sex. And no, not just by Bill Clinton’s definition. But even still, I acknowledge that it can be hard to believe in human, nonsexual relationships, but we’re dealing with a human and what is essentially, biologically, a Vulcan. Pointed ears, strength, bleeds green, right? He may have human heritage, but his heart’s where his liver is, isn’t it? And Spock’s upbringing, no matter how much he embraces his human side, is essentially Vulcan. So who knows if they engaged in a physical relationship or not. For all we know, that finger touching thing Sarek and Amanda did in TOS could be more profound than sex. They are telepathic, for what it’s worth. We saw Kirk in Uhura and Gaila’s room for what appeared to be leading to sex, we didn’t see Spock sneaking into Uhura’s room.

.

96. Katie G. - January 7, 2013

Re: 39. Jemini

“…In the same way Amanda’s death while sad made it possible for this Spock to resolve part of his issues with his father (the whole “I married her because I loved her” don’t tell me that Sarek’s admission didn’t change something important) …

Interesting comment. I agree it may help Spock come to terms with his human emotions (or even Vulcan-suppressed emotions) if his father, a 100% Vulcan could marry, and admit that he married, for love.

Very good point.

ktg

97. LogicalLeopard - January 7, 2013

To relegate Kirk to “the ladies man” does him an immense disservice.

****************

It does. But I’m going to take a bit of a controversial spin on that. Kirk has a reputation of being a ladies man, both in real life and onscreen, whether it is deserved or not. ST09 plays into this, and displays him as a dog, both in the bar scene and the scene with Gaila. Thank goodness the deleted scenes aren’t cannon, because he comes away as an even BIGGER jerk, using sex and romance to manipulate Gaila into helping him cheat, and NOT EVEN recognizing a woman he was either intending on having sex with, or actually had sex with, just because she was green. That’s incredibly offensive, it’d be like him seducing Uhura and then later mistaking a character portrayed by….I dunno, Kerry Washington as Uhura. “Whoops, all you black girls look alike.”

Butttt…….I’m kind of fine with Kirk’s portrayal (not the deleted scenes, mind you), if ONE condition is met. As you mentioned regarding STVI, Kirk is a very complex character, and I would like to see the complexity of his character needs to continually emerge through the next couple movies. Nu-Kirk is perhaps a bit rougher around the edges than the original due to the timeline changes, but I would really like to see him progress even further. And what I’m REALLY hoping for, is to see him marry Carol Marcus and actually be a real father, instead of the galaxy’s favorite deadbeat dad.

98. Jemini - January 7, 2013

85. thank you for the reply
I’m sorry I can’t return the favor though because I haven’t watched the same movie you have watched LOL

only something:

“Vulcan bonding – he was never linked to another like a Vulcan or he is sleeping around despite his link to another;”

basically what T’Pring did in TOS? if a 100% vulcan lady (actually TWO 100% vulcans if you count Stonn who, let’s remind, also accepted being the lover of a vulcan lady that was already bonded to another) can do that then why on earth Spock can’t? (assuming that he was bonded to T’pring here, if it’s not said in the movie it’s not canon)
and this behavior is against the rules since when? It doesn’t seem to me that it’s against their culture to choose a mate that is not the one that their clan had chosen when one’s young.
Canon actually stated that vulcans are allowed to choose a bondmate and they’re are allowed to reject their betrothed if they want. T’pring isn’t even the only vulcan in the whole franchise that did that.
It wouldn’t make any sense for a society that values logic so much to force undesired relationships upon people especially when a relationship born out of freewill and mutual affection surely has more chances to last and work than a relationship between two people that are complete strangers.

“Pon Farr – he is already sleeping around;”

again, canon states that vulcans can have sex everytime they want, pon farr is just the time where they absolutely need to do it and when things get more intense for them. The notion that vulcans can have sex only once every 7 years it fanon (that would be completely illogical for the vulcans. Can you imagine a race that can reproduce only once every 7 years? not so convenient especially now that vulcan got destroyed and they need to re-build their race)

Beside, Spock is half human so, probably, his biology, sexual drive and response to attraction is a combination of both human and vulcan side. In short he can mate both ways (lucky him)

95. “Uhm…why are people assuming that the relationship between Uhura and Spock is sexual?”

Personally, I think that they were intimate (their interactions tell me that) and it’s implied in the comics but anyway I don’t get what’s wrong with them being intimate since they have a relationship and are both adult people. I don’t feel like we need to prove that they are not intimate to prove that they did nothing wrong because to me, they did nothing wrong regardless.
That said, the relationship surely wasn’t showed to me as one that was sorely sexual. In fact, while their interactions looked intimate (intimate =/= lust and sexual) they had a gentle nature to them that speak more about love and care than lust.

