Klingon Story Arc

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Chief Medical Officer, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. Chief Medical Officer

    Chief Medical Officer Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I just finished re-watching 'Reunion', after having watched 'Sins of the Father' and 'Emissary'. I've seen 'Redemption' many times. Reflecting on all of these episodes, I have gained a newfound appreciation for how outstanding the Klingon story arc is. The characters are fantastic and the intensity with which it was filmed is excellent as well. Picard's role in the story is quite good, too.

    I might venture to say that this was the finest story arc in the entire series. Anyone else?
     
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  2. Praetorian

    Praetorian Captain Captain

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    Indeed, one of the highlights of the show, for sure.

    The way that even non arc episodes, such as "Family" and "The Drumhead", built upon the Discommendation/Duras-Romulan Alliance Plot, made the show feel more real and interesting.

    It is a shame that they never tried anything like that, but that's what DS9 is for, I guess.

    Certanly, other episodes such as "Unification" and "Rightful Heir" made use of what came before, but there never was another effort to create a multi episode story arc such as this one (unless you count the Maquis story, but half ot its episodes where on DS9, it came right at the end of the show and it merely served as prelude to Voyager; still, it was a nice touch, as well).
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Really, bringing Worf to DS9 might at first appear a cheap trick. But it ultimately allows him to complete the Klingon arc - if the conclusion at "Redemption" left him utterly disillusioned and convinced that his correspondence-course knowledge of Klingon honor applied to himself and nobody else, then in DS9 he got the chance to do something about it, ultimately bringing classic Klingon honor to the highest seat of the Empire.

    It wouldn't work halfway as well if TNG and DS9 weren't their own entities as regards Worf's story. Leaving Picard behind changed everything for Worf as a character, both in terms of how the writers saw him, and how he fictionally ended up being. But had the TNG part of the arc not been completed (and then milked for further value), carrying Worf over to DS9 would not have worked quite that well, either. IMHO.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  4. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's right. Worf's story arc is great when you run through the character, from the start of TNG through to the end of DS9.

    He starts as the outcast, closely studying Klingon culture whilst living alone on Earth among humans. He doesn't know what it's like to actually live in Klingon society, he just reads about it. A great example is in Redemption II: Kurn and his crew are drinking and socialising with their enemies, he just thinks it's a dereliction of duty to have fun in a serious time of war. He's seeing Klingon culture through Starfleet eyes - honour and duty are rules which must be lived by, and no deviation is permitted.

    As he gets more contact with Klingons, he realises that he doesn't know anything about their society, only how Klingons want outsiders to see them. Honour, duty, the life of a warrior! But then he finds out that it's all bullshit, and Klingons are liars, cowards, cold-blooded murderers, conspirators, schemers, plotters and (worst of all) politicians.

    He tries to fix things. He backs Gowron over Duras, but finds out Gowron is little better in the long run. He backs the Kahless puppet as a way to inspire the people and keep Gowron honest, but we never hear from him again, so must assume Gowron quickly got rid of the clone.

    Fixing doesn't work, so he more or less turns his back on the Empire, finding a new home at Deep Space Nine, fighting in a war against his people. He again tries the odd vainglorious ploy, hoping to find the Sword of Khaless (since the clone Kahless was no good), then even duelling presumed-Changeling Gowron. Ultimately he seems to think of himself as one of the only truly honourable Klingons left.

    Finally he meets Martok, and learns what a real virtuous Klingon is like. Martok's not perfect, but he helps Worf to live more like a Klingon, and not the slavish, doctinal version he'd read about as a boy. He's reassured that there are people left who deserve his respect, and eventually completes his attempt to reshape the Empire by killing Gowron, and passing the leadership to Martok. Whether a career soldier is the right man to rebuild and reshape the Klingon Empire after a devastating war is open to debate! But at least he's a good man.
     
  5. velour

    velour Commander Red Shirt

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    I enjoyed watching the Klingon story arc.

    Oddly enough, watching the arc made me despise the Worf character. I found Worf to be very unlikable. Worf was full of himself, thinking of himself as better and more honorable than just about every other Klingon he encountered during the story arc.

    In the DS9 ep "Rules of Engagement", the Klingon attorney, who was seeking Worf's extradition for Worf's destruction of a civilian Klingon ship