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Today in things that make us scream incoherently

Damon Lindelof on Women in Star Trek Into Darkness


“Why is Alice Eve in her underwear, gratuitously and unnecessarily, without any real effort made as to why in God’s name she would undress in that circumstance? Well there’s a very good answer for that. But I’m not telling you what it is. Because… uh… MYSTERY?” - Star Trek Into Darkness writer Damon Lindelof writing probably the most idiotic thing he could write in a letter to MTV.

They had asked, “I feel like I have to start with the biggest mystery/conversation that’s surrounded the film from the get go. Why is Alice Eve in her underwear at one point?

Because, well, that is an incredibly relavent question to ask.

I mentioned it briefly in my non-TMS review but really, I could have gone on for pages about it. Eve’s character of Dr. Carol Marcus was touted to have incredible intelligence, though instead of allowing her to use it to effect the plot, she was used as the most blatant eye-candy I’ve seen in a long time. We see this kind of thing a lot in Hollywood, sure, but the scene in question was akin to an actor holding up and verbally speaking the name of a can of Coca-Cola during a scene about cats or general surgery. And for a writer to respond to serious criticism in such a flippant manner is disappointing to say the least. Not to mention what he said when asked about a rumored shirtless scene for Benedict Cumberbatch’s character:

We scripted it, but I don’t think it ever got shot. You know why? Because getting actors to take their clothes off is DEMEANING AND HORRIBLE AND…

Oh.
Right.
Sorry.

(via Digital Spy)

Previously in Star Trek

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=766225674 Helen Hill

    He’s a putz lacking originality… Like JJ, he suffers cinematic ADHD and must be constantly distracted… forget about plot… show me shiny baubles! :(

  • Dan Wohl

    Costume designer Michael Kaplan’s explanation:

    “Last time, Zoe needed to wear underwear, and this time it was Alice
    Eve’s turn. You know, it’s a rather large male fanbase, and JJ wanted to
    appeal to that.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/may/11/star-trek-into-darkness-insiders-guide

  • http://twitter.com/LibrarianMarian Marian Librarian

    I didn’t think I could be more grumpy about Star Trek Into Darkness (Quest for the lost colon.)

    Like Nostalgia Chick said on twitter: This movie is like junk food, seems good at first but gives you indigestion for days afterwards.

  • Anonymous

    Right. Cause the explosions and ships as reference to penises and “boys own adventure”… that doesn’t cover it AT ALL. Gotta show some boobies.

  • http://tentacled-testing.tumblr.com/ Kate Falanga

    I’ve felt Damon Lindelof is pretty much an annoying tool in real life since Lost. His answer does not surprise me. Maybe he can write interesting things but he shouldn’t be interviewed about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leslee.beldotti Leslee Bottomley Beldotti

    I desperately wish I could make a movie in which all of the male characters were trivialized and objectified in the same way that female characters are routinely treated in mainstream movies.

    Make one of them a “boy in distress” trope.

    Require another male character to be gratuitously disrobed.

    Put another one in the refrigerator.

    Etc., etc…

  • http://www.facebook.com/gerald.kirby.5 Gerald Kirby

    The movie itself was questioning the reason for that scene. It was cheap, forced and added nothing to the story or the characters.

  • http://twitter.com/Mimidraw Mimi Rice

    The scene with Carol is one of the most ridiculous scenes I’ve seen in a while. I get people want fanservice. But that scene didn’t even make sense. It was just, “Oh, now I am naked. Don’t look.”

    Like…aren’t there better ways to throw that sort of scene in there?

  • WonderScott

    So I take it we should be prepared for Jedi and Sith panty scenes? #sad

  • cloudywolf

    Wait a minute – Into Darkness actually had a writer???

  • Anonymous

    Man, if you’re gonna be a no-talent hack, at least try to do it with class. :/

  • Alexa

    All I can is, really Lindelof its 2013 and you still think its okay for blatant fan service. I wouldn’t mind fan service if it was balanced, you know have one scene with Eve in her underwear, then another with Cumberbatch without his shirt, all the while being kind of, you know subtle about it. Then yeah it would be kind of okay.

  • cloudywolf

    We already had the (in)famous Leia panty scene. So I should expect at least one such similar incident.

  • http://twitter.com/Deggsy Deggsy

    When Star Trek: Enterprise has a less gratuitous reason for getting its cast stripped down, then you know you’re in trouble…

  • http://twitter.com/WhatKateDoes Kate Lorimer

    I’m just amazed that in the 23rd century we’re still wearing bras at all… Shouldn’t there be anti-grav and/or stasis personal forcefields ?! ;)

  • ℛɛᴛʀᴏ ℛɛᴅ

    Stupidity.

  • Anonymous

    Haven’t seen this movie, and the more I hear about it, the more I’m not really wanting to.

    I’ve been hearing that a big part of the problem with the movie is all the fan service that makes the plot horrible, but this particular type of service… this is just ridiculous. Guys were already lining up to watch this movie, it didn’t need anything else to appeal to a male audience other than being what it is, which just makes this particular scene even more gratuitous and asinine.

  • http://twitter.com/urbansuburbia Marie

    I really enjoyed the movie in general, but that scene really pissed me off. There’s no reason for it. At all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/everybodydances Michelle Barnett Garcia

    I thought that was Magic Mike?