99. Jemini - January 7, 2013

*solely

100. LogicalLeopard - January 7, 2013

Jemini:

Good point about T’Pring. And I think the whole sexual thing with Vulcan’s has never really been established in canon (unless I missed something on Voyager and Enterprise). Writers (or maybe Gene Roddenberry) have said that it was never their intention to imply that Vulcans can ONLY be sexually active every 7 years, just that it becomes uncontrollable every 7 years.

About sex between Uhura and Spock, it being implied by the comics (which i hear are canon) is one thing. However, I can’t judge the same from the film. Bottom line is, all they did was kiss. Their interaction would suggest to many that their relationship had a sexual component if they were both human, but even then, it can’t be safely assumed. The fact that Spock is half Vulcan (which is essentially FULL Vulcan) makes it even more suspect to judge. They could really be engaging in intimate activity that we have no clue about. Remember that trippy finger rubbing that Saavik did with reainimated Spock? That could be all they’re doing, and could be ten times as satisfying as anything we think of.

But I wasn’t addressing the rightness or wrongness of sexual activity between them, I was just responding to someone who had addressed it negatively, bringing up the point that it didn’t have to even occur.

101. Trekkiegal63 - January 7, 2013

In the Civil War movie Glory (*L* Your husband may be familiar with it), most of the black soldiers are very stereotypical.

Oh good lord, yes, lol. It’s actually his favorite movie. I’ve seen it almost as much as the Wrath of Khan. And yes, the acting in that movie, despite the stereotypical roles was stunning. Denzel deserved that Oscar!

Now don’t get me wrong. I do not object to romance. Yes, it exists. Yes, it’s a beautiful thing. Yes, a tree is a tree (…but only if it falls and someone is around to hear it, j/k ;)) Love is wonderful. I absolutely adore my husband, he can make me laugh like no other. Knows just what to say to lighten tension or make me feel better after a hard day. What I object to, and what this all boils down to is this: the impact these Hollywood portrayals/tropes have on the female self-esteem.

If I were to step back from my principles, I would agree that the scenes between Spock and Uhura were lovely, even despite my doubts about character development. The actors did a beautiful job. But I can’t make an exception just because I’m a Trekkie and the two characters involved are two I am emotionally invested in, because there is a problem and because it’s not being addressed and because every movie that gets made that feeds into the issue reaffirms the negative impact. Yes a tree is a tree, but a lot of trees have mistletoe.

I am the mother of a daughter. I’ve tried very hard her whole life to give her a sense of individuality, to enrich her, to encourage her creativity, to help her possess a healthy self-esteem. But she is a teenager, and naturally she wants to do the things her friends are doing, enjoy the things they enjoy. When there are books and movies like “Twilight” out there, and they’re so wildly popular, it is a concern. Now, unlike most who disparage that series, I’ve actually read it (well, I read the first one and part of the second, I just couldn’t make it past that second book, there is not enough peptal bismal in the WORLD) because I wanted to see what it was my daughter was enjoying so much, see what all of the fuss was about. As you can well imagine, I was promptly horrified. This series is a parental nightmare. I actually had to have a conversation with my daughter that went something along the lines of “you know this relationship dynamic isn’t healthy, right?”

And then we go to the media, where even those female protagonists specifically designed to be progressive, are STILL being paired up. For example: the X-Files started out with one of the most wonderful female protagonists to date. She was smart, savvy, held a medical degree, surrounded by men and absolutely holding her own in that world, and, throughout most of the series, carried a beautiful friendship with the male protagonist. Needless to say I was impressed. I loved that show. The series ended with her giving up her child, her job and her life to follow her the male protagonist, whom she had been paired up with during the final episodes of the series, on the lamb. I was less than impressed with that. Buffy Summers ended up in a destructive relationship involving rape. Shall I go on? And despite the examples you gave (and thank you for that, I always smile when I think of Janeway, she was such a wonderful character) it is more common to see woman paired off. Especially in film. In fact, when it comes to film I can only think of one series that didn’t follow this pattern (Aliens). Well, to give credit where credit is due, Pixar’s “Brave” was pretty progressive in that regard. Good for Disney. About time.

And all of this is giving our daughters the message that their worth is in finding the coolest guy available, the Fox Mulders, the Spikes, the Spocks, the sparkly vampire, that they can’t be incredible on their own. All the best female protagonist have a sexy boyfriend, after all. And our daughters, well, they can have medical degrees, be the one chosen to save the world, be the top in their class and deserving of their post on the Federation’s flagship, but their crowning achievement (and what we’re being told is the most interesting facet of entertainment to the female viewing demographic) is this acquisition of said hot boyfriend.

