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Old June 21 2013, 01:59 PM   #491
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
I think they should try to redress the balance by showing more women overall and more prominent women in the speaking 'guest' cast and you don't.
I don't object to the idea of having some more female characters with more prominent roles in future movies in this series (with the caveats mentioned below). On the contrary, I encourage it.

I've simply objected to what I feel is an unfair mischaracterization of the current film as extremely sexist, a lack of perspective on the part of some people who don't seem to get the vast improvement in women's roles in this film versus the source material of TOS or even versus a lot of other media today, and a lack of understanding that the nature of a soft reboot like this limits your options in terms of gender numerical equality of the main characters, since the 60s based six male, one female main cast of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura can't be reasonably altered or supplanted without a fan backlash at this point. They're the drawing power.

You can add new prominent female characters like they did with Carol Marcus (and there's room for a couple more), and I look forward to her character hopefully being developed further in future films. However, like I mentioned, the focus should be on quality of the depiction(s) rather than slavish devotion to gender numerical parity in prominent speaking roles, because that simply can't happen with the main cast restrictions I mentioned above without drastically altering the films to the point where the big seven are little more than secondary characters themselves. If you went for numerical parity and added six prominent female speaking role characters to the next film to balance out the six prominent males, you'd be spending so much time developing their characters that the film will either have to be four or more hours long or the main cast will have to be reduced to background characters while you do a TNG - Lower Decks type story, which is great on a TV series but not really viable in a film with established characters who are the draw for your audience.

Anyway, my point is that in this film series, with the restrictions placed on it, quality of roles for women is more important than total numerical parity in roles, IMO. Quality over quantity. If they ever reboot the franchise again with a hard reboot this time (Captain Kirk is a woman, Spock is a gay black Vulcan, Chekov is a sentient genetically engineered Russian bear, whatever), create a completely new cast of characters and setting, or if they ever bring back TNG/DS9/VOY-era films (extremely unlikely), then the issue of gender balance in numbers can be addressed more satisfactorily, because you won't have the same restrictive preestablished framework that you have to work within.

Given the absence of any evidence in support on screen, it suggests that the Enterprise crew outside of the big seven, isn't very good at what they do. Chekov also had to run all the way from the bridge to transport moving targets in the first film.
Well, yeah, there's some truth to that, because the crew of the Enterprise --as seen in ST09-- is largely made up of cadets given brevet ranks during the Vulcan crisis. Thousands of other cadets died above Vulcan, so their recruiting pool is drastically reduced, and countless more senior officers and enlisted personnel are engaged with the bulk of the fleet in the Laurentian System and in the Cold War along the border with the Klingons (the Laurentian crisis is possibly part of that). The Enterprise in this universe is basically like the USS Valiant from the DS9 episode of the same name, a ship full of cadets without experienced senior officers overseeing them anymore. Spock and Scotty are probably the two most senior officers onboard.
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