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

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Old June 17 2013, 10:50 PM   #286
Therin of Andor
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

A few stray thoughts.

Cupcake as a female character and no need to change anything? Huh? So Kirk chats up Uhura in a bar, she turns him down, and then a woman intervenes, calls him names and pulverizes him? Later, Kirk turns that nickname against the bully?

Carol has been introduced as a character with in-built potential for the next movie. With a talented, contracted actress in place. We are all left guessing if the Kirk/Carol romance will blossom in this timeline or not. Neither Rand nor Chapel carry that inbuilt expectation. In the Prime Universe, Rand was written out very early and Chapel's unrequited love was for Spock.

Assigning an extra with an unusual hairstyle, to be recognised as Rand in this timeline, would be problematic for future movies. There was no time to lay similar groundwork for a Rand in this film to justify finding a actress on the promise that she might get more to do in the next movie.

This kind of promotion of an extra to a larger role is really only possible in a TV soap opera situation. Here in Australia, we had a soap opera, "Prisoner" (aka "Cell Block H" in USA, aka "Caged Women" in Canada, now being remade as "Wentworth"), set in an Australian women's prison. It was populated with lots of female extras as prisoners and officers who'd be given little bits of background business, or single lines delivered to the lead actresses. Every so often, the writers would notice a particular quirk, talent or rapport in a minor character worth building up. Several two-line extras ended up with major supporting roles in the series. Some of the lead characters in the last few years of the series started off as two-line extras who'd proven their worth.

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
Carol's appearance in ongoing comic already feels good. Having an extra woman should work although as a physicist, I do wonder how much she can contribute when that is already Spock's territory. So far so good though.
But don't hold your breath. IDW will be expected to keep these main characters in holding patterns as we progress to the next movie. Even the screenwriters don't know what canonical adventures are in store for Carol yet.
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Old June 17 2013, 10:53 PM   #287
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Pauln6 wrote: View Post
KittyDuran wrote: View Post
IMHO she was sent down to get through Spock's raged mind not to have him kill Khan. Any red shirt could stun Khan but how many could stop Spock w/o stunning him as well? Note: the way Spock was leveling the blows to Khan at the end mirrored the way he beat up one of his tormentors at school on Vulcan (ST09).
That does work actually. Nicely done.
This doesn't explain why she had to go down alone, though.
And just exactly what is a redshirt going to do except get his/her head crushed by Khan?
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Old June 17 2013, 11:01 PM   #288
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Some of the greatest movies of all time will fail this silly test. Lawrence of Arabia for sure will fail since there are no women characters in it. Does 2001 A Space Odyssey pass the test?
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Old June 17 2013, 11:04 PM   #289
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Pauln6 wrote: View Post

That does work actually. Nicely done.
This doesn't explain why she had to go down alone, though.
And just exactly what is a redshirt going to do except get his/her head crushed by Khan?
Well, one of them (because there should be more than one) can get dramatically knocked off the flying truck and fall to his or her death.

Cyrus wrote: View Post
Does 2001 A Space Odyssey pass the test?
If we had a translation of some of the Russian dialog, we would know.
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Old June 17 2013, 11:16 PM   #290
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Pauln6 wrote: View Post
KittyDuran wrote: View Post
IMHO she was sent down to get through Spock's raged mind not to have him kill Khan. Any red shirt could stun Khan but how many could stop Spock w/o stunning him as well? Note: the way Spock was leveling the blows to Khan at the end mirrored the way he beat up one of his tormentors at school on Vulcan (ST09).
That does work actually. Nicely done.
This doesn't explain why she had to go down alone, though.
Sulu asked if they (Khan and Spock) could be beamed aboard but Chekov was having a hard time accomplishing that - so Uhura asked "Can you beam someone down?". I would assume the reverse would be the same - trying to beam two people down onto a moving vehicle would be even more dangerous. Also, IIRC, when Uhura beamed down she was facing the other way and had to turn to face the battle -if Khan wasn't so focused on Spock, she could have easily had the phaser knocked away (just like what happened to Spock).
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Old June 17 2013, 11:22 PM   #291
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
A few stray thoughts.

Cupcake as a female character and no need to change anything? Huh? So Kirk chats up Uhura in a bar, she turns him down, and then a woman intervenes, calls him names and pulverizes him? Later, Kirk turns that nickname against the bully?

Assigning an extra with an unusual hairstyle, to be recognised as Rand in this timeline, would be problematic for future movies. There was no time to lay similar groundwork for a Rand in this film to justify finding a actress on the promise that she might get more to do in the next movie.

