No matter the timeline, at the heart of Star Trek there was, and always will be, a tale of an epic and unlikely bromance between the go-by-your-gut Kirk and the logic-seeking Spock. The crew of the Enterprise was set long ago with males in the majority. 2009’s reboot could only swerve so far from the original, but it did an excellent job of taking the only leading female crew member, Uhura, and making her integral to the story.
Now with the reboot’s sequel in theaters, Star Trek Into Darkness has another female character to introduce onto the bridge of the most famous ship to patrol the stars. Not wanting to give too much away, I won’t tell you Alice Eve’s character’s name. But it’s no big deal if you don’t know it, considering her character was so unformed that I’m surprised they bothered to give her a name at all. Before spoilers leaked out I’m sure she was just labeled ‘hot blonde,’ and sadly, that’s all she really was. You could tell Eve was trying, but this movie is sci-fi, not fantasy, so she couldn’t work any magic.
A lot of people are upset with Eve’s underwear scene. Revealed in one of the first trailers, it promised to be an act of pandering. A similar scene appeared in the 2009 film, but at least then it was meant to be humorous. This time around though, the filmmakers didn’t even bother to give it a context. Alice Eve in her what I can only assume were Star Fleet-issued panties, made no sense. Why did she have to change? And why right then as she’s telling Kirk about the friend he jilted? Was it flirting? Revenge? What? Give me something! Sadly, it had no point. Which I know is not new in cinema; the hot girl in her underwear is right up there with the built guy randomly taking his shirt off. But movies that use the titillating device of nearly naked hot actors/actresses aren’t supposed to be in the same league as Star Trek. Star Trek is supposed to be a galaxy above.
Contrary to what others are saying on Twitter, I don’t think the scene was misogynistic. I think it was just lazy. Kirk is known for being a womanizer; this was their attempt to show it. Here’s a hint for next time, boys: the conversation would have been enough.
It’s obvious throughout the movie that the filmmakers really didn’t know what to do with Eve’s character. They just kind of threw her on board because she was supposed to be around, and hoped she was appealing enough that we would overlook her total lack of usefulness. But this is a character that is supposed to be a genius and a match for Kirk. There were so many things they could have done with the character
to make not only her, but the plot, more interesting. It was a huge missed opportunity.
It was so disappointing. Made all the more so, because the rest of the film was a blast. Sure, there were some aspects for which you had to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride. But it was a hell of a ride.
So for the next one, have a streaker run across the medical bay if you want, just give the character a reason for doing it. A reason that fits like a small puzzle piece into the plot. And keep in mind, if your cast is low on women, make the females on screen count. Make them so poignant that you don’t need anyone else in the skirted uniform.