  • http://twitter.com/Foxiferous Foxfire

    You just described every scene in the movie.

  • http://twitter.com/BruceMcF Bruce McFarling

    Evidently not, but it still needed someone to take the writing credit, so that seems to have fallen to this bozo.

  • http://www.ericjgeller.com Eric Geller

    Mr. Lindelof has responded in a more coherent way on his Twitter account:

    “I copped to the fact that we should have done a better job of not being
    gratuitous in our representation of a barely clothed actress.

    We also had Kirk shirtless in underpants in both movies. Do not want to
    make light of something that some construe as mysogenistic.

    What I’m saying is I hear you, I take responsibility and will be more mindful in the future.”

    https://twitter.com/DamonLindelof/status/336606133055811584

    https://twitter.com/DamonLindelof/status/336606537403482112

    https://twitter.com/DamonLindelof/status/336606936915144704

  • Anonymous

    Get ready for Artoo without the maintenance panel!

  • http://www.facebook.com/everybodydances Michelle Barnett Garcia

    I’m interested to see what people think is appropriate fan service, for both male and female characters. Do people general have no problem with the human form if there’s an actually character behind it?

  • cloudywolf

    Tsk, hardly the same thing, Lindelof, considering Kirk was sexing in bedrooms on both occasions. At least the semi-nudity made sense!

  • cloudywolf

    Sexual objectification of robots is the absolute worst :(

  • Anonymous

    I should have remembered rule 34, sorry

  • http://twitter.com/Proi_RS Robin S

    Topless scene of the hero shagging alien babes =/= an underdeveloped female character in her underwear for no good reason.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001363491555 Jessica Lee Winchester

    I think they made that into a tv called Supernatural

  • Anonymous

    Watch more Bollywood movies. It’s a equally-opportunity objectification-fest over there.
    http://shechive.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/hrithik-roshan-26.jpg

  • http://www.ericjgeller.com Eric Geller

    Indeed.

  • Nick Hall

    It’s bad, but it’s really just one scene, about five seconds long. The rest of the movie is really fun!

  • Anonymous

    Forget about plot . . . or logic . . . or intelligence . . . .

  • http://twitter.com/MisfitsTamara Tamara Brooks

    The Winchester aren’t shirtless enough. But almost.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    I will bet MONEY that on weekends he spraytans, pulls up his shirt to show his abs to every woman he meets, and chest-bumps all his broskis.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    Shut up and take my money!

  • http://twitter.com/MisfitsTamara Tamara Brooks

    I see this in two ways:
    1) There was an attempt to have that be a moment that establishes a bit of Carol’s character – Don’t look but, ok, whatever. Are you done?
    2) The actual way that it was shot was incredibly gratuitously, as if it were the only point of the scene, which very much differed from Kirk’s shirtlessness which was basically done in passing.

    So boo on gratuity, quadruple boo on the execution of gratuity.

  • Emily Neenan

    I spent the entire next scene trying to work out what was special about her new clothes that it was critically important to change into them at that point. If you’re going to do this, can you at least _pretend_ there’s some plot? If I want to see a beautiful woman in her underwear for no reason, I have the whole internet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/criticalmyth John Keegan

    Lindelof was involved in the screenplay, but it was mainly Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci, the same folks responsible for the racist robots in Transformers 2 and an endless array of sci-fi films with interesting ideas that were strung together and watered down by enormous plot holes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/criticalmyth John Keegan

    Um…Return of the Jedi already did that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rich.civil Rich Civil

    Yes it was a gratuitous shot but Trek from TOS through Enterprise have always shown women in gratuitous costumes . Not saying it is right but it is nothing new.

  • http://www.facebook.com/criticalmyth John Keegan

    Except this has all the hallmarks of a Kurtzman/Orci screenplay. No idea what Lindelof contributed, but those two wrote the first film, which had great performances by the cast and a plot with big enough holes to fly the Enterprise through…and its own set of moments of unnecessary fan service with Uhura…

  • Marshall Hopkins

    Lindelof is a tool who keeps ruining science fiction franchises with horrible plots and shoddy, hack endings. I dare anyone to tell me one story he’s written that A) made sense through the first and 2nd act AND B) Made sense at the end.

  • Anonymous

    And Fringe. That’s what gets me. Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman created Fringe (and were apparently still somewhat involved in it?), and Fringe was amazing. And Olivia Dunham was probably one of the best and fully-realized female characters on TV. So you know they can do better.

  • Anonymous

    Pretty sure they also say in the commentary for the first one that they wanted to start with George Kirk’s death to make sure the women in the audience would stick with it, even thought it’s sci-fi, and chicks hate that shit (I’m paraphrasing).

  • http://twitter.com/Darth_Cliche Carl Jackson

    Do we know that in the original script the scene was without context and not bookended by other fanservice for the ladies? That’s the problem with blaming writers in Hollywood. In TV the writers control things. In film, writers are treated as highly disposable.

  • Anonymous

    A quick tour of his IMDB profile has confirmed your assertion.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraTruxillo Laura Truxillo

    And your point…?

    Hey, folks, nothing to get miffed about, it’s been happening since the 60′s.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraTruxillo Laura Truxillo

    Look, we all know the reason Avengers did so poorly was because Widow kept her catsuit zipped and the camera occasionally ogled the male actors.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraTruxillo Laura Truxillo

    I kind of really want to see this now. A semi-parody about a superhero team that just happens to be entirely female, and the guys, well, like you say–written like men, but written in parts usually occupied by women.

