Costober 2021 Days 19-20: Carol Marcus

Carol Marcus, the mother and the daughter.

About the Looks

In my (unpopular) opinion, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (TWOK) is not as good as its reputation and Star Trek Into Darkness (STID) is not as bad as its reputation. The Khan-ness of it all has racist optics in both cases so that’s an unfortunate black mark. TWOK is a tighter story, STID is messy and often called derivative. I actually love the echoes of TWOK in STID because how the two universes diverge and connect is hugely interesting to me. My love of, and obsession, with variants and variance is why I chose the theme. Jim Kirk, as played by The Best Chris (Pine), going through Prime Spock’s death-and-rebirth plot, and in about twenty minutes rather than two years, is earnest pathos plus bonkers fun and I love it.

Carol Marcus is another story. She is definitely better served by the earlier film. Kelvin Carol Marcus is introduced in opposition to Spock, as if we’re not supposed to like her. She never gets her own storyline, and she is mostly remembered for screaming and being in her underwear (not at the same time). Prime Carol is Kirk’s (past) love interest, but her work drives the plot and she’s never unclothed or even sexualized. Still, I enjoy comparing and contrasting the two and considering how their differences came about.

The Kelvinverse is, in fact, a darker version of the universe. It is a timeline literally created by revenge, its first moments defined by trauma and personal tragedy. Space is meaner and Starfleet is more militant. Both Carols are scientists, but Prime Carol is focused on creation while Kelvin Carol specializes in weaponry, destruction. Ultimately, both Prime Carol’s Genesis torpedo and Kelvin Carol’s seventy-two missing experimental torpedos are used to kill and to heal.

What’s most interesting to me, is that Prime Carol is a mother and Kelvin Carol is a daughter.

Prime Carol has a son, David, with James Kirk, but she chose to raise him as a single parent. I always admired TWOK for this. I don’t think James Kirk would be a bad father. But because of his career, he would be an absent father. I headcanon that the insufficiencies of long distance relationships when one is on a starship for five years at a time is why Carol and Jim broke up in the first place. Thus, she wouldn’t want to expose her child to that heartbreak, nor to the reality that he would always come second to Starfleet. It’s clear to me Kirk understood, and agreed to respect her choice, and I like that this version of family exists within Star Trek.

Kelvin Carol and Kelvin Jim are much younger than their counterparts. They’re about the age Prime Carol and Prime Jim were when they dated, I assume, and only a little older than David Marcus in TWOK. And instead of her son, STID includes her father, Admiral Alexander Marcus. Admiral Marcus is the head of Starfleet, a member of Section 31, and captain of the USS Vengeance, which is a bit on the nose even for me. Admiral Marcus is a villain, and in theory, Carol’s relationship to and with him is meant to humanize him. Or, at least, to suggest he could be humanized. But instead he chooses Starfleet over her, exactly as Prime Carol worried her Jim would choose Starfleet over David. Admiral Marcus’s version of Starfleet is, as stated, dark. Kirk’s version, in both Prime and Kelvin, is lighter. But it is still a very clever way to have Prime Carol’s worries and choices play out in Kelvin Carol’s existence.

About My Looks

I am proud of both of these looks, I think the references are clear and they each have a little extra flair. Both dresses were purchased secondhand. I found the blue at Savers, and considered it for Sue Storm before landing on Carol. I got the white dress and the mustard undershirt from ThreadUp.

I really like the exaggerated keyhole back and tie on the white dress, it feels very “future fashion as designed in the seventies” which is appropriate.

I love the sparkle on this dress, it’s so fun! My Starfleet boots were recently sacrificed to another cosplay so I’m wearing black knee socks with short boots. On the right I am using my telescope as a stand in for the torpedo Carol disarms, saving Dr. McCoy’s life. I got the mini Starfleet Delta at a con, a freebie for visiting the Star Trek booth.

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