Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Introducing: GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS

Hi, I'm Joy. I'm the director. That's pretty much all I've got to say about that. Now what you've all been promised--girls.

Whenever I tell people Kirk, Spock, and Sulu are played by girls for Hello Earth's production of "The Naked Time" for Outdoor Trek, everyone asks why. (This is patently not true. Everyone says, "Cool!" Then they pause. Then they ask, "Will they be naked?")

Kris (fellow producer, also acting Captain Kirk) and I went to the Vancouver Star Trek convention last week and some hot Orion girls asked us why--why we like the show, why we're doing this, what does it all mean? We said we liked the diversity of Star Trek and wanted to celebrate it.

"We keep hearing that," said one hot Orion girl. "Star Trek is so diverse, Star Trek is so equal rights, Star Trek is so utopian. But . . . then there's this." Then she showed me her legs.

She's an Orion girl, you see, and Orions in the original series are basically sex slaves. For all Star Trek was trying hard and so many times, succeeded in making something beautiful, it was still the 1960s. You never saw a woman captaining a starship. (Women captains? lolwut?)

But here we are, in the modern era! In the 2009 Star Trek movie, Orions are in our Academy, servin' Starfleet with ur doodz. (She was the green skinned one, red hair, nice pair of--eyes. If you blinked you might've missed her.) Don't you love an age where a former sex slave race can be in Starfleet with the rest of 'em? Except Gaila's (that was her name) only function in Star Trek 2009 was to have hot monkey sex with Kirk and flash some green skin. Why?

Well, because she's not an original character. I have no problem with that--frankly, I want to watch Uhura, badass since she was born in 1967, not some new-fry green girl. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't think about the Orions. It doesn't mean we shouldn't analyze the unifying, equal rights messages of a show first conceived in a problematically unequal era. It doesn't mean we shouldn't question the function of the female body in a narrative. So that's what we're doing.

In adapting the script, we haven't changed Kirk and Spock to girls. Their gender is still male, even though they're played by females. We're not changing these characters, so much as some underlying assumptions. We are exploring, we are seeking, we are trekking. This is a mission, not of conversion, not of protest, but to ask you one question. "Why?"

2 comments:

  1. Well, remember that we hadn't even landed on the moon when Star Trek came out in '66, and the space program was 'manned' with the military/test pilot sensibility. Star Trek broke serious ground making Uhura a bridge officer - not only a woman, but a black woman. It was revolutionary for it's time. BTW, bit of trivia, in the pilot, Majel Barret was 2nd in command and it was the women in the test audience that complained, "Who does she think she is?"

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  2. Yes! I understand and agree! I think Star Trek The Original Series was very progressive for its time, and that's why I love it.

    That doesn't change the fact that we are not in its time any more, and that for this time it is not progressive gender-wise. If we are to maintain the values that the show espoused--the values that make me love it--we have to have a modern dialogue with it. We can love it, but we must also question it from a current viewpoint. We can honor it, but we must update it.

    And if we make modern media based on it we must attempt to make a statement more meaningful than another hot green girl in her panties.

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