And then there is the third issue, beyond worth and what we’re being told we’re interested in, at that issue is this: some people actively choose to remain single and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. They are not invisible for it or any less appealing. In fact, according to the 2010 census, single people now make up the majority of the United States. We are well past the age where marriage was the primary goal of any woman. It’s time Hollywood reflected that.

The fact that there is even a need for a Bechdel test. The fact that the criteria is so, so simple and yet so few films pass it. The fact that scriptwriters are actively discouraged from passing it… It’s an issue.

I see that you enjoy it, and I see why. I do hear you, trust me. I’ve thought in detail about everything you’ve said. And because you’ve been so intelligent and engaging in your responses, I’ve actually come to really value our interaction and your opinion… I just can’t bring myself to support any part of that trope, no matter how much I love both Spock and Uhura, individually. I can’t turn my concern off.

Having said that, this sentence here:

But I think there’s a bigger question here…..the problem with female characters is not so much that they’re always involved in relationships, it’s the problemt that there arent ENOUGH of them period.

I want to hug you for that. Consider yourself hugged.

102. Trekkiegal63 - January 7, 2013

We know that the Big Three of Star Trek are friends, but how SUPPORTIVE of one another are they? I mean, did Spock or McCoy comfort Kirk when his son died? Any conversations about understanding each other better after Sybok showcases their personal pain?

I have to politely disagree on this point. They were actually tremendously supportive of each other (I’m pretty protective of these friendships because I thought them beautifully portrayed, lol):

In “Amok Time” Kirk went against direct orders to take Spock to Vulcan, risking a court martial. When asked, both he and McCoy agreed to stand as ‘best men’.

In “Menagerie”, when Kirk confronted Spock for stealing to Enterprise to help Pike, he asked something along the lines of (paraphrasing here because I’m feeling too lazy to look up the direct quote, lol) “why didn’t you tell me why you were doing this, I would have helped you!” and Spock’s response was something along the lines of “Oh, I know you would have helped me, which is exactly why I didn’t tell you. I didn’t want to drag both of us down.”

When Janice Lester (and may I just say that “Turnabout Intruder” is probably one of my least favorite episodes of the series, so I’m using this example begrudgingly) Kirk (in Lester’s body) went to Spock to because Spock “knew him better than any other person in the galaxy” and Spock was the one able to confirm Kirk’s identity and help him get his own body back.

In the Wrath of Khan, when Kirk knew he had to commandeer the Enterprise for the mission, even though Spock was the acting Captain and Kirk the Admiral overseeing, he went to him first, just to make sure he wasn’t stepping on Spock’s toes. Spock’s response was an easter egg in ST:2009. “You are my commander officer, you are also my friend, I have been and always shall be yours.” And if there were any doubt to Kirk’s affections, the speech, at the end of the movie, he gave at Spock’s funeral, to quote Scotty “Brought a tear to me eye”.

In The Search for Spock, Kirk again went against a direct order, and stole the Enterprise right out of spacedoc (not my favorite movie of the series, but god I love that scene! Loved Uhura. Loved Sulu. Loved Scotty. Everyone was so brilliant!) to save both Spock and McCoy, actively putting them over his career. And McCoy gives a very moving speech about ‘missing him’ in Spock’s quarters in that same film.

And as for consoling Kirk after his son died, Spock lost his memories after the fal tor pan, and McCoy was also a little out of it carrying around Spock’s katra… neither was exactly in their right mind at the time to do much consoling.

103. Trekkiegal63 - January 7, 2013

Oops, forgot to address dear ole Sybok… can anyone actually blame Kirk for that? Sybok was insane and he was mindwashing people, robbing them of free will! He was a very clear and present danger. I sort of equated Sybok with Jim Jones (i.e., don’t drink the kool aid).

104. Trekkiegal63 - January 7, 2013

Oh, and I just thought of another example of Kirk and Spock’s supporting each other:

In “The Conscience of the King” Spock noticed Kirk’s behavior was off, noticed that there was something not quite right going on with him, and was thus motivated to dig and discover that Kirk had been a victim of both genocide and famine as a child.

105. Trekkiegal63 - January 7, 2013

Okay, one more example of the bond between Kirk, Spock and McCoy… ;)

In “The Emapth” Kirk is given a choice about who should should be used as a test subject by the Vians, Spock or McCoy. Before he’s even allowed time to ponder that, McCoy sedates him, wanting to sacrifice himself, then Spock says (again, paraphrasing) “nah uh, no way. I’m doing the sacrificing here!” (and then McCoy sedates him, too).