  • DemonicPIty

    Maybe they were trying to throw the male viewers a fan-servicy bone because of all the Hoyay between Kirk and Spock (yay for slash!). I’m not excusing the unapologetic misogyny of that scene. It was executed rather poorly, like they weren’t even trying to be subtle. Girl put in work, though! Her body was great. I just wish that if they had to go there, they did it in a way that wasn’t so obvious. The movie itself was fun. I enjoyed watching it. Very action-y. (who says girls don’t like explosions?)

  • Anonymous

    So somehow Into Darkness manages to be less progressive than the 1982 Wrath of Khan both on the race front and on the gender front. Sigh.

  • http://twitter.com/o6untouchable Jason Atkins

    Kirk is gratuitously disrobed in this movie, as he was in the first movie. In other movies, you’ve got Thor, where the protagonist wandered around shirtless for no real reason; you’ve got Captain America, where the main character was shirtless and… not really sure if he was sweaty or oily.

    While Kirk wasn’t kidnapped in this movie, he certainly wasn’t the heroic rescuer part of the damsel in distress trope: he nearly died during the flying in space thing, he got his ass handed to him by Khan, and spent most of the movie trying and failing to do most things. In Captain America, a lengthy sequence of the movie was dedicated to Steve Rogers rescuing Bucky, his best friend: a pretty solid helpless dude in distress scenario.

    Not sure what you mean about putting one in the refrigerator (is that a nipples thing)? That said, Kirk technically was put in a cryo-tube, so…

    Those are just the movies that I’ve personally watched this week. Don’t get me wrong: I quite regularly despair at the way that women are objectified in media. It definitely happens to women more often than it does with men… but to act like males aren’t ever trivialised or objectified is inaccurate.

  • Anonymous

    Last time this character showed up, she got to be smart and competent and keep her clothes on. If anything, we’ve lost ground…

  • http://twitter.com/o6untouchable Jason Atkins

    Did you not notice the scene of Kirk without his shirt on?

    Granted, seeing Kirk without his shirt on happens with alarming regularity on the original, so it probably doesn’t count as gratuitous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.hayes.108 Thomas Hayes

    It’s quite simple. They wanted a nearly naked woman in the trailer.

  • Lady Viridis

    That scene was considered more gratuitous than the two catgirls in bed with Kirk?

    It actually took me a second to remember what scene you were talking about; it didn’t even register when I was watching the movie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.hayes.108 Thomas Hayes

    I honestly can’t believe he said that on record. Way to show how much contempt for the audience they have.

  • Alexa

    That’s a different kind of fan service, being that it wouldn’t be Star Trek without at least one scene with Kirk sans shirt.

  • Anonymous

    The last time this character showed up she was in her late 40′s.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, and the movie is SUPPOSED to be a bit dated. The SHOW took place in the 60′s.

  • Anonymous

    Or ya know, not wearing a bra, depending on your comfort level and body type, etc. Or corsets! Or not! Or whatever :)

  • Anonymous

    The point just flies right over Rich’s head….WHOOSH.

  • Anonymous

    Gender, yes. Wrath of Khan dealt pretty well with gender; Mr. Saavik and Uhura and Carol Marcus were generally cool. Especially Saavik. Though I’m not sure I remember any other female bridge officers / engineers, and the new Treks at least have those.

    Race… I’m not so sure. For one thing, Wrath of Khan didn’t deal super well with race. There are no interracial relationships – the only relationship, in fact, is between the white Kirk and Carol Marcus – and there are certainly no interSPECIES relationships, whereas interracial and interspecies relationships feature heavily in both of the new Trek movies. Furthermore, having a supposedly Southeast Asian villain named Khan Noonien Singh played by a hispanic actor is… kinda sketchy practice. For two thing, I think they painted themselves into a corner in this one by deciding to address 9/11 and make Khan commit acts of terrorism. On the one hand, it’s bad to whitewash. On the other hand, it’s also bad to have a brown-skinned terrorist as the main villain. I’m not sure what I would’ve done. Probably ditch the whole terror aspect – there’s enough media about that these days – and start from scratch with a Southeast Asian Khan… But then again, Khan is kind of a racist character on his own. Maybe I would’ve just left him untouched – but then again, they always knew that would be the box office draw. A tricky conundrum; not as simple as just changing Khan’s actor.

  • Travis Fischer

    “(via Digital Spy)” via…

    :p

  • Travis Fischer

    That’s because the way the scene plays out it doesn’t even seem like she’s completely aware of what she’s doing.

    It’s like Kirk emits some sort of field where women just start taking off their clothes for no reason, without even realizing it. Which, I suppose if anybody’s going to have that it’s James Kirk… but it was still kind of surreal.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t care. Still gone from having a woman who’s purpose was to be a brilliant scientist whose research drives the plot and who is an equal to Kirk, to an underdeveloped woman who gets naked for…no real reason whatsoever. While both are love interests, it’s worth comparing the filmmakers’ comments on the two of them.

    Nicholas Mayer on WoK Carol Marcus: “I wanted a woman who was beautiful and looked like she could think; a woman who was attractive enough that you could see why Kirk would fall for her, and at the same time somebody who could keep up with him.”