This kind of promotion of an extra to a larger role is really only possible in a TV soap opera situation... Every so often, the writers would notice a particular quirk, talent or rapport in a minor character worth building up. Several two-line extras ended up with major supporting roles in the series. Some of the lead characters in the last few years of the series started off as two-line extras who'd proven their worth.

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
Carol's appearance in ongoing comic already feels good. Having an extra woman should work although as a physicist, I do wonder how much she can contribute when that is already Spock's territory. So far so good though.
But don't hold your breath. IDW will be expected to keep these main characters in holding patterns as we progress to the next movie. Even the screenwriters don't know what canonical adventures are in store for Carol yet.
I think a lot of subconscious sexism is leaking out over the concept of Cupcake being cast as a woman and I suspect that the writers of NuTrek have that same psychological block.

Take a step back and replace the Starfleet cadets with NuStarbuck, Boomer, Racetrack and Kat. Are you still having a hard time imagining a bar room brawl with these women? I'm not. NuTrek is in a strait jacket of its own making.

I don't agree that having a blonde bun-headed extra with a couple of lines would be problematic. X-men featured Kitty Pryde as an extra in the first two movies before appointing a talented actress to play her as a main character in the third. Chapel also got that treatment in the last movie and while many were hoping for more this time round, the cameo caused a bit of a buzz. R2D2 didn't have much to say but his presence was welcome. Having extras who are developed and elevated due to popularity (like Chief O'Brien) is more fun than introducing new characters. A cameo from Rand would be better than nothing.

I'm also expecting not much more than the odd flirtation between Kirk and Carol for the next 3 years. We'll see!
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Old June 17 2013, 11:24 PM   #292
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

KittyDuran wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Pauln6 wrote: View Post

That does work actually. Nicely done.
This doesn't explain why she had to go down alone, though.
Sulu asked if they (Khan and Spock) could be beamed aboard but Chekov was having a hard time accomplishing that - so Uhura asked "Can you beam someone down?". I would assume the reverse would be the same - trying to beam two people down onto a moving vehicle would be even more dangerous. Also, IIRC, when Uhura beamed down she was facing the other way and had to turn to face the battle -if Khan wasn't so focused on Spock, she could have easily had the phaser knocked away (just like what happened to Spock).
If that's actually so, then using up your beam-down to transport Uhura and not an actual guard is even more contrived. Why aren't there guards asking to get beamed down too? Of course, the ineptitude of TOS security guards is basically a running gag.
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Old June 17 2013, 11:37 PM   #293
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
KittyDuran wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post

This doesn't explain why she had to go down alone, though.
Sulu asked if they (Khan and Spock) could be beamed aboard but Chekov was having a hard time accomplishing that - so Uhura asked "Can you beam someone down?". I would assume the reverse would be the same - trying to beam two people down onto a moving vehicle would be even more dangerous. Also, IIRC, when Uhura beamed down she was facing the other way and had to turn to face the battle -if Khan wasn't so focused on Spock, she could have easily had the phaser knocked away (just like what happened to Spock).
If that's actually so, then using up your beam-down to transport Uhura and not an actual guard is even more contrived. Why aren't there guards asking to get beamed down too? Of course, the ineptitude of TOS security guards is basically a running gag.
Can't recall but were there security on the bridge or just really handy? Time was at the essence. Either Spock was going to get the upper hand (didn't look that way...) or Khan would kill Spock and escape. So in the perfect world there would have been security on the bridge or at least around the transporter room so that Uhura could say "Come with me." Kind of like Agent Hill in The Avengers telling 2 security (or men with guns) "With me." after Fury tells her to secure the prototypes - of course, they were in a top secret facility...

Last edited by KittyDuran; June 17 2013 at 11:56 PM.
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Old June 18 2013, 01:21 AM   #294
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

pauln6 wrote:
Chekov becoming chief engineer and Uhura beaming down to save Spock during the finale were two such stupid scenes. Uhura is an officer, a linguist, and a technician. I want her to do technical stuff and if, in her capacity as an officer she gets in on the action then that's really good. With a ship full of 50+ security guards, you put Uhura in charge of a team, you don't send her down instead of one.
I have to agree with this. With Chekov, as soon as I heard Kirk tell him to put on a red shirt it was the only time in the movie I felt a little nervous. He may not be anyone’s favorite, but the character does work. It’s nice to know that he was shadowing Scotty for 6 months, and being a child genius, I’m sure he soaked up everything he learned, but there was a better way to handle this. Couldn’t we have seen him learning from Scotty sometime earlier in the film. He could have been helping him off duty or something, and then when the action picked up he should have been needed on the bridge as the ship’s best navigator.

