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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old June 6 2013, 09:43 PM   #31
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
teacake wrote: View Post
The only people integral to the story are Kirk and Spock. Everything else is just fluffy stuff window dressing for Kirk and Spock. That includes Bone's bitching about things, Uhura kissing Spock, Marcus undoing torpedoes, Scotty faffing about..

It's Kirk and Spock vs their Enemy. And probably will be next movie.
Yup.

TOS was never a so-called "ensemble show," and there's no reason that the new producers would turn it into one now.
So this is why we disagree. Thank you.
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Old June 7 2013, 12:16 AM   #32
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Actually Id say the new movies are far more of ensemble cast then the show ever was. Large chunks of episodes would go by with Urhura doing nothing, or Sulu doing nothing ect ect.

Both of the JJTrek films have found moments for everyone, which is more than TOS could ever say. Personally the JJ crew feels more together than the TOS crew ever did. Well outside of cheating, they were together for a long time on the big and little screen so just because of time it felt that way but on screen? Not really until the movies did it ever really feel that way and Bad Robot did it in two movies.
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Old June 7 2013, 12:57 AM   #33
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

The movies will be more ensemble than a 60's tv show was ever going to be, yes. But the core story will still be Kirk and Spock. Despite being able to do more of an ensemble story JJ has really only used the rest of them as decoration. This is one element of why so many original TOS fans (including myself) have found JJ's Trek such a satisfying reboot of Star Trek. It feels like TOS because it is still primarily about the relationship that TOS built so much around.
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Old June 7 2013, 01:59 AM   #34
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

While they are of course the lead roles, I don't think TOS is really about Kirk and Spock as characters. They, like the supporting cast, were really only there as vehicles for moving the stories along and debating the moral dilemmas those stories brought about. It was not a primarily character-driven show, but a plot-driven one.

Without making any kind of judgment about which is "better," I will say that this stands in contrast to most of the movies including the two Abrams efforts, where the plot basically exists to develop the characters and give them something to do, and that's about it. They involve stories designed to tell us about certain characters, rather than characters designed to tell us stories. Not that this goes without exception for either the movies or the show, or in many ways isn't simply the natural result of changing conventions and of the characters becoming more familiar after decades of seeing them in action, but I think it's a generally important trend to recognize.

If you watch the television show Star Trek, you probably will get a good sense of the characters of Kirk and Spock, but to characterize the show as being about little or nothing more than these two characters and everything else as window dressing to showcase them is to misconstrue things a bit IMO. The show was an exploration of human nature, culture, and conflict, and the characters including Kirk and Spock were just there to bring us into the stories and keep us from getting out of our depth as they went along.
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Old June 7 2013, 02:31 AM   #35
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

I really do hope that if they interact it's not just about Kirk/Spock. I don't mind the couples, but please don't reduce the girls relationship to just that!
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Old June 7 2013, 09:28 AM   #36
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

"JJ Abrams is Sexist!"





Try again.
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Old June 8 2013, 01:10 AM   #37
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
It is extremely funny that Star Trek: Insurrection passes the Bechdel test by having:
1. Crusher and Troi
2. talk to each other
3. about their boobs getting firm.
Which is why one movie passing or not passing the Bechdel Test isn't significant at all. Taking the passing or failing of the test as a verdict on the movie's stand on feminism is missing the point of the test.
There may be good reasons for a movie to fail the test (e.g. it plays in an environment that's almost exclusively male like the army before women were allowed to serve). In this case it's the fact that the TOS main characters are all male with the exception of Uhura. I bet TOS doesn't pass the Bechdel Test, either (at least not the version where the dialogue between the two women has to be longer than a couple of words).
A feminist movie might fail the Bechdel Test, e.g. one showing a pioneering woman in a male-dominated field, while movies or TV shows might pass the test that aren't very feminist, e.g. teenage girls talking about make-up and shopping.
The point of the Bechdel Test is that like 80% of Hollywood's annual output doesn't pass it which shows quite well how women are generally portrayed in the movies, namely as accesories to the male characters.
The inventor of the test explained all this when she invented the test so it's annoying that people still use failing the Bechdel Test (or not passing it quickly enough in the case of a TV show) as a way to denounce said movie or TV show as sexist or not very progressive.
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Old June 8 2013, 03:28 AM   #38
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

