News How Star Trek: Discovery Reinvented the Klingons.

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by PiotrB, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. ScottJ85

    ScottJ85 Commander Red Shirt

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    One thing I did like was the way they implied that the Klingon Empire was a big and diverse place, so much so that a few humans on the home world wouldn’t raise any suspicion in and of itself.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...And that Klingons were such top dogs that they could ransack Starfleet's innermost defenses and then back off because their strategic goal always was to leave a tag on the starbase wall. This whole "humans are beneath conquest" ethos, of declaring wars just because and then waging them as a form of parlor games for the bored, is a great step forward from the ENT portrayal of the species and culture - and obviously something that will be scaled back after Starfleet's big heroes (the ones not seen in DSC yet) tear the Klingons a new one and force them to actually fight for things like victory or survival.

    I'm not displeased with the TNG portrayal, either, then. That is what a well-whipped empire looks like.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Captain Captain

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    If the Klingons were a warrior race driven to conquor everything.. then Earth would have fought the Klingons instead of the Romulans in its first interstellar war.. and probably lost..

    So, in the series, TOS never really delved deep into Klingon society.. they were just generic bad guys, it was Tng that really fleshed out there society, with Ds9 going farther in.
    So we have 24(?) houses, and a High counsel with a representative for each house, and then High Chansouler to run them all...
    Now, No where do we get a good description of the Klingon Past, conditions of the planet etc. This information could have been fleshed out in Disco to better explain there culture.. what we got didn't really explain anything, except there xenophobic and nationalistic ( which was what they wanted for disco)
    So lets flesh it out abit.. alot of head cannon, just making it up on the fly,..

    Klingon society kind of developed similar to ours, but in there "Middle ages" time of kings, they didn't go to nation/states, they kept there medieval society in that there are 24 houses/ruling familes.. This went on for most of there recent history, so we have all the ideals of Knights, and honor, glory in battle etc, that never went away as it did here (kind of) they'd war against each other for land, glory, etc. until the advent of space travel ( which was never touched on how they got it.. did someone visit and they grabbed there ship ( ala Mirror universe Terrans) or do there first warp ship and someone show up to help, or all there own?) So lets say they got there all there own, the houses still fight among themselves, but seeing they need a united front for space, they get together and create the high counsel, and the chansouler .. They go out, conqueror nearby planets, conquer pre warp societies and use them as slaves/workers for mines, etc. and they expand out, and are militaristic and quick to battle.
    You see them in Enterprise, there together, high counsel, etc. but lets say, sometime after Enterprise, they delve in to some internal squabbling, and disband the counsel. Thats where you get the near 100 years of no contact before disco.. there doing there own internal stuff.. occasional house that pokes the federation etc. ( man that Post Enterprise time was quite peaceful.. no Romulans, no Klingons.. just the federation expansion.. huh)
    So now you have Disco time, you have the houses still squabbling with each other, no high counsel.. 100 years of waring with each other over land, planets, slaves etc. Enter Tkuvma that says.. lets turn our frustration against the Federation, and the houses go to war .. with each house trying to one up the other. then enter the bomb, and the re institution of the High counsel and the chansolur..
    Still alot of bad blood between the house, alot of wanting war and glory, and you have this going thought tos/movie era until Praxis bites the dust.. and there home world goes in to a Extinction level event.. so they have to accept help, and "Calm Down" and get past the event and rebuild there world. So then enters the Tng Klingons, who occasionally get wild, but are more calm..
    I liked that one of the "Future" series said that the Klingon evolve in to warrior monks, like the shoulin.. where they maintain there honor, and there warrior culture evolved into self defense and finding yourself.
    So in my short history here, theirs no "Genetic" reason, its just that they Always had war in there life, and thought it was honorable and glorious to die in battle, so they battle Everything!..
     
  4. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    I dunno how you can watch an episode like DS9's Soldiers of the Empire and think that they portrayed Klingons as a monoculture. I mean you had:

    Worf - who is an uptight prig, and a bit "on the spectrum" as Klingons go.
    Martok - who was suffering from PTSD from his torture by the Dominion - afraid but not willing to publicly admit he was
    Leskit - who came across as cynical, kinda snotty, and angry they aren't directly confronting the enemy
    Kornan - who was depressed and deeply superstitious
    Tvana - who comes across as sensible and levelheaded
    Ortikan - who is an older Klingon loyal to Martok

    The latter two were admittedly not as well developed, but it says something that in a single episode of DS9 which focused upon the Klingons, they were easily able to flesh out the personalities of several different Klingons - some of which were never seen again - as more than the stereotyped noble warrior thing.
     
  5. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh I just remembered, the Klingons having 24 Great Houses also originated from 'The Final Reflection'.

    Memory-Alpha also had that fact listed erroneously since 2004, long before Discovery even aired. Though by the time anyone noticed, Discovery season 1 was about to air, so it wasn't removed from the page for very long.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  6. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    I can cherry pick lots of episodes. DS9 had some more success than others but the it still felt very stereotyped. I like Martok and all but that doesn't mean there isn't monoculture at times.
     
