Why so little Uhura in ST3?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by wonderstoat, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. wonderstoat

    wonderstoat Lieutenant Premium Member

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    I've just rewatched ST3 and noticed a few things.

    One, is that it's a much better film than I remember, some great character moments ("how can you be deaf with ears that big?"; "don't call me 'Tiny;"; "but you don't have eight, so I'll do it for ye in two", significant things happen (David dies, Ent gets scuttled) and I can't help feeling it may have been a lot better if it wasn't for the hokey Genesis studio set.

    It also has the single best line in all of trek "That green-blooded son of a bitch ..." you all know the rest ...

    Anyways, one thing that's puzzled me is that Uhura is completely absent after the transporter scene with "Mr Adventure" until the final scene on Vulcan.

    I'm amazed I never noticed before. Can anyone shed any light on this? Is there some backstage story concerning Nichelle Nichols?
     
  2. Jarrott2

    Jarrott2 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    This has also bothered me over the years. I always thought how cool it would have been if instead when they beam over and are on the bridge that the turbo lift doors open and in walks Uhura saying "you boys didn't think you could do this alone!" and behind her walks Janice Rand, Christine Chapel, Kevin Riley and others from the old series. And then she says I brought some old friends. I hated it that they blew up the Enterprise. One of my beefs with all the movies is that the Enterprise was never really grand it always ended up getting pumeled or destroyed.
     
  3. Admiral Bear

    Admiral Bear Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've always guessed Uhura wasn't central to the story, and as such Nichols only had a small part. Star Trek III is essentially Kirk and McCoy going to find Spock's body so that McCoy can have his marbles back.

    It's a good dark film, albeit with a very simple story, although sometimes they work the best. :)
     
  4. Kryton

    Kryton Admiral Admiral

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    Yup. She just wasn't key to the plot and, frankly, it worked to have her wish them well and see them off.

    My favorite Trek film, BTW...truest to everything Trek ever meant to me growing up. "The needs of the ONE sometimes outweigh the needs of the many." Only Jim Kirk. <sniffle>
     
  5. Anticitizen

    Anticitizen Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, Uhura did pop up on Vulcan at the end.

    Don't forget the best part, though -

    'I (kick) have HAD (kick) enough of YOU! (KICK)'
     
  6. Shatmandu

    Shatmandu Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I remember reading some slash about what Uhura did with "Mister Adventure" in that closet.

    Jeez!

    Joe, not easily shocked
     
  7. ST-One

    ST-One Vice Admiral

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    She may not have had a big part in that movie, but she looked younger than in all the other film (even TMP and TWOK).
     
  8. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not sure if it was just the author's imagining or part of a bit of cut material, but in the novelization, Uhura goes to the Vulcan embassy and Sarek, just ahead of Federation security and gets asylum, which is how she got to Vulcan.

    Not sure what the actual reason for her lack of usage was, but I can easily imagine the execs considering that not as exciting so they wanted it left out.
     
  9. tranya

    tranya Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, the novelization was top notch, full of awesome extra bits like this -- it was by far my favorite novelization. I remember reading it as a kid and getting at least 100 pages into it and still hadn't reached the first scene of the movie.
     
  10. RyanKCR

    RyanKCR Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I read in a magazine interview that on original reading Nichelle counted her lines and complained to Bennett. He asked her if she read the lines themselve. She admitted she didn't and when she did she was extremely happy with what she was able to do and was grateful for the spotlight Bennet put on her in that scene.
     
  11. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. "Starlog" interview with Harve Bennett. Nichelle was also pressuring for a skirt version of the Starfleet uniform (in ST II) and he made sure that wish was granted for ST III.
     
  12. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    She liked her skirts, and that's fine! ^^
     
  13. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, she may have only had one key scene but it was....a very very good one!

    That'd make me happy, too!
     
  14. Kryton

    Kryton Admiral Admiral

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    It's damn irregular is what it is! ;)
     
  15. guardian

    guardian Commodore

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    There was just as much Uhura in TSFS as Sulu & Chekov if you go by lines.

    Sulu had the 'tiny' scene
    Chekov the destruct scene and they are just background button pushers for the rest of the movie

    I am a crazy line counter

    I counted all the lines for the main regular characters in TSFS up till the stealing of the Enterprise, recently.

    Uhura has about 30 lines
    Sulu about 25
    Chekov about 20 and
    Kirk nearly 300 lines:rommie: and he's just getting warmed up, the others by that point had had their spotlight time.

    Anybody who truly thinks that Nimoy changed balance of focus for the minor characters is just unaware.
    In trek 3 & 4 he gave them each a little bit to do in one scene and they thought it was some kind of big deal.

    TOS was the big 3, period.

    Nimoy was just able to massage the egos of the other actors to keep them happy, not expand their roles.
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Well, what would you rather do? Spend three months sitting in the background pushing buttons and getting paid for it,

    or,

    having that one day where the focus of the director and film crew is on you and you get to really sink your teeth into some lines that require comic timing, and will be remembered by fans at conventions forever.

    Some memorable performances are filmed in just a few minutes. Other performances are played out over several weeks, and are not necessarily more or less memorable for the time spent getting them on film.

    And glorified extras don't have an awful lot of fun, most of the time.
     
  17. guardian

    guardian Commodore

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    I agree, I think he did a good job with the supporting cast in keeping them happy.
    It would have been bad if any had jumped ship because they didn't get their little spotlight scene.

    I was more commenting on the folks who think that somehow under nimoy their roles were big or substantial. Yeah, for the most part in TSFS & TVH they got 1 day each if they were lucky where the focus was on them.

    I gotta feel bad for the folks whose favorite character is, say, Uhura and they think she had a decent role in TSFS because she had one scene with 20 lines and had another 20 throughout the rest of the movie!!
     
  18. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Even after Scotty sabotaged Excelsior, there was all of Earth and Starfleet to contend with.

    Uhura had to stay behind and run interference for Kirk and co. so Starfleet
    wouldn't catch them. I imagine she jammed comms, prevented interception, all kinds of mayhem. Kept everyone off their back.
    Later on, she caught up with them on Vulcan.

    Makes sense to me.
     
  19. Cky

    Cky Captain Captain

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    All of Starfleet to contend with? Enterprise is always the only ship in the quadrent.
     
  20. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    If Nichelle was happy - in the end - and, as you say, her fans feel happy, then why feel bad for them? They're happy!

    More to do would be better, but happy is happy.
     

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