Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Shaka Zulu, Jun 6, 2013.

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  1. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree but again, this is partly because women have too often been portrayed as helpless victims throughout movie history. But I think if the level of violence is toned down generally, it becomes less of an issue. We do see some female crewmen die in both movies.
     
  2. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The problem is, you can't have it both ways. If Admiral Marcus had been a woman, and if the story moves in a way that called for Khan to kill her in a fit of rage for the wrongs he thinks she did to him, then it has to be done. So it comes down to this, does he crush her head or do something "less violent," like vaporize her with a phaser or poison her?

    For what it's worth, no one seemed too upset with what happened to the Borg queen or the Duras sisters.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    But that's a creative choice and I'm not interested in dictating those beyond whether I buy a ticket/merchandise or not.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I think that there are reasons why, in one it was a robot that was broken at the end and in the other they weren't killed by a man physically assaulting them with his hands.

    If Riker had beaten the Duras sisters to death with his hands, I think we'd be having a different discussion.
     
  5. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Could be. Khan did give a hard kick to Carol Marcus that startled me a bit.
     
  6. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    I cringed more when Spock broke Khan's arm, but the leg-breaking was pretty brutal too.
     
  7. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Khan was the ultimate sexist in 'Space Seed'. He actually committed domestic violence against Marla McGivers.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Can't really argue that point, because you're absolutely right.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I can't help but wonder if it had been Lt. Janice Rand, Security Officer instead of Lt. Carol Marcus, Science Officer if we'd be having this same conversation. ;)
     
  10. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Heh Janice has appeared in the ongoing comic as security support. I was really hoping that they were going to do a reboot of the Enemy Within and Janice would do a lot more than scratch Kirk's face this time - she can hand him his a**.

    Unfortunately (for Janice) I think that they might re-write the story for Carol, who doesn't seem to be quite so physical a character. I think Carol seems like a good addition to the comics but I hope she doesn't steal one of Rand's few big scenes. It might be her only chance to develop as a more rounded character!
     
  11. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored BRexiting the Briefing Room Moderator

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    I'm still disturbed by Riker vaporizing Yuta in The Vengeance Factor instead of taking one of the numerous non-lethal options available to him (like say, beaming up her intended target --Fat Road Warrior-- instead of Riker beaming down). That has nothing to do with her being a woman though, that was just because vaporization is jacked up. For that matter, Terrell vaporizing himself to resist Khan and stop the pain of the Ceti Eel in his head was pretty disturbing too, but less so since it was a final heroic act on his part and not a member of the crew straight up murdering someone to stop them from committing an easily preventable assassination. Under those circumstances I would have been fine with Riker tackling her or punching her or kicking her; anything other than sublimating her.
     
  12. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I had forgotten about that. What Riker did was disturbing to say the least and bordered on cold-blooded murder to say the most. That Picard just sat there (or that any of them did) and said nothing as it unfolded is just as bad. Not a very heroic moment for anyone.

    It's purely moot, but I guess what I wonder is if the writers would have been wary of a negative audience reaction to having Khan kill a female Admiral Marcus with his bare hands. As a character, I think Khan was despicable enough to actually do it, but the feeling on this board is that it would've been distrubing to the audience, and I agree. But that begs a question. If Adm. Marcus had been cast as a woman, how differently would that bridge scene between Khan and Marcus need to be played out?
     
  13. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    How true. What gets me is why she'd want to be with a man like Khan in the first place.

    That was a split-second decision of saving the life of one of the leaders of a planet that's a Federation member from being murdered in cold blood, who was probably going to die after she'd accomplished said murder. Nothing sexist about it at all, from my POV.
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wait... are we still talking about Star Trek? Because if we are, there isn't a single part of the above paragraph that makes an ounce of sense.:confused:

    Where literally every scene he's involved in and slightly more than half of his lines have something to do with Amanda.:vulcan:

    It's almost a Reverse Bechdel. Sarek and Spock talk about little else EXCEPT for Spock's mother. Really, how prominent is the father character in a story if the only thing anyone ever says to him is "Man I wish Mom was here..."

    In which case you'd be hard pressed to prevent her from being written out of the movie altogether, since there's no real reason for "The Captain's Yeoman" to have any meaningful lines that couldn't be attributed to Spock, Uhura, Carol or Bones.

