Steve Trevor + Childhood
Wonder Woman is Diana’s movie and Steve Trevor has always been a foil, so I’m not mad in the slightest that there’s actually not a lot of backstory about him. But inquiring minds need to know! So here are some headcanons based on what we glean in the movie. No spoilers since it’s all conjecture.
Birth: Chris Pine is 36, so if we go with that for Steve and the movie takes place in 1918, we have a birth year of 1882. Progressive Era! He would have been 11 when Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis eulogized the idea of “Go West, young man.” He would have grown up idolizing Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley. Dime novel adventures and big tent circuses and baseball and moving pictures!
Birthplace: His flat accent puts him somewhere in the Midwest. Since interviews say his character is inspired by Indiana Jones, let’s say he was born in Indiana. Definitely a farm boy, but close enough to Indianapolis to get an education and a thirst for the world.
Family: Steve may work alone but his buddies prove he isn’t a loner. Big families were common in his day, so it’s conceivable he grew up with a lot of relatives around. Maybe the Trevor farm is owned by his uncle, who has a few boys (*cough* reincarnated Steve *cough*).
His mother is a strong, smart former schoolteacher turned quasi-business woman (she turns the Trevor farm into a force with smart investments) who has a mutual respect for her husband but, based on Steve’s comment in the boat, it isn’t a love match. She is active in the city, belonging to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the American Woman Suffrage Association, and the Indianapolis Equal Suffrage Society, which had world peace as one of its core values. She hosted teas in their city home and Steve picked up a bunch of values that would later endear him to Etta Candy.
I can’t see Steve as anything but the youngest. Charming, lively, open to love, easy respect for women? Yeah, he grew up with a mess of older sisters. They spoiled him and tortured him and made sure he never questioned the fact that women are, like, people with distinct personalities and wills.
His father (William Stephen Trevor, maybe, named for the WW creator) is a career military man, possibly maxing out as a colonel. Wristwatches weren’t really a thing for men until after WWI, but military men adopted them in the 1800s. It’s conceivable his father fought for the North in the Civil War as a very young man, but he would have spent his career neck-deep in the Indian campaigns. (His people, indeed, Chief.)
The way Steve is, I can’t imagine his father as anything but honorable. I can see him sharing his grief at the horrors of war and the rights of natives to protect their own alongside his belief that a solider follows orders to the letter but does what he can to deliver them in a “just” way.
He’s a complicated figure in Steve’s life, representing discipline and a stoicness Steve can’t relate to, “soft” as the women in his life have made him. As the only son, there would be a lot of expectations on Steve, ones that he desperately wants to fulfill and rebel against in equal measure. His father isn’t around much in Steve’s childhood, but when he is home is a very different place full of rules.
I don’t want this to go too long, so more on young man Steve later!