106. gingerly - January 7, 2013

@85

“What conflict, Jemini?

He decided he is a human long time ago, there is no conflict there anymore. His Vulcan side is just his pointed ears now
(even his skin color switched from green to baby pink lol)

Vulcan bonding – he was never linked to another like a Vulcan or he is sleeping around despite his link to another; Pon Farr – he is already sleeping around; controlling emotions – he is already sleeping around what control; being professional – he’s already sleeping around both with a student as an academy instructor and fraternizing as a first officer; any Vulcan customs – nope, he’s already sleeping around and acting like a human male jock; logic – nope, he’s already sleeping around and acting like a human jock…. etc.

Conflict with what?”

Iva, I have to wonder why your focus is solely on Uhura here?

As if I don’t know the answer already…

Why are you not “concerned” for Carol Marcus? She is also a female officer (judging by her uniform) who is in a relationship with an officer, the captain, no less.

So, why is she getting pass?

Also, why do you frame Uhura’s relationship with Spock, sexual or not in such vulgar terms??

It’s not like it’s beastiality (unless of course, that’s how you see it)…it’s two humanoids doing what humanoids in love would do.

Why aren’t you speaking in such vulgar terms about Amanda and Sarek?

Amanda, who gave up almost the entirety of her human existence for the love an alien… She even gave up Earth (or Terra) and her profession.

Uhura still does translations, engineering, and is fourth in command.

What has Amanda done besides love a Vulcan, give birth to Spock, and then die?

Why is all your attention directed towards Uhura and not Amanda?

107. LogicalLeopard - January 8, 2013

*LOL* Thanks for the hug. I’ve enjoyed this conversation very much. It’s brought out some interesting thoughts and viewpoints. I find it so funny (and sort of horrible) that I JUST realized that none of the casts are evenly split according to gender, when there is NO reason why that should be. Of course, with TOS, it was created in a different time. But TNG? Voyager? DS9? Am I counting wrong, or is there an unwritten rule (or written rule) in which no more than two women can be on senior staff? That’s kind of stunning.

And I understand where you’re coming from with the relationship trope, and respect where you stand. I just think that you miss out on a lot of good stuff if you look for that first before you appreciate what is actually going on. I think the solution is not so much to criticize what’s there (although it does need to be pointed out), but to continue to promote what’s NOT there. I have two sons, but I’ve been preparing to raise a daughter mentally for a WHILE. Unfortunately, the world we live in starts a constant attack on the female psyche from the very first anatomically impossible barbie doll shoved into their hands, and probably before. I applaud your efforts with your daughter, especially the reading of Twilight to figure out what messages are being conveyed to her

Oh, and on the supportiveness of the Big Three, I’m sorry, I meant to say “emotionally supportive.” Sure, they’re supportive. If you conspire to commit Grand Theft Starship for your friend, I’d say you’re supportive *L* They are tremendous friends, and willing to give their lives for each other. But, I just never got the idea that they would sit around and discuss in detail what was going on with them emotionally. But, that’s not uncommon among men. And I think Hollywood is reluctant to delve into a really emotionally supportive close friendship between men, like a biblical David and Jonathan. I’d say Aubrey and Maturin from Patrick O’Brian’s great series of seafaring novels, but as close as they were, there’s a scene in one novel where Aubrey is on the verge of blubbering, and doesn’t want to become “unmanned” in front of Maturin, and Maturin doesn’t really want to see him in that state either.

But I’ve got to defend Sybok for a moment, since you brought him up *LOL* Now, lots of people disagree with me, but I LOVE STV! It’s got some of the best scenes you REALLY feel what’s going on. I mean, how brutal were the words “So human”? How tragic is it when Sybok asks the dirt farmer if he was going to shoot him over a field of holes, and the guy responds, “It’s all I have.” My position is Sybok didn’t specifically “brainwash” anyone. He helped them deal with their pain, then gave them the party line about going to find God. Now true, the weight of their pain being lifted from their shoulders probably left them in a suggestable state, but I think they REALLY believed in what they were doing. I loves me some Sybok *L* If Benedict Cumberbatch turns out to be Sybok in this movie, while the rest of the Trekkies are burning the theater down, I’m going to stand to my feet, clap slowly, then progressively faster, as a tear runs down my eye. Then, of course, I’ll try to escape.

108. LogicalLeopard - January 8, 2013

206 Gingerly

Huh…..Is Uhura fourth in Command? I knew it was Kirk, Spock, then I think Scotty, but Uhura comes next? You know, now that you mention it, I think I remember hearing that before. I suppose she would be the next bridge officer/department head in rank, if she’s senior to Sulu.