    No you wouldn't. Especially since you wouldn't notice that she DID appear if she didn't have any lines, especially so if she died three minutes after her first silent appearance.

    And they did. Very prominently, in fact.

    You know better than that. "Extras" are cast based on a broad set of qualifications, but gender isn't one of them. If they had majority females auditioning for those roles, there'd be a majority of females in the background of the crew.

    You're implying that female actresses have a tendency to gravitate towards science fiction/action films despite the fact that you have to know, on some level, that this is not the case. If women are under-represented in this regard, it's primarily because of the lack of desire to BE represented.
     
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  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I think Pauln6 was talking about Kirk's mom, named Winona Kirk, and not Spock's mom, Amanda Grayson.
     
  16. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored BRexiting the Briefing Room Moderator

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    Nor from mine, which you'd know if you hadn't deleted the very next sentence in the post where I mentioned that what troubled me about the scene had nothing to do with her being a woman.

    Since they didn't show it actually happening and just showed the reaction shot from Carol, it's possible they might have left it as is. The various CSIs and NCISs and other examining the evidence type procedurals don't seem to shy away from showing the gruesome aftermath of murders against men or women any more, and movies haven't hesitated to show a villain actually breaking a woman's neck (the scene that popped into my head was John Malkovich in In the Line of Fire), though they are a little less quick to explicitly show the whole bullet through the forehead thing than they are with male characters. They'll show the aftermath from the less gruesome entry point view, but it's still fairly rare to show it actually happening.

    Yeesh, that post went to a morbid place, didn't it?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  17. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No it won't.

    Because the genre Star Trek belongs to is "science fiction," a genre whose literary tradition is replete with damsel-in-distress subtropes who are raped and/or murdered by antagonists at a really disturbing rate.

    If you double the number of women on the Enterprise you merely double the chances of Kirk having a threesome with two or more of them. That is pretty much the OPPOSITE of what we're looking for here.

    Because you keep insisting that it is something to strive for and complaining when they do it. Clearly you prefer quantity over quality, which in science fiction often defeats the purpose.

    Look at it this way: a director produces a string of movies with an all-white cast and two black characters who are either pimps or gangsters. The public complains that blacks are under-represented in his movies, so he makes a film that features two white cops and forty black gang bangers.

    Quantity over quality, right?
     
  18. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah I've already said I give Amanda a pass because she represents more than 'just' Spock's mother. I meant in terms of numbers parental characters cancel each other out because they come in pairs. Sarek is more prominent because he's still breathing.

    I can think of many ways that Rand could contribute and not one of them is asking the Captain to look at her legs. :p I don't think a person's rank determines how much they should be allowed to contribute to a story. That's bonkers. Chief O'Brien did fine, regardless of where his rank was fluctuating that week. And, a few Russian jokes aside, nothing Chekov does particularly screams TOS Chekov in either movie, yet there he remains. I do however think rank is significant to the way in which a character contributes to the story and leaving newly qualified cadets in charge of the ship or engineering is a bit silly.

    I don't think they'd have ANY difficulty filling the numbers if the parts were there. I was surprised at the number of women who attend Star Trek conventions and if I recall correctly, Rosario Dawson was really keen to get a part. Heather Langenkamp apparently appeared as an alien extra. A lot of women love Star Trek. I think on some level you know that to be true. ;) And btw you might not want to ever repeat any of that stuff to a woman. I think they might be insulted at the suggestion that they stick to 'women's issues'.
     
  19. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    LOL - erm - don't repeat any of what you just said there either.

    But I'm astonished that you think the writers are so narrow-minded that they would have to re-write Cupcake to be a damsel in distress if he were a she. Nothing about Cupcake requires him to be a man at all. The framework of NuStarbuck was taken from the original and she was a fascinating character.

    Had a quick thumb through the recurring cast of NuBSG as an after-thought. They ended up with roughly 70 men and 43 women, although the number is misleading since at the bottom of the list you have a large number of characters, mostly male who only appeared twice.

    What is more interesting is the balance of the top twenty characters - 11 men and 9 women. Big shock - it can be done. I wonder how they managed to source so many actresses? ;P
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  20. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    And you would have had no problem with the bar fight in ST if Cupcake had been a woman, and Kirk calling her "Cupcake" out of the blue?
     
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