Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by King Daniel Beyond, May 20, 2014.
^Nice idea, teacake. I stole it over in the Trek lit forum.
Based on what Alice Eve mentioned about it, her characterization was written both as a generational conflict and a microcosm of the rift between Starfleet and Section Thirty One. Basically, Carol had a serious conflict with her father in a relationship that was otherwise very solid and uplifting until something happened that caused him to become all warped and evil. Her backstory would be as much about her disillusionment and lost of her father figure as the evolution of Alex's jingoistic fugue, and finally, Carol's ultimately futile quest to restore him to the man once was, "and should be again."
Too bad Khan crushed his head.
I've always suspected Scotty and Keenser's relationship is more than platonic. They certainly act like a married couple.
The female character fails to do something on her own? That's nothing new for JJ's Star Trek.
This feels like a reoccurring problem that the writers just can't seem to fix. They write these moments that are meant to expand the character's motivation and overall sense of purpose in the story, but when the film is being edited, all that stuff is marginalized to just being a point in the story. Yeah, they may get the point across, but that all it will end up being. A simple, barely touched on point that's moved to the side and forgotten about later on.
The focus on character development has certainly changed since TWOK. I remember watching the Director's Edition of TWOK for the first time and realizing that unlike what a lot of unrated cuts do nowadays, all the added material was all character focused. No added violence, nudity or language. Just more moments with the characters. Why does it feel like this is the exact opposite approach with these new films?
Also after reading Nick Meyer's book "The View from the Bridge", he mentions that he had to cut that scene with Preston because the studio thought Kirk calling him a 'tiger' was too gay. :tommie: Wonder is there are still studio execs who look to intently on things like that.
Yeah, because TOS was such a paragon of equality and nonexploitation when it came to the female sex.
Really, your tired swipes at JJTrek about things that TOS did all the time is quite annoying.
*Edit* Dennis beat me to the punch.
I think Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is still ahead of the game when it comes to gay characters and other potential things to do differently in Star Trek. I remember how everyone made a huge fuss over Spock and Uhura being in a relationship as if to say that kind of stuff could never be done on the original series. Well, I was seeing that stuff taken the extra mile in DS9 with Worf and Dax. Not only are the two of them completely different species with no "human half", the actors themselves also didn't have the same skin color.
Even with a lot of things that new Star Trek is doing, there is still this inescapable feeling that everyone is looking at it with a backwards style of thinking.
If wanting to be entertained is a "backwards style of thinking" then I guess you're right.
That's kind of the point of my argument. The reason I take swipes at JJ's films is because they've completely back tracked to the way TOS treated it's female characters. Star Trek as a franchise did get better with time, but since this new Trek is meant to reflect the original series, well, I'm not quite sure dated elements are worth honoring. Not only did they do follow that to a T, they've taken it a step further with STID. Do you remember an episode where Uhura was a constant whiner about her relationship with Spock in the original series? I don't, but that's the "new and improved" Uhura we have now. She slept around with her freaking Academy instructor and complains to him when she doesn't get selected for the best ship in the fleet.
If this is the high court's idea of improving the non-white male characters, what kind of a chance does a gay character have in this new universe? They've already made the Enterprise a "male" character in the new comics.
I can't remember an episode of TOS where Uhura had more than a couple of lines of relevant dialogue. As much as I love TOS, the Abrams version of Uhura is a more believable, more well-rounded character.
We all have our own opinions and mine have nothing to do with whether people like this new Trek. Just because I say the direction of these films is backwards doesn't mean you're backwards in liking it.
I just think that if you're going to have a Star Trek that tackle things like gay characters or expanding on other characters' story that doesn't directly involve Kirk or Spock, this is not the Star Trek you want to do it in. Action is the name of the game and we've got to move at a lightning pace.
We are two films into this new take on Star Trek and we have yet to see Uhura's occupational skills turn out anything useful. She can speak Romulan in all three dialects, but the Romulans all speak English. She can speak Klingon, but all that does is put her in danger and needing to be rescued. About the only thing the writers can do for her character is whine about Spock and be the "action girl" with a gun. Giving her a gun to shoot bad guys with doesn't make her interesting.
Indeed? Which characters were those?
Don't cite the Lenara Kahn/Jadzia Dax kiss, which—no matter how many times it's erroneously labeled as such—is not a "lesbian scene".
Must we? STAR TREK is action and drama. STID was both, but story should be the first emphasis. We can slow down from time to time and take a breather to serve the story, which STID also did. But the more non-stop lightning you get, the more it reverts to just another cookie-cutter summer movie. STID transcended this with its political subtext. This may have limited its national grosses compared to 2009's TREK, but 2013's is still a more solid effort.
There's nothing to "tackle", all that's desperately needed in Trek is inclusion.
Nobody is advocating an hilarious comic relief character like the amoral Felix from Orphan Black or four angst-ridden Andorian men who want to adopt. A brief allusion to a character's sexuality - an embarrassed glance at Kirk in his underwear that parallels the Carol scene or a quick quip would be enough to raise a smile though.
That's not what I meant, seeing how Alex Marcus was tragically irredeemable (or even if he wasn't, Khan decapitated him before he could be redeemed).
I noticed that too. I think a similar thing happened with Nero's background in the first film, with all of the Rura Penthe material being removed (going deep into how he spent 25 years being tortured by the Klingons, causing an already crazy person to become even crazier). It's too their credit that the editors were smart enough to keep the character moments for Kirk and Spock in the first movie, but in STID I think they severely dropped the ball on Carol Marcus and they could have afforded another seven or eight minutes of footage to get into that a bit more.
Still, that's movies for you. If you want great character development over a long timeframe, that fits better in a TV series or a novel.
Probably because there IS no director's edition of STID and much of the deleted footage for both of those movies never saw the light of day.
She manages to penetrate Marcus' jamming and get a signal to New Vulcan.
She manages to intercept and translate the message in the first film that leads Kirk to realize the "distress signal" from Vulcan is actually a trap.
She speaks Klingon (unlike Uhura Prime) and almost manages to negotiate with them before their "Kill the wabbit" instincts reassert themselves.
You seem to be forgetting that it was KHAN that came to the rescue, and even in that case he merely distracted the Klingon soldier while Uhura pulled his dagger and stabbed him in the balls.
Not at all. She has actually become a foil for Spock, a passionate (and compassionate) counter-balance to his cold logical mind. At the same time, when Spock looses his emotional control she plays the opposite role, stepping in to put him back on track.
What's a lot more interesting (and what you, like most people, overlook) is how Uhura deals with Spock's Vulcan aspect. She understands that he has to control his emotions, as that is te Vulcan way; in STID, this understanding is put on full display in Mudd's shuttle and is actually reinforced in the resolution. It's not just some odd thing about him that she accepts, it's something she has come to embrace as central to his personality.
Compare that with Uhura's conversation in "The Man Trap:"
SPOCK: Miss Uhura, your last sub-space log contained an error in the frequencies column.
UHURA: Mister Spock, sometimes I think if I hear that word frequency once more, I'll cry.
UHURA: I was just trying to start a conversation.
SPOCK: Well, since it is illogical for a communications officer to resent the word frequency, I have no answer.
UHURA: No, you have an answer. I'm an illogical woman who's beginning to feel too much a part of that communications console. Why don't you tell me I'm an attractive young lady, or ask me if I've ever been in love? Tell me how your planet Vulcan looks on a lazy evening when the moon is full.
SPOCK: Vulcan has no moon, Miss Uhura.
UHURA: I'm not surprised, Mister Spock.
^ It seems to me that the bar is set pretty low as far as Spock/Uhura relations, but I think that their current dynamic is actually a TREMENDOUS improvement.
Spock and Uhura didn't have a relationship in the original series (guess why)
however, that didn't stop her from flirting with him on the bridge while they were working and he was the acting captain, and then a moment later she basically called him out on his s**t because Spock was too cold and didn't seem to care about one of his crewmates dying.
I think you're mistaking Uhura for Kirk
Uhura does have an exclusive emotional relationship with Spock. Big difference. But if to you their interactions suggest he's just one of the many she's having casual sex with, I don't know what to tell you, honestly, but doesn't seem to me the problem is exactly the writers here.
as for her 'whining': it's funny because Kirk was 'whining' and complaining about Spock way more than Uhura in that movie
Uhura's concern that her boyfriend might possibly have a death wish should be the least surprising thing. If you think that Kirk is entitled to have his own feelings when it comes to complaining about Spock being.. himself or him not getting friendship, then I can't see why you should have a problem with Uhura having agency and being allowed to speak her mind and express her feelings when it comes to someone she, actually, has a relationship with and who might have a freaking death wish.
Your complains about the scene where Uhura is assigned to the enterprise might hide a bit a double standard too. First: it is obvious in the scene that she had worked hard to get on the enterprise and the only reason Spock changed her assignment was because he was overcompensating to 'avoid the appearance of favoritism'. Second: when all is said and done, you have a Kirk who wasn't assigned or supposed to get on any ship, to begin with, but his best friend abused his position to sneak him aboard the best ship (and even infected him with a virus)
Also friendly reminder that Uhura, unlike some of the guys there, was promoted to chief communications officer because of her skills alone and because she was more qualified than the previous officer, surely not because the other officer was sick or dead or because Pike was her mentor.
But, but, Uhura is only eye-candy with no other redeeming traits in the Abrams films. How can you suggest she's important and acting in a complex and interesting fashion? It's almost as if you're saying Uhura's not the one-dimensional cartoon depicted by so many members of the Committee for the Way Things Ought to Be (TM). Surely that can't be right?
(in other words--excellent post)
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