109. Iva - January 8, 2013

No, Uhura is not in command. The 3 officers are Spock, Scotty and Sulu.

Unless you are going to argue she is the 4th officer, no such thing exists.

110. Trekkiegal63 - January 8, 2013

107 LogicalLeopard:

Thank you for being open-minded! I consider that the most admirable trait one can possess. :)

Am I counting wrong, or is there an unwritten rule (or written rule) in which no more than two women can be on senior staff? That’s kind of stunning.

Tell me about it! It is very disturbing. Very!

I had thought Voyager was on the right track, the distribution was three/four, in the very least it was a little closer, but I don’t think I’ve ever quite forgiven Berman or Braga for the 7 of 9 catsuit. To Voyager’s credit, however, it did do something we hadn’t seen before, not just the female captain, which, in lieu of the earlier mention of the TOS episode “Turnabout Intruder” was tremendously huge, but also a female chief engineer. And since engineering has often been heralded as a male only club, I thought that a wonderful step in the right direction (I will mention only as a side note that said chief engineer later went on to become one half of a romantic trope pairing as well, because I envision everyone on this board collectively groaning if I made a bigger point out of it, lol, I have no delusions that I’m coming pretty close to beating a dead horse by now ;)). I read on this site at one point, at least, I think it was this site, that Bryan Singer is interested in doing a new Star Trek television series. If he is ever given the green light by Paramount, I live and pray that it will be even more progressive in this regard.

I think Hollywood is reluctant to delve into a really emotionally supportive close friendship between men, like a biblical David and Jonathan.

You make a very good point. I know I’ve gone on and on about the negative impact Hollywood stereotypes have on the women psyche, but men are not exempt from detrimental influence, unfortunately. The pseudo macho stigma is very damaging to the male psyche. In fact, my husband and I had a conversation of a similar vein a few months back. We live in Orange Country (So. Cal.) and the suicide of football legend Junior Seau was a hot topic around here for a while. I have no doubt that your task raising confident sons presents its own challenges. Parenting! So perilous, isn’t it?

And in the spirit of goodwill, to you, who I’ve enjoyed conversing with very much, and to anyone who has followed our exchange, I offer this confession: if my daughter is to be influenced by the romantic trope, I’d rather her take something from Spock/Uhura than most other pairings out there. Spock and Uhura are admirable in that they are both respectful of each other (a big one that is missing in a lot of fictional couples), career oriented, intelligent, have strong ethics, and very importantly (to me at least… it’s been a common topic in our household lately as my daughter gets closer and closer to 18) value continued education.

LOL, and no worries, I don’t judge you for your love of STV. It did have its good points. I enjoyed the humor in it, and the poignant friendship scenes between our beloved trio. I don’t even consider it to be the worst of the series, I save that spot for Nemesis which tried too hard, and ultimately failed, at being another Wrath of Khan.

As for Sybok taking away pain, though, I take Kirk’s stance on that:

They’re the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away! I need my pain!

The thought of anyone reaching into my mind and taking any part of me away, the good or the bad, is absolutely horrifying (which is probably why I find the Borg to be such an effective villain. There is nothing more chilling than the loss of self).

111. LogicalLeopard - January 8, 2013

Well, Uhura is shown wearing command gold in her first two appearances. It’s also reasonable to believe that the bridge officers are qualified to regularly “command” the ship in absense of the Captain, First officer, etc. So if Scotty, Kirk, and Spock are away, Uhura may sit in the big chair. That is, if she outranks Sulu by rank (I think she was a full lieutenant, not sure if Sulu was full or junior grade) or by service time. One would think there would be other commanders around, but I think you’d have to be both a commander and a bridge officer, not Commander Jones, chief of exobotany, or even Commander McCoy.

112. Trekkiegal63 - January 8, 2013

As entirely awesome as I find the idea of Uhura being fourth in command (I would so love it if she is in the 2009 ‘verse, since both she and Sulu started off as cadets there, it’s possible), unfortunately she’s not, at least not in TOS. In “Errand of Mercy” and “Arena” Sulu was left in command when Kirk, Spock and Scotty where unavailable.

113. LogicalLeopard - January 10, 2013

Thank you for being open-minded! I consider that the most admirable trait one can possess. :)
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Thank you very much! I try to be as much as I can.