    Into Darkness (paraphrasing): Eh. We had Uhura in her underwear last time, so…

  • http://twitter.com/Staar84 Erin Carr

    We could do a kickstarter! I really think this could work. Please do it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    Yeah, you’d almost think Hollywood was funded by rich obnoxious frat-boys, given all their films tend to portray rich, obnoxious frat-boys as heroic and redeeming (Kirk, Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne).

    I’d argue it isn’t so much the representations on screen as it is the influence behind the films, and the willingness to be faux-auteur content-providers amongst modern directors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    I would pay to see them turn any popular culture icon into a nudist, just as a commentary on this type of thing. Captain America running around without pants on? Hilarious. I mean, if you’re going to do it, go all the way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    Kurtzman and Orci get a free pass, but only because they wrote that episode of ‘Hercules’ where Kevin Sorbo goes missing and they have to figure out what to do without him. Their fake versions of themselves pitching ‘Chimpules’ was golden.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    Isn’t the full title: ‘Star Trek: Out of Pants, and Into Darkness’?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    You’re assuming there was no input from producers or directors on either of these films. I would contend that both Transformers and Star Trek are probably 40% written before the writers even get hired to do the job. “Here is a list of bullet-points…” The fact that Kurtzman and Orci are hired so often seems to suggest that they are good company men – but, on television, where they have to occasionally trust writers due to the high turnover of episodes, both are far, far better than most of their film-scripts suggest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    Rumour has it the next one will be called ‘James Kirk’ in order so as not to turn off the audience with all this ‘Star’ nonsense and ‘Trek’ stuff. You put ‘Trek’ in the title, people will think they have to walk somewhere!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    If the next season of ‘Futurama’ doesn’t have Amy Wong going, “Quick, we have to escape! After I get changed into something cute.” I will be sorely disappointed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    Um… ‘Lost’ made perfect sense to me. It just wasn’t that satisfying.

    And by, “wasn’t that satisfying”, I don’t mean the sweet salty tears of those who’d spent five years boring me to death with their, “It’s a spaceship! It’s a black-hole! There is a scientific explanation!” theories.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    Answer me this: had the villain been John Harrison, and not Khan, would the film have been better or worse?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    They never did that to John Candy…

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    That’s rather patronising to men. “There’s no plot but they’ll be too distracted by boobs to notice!”

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Wasn’t that because he was in bed though? At least it made contextual sense…it also didn’t last very long >.>

  • http://twitter.com/Adele_Quested Eudora Quilt

    Once Upon a Time is pretty good in that regard. Especially in terms of “men in refrigerators”. Almost every proper princess has some dead hunks in her past. Watched a couple of episodes for that alone. Unfortunately the writing on this show is generally so atrocious that I couldn’t even enjoy it for the reverse sexism, once the novelty wore off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Nuckolls/623068949 Sarah Nuckolls

    Because men wouldn’t watch it without T&A? I hate the defense of these kind of things that really just insult the male audience more than female… we keep objectifying women in such a blatant way it’s actually distracting because men don’t have any thoughts above the waist… I don’t mind fan service, shirtless men or women in their underwear but when you’re forcing it and it’s just … ugh, and your excuse is ‘it’s what we need to keep and audience’ it’s so incredibly insulting to everyone who watches movies men, kids… I mean it’s STAR TREK how did Next Generation last all those years with women wearing pants!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Nuckolls/623068949 Sarah Nuckolls

    I does seem like not a lot to ask for some kind of excuse for the nudity

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Nuckolls/623068949 Sarah Nuckolls

    I think that is probably the core of it, fan service is fine with at least the majority of people if the character is an actual character and not just a fan service space filler. It’s the line between sexy PERSON and sex object.

  • Jeyl

    Where exactly was Kirk disrobed?

  • Jeyl

    Carol Marcus changing her clothes in the shuttlecraft was just face palm inducing. I think Alice Eve is certainly someone who can act, but even I wish someone on this production just took JJ back and said “Does the film really need this?”. I can’t think of a single reason other than to give Kirk a “Oh, that Kirk!” moment at her expense.

    Also, JJ Abrams talked about this very scene in an interview he did a while ago.

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/sci-tech/jj-abrams-admits-star-trek-into-darkness-a-bit-sexist/story-fn5fsgyc-1226627239282

    “It’s great to have these women in the movie and while Alice Eve’s character gets down to her underwear, so does Kirk. There’s equal opportunity flesh. But it’s a critical thing for me that the female voice is center stage as the male voice.”

    Kirk does not strip down to his underwear in that scene, nor in any other scene that I can recall. Could he be referring to the scene where he wakes up with the two female aliens that were in bed with him? Maybe, but it’s a bad example for two reasons. First, despite showing Kirk getting out of bed, the camera stays focused on the two alien girls still laying in his bed with their underwear in plain sight. Second? It’s a two to one ratio. That’s not equal.

  • Anonymous

    There’s plenty of blame in that MTV piece to go around. Let’s be real: Horowitz’s approach was fan-shilling corporate “geekdom” at its’ most obsequious.

  • Marshall Hopkins

    Feel free to explain it to me. They’re not dead, but they’re in a place where they’re all joined before they die? So it’s like they’re in the space between spaces? Oh, no wait – it’s a slideways timeline. Nope it was – aw, hell – save it. I’m glad you understood it because roughly 50% of the population of even regular Lost watchers had no effing clue what happened. But, Lost was a whole team of people including Lindelof so we can’t put the blame squarely on him.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Yes, but does he gel, or wear a fedora?

