As per usual Star Trek Into Darkness has sparked much fan discussion and even disagreement, but but if there’s one thing we can all agree on: we love seeing Alice Eve in her undies! True, of course, until anyone bothered to ask a w...
As per usual Star Trek Into Darkness has sparked much fan discussion and even disagreement, but but if there’s one thing we can all agree on: we love seeing Alice Eve in her undies! True, of course, until anyone bothered to ask a woman. There has always been scantily clad females throughout Trek history – it’s a part of what makes Kirk so Kirk – so, why should this one scene be causing such a stir? Why have female fans responded so strongly in this case? Read my analysis below, but beware of SPOILERS.
[WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD]
Gratuitous Underwear: How did we get here?As if you need me to, I’ll set the scene. Kirk accompanies Carol Marcus to a shuttlecraft to discuss sending her to a nearby planetoid to try and diffuse some of these mysterious photon torpedoes aboard the Enterprise. She’s the logical choice since, as we learned in her introductory scene, she holds an advanced degree with a specialty in weaponry. Great, nothing out of the ordinary here, I’ll just go ahead and OH! You’re in your underwear! That’s just great.
But, let’s back up a second. Why exactly is she in her underwear? She tells Kirk to turn around, doesn’t mention why (were we expecting here to require a change of wardrobe?) and then acts coy when Kirk sneaks a peak at her half-dressed body. The scene was flat out gratuitous. It had no point. There was no reason for her to change clothes. There was no reason for her to change in front of Kirk. There was no reason for her to change in a shuttlecraft with the back door hanging wide open. The writers threw the scene in for pure, testosterone-driven shock value. (Side note: lucky she was wearing her brand new Victoria Secret push-up bra. I’m sure that’s real comfortable under her uniform, especially in a combat situation)
Think I’m being harsh? Even Damon Lindelof himself, co-writer of Into Darkness, publicly apologized for the scene saying over a few tweets:
“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 has mysogenistic [sic]. What I’m saying is I hear you, I take full responsibility, and will be more mindful in the future.”
Damsels in Distress: Where are all the women?But, we’ve seen our fair share of half-naked women (and men!) throughout Star Trek. Even in Star Trek (2009) we had one hot Orion woman in her undies as well as Uhura changing for us all to see. Why was it okay then but not now? Two reasons: 1. Those scenes were built into the story well (i.e. it was not gratuitous), and 2. Those scenes did not detract from their characters.
She undressed with purpose!
The Orion girl was undressed because, well, she was getting naughty with Kirk! As for Uhura, she was changing because she was in her personal quarters and unaware that some “mouth breather” was looking on from underneath her roommate’s bed. Those moments had purpose; they made sense. Randomly disrobing in the back of a shuttle craft? Gratuitous.
Secondly, and most importantly, the Marcus underwear scene detracted from the only truly strong female role in the entire film. Let’s start from the beginning. A terrorist attack has occurred (after a MAN bribed the FATHER of a dying child), and all of Starfleet’s finest are gathered together at a round table to talk options. Who do we see? A bunch of old white human males (with maybe a token woman thrown in). Cut to our introduction to Carol Wallace (aka Carol Marcus). She’s cute, she’s sexy, she’s got great hair! But, she’s also brilliant and trained in advanced weaponry — a force even Mr. Spock is threatened by. Meanwhile, Uhura does little more than follow Spock around moaning about him having a death wish. For the girls, it’s Carol