  7. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Could it be explained how DSC has expanded the Klingons? I'm confused by the quote, because while the Klingons were the bad guys in a small handful of TOS episodes, and 2 of the TOS movies, they were probably the Federations closest ally through the overwhelming vast bulk of Star Trek. They are also the single most used, expanded upon, and explored species there has ever been in the franchise. There is practically nothing left to learn about them. The three longest running Trek series had a Klingon main character

    I would bet that if you took ten talented writers and tasked them with coming up with a new storyline about klingons; something that hasn't been covered, whatever they produce will have been explored before anyway. Not that I mind either way, but surely these facts present a strong argument in favor of "Klingon stories: not necessary"
    For example, why does T'Kuvma want to fight the Federation? He fears human influence is making his people weak. This was the same issue the Klingons had in TNG, and why some of them were secretly making deals with Romulans. This issue returned in DS9. It's why the Klingons go to war with the Cardassians.

    How about the Klingon religious purity party? Covered in TNG, and even in Voyager. I guess having a Klingon infiltrator disguised to look like a human is ne...wait. I guess having a Klingon infiltrator Manchurian candidate disguised to look like a human is new. Brownie points are earned here. awesome...

    Another question: How has DSC made the Klingons any less of a "monoculture"? If the Klingons prior to this show are to be considered as such, then wouldn't these Klingons fit the same bill, perhaps with even less variety? If there is a "Klingon stereotype," then DSC has slightly altered that stereotype to their needs of story and continued perpetuating it, right?

    If I were to judge the creative success of s1's Klingons and Klingon storyline, I would be forced to conclude it be a failure(if the original quote here was indeed the artistic goal and thought process behind it). DSC's Klingons are a little less dynamic, less captivating, less energetic, and the new makeup is less sophisticated than what has come before.

    In my humble opinion, anyway.
     
  8. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    Klingon stories are not necessary. If I never see another Klingon again it will be too soon.

    No, the Klingons were not always Federation allies. The amount of flip flopping of them as belligerents to hostiles goes up and down from TNG to DS9.

    What I like about the DSC Klingons is the variety in the make up (mileage will vary) as well as the different houses in terms of politics. Yes, I know that it had been in DS9 in particular (House of Quark springs readily to mind) but it was far more interesting to see how these different houses vie for power within the Empire.

    More than that (and again, unpopular opinion) I love the huge variety of ships, armor and aesthetics that expand upon Klingon designs. Instead of just gray and black with various sleeves we get to see armor, and ornate designs and the like that feels very appropriate for a proud race that prides itself upon its history.
     
  9. Molech-ular

    Molech-ular Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would have these Klingons in the PICARD era--bitten by something like this: https://stargate.fandom.com/wiki/Iratus_bug
    I first thought that TMP Klingons were survivors of some atomic war which damaged their DNA-and they just got more gnarly as time went on--or maybe this was a throwback--halfway towards where Worf de-evolved into.
     
  10. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'll grant you that there is a greater variety in their clothing/appearance and whatnot, and ships. And I do agree that the old uniform was overused and not that great, but there was variety for all the Klingons not wearing the uniform. It usually involved fur or leather.

    They were allies of the federation all 7 years of TNG. They had that exchange program. The fat old chancellor liked Picard and asked him to mediate. Gowron was Picards Ally. The klingon "enemies" in TNG were certainty in people who were unhappy with the alliance, and had to operate in secret to undermine it and/or they were just being manipulated by a 3rd party.

    In DS9, they are still allies for all the show except for one season or so. Then in Enterprise, they were more or less indifferent. Archer helps them a few times, then gets on there bad side, then helps them again. Starfleet also makes a secret agreement with them to help each other.

    It's really only in TOS that they are rival powers who threaten and combat each other, and are in a semi-state of war.
     
  11. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    I'll concede the allies part. I just found the breaking up of the Khitomer accords in DS9 and the Duras sisters quite tiresome.
    And this is probaby where my bias comes in. Even Klingon civilian clothes felt generic, which I guess is a weird critique but that's where I was at. So, for me, it isn't that DSC necessarily better but just added more. I think there was quite a bit more interest and intrigue added, at least for me, to the Klingon culture, past all the drinking and the combat for leadership.

    I think DSC Klingons with their armor and ships are highly additive and that cannot be a failure for me.
     
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  12. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    FWIW, I prefer "planet of hats" to the alternative - which is basically portraying aliens as basically identical to humans in every way other than looking a bit weird (i.e basically what you get in Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy). I mean, at least having one cultural stereotype which most of a race hews to requires a tiny bit more worldbuilding than having absolutely nothing distinctive about an alien race whatsoever.
     
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  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the end, Star Trek is about Kirk, Spock and the Klingons. Nothing else comes even close.

    A couple of spinoffs got mileage of exploring "different Kirks" of varying age, race or gender. One gave us interesting and unexpected stuff on "Spock's people". And all have had their share of Klingon stories - and even if all have felt the need to introduce their own variant of Klingons (turn the knobs on religious bigotry, racism, sexism or greed a bit) by some other name, a sudden dropping of the real Klingons from the picture would be as odd as omitting Starfleet.

    What is there to broaden? Kirk had the same adventure some 78 times over. Klingons are bound to have that, too. But the point is to have the adventures, over and over again, so that there's a template there for the 4.7% contribution of new and interesting detail. And DSC with its year-and-a-dozen-eps-long adventures is all about this detail.

    Timo Saloniemi