We first met this character in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.
Startrek.com only says this about her: "Female Vulcan and protégée of Spock, Saavik was enrolled at Starfleet Academy in 2285. Saavik helped in the rescue of Spock on the Genesis Planet and then returned to Vulcan the following year."
Wow. For a character who appeared in three Trek movies, they are astonishly brief about her. In any case, in spite of fan speculation, fantasies, and claims about inside information gleaned from unused portions of an unused early draft of an unused script, Saavik is:
1. Definitely identified as Vulcan, not partially or wholly Romulan.
2. Not actually a very important character.
How much do we ever actually learn about her? Not much. She had a lot of screen time, and lines, but she was in effect a bookmark, just holding a place.
As a Vulcan, she's irritatingly atypical in ST2: she casually cusses, acts obviously emotional, and generally seems to be nothing better than a pretty girl with pointed ears.
Example of a typical Saavik scene: In ST2, Kirk notices that she is wearing her hair differently one day, and he comments on it. Nothing "romantic" comes of this utterly generic exchange. Are we to assume from this alone that Kirk harbors heterosexual-style feelings for her, or for any woman? HA!
In ST3, Search For Spock, Saavik at least looks and acts slightly more Vulcanlike: She actually has slanted Vulcan eyebrows, finally, and she behaves in a more formal and typically Vulcan manner. At one point, on the Genesis planet, Saavik feels constrained to engage in some Vulcan-style touchy-feely shenanigans with the youthful animated corpse that later matures into Spock's body - on the grounds that the child is experiencing Pon Farr [which is of course ridiculous and anti-canonical]. Is she having sex with Spock, and does this mean anything at all about Spock's sexual orientation? No. Spock's Katra (his soul/mind/spirit) is housed in McCoy and is elsewhere (specifically, IN A MAN) during that misadventure. Therefore, her seeming relationship with young "Spock" amounts to no relationship at all.
Still, it was a rather extravagent act of gallantry for Saavik to volunteer to see young Spock through his personal crisis. This generous act of selflessness on her part is of course commendable. It's not her fault that the writers and producers were idiots.
In ST4, Saavik appears again, very briefly, and this is only so Spock-who-really-is-Spock can briskly dismiss her from his life completely without the slightest sentimentality, hesitation or regret. She accepts this, because she knows damn well that she deserves no better from him. On a professional level, she might have been his protégée, but on a personal level, she's nothing to him, and he treats her accordingly.
Saavik is played by two different actresses: Kirstie Alley, in ST2 (see image), and Robin Curtis, in ST3 and ST4. The producers thought so little of this character that they didn't even bother to make sure that the two actresses looked alike. Even worse, Saavik's "Vulcan" ears, eyebrows and hair are completely different in each incarnation. The Saavik of ST2 and the Saavik of ST3 and 4 might as well be two different characters, because they have virtually nothing but their name/rank in common.
One might reasonably ask why that character was ever even necessary, since they cared so little about her. She takes up a lot of screen time and interacts with both Spock and Kirk rather closely, more than once. Well, IMHO, she's a big, flashy, beautiful Vulcan smokescreen. Just another disposable female character that was waved before our eyes and used as a red herring to distract us from noticing the otherwise completely obvious and unsubtle Kirk/Spock love relationship.
In the end, she's just one more of the dozens of lovely Star Trek women that completely failed to come between Kirk and Spock.
All site contents Copyright L. Goodwin 1990 - 2005
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