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I had thought Voyager was on the right track, the distribution was three/four, in the very least it was a little closer, but I don’t think I’ve ever quite forgiven Berman or Braga for the 7 of 9 catsuit. To Voyager’s credit, however, it did do something we hadn’t seen before, not just the female captain, which, in lieu of the earlier mention of the TOS episode “Turnabout Intruder” was tremendously huge, but also a female chief engineer. And since engineering has often been heralded as a male only club, I thought that a wonderful step in the right direction (I will mention only as a side note that said chief engineer later went on to become one half of a romantic trope pairing as well, because I envision everyone on this board collectively groaning if I made a bigger point out of it, lol, I have no delusions that I’m coming pretty close to beating a dead horse by now ;)). I read on this site at one point, at least, I think it was this site, that Bryan Singer is interested in doing a new Star Trek television series. If he is ever given the green light by Paramount, I live and pray that it will be even more progressive in this regard.

**************************

You know, the only thing those female bodysuits (Troi, Kira, Seven) do for me is make the inevitable appearance in a Starfleet Uniform more appreciated. To be fair, Kira’s was unisex and not as bodysuitish as the rest, but I still remember my appreciation for her brief donning of a Starfleet Uniform on a TV guide cover. I hope that if there’s another series developed, either live action, or animation, that the producers will make sure there’s no bodysuits and an even distribution of gender.
**************************

You make a very good point. I know I’ve gone on and on about the negative impact Hollywood stereotypes have on the women psyche, but men are not exempt from detrimental influence, unfortunately. The pseudo macho stigma is very damaging to the male psyche. In fact, my husband and I had a conversation of a similar vein a few months back. We live in Orange Country (So. Cal.) and the suicide of football legend Junior Seau was a hot topic around here for a while. I have no doubt that your task raising confident sons presents its own challenges. Parenting! So perilous, isn’t it?
**********************

Right you are. My peril currently consists mostly of preventing complex acrobatic maneuvers on hardwood floors, but there’s a day coming very soonwhen I’m going to have to speak to them about these issues.

***********************

And in the spirit of goodwill, to you, who I’ve enjoyed conversing with very much, and to anyone who has followed our exchange, I offer this confession: if my daughter is to be influenced by the romantic trope, I’d rather her take something from Spock/Uhura than most other pairings out there. Spock and Uhura are admirable in that they are both respectful of each other (a big one that is missing in a lot of fictional couples), career oriented, intelligent, have strong ethics, and very importantly (to me at least… it’s been a common topic in our household lately as my daughter gets closer and closer to 18) value continued education.

********************

You know, one thing I loved about this last movie was that everyone was pretty much portrayed as being at the top of their field. Uhura is capable enough right out of the Academy to boot the regular bridge officer out of his seat (and stay there). And everyone, from Scotty, Kirk, Bones, Chekov, and even Sulu once he got that parking brake situation figured out, is displayed as being among the best of the best. And the relationship between Spock and Uhura demonstrated at the very least that you don’t have to sacrifice yourself or your career in a relationship. I’ve greatly enjoyed this conversation, and I’m actually eager to see how this new movie turns out. We’ll see what direction this relationship and Uhura’s character goes in. I just hope it stays positive for the impact on other men and women.

And as a side note, I’m not sure if Sulu was a cadet in ST09. He’s described as being a lieutenant (whether full or junior grade is not mentioned). Uhura most likely got a graduation to Lt jg or higher out of this, but then, Sulu may have too, considering the fact that he put his life on the line to disable Nero’s drill. It’ll be interesting to see how everything pans out.

******************************************

LOL, and no worries, I don’t judge you for your love of STV. It did have its good points. I enjoyed the humor in it, and the poignant friendship scenes between our beloved trio. I don’t even consider it to be the worst of the series, I save that spot for Nemesis which tried too hard, and ultimately failed, at being another Wrath of Khan.

As for Sybok taking away pain, though, I take Kirk’s stance on that:

They’re the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away! I need my pain!

The thought of anyone reaching into my mind and taking any part of me away, the good or the bad, is absolutely horrifying (which is probably why I find the Borg to be such an effective villain. There is nothing more chilling than the loss of self).

***************************

I used to take Kirk’s stance on that, but I think what Sybok was doing was removing the pain of the event from the event itself. I think that’s a pretty good thing. It’s almost like taking the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder away from a memory, but leaving them with the memory. I think Kirk just didn’t want anybody prying around in his head. *L*

Yeah, Nemesis was definately pretty bad. Also, that movie has a pretty poor treatment of Troi. She gets married, frolics around with Riker, then gets mind-raped. And of course, she comes to save the day by using the same mental connection that she was mind raped with to find the Picard clone. That’s a textbook example of how NOT to use a character. Being behind the helm of the Enterprise D when it crashed was better than that.

But I for one would LOVE to see a Sybok appearance somewhere, even if they do a animated series based in this timeline. Maybe he can join Starfleet and become a counselor. “Your pain regarding being assigned to gamma shift EPS routing duty runs deep, Ensign….SHARE IT WITH ME!!!!!!!”

