Star Trek into Feelings

I went there. Sorry. I have a lot of Star Trek into Darkness feels. A lot of them. I’ve basically spewed them over the comments of two different livejournal entries on my friends page, so I figure I might as well collate them somewhat. It’s got to be a list, really. A disjointed list. With spoilers.

I really do get a bit overwhelmed with feels, but only to the extent of all-caps, rather than keysmashing. I’m finding that the further away I get from my viewing of the film, the more problems I spot.

  1. On the perception of Uhura hostility towards Kirk & unprofessionalism in things concerning Spock in the first film.

    I dunno, I think I can give Uhura being hostile in presence of Kirk because MY GOD would he be annoying to hang out with for me. The first time they meet, he’s charming enough but she’s clearly not interested and then he and Cupcake start a fight for which… I reckon all of the cadets would have got disciplined for.And can you imagine trying to put up with his shenanigans? He keeps going after her to find out her name! He sleeps with a great number of her classmates! He just doesn’t seem to know when to step off with her, when she’s demonstrated her lack of interest. In a way, it’s like Kirk treats Uhura like a potential conquest rather than a classmate or a colleague. The icing on the cake is that he doesn’t appear to take any of the Starfleet stuff as seriously as she does. There’s always the risk that Kirk could jeopardise her career with his shenanigans (did he get the passwords in order to pass the Kobayashi Maru from Gaila or was that just fic I read? If he did get them from her, then was she disciplined?). I think Kirk is always about risks and recklessness and if I was in Uhura’s position, I wouldn’t like it. They only really started to deal with his recklessness in STID.

    I think they could have revealed Kirk under the bed far earlier into the stripping than they did. That was unnecessary.

    I’m not sure I see the unprofessionalism with Spock in the first film. There’s certainly a bit of a conflict with the teacher/student relationship existing there, but… I dunno. Maybe Starfleet regs are ok with it, providing it doesn’t affect the working relationship. If Uhura’s test scores mark her out as the best, then she’s probably right to call him on penalising her for being in a relationship with him when she says she should be assigned to the flagship, as she’s best qualified. Spock could probably stand to take more of the criticism in that regard because he’s in the teacher position and is able to abuse the power he has in that regard when it comes to Uhura’s being assigned to the Farragut. They’re fairly discreet otherwise, aside from the make-outs in the transporter room. I mean, ok, Kirk and Spock could be going to their death – I’m sure there’s a handy supply cupboard to duck into SOMEWHERE.

    I have no idea where the bickering on the away mission came from. There HAS to be deleted scenes where the Kirk-Uhura friendship/informality is built up more OR we get more of Uhura and Spock’s disagreement. There’s not enough prior conflict to make that kind of overspill into the working environment make sense from the POV of Uhura’s character. She’s hard-working and dedicated to her job and undoubtedly the relationship with Spock isn’t easy due to the lack of demonstrable emotional feedback, but they’ve been going for what… this is like 2 years after the reboot? They could have been together for maybe 5 or 6 years by now. It’s a bit out of nowhere. *shakes fist at Abrams*

    Actually I would love to see more of Kirk and Uhura hanging out together. Kirk and Spock obviously have been spending time together since the first film, if Kirk has grown so fond of him and it makes sense that on occasion they might all do stuff together. Some team-bonding activities at least! AND Kirk has got to be up for more of the frivolous human activities than Spock. Even if it’s “Let’s teach this incredibly attractive species how to play beach volleyball”.

  2. On Uhura in Kirk/Spock fic, specifically where the writer seems to perceive her as a “bitch” in the film and a threat to the ship.

    Oh man. I cannot read fic where Uhura turns ridiculous, I end up rage-quitting them. I think some of it is part of the larger problem within fandom (and perhaps larger society) where we feel compelled to put down other women that appear to threaten what we want (e.g. the Kirk/Spock ship (or in actual Supernatural, if you don’t have a Y-chromosome you die)) rather than being able to see that they’re just people (and especially FICTIONAL people) and the likelihood that another person is really that much of a threat to our desires is low (especially fictional desires, I mean, is it too much to ask that a character stay true at least a little to their demonstrated canon personality? We can write them that way! Because it is fiction! And have our ships still sail true!).