I follow a lot of the feminist critique of pop culture and agree with a lot of it but... but but but... I don't feel the Bechdel Test is the end-all be-all. Furthermore, I feel people are overlooking what STID got right because of two things it got wrong (Bechdel test failure, gratuitous lingerie shots).

What it got right that is even progressive by today's standards:

Lt. Darwin - the shaven-headed, powerfully built bridge officer does not conform to the rigid standards of femininity we usually see in the movies. I'd like to see more of her!

Lt. Uhura - is not at any point in the film a "damsel in distress". Is a key part of the crew and her role is indispensable and irreplaceable.

Dr. Marcus - a competent scientist who has no love story at any point in the film, she's there completely for her own reasons. She is never fridged. She becomes a crew member at the end of the film.

The Bechdel test isn't reliable to me because it's too shallow a marker; plenty of films do great on it but fail in other ways.
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Old June 8 2013, 03:58 AM   #39
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Except we all know the only reason the character of Dr. Marcus exists is because she had Kirk's baby in the prime universe.

I was absolutely thrilled with Lt. Darwin.

In some of the older TOS movies, TMP in particular, there are people of ALL ages and weights (not a Shatner jest) on the ship. Many people seemingly at least 60 and not Hollywood 60 either. It's such a shock to see because age and weight diversity have been erased from Star Trek unless the whole point of the character is that they are old or a fat stereotype (Klingon cook in DS0, Opera singer in TNG).
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Old June 8 2013, 07:41 AM   #40
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

GMDreia wrote: View Post
I don't feel the Bechdel Test is the end-all be-all.
I doubt anyone does, except maybe Alison Bechdel herself.

For most people, it's really only used to show the gender bias of a film. I don't really see people citing it as a guide to judge whether a film is good or not.

It's always funny though to see people get defensive when a film they like fails the test. (For the record, I'm sure most of my favorite movies of all time fail it.)

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Old June 8 2013, 10:00 AM   #41
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

This is the first time I heard of this "test".
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Old June 8 2013, 10:38 AM   #42
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Yeah, applying the Bechdel test to any single film, particularly one whose characters had been selected in the 60s and whose
, is not a fair application of the test. They did put women in nearly half of the commanding positions, and made nearly half of the bridge crew women, so it is not like there was not any attempt to represent women fairly.

Now, if you insist it should have been a more central goal (which makes sense if you see Star Trek as a vehicle for progressive messages of fairness and equality), you could have made
, you could have made Keenser or Gatt's character female, or made the tactical officer from the Kobayashi Maru a black woman in 2009 (or the Kobayashi Maru supervisor).

But if you do, I'd like to point out something: In both films, with the exception of Gatt's character, the only non-main cast that ever spoke on the Enterprise bridge were women. I don't recall a bridge guy ever speaking. Even cupcake shut up once he went up there. The universe in which the film seemed pretty fair and equal to me.

And the film is centred around Kirk, who has a perception of the world that can be described as harmlessly sexist-ish, so you could claim it makes sense for the story to fold around his perception because he does not hang out with his female comrades as much and pays less attention to their actual accomplishments. Not a good excuse, but you can come up with something in-universe to explain the focus on the original crew. Two crew women arguing in the turbolift about the captain's attitude will do for me.

