Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Shaka Zulu, Jun 6, 2013.

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  1. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lol - an officer has to be able to do the job of an officer. How can he give orders if he has no way to communicate? My issue is with the way Keenser is portrayed as a joke alien. If he were portrayed in a way that demonstrated he could do the job, I'd be fine. He doesn't even use a universal translator.

    As you know, I have the same issue with Chekov, as portrayed, being assigned as security chief in TMP for similar reasons. I'm not laying this down as a JJ-specific issue.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why would he need too? We see him twice use English words in Star Trek 2009.
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is in the context of whether Keenser as portrayed would make a good senior officer. I assumed he was a crewman or petty officer because he looks and behaves like a grease monkey and Scotty verbally abuses him all the time. He barely speaks, but Therin says he speaks an alien tongue, so that was the context of the comment.

    Rather than saying, he is, therefore he does, I'm interested to know what evidence we can see on screen to support the notion that Keenser would make a good assistant chief engineer (i.e. a subjective opinion based on the visual evidence).
     
  4. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    I suspect that CommishSleer's post may not have been entirely serious, but YMMV.

    The dumbest ever? I doubt it; I really do. This forum alone, in its brief existence, has seen some world-class displays of dumb, and on the dumb scale I don't think the above even rates a mention.
     
  5. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    Can you say, 'Yes, it was also about Carol dressing down Kirk for his sexist leering'?
     
  6. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    So basically, what you've done is change Roddenberry's egalitarian views because you don't like Spock & Uhura getting it on in the movies. Fascinating.:vulcan:
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  7. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If the gender roles were completely flipped in Trek so that we have only one black dude and a blond scientist among the main cast I wonder how people would react to the gender balance?
     
  8. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    And with Rand as the transporter chief, too?
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Is it still fun and entertaining? If so, then I'm there.
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I think mileage does vary.

    Obviously, the proposal of segregation wasn't serious. That paragraph had a clear set-up for the joke, in its opening line, too.

    However, use of the word "actually" in the part I quoted kinda trumped other interpretations in that part, to me.

    CommishSleer, were you serious or joking?
     
  11. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    If the movies were otherwise as entertaining as they were? Pretty much exactly the way I've reacted to the actual films. I might have briefly wondered why the wholesale switch, but it would have been a passing thought, nothing more (same as when Starbuck and Boomer were women in the BSG reboot or having Joan instead of John Watson on Elementary).
     
  12. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Rand is slightly different because we never really got to see much of a skill set beyond the fact that she recognised a description of earth before seeing it, and she was able to man the helm in an emergency, which all crew should be able to do. Same with operating a transporter or the communications console really. I feel pretty much the same with giving Uhura combat skills in STiD - all officers should have that kind of training. Going beyond that and having her become an expert engineer might have sat less well but even so

    What qualities does Chekov have to be chief of security - he was naive, scientifically trained, and he got beat up pretty much every time he ever got into a fight. Mind you, so did Worf...
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And he also had a two-and-a-half year gap that we simply don't know what he was doing. So for all we know, he decided he wanted to be in Security and switched tracks. Much like Sulu being a blue-shirt in Where No Man... then moving to the helm in the series proper.
     
  14. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    I don't know what's funnier (or more sad). That you took CommishSleer's obvious sarcastic joke as a serious solution, or that you think bringing back segregation 300 years in the future is a positive response to alleged sexism in JJTrek, and not unbelievably more sexist itself. :lol:

    Next up on Terrible Problem Solving Theater, we fix unequal pay for women by bringing back indentured servitude, and we attempt to remove a bee hive with a fifty kiloton thermonuclear warhead.

    Like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target. Continuing to say the scene was "blatant" and "gratuitous" and not acknowledging that other levels of intent to the scene exist IS THE PROBLEM. Are you not aware of what "gratuitous" means?

    Thank you for proving the point that the quality of the depiction of most of the women is not what matters to you, only the numbers. There are certainly many strong female characters in GoT, but there are many more who are just treated horribly (though to be fair, so are many men). Now, given the medieval setting (even in a fictional universe), that is somewhat to be expected, because women weren't treated well then to say the least, but to try and say it depicts women in a better light than Star Trek as a franchise does is astonishing in its shortsightedness to me.

    I love Game of Thrones, don't get me wrong, but that assertion is just... wow. Completely off the wall. I'll try and remember how progressive the show is the next time Joffrey asks a couple of female prostitutes to get naked, beat one to a pulp with a wooden club, and then later crossbows the other in the crotch and breasts. I guess we can consider the glass ceiling of King's Landing's power hierarchy shattered (and then the shards are used to mutilate female prostitutes).

    Also, there are women all over the place on the Enterprise, especially on the bridge (but also in the brig, sickbay, and engineering). They're not all main characters, because the main characters are already established from TOS, but there are lots of woman present as officers among the crew. I would say the male/female ratio (since that's all you seem to care about) is equivalent to GoT in that respect.

