The Spock/Uhura Thing: Either Way, Someone Doesn't Look Good

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Kirk1980, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    With the introduction of the Spock/Uhura romance, Orci and Kurtzman have created two characters who, depending on where we focus our attention, are flawed (how minorly or majorly is up to interpretation).

    From Spock's side:

    He's either weak-willed or a...well, what would you call someone who bends to the wishes of their lover? Their STUDENT lover? Who reassigns someone during a crisis situation to his own ship?

    Something not too good if we're being unbiased here.

    From Uhura's side:

    She's basically....well, again, what would you call a woman who uses her sex to get what she wants? Demanding the Enterprise assignment from her lover is hardly professional. Quite...unsavory, actually.

    PLEASE only thoughtful responses. If you think I'm wrong, elaborate on your viewpoint in intelligent, well-worded prose. Or if you agree, be mature as there is potential for insulting language about either character.

    Personally, it's more damning of Spock to be compromised like this. Consider. He's having a relationship with a student of his. He assigned/reassigned her based on his own feelings.
     
  2. od0_ital

    od0_ital Admiral Admiral

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    Spock
    Uhura used a logical argument for gettin' assigned to the Enterprise, and pointed out that Spock's logic was flawed, in that he was tryin' to avoid appearances when on one else seemed aware of their relationship.

    And thus, Uhura, one of the most qualified cadets in her field, was assigned to the best ship.

    Uhura
    Since it isn't clear when Spock was Uhura's instructor, and I seriously doubt Spock would have a relationship with a student, I don't think he was her teacher when they started to see each other socially.

    I didn't hear Uhura tell Spock she'd make his Vulcan ears blow steam if she got assigned to the Enterprise, so why are ya assumin' she used her gender or their relationship to get the assignment?

    As for her approachin' Spock directly about it...well, if I have a problem at my job, do I go to the top manager that overlooks the whole place and plead my case, or do I go through the chain of command? Spock was Pike's first officer, and as established more than once in Star Trek, the first officer handles crew assignments for the ship (see TNG 'Lower Decks' for an example of that).
     
  3. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Actually, I think the evidence is pretty strong they had a relationship as cadet/instructor.

    They left Earth in a hurry, she was still a cadet. Do you really think that relationship level happened on the way to Vulcan?
     
  4. od0_ital

    od0_ital Admiral Admiral

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    ^

    Kirk met Uhura in the bar. Three years later, there's an emergency that puts the cadets on ships.

    A lot can happen in three years.

    Say that Uhura's freshman year, she gets Lt Cmdr Spock as an instructor (for whatever the hell reason) for one of her many classes. Her sophomore year at the academy, she gets a different set of officer instructors. Her third year, she bumps into Cmdr Spock since she's gearin' up for the Kobyashi Maru or whatever, and a relationship starts to form while he's an instructor and she's a student, but they no longer have to be in a classroom settin' together.
     
  5. NileQT87

    NileQT87 Commander Red Shirt

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    I get the vibe that while there were feelings beforehand (enough for favoritism to be a potential problem if their feelings for each other were known), it wasn't until Vulcan was destroyed that Spock truly gave over to the feelings and they officially became something more.

    It could very well have been an instructor/cadet relationship where she started out his best student, and over time, they developed feelings, but Spock was extremely hesitant to let it get too far. This would make the favoritism dialog make sense along with Spock's emotional breakdown leading to him becoming open enough to his human side for the relationship to happen on an openly romantic level.

    The Vulcan incident might have been what made the difference between the Spock/Uhura relationship seen in TOS (Uhura flirts with Spock, and while he enjoys her company, he doesn't let it go anywhere and acts oblivious) and the one here where, with the loss of his mother and planet, he allows himself to finally respond to Uhura.

    I really don't think the relationship was very far along when that favoritism dialog occurred. They were aware of feelings that they had, but it was still at a teacher/student favoritism place with acknowledgment of the impropriety that they were verging towards.

