50 influential fictional women in nerd history

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Carol Marcus

Let’s focus on the not sexualized Carol Marcus, shall we? In Star Trek: Into Darkness, a character from the original movies makes a return but this time, she’s in a short skirt and is just used to make the male audience drool. Carol Marcus, who originally appears in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, meets up with the crew of the Enterprise, works on Project Genesis that eventually brings Spock back to life in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock after his encounter with Khan.

Carol and Kirk have a love affair which results in their son David, but her work is what makes Carol Marcus so special. Like a lot of the women in Star Trek, she is a scientist who is strong-willed, ready to run into a fight, and beyond all things, intelligent.

So often, women are depicted as just having one note, but the Star Trek series does an incredible job of making sure their women are fully formed (just as the men are). You don’t have Captain Kirk and all his quirks and a cardboard cut-out of a woman.

It is beautiful to see and also wonderful that Carol Marcus is shown first and foremost as a scientist, and her relationship with Kirk doesn’t necessarily overshadow that.