Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Shazam!

    Shazam! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Old-Trek bashing fail.

    [​IMG]

    They talk in the very first scene of the movie.
     
  2. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    I don't see it that way at all, as I've previously said. The society we live in is patriarchal, capitalistic, ethnically white, and materialistic. Naturally, our culture is an expression of all these modes of organisation. Everybody has to compromise with the world that they live in. I think Star Trek is a damned fine thing to compromise on in a way that, say, Piranha 3D isn't.
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    1. Carol could have been raised by her father and her mother could have been the villain without changing either character or the plot. Watch the Manchurian Candidate - mothers can make great villains!

    2. Amanda is the personification of Spock's emotional human half rather than just his mother. The TOS version was a lot more fun though - she had a wicked sense of humour and clearly enjoyed duelling with Vulcan logic. NuAmanda felt a bit dull by comparison.

    3. If anything, Uhura and Chekov were used imappropriately just to use them. I approved of Uhura on the Klingon mission but she should have been on the Romulan mission in the last movie for the same reasons. This was progress. Carol forgot how transporters work so don't give her too much credit but overall, I thought she was a good addition. They seem to be making use of her in the comics too, which is a good thing.

    4. Chapel was a research biologist. She would be more relevant as an exobiologist than a nurse and it's the only way she'd get out of McCoy's shaodw but they keep plugging her as a nurse because the title 'Nurse' Chapel is well known. Yeoman Rand has been used as security support in the comics. As the Captain's yeoman she has every reason to be by his side and as a security trained crewman she could easily have contributed to either movie. These would be third tier characters, similar to Darwin, Keenser, and Cupcake but nonetheless Chapel could have been recruited as a temporary nurse following the crisis with Nero's attack and she'd be qualified to carry out research on a tribble. Rand could have been the second security guard on Qo'nos. It's not that hard.

    It's obvious that they don't think much about casting the extras. Making some noise will hopefully think a bit more.

    And while we're at it - more Andorians dammit!
     
  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    Wouldn't that mean replacing a black woman with a white woman? But wait, Persis was an Indian woman, but had pale skin? :devil:

    The Cumberbatch as Khan argument all over again. Kobayashi Maru.
     
  5. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Ilia's age wasn't stated and if Ilia was the same age as Persis, she'd be about 19 I think. Decker was older than Chekov and Chekov is in this movie. Assuming that they are not born earlier or later, NuDecker and NuIlia would be just right to be working alongside this crew.
     
  6. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Yeah - I've seen Persis in a couple of other movies - they must have piled on the make-up to make her look so pale - although she was pale for a south asian woman I think. I'd be quite happy with an Indian wearing Indian make-up this time round. :eek:

    I remember watching an episode of TNG and my Nan, bless her, complained that she didn't like watching shows full of black people. I realised that I'd been watching an episode that featured Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, April Grace, and Lanei Chapman. I hadn't really noticed the ethnic mix of that particular episode and that makes me proud of Trek. I want to not notice that there are all races and genders. If I'm noticing, they're not doing it right!

    Sadly, a lot of people's threshold for not noticing stuff is lower than mine - lol - hence the debate
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Your Mom
    Except the plot then would have been Carol trying to reconnect with her estranged mother, in which case we would have feminists in here complaining about Admiral Marcus abandoning her daughter in favor of her career.

    Of course she is. And yet she IS a woman, whatever else she also represents.

    So did Kirk, evidently.

    Who almost never did anything related to biological research in all of TOS and later became an MD.

    Also, I think maybe you're being a bit condescending to nurses.:vulcan:

    And if and when the Enterprise ever has a situation where the Cheif of Security would have a prominent role, this is fertile ground for the characterization of Janice Rand.

    Hell, Cupcake's probably dead, so it seems like there'd be an opening for the five-year mission.:techman:

    And in either movie she would have been a) immediately killed off at the beginning of the firefight and b) had all of her significant lines edited out for brevity. Especially Into Darkness, which couldn't even find time for the Enterprise to shoot back.

    I'm sorry, but adding more female redshirts to the Trek bodycount doesn't seem like progress to me. We were talking about SUBSTANCE, right? It ultimately makes no difference whether Cupcake is a man or a woman because he has no lines and is destined to get killed meaninglessly.

    Assuming Carol's role becomes as prominent as Uhura, though, we now have a central team that involves three men and two women and McCoy's role isn't nearly as major as it was in TOS. That's two prominent women and two prominent men. You can't do anything meaningful with Janice Rand OR Christine Chapel unless you reduce the role of someone else, and with the pace of these movies it's just not gonna work.