  3. Perceptions of Uhura changing after STID (partly within the Kirk/Spock context).

    I am hoping for that change too, the scene in the turbo-lift should do something to help – as will when Kirk listens to Uhura and takes the chance that the Klingons will buy her story (I mean, yeah, he stocks up on the phasers but she does buy them time). I’m not overly optimistic though. Once STID comes out on DVD, I’m going to enter all manner of competitions to try and win a copy and if that fails, try to get a second-hand copy. I feel really loathe to give Paramount any more money in support of how Trek is panning out. At least once the DVD is out, there’ll be good quality rips out there as a last resort. AND THEN, then I have PLANS. I will compulsively rewatch both and maybe write fic from Carol or Uhura’s POV of the events of the film.

  4. That bit in the first film where Uhura follows Spock into the lift – is it unprofessional? Does it work in context of her character and the relationship with Spock?

    I think I’ve pretty much put Uhura leaving her post down to her knowing Spock extremely well and being able to judge his mood – they’re in a fairly serious relationship (I don’t know if I can imagine any more-than-friends relationship involving Spock to be anything but serious ;)). There’s an element of empathy and sympathy there – she feels the loss of his mother and planet herself (not as acutely obvs), but she feels for his loss. I think Uhura is aware to a certain degree that Vulcans feel, but control their emotions – so she knows that Spock feels shock and grief and loss (which might explain some (but not all) of her frustration in STID where he… I don’t know.. shuts down more?). I like the physical contact they have here, though this interpretation might not have been their intent, because Vulcans are a telepathic race – particularly through touch. And what can you say when someone has experienced that kind of incredible massive loss? For humans, it’s difficult enough to express to other humans that kind of compassion and sorrow and all the rest of it. I imagine trying to express that to a Vulcan (or half-Vulcan) would be even more difficult, with the different behavioural cues as to how they might be feeling in order to respond properly. She offers her emotional support (and when have Vulcans regarded humans as anything but emotional right? ;)) but I think realises that, as a Vulcan, Spock has to deal with a lot of that on his own and that the best support she can offer right then is practical support – she asks him what he needs.God, the whole inter-species/inter-cultural thing is SO interesting. What must it be like to be Vulcan and not really have that same telepathic element to the relationship with your significant other? What must it be like for a human to KNOW that Vulcans have this telepathic thing going on with their loved ones and… know that you miss out on it? My headcanon is wandering into the idea that THIS is where the difficulties Spock and Uhura have in their relationship in STID come from. If Uhura was Vulcan, then Spock could more comfortably communicate his fears and emotions without words – more privately, in a way, than saying these things out loud. And then Uhura must get frustrated that he can’t just come out and TELL her, to demonstrate in a way that she can understand, how he is feeling. With fellow humans as her reference, she knows that there must be something pretty intense going on after all these traumatic events but if you can’t see it on his face, and he doesn’t say anything… It’s a two-way thing I suppose, it’s hard for both of them to get the kind of emotional feedback they need from each other. GOD and it’s frustrating to watch from the outside. It’s like that moment when you want to push their faces together and go “NOW KISS”. It’s a communication thing, as with most relationships.

  5. Kirk, his bed-hopping/manwhoring and Christine Chapel (with some mention of Carol Marcus).

    With Kirk and Chapel? I KNOW RIGHT. What are they doing to Kirk? I mean, in TOS, he might have gotten Olympic gold in bed-hopping but it was never an issue like this. Kirk in the reboot just…doesn’t know when to quit with sexual harassment. Augh. I want Chapel having banter with McCoy. I want Chapel’s crush on Spock (doesn’t have to be reciprocated, but I liked how in TOS it wasn’t Kirk that was the object of desire in her case). I want a Christine Chapel who goes on to become a doctor in her own right.Do you think if we started now, we could raise a fannish tactical force to take down Orci and Abrams and install our own people in sorting out the problematic stuff? I’m sure this many feelings about Trek isn’t healthy and then Carol would had less of the nudity and screaming and more of the kickass and science.