    Uhura wasn't going to Spock because she was his girlfriend, but because she was the most qualified person for the job. She went to get on the Enterprise for professional reasons. It was him that didn't put her there because of his leeriness at looking improper, despite knowing that she had the qualifications. He gave in because she proved to him logically that it was his own personal feelings on a matter getting in the way of her getting something she had earned.
     
  6. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But also bear in mind this was a crisis and she let her ego put her on the best ship instead of any ship and compounded it by going to the person she knew she had an edge on.
     
  7. NileQT87

    NileQT87 Commander Red Shirt

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    No, it wasn't that she had an edge on Spock, it's the fact that he wrongly put her on an inferior ship as to not look like he has favorites. She stood up against him overcompensating for hints of favoritism and personal feelings by not considering her for that which she was more qualified for than the substituted lesser cadet.

    Getting that post on the Enterprise was more difficult for her because Spock had chosen to not even consider her, despite her being the superior choice. She didn't get that post because of their relationship, but in spite of it. She had to fight even harder for her professional career with him being especially hard on her.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    Uhura's list of accomplishments made it very clear that she was both qualified for, and had honestly earned, a position aboard the Enterprise. It was Spock who was being irrational and emotional by assigning her to the Farragut; Uhura's confronting him simply caused him to realize that he was being both irrational and unfair to her, and he rectified his earlier unfairness.

    I'd say that that makes Spock look very secure and self-confident -- a man who will recognize an irrationality in himself and immediately correct it rather than angsting over the effects of the irrationality, or of Uhura's confrontation with him over it, upon his ego.

    Hardly. She didn't demand the Enterprise assignment because Spock was her lover. Far from it, actually; it was an assignment that she had clearly earned, and which was unfairly taken from her by Spock out of an emotional desire to avoid an appearance of favoritism -- an "appearance" that would have been no such thing, since she was clearly the most qualified applicant for that post. She in no way threatened or implied that his denial of that post would cost him in their relationship, and to presume that she used sex to get what she wants is an incredibly sexist interpretation of a character that was explicitly stated to be the best in her class at what she was applying for.
     
  9. shatastrophic

    shatastrophic Commander Red Shirt

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    It was like in Top Gun when she kept ragging Maverick because she didn't want anyone to know. It's kinda the same thing here. Spock and Uhura had defiantley done it by the time they were heading to Vulcan. It would've had to have been at Spocks place though as Uhura was hell bent on not having guys in the dorm room, or shes a hypocrite.
     
  10. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sci, I respect your beliefs but in my view that's hardly how it played out.

    In any case, Spock should have recused himself from being in charge of ship assignments due to his involvement with Uhura.

    Think about it. Are relationships between a cadet and a superior officer ever encouraged? Teachers and cadets?

    And here Uhura's being pissed about her career. Who knows, maybe the Farragut could have benefited from Uhura's talents.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    That critique is fair enough. I don't agree with it, but I don't disagree with it, either.

    Frankly, the Spock/Uhura thing, at least as far as the question of power dynamics and professional ethics goes, is perfectly in keeping with what Star Trek has always depicted about intra-Starfleet romances: No rules against it. Maybe there ought to be, but there never has been in Trek, and probably never will be.

    I'm sure it could have. But if she's the best of her lot -- which she is -- and she wants to serve on the most prestigious ship, the Enterprise, and under standard procedure the best of the lot gets assigned to the most prestigious ship, then there's no rational reason for her not to get the Enterprise posting.

    (Besides, as it turns out, getting the Enterprise instead of the Farragut was also better for her health...!)
     
  12. seniorsleuth

    seniorsleuth Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    That's right. Uhura would be space dust if not for this. I agree that Trek has never seemed to portray any problem with officers (or even enlisted people) having relationships with their superiors. Perhaps it's because Starfleet is not strictly speaking a military organization.

    And it IS very sexist to read that scene between Spock/Uhura as Uhura using her relationship to get onto the Enterprise. What she wanted was for Spock to disregard their relationship in deciding who was the best person to assign to the Enterprise, because she was objectively the best.

    Besides, having a few weaknesses here are there only makes them more interesting characters.
     
  13. Anticitizen

    Anticitizen Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In Balance of Terror, we saw two officers, one the superior of the other, hitching the knot right when the Romulans attacked, so it's apparently not against regulations as far as rank as concerned. If it's a student/instructor relationship, however, it's probably a breach of conduct if not regulations. In the civilian world, an instructor cavorting with a student would be fired (irrespective of age consent, it's viewed as conflict of interest).
     
  14. seniorsleuth

    seniorsleuth Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    There was nothing absolutely certain about whether they were currently teacher/student, but he calls her Lieutenant in that scene, suggesting that she had already graduated from something, and she uses the past tense to describe her skills: "Didn't I?.... Wasn't I?...." So, my guess is that they are no longer teacher/student. I got the sense that Spock wasn't a full-fledged professor but more like a graduate teaching assistant.
     
  15. soot

    soot Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I agree with this. I mean, it's Spock. He wouldn't initiate any sort of physical relationship unless it were "that time of the decade" (in which case, he would have had to track down T'Pring, right? No reason that would change in the new timeline). Or if he was severely emtotionally distrought, as shown in the movie.

    Yes, he had feelings for Uhura before. But honestly, no teacher can be viewed as completely without bias towards any of their students. Spock may well have harboured a bit more bias for Uhura than is proper but, again, as an overcompensating Vulcan, there's no way he could bring himself to admit to that. That may be a character weakness, but it would neither be new nor terribly damning.

    Even if something had been going on, it is demeaning to insist that Uhura "used sex to get what she wanted" when she came to Spock with a perfectly logical argument, and Spock's only counter-argument was based on public perception rather than actual merit. I can understand the concern as a hypothetical reason relationships shouldn't happen in strict hierarchical organizations, but I cannot fathom you taking such a reading out of that particular scene.
     
  16. Ashramsgrl

    Ashramsgrl Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I think something very important is being overlooked. On the official movie's dossiers it says that Uhura was not HIS cadet at the time of deployment, she was his teacher's assistant. So technically there were not student / instructor at the time, they were coworkers with him being her direct boss.

    Also she says it herself: "WAS I not one of your top students?" As in formerly a student, and not currently one.

    And, Uhura's only reason why she wasn't on the bridge to begin with was because she didn't have the experience needed, not because she didn't have the skill. She was the one who found the Romulan and Klingon transmissions. Hell, the Enterprise's communication's officer didn't have the skills she did.

    In fact from the way Spock was explaining the "favoritism" thing, it sounded as if she was originally put on the Enterprise, and HE moved her because HE was scared of what people thought. Although while he was explaining that he revealed that people already thought that something was up.

    HE was thinking with the lower half, and he was scared of it.

    Edit: I wanted to add that the novelization also says that they have definitely kissed before the whole planet implosion thing. But I don't think their relationship was sexual before this whole adventure. Both of them are workaholics. But I really believe that they are an established couple before and after. I think they are a relatively new couple.
     
  17. Jeri

    Jeri Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Also in the novelization, at one point Uhura explains to someone that Kirk is not her type -- that she prefers a different type. I forget exactly how she describes that type, but I didn't have any doubt she was applying that type specifically to Spock. It seemed like she'd had quite some time to consider her preference.
     
  18. indranee

    indranee Vice Admiral Admiral

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    this.

    I also don't get the feeling that they're... uh how to put it delicately?... banging each other yet. it feels new -- the relationship. as if it's just beginning to flower. the feelings are there on both sides, and they've now been acknowledged.
     
  19. indranee

    indranee Vice Admiral Admiral

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    just how the heck do you figure all that? :lol:
     
  20. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, none of this should be a problem in a future "enlightened" society. ;)