The Star Trek fever may have died down but the hate against this pairing never dies. This is a defense meant to address that hate and the future hate that this pairing (Spuhura) will certainly get in the future.
Hating or disliking a pairing is natural since each of us has his or own preferences but sometimes when ignorance and disrespect are involved, defenses like this are born.
- It was made only to discourage Spirk shippers
Arguably the most pervasive mindset observed in the section of the fandom that hates the pairing. Two things are for sure: this cannot be proven as a fact and that nothing discourages slash shippers. It is a fact that there is simply no correlation between the intensity and popularity of the slash shippers and the absence or presence of canonical het romances.
The fact that Spirk shippers of the reboot is as numerous as the TOS shippers whereas Spock and Kirk had no commitments with women shows that this argument regarding Spuhura is null.
- Pairing Uhura with Spock is sexist and anti feminist because it robs Uhura of her independence and her own storyline unlike TOS Uhura
This rivals the first point as the most popular argument although this is probably the most accepted one since it supposedly defends Uhura against sexism. There are a lot of outcry on how TOS Uhura’s independence and fantastic empowerment of black women are ruined by defining her character with a man.
Uhura’s being a relationship with Spock doesn’t make her dependent since all throughout the films it was her agency that is being highlighted- her choice and her will. She wasn’t Spock’s prize and outside her relationship with Spock she had her own character and story to tell. If you omit her romantic relationship, she’d still be the driven, ambitious woman who fought for her right to board the Enterprise and she’s a brave officer who is prepared to face a platoon of Klingons in certain death.
Also, it is important to note that Uhura is a black woman and to get a representation like Uhura is very rare.A main romance and something to battle the offensive stereotype of the “independent black woman who needs no man” is good and not harmful.
Recommended reading & watching:
- Defense of AOS Uhura
- Black Fangirl Shipping Blues
- Solidarity Is For White Fangirls Only
(@7:53 he mentions Uhura and the faux feminists in the Star Trek reboot fandom and their double standard)
- It shouldn’t have happened because it’s against the rules for them to have a relationship
If the contention is their student-teacher relationship in the Academy, the comics (approved by Orci and considered by him ‘as canon as you can get outside of the movies’) have proven that they only became involved when Uhura had already finished Spock’s course and she was already graded. Other universities allow student-teacher relationships as long as the said student is no enrolled in the teacher’s course. (x)
As for the superior-lower ranking officer argument. TOS has proven that it’s not against the rules as a marriage of the like was featured in The Balance of Terror where it was even Captain Kirk who officiated. Space Seed also has McCoy saying “there’s no rule on romance.”
“Who is to say that in a futuristic utopia-ish society, workplace romance is a no-no? Perhaps it’s fine and allowed. After all, NASA is already having to deal with the potential sexual health of astronauts as they ponder prolonged space flight. May not be unprofessional at all at Starfleet. That view may simply be a remnant of our puritanical society that Starfleet outgrew.” - Roberto Orci
- It came out of nowhere/has no basis/out-of-character
This is outright proven wrong by Nichelle Nichols herself.
“I decided then from the character that I read [Spock] that I wanted to be very much like that character but in a feminine way. And Gene said, and I was sharing this with George the other day, when I told him that I thought of Spock as my mentor. Because if you remember Uhura was the only one he was able to teach the Vulcan lyre too and he sang and spooffed on Spock. Now, you could have never had a love scene in 63 between Uhura and Spock but there were several hints and [back to Roddenberry] Gene was one in the kind of beginning to follow that and he wanted to do episodes if we had gone past the third year” - Nichelle Nichols
" There was always a connection between Uhura and Spock. It was the early 60’s, so you couldn’t do what you can do now, but if you will remember, Uhura related to Spock. When she saw the captain lost in space out there in her mirror, it was Spock who consoled her when she went screaming out of her room. When Spock needed an expert to help save the ship, you remember that Uhura put something together and related back to him the famous words, “I don’t know if I can do this. I’m afraid.” And Uhura was the only one who could do a spoof on Spock. Remember the song (in “Charlie X”)? Those were the hints, as far as I’m concerned. ” - Nichelle Nichols
Fact: The reason why Spock x Uhura didn’t happen was because of the show’s cancellation and racism
Also, Spock and Uhura have moments too in TOS. In The Man Trap, Uhura flirted with him and she sang to him in Charlie X. Also in Is There in Truth No Beauty? Kollos-Spock describes Kirk, McCoy and Uhura the way Spock sees them “and uhura, whose name means freedom. she walks in beauty, like the night." (- how could Kollos know: an ancient poetry by Byron and use it to describe her exotic beauty; know that her original language is swahili and know that in said language her name means freedom)
- Spock can’t fall in love because he’s a Vulcan/he’s incapable of emotional attachments and is harmful to Uhura
Vulcans do have feelings even more than the humans (in fact their constant need to control their emotions is itself a result of that) as it’s proved by the franchise itself plenty of times. They’re indeed capable of love. Remember Spock’s parents? Sarek was a full blooded Vulcan who fell in love and married Amanda who is a human woman and they were living in marital bliss. Yep, get your facts straight.