    Besides the fact that --as mentioned-- he's spoken English dialogue in the films, we have Scotty mention that he talks too much. Now, it could have been a sarcastic quip about how he doesn't talk that much (or he does and it all just happens offscreen), but it at least acknowledges that he does talk sometimes. I don't recall the actual line in ST09 that well.

    And how do you know he doesn't use a universal translator? What do the portable UTs even look like in this universe? We haven't seen one yet. It's most likely built into the communicators, but it could also be sewn into micro-circuitry inside their uniforms or built into the corridors of ships and stations for all we know.

    All you need to know is that Scotty, who won't let unchecked weapons on his ship because of how they might negatively interact with his engines, who is willing to quit over his convictions and won't be forced into doing something he thinks is wrong or unsafe, and who has a strong code of ethics, trusts Keenser to work on the engines implicitly. That's all the evidence you really need or can reasonably expect about a secondary to a secondary character in four hours of screentime.
     
  15. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I took a look at that.

    I'll bet J.J. is shakin'.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Did you notice how 'Trekz' is spelled with a 'Z'? That's how we know its serious and hip all at the same time. :guffaw:
     
  17. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am. Just as you are you are aware that I have acknowledged the other levels of the scene and that I have expressly stated that it was only the shot of Carol in her undies that was gratuitous. All the other levels of the scene could have worked just like Raiders of the Lost Ark, without flashing lots of skin and cleaveage on screen.

    This makes my point for me. I did not mean to say that GoT depicts women in a better light - the nature of the setting precludes that. What I said is that you get a lot of women in diverse roles. You also get men in diverse roles. You get lots of men AND women in diverse roles. The nature of the Trek setting does not preclude showing women in a better light, it simply isn't implemented. With more women, we should see women in diverse roles. QED.

    Name six of them.

    Lol - so what you are saying is that there is no actual evidence that he would make a good officer, we just have to assume that he is because he's there. That's what I said to start with but my issue is that there is no evidence while you are happy to assume that if he's there he deserves to be there.

    Neither one of us is right or wrong but the upshot is that there is no evidence to support that Lt Keenser is a great chief beyond the fact that he must be because he is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  18. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Of course the solution is ridiculous! It's supposed to be satirical humor, not my personal opinion of utopia. In other words, the fact that all-female or all-male crews doesn't solve the underlying problems between men and woman is the moral of the story. Victorian-style collective punishment isn't the solution. The solution is for both sexes to, well, grow up and learn the value of self-restraint and personal responsibility. That's NOT what JJ Trek presents, though. It presents a military organization that feels more like the set of a reality show.

    The worst you could say about Checkov filling in for Scotty is that it was done in a way to a sort of Police-Academy-style comedy-of-errors, the equivalent of Scotty being sent through the brewery tubes, and similar in tone to Scotty hitting his beam in Trek V which was seen (by those with better taste) as being groan-incuding. We're supposed to enjoy seeing an underage crew bumble their way through, hence the Enterprise going underwater and Scotty commenting on how stupid an idea that was. It's funny, you see? They're young, right? So they don't know any better! Who cares about plausibility when you just want to provide a couple hours of light diversion?

    But back to gender... In JJ Trek, aside from Pike's dressing down, Kirk being an egotistical jerk is presented as a way for him to be seen as hip or likable to teens and 20 somethings, just as hip hop songs glorify getting rich and carving notches on bed-posts. Same deal with Zoe Saldana's Uhura flagrantly showing her affections or having lover's quarrels for Spock in a serious "workplace" scenario where lives could be on the line. There seems to be no interest in a Horatio Hornbloweresque style Starfleet where Kirk and company exit the academy as a marine might exit West Point. People would rather see these characters let their hair down and treat the Enterprise like a frat-house.

    The scene with Alice Eve, IMHO, spawns out of that attitude.

    I'm sure you'll continue to accuse me of misreading it, but to me it's patently obvious. We're supposed to chuckle over Kirk getting caught like a kid with his hand in the cookie-jar, just as we're supposed to chuckle over Kirk's joke out of the turbolift quipping about Spock and Uhura fighting. In other words, everything in Into Darkness is actually just a fun little Indiana Jones style 'romp'. That's why Kirk had to come back to life so quickly after dying. The gravitas is all phoney and all loose ends have to be tied up in time for supper.

    JJ Trek really has nothing at all to say, because any sort of message there is delivered without any real depth, sincerity, or attention to story detail. It just wants to provide empty calories, style as a substitute for substance, and the fact that it's been accepted points to audiences preferring not to think about anything deeper than how sexy Alice Eve looks in black lingere.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm still wondering why exactly this is a problem?
     
  20. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Because it isn't true to the Roddenberry vision (patent pending), of course. Nor does it satisfy the self-appointed guardians of propriety who sit on The Committee for the Way Things Ought to Be (also patent pending). Why do you ask? ;)
     
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