SyFy Sistas Shuttle Pod Takeover: Black Representation in Star Trek Cinema

This week, the Shuttle Pod feed has been taken over by the SyFy Sistas: Yvette, J.D., Subrina, Fran, and Tamia. The SyFy Sistas cover Sci-fi movies, books, comics, TV series, conventions, and podcasts from a black female point of view. It’s where science fiction meets Afrofuturism! You can read more content from the Sistas on their website or listen to their podcast on the Trek Geeks network.

For this takeover episode, the SyFy Sistas ask: can any Star Trek movie pass the SyFy Sistas Inclusion Checklist test? Many listeners may be aware of the Bechdel test, in which a film or television show passes the test if two female characters have at least one conversation that is not about other male characters. The test became famous because, despite the extremely low bar for female representation in film, a surprisingly large number of movies and TV shows fail. The Sy-Fy Sistas have taken a similar look at the Star Trek movie universe, but with respect to characters of color.

The Sy-Fy Sistas Inclusion Checklist consists of six key points that a Star Trek film must have to pass the test:

  1. At least two named characters of color
  2. Dialog of those characters must be more than merey supportive of the white characters
  3. Characters of color must have a skill that contributes to the survival of the group
  4. Characters of color don’t have a criminal record
  5. Characters of color must have a positive relationship with another character
  6. Characters of color are not magical stock characters

The first run of this podcast episode is exclusively here on The Shuttle Pod, and will be published on the SyFy Sistas podcast on later this week.