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Like this past week’s GOT ep, Dany got out of a bathtub, naked. But it was a very deliberate act, a refusal to be sexualized by a man who was desperate to sexualize her. And it as still nice to look at, if you like the naked female form.

  • Petrinka

    I agree. I rolled my eyes and moved on. I saw Kirk bare-chested longer (in and out of bed with tail twins), but no mention of how horrible that was.

  • Lady Viridis

    I read it as being businesslike and unconcerned, like “shut up for a second while I quickly change”, but in hindsight it is a bit odd. Not the thing that bothers me personally, though; I really enjoyed the hell out of this movie.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Thor had just taken a shower, it wasn’t for no reason.

    Steve Rogers had just finished his experiment, and the writers thought to have him take a moment and put back on his TOO SMALL t shirt before the Red Skull guy blew the bomb.

    This is what we are talking about. There was a minimal effort to explain the nudity, and it wasn’t gratuitious, didn’t go on for longer than necessary.

    Women are rarely afforded even that much courtesy.

    Women in Refrigerators is a comic book trope where a woman love interest is kidnapped/tortured/murdered to forward the plot and character development of the main male protagonist, named after a particularly egregious event where someone’s girlfriend was literally shoved into a fridge.

    When this is done to men, it is instantly obvious, because it so rare. For example, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse fridged the character played by Tahmoh Penikett, ALL THE TIME!! And it was deliberate. Every person who watched the show complained about it, because when it’s down to men, we notice. When it’s done to women we ignore it.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    It was babby. They had to put in Kirk’s birth, for the wimmen, or we wouldn’t watch, unless babby.

  • http://twitter.com/YogiKai kai charles

    Yes this is something that JJ needs to be called out on. It really doesn’t fit in with the tone of the film . Uhura continues to be handled really well in my opinion and I noticed a little more racial diversity on the bridge, so though I wasn’t over ally offended by the scene it just didn’t fit. I think what annoyed me more was Carol’s melodramatic scream. A lot of things go down and everyone keeps it together except her. It’s almost like she was “picked” as the random stereotype: underwear scene ? Check! Attractive woman screaming? Double check!

  • http://twitter.com/kayforaday Kay

    Whoa, so that explains it? She was in her 40s, and therefore like all women in their 40s, her clothes have been glued to her body, because ain’t nobody want to see that naked?

    There is absolutely zero legitimate reason why a character might be shown in their underwear when she’s 30 but not when she’s 45. That character still needs to change clothes, and if she’s the kind of person who briskly changes in front of other people, she still is. The only reason not to show that if she’s in her 40s is “People think women over 40 are grotesque,” and I’m sorry, that’s just not a legitimate rejoinder.

  • Anonymous

    Right! That was it! Haven’t listened to the commentary in a while.

  • Anonymous

    The first movie was made in the early 80′s, so you have to take that into account as well. In the early 80′s it was still considered wrong and slutty for a woman to change clothes in front of a man. AND in the 80′s there’s wasn’t a lot of sex in high brow sci-fi. (Leave that for Star Wars and B movies) Star Trek bought it’s own press that it was high brow sci-fi, when it’s not. Not TOS.

    Granted, she and Kirk clearly had to have had a sexual relationship at some point. Because they had a kid.

    And, hey, so maybe she she was just totally coming on to Kirk? Is that wrong? I guess so, because in our world a woman can’t be smart, attractive, and enjoy having sex. There absolutely HAS to be a silly romantic subplot (maybe there was, maybe it was cut).

    You’re actually saying that a person cannot change form when they are in their 20′s to their 40′s?

    Actually, had the character been on TOS she probably would have shown quite a bit of skin. Some of what was on TOS was pretty racy and probably wouldn’t fly in movies now. there was less skin shown in this, and the last one, than many of the episodes that actually had women in them.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Which just shows you how ignorant these fools are. Who do they think kept the fandom alive, after the show went off the air? Who do they think was writing all Kirk/Spock slash.

  • http://twitter.com/Proi_RS Robin S

    Dany being naked in front of a would-be killer was also a show of power. She was technically extremely vulnerable in that moment, but she acted like a queen and showed she wasn’t afraid.

    Huge difference between that and Carol Marcus in her underwear. I think fanservice is okay is long as it isn’t offensive, demeaning or gratuitous. If it’s in-character, that is.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Everyone keeps making that colon joke, and I’ve been horrified, thinking it was going for Alien levels of body horror. Then I remember my punctuation, and I relax.

  • Anonymous

    Without wishing to defend Hollywood storytelling, I disagree that Iron Man and Batman portray rich, obnoxious frat boys as heroic. Undoubtedly the characters ARE those things, but it is only in overcoming these personal flaws that they become heroic.

    They are stories of personal redemption where the characters start out as rich, obnoxious etc and mature into self-sacrificing heroes.

    It’s been a while since I saw the first new ST film, and I haven’t see Into Darkness yet, but from what I remember, Kirk never really straightens up and flies right. He continues to behave obnoxiously and irresponsibly but the film vindicates his actions – it turns out behaving like a frat-boy is the best approach in this universe.

    I’m not particularly praising or critisising any of these films, I’m just saying I think there’s a different narrative going on in the superhero flicks as opposed to the ST ones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eli.keel Eli Keel

    Because it has long been established that women chasing is a Kirk thing. They are creating a moment that is a “charcater touchstone” AND giving fan service. It’s self justified. ALSO notice this article (and people in general) aren’t griping about the gratuitous twins sex fan service from that scene either. Because it made sense in the film, and had a purpose. UNLIKE Alice in her undies. The dichotomy isn’t male x female as you suggest, it’s justified x unjustified.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    In the second film, Tony Stark gets drunk and has a fight, in a room full of people in his Iron Man armor.

    In the third, he threatens a global super-terrorist on television.

    Bruce Wayne, meanwhile… don’t even get me started.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1841108884 Craig Forshaw

    No, no, at the end they were dead. On the island, they were just on the island. Plus, there was a magic cave they have to guard, and magic was the explanation for almost everything. It was like a six-year-long, dishonest version of ‘Once Upon a Time’.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, so was the original cast more or less permissive of female nudity? I’m confused by that first and last paragraph. (Hell, Alien back in 1979 had Ripley in her underwear too, so it’s not like the early 80s were a super-puritanical time in this regard.)

    Have attractive, sexual characters is great, and there’s nothing wrong with a well-motivated sex scene. I am all for the presence of sex in Star Trek. The issue here is that New Carol Marcus is essentially nothing *but* fan service in this film, and in a particularly stupid, gratuitous way. Which is infuriating when she A) Is 50% of the female cast, and B) Was previously such a well-drawn character. I don’t care if there are lore reasons to justify the new, sexist portrayal nature of the character. This is fiction, not the real world, and the writers and filmmakers have complete control over how these characters are portrayed.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraTruxillo Laura Truxillo

    So it’s like how X-Men First Class killed the black guy first. We’re evoking an era by playing up to its unfortunate portrayals of of not-white-dude characters! Gotcha.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. But I refer you to my previous comment. Actions like Stark getting drunk and obnoxious at a party aren’t presented as heroic. They are presented as being problematic behaviours that the hero needs to get over quicksharp. We are not meant to look at Stark getting drunk in his suit and go, ‘wow, what a guy!’. We’re meant to think he is a loser at that moment, in order for us to feel all the better about him when he straightens up for the third act.

    (I haven’t seen Iron Man 3, so I don’t know if that bears out the pattern).

    Meanwhile, in the Star Trek universe, Kirk continues to behave in a reckless manner, and his recklessness is treated as heroic.

  • http://twitter.com/Taste_is_Sweet Aundrea Singer

    I saw Magic Mike, and it was a great movie, but the men actually weren’t objectified in it because it was *about* them, especially Mike himself. He was the protagonist, so he was the subject of every scene he was in.

  • http://twitter.com/Taste_is_Sweet Aundrea Singer

    Nicely said. :) As for the scene Craig referred to in IM3, Tony comes to regret his abject stupidity very quickly and very, very deeply.

  • http://twitter.com/Taste_is_Sweet Aundrea Singer

    They would probably piss themselves with terror if they knew about the slash.

  • http://twitter.com/Taste_is_Sweet Aundrea Singer

    Decon, baby. Gotta love me some sweet, sweet decon and shiny blue underwear.

  • http://twitter.com/Taste_is_Sweet Aundrea Singer

    LOL. I love you.

  • http://twitter.com/Taste_is_Sweet Aundrea Singer

    Having watched all seasons of “Spartacus” on Starz, I can safely say that fan service, even blatant fan service, can definitely be okay if done well and self-consciously. “Spartacus” had half-naked, beautiful male and female actors on screen all the time, including enough M/M sex and complete nudity to make the pandering completely and ridiculously obvious.

    However, it was almost gender-equal (season three seemed to have naked penises on display every episode but rarely full female nudity), and while it wasn’t subtle most of the time there was at least a plausible reason (just out of the bath; teh sex; orgy; etc.). I do remember rolling my eyes at all the sex scenes in the last season, but I don’t remember ever wondering why the hell someone was naked.

  • http://twitter.com/Taste_is_Sweet Aundrea Singer

    Ripley was in her underwear (which she’d stripped down to for cryosleep) when she killed an alien in Alien in 1979. Leia was wearing that infamous brass bikini getup in Return of the Jedi in 1981. I don’t believe that your argument that it was considered too risque for women to strip in the 80s is accurate.

    If the character was actually coming on to Kirk as part of her character development it might’ve come across as less gratuitous, but according to the article and the comments, if that had been the intention then it was done so badly that almost no one in the audience got it. And the thing about upsetting people is that the intention never matters; just the result.

  • http://twitter.com/Taste_is_Sweet Aundrea Singer

    Heh. I mentioned Alien in my comment just now before reading yours. ::high fives:: But IIRC, the creator of Alien specifically wanted Ripley in her underwear for the vulnerability aspect. And since Ripley had been written as a character who could have been male or female, one can suppose that a male Ripley would have been in his skivvies too. Hopefully.

  • http://twitter.com/Taste_is_Sweet Aundrea Singer

    You could indeed. :) I wrote a comment somewhere above about the TV show “Spartacus”, and how it had fanservice up the wazoo nearly all the time, but while it was often obviously gratuitous it almost never felt insulting. For me, at least, it depends on true male/female equality with it and at least a plausible reason behind it.

  • ThisOnePerson

    I love how objectifying women is resolved by objectifying dudes! If only slavery could have been ended by making the slavers the slaves!

  • ThisOnePerson

    Yep. I am inspired every time I watch Showgirls and Strip Tease. Defending The Full Monty would have proved your point a little better, yeah?

  • http://twitter.com/Deggsy Deggsy

    Well, whatever floats your starship… :-)

  • ThisOnePerson

    Yes, let me write this down. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/LauraTruxillo Laura Truxillo

    Awww, thanks!

  • Marshall Hopkins

    So, the ending was they were alive, but then they died, and the only explanation for all the stuff on the Island is ‘Cause Magic!’ ?

    If you understand that, I would love to read your dissertation.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Just because CHARACTERS objectify other CHARACTERS in a movie about objectification, we’re just supposed to ignore it when WRITERS objectify CHARACTERS?!?! Is that the point you’re making? Because bringing up Showgirls is proving her point. Nomi may have been objectified by the characters, but AN OBJECT she is NOT to the writers. A character with drive and agency is the opposite of an object, which is kinda the ESSENTIAL part of OBJECTification.

  • Alexa

    Well as long as its balanced, and I guess what I truly meant by subtle I mean for it to have some kind of reason, as opposed to “Hey this actress is hot, lets have a scene with her in her underwear, and no other reason at all.” Heck I don’t even get mad at exploitation films having blatant nudity, because that’s to be expected in that genre, not a huge fan of it but that’s just a trope in it. But when its there just to be there in movies like Trek, then I have to roll my eyes at the obviousness and sloppiness of it.
    Also that extended sex scene in Watchman is another prime example of pointless fan service.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.maddock.7 David Maddock

    Arrow. Seriously, that show finds every reason to take off the guy’s clothes, but it flips out when it has to show a woman in a sports bra.

  • Jeyl

    Wait, what?

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    “brave and damn lucky” =/= “use her intelligence”

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    It is not resolved, but reversing the objectification is but one tool in the toolbox in dismantling patriarchal systems. Because it helps people(read:men) identify when it happens, if it’s happening to people they relate to(read:men)

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I think they know ALL about the slash, that’s why they’ll wink at it, like Spock’s hissyfit over Marcus’ assignment, but at the same time, make sure EVERYONE knows they are straight, cuz NO HOMO.

  • Asterisk Averse

    Pretty sure the reason for the inclusion of the black-bra-and-bikinis scene is as simple as it is annoying: the conviction there would be a massive boost in ticket sales as a direct result of sticking that particular clip in the trailer. Sigh. Movie making…er, selling… is a mercenary business, as assorted bureaucratic pragmatists no doubt pointed out to whatever dissenters there were among the cast and crew of STID. Frankly, while that scene is dumb and pointless, as objectification goes, it’s relatively harmless (to my 50-something female mind at least.) I’d be a lot more upset if I believed women would really still be wearing impractical, uncomfortable boob-display contraptions like that in the 23rd century!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1314195742 Rain Mist

    Or smaller breasts, since, in the future, transporters and advanced cosmetology will allow anyone to be any shape or appearance they want, thus removing the cultural emphasis on physical appearance as a status marker (because ‘beauty’ would no longer be artificially obtainable only by the wealthiest) and allowing physical comfort to trump the “bigger is better” mantra of the more socially competitive eras of human existence, and meanwhile, more enlightened guys would be less driven to reproduce based on physical characteristics, allowing this weird over-development of a body part that should really only kick into gear during breast-feeding periods to finally fade out of our genetics….

    Oh, wait. Star Trek goes the “Big boobies=awesome” route. *sigh* Nevermind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1314195742 Rain Mist

    Y’know, I heard someone complaining about that time in Enterprise when Malcolm saves the ship in his underwear. As if, first off, it’s completely unrealistic that some guys might just sleep in their undies and a shirt, and, secondly, as if we haven’t already seen the crew getting nekkid coed because we have transporters, but nothing so advances as a handheld showerhead.

    Heck, I’m shocked ANY of them wears pants. Ever. And a bit disappointed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1314195742 Rain Mist

    Thor and Cap are physical characters: displaying their physique is part of displaying a key characteristic. (And before you argue that Cap is all about patriotism and heart, let me point out that BEFORE the embiggening, he wasn’t Captain America, despite the patriotism and heart.)

    Carol Marcus is a brilliant scientist. Displaying her key characteristic should entail a lab, computers, and similarly brilliant people taking orders from her (like it did in WoK), not her body in skimpy underwear.

  • http://twitter.com/Darth_Cliche Carl Jackson

    I’m pretty sure he’s referring to the chest shot when Kirk is in bed at the beginning. Also a fairly pointless scene come to think of it.

  • Jeyl

    And as I’ve stated else where, that shot does not have the camera focused on Kirk at all, but the two alien girls wearing their underwear. Not exactly “equal” in the representation bit as JJ tries to defend.

  • http://twitter.com/Darth_Cliche Carl Jackson

    Well you can certainly debate the equality in it, I was just answering your question.

  • Anonymous

    You’d think, right? And am I the only one put off by them listening to dubstep in their clubs? That would be like, hundreds of years old! Nuh uh.

  • Anonymous

    Or maybe, just maybe, there is no cultural emphasis on physical appearance at all, and people of any shape and size can be whatever shape and size they want to be without being body-shamed by having their body parts described as “weird over-developments” that should “finally fade out of our genetics”?

  • Anonymous

    Oh, go to hell, Mr. Kaplan. William Ware Theiss at least put artistry and effort into his costumes, where you could at least appreciate the design and engineering. Underwear is contextually a different matter: they are taboo, not meant to be seen. That’s why a woman wearing little clothing out in public by her choice is fine, while being seen in her underwear – not usually meant to be seen – against her wishes is not.

  • Anonymous

    As a man, I hate it too. We all have “lizard brains,” that little part of the grey matter that responds to whatever it is our brains find sexually appealing. But it’s incredibly insulting to insinuate that human beings don’t have the capacity to be enthralled on a level above the visceral. Heck, the makers themselves should be insulted – after all, they’re humans too, so why do they have such a low opinion on their fellow humans’ attention spans? The only reason I can think is that their own attention spans are so warped, they think everyone else feels the same. Blargh.

  • http://twitter.com/BruceMcF Bruce McFarling

    To be technically accurate, I believe that should be “it was mainly Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci that refrained from writing this, the same folks …”

  • Anonymous

    “We scripted it, but I don’t think it ever got shot. You know why? Because getting actors to take their clothes off is DEMEANING AND HORRIBLE AND…

    Oh.

    Right.

    Sorry.”

    I must be an evil person, because I did find that comment a little amusing. On top of that I can’t seem to shake out the image of a shirtless Benedict out of mind. As for the scene where the physically fit, Alice Eve undresses, I agree it was bit much. You’ve JUST got to love the scene too.
    “Hey Kirk come inside the ship. Oh by the way, don’t turn around while I undress. Because I couldn’t do that before I brought you in. And I‘m completely unaware you’re a lady-killer.”

  • Clara Zawadzki

    “One thing I tried to do with the Klingons, which was a tough one, is make them sexy: a beautiful-ugly group of men”

    Yes, because it’s not enough to sexy-up every life form possessing a vagina…now the Klingons must be sexy too!

  • Clara Zawadzki

    She randomly yanked the entire control from the torpedo, after agonizing over which wire to disconnect for three minutes. While Bones was hitting on her. Yep, that’s definitely an empowering display of her intelligence.

  • Anonymous

    When males see objectification of males, the response isn’t “Oh, so that’s how it is. I’ll be a responsible adult now.”, the response is “Oh, so it’s alright to do it to men, but not when it’s to women.” Twilight is a perfect example of this. It trivializes the male characters, even in the exaggerated way mentioned here. It makes two males into the fantasy of a blank slate female avatar for the audience – which is why it has such a small male audience and such a large female audience. Unlike Marcus, they aren’t strong personalities to back it up, just stereotypes played out mindlessly and pranced all over the screen in contrived nonsense to display their physical prowess as eye candy. And what is the response? The over 40 female fans are captioned with a true statement that males responding that way at their age to a female character that young would be called “creeps”. Nobody is saying, “Oh, this is how women are treated in most movies. This is wrong.”

    It also doesn’t help to misuse “objectify” to mean any display of sexual attractiveness. You could make a fair argument that reinforcing the near-anorexic body type image is problematic, but this delusion that it marginalized her is idiotic. Her disrobing was no worse than Kirks – a brief lapse in the armor of a strong character. She did not have the character development that main characters did, because she wasn’t a main character, but every scene she was in established her as his equal in terms of character strength, and his mental superior.

    Instead, you’re using “objectifying” to reinforce the view that sexuality is antithetical to strong character in a woman. You ignore what character development this secondary character was given and emphasize on the sexuality as if it inherently negates everything positive about her. The only character development in that scene was establishing yet again that Kirk is immature.

  • Anonymous

    Because one dimensional female characters are all we should see. A female scientist can’t be sexually active, that’s just madness.

    Of course, it’s OK for Tony Stark or The Doctor to be highly intelligent and toss out implied nudity images of them for fans. Male scientists can be sexually active and multidimensional.

    I get so sick of this norm enforcement thinly veiled as if it was feminism. The fight isn’t for every woman to be an archetype of personal power and asexuality. It is for every woman to be able to choose what she wants without someone else, be they male or female, putting her in a box and saying “this is how you must act”.

  • Veronica Dee

    I will make that movie with you. Let’s get a Kickstarter going.

  • Veronica Dee

    I said the same thing before I even read your comment. Com’on, guys! We can do this! There’s lot of male actors who talk about how they love being naked because it’s still kinda of taboo to show a man’s full package. Alexander Skarsgard said he wanted to do full frontal on True Blood and they told him, “you don’t have to.” I’m sure we could get him on board! How much are we raising? A few thousand? Maybe he’ll do it for the good of the nation.

  • Anonymous

    > Or maybe, just maybe, there is no cultural emphasis on physical appearance at all

    That was the reason given for Picard’s baldness.

  • Anonymous

    > Thor had just taken a shower, it wasn’t for no reason.

    Similarly, in *Star Trek Into Darkness*, Dr. Marcus was changing into an away mission suit.

  • Anonymous

    By Deus, you’re right! In Showgirls, Elizabeth Berkeley is the main character and the subject of every scene she was in.