47 Klingon Ships and Uhura

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Admiral_Young, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. paudemge

    paudemge Captain Captain

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    Re: 47 Klingon Ships and Uhura--Nitpicking Time


    To me it seemed like a lowly cadet picked up something and was filed away by her superiors to be looked into by more senior people when time permitted. Kirk trusted her and was able to use the information.
     
  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Women in refrigerators. Its a comic book thing. Female characters have a strange habit of dying, getting depowered and crippled.

    Jekyl has a real hate for Uhura in this movie for some reason. Pesonally I don't see it.

    As for this topic, it sounds like the typical "I need to be spoon fed" every piece of information syndrome. Or as Shatmandu said. a lack of imagination.

    Uhura leaving her post. Its a movie not a how to on military protocol. Dramatic moments trump "reality". Happens all the time in movies. I'll give it a pass on precedent.
     
  3. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Okay, you've got me there, but it's not established that she knew at the time of her entrance into the Kirk/Gaila/Uhura scene, freshly dismissed from her work shift -- there's no mention of it in that scene. Some time passed (Kobayashi Maru simulation, Academy review panel, mobilization of cadets, Kirk unconscious, etc.) before Kirk comes to confront Uhura with the question.

    Is it possible that parts of the transmission were originally garbled and not rendered intelligible until hours later, when Uhura was not present? Could Uhura have been doing that clean-up task herself in the time since she boarded the Enterprise? Finally, even if it was known relatively early that a Romulan vessel was responsible, there was apparently no useful information about which vessel it was and it was still Kirk who put together that reported attack and the "lightning storm in space" detail to draw a parallel to the events in which the Kelvin was destroyed and his father killed. It's an intuitive leap, to be sure, and not a 100% accurate conclusion (the "lightning storm" in this case marked OldSpock's arrival, not that of Narada, though Narada was in fact already present and waiting near the wormhole exit's coordinates) but Pike's earlier speech in the bar scene touches upon the aptitude shown by Kirk's father in making such leaps, and upon Kirk's similar aptitude.

    Could this have been written more neatly? Probably so, but I'm not seeing it as a glaring flaw, nor as evidence of a wilful act on Uhura's part to withhold crucial information from superiors, which was where the OP's post seemed to be coming from.

    Even though the idea has been around for a few years now, I seem to be hearing about it a lot more often just within the last year.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Refrigerators
     
  4. Jeri

    Jeri Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nerys, thanks. Yeah...I just ask "what?" sometimes instead of making a point for a poster; I'd rather they make it themselves.
     
  5. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I dont think Amanda's death counts as "frigded". Parents getting killed is a standard trope dating back to the ancient myths. Heck in this movie George Kirk gets killed too.
     
  6. Vigilance

    Vigilance Commander Red Shirt

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    Conveying the information the way they did was more dramatic.

    I'm kind of glad the movie didn't inflict another scene of officers sitting around a table being briefed by command.

    I could go my entire life without ever seeing another scene like that. The last cool one was Balance of Terror.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A minor tidbit here that might or might not relate to the issue of Uhura deserting her chair:

    Neither in TOS nor in this movie is it ever suggested that Uhura would have been the top-ranking communications chief of the vessel. In TOS, there were several Lieutenants holding that position, some played by actors older than Nichols. In the movie, Uhura wasn't even supposed to be aboard the ship in the first place - and the Enterprise would have been the one ship with the best odds of having some "real" crew around, as she was actually expected to set sail sooner or later.

    Ensign Chekov certainly wasn't the Navigation Chief in TOS, and quite possibly Lieutenant Sulu wasn't a department head either (except of course in the pilot, where he appeared to be the Chief Science Officer). It's just that Starfleet seems to prefer to have its personnel working in teams, so that certain people are grouped with certain other people during certain watches. Presumably Starfleet wouldn't want to cluster all its department chiefs on the same watch. And presumably Starfleet trusts its junior personnel and doesn't expect the chiefs to rush in to relieve them whenever the red alert klaxon goes off.

    However, STXI had exceptional circumstances regarding the bridge crew arrangements (thus maintaining a proud ST movie tradition). For all we know, Uhura was warming an assistant comms operator's seat there, and was not required to maintain vigilant watch or anything. Heck, that she was on the bridge was just a bit of favoritism from Spock to begin with; perhaps she had only make-work?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, she was on the bridge because she could tell the difference between Vulcan and Romulan communications by ear, and the official communications officer couldn't. Pike put her in his place after that came to light after Kirk dragged her up to corroborate his wild-ass giant Romulan theory.
     
  9. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes - until TMP, there was never any official acknowledgment that any of the secondary crew were department heads, or even that helm, navigation, or communications have department heads. The Enterprise in TNG didn't have a chief science officer either.

    Blockbuster movies often avoid logic in favour of drama and I find it annoying most of the time. Like in 2012 where unqualified staff run all the way from the bridge to the bulkhead section to save main characters instead of just getting one of any number of qualified engineer who must have been closer to the location to do it and leading to the death of at least one person. In addition, characters wasted several minutes telling each other how much they loved each other, which also contributed to deaths. I don't really approve of stupid, selfish behaviour being rewarded when being more professional and thinking of others first would have saved more lives.

