over livejournal (she's also the author of the essay "Uhura is not a white girl" that explains why the S/U is a step forward) made some valid points here
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.
In summary: much in the Greek fashion that people love to compare it to, one of the underlying tenants of the idea that Kirk and Spock are the single most important interpersonal relationship in each other's life...is that bitches ain't shit.
In the 60s it was reflected largely in how women were mostly invisible in terms of the story in general (unless Kirk was fucking them) and certainly in terms of its emotional arc. And now, in 2009, it's being reflected in fandom as people complain about the oh-so-horrible prospect of Uhura, as the actualfax closest person in the universe to Spock, not gettingtfo so that the ~*~bromance~*~ can be the undisputed Most Important Thing.
And people don't like to hear it, but here's the thing: Kirk+Spock is not sacrosanct. This is a different story made in a different time with different needs shaped by a different cultural mindset. (And don't even get me started on how that helps dictate the fact that Spock gets to have a relationship at all instead of just being the Othered Nerdy Jewish Friend of Hero, mostly because we currently, as a society, love nerdy jew boys.) The dynamics should change.
her whole essay here: http://peri-peteia.livejournal.com/330851.html
I cannot agree more with this observation.
The big 3 or the Kirk/Spock duo undeniably is
a result of its time. Inevitably, what worked in the 60s won't necessarily work in the 2012 where some dynamics, like two male characters that have only each other and can't have other important relationships, may be perceived as illogical, boring and not so realistic. This because today people find it absolutely normal and natural that characters may have different kind of relationships. The hero can
have a best friend and he can have a wife or girlfriend, the two things aren't mutually exclusive like they were in the 60-70s.
In the 60s the writers couldn't have Kirk or Spock in a serious romantic relationship with any of the female characters because: 1) female characters were totally irrelevant, for Uhura we had a combination of sexism and racism that had made her a character who was in the background and could never really shine and more importantly she couldn't be noticed by the white guys. For its time her mere presence in the show was huge. (Uhura is not a white girl
2) fangirls didn't want their male hero to get a GF so the networks controlled this kind of things in the fear of losing viewers. Chapel was disliked by a consistent part of the fandom because of her love for Spock and the few times he had been nice with her. The writers themselves knew it and admitted that it was part of the reason why the Spock/Chapel thing was dropped and he never reciprocated her feelings on screen. (check memory alpha)
But the thing is, Gene Roddenberry possibly had never actually intended Spock to be a monk and stay alone for the eternity nor have Kirk "married to the enterprise". He had wanted to explore Spock/Uhura but he couldn't because of the racism. He tried with Spock/Chapel but the network said no to that too for the above written reason. Both Kirk and Spock were allowed to have only brief flirts with random girls that conveniently vanished by the end of the episode.
The result is that Kirk/Spock became the most prominent relationship mostly because it was the only one they were actually allowed
Spock/Uhura Fan wrote:
The trio is a far more important relationship to the franchise that needs to be nutured and developed, seeing how three men of different backgrounds come together to form a friendship that would last for decades to come. More screen time needs to be given to matter such as that rather than a love story (or if they do want to go that root, then they should really shake things up and have Kirk and Spock finally get together).
So it sounds like you had some hopes that were dashed in the last film, but more about that in a bit.
"Far more important" by whose standards? I think the entire team is important, but you are making it very clear that your preference is to see a movie about three men like it's an old boys club. These versions of these characters may have friendships similar to those in TOS, or not. It remains to be seen.
What I love most about your response here is that you at least are broaching what this conversation may really be about
: Kirk and Spock as a gay couple, with perhaps Bones added in for good measure.
of course Spock can't love Uhura, he's a vulcan, he can't show emotions yadda yadda yadda BUT, of course, if the couple is Kirk/Spock then we do want a romance!
I knew that sooner of later the REAL reason why some don't like S/U would finally come out.
It's all about shipping preferences, I just wish people would admit it from the beginning instead of creating these discussions about the merits of S/U that are double standard and frankly hypocritical anyway. You either like romance or you don't.
This may sound a little weird, but here goes: I say Spock's story in STXI is an analogy for a closeted homosexual coming out. He has emotions, which his people see as extremely distasteful. He can't supress them as well as they do, but he TRIES to live up to his rigid society's expectations of emotionlessness. He acts like he doesn't have them in public.
Uhura, she's his secret release for his emotions. Their relationship is an improper and secret student-teacher one, surrogate for a secret gay one.
After his mother died and his world destroyed, Spock cracks, and "comes out" to his father (Amanda always knew, and didn't care, "whatever you do, you will always have a proud mother"), saying this is it, he can't bottle this shit up anymore, he has emotions and that's that. And Sarek says not to try, and that he's proud of him.
Spock and Uhura smooch on the transporter pad in front of everyone, Spock uses Uhura's "secret" first name. He's out now, being what he really is and wants to be, and not what his society expects.
...that's what me, a straight guy, saw. Am I the only one?
you're not the only one
I think that meeting Uhura sooner and under different circumstances did it. While Spock Prime successfully (sort of) tried to be more vulcan than vulcans themselves in the end he never really had to deal with something like falling in love with someone.
NuSpock fell in love and this is a totally new dynamic, we really don't know how Spock prime would have acted under those circumstances simply because he had never lived them, to begin with. Maybe nu!Spock will learn and accept some things sooner while Spock Prime had to live a whole life before he understood them.
Personally, I like that. I always thought that his control was just an illusion anyway. There are things that you simply can't control, vulcan or otherwise.