I don’t believe for one second that out of an entire engineering department (all of which have dedicated years to the field, I’m sure) Chekov is the one to take over engineering as soon as Scotty and Keenser is gone. This would have been a great way for a woman to naturally do something. Let’s say there’s a woman who works with and reports to Keenser (who I’m calling the Chief Maintenance Engineer since he’s never been given a title). Perhaps she’s a supervisor of some sort, and she has to take over when they leave. Now, I could imagine her requesting Chekov’s help once things got really dire, as the ship kept taking beating after beating, and there just wasn’t enough of her to go around (she could have also called for any available hand with engineering experience down too, to help with the smaller things while the engineering crew works on the big stuff to keep the ship going), and then you have Officer Darwin (?) filling in as navigator for him. It’s just an idea.

And that takes me to something else. The people that think striving for equality in the writing is “arrogant” and “entitled,” all the while saying in the same breath what “should be” or even “has to be” for their beloved Trek are just interesting to me. I’ve got a couple of more words I’d rather use: Imagination and Creativity. If the writing team, as artists, want to include people, then they can imagine that and create that. If they want to exclude people, then they can imagine that and create that, but let’s not act like it’s not a choice. And the very idea of IDIC means that they have quite a few choices at their fingertips, at least that’s what I think.

As to Uhura, well, I’ve already said that I agree that it didn’t make sense for her to beam down there. Actually, I think she should have been the one to have them both beamed up, Khan to the brig and Spock to sick bay in case he had any injuries. That would have been quick thinking on her part, but then that also would have meant that Spock and Khan couldn’t keep beating the pulp out of each other, so I guess that’s a no on that one? I don’t know; if it helps, it could have been at a time when it looked like Spock was kind of winning…

And their shuttle argument is one of the first things I’ve said didn’t make sense to me. First, as his mate, shouldn’t she already know that he can feel and that his problem is the fact that he actually is feeling a lot, despite his attempts to remain stoic? I ended up having the guess that Spock has some Vulcan form of PTSD because they never actually deal with it in the film (apparently, you have to look to the comics and the novelizations to get this info). There’s really no exposition there, and that would have been a wonderful, and natural, way for them to have their alone time together and at the same time deal with something that advances both of their stories.

I mean, I could just imagine him sitting in their quarters, in front of one of those Vulcan meditation candle things having a hard time clearing his mind. He sees images of Vulcan being destroyed, his mother reaching out for him as she falls, Nero’s face, and then Khan as a similar villain making similar threats against “the only home I have left”… Uhura notices (let’s say she looks up while reading a book or a novel on her PADD while she’s laying across their bed) and she tells him that he needs to see a Vulcan Healer or at least maybe call his dad because he might be able to help.

The conversation could have gone from there with Spock claiming that he’s okay and that the few Vulcan Healers that are left already have too much on their plates in treating the thousands of traumatized Vulcans that remain of their species, and his father has more important things to do than to trouble himself to show up because his son can’t “cope.” He’d mention that they’ve been over this before, and Nyota would mention that she thinks he’s getting worse because, as his bond mate, she can feel what he feels and see what he sees. She can tell that it’s getting harder for him to shield her from that and that he needs help. She tries telling him that it’s the “logical” thing to do, but he just shifts back into position and tries to meditate, to handle it on his own… That’s when she quietly decides to stop talking to him because he’s not listening anyway…

In about 3 minutes time I think a lot could have been covered there, and it would have better served the story/plot of the film than the shuttle argument. Plus it would have been in character and behind closed doors. But again, that’s just my humble opinion. By the end of the film, he could have learned that getting the help he needs before going on a 5 year mission is necessary, and that could have been one of the things he focused on in the year that goes by at the end of the film. I think this would have worked better.
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Old June 18 2013, 01:25 AM   #295
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post

I don’t believe for one second that out of an entire engineering department (all of which have dedicated years to the field, I’m sure) Chekov is the one to take over engineering as soon as Scotty and Keenser is gone.
I really don't think it's about skill set but putting someone into the job that Kirk knew and could easily communicate with. Chekov was essentially assuming an administrative position.
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Old June 18 2013, 01:37 AM   #296
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

