Plus, like 90% of her dialog was so clearly written for Saavik--in the same way all of Chekov and Scotty's dialog was clearly written for Bones and Spock
Totally. It seems to me that Meyer and co did nothing to really distinguish Valeris from Saavik aside from a few throwaway lines at the start of the movie and then changing her name on every page of the script. Cattral clearly worked very hard to try
and make Valeris distinct from Saavik in her performance, which is to her credit. But it wasn't nearly enough to truly fight against what the script was trying to do.
Greg Cox wrote:
But I couldn't blame Cattral for not wanting to be the third Saavik, thereby inviting comparisons to Alley and Curtis.
This I do agree with to some extent, and again I appreciate Cattral's point-of-view in not wanting to simply reprise a role that had already been played by two other actresses. But the reality is that the script still had so many throwbacks to Saavik in TWOK -- the scene where Valeris questions Kirk's order to use impulse engines in spacedock is very
Saavik -- that it almost invites us to make comparisons between them anyway.