    Yeah, I mean, I get the feeling that Kirk’s comfortable with himself (Shatner’s corsetry years aside) and pretty open-minded. My thought has been that he loves women, but he loves space-travel more and it’s the stars that keep his focus and attention. Kirk’s a bit of a manwhore, but it’s not a bad thing and you do get the sense that the women he spends time with know that there’s not going to be much of a future after their fling. It’s kind of got me thinking about “what happens if Kirk visits Risa? Does he have so much fun there that they have to send an away team to pick him up at the end of his vacation?”

    Basically, Kirk/Enterprise OTP. It’s a lot like Doctor/TARDIS. 😀

    And YES. Orci and JJ… it’s one thing for a guy to sleep with a lot of consenting women. It’s another thing for him to continually harass them until they give in. :/ I was reading about Casanova, who I guess if he was in the Trek universe at this time would be some kind of intergalactic lover, and he said that mutual consent was important. Harassment is INCREDIBLY UNSEXY ORCI & JJ. For all of Kirk’s recklessness and tendency to follow his instinct and do rather than think first, you never get the sense in TOS or the books that he’d pursue anyone who wasn’t up for it.

  6. Kirk, Spock, McCoy – a bit of a sidetrack into their dynamic.

    This is why I like Kirk and Spock together actually – Kirk is a doing person and Spock is a thinking person and they kind of…moderate each other. Kirk gives Spock the push to DO things and Spock helps Kirk hold back a little. Of course, they need McCoy to be the voice of reason and tell them they’re both idiots. 😀

  7. The idea of “Roddenberry rolling over in his grave” in response to STID

    ACTUALLY, funny you should say that. They punted him up into space SO he probably IS orbiting in a righteous fury.

  8. Women in STID, where I have a bit of a feels-splosion.

    There is a STARTLING lack of women with equivalent roles to men. Where were the female captains & first officers around that meeting table when Kirk had his “I miss you” moment with Spock? AND MY FEELINGS ABOUT CAROL. OH GOD LET ME SHOW YOU THEM. Carol Marcus in the original films is a science!BAMF. She has her relationship with Kirk, they spawn and they both decide that their careers matter more to them than they do to each other. She wants to keep the kid with her and carry on with her career rather than attempting to follow Kirk on his hijinks all over the galaxy. They come to an amicable agreement and while yeah, it gets awks later on when The Wrath of Khan rolls round and David has no idea who Kirk is? It is fine! Carol has her own thing. She’s accomplished. She’s not defined by being someone’s daughter, or someone’s woman-in-peril, or RANDOMLY on screen in her underwear for no good reason.

    AND SHE HAD SO MUCH POTENTIAL. She’s an advanced weapons expert as far as I can tell from my one viewing of the film. She has smarts! She can fake her way onto a star ship! Her dad let her in on all the exciting secret projects (apart from that one with the augments but whatevs) and while he is ALL OVER abusing his position to do whatever the hell he likes within Starfleet – what would the point of getting her on the projects be if she didn’t have the brains to contribute?

    ABRAMS *shakes fist in fury* AUGH.

    SO MANY FEELINGS. I was so excited about Dr Carol Marcus. SO EXCITED. AND THEY WASTED THE OPPORTUNITY. I was like YES. A LADY. WITH A PHD. AND THEY NEVER MENTION SHE IS DR MARCUS (apart from maybe… one time? AUGH). My Dr Jane Foster feelings might be spilling over here (in fic, especially Thorki fic, she is usually referred to as “miss” which annoys the heck out of me because HER LIFE IS SCIENCE DAMMIT RESPECT HER WORK).

    Feelings. So many feelings.

    And what does the total lack of representation and equality mean when you zoom back a bit? It means that the idyllic Star Trek future that we had with respect for men and women and beings with different gender identities is basically void. It’s been erased.

    There was that one WOC who took Chekov’s seat when he went down to engineering (and I was pretty excited about her because I think she might be Deltan). Oh WAIT she doesn’t get to speak does she? Augh.

    The future has turned into a giant sausage-fest. A GIANT WHITE SAUSAGE FEST, if you want to put in the Cumberbatch issue in there. Carol and Uhura and Christine Chapel and ALL the ladies. ALL OF THEM. They can exist in perfect harmony with Kirk/Spock. They could even watch if they liked! The old married couple bickering is HIGHLY entertaining to watch PLUS the view from behind as they walk away is astounding. WHO WOULDN’T WANT THAT? Also, in the Prime universe, I think Uhura and Scotty end up having a thing later on. Which… I don’t know if I could see happening in this universe, but I would be interested in reading fic that figures out a way to get there that makes sense. I want to see Urban’s McCoy have a minor thing with Emony Dax. IT WOULD BE GLORIOUS.


  9. Random afterthought about Scotty’s pal Keenser, who actually is a Starfleet engineer and I had no idea.

    What I want to know, most of all, is whether Scotty’s friend Keenser is from a plant-based species.

  10. Christine Chapel magically not being a nurse in STID, when she appeared to be one in Star Trek.

    YES. THE THING ABOUT CHAPEL. So they decided to retcon and turn it into a joke about how Kirk is somehow kind of into…sexual harassment. Oh.

  11. That scene near the end with the radiation and the Kirk and the Spock and the KHAAAAAAN.

    I think my issue with the reversal radiation thing is that with WoK, we’d had like… 15 years of Kirk and Spock being friends and going through all their wacky hijinks together, then we’d had the part where Kirk talks about totally cheating on the Kobayashi Maru and getting called on the fact he’s never faced death, themes of ageing throughout, and then Spock goes and does the thing, telling Kirk as he’s dying that he’d never taken the Kobayashi Maru test before and asking what he thought of his solution. The thing for me there is that I don’t think Kirk ever worried too much about his own death, that wasn’t such a big deal, but faced with the death of probably his closest friend when he’d thought he was winning and had no idea of the sacrifice Spock was making to give him that…

    It’s a little like Karl Urban’s incredible reaction as Eomer in Return of the King on discovering Eowyn’s body on the battlefield – he really manages to put over the idea that Eomer has no idea his sister is in any sort of danger throughout the whole battle and only learns that when it looks like he’s probably already lost her.

    It’s not the reversal so much that’s the problem for me, I kind of liked that they went a slightly different route, but it felt like a cheap riff at the wrong time in their epic friendship and that the writers were trying for emotional impact, but mis-stepped and just left me cold and dead inside like normal.

  12. Spock mind-melding with Pike (brought this one up in two different comments).

    And what was up with Spock melding with Pike? Huh? I get that it’s probably a moment of great insight for him to find out what someone else might be feeling as they’re rapidly approaching death and it probably helps with Spock’s RAAAAAGEface later on and as a talking point in the shuttle but DAMN, Vulcans have always been touchy about that and it’s a gross violation when done without consent.

    (Further comment in response to the idea that it might have been about Pike’s Katra)

    Do humans even have katras? What would he do with it when he had it?

    Like.. with the last film, they talk about the Katric Ark and how it’s important to save the people there because it’s like… I dunno. A repository of all Vulcan vulcanness. Or something. SO my theory, with the name and all, is that the katras of all the dead Vulcans are stored there IN THE VULCAN ELDERS. So they can effectively utilise the past experiences/feelings/opinions of their people for logic or something. But for this I assume there must be some kind of… maybe biological/neurological thing that makes the passing on and accumulation of past life experience possible and so the Vulcan brain is different to the human one. How would it work for Pike?

    Was Spock attempting to be comforting to Pike? Spock sometimes comes off as a bit oblivious to the nuances of human emotion, but I don’t think he’d think “Oh yes, I shall enter the mind of Admiral Pike, who is mortally wounded, and comfort him in his time of need.” I mean… humans, generally in the Trek universe, aren’t telepathic. So… going into his mind will do nothing for Pike. Kneeling totally awkwardly watching him die doesn’t do much either but at least Spock dragged him across the floor out of the direct line of fire to die in relative peace. Or something.The mind-meld BAFFLES ME. I think partly because the only other time I’ve seen Spock meld with someone without consent was…that one time with that Horta (was it a Horta?) which was like a giant rock creature that had no mouth and then that time in one of the films where Spock forcibly melds very much without consent with Valeris (a fellow Vulcan) to extract the information about where the Federation President is going to be assassinated and who the conspirators are in the plot. In the latter, we see that it’s a gross violation of Valeris’ person and she resists the attempt and suffers pain during the act. Everyone on the bridge is visibly horrified that this is happening, even though this is likely the only way to try and get vital information to prevent intergalactic war.

