When preparing this article I considered for a moment using the image of Alice Eve from the scene in question, especially because it was soooo prevalent in every aspect of the film’s promotion. But I reconsidered, because one, even if you haven’t seen Star Trek Into Darkness you know exactly what scene we’re talking about, and two, maybe if we focus on Carol as a character and Alice as a person we can all understand why the scene’s inclusion was wrong.
I’ll also preface this with saying I’ve got no qualms with scantily clad women, there’s just a time and place for it. For example, Kirk in bed with two sexy, space kittens. I’m fine with it. J.J. Abram‘s Kirk is a player, a bit of a womanizer, and those women were used in that scene to demonstrate that point. Sure, it’s a tired, overused trope, but I can forgive it. Reducing Carol Marcus, brilliant scientist and weapons specialist, to nothing more than mere eye candy? That’s distasteful, and judging from how often we were bombarded with the image of Eve in her bra and panties, it’s how they wanted us to remember her. Sexy lady, not integral member of the crew.
Thankfully, I’m not the only who thought the scene was out of place and it’s been brought to screenwriter Damon Lindeloff‘s attention. And, gratefully, his response wasn’t defensive or angry, but understanding, and hopefully means he’ll work against something like this happening in the future. Lindelof tweeted (read from bottom top),
And, in a MTV-hosted Q&A, the topic of the gratuitous underwear scene came up again, with Lindeloff responding,
Q: OK, down to the nitty gritty. I feel like I have to start with the biggest mystery/conversation that’s surrounded the film from the get go. Why is Alice Eve in her underwear at one point?
Lindeloff: Why is Alice Eve in her underwear, gratuitously and unnecessarily, without any real effort made as to why in God’s name she would undress in that circumstance? Well there’s a very good answer for that. But I’m not telling you what it is. Because… uh… MYSTERY?
Obviously, there is no good answer, which is why it’s a “mystery”. Maybe the flick’s creators were surprised to hear such outcry over this scene? That wouldn’t be all too surprising since scantily clad women with little to no effect on a film’s plot is the trend. A recent study by the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has shown that speaking roles for women in films have reached a five-year low, with men receiving over 70% of the speaking roles. And, as if that weren’t depressing enough, over 30% of female roles are usually depicted with at least some exposed skin or wearing sexually-revealing outfits. It’s a sorry state of affairs, and I’m sad Star Trek has to be included. Especially for a franchise that’s broken countless gender and racial stereotypes over its long history.
And would things have been better had the men of the Enterprise been given equal treatment? For me? Yes. Where was the scene of Kirk, McCoy, and Sulu stripping off their wetsuits? Y’know, Enterprise may not have been very good Star Trek, but I’ll give them credit for showing the whole crew, men and women, in their skivvies while in the decontamination chamber after an away mission.
Apparently there was a shirtless scene for villain Benedict Cumberbatch, but it never made it into the film. Why’s that, Lindeloff?
As for the shirtless scene… we scripted it, but I don’t think it ever got shot. You know why? Because getting actors to take their clothes off is DEMEANING AND HORRIBLE AND…
My point, exactly.
What did you think of Eve’s revealing scene? Were you bothered by it? Did it come off as unnecessary?