BillJ wrote: View Post
Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post

I don’t believe for one second that out of an entire engineering department (all of which have dedicated years to the field, I’m sure) Chekov is the one to take over engineering as soon as Scotty and Keenser is gone.
I really don't think it's about skill set but putting someone into the job that Kirk knew and could easily communicate with. Chekov was essentially assuming an administrative position.
So, Scotty's job is purely administrative? That's never been how it looked to me. And easy communication? Isn't that what they all wear those communicators for? He couldn't have just as easily communicated with a female 3rd in command in engineering, whose spent her entire career in engineering, and regularly works in that section of the ship?
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Old June 18 2013, 01:43 AM   #297
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
So, Scotty's job is purely administrative? That's never been how it looked to me. And easy communication? Isn't that what they all wear those communicators for? He couldn't have just as easily communicated with a female 3rd in command in engineering, whose spent her entire career in engineering, and regularly works in that section of the ship?
Purely? No. Are administrative duties part of the job? Yes.

Chekov is someone Kirk has a direct working relationship with. They're going on a dangerous mission. He wants someone he knows at the post. Really didn't think I would need to spell it out to you.

But hey, you learn something new everyday.
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Old June 18 2013, 01:53 AM   #298
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
pauln6 wrote:
Chekov becoming chief engineer and Uhura beaming down to save Spock during the finale were two such stupid scenes. Uhura is an officer, a linguist, and a technician. I want her to do technical stuff and if, in her capacity as an officer she gets in on the action then that's really good. With a ship full of 50+ security guards, you put Uhura in charge of a team, you don't send her down instead of one.
I have to agree with this. With Chekov, as soon as I heard Kirk tell him to put on a red shirt it was the only time in the movie I felt a little nervous. He may not be anyone’s favorite, but the character does work. It’s nice to know that he was shadowing Scotty for 6 months, and being a child genius, I’m sure he soaked up everything he learned, but there was a better way to handle this. Couldn’t we have seen him learning from Scotty sometime earlier in the film. He could have been helping him off duty or something, and then when the action picked up he should have been needed on the bridge as the ship’s best navigator.

I don’t believe for one second that out of an entire engineering department (all of which have dedicated years to the field, I’m sure) Chekov is the one to take over engineering as soon as Scotty and Keenser is gone. This would have been a great way for a woman to naturally do something. Let’s say there’s a woman who works with and reports to Keenser (who I’m calling the Chief Maintenance Engineer since he’s never been given a title). Perhaps she’s a supervisor of some sort, and she has to take over when they leave. Now, I could imagine her requesting Chekov’s help once things got really dire, as the ship kept taking beating after beating, and there just wasn’t enough of her to go around (she could have also called for any available hand with engineering experience down too, to help with the smaller things while the engineering crew works on the big stuff to keep the ship going), and then you have Officer Darwin (?) filling in as navigator for him. It’s just an idea.

And that takes me to something else. The people that think striving for equality in the writing is “arrogant” and “entitled,” all the while saying in the same breath what “should be” or even “has to be” for their beloved Trek are just interesting to me. I’ve got a couple of more words I’d rather use: Imagination and Creativity. If the writing team, as artists, want to include people, then they can imagine that and create that. If they want to exclude people, then they can imagine that and create that, but let’s not act like it’s not a choice. And the very idea of IDIC means that they have quite a few choices at their fingertips, at least that’s what I think.

As to Uhura, well, I’ve already said that I agree that it didn’t make sense for her to beam down there. Actually, I think she should have been the one to have them both beamed up, Khan to the brig and Spock to sick bay in case he had any injuries. That would have been quick thinking on her part, but then that also would have meant that Spock and Khan couldn’t keep beating the pulp out of each other, so I guess that’s a no on that one? I don’t know; if it helps, it could have been at a time when it looked like Spock was kind of winning…

And their shuttle argument is one of the first things I’ve said didn’t make sense to me. First, as his mate, shouldn’t she already know that he can feel and that his problem is the fact that he actually is feeling a lot, despite his attempts to remain stoic? I ended up having the guess that Spock has some Vulcan form of PTSD because they never actually deal with it in the film (apparently, you have to look to the comics and the novelizations to get this info). There’s really no exposition there, and that would have been a wonderful, and natural, way for them to have their alone time together and at the same time deal with something that advances both of their stories.