“The Spock Uhura thing is something I concocted because I was inspired by the idea that his parents were essentially an interracial/interspecies couple. There’s the old saying that boys marry their mothers — falling in love or choosing to be with a human woman is a form of that, no?”
“it brings out his human side, it fits Spock’s arc for the surprise of the fact that he does share humanity and in the revelation that his father did love his mother, and therefore Spock himself is then capable of that and you see that with him and Uhura. It fits him.”
- Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (x)
Also had Spock been 'incapable of emotional attachments' then how the heck could he ever love his mother (canon fact) and find friendship in Kirk, McCoy and the rest of the enterprise crew? (at the point of even sacrificing his life to save them all)
- Uhura is better with Scotty and it was canon anyway
Unlike Spock/Uhura, there are no hints that they could have been the original plan in tos as well and that they could be attracted to one another (Scotty also has other canon love interests like Mira Romaine that are more “developed” than Uhura/Scotty and yet fandom ignores when talking about him)
The only hint of romance between her and Scotty is one sided from Star Trek V (a movie that, btw, even Roddenberry didn’t consider canon, just saying for the ones that talk about “the reboot doesn’t express Gene’s trek”) and it can’t even be used as argument for them being a canon pair since Uhura had been under Sybok’s influence anyway (as stated by the script itself) and after that there is no mention in subsequent movie(s) that they’re more than friends and a couple, unless you count people’s headcanons and fanfictions. Even the tie-in dc comics made at the time state that they’re just friends (and it’s the only closure they get) (x) as well as Nichelle Nichols who said that their relationship was supposed to mirror her friendship with James (x)
Furthermore, how is that people care about canon pairs that aren’t really canon anyway and yet when faced with the possibility of the reboot writers using actual canon relationships from Tos (e.g., Kirk/Carol or the many love interests Spock had) they’re up in arms about that?
(not to mention the same people now shipping Carol/Bones. What happened to “but it never happened in tos!it isn’t canon!”)
- Uhura only took advantage of Spock while he’s grieving
Bullshit, all the more because they’re a couple as expressly stated by the script and novelization and writers (if watching the movie isn’t enough for you to understand this simple fact..). She couldn’t take advantage of her boyfriend, she would have never acted like that with him if she didn’t know he’d welcome her affection (unless you want to make assumptions about either character that make no sense with their personality)
[dat hand tho]
"INT. TURBOLIFT - CONTINUOUS
Spock and Uhura. Silence hangs. She glances over, wanting to say so much, but not to invade what must be the worst moment of his life.
He looks at her, with kind eyes. And Uhura does something odd — she STOPS the lift. Spock looks over as she wordlessly reaches out and puts her arms around him. Just holding him. Kissing his face with utter tenderness and comfort, which he lets her do…
and we realize, this is why the intimacy before — this is their secret…”
Spock is probably a few times stronger than Uhura, he could have pushed her away if he wanted too. Besides physical strength, Spock had enough mental fortitude to command the ship even if his planet and mother was taken away from him, to say he’s too weak to resist a woman is like undermining his logic.
The only logical explanation is that he lets her comfort him and he hugs and kisses her back reciprocating her affection because she’s his girlfriend.
- Uhura doesn’t understand Spock and only nags him/Uhura is a selfish girlfriend
She has an argument with him ONCE and that’s because he seemed to have a death wish and didn’t want to talk about it. Her boyfriend was willing to die and he didn’t think about her (apparently) how the heck she was supposed to feel?
(+ good point here about how his behavior could have been a concern for the mission itself)
Spock PTSD was also hinted in the comics where he kept putting himself in danger and she’s worried for him, she’s the only one who notices that he’s still grieving about vulcan and this affects his job. The only one who tries to help him and knows about his nightmares. She understands him too much and that’s precisely the problem. (comics: Uhura talks with Kirk about that // Spock promises to be more careful )
It’s legit to believe that perhaps he was acting in a way that, from Uhura’s pov, was weird even for him and precisely because she knows him more than others she can recognize when he’s just being his usual logical vulcan self (e.g., in the first movie she accepted his answer when in the turbolift he said that he needed for everyone to continue performing admirably. She knew he wasn’t ok but accepted his way to handle things and his need to keep his control. In stid: when he doesn’t get her joke about her going in the volcano instead of him, she fondly smiles at him and kisses his helmet) and when he’s just being an ass (see the whole “no I’m assigned to the enterprise” scene from the first movie)
Accepting him doesn’t mean that she has to justify him all the time blaming the vulcan side. Ultimately he’s a person like anyone with qualities and flaws just like her. In the star trek universe he isn’t more “alien” than her or anyone there. Also, it’s a relationship and it goes both sides so it’s also equally important for him to understand her humanity and perspective on things just like it’s important for her to understand his Vulcan side.
“…Spock’s journey in this movie is learning how to be accountable to the people he cares about and loves ultimately.”- Zachary Quinto
- It’s insignificant in the storyline and the movies would have been better if it was omitted
Only someone who doesn’t care about Spock or Uhura as individual characters would say that their relationship is irrelevant to either of them.
For a start, it’s not irrelevant for the characters.
Also, you get to see sides of them and a plot that you were never allowed to see before because of the biases and limits that TOS had.
We never saw Uhura in love with someone before, we never saw Spock in love and in a relationship with someone. That’s all new and challenging.
Spock had always been the nerdy friend of hero foremost. Everything revolved around Kirk - who was the actual protagonist - even their friendship was, in many ways, more about Kirk than Spock as an individual character.
In the reboot Spock is a protagonist and he gets to have his own personal arc as a character that isn’t tied back to Kirk and their friendship even if that is still a main plot.
A lot of the arguments about how Uhura is too defined by Spock are essentially made by people who (IRONICALLY) want Spock to be entirely defined by Kirk and their friendship and actually glorify K/S as the single most important relationship of Spock’s life and feel threated by the fact that he’s essentially getting a life outside of that now and Kirk isn’t the only one who will make Spock express his human side.
Recommended reading: The narrative importance of S/U
Point being: " Spock is allowed equal access to certain narrative elements as Kirk" and, to a certain extent even if as a secondary character, Uhura is also allowed equal access to certain narrative elements as McCoy.
Alternate realities are made to explore what if scenarios, not to have the same identical stories and characters the other reality had.
S/U is one of the few things that help this reality stand on its own merits separated from the other one. It helps the writers to make this their own trek that will be remembered as their own trek.
- Spock is better with Kirk
Well there’s always a wiggle room to say Spock or Kirk is better with McCoy (or that Kirk is better with Uhura). It’s up to argument that the K/S friendship is so well developed in comparison as there are many fans (critics even) that consider their dynamic unrealistic, out of character for both and not so well developed overall. Unlike the Spock/Uhura dynamic that is a subplot, it makes it worse that the bromance actually is the one that gets most of the screentime as they’re the two protagonists so that relationship and the individual characters could and should therefore be objectively well written compared to the rest.
It all boils down to preferences and opinions but let us examine our standards. Some would attack Uhura for being frustrated at Spock on the way to Q’onos but would find Spock’s tension with Kirk in the same movie (and the previous one) to be compelling and positive.
Besides, people will always justify the angst between Kirk and Spock and their numerous examples of unprofessionalism. Uhura argues with him ONCE and suddenly she’s not professional and arguing is all they do and they don’t work as a couple. Yet, people think Spock would be better with someone like Kirk who argues with him constantly .. someone who doesn’t understand his vulcan side that much* and keeps expecting him to act like a human or himself (as showed by stid) someone who, personality-vise, is his complete opposite and they hardly work as co-workers and future friends so based on what facts we could state they’d work better as a couple?
[(*when all is said and done the only chance he gets to understand Spock pov more actually is through the relationship between him and Uhura e.g., Spock’s speech to her on the way to kronos. Even in the comics it’s Uhura who tells Kirk that Spock is still grieving about vulcan and his mom and this is the source of his emotional decisions that badly affected some of their missions. Kirk had no idea. )]
In short, the main argument people have about why K/S would work better as a couple instead of S/U comes down to: “destiny”/“meant to be” because basically they were best friends in TOS so we’re to accept at face value that not only they must be friends here too and have the same relationship their other version had but they must become lovers here even though, actually, they never had a romantic relationship not even in the original series and previous version anyway (bottom line: no one is making a het version of "brokeback mountain" yo. This isn’t Romeo and Juliet where Romeo is hooking up with some random girl instead of Juliet ) Also special mentions for: “but they’re thylaaa” and “it’s the grandaddy of slash!”.
When all is said and done, personality-vise and personal preferences and them being the main characters aside, there isn’t any proof that K/S would be (or more correctly: could have made) better lovers than Spock/Uhura or any other ship with these characters (e.g.,Kirk/Uhura, Kirk/McCoy)
- It is badly written, it was a terrible example of romance
Unless there’s a concrete and objective way to prove it’s badly written, this cannot be accepted as a fact especially that Spock and Uhura romance (that after all is and will probably always remain a subplot and not the be all and end of the story) has always been portrayed as and intended to be intimate, positive and genuine in the script, in the novels here and here.
The writers from the commentary:
“This was the gutsiest thing that we did. Blowing up Vulcan was nothing compared to saying, ‘Spock and Uhura are in love with each other and having this incredibly intimate relationship.’..” - re turbolift scene
"I just love that they’re in love" - re: transport pad scene
They have developed them as two people in a relationship that are in love. Uhura took advantage of no one. Not only he kisses her back but the script even states that he’s the one initiating the kiss on the transport pad. They’re a couple and he’s comfortable with her, plain and simple.
There’s also a fact that Spock is a logical person and he would not have continued his relationship with Uhura if he finds her ill-suited to him. The same applies to Uhura but since she’s the female character I guess her input matters less than the male one *sarcasm.*
Also, Leonard Nimoy himself, a guy who played Spock for decades, LOVED the romance that he got jealous that Quinto got some intimate scenes when he did not.
Nimoy: You twist yourself into pretzels over ‘what are they going to say about this’…for god’s sake what are people going to say about Uhura and Spock having the relationship they have in this movie? What? I thought it was wonderful and touching and effective.
TrekMovie: There is so much talk about you and Zach and how you guys are like adopted father and son. He says he made the role his own, which is true…Once you mentioned that he did something that blew you away. I am curious now that I have seen the film, what was it that you went ‘oh that is really interesting’?
Nimoy: His relationship with Uhura, he played something that I was quite touched by. So did she for that matter. They both were terribly available for each other. I was really affected by his final moment with the Vulcan council when he rejected their invitation to go to the Vulcan Institute, and the way he said “live long and prosper.” (unavailable link)
"I mentioned earlier, I thought Zachary’s choices in his performance often surprised me in a very positive way. I often thought, ‘I would never have thought to do that! That’s a wonderful idea.’ I was, frankly, extremely jealous of his scenes with Zoe Saldana and I think it’s totally unfair that I never got to do that kind of stuff. I will never forgive the writers and the director for having put me in this position, that I have to be watching them instead of participating.”
As a last note, can we just appreciate the fact that when Spock thought that they’re gonna die, he left his station to hold Uhura’s hand? Now if Uhura was the nagging, unlovable girlfriend that wasn’t good for Spock wouldn’t he have run to someone else to spend his last seconds with? Why Uhura?
Sorry, no excuses, he loves her of course.
Defense written by: