Star Trek Discovery: The Klingon Question

As speculated, the Star Trek Discovery trailer dropped yesterday, amongst much fanfare and speculation at the CBS Upfront show.

Judging from the comments I’ve seen on various social media, I would say that the trailer received a mixed reaction. Personally; I loved it. It had some smooth action scenes, cool sets and scenery and some nice uniforms. It had aliens we haven’t seen before and a strong narrator in James Frain who gave a cryptic message about leadership in times of crisis. It made reference to Kirk and Spock from TOS, and I honestly feel that it had enough about it to separate itself from any other Star Trek incarnations.

One common theme in the comments is how close or different it is to the JJ universe, but I think we need to look beyond poor JJ and see Discovery on its own merit. JJ was JJ and we can’t do anything about that now. It happened. Once Discovery goes live, we can then say if we thought it had too many explosions, or if it was too dark or if the characters weren’t likable, but we have to leave JJ in the past. We will have to judge Discovery on it’s own merit. But there is one big debate that the trailer caused..

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One big debate that was clear to see was the Klingon question. Why are the Klingons in Discovery so different? The Klingon ship, especially the sarcophagus scene, looks darker and more ornate than we’ve seen before, and whilst the Discovery Klingons might have forehead ridges, they look totally different to what we have ever seen before. It looks as though the much-hyped photo leak was in fact, a real picture of Klingons taking a lunch break on set.

For a more detailed explanation of forehead ridges, check this site.

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Some fans, especially those of TOS, the original Trekkies, will hate the Discovery Klingons and will be miffed at why CBS has made them bigger and scarier than before. But therein lies the answer. We have the be honest; Klingons of old aren’t really scary anymore, and hero in a show can only be a truly great hero if he defeats a truly great enemy. Whilst Worf, Kang, Martok, Gowron and B’elanna Torres were great in their own right and their own time, a change is what is needed. I can’t imagine we’d find these guys intimidating, given the huge wealth of content available to audiences nowadays:

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And this is not me knocking the characters above, as they were all great in their time. Martok especially stands out for me as a brilliant character. But now we have new Klingons. We have scarier Klingons now than what I have seen before in the Star Trek universe and I hope they turn out to be as awesome as the guys above were in their time.

Although, I think, we did only see male Klingon warriors in the trailer and it will certainly be interesting to see some females, as we do have female Klingons cast.

It will be especially see interesting seeing how this:

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Becomes this:

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What do you think? Did they need to change the Klingons? Have they made the right choices in production? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.

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11 Replies to “Star Trek Discovery: The Klingon Question”

  1. “It will be especially see interesting seeing how this becomes this”

    Er, by pouring on tons of latex that immobilizes the actor and kills any ability to emote?

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    1. I just had an interview with Rene Auberjonois and I asked him about whether he felt limited by his Odo mask, he said he had been trained in “Mask” at Julliard and that it was no real problem at all. There is an entire skill set that actors are trained in for being in latex. So, I think these guys will be just fine.

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  2. Looks too much like JJ”s universe. And stop messing with canon. Make a new race instead of messing with the Klingons because they don’t look scary enough. The previous series went out of its way to explain the difference in the Klingons, but this change is too radical.

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  3. Unless you are going to negate the previous story lines, etc. & create a new, ‘re-imagined’ Star Trek, you need to follow the basic Trek story & timeline. If ‘Discovery’ is after ‘Enterprise’ & just before TOS, then the Klingons look should look like they did in TOS. But more importantly, Star Trek in whatever form, is at its best when it is story-driven, & when it addresses issues. Makeup & special effects should serve the story, not be the focus of it. Roddenberry didn’t create an ‘adventure’ series. He created a sci-fi series as an avenue to address social, political & moral issues. The idea that the latest incarnation of Star Trek needs to ‘out-FX’ the last version misses the point of what Star Trek is supposed to be & why it exists in the first place.

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  4. Well in all honesty I am excited about this series even though I do have a problem with the Klingons myself. I won’t judge it until I see the first episode of the series-whenever that airs.

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  5. The whole idea of putting a show 10 years prior to TOS and then making it look like it belongs 100 years in the future is just plain dumb. Do something new and fresh in the future past all the other shows. Don’t wallow in the past and rehash TOS era characters yet again. It’s all so overdone and lackluster.

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  6. Axanar showed loud and clear that there is no need to change or disrespect canon and you still end up with great star trek. For 10 years all the fans at the cons have screamed no reboots. CBS just rejected the whole core fan base and put themselves and this series a risk. It is much smarter to build inclusive of the fanbase out, then to try to market to an unknown demographic in. Go look at the youtube comments and 100,000s of thousands of angry comments all over the net and the 50/40 like / dislike on youtube. All of this was avoidable if CBS but listened to it’s core star trek fanbase. NO REBOOTS!

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  7. There are two ways of making Klingons, or any villainous character scarier. One is by making them uglier, like Discovery is doing. The other is making them more intense, secretive, cunning, malicious, mysterious, etc. in their behaviors and character. The first is easier. The second is more effective. The scariest movies are often the ones whose villains aren’t even seen or aren’t obvious. This change wasn’t needed to make them scary, unless the writers are lazy or incapable of truly scary writing.

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