I mean, I could just imagine him sitting in their quarters, in front of one of those Vulcan meditation candle things having a hard time clearing his mind. He sees images of Vulcan being destroyed, his mother reaching out for him as she falls, Nero’s face, and then Khan as a similar villain making similar threats against “the only home I have left”… Uhura notices (let’s say she looks up while reading a book or a novel on her PADD while she’s laying across their bed) and she tells him that he needs to see a Vulcan Healer or at least maybe call his dad because he might be able to help.

The conversation could have gone from there with Spock claiming that he’s okay and that the few Vulcan Healers that are left already have too much on their plates in treating the thousands of traumatized Vulcans that remain of their species, and his father has more important things to do than to trouble himself to show up because his son can’t “cope.” He’d mention that they’ve been over this before, and Nyota would mention that she thinks he’s getting worse because, as his bond mate, she can feel what he feels and see what he sees. She can tell that it’s getting harder for him to shield her from that and that he needs help. She tries telling him that it’s the “logical” thing to do, but he just shifts back into position and tries to meditate, to handle it on his own… That’s when she quietly decides to stop talking to him because he’s not listening anyway…

In about 3 minutes time I think a lot could have been covered there, and it would have better served the story/plot of the film than the shuttle argument. Plus it would have been in character and behind closed doors. But again, that’s just my humble opinion. By the end of the film, he could have learned that getting the help he needs before going on a 5 year mission is necessary, and that could have been one of the things he focused on in the year that goes by at the end of the film. I think this would have worked better.
In reality and in another film, everything you've brought up would make sense... but for the TOS and NuTrek universes there are only 7 main characters: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov. Everything revolves around them. You are asking to bring in another character paramount to the story (not including an villain and/or antagonist, and recurring minor characters) to an IMHO already crowded assemble. I thought making Chekov the interim Chief of Engineering and having to don on a red shirt was a great way of giving him screen time and to do something different - it also gave Scotty something to do outside of engineering. A win-win scenario!
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Old June 18 2013, 01:55 AM   #299
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Cyrus wrote: View Post
Some of the greatest movies of all time will fail this silly test. Lawrence of Arabia for sure will fail since there are no women characters in it. Does 2001 A Space Odyssey pass the test?
Most of my favorite movies would fail the test miserably...
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Old June 18 2013, 02:10 AM   #300
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

BillJ wrote: View Post
Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
So, Scotty's job is purely administrative? That's never been how it looked to me. And easy communication? Isn't that what they all wear those communicators for? He couldn't have just as easily communicated with a female 3rd in command in engineering, whose spent her entire career in engineering, and regularly works in that section of the ship?
Purely? No. Are administrative duties part of the job? Yes.

Chekov is someone Kirk has a direct working relationship with. They're going on a dangerous mission. He wants someone he knows at the post. Really didn't think I would need to spell it out to you.

But hey, you learn something new everyday.
I'm learning that you think the captain of the Enterprise can't trust the people on his ship. What was she going to do? Tear the ship apart in some evil plan? LOL. Having a direct working relationship, or let's say a more direct one because you can't assume that the third in command in engineering is just a name on a list to the captain, doesn't mean that he's the best person for the job. And after all, wasn't that what it's supposed to be all about?

KittyDuran wrote: View Post
In reality and in another film, everything you've brought up would make sense... but for the TOS and NuTrek universes there are only 7 main characters: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov. Everything revolves around them. You are asking to bring in another character paramount to the story (not including an villain and/or antagonist, and recurring minor characters) to an IMHO already crowded assemble. I thought making Chekov the interim Chief of Engineering and having to don on a red shirt was a great way of giving him screen time and to do something different - it also gave Scotty something to do outside of engineering. A win-win scenario!
Boy, would I have been happy if that had actually been the case! Everything did not revolve around them. Everything revolved around Kirk, Spock, Khan, Adm. Marcus, bringing in Carol Marcus, and there was some Scotty.

But this is the part that gets me out of what you've said:

You are asking to bring in another character paramount to the story (not including an villain and/or antagonist, and recurring minor characters) to an IMHO already crowded assemble.
Yeah, but adding in Khan/Harrison, Admiral Marcus, Carol Marcus was doing just that. So, you've already defeated your own point there. Out of Khan and Adm. Marcus, both didn't have to be villains, but they were both added as such, not just one like Nero in the last film, and neither part was minor. And Carol was added in a way that at least suggests that she's not supposed to be a minor character.

I think if just half of the effort put into defending the status quo for TOS were put into making something actually updated and fresh that boldly went in its own direction, wouldn't that be something!
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MA'AM. Hot damn, I can dig it.

“The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.” - Virginia Woolf
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