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The Real Reason Alice Eve's Carol Marcus Didn't Return In Star Trek Beyond

When it comes to "Star Trek Into Darkness," there tends to be one image people think of, for better or worse. It's when Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) is viewed in nothing but her underwear, a scene that put the actor in the center of public controversy. It's a shame that's what people focus on, as there's so much more to Carol that makes her an interesting character. She could've been redeemed in the audience's eyes with an appearance in the sequel, "Star Trek Beyond." As Carol is alive at the end of "Star Trek Into Darkness," why isn't she in the follow-up?

"Star Trek Beyond" star and co-writer Simon Pegg answered that question during an appearance on "Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast." He explained that they didn't want to underutilize her. "Rather than bring her in and just have her be a supporting role ... have her not be in this one," he said. "And when the time comes [bring her back]." He was also clear they didn't want to give her a small part only to kill her off, which is fair, as that also likely would've ruffled plenty of feathers. 

Pegg was clear that Dr. Marcus is still out there: "We thought rather than have Carol Marcus not be used to a reasonable capacity, let's just not include her, have her be alive, in canon, and ready to come back at any time."

Alice Eve has said she's game to return to Star Trek

Dr. Carol Marcus first originated in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," portrayed by Bibi Besch. She has a romantic relationship with Captain Kirk (William Shatner), and the two have a child together. "Star Trek Into Darkness" doesn't explore their relationship too much, other than the Kelvin Timeline Kirk (Chris Pine) sneaking a peek at Carol when she's almost nude. Suffice it to say, there are still plenty of avenues available for the character in this new continuity, so Alice Eve could return for "Star Trek 4" if it eventually happens. 

In 2013, Eve spoke with Impulse Gamer about reprising her role. She said, "I'd love to become an integral member of the crew." Of course, that quote's from over 10 years ago, so there's always a chance Eve could be too busy with other projects to sign on for another Star Trek. Even then, there could still be ways to incorporate the character into a sequel's storyline. With so much time passing since "Star Trek Beyond," perhaps Kirk and Dr. Marcus got together off-screen and already have their kid. It would put an intriguing wrinkle into Kirk's characterization if a child is waiting for him to return from another dangerous mission.

At this point, fans likely just want "Star Trek 4" in any way, shape, or form. Having Dr. Carol Marcus there in any capacity would be the icing on the cake.