    As a Vulcan, Valeris has the biological ability and probably training to be able to try and resist. Pike, a human, certainly has none of the biological ability and likely no training. Spock would know this and yet…I really have no idea why it was happening, other than to bring up in the argument with Uhura later on. It’s out of character for pretty much all Vulcans.

  13. In response to “I think Kirk’s death would have resonated more if he had been dead for more than 5 minutes…”

    I agree, but at the same time I think they’d riffed off one too many of the old emotional moments to be able to pull it off to the same effect. Last time round no one was expecting that Spock would die and then stay dead at the end of the film.

  14. The Science.

    The resurrection blood was a lot like the cold-fusion thing at the beginning.

    Cold fusion:


  15. The things I enjoyed being outweighed by the problematic things, especially wrt the ladies.

    I enjoyed many parts of it. I did! I know I did! I liked that part where Kirk is astute and asks the right question about why Cumberbatch attacked the “library”. Spock’s moment to Pike about his attitudes. The view of McCoy from behind in that SWEEEEEEET skin tight outfit. SULU in the Captain’s chair. Uhura stepping up to talk to the Klingons! Scotty being all 007. Chekov…being told to put on the red shirt and my instinctual reaction to go “NOOO DON’T DO IT PAVEL!” Dr Carol Marcus and Dr McCoy on the planet!

    It’s just that that list ^ took a lot more effort to remember than all things that made me go “whut?” or a little rage!face-y or just left me cold when it’s supposed to be emotionally resonant.Where were the ladies?!?! Around that table of captains and first officers, were there ANY ladies? I don’t remember seeing anything, but Kirk was being badass so… *shrug*Why was Christine Chapel reduced to a throwaway line about how Kirk is so awesome at sexual harassment SHE HAD TO LEAVE THE SHIP (…and yet fails to remember her name)? WHAT?

    Carol Marcus in her underwear! I mean, change your clothes by all means, but the gag about Kirk looking would have worked if we’d only seen Dr Marcus from the shoulders up with a variation of “Kirk you’re an ass” face. It gets mentioned once that she’s an advanced weapons expert but then… never again. She goes to open up the torpedo and she does that thing with trying to scan it which I suppose is showing rather than telling, but…yeah. She ends up being memorable for being a woman-in-peril in her underwear.

  16. The pacing/length of the film

    And for the first time ever, I was sitting in the cinema watching a Star Trek film thinking “This is really long, shouldn’t it be ending soon?” Wikipedia tells me that Star Trek: The Motion picture is the same length and that film is really poor and YET it moved along better than this one.

  17. On finding Cumberbatch kind of unappealing.

    I oscillate between thinking only that he’s a decent enough actor and “Duuuude this guy is way overhyped,” which reminds me of when Lost started showing on TV here and they had this really great advert for it and everyone was saying how omgawesome it was and then I watched the first episode……and it was rubbish and I never watched it again.Basically, Cumberbatch’s unappealingness is entirely related to how overhyped Lost was.Yeah, I have no logic.

    I don’t know if it helps, but this is the commercial we got. I don’t think ANYTHING could have lived up to the sheer aesthetic awesome that the advert was when combined with the hype.
    And yes. Pretty much that. When I compare each of the roles I’ve seen him play – Sherlock, Khan, Stephen Hawking, that guy in that thing with Tom Hardy (Stuart: A Life Backwards), that guy in that other thing with Tom Hardy (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), that guy in the film with J.J. Feild… I can see he has great range and can pull off the characters he takes on, but seeing the characters on their own? They’re a little underwhelming. It always feels like I’m missing something, somewhere.

  18. On “And I still want to see more of these characters played by these actors.”

    Yessssssss. I want to see more of this but maybe written by other people.

  19. On the film not following through on any of the “at great cost” for any of the crew moments.

    …the film itself actually kinda cheated on the Kobayashi Maru test. My God.

Author: Rachel

half-girl, half-robot

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