    This contrivance in Trek was pretty daft though. If somebody was able to teach Uhura Romulan then the universal translator would be able to translate it. If the translator goes on the blink then maybe... but otherwise any officer could have done Uhura's job.
     
  10. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Thank you for this. And how much different is Vulcan compared to Romulan anyways? Heck, I can tell Chinese and Japanese apart as well as Spanish to French. If he knows the Vulcan language but can't distinguish it from Romulan, he should still be able to understand what they are saying. It's like he knows what 1+1 is, but he doesn't know what 1+2 is. And if he doesn't understand the Vulcan language, than why the heck was he given that job in the first place?

    Lesson to writers. If you're going set up a character's skills and traits as important elements to that character, give the characters a scene where they actually put them to good use. Having Uhura say she knows all three dialects of Romulan is one thing, but when you suddenly throw us Romulans who speak perfect english, what was the point? Using that to give her a spot on the bridge doesn't enhance her character, it just shows that you made her position completely pointless and unneeded.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's really difficult to push the "Uhura is a skilled linguist" angle when Star Trek has the Universal Translator, and when TOS never showed Uhura with a penchant for languages (or for anything much).

    However, I could buy it that only certain skilled people would be able to pick up a scrambled voice transmission and identify which language it was scrambled from. And by scrambling I mean both natural degradation of signal, and deliberate efforts at ciphering. It's another question whether a starship communications officer would be expected to have such skills or not.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Tee hee - Uhura couldn't even speak basic Klingon in TUC! It was a joke scene and it was funny but it was as insulting to the character as the fact that Chekov, a former security chief in TMP, didn't know that weapons fire would set off the alarms.

    This is also something I alluded to earlier about Spock doing linguistic translations and code cracking in TOS when Uhura should have been a front-runner.

    I agree that a throwaway line about interference making the translator unreliable would have made Uhura's role worthwhile.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Might have been a new system, though. We never got alarms when phasers were fired in TOS ("Conscience of a King" or "The Changeling" for starters), and the movies didn't feature hand phaser fire in the corridors so we wouldn't know one way or another.

    Perhaps the new alarm system is what allowed Starfleet to move the weapons from dedicated armory vaults to simple cabinets on the walls of communal spaces?

    No excuse for Uhura not knowing Klingon, tho. And I'm not sure one would be needed. How many USN radists during the Cold War spoke Russian? How many spoke German or Japanese in WWII?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lol! You know I never noticed how stupid that was either... :lol:
     
  15. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Ya. The line "Captain, we're being hailed!" is light years ahead of anything the original Uhura ever did in the prime timeline. Heck, she even took command of the Enterprise and saved the day one time. Being confined to a station where she states the obvious that everyone else can do is... screw it.

    I state it here right now that as long as Uhura's role is restricted to a comms officer, she will never be more than what she was. Being romantically involved with Spock does not add to her character. Take the Transporter room scene for instance.

    "I'll be monitoring your frequencies."

    Yes, the lady sees the men off so they can do their manly things while she stays behind and does NOTHING useful but run back into the Transporter room when Spock and crew beams back up.
     
  16. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The problem is as much to do with the fact that Spock and Kirk will dominate no matter what. It doesn't surprise me that the only way the Trek writers could think of giving a woman more to do was to make her a girlfriend of the major male characters. They're traditionally rather unimaginative when it comes to the equality of the sexes.

    I can't see any reason why Olsen couldn't have been a woman to even up the numbers but I was shouted down on another thread by someone who said the writers should concentrate on writing fun stories instead of applying artificial 'quotas.' I'm no genius but even I can work out that in an organisation that practises full equality of the sexes, 50% of crew, captains, admirals, engineers, security officers etc should be male and female. NuTrek came nowhere near and yet it's just a question of monitoring the the characters as they're cast.

    I think one way we could see Uhura do more worthwhile action stuff is if she is attached to command a security detail (of male and female officers) like she was in City on the Edge of Forever. Rand is probably better suited to accompanying landing parties more generally so I'm hopeful that she might feature in a sequel, even if largely as a background character.
     
  17. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This thread has grown larger than I expected it to. First I should clarify that I posted this thread because I thought I had made an observation in Uhura that could be seen as a major neglect on her part because of bad writing. Through reading several of the posts since my original post and provided with suggested evidence that she possibility could have reported her findings to a superior officer before she left the lab early as Gaila noted when she came into the dorm. As for over-analyzing the scene...and not easily filling in the blanks...I thought I'd bring it up for a fun discussion...didn't realize that people would be so serious about it as one person who brought up the Chekov/Khan thing.
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    This is a Trek BBS, serious business.
     
  19. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Apparently so :)
     
  20. Sabataage

    Sabataage Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: 47 Klingon Ships and Uhura--Nitpicking Time

    This may have been mentioned in the other comments... I always took the Comms guy who can't distinguish Romulan from Vulcan as Uhura's direct supervisor. He didn't think it was important enough to pass the message on-- so now he's a peon in a sea of peons below decks (where she was when Kirk found her). At least that's the way I would write it.