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Old October 16 2013, 04:27 PM   #4871
Ovation
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Location: La Belle Province or The Green Mountain State (depends on the day of the week)
Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

nevy wrote: View Post
Finally got around to watching the movie. And made an account here just to complain about it. There were so many bad parts I don't want to list them all, but the one that bothered me the most was that, when I was a kid I really loved the star trek series and watched them all. I liked that Star Trek Voyager had a female captain. I know it wasn't great in its portrayal of females but there were some strong female characters (like Kira and Jadzia from Deep Space Nine).

Anyway, in the star trek into darkness movie the men do all the fighting, do all the exploring, and the women only seem to be there to look at. What is the point of the blonde girl's role except to show her in a short dress and in her underwear (yea I know she is the weapons expert but it seemed kind of token). And then Spock's love interest (I forgot her name but I know she is in the original series). She only seemed to be there to show some lame lovers quarrel with Spock. Except at the end where she was beamed to earth to shoot the bad guy. I felt like the writers were like, oh hang on, we've only portrayed women in the movie as eye candy, we better show one doing something useful.

Anyway it was crap. Somehow I felt like all my childhood dreams were crushed. Maybe cause what I liked in the series is that I felt like it showed anyone can be anything no matter what background they are from if they put in the hard work (which resonated with me because my parents were migrants). But I felt like in the movie it just showed only white men can be anything.
You are entitled to dislike the film and I am not trying to change your mind about your overall view of it, but I disagree with some of the specifics of your criticism.

First, the Abrams movies are based on the original series, not the series that came after. The result is the characters are set in terms of sex, gender and skin colour. The original series was made in a time of less diversity than more recent television and as the goal was to use the same characters, that is an unavoidable situation. Had the films been based on later series OR presenting entirely new characters, then the complaints about the lack of diversity might be more compelling.

Second, neither Uhura (the character whose name you cannot recall) or Marcus (the blond woman) were in the story purely as "eye candy". Marcus does appear scantily clad for a moment (and it is a brief moment) but the main consequence of that moment is Kirk FAILING to establish his charms on her. Moreover, she is the weapons expert and shows considerable bravery in standing up to her father. Could she have done more? Sure. But she was a tertiary character (Kirk and Spock are the prime characters, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, McCoy, Chekov are the secondary characters, Admiral Marcus and Harrison/Khan are the main villains, Marcus is a tertiary supporting character). There was not more for her to do because she's not that important.

Uhura was not there just to be a "girlfriend". She has a significant scene with the Klingons, exhibiting a set of skills no one else had (and skills that are neither gender nor sex specific, thus adding to the diversity of the roles assigned to the crew, regardless of gender or sex). She is also instrumental in aiding Spock, one of the two primary heroic characters, to defeat the main villain. Her importance to the film, as a secondary character, is second only to (and, arguably, equal to) Scotty's role. It is more substantial than McCoy (by a little bit) as well as Sulu and Chekov (by a lot).

Third, when Chekov leaves the bridge to go to engineering, he is replaced by a female character--a woman of colour who, while not unattractive (at least to me--I can only speak for myself), is certainly not a conventional "movie babe" in appearance. Her role is not overly important, but it is the kind of role that would have gone to a white male in previous decades.

I find your overall criticism to be similar to others I've read (here and in other fora) wherein the main failings of the film appear to be rooted in an implicit desire to have Abrams' films hew more closely to TNG-era trek, where there was a greater diversity of important roles going to women and visible minorities than what was the case in the original series. But Abrams' did not choose the TNG-era characters for his films. As such, the TNG-style "ensemble" approach you appear to find lacking, simply isn't there. In the original series, it was the Kirk and Spock show. Clearly Abrams found that a satisfactory framework for his films, while still finding a way to give the secondary characters more important things to do than in the original series (especially for Uhura, Sulu and Chekov). Perhaps another creative team will revisit the TOS characters with a more ensemble approach in mind, which might be to your liking.
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