One of the trademarks of Nichelle Nichols‘ Lt. Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series was not just her skill and authority, but her miniskirt. We know it was an attempt by NBC suits to “sex up” the show a bit (the women in the pilot wore the same uniforms as the men, which was Gene Roddenberry‘s idea). Then again, it was the 1960s, and women wore miniskirts in their everyday lives. Said Nichols herself when questioned about the leg-revealing attire: “I was wearing them on the street. What’s wrong with wearing them in the air? I wore ‘em on airplanes. It was the era of the miniskirt. Everybody wore miniskirts.” But while we got a version of the Starfleet dress in J.J. Abrams‘ 2009 Star Trek reboot, has the director done away with it completely for the sequel? That’s what some are thinking after new pictures from behind the scenes appeared this week. Even though we totally saw a picture from the set of Star Trek 2 with Zoe Saldana in a dress (even though Abrams didn’t want us to).
Now, while the coats are purely there for utilitarian purposes and not part of the costume, what’s being looked at more closely is what’s underneath. Namely, the pants:
[W]hat’s perhaps most notable about these images is that — uniform change or not — Uhura is no longer skirted. She’s got the same pants and boots that Sulu does. Now, there’s no reason to assume that these are the uniforms the Enterprise crew will be wearing throughout the entire second film. They could be special attire for some occasion or mission. But if they are, that means that Uhura’s skirt has been nixed in favor of something more practical.
Personally, I think the more likely scenario is exactly what they mentioned; this is some sort of special mission attire. Because, as we saw in the last movie, everyone was still wearing slightly freshened up versions of the original uniforms, the colored shirts and dark gray pants (they were, in fact, not black, they just appeared black on camera) for the men and similarly colored dresses for the women (who sometimes wore a version of the men’s pants uniform). Here is Saldana as Uhura wearing the trademark dress:
So, let’s consider this debunked — Uhura will keep her dress, albeit a longer version than the one we saw in the ’60s.
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