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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    Remain truer to what, he wasn't exactly fleshed out in any meaningful way in TOS. The most general audiences remember is that he's the one who talks funny.

    I've got a cast of seven main characters, two antagonists and a new science officer that I have to work into the story and I have two hours to do it. Under those storytelling constraints, I have no issue with Chekov being handed the chief engineer duties.

    In the real world I still don't have an issue because of familiarity. I hate to say I did exactly what we're discussing here because I promoted a lesser qualified candidate because I had worked with the lesser qualified candidate and was comfortable that person could handle the job better than the more qualified candidate. It's never as black and white as you'd like to make it sound.
     
  2. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is a valid point. But it doesn't automatically follow that they can't do a better job than they have so far. Arguing strongly for an 'ideal' outcome doesn't mean it's expected or even remotely realistic. The goal is to raise awareness in the hope that it will lead to improvement. Having both Carol and Uhura is an improvement but there is still room for more. I hope it's an ongoing progression.
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I meant in terms of him being an engineer rather than a scientist rather than promotion to chief. The engineering department probably has about twenty better qualified more senior candidates (not all whom might make good chiefs) - mind you, Spock did the same thing when he left Chekov in charge of the bridge during a crisis in Trek09 and he'd only been on the job for a day then! I don't imagine the Enterprise would be a very harmonious place to work when Kirk leap-frogged over more experienced candidates and then started promoting newly qualified junior officers himself.
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There is no "original character" for Chekov in TOS, only a bundle of cliches and a bad accent.
     
  5. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, come on. Rand even had to turn away to avoid the horror.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibBTZyQpVAA[/yt]

    It's a powerful scene, but it's also undercut by a pretty blatant display of expected gender roles. Man takes charge; woman gasps.

    Just for reference, earlier the same year, Ripley pwned the xenomorph.
     
  6. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for reposting the scene. I'd forgotten that Scotty was there too. I don't think Rand stepping back to allow Scotty to take charge is so unrealistic since his skill with the transporter is legendary. Letting Kirk take charge would also be second nature for her. For my part I think she knew they were already toast (or rather sludge) so stepping back to let someone else try was more a case of why the hell not.

    The thing I like about the scene the most is that it reminds us that something as 'simple' as transporting can be dangerous.

    But as far as Rand being girly goes, I don't have strong objections to some girls being girly. If we get enough characters we can have Ro Laren alongside Troi and it's fine. Well, let me qualify that - I think it's fine as long as we have a baseline for officer/crew qualification so everybody should be able to fight and shoot, fly the ship, operate transporters and effect basic repairs.

    I think rumours of Ripley's heroics may be exaggerated. She was just an officer doing what had to be done and in the same movie poor Veronica Cartwright had to be hysterical, despite her objections, because her character was supposed to personify the audience's fears. Ripley in 1 & 2 was one of the greatest movie heroines of all time but later on, much like Kirk, she became a bit of a caricature of the original.

    I've always rather enjoyed the fact that Rand is a bit crap. It's part of her charm. She's the everyman who can ask dumb questions so that Kirk and Spock can explain to the audience. Not that I would want her to be wholly defined by that role in the reboot, which is why I think making her more of a security trained character in the comics is a good compromise.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  7. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, I saw it yesterday and I get it, now, and think that it's funny, so whatever objection I had to it, I don't now. Keep on keepin' on with it.
     
  8. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    These two posts of yours are so full of crap.

    You really shouldn't lecture anyone about the supposed sexism you see in STID when you completely ignore the blatant sexism pictured in that scene in TMP.

    How's the back?
     
  9. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Possibly - I think I just don't understand the nature of your comparison. I certainly wouldn't say it was 'blatant' compared to, say, Ilia's bath robe, because Scotty has a history of being better than any other crewman with transporters and Kirk is shown to be barging his way in on everybody's turf (including Scotty's) throughout the first half of the movie. It's consistent with the established skill sets and motivations of the characters.

    Do you think it was sexist because Rand was emotional? Because Uhura, Carol, Kirk, and even Spock are very emotional in NuTrek. Or is it because male characters barged in and took over - because NuChekov does exactly the same thing in ST09 and I don't think I called that as sexist either - I just said it was a bit forced because Chekov hadn't traditionally been a transporter expert and I would have preferred Rand to be featured at the transporter so that her character could have been used somewhere.

    I view the role of transporter operator as being a pretty basic role compared to chief of security or chief engineer. Maybe if you can explain to me how you think the scene should have gone to avoid it being sexist in your eyes?

    Don't get me wrong, I accept that the general tone of Trek was reasonably sexist back then but I try to view it through the prism of the era in which the movie was made. Modern Trek doesn't get the same pass in my eyes because we should know better by now. TMP had three prominent supporting females (Uhura, Ilia, Chapel) plus three minor roles (Difalco, Rand, Momo Yoshima) and one or two cameos. It lacked higher ranking women (although in the novelisation it was a vice-admiral who was turned to sludge on the transporter so your mileage may vary there) and it lacked a prominent heroine but it lacked a lot of other stuff as well!

    I like the movie tremendously but I think that Uhura and Carol's characterisations are superior in NuTrek because the writers clearly want to write for their characters rather than just for the Big 3.
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, that's the point. Actually, doing what has to be done is pretty much the definition of hero in the real world. What Arnold did in Commando was not heroic. It was beyond comic book in its absurd implausibility, so it wasn't superheroic, either. Ditto for Rambo.

    Ripley was plenty girly. She screamed. But she also braved danger, hit the airlock button, and otherwise did what had to be done, even though she was scared. Heck, the audience was scared. I assume they made Lambert that way, to make the point by contrast. Screaming is OK, as is being emotional, but freezing isn't.

    (P.S. You hacked up my post. The word is "pwned". I meant that. :p)

    Speaking for myself, no. Being emotional is fine; it's a good thing. I answered the question in the context of Alien, but I'll repeat it here.

    "Screaming is OK, as is being emotional, but freezing isn't."

    Why couldn't they just let her do her job?

    Anyone who thinks men don't get emotional is living in a dream world.
     
  11. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    How the hell was that sexist?

    No. The character acted weak. Traditionally womanly. Nearly Damsel-in-distress-like.
    Yes. Kirk pisses all over the place. But Decker, Scott, McCoy at least argued with him. She just took it and stepped back to let the man handle the situation.

    None of the female characters in STID acted that way.
     
  12. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Whoopsy - sorry - I don't speak jive!

    Although Lambert was generally annoying and whined a lot, it's easy to overlook that she was an officer, a navigator, and was one of the crewmen who went out on the landing party.

    The thing I love was when Ripley refused to let them back on the ship. That's the common sense sci fi that was horrifically absent from Prometheus. That movie had so much potential but it fell into the same trap as NuTrek (only more so) of wanting it's principle characters to be shoe-horned in wherever possible. It's heroine was performing ludicrous feats of acrobatics after major surgery and the only character with anything resembling common sense for most of the movie forgot to run sideways at the end :rofl: David was amazing though.
     
  13. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, Ilia could have remained in uniform rather than in a robe so short that she had to have her ears waxed. :devil: But the robe was one of the things on which they sold the movie - I had a lot of posters with Stephen Collins and Persis posing back in the seventies...

    Scotty is a section chief and Decker was meant to be in command - Rand on the other hand is a non-commissioned officer. Kirk is an admiral and Scotty is her her department chief. I'm still not clear what it was you think she should have done instead. In fact, I don't like the way the junior crew sometimes talk back to Kirk in NuTrek. He's a dick but he's the captain - apart from Bones obviously, because that's his schtick and Scotty where Kirk tests his love of his ship.

    I don't think Kirk or Scotty needed to be there to make the scene work but I've never viewed it as particularly sexist because they were. As I say, transporters have always been one of Scotty's things. Do you think the NuChekov scene was sexist too?

    It is true that Rand was largely a damsel in distress character in TOS. I think making her more independent would be a good thing but she used to make the coffee - killing people on a transporter pad is definitely a step up!
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  14. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Showing skin is sexist?

    Not freeze, for example.

    No. That scene plays differently.
     
  15. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lol - where have you been? Some people take the view that the frequent display of lady skin unnecessarily can be deemed sexist. Ripley did love stripping down to her undies though, didn't she? Personally, I think it's all in the context and showing skin is a minor infringement as long as the character overall functions well. Barbarella takes it a bit too far...

    Did she freeze? She looked like she was working the controls and liaising with Starfleet. She only stepped back when Scotty came on the scene because he's far more qualified than she is.

    What do you see as different? Is it just the emotional state of the operator?

    Is it worth noting that the malfunction isn't Rand's fault and there was nothing that she, Starfleet, Kirk, or Scotty could do. In NuTrek the transporter operator can't do the job with operational equipment. :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think threads like these with their faux outrage cause more problems than they solve.

    In that spirit...

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HR0P3sIb80[/yt]

    EDIT: For those that think Star Trek Into Darkness and Animal House are similar, Animal House is on EncoreHD at 9:30pm EST. :techman:
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  17. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    This was the first mission to an alien planet, and Shaw was doing what she did because the machine that stitched her up was that good. Give me a break about how bad it was, they're explorers, for frack's sake.

    Here's a review that destroys most of the bitching and whining about Prometheus: Death by a Thousand Nitpicks? Prometheus (2012) and the critical reception by John Kenneth Muir
     
  18. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The whole idea of Ilia with her pheromones and her ability to ensnare men with her sexuality in a teenage boy's dream. You can't probably get more sexist than this particular fantasy of GR's ;).
    IMO its only Kambatta's sweet-portrayal of llia that counteracts Ilia's sex goddess role.
     
  19. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the review covers and accepts most of my criticisms pretty well but I'd go slightly further on a couple of points. It isn't breathability of the atmosphere that is the issue, it's whether there is anything dangerous living in it so while one person recklessly taking off his helmet is fine, everybody following suit until he has been medically checked out just because he didn't drop dead immediately was very silly. They had no external lab, decontamination procedure or quarantine procedure set up to even check if any of the crew were sick or if their suits were carrying anything dangerous on them - at least it was Ash's agenda that bypassed quarantine in Alien. Considering how expensive the mission was their scientific method was just terrible. The scientist that gets lost is the one who has just mapped the complex and I'm sorry but no way can I accept their behaviour when faced with a creature that looks exactly like snake - a dangerous predator on Earth - that was truly ridiculous. I don't object to Shaw running around while in pain (although the amount does get silly), I object to her jumping, climbing, and fighting in melee.

    It wasn't that the movie was bad, it was just that Alien is so good that people had high expectations and sloppy story elements led to a lot of disappointment. Visually it was stunning and David was incredible but I couldn't wait for the other stupid characters to die and if you don't feel for the characters, the movie will fail to work on a very important level. Die Hard had a lot of very silly moments but at least I was rooting for John. With a few simple tweaks and alterations to a dozen lines of dialogue, it could have been much better.
     
  20. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    It's amusing to see you twist and turn to make STID seem like a sexist movie, but excuse the character-assassination scene in TMP.

    In the end, I think you (and that includes everyone who thinks STID is sexist) are the sexist here, not Abrams and Co. Alice Eve knew what the script demanded her character to do on camera. She wasn't forced to be in that movie. She obviously didn't have a problem doing that scene.
    The people who complain about the underwear-scene deny her her own good judgement and ability to decide what she wants to do.
    Do you think if Alice Eve had thought that scene to be sexist she would have done it?
    The woman stripping down had no problem doing so.
    Unless you think you know better for her, all you "sexist"-screamers should just shut up and let women today do what they want to do.
     
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