114. gingerly - January 15, 2013

@leo and iva

A little googling goes a long way towards avoiding outing yourselves as lacking in Trekkie knowledge.

Uhura is indeed fourth in command.

Also, way to avoid the point of my post.

115. Trekkiegal63 - January 16, 2013

114 Gingerly:

I assume you’ve heard the saying about a glass house and throwing stones? In other words, I don’t think you should be questioning others on their Trek knowledge. There is absolutely no canon evidence in TOS to support the idea of Uhura as fourth in command – and I say this as a woman who would like you to be right! She was never left in command of the Enterprise (although she was once in the animated series, so I’ll give you that). Whereas Sulu was, on several occasions (see my post above). In fact, in “Catspaw”, when Sulu was captive on the planet, they called in another, Lieutenant DeSalle, to take command, over Uhura, who was on the bridge thus otherwise available to do so.

But to give you the benefit of the doubt, even though I consider my Trek knowledge to be excellent, I googled at your request. Did a simple search really, one anyone here can replicate to get the same results “Uhura fourth in command of the Enterprise” and came across this blogger:

FOURTH IN COMMAND?

The importance of having a character who was not only African-American but a woman on the bridge of the USS Enterprise in the 1960s cannot be overstated. But Nichols, like many of her castmates, has perhaps overstated her place in “Trek” as the years have passed. She referred to Lt. Uhura as “fourth in command” of the Enterprise. Twice. Which is sort of an interesting interpretation. Captain Kirk (William Shatner) was clearly in command. Commander Spock (Leonard Nimoy), the first officer, was second in command. Lt. Commander Scott (James Doohan) was third. Then there was Lt. Commander McCoy (DeForrest Kelly), who outranked Lt. Uhura. Even if McCoy, the chief medical officer, was outside the command structure, Uhura was just one of several lieutenants on the ship. And one of those lieutenants, Sulu (George Takei) was left in command of the Enterprise on several occasions. Not Uhura. Maybe Rodenberry told her she was fourth in command at some point. But there was no evidence of that on the series.

Here is the link for anyone wanting to read the entire blog post: http://jwbraun.com/blog/?p=900

But basically, there you go. That makes two of us now relaying the same information. You beg to differ? Give me canon evidence. I want episode names. Instances, in canon, where it was either stated outright that Uhura was fourth in command, or situations where she was left in command of the Enterprise.

116. Trekkiegal63 - January 16, 2013

113. LogicalLeopard:

You know, the only thing those female bodysuits (Troi, Kira, Seven) do for me is make the inevitable appearance in a Starfleet Uniform more appreciated.

Your wife is a lucky woman. My husband fell victim to them, I’m afraid. When Seven came on Voyager, he made the statement “I like this new girl – Star Trek just became that much more interesting!” with a rather pronounced leer. Although I do not condone spousal abuse of any kind as a general rule, I was absolutely forced to hit him over the head with a pillow. ;)

Right you are. My peril currently consists mostly of preventing complex acrobatic maneuvers on hardwood floors.

LOL! They must be between the ages of 4 to 10? I remember the acrobatic stage well.

And as a side note, I’m not sure if Sulu was a cadet in ST09. He’s described as being a lieutenant (whether full or junior grade is not mentioned). Uhura most likely got a graduation to Lt jg or higher out of this, but then, Sulu may have too, considering the fact that he put his life on the line to disable Nero’s drill. It’ll be interesting to see how everything pans out.

Agreed! I, too, am interested in rank and ship/community dynamics in the next film. It will be interesting to see Kirk, who was pretty much a peer of the others in the last film, rise to his role as Captain and to see how the others respond to him and each other.

Yeah, Nemesis was definately pretty bad. Also, that movie has a pretty poor treatment of Troi. She gets married, frolics around with Riker, then gets mind-raped. And of course, she comes to save the day by using the same mental connection that she was mind raped with to find the Picard clone. That’s a textbook example of how NOT to use a character. Being behind the helm of the Enterprise D when it crashed was better than that.

