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. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That actually made me laugh out loud! :guffaw:
     
  2. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, that actually makes sense. And even then it's not even the biggest problem with The Cloud Minders.

    /thread.
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thank you! Exactly that. I'd be complaining that the movie was excessively weighted in favour of one gender.

    I do wonder though how many people arguing in favour of the status quo at present would find an overly female cast odd.
     
  4. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You are right - I apologise that I had overlooked the fact that you had also cited ST09! I believe they do state what ship Gaila is on though. But you missed the point of the test. Of course I knew there were six named female characters with speaking roles on the Enterprise. The point was that four out of those six are basically non-entities.

    But you are right, we are re-treading old ground. I think they should try to redress the balance by showing more women overall and more prominent women in the speaking 'guest' cast and you don't.

    Once again, the setting in GoT dictates a gender imbalance because you have armies, the Wall and so on. But pick any two or four episodes in isolation and see what women you have. There will be more prominent, more interesting, and more diverse characters than STiD. I'm noticing something similar in Defiance.

    Sarcasm and humour don't always travel well on the internet so I use 'lol' it to show I'm not taking the argument too seriously and don't intend my comments to be taken too seriously. It's interesting that you find its use condescending. I guess that's a lose/lose situation for me but oh well, you can't please all of the people all of the time. You should see the bloodbath that is the Wizards of the Coast D&D forums... :wtf:

    The last one was obviously just meant to be a tease but if you want to consider it me calling you on calling me then fair enough.

    But my point is, of course we are forced to assume that Keenser is a reasonable senior officer and engineer because he IS there and, given that Chekov had to be promoted to replace him, there is nobody else. Given the absence of any evidence in support on screen, it suggests that the Enterprise crew outside of the big seven, isn't very good at what they do. Chekov also had to run all the way from the bridge to transport moving targets in the first film.

    This was an irritating plot device that they used in the tv shows too. Look at how amazing Wesley was compared to fully trained and experienced engineers in season one of TNG. We did later get a few innovative support characters like Lefler but it took a while.

    I never found it hard to imagine Nichelle Nichols as an officer because she exuded authority even though they rarely ever used it. TOS Chekov on the other hand didn't have an air of authority even as first officer of the Reliant IMO unlike NuChekov. I just find it hard to visualise Keenser as a senior officer because he doesn't appear to have what it takes based on what his character actually says and does on screen.
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Aren't you the same Pauln6 who said you'd rather have some female cameos than no female characters at all? :wtf:

    Keenser may be the strong silent type, but he's an extra, not a main or even supporting character. He's also used as comic relief, and is a memorable character, which is more than can be said for lots of other extras playing aliens in ST and movies in general.

    So what? Neither did Marcel Marceau. His only onscreen lines were in... "Silent Movie!"

    Deep Roy's interview says: "The silent Keenser was not originally meant to be silent. 'I had dialogue, but they changed that,' explained Roy. 'They said, "It doesn’t look right for this guy to talk because, after all, he’s from another planet. He’s an alien. He doesn’t speak the language." So that’s what happened on the first film. I did have dialogue, but they took it out. J.J. told me why and I said, "Sure, whatever it is, it is." And then it just made sense for him not to speak in the second one, either.'

    "Roy explained how he viewed the petite alien. 'Well, Keenser is a smart alien,' he said. 'I try to bring a little bit of comedy into it, but he’s a great thinker. He is a guy…silence is golden, as they say, but he’s well-aware of what’s going on around him. He doesn’t hold grudges against anyone.'"
    http://www.trektoday.com/content/2013/06/roy-on-playing-keenser/

    Equality in gender only.

    But once that one attribute is achieved, will you also argue for equality in homosexuality, all religions of the world, obese people, redheads, quadriplegics, sight-impaired and Austrians? Where does it end?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  6. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    With clones, duh.
     
  7. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Double post
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Scotty understands him just fine.

    We don't yet really know how well Keenser interacts with other humans. But Keenser can speak when he needs to.

    Do you recall Naraht the horta? His Mum can't speak in TOS, but she can communicate with Spock. Naraht uses a "voder" in the novels and comics, and moves from ensign to lieutenant. Another horta uses mechanical limbs in the comic "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Nanoprobes". In the novel "Dyson Sphere", Starfleet has a whole starship full of horta Starfleet crew.

    No, they definitely don't. In the bonus DVD footage, Kirk assumes another Orion is Gaila, so it's quite possible that he's seen Gaila's name on the crew manifest, and therefore is expecting to encounter her but earlier in the actual movie we see Gaila's delight at the news of her posting, but not the name of her ship.

    We checked all this when fans started saying, in 2009, that Gaila was definitely dead. It's just as likely she's still with us.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  9. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    What you want is a TV series (your examples of "better" for female characters shows this). That is the only way you will get to see the kind of gender balance you seek. As long as new Trek movies are based on the TOS character set, whether it approached as an ensemble piece OR focused on Kirk/Spock, the balance you desire is not really possible (unless a more radical reboot makes some of the main seven female). You can hope for better quality writing for female characters that coincide with your views but parity in numbers is a pipe dream with the TOS character set.
     
  10. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was actually 97.5% joking.

    I apologize that my humour seems strange to a lot of people here. I'll be sure to include more smiley's next time.

    There was a slight element of seriousness to it but I certainly didn't mean to say people who liked the underwearing Carol Marcus scene were unintelligent. Just as I wouldn't say people who liked the Cumberbatch shower scene (if it had been in it) or Kirk, McCoy and Uhura in tight wetsuits as unintelligent either.
    You've got to have something good to look at in a movie.

    In reality I think that JJ was trying to attract more people to the movie by including the scene in the trailer and having more people see the movie is a good thing.

    And it was only 2 seconds long and Marcus was the professional one in the scene not Kirk but it was not the same as seeing someone at the beach. Actually seeing all the cast at the 'beach' in the next movie would be a great idea (especially Karl Urban).
    Sorry I use the word 'actually' a lot.:)

    I hate that entire episode. If I were allowed to blow up some episodes that would be first on my list. Even ahead of "Spock's Brain"

    And with Keenser. Scotty can understand him and so could Kirk or otherwise I doubt he would let him take over engineering. Aren't the TOS crew supposed to have universal translators on them (TUC)? Perhaps everyone with a UT can understand him just not us.
     
  11. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Co-Founder of ISIS Moderator

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    I don't object to the idea of having some more female characters with more prominent roles in future movies in this series (with the caveats mentioned below). On the contrary, I encourage it.

    I've simply objected to what I feel is an unfair mischaracterization of the current film as extremely sexist, a lack of perspective on the part of some people who don't seem to get the vast improvement in women's roles in this film versus the source material of TOS or even versus a lot of other media today, and a lack of understanding that the nature of a soft reboot like this limits your options in terms of gender numerical equality of the main characters, since the 60s based six male, one female main cast of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura can't be reasonably altered or supplanted without a fan backlash at this point. They're the drawing power.

    You can add new prominent female characters like they did with Carol Marcus (and there's room for a couple more), and I look forward to her character hopefully being developed further in future films. However, like I mentioned, the focus should be on quality of the depiction(s) rather than slavish devotion to gender numerical parity in prominent speaking roles, because that simply can't happen with the main cast restrictions I mentioned above without drastically altering the films to the point where the big seven are little more than secondary characters themselves. If you went for numerical parity and added six prominent female speaking role characters to the next film to balance out the six prominent males, you'd be spending so much time developing their characters that the film will either have to be four or more hours long or the main cast will have to be reduced to background characters while you do a TNG - Lower Decks type story, which is great on a TV series but not really viable in a film with established characters who are the draw for your audience.

    Anyway, my point is that in this film series, with the restrictions placed on it, quality of roles for women is more important than total numerical parity in roles, IMO. Quality over quantity. If they ever reboot the franchise again with a hard reboot this time (Captain Kirk is a woman, Spock is a gay black Vulcan, Chekov is a sentient genetically engineered Russian bear, whatever), create a completely new cast of characters and setting, or if they ever bring back TNG/DS9/VOY-era films (extremely unlikely), then the issue of gender balance in numbers can be addressed more satisfactorily, because you won't have the same restrictive preestablished framework that you have to work within.

    Well, yeah, there's some truth to that, because the crew of the Enterprise --as seen in ST09-- is largely made up of cadets given brevet ranks during the Vulcan crisis. Thousands of other cadets died above Vulcan, so their recruiting pool is drastically reduced, and countless more senior officers and enlisted personnel are engaged with the bulk of the fleet in the Laurentian System and in the Cold War along the border with the Klingons (the Laurentian crisis is possibly part of that). The Enterprise in this universe is basically like the USS Valiant from the DS9 episode of the same name, a ship full of cadets without experienced senior officers overseeing them anymore. Spock and Scotty are probably the two most senior officers onboard.
     
  12. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks! I can't help but to agree with you now!
     
  13. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Yes, because she's a woman. You'd bend over backwards to accept any justification/explanation how she became a transporter operator. I have no problem with Rand in that position but I hope you complain about how her character was shown as being ineffectual, by Kirk simply taking over her controls.
     
  14. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Don't give us this sexist shit.
    Have you ever looked at the covers for romance/erotic-novels targeted at a female readership?

    Humans like to look a the human body, women just as much as men. To suggest otherwise is dishonest and denies reality.
     
  15. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's a good point - Kirk wouldn't have taken over from Kyle or any other male transporter operator the way he did in that scene.
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's not what "gender roles" means. But thanks for playing.

    FYI: You would switch "Gender roles" by having the same two characters -- say, Kirk and Rand -- and having them literally swap jobs and socio-political-economic responsibilities. IOW, Rand becomes Captain and Kirk becomes Yeoman; Uhura becomes science officer and Spock becomes communications officer; Uhura supresses her emotions to avoid the pain of separation from life and loved ones and Spock yells at her for it in the K'normian ship.

    As it happens, there was already plenty of that going on in STID as is: Spock is in trouble, Uhura beams down to save him; Bones is rendered helpless, Carol has rescue him from the bomb; the ship is nose to nose with a squad of pissed off Klingons, and all of the men hide behind the one female officer on the entire mission. All of these represent the reversal of conventional gender roles inasmuch as western society still recognizes such traditions. Switching those roles can make for interesting turnabouts and character development, but switching them just to be switching them is stupid.
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Right on. I always wince at that. What's Mr. I-don't-know-the phasers-are-channeled-through-the-warp-drive-now going to do better, anyway? Protect her!
     
  18. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    I would love to Rand in nuTrek. Officer Torres from The Terminal did a great job as Rand. I she available?
     
  19. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lol! Why would I need to? Is there any Starfleet crewman who has been shown as incapable of operating the transporter? Plus Rand is a veteran CPO by the time of TMP (aged about 42 I think) with more than a few years of service under her belt and by the time she's comms officer in TUC she's also retrained as an officer as opposed to senior enlisted crew. She isn't an 18 year old with a year's experience in as different discipline for example.

    I view the scene as symptomatic of Kirk 'pushing' as McCoy put it. He barged in and took over from Rand just like he barged in and took over from Decker. I've never really viewed it as a gender thing although I would have liked it if Rand had been given something to do in the second half of the movie as well.

    All I'm saying is there is a distinction between being capable of acting as a security guard and being CHIEF of security. There is a distinction between being trained as an engineer and being CHIEF engineer. They are not identical skill sets. Barclay is a good engineer but he'd be a disaster as chief.

    The novel Traitor Winds took a stab at explaining why Chekov ended up as security chief and it was pretty well done. The problem with Chekov is that in subsequent movies he went back to being a bit of a dunderhead seemingly with no affinity for security training at all.

    TOS Chekov was science trained and I think it's a shame that they couldn't find a way to remain truer to the original character in NuTrek. I can live with him being trained as an engineer instead but my problem is just the rapid rise to chief after only a year as a qualified officer on duty in a different department. I do understand why they wanted to give him more do do but that was a silly way to do it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  20. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah ok - apologies if I used confusing terminology again - I meant swapping gender rather than gender roles, obviously as an interesting mental exercise - NuBSG won me over because Katee Sakhoff was amazing but I wasn't all that well disposed to the notion of recasting characters with a different gender. I'd rather they updated the women they already had.

    I suppose I don't really view the main characters in terms of gender roles per se but rather in accordance with their ranks and skill sets so Uhura steps up to face the Klingons because that's what she's qualified to do. It offends me when a qualified character gets bumped to make way for one of the big 3 and it did even in the sixties, when it happened a lot from season 2 onwards. That's why Uhura beaming down to save Spock doesn't sit all that well with me. She isn't really best qualified to do that - but the point about her being best qualified to reign in Spock is a valid counter point.
     
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