Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Feature
The Evolution Of The Star Trek Uniform
Fashion aboard the USS Enterprise

submit to reddit

1 2 3 4
Back 4 of 4  

J.J. Abrams Reboots The Redshirt

Star Trek (2009)

The sets for the 1960s Starship Enterprise are so blocky and low budget that there was no quibble when J.J. Abrams upgraded them for those gleaming, iPod-like interiors. But while many aspects of the old Star Trek universe were abandoned, the red shirts and Spock’s familiar blue uniform were a reassuring nod to long-time fans. And because that uniform is so simple and iconic, very few changes were even necessary. Costume designer Michael Kaplan (who’d also worked on Blade Runner and Fight Club) added charcoal grey undershirts and did away with the cropped trousers and booties of the ‘60s, but aside from that the basic elements remained the same.

The biggest point of contention was the Starfleet minidress. In the ‘60s they were eye candy and in the ‘70s they were dated and sexist, but in the 21st century they’re a fan favourite among cosplayers and convention-goers. The 2009 movie brought them back as an optional uniform, with Uhura wearing a minidress while many other female crewmembers chose trousers instead.

Star Trek (2009)

One popular fan theory suggests that all the uniforms are unisex. This handily excuses the perceived sexism of the “female” uniform, and is backed up by scenes in The Next Generation where male extras were seen wearing what are clearly Starfleet mini-dresses (not, it has to be said, very often and never, it has to be said, in the case of leading manly men like Riker). Uhura’s personal preference for this style is well-documented, since in Star Trek VI a 60-year-old Nichelle Nichols is seen wearing a customised miniskirt uniform while the younger crewmembers are all dressed in trouser suits.

Star Trek Enterprise

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine might have abs of granite, but even they couldn’t carry off the overly bedazzled Original Series dress uniforms. There, the reboot sensibly went for a more sedate charcoal grey number, with Admiral Pike wearing a paler version reminiscent of The Motion Picture (but not, thankfully, too reminiscent). Overall, the new uniforms were the most coherent of the series. Black undershirts for everyone, with cadets wearing a maroon version of the officers’ dress uniform, and ribbed turtleneck sweaters inspired by the 1980s-era films. The coolest detail is that the everyday shirts have the Starfleet insignia embossed into every inch of the fabric on a miniscule scale.

Star Trek uniform detail

Star Trek Into Darkness brings three additions to Starfleet’s rebooted uniform: wetsuits, jumpsuits with windows at the shoulders to reveal the shirt colour underneath, and pale grey dress uniforms that bear an unfortunate resemblance to those worn by officers aboard the Death Star. The wetsuits are intriguing, signalling that either we get to see an underwater action sequence in the new movie (a lot of the posters do show characters looking pretty wet and also pretty, wet), or some other activity that requires everyone to dress like a cross between a Tron character and Captain America. Either way, they fit in well with the movie’s slick aesthetic, and even include a nod to the regular uniforms in the form of colour-coded detailing. Wherever they’re boldly going, at least they’re going in style.

Star Trek Into Darkness

1 2 3 4
Back
4 of 4
 

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 Star Trek - Into Dark Charcoal
Maybe Empire will reboot the article, make it all look better in the new article, and call the old article the Prime Version. More

Posted by KHeasman76 on Monday May 13, 2013, 16:10

2 RE: The Missing Generation
Typically, Empire puts up a great piece that nobody else is addressing, and the forum responds with complaints about what's not there without a word about what is. This is fascinating stuff; good work Gavia. More

Posted by David Somerset on Saturday May 11, 2013, 23:35

3 The Missing Generation
It does seem strange to include the classic TOS uniform from television and to miss off the three TNG uniforms that were shown in four films from Generations and First Contact until Nemesis. Including those outfits would have covered off TNG/DS9 and Voyager without even venturing away from the cinematic theme. More

Posted by jaideco on Saturday May 11, 2013, 14:31

4 So...
Is this the evolution of Trek outfits, but only if Kirk and friends are involved? More

Posted by rich on Friday May 10, 2013, 23:54

5 ST TNG DS9 VOY????
Where is TNG, DS9 and VOY???? You can't skip them and those ones are even more impotrant that 2 new motion pictures! More

Posted by Max Krause on Friday May 10, 2013, 17:47

6 Where is the section on TNG and DS9 style uniforms !
You can't have a Star Trek uniform "chronology" without them. More

Posted by koit on Friday May 10, 2013, 17:21

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

The Future Of Film: Cinema Will Cross The Uncanny Valley
The future of VFX, from believable digital humans to underwater mocap

The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

The Future Of Film: Your Favourite Movie WIll Be Crowdfunded
Click here to donate

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)