Yes, yes and YES! Thank you! I mentioned in a previous post that I have issues with the Riker/Troi pairing and you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Troi was never really characterized consistently in TNG. She had her moments of glory, like in “Face of the Enemy” where she proved she was made of sterner stuff, but more often than not she was relegated to love interest or the stereotypical weepy damsel-in-distress type. I actually enjoyed her portrayal in Voyager, on the few occasions she guest starred, to a lot of the Troi-centric episodes of TNG. When the series finale of TNG “All Good Things” aired, I remember watching a special, prior to the episode, where they interviewed various producers/writers/actors/directors about the show and Jeri Taylor, who I otherwise adored and who was responsible for some of my more favored TNG episodes, made the statement along the lines of (paraphrasing here) “sweet little Troi, we took her here and there, put her in a lot of situations where she was out of her depth” and I remember, very clearly, wanting to gag. “Nemesis” wasn’t actually the first time they did the mind rape storyline with her. They did it in the season five episode “Violations”, too *sigh* It’s a very disturbing, very troubling pattern with her characterization. And the Riker/Troi marriage… even more of an obvious member of the romantic subplot trope than Spock/Uhura! In fact, they did it so sloppily that they contradicted canon to do it. Troi made the statement in “Insurrection” “I’ve never kissed you with a beard before” which those of us who watched TNG know is utterly untrue.

If I have an axe to grind with Rick Berman, the portrayal of Deanna Troi is a big one.

117. jemini - January 17, 2013

115
“She was never left in command of the Enterprise”

It doesn’t mean that she wasn’t fourth in command though
this kind of rules exist regardless if the circumstances where they can be used ever happen.

From an interview by Nichelle Nichols dated back in the 2008
(http://www.thisisdorset.net/news/2041327.bold_move/)

The character of Uhura inspired women and black people in general to believe that they could achieve positions of authority she adds.

“She was fourth in command of the Enterprise but that was never brought out, although Gene had planned to do an entire episode around that.”

so the whole Uhura was fourth in command is indeed correct.

118. Iva - January 17, 2013

As usual when it comes to Nichelle Nichols’s interviews, she says one thing…. canon TOS shows she is wrong and something else is correct.

1. Spock
2. Scotty
3. Sulu

119. Trekkiegal63 - January 17, 2013

You’ve heard the saying intent and a dollar will get you on the bus? What was intended does not matter, what actually happened, does. Actions speak louder than words. Where Uhura fourth in command, she would have taken over command of the ship when Kirk, Spock and Scotty were unavailable. The bulk of the time the conn was handed over to Sulu, or to DeSalle (“Catspaw”). It is important to note that Uhura was on the bridge, completely available to take command if necessary, during these occasions. Where she fourth in command she would have shared in conn duty. She did not. There is a test one has to take in order to take command, it was explained in the TNG episode “Thine Own Self” (Troi wanted to dabble in command as Crusher, who took the occasional night shift in the front seat, had done before her, and Riker made her take the test). So yes, if Uhura was indeed fourth in command, she would be assigned the conn on a rotation with the others.

And here’s the thing about the actors who play our beloved characters… they played these characters over forty years ago for the television series and over twenty years ago for the last movie. Just to be clear, I am in no way, shape or form claiming that she’s out and out lying. I hold Nichelle in the highest respect. She has always carried herself with immense dignity and poise. She has both a healthy sense of humor and a big heart. I admire her greatly and consider her a fine actress. What I am claiming, however, is that her memory or interpretation of events might not be completely accurate, especially since there is zero canon evidence to support her claim. Also, there is no way to collaborate it, Gene, unfortunately, may he rest in peace, is dead. She wouldn’t be the first or only TOS actor to get confused over events that took place over forty years ago. Look up the 2009 DragonCon bit with Shatner and Nimoy on Youtube, I’m sure it’s still up there somewhere, there were several occasions, during their shared stage time, where they had to correct each other on events that took place during the filming of the television series, i.e. memory vs. what actually happened.

Heck, any one of us who were fans of the series during the 80’s could tell you that after each movie Nimoy would interview and say “this is the absolute last time I’m playing Spock. THE last time!!!” He said it so much that I would giggle whenever I saw his name appear in the credits before a Trek film. I adore the man as an actor and especially as a person, but he did lose a bit of credibility there. ;)

Actors are not infallible. They are also not the most reliable when it comes to storyboards – things get cut, altered, and/or rearranged all the time, alternate endings are filmed, lines changed, etc. It would be easy to get confused. Producers. Writers. Directors. They’d be the people to ask.

But basically it comes down to this… not in canon, it didn’t happen.

120. Trekkiegal63 - January 17, 2013

Also, I forgot to add, even if we were going purely on rank, and not considering those who have taken and passed the command test, Uhura still wouldn’t be fourth. McCoy held a higher rank than both Sulu and Uhura. He was a Lieutenant Commander during the five year mission, whereas both Sulu and Uhura held the rank of Lieutenant.

121. Trekkiegal63 - January 20, 2013

Just wanted to say that the discussion on this thread regarding gender discrimination within the film industry has inspired me to write an essay “Little Girl Under Fire”, which, for anyone interested, can be found, here:

http://www.booksie.com/editorial_and_opinion/essay/julie1963/little-girl-under-fire

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