I imagine the Spock/Uhura romance in JJTrek is far more a nod to hints in early TOS of a romance between Spock and Uhura, then it is a nod to the forced kiss in Plato's Step-Children
It definitely IS.
Orci said that it also fit with this Spock's arc because, in his words, "boys marry their mothers and his mother was human". I think it's a nod to Sarek/Amanda too.
I don't have that quote to copy and paste here but he said once that they were trying to harmonize with canon as in tos the first interracial kiss was Kirk/Uhura while in the reboot the first interracial kiss and couple
is Spock/Uhura instead.
In the 60s the K/U kiss even if forced was groundbreaking and has became iconic because of the time where it happened. Nowadays the same thing wouldn't have the same effect. You need an actual interracial romance if you want to be progressive and they have made one with.. SPOCK
Compared to that, a romance with characters like Kirk is a given. It surely can't be such a shock or that
unpredictable (and wouldn't gain a parody made by the Simpson
Tbh, if I were to make a reboot of a franchise like star trek, star wars and anything of similar genre and I wanted to add a bit of romance, I think that my own choice would be to have one between a human and an alien
instead of one between two humans. If you have an universe with different worlds and races, where is the fun in having only human characters and human relationships? None, it's Nicholas Sparks in space.
Furthermore, if you need to keep the romance part subtle, then a character like Spock surely helps because his alieness creates a perfect excuse to not make him a too sappy man and not have too many romantic scenes. You can have the cake and eat it too, basically.