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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

what is this I don't even

You Guys, Uhura Is A Liability To The Star Trek Into Darkness Crew. Because Of Love.

Women, AMIRITE???

(via io9)

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  • Jeyl

    She did brush off Spock’s orders to initiate an evacuation order on Vulcan when the planet only had minutes left. I think Harrison has a point here.

  • Em Singh

    They would not say this about Spock if he was just human…. sexist is what this is.

  • Captain ZADL


  • Dan Wohl

    This is quite unfortunate. Especially since Spock is, obviously, in the same position as her.

    Yes, Vulcans aim to be emotionless, but I think it was made quite clear in the last film that Spock at this point in his life is still not great at that. If they wanted to, they could explore how Spock’s love for Uhura affects things even moreso given his intense supra-human emotions. But of course, they don’t want to.

  • Anonymous

    You’d think that so many hundreds of years in the future we’d gotten over the whole “women are emotionally weak and a mess”… then again seeing how they’re still running around in mini-dresses I guess not.

  • Dan Wohl

    Another point: in the volcano clip/nine minute preview (spoilers, I guess?) we have already seen that Kirk is going to violate the Prime Directive to save Spock’s life. So does Kirk’s (platonic) love for Spock get cited as a liability too? Of course not.

  • Kay Livingston

    Un. Freaking. Believable. Kirk is afraid of his own awesome. Spock has to wrestle with his dual heritage. Uhura is a LADY so her weakness is looooove bwahaha look at what her uterus will have wrought!!

    One giant step backward for all mankind.

  • Anonymous

    Dumb, stupid love. *kicks a rock* :(

  • Sign Ahead

    This would have been much more interesting if Cumbervillian had been talking about Spock. He’s already been emotionally compromised once. Wouldn’t a villian want to rub that in a little bit…maybe try to instill some self doubt in the Enterprise’s Executive Officer?

  • Kate Lorimer

    I am not enamoured with Nu-Trek. Spock/Uhura sexual/emotional tension is bad enough. It’s SPOCK ffs. ..and yes.. in the future there’s still shortshort dresses as uniform.. and shiny skin-tight catsuits. Utopian future still a patriarchy I guess.

  • Liz Blasco

    Just like to make the point that this genocidal psycho is not what I’d classify a reliable narrator. FWIW, YMMV, YOLO…

  • Anonymous

    Well, he is a villain and he is saying vilainous things. For all we know, he’s gonna be defeated by the power of love and friendship!

  • Heather Louise Jenkins

    Oh dear. Still, I guess it’s the bad guy saying it so it might not be that straightforward – maybe we’re meant to be angry with him about it? *is hopeful*

  • Kay Livingston

    For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t actually blame the movie for this mess. I blame the marketers. I’ve heard time and again that people who make the commercials and the people who make the product are not the same people, and very often the people who make the product don’t have any say about what goes into the commercials and may not even be aware of it. What a promo says may or may not actually reflect the tone, message, or actual content of what it’s promoing. So it’s entirely possible that the actual movie will never imply that Uhura is a liability because womanly feelings make her weak.

    …I’m still overall fairly concerned about the whitewashing of Khan and the fact that every female character who isn’t a main character’s mother has been shown in her underwear. But at least this I blame squarely on marketing, and its content may not reflect on the movie at all. The marketing, however, is STILL gross.

  • Anonymous

    Um … Cumberbatch IS playing the villain, so you’d expect that he’d see strengths (bravery, diversity, love) as weaknesses. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again … CONTEXT PEOPLE! :-)

  • LikoNatera_Art

    Are you SERIOUSLY taking into account a Villain’s argument? This guy is better than I thought! Go watch AVENGERS again and replay the Loki/Black Widow scene. You’ll feel better.

  • WellYesYouMay

    Ahh, and it’s historically accurate, yes? I mean, this whole story totally happened in real life? It couldn’t be that someone wrote her role and lines in a way that conformed to sexist stereotypes… the writers have no control over what they write after all… (/end sarcasm)

  • LikoNatera_Art


  • Kay Livingston

    Context is “This is a commercial”, as I just said. Context is not “A villain said it.” No. Ordinary human beings MADE a villain say it. The only context of the commercial IS what it, itself, puts forward.

    So the context is Cumberbatch tearing apart the main characters. He could just as easily have said, “She’s so committed to being respected in her organization that she is unbending, and thus easily broken,” or “She’s so driven to protect the ones she loves that she’s predictable,” thereby portraying her love as STRENGTH but also ultimately something he can use against her. But they deliberately chose to make a commercial about how LOVE makes Uhura weak, and to portray that love as a WEAKNESS, and that is a stereotype that has existed about women since time out of mind. As opposed to the commercials about Kirk and Spock, which are both focused on more character-relevant, non-stereotyped struggles. Is love all there is to Uhura’s character? No. Does love actually make her weak? That remains to be seen (and if it does, gross).

    But “A bad guy said it and of COURSE bad guys see strengths as weaknesses”? That’s absurd logic. You might as well claim that he’s a unicorn and unicorns see in virtues instead of colors.

  • Anonymous

    Ordinary human beings understand that Cumberbatch is PLAYING A CHARACTER. When you write for that character you stay IN CHARACTER. On the list of things I’d like to see from my movie villains, political correctness is pretty far down.

  • Kay Livingston

    You missed the point 100%. MARKETERS made him say it. A bunch of men in suits in a room decided what Cumberbatch would say. They had OTHER OPTIONS, but they decided to go with the most misogynistic one.

    Does that make Cumberbatch a misogynist? No. Does it make his character one? Maybe, that remains to be seen. Does it make the movie misogynistic? Maybe, that remains to be seen. It is quite possible that his character is a misogynist, but the movie is equitable and fair to its female characters.

    Does it make THIS COMMERCIAL misogynist, especially when compared to TWO OTHER COMMERCIALS about MEN that are NOT using gender stereotypes to undermine their characters? YES.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly! This is Uhura from the villains POV and not necessarily how she will be characterized in the movie.

  • Anonymous

    You miss the point completely. I don’t want my co-workers, my congressional representatives, my friends, my family, to be misogynists. Fictional villains on the other hand? Sorry … I just don’t care.

  • Kay Livingston

    Neither do I! Although you sure DO seem to care a lot about it, because that’s all you keep saying over and over again. Even though I have not at any point claimed that he is a misogynist, or that I care if he is, because I am totally cool with villains behaving villainously.

    So, you win the gold medal in missing the point, andddd I’m out.

  • Jeyl

    Um… what are you talking about? Historically accurate? Real life? This is fiction and I’m talking about her as a character, and as a character she’s really not that interesting or competent. What does that have to do with real life?

  • Anonymous

    A romantic relationship between two members of a military unit will almost certainly give rise to tensions between military duty and personal love. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say those tensions would be more pointed when romantic love rather than platonic friendship is involved.

    So given that, what is the most non-sexist way to handle the issue in a story that involves such a relationship? If you just ignore the issue, that seems like kind of a cop out and undermines the humanity of the characters. If you have the female character face the dilemma, you run into the “women are too emotional” stereotype. If you have the male character face the dilemma, you run into the “damsel in distress” trope. Is there any right move here?

  • Anonymous

    -Kirk is impulsive and his command decisions are frequently coloured by personal hang-ups and momentary romantic flings.
    -Spock has a lot of repressed emotions, and the cognitive dissonance regarding his own objectivity interferes with decision-making.
    -McCoy wears his heart on his sleeve and is constantly angry, sometimes outright refusing military orders.

    These are what we call the Rational Emotions. Of course, being a lady, Uhura only experiences ir-rational emotions, like “Love” and “concern for the well-being of others”. These feelings are the liability, even if they do not entirely mesh with her character arc as presented so far.

    (further proof that ad copy people are Vulcans)

  • Anonymous

    *sigh* Fuck you, JJ Abrams, fuck you, you goddamn hack.

  • Gillian Pilgrim


    Gilly (USN, ret)

  • Jason Toupence

    like the Cybermen

  • nostalgiajunkie

    More and more I’m thinking I’ll skip this movie. I didn’t like the first Nu-Trek and this one looks like more of the same.

  • Betty Windsor

    This is sooo true regarding trailers. I know that Scorsese didn’t intend for the trailer of The Departed to GIVE AWAY THE DEPARTED.

  • Anonymous

    There is a “spoiler redacted” in your message. Is the whitewashing confirmed or rumored?

  • Anonymous

    It’s an unfortunate way to go. All the crew have their supposed weaknesses (Spock’s over-reliance on logic, Kirk’s impulsiveness, McCoy’s stubbornness, Chekov’s inexperience, etc), but those weaknesses are often turned into strengths. Hopefully this is just an example of a baddie seeing a weakness that actually turns out to be a strength that results in his downfall (remember, the Fifth Element is LOVE).

    …but if the Enterprise gets blown up in this movie because of Uhura I’m gonna be pissed at JJ.

  • Anonymous

    The reason why I’m having problems getting mad about this is that one of the aspect of the new Star Trek pretty much everyone agree is an improvement over the OS is the character of Uhura. Whether you like her or romance with Spock or not, the original character was just not interesting. They revamped her to make her one of the most important characters (she’s arguably more important than McCoy now) and they have to go out of their way to include her in the marketing.

    She’s an expert in communication. What strategic reason does Cumbervillain have to even know her name? That’s not exactly Kara Thrace or Zoe Washburne we’re talking about here.

  • Life Lessons

    Since the words are spoken by the loser villain, I would say the opposite is true: Uhura ROCKS because she is both emotional and BRILLIANT COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER WHO CAN STAND HER GROUND!

  • Anonymous

    Characters don’t exist in a vacuum – that’s what she is saying. Characters say what writers want them to say. These aren’t real people that you are defending. The same person who says women are irrational will write women doing irrational things, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy, thus selling to the audience: omg look women be cray cray.