    What we really need, IMO, are playable female characters in Trek videogames. They can build on the 2013 release with an Into Darkness followup and Add Sulu, Rand, Uhura and Marcus along with Kirk and Spock as being playable. :mallory:

    If you want to get more female extras, you're going to have to get more female actresses to apply for the role. Casting directors aren't going to break their backs looking for them.

    The andorians make better antagonists than crewmembers, IMO.
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    If we're going to hammer on tropes, let's be correct about it. Under the Smurfette Principle, there can be only one. For STID, you probably want "Two Girls to a Team" or, maybe, "Affirmative Action Girl". As long as there isn't any antagonism between Uhura and Carol, Carol cannot, by definition, be a Smurfette. (And, even if there were, Uhura already had dibs on being the Smurfette; no way would they invert that trope and have Carol push Uhura off).

    Remove Kirk and Spock and there's no one left to carry the show period, male or female. For that reason, the pair of Uhura and Carol isn't really parallel to the pair of Kirk and Spock. You're comparing apples and oranges, there.

    What you need to do, there, is see what the cast looks like, besides Kirk and Spock. The main cast might benefit from at least one more female. Rand as security chief could work (was that you who suggested that, months back?).

    However, this isn't a dog and pony show. There has to be sufficient reason for the characters to be on screen, or it will just come off as contrived, and take us back to Yawnersville.

    Since "in no way balanced" sounds pretty extreme, if not hyperbolic, I'd like a tally, please. There's some space in between "totally balanced" and "in no way balanced", namely "somewhat balanced".

    I also think you're being disingenuous about mothers and girlfriends. They didn't "have" to be on screen at all! Strike any one of Winona, Amanda, Gaila, or even Hannity, and STXI is a noticeably lesser film, but it's still perfectly doable. (ETA: Are women only legitimately on screen if they come stag and childless? I'm probably missing something here, but the main characters are already set in stone: Kirk and Spock and they're male. Is Carol not legitimately on screen because she's Admiral Marcus's daughter?)

    By the way, for all we know, maybe Hannity is Number One.

    IIRC, wasn't there an alien female security guard at one of the consoles in the brig in STID? I'd have to see the film again to be sure.

    In Starfleet? Post proof please.

    This has already been debunked on the BBS. Who are the women shown here in the Daystrom Conference Room?

    While I wasn't necessarily happy about that, the purpose of Abrams's films isn't to replay TOS beat for beat. That applies to Number One also, whom I might have also liked to have seen (unless we already saw her). This relates to my point about there having to be sufficient reason for characters to be on screen in the first place.

    Choices are not in and of themselves errors.

    Just how big does the set of main characters have to get? The big ten? Even The Big Chill stopped at eight main characters.

    There's a difference between the universe overall being reasonably balanced and the characters shown on screen being more males than females. What the camera focuses on is just a cross section of the larger whole. It's always going to be an uphill battle, in terms of gender balance in the characters shown on screen, because of the source material. I haven't seen any convincing evidence that the universe itself is "in no way balanced". (I think these last two points have been made on the BBS before.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  9. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Actually, it was Winona's absence FROM THE MOVIE after giving birth that led to that criticism. It was the absence of her as a discernible influence compared to her dead husband i.e. the lack of respect to her as a character.

    Paired with her husband, they sort of cancel each other out and he's a more prominent character.

    This was in the context of whether the modern version could be made relevant. She has a skill set that could be used. I know both doctors and nurses. I merely point out that as a nurse in a Trek movie there is almost no way that Chapel can come out of McCoy's shadow. As an exobiologist, she has a niche.

    I'm not overly obsessed with department heads. I'm happy for Rand to remain a petty officer and Kirk's yeoman. I'd be more annoyed if they made her a senior officer actually. I like her as an everyman like Chief O'Brien.

    Apparently rumours of his death may be exaggerated.

    I'd still be happy if she appeared. I don't mind them killing her. I'd mind them killing her without first establishing her as a character we care about. Appearing in the first two and dying in the third would be fine. Only appearing and dying in the third film would now annoy me.

    Adding more female redshirts? Did you spot one? Yes, a female in a security role WOULD be progress whether they kill her or not. Oh re above post - I do think the alien in the brig might have been a woman. Admin duty but it's a start.

    Nonsense. There are quite a few supporting male cast members. Just use the women instead. Simples.

    Agreed but I expect that creating separate female meshes might scale up the costs.

    Lol - I'm willing to bet that they had more than enough actresses auditioning, just not that many role for them to fill.

    Lies! But then that's how I feel about the Orions so I can't be too critical. Let's have both as crewmen AND villains.
     
  10. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Yeah, I felt that Chekov was totally superfluous in both movies. I would have been far happier if they had stuck with one of the women and then introduced Chekov further down the line at a more age-appropriate point. Anton is great fun but it looks like they really struggled to use him in any way that was recognisable for his character.

    I'm not down on wives, mothers, & girlfriends any more than I'm down on nurses. I just raise my voice at the lack of imagination when such a high proportion of the women are defined primarily in that role. I do give Amanda a pass as I think she signified more than that though.

    In Trek 09 I had a quick glance at the cast list and ignoring the big 7, we had 50 men and 21 women. The men include an actress playing a male alien. The women include 4 wives/mothers/girlfriends, 2 medical staff, 2 silent Vulcan women among a larger number of Vulcan men, a stenographer, and a Romulan comms officer - even Romulans like lady secretaries! The women are not used imaginatively at all!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2013
  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    I basically agree with this. Ilia would be the obvious choice.
     
  12. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    :lol: Very true.
     
  13. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Location:
    Star Trekkin Across the universe.
    It wasn't the upper echelons, it was just the captains and first officers of al the ships that were in the sector at that time. For all we know it Khan had blow the archive up a week earlier the meeting could have had more women then men, or hell been mostly non-human.

    Oh that was the guy's leg, I though she may have stabbed something lower, more to the center and probably more important to males at least than that (assuming Klingons have those in the same place as humans).

    You know we really need a wince emote.
     
  14. Kruezerman

    Kruezerman Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Location:
    Meatloaf with Macaroni and Cheese
    So what do you want? Do you want numbers or substance? Do you want them to bring back Rand to take over for Cupcake even though he wasn't a well fleshed out character other than raging douchebag? And why wouldn't you want her as department head? Why keep her as just a yeoman?

    Because I've been following this and I have no idea what you want other than to make a big stink and create a conflict where none exists.
     
  15. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    In a genre like Star Trek, if you have numbers you end up having substance. It will self correct.

    I'm happy with Rand being a yeoman instead of a department head head because there is absolutely no need for her to be a department head to contribute. This is distinct from Chapel whose role would be subsumed by McCoy as a nurse.

    In fact, Rand is more likely to get air time as Kirk's yeoman than she would as a department head or plain security guard because she needs no in-story excuse to be in his orbit. Apart from Spock, McCoy and Scotty, no other department heads have featured. It also looks as though Scotty has no spare engineering officers to fill in for him when he's off the ship.

    Why do you view gender equality in the franchise as a conflict? I view it as an easily achievable improvement. Certainly a lot of women want to see a better representation of women on screen but surely that's a laudable goal? Would you view more women on screen in more diverse roles as a bad thing?
     
  16. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Location:
    Europa
    No one does that.

    You want to see a quota filled. There is a difference.
     
  17. Kruezerman

    Kruezerman Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Location:
    Meatloaf with Macaroni and Cheese
    Precisely. We have a strong, professional woman in Uhura and a highly intelligent, capable woman in Carol Marcus.

    As a gay man, I care not for numbers but for substance. If I don't "see" any (since I look and act like a straight man) I'll just assume that they're there. No big deal to me.
     
  18. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    I've never advocated a quota. However, the discrepancy is so obvious and has been for decades that I think they need to look more carefully at why the discrepancy is so persistent andd what can be done to rectify it.

    In fact, what I've advocated in the past is flipping a coin at script stage to determine the gender of any character with a speaking part whose gender isn't determined by something plot specific (such as a heterosexual character's love interest). If 70 supporting characters in the cast from Trek 09, it would take maybe 10 minutes tops. Seems simple enough.

    But if you think that gender equality in Trek is laudable, what method would you find acceptable to even up the numbers?

    I think, 'leave it to the script writers' is an unsatisfactory approach because after 40+ years, the script writers have failed to achieve major gains and 2:1 is still the norm.
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    And if they flip the coin and it comes out with 55 men and 15 women you'll be crying foul as well.

    When your spending $200 million of your own money to finance a film or are hired to direct one, then those decisions will be yours to make. Until then, your only requirement is to decide whether or not you will financially support the product.
     
  20. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Location:
    Europa
    They are equal in ST and STID.

    See, you are still just looking for a quota to be filled.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.