ETA: The turbolift thing is cheesy. Give a crew woman an assignment meant for Chekov after she went to complain to the captain for showing too much favouritism for the kid, even though she was as qualified as him for it, even better, give it to her after Chekov screws it up. Or something along that line, just not written by me.
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Old June 8 2013, 11:16 AM   #43
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

teacake wrote: View Post
The movies will be more ensemble than a 60's tv show was ever going to be, yes. But the core story will still be Kirk and Spock. Despite being able to do more of an ensemble story JJ has really only used the rest of them as decoration. This is one element of why so many original TOS fans (including myself) have found JJ's Trek such a satisfying reboot of Star Trek. It feels like TOS because it is still primarily about the relationship that TOS built so much around.
I'll agree with this for STID. The '09 movie at least made successful attempts at inclusion, and not just in terms of face time, but actually doing something important. Each character got something, and that was nice. They felt more like a "family" at the end of that film that during the entirety of STID to me, so I can definitely understand why TOS fans are happy.
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Old June 8 2013, 11:42 AM   #44
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

GMDreia wrote: View Post
I follow a lot of the feminist critique of pop culture and agree with a lot of it but... but but but... I don't feel the Bechdel Test is the end-all be-all. Furthermore, I feel people are overlooking what STID got right because of two things it got wrong (Bechdel test failure, gratuitous lingerie shots).

What it got right that is even progressive by today's standards:

Lt. Darwin - the shaven-headed, powerfully built bridge officer does not conform to the rigid standards of femininity we usually see in the movies. I'd like to see more of her!

Lt. Uhura - is not at any point in the film a "damsel in distress". Is a key part of the crew and her role is indispensable and irreplaceable.

Dr. Marcus - a competent scientist who has no love story at any point in the film, she's there completely for her own reasons. She is never fridged. She becomes a crew member at the end of the film.

The Bechdel test isn't reliable to me because it's too shallow a marker; plenty of films do great on it but fail in other ways.
I guess my issue is that I didn't really get to see any of that happen in this film. You could argue that Uhura being the only one to speak Klingon is one of the things that makes her indispensable, but when she speaks Klingon it really is all for not.

The same kind of goes for Carol's "big moment," to me. She's supposed to be the expert weapons specialist, but when she's trying to
it kind of seemed like she got it right out of luck just as much or more than skill and like it was played for comedic effect a little. So, it kind of fell flat for me.

I just come away with the over all opinion that the women weren't handled well in this film.

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
Yeah, applying the Bechdel test to any single film, particularly one whose characters had been selected in the 60s and whose
, is not a fair application of the test. They did put women in nearly half of the commanding positions, and made nearly half of the bridge crew women, so it is not like there was not any attempt to represent women fairly.

Now, if you insist it should have been a more central goal (which makes sense if you see Star Trek as a vehicle for progressive messages of fairness and equality), you could have made
, you could have made Keenser or Gatt's character female, or made the tactical officer from the Kobayashi Maru a black woman in 2009 (or the Kobayashi Maru supervisor).

But if you do, I'd like to point out something: In both films, with the exception of Gatt's character, the only non-main cast that ever spoke on the Enterprise bridge were women. I don't recall a bridge guy ever speaking. Even cupcake shut up once he went up there. The universe in which the film seemed pretty fair and equal to me.

And the film is centred around Kirk, who has a perception of the world that can be described as harmlessly sexist-ish, so you could claim it makes sense for the story to fold around his perception because he does not hang out with his female comrades as much and pays less attention to their actual accomplishments. Not a good excuse, but you can come up with something in-universe to explain the focus on the original crew. Two crew women arguing in the turbolift about the captain's attitude will do for me.

ETA: The turbolift thing is cheesy. Give a crew woman an assignment meant for Chekov after she went to complain to the captain for showing too much favouritism for the kid, even though she was as qualified as him for it, even better, give it to her after Chekov screws it up. Or something along that line, just not written by me.
I do. And it wasn't just a word or two. There's a bald guy in a blue shirt standing at one of the stations that I can swear has a conversation with Spock or someone.

And Chekov. He's been through enough. I kind of felt bad for him in this movie.
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Old June 8 2013, 12:05 PM   #45
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
And Chekov. He's been through enough. I kind of felt bad for him in this movie.
What's he been through?

And YellowSubmarine your second spoiler suggestion was fantastic!
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