Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud
She was half-Romulan?
Wow, that clinches it: I don't know anything about Star Trek!
You would have had to read the novel to pick that up - the scenes establishing her backstory were cut from the movie.
However, she acts more Romulan than Vulcan.
When Sci Fi Channel aired this movie on television, Leonard Nimoy appeared on-screen during commercial breaks, explaining various memories and trivia about the film. One of the items was the character backstory of Lt. Saavik (Kirstie Alley), who was intended to have Romulan/Vulcan heritage, which would have made her more emotional than a pureblood Vulcan. Three hints at this remain in the final film: during the Kobayashi Maru simulation, she says to herself, "Damn!"; she gasps in shock when Scotty appears on the bridge with midshipman Peters' injured body; and she is emotionally moved by Kirk's eulogy.