  • Cranium Rinse

    and the nega-verse?

  • Cranium Rinse

    I was so f-ing disappointed that Loki could be played like that.

  • Jeyl

    Well, if that’s all it takes, why do we relate to characters at all if we should be focusing on what the writers do? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the idea of “immersion” if all you need really care about are the writers?

    Do writers really go about their work thinking “I want the audience to wonder what I was thinking” or “I want the audience to wonder what the characters are thinking”?

  • Jeyl

    Or for that matter, why being a woman is important to his “liability” points?

  • Brian

    DON’T CARE, THERE IS A MASKLESS KLINGON IN THERE. Okay, I do care, and I sincerely hopes that Harrison underestimating Uhura goes badly for him, but at 20 seconds, there’s a Klingon! Sans Helmet!

  • Nick Hudson

    Isn’t that what Pike’s referring to in the trailers when he criticises Kirk, saying JTK thinks he can’t make mistakes, and it’s going to get everyone under his command killed?

  • Kate Lorimer

    I take it back a little bit.. the dudes are in shiny catsuits too, lol. Equality o/


  • Anonymous

    We should focus on the writers when the writers write something terrible. We should remember that, uh, she’s not a real person and therefore doesn’t stand as evidence to anything real. We’re discussing the subtle misogyny of this film. Some argue that because the villain is saying it that we should just take it just as villainy, but then you say something along the lines that justifies any person saying the same misogynistic thing, thus making it not a bad thing to say, because the character REALLY is as terrible as the villain says. In which case you need to be reminded that the character was made that way because the writer apparently holds some misogynistic views and probably not aware of it. Which is why we’re raging and stripping away the fiction to the core of who created it – let’s stop writing women as irrational fuckups, especially alongside men who aren’t chastised for the same crimes.

    Also, I am a writer, so I can answer your second question. No, we want to be unexamined because it means we’re doing our job well. When we do it poorly, we get attention. This is an example of poorly.

  • Jeyl

    Good writing can also get you attention as well, but not for the same reasons as bad writing.

    But yes, I do understand and acknowledge everyone’s point about the writing in the new Star Trek movies. While Star Trek is my #1 favorite franchise, I also hate almost half of it. One of the biggest problems I had with the last movie was the depiction of Uhura and how utterly useless she felt to the story. It honestly felt like making her Spock’s girlfriend was all they needed to do in order to justify her role in the film, even though their relationship has next to zero substance.

    And that’s not the half of my issues with how she was written. She is the only character in the whole ensemble who doesn’t take the initiative during a critical situation, her knowledge of the Romulan language is rendered useless since they speak perfect english (btw, everyone in the commentary track praises JJ saying that was a brilliant move), she leaves her station every time Spock is about to do something, and her one solid contribution in deciphering the Klingon transmission was done off screen, told during a shot of her undressing and needing Kirk to understand that it was important. The only scene where she actually stands up for herself is when she demands a spot on the Enterprise…. even though she’s an undergraduate. She was being assigned to a ship and her moment of awesome stems from her selfishness in wanting to have the best instead of working her way up. And in regards to how deep her relationship is with Spock? Well, in the end she decides that rather than help him rebuild the Vulcan society, she decides to gleefully stay onboard the Enterprise.

    In other news, Kirk’s mother is still assigned off world.

  • Anonymous

    See, this is where you’re wrong. She already worked her way up and was the best. Are you saying Spock was correct in assigning her to the Farragut because of “the appearance of favoritism”? And weren’t the majority of the crew on all of the ships cadets to begin with? And for that matter, how do you explain McCoy becoming Chief Medical Office after Dr. Puri’s death? There wasn’t a more senior person to step in? Or what about Scottie? You mean to tell me Olson didn’t have an underling who could step in besides the dude left on a outpost for some unknown infraction?

  • Jeyl

    She wasn’t the best. The best don’t leave the stations during a crises. She did three times.

  • Anonymous

    Of course she was the best. I don’t recall Spock refuting what she said nor pulling rank.

    You mean how Spock left the Captain’s seat during a crisis? Or even Kirk when he beamed to the Narada, instead of commanding his ship or cheating on the simulation test. Of course you can explain all those, so go ahead. White men do no wrong, but let’s critique the hell out of the black woman.

  • Shard Aerliss

    I’ve just got home from the cinema. No spoilers here but; this isn’t what it seems. It’s not pulled off as well as Abrams probably thinks it is (I can say the same thing about the whole film… should have waited for the DVD), but as some have suggested; context is key.

  • Rebekah M. Jones



  • Kay

    It’s confirmed. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Khan, who was originally intended to be of Indian background, and was played in the original series by Ricardo Montalban. (John Cho has said some hilaribrave things about it.) TMS made a post with their thoughts here

  • Kay

    Wow, I am so sorry for responding to this comment from three weeks ago now with something you probably already knew; I got a notification on Disqus that this was “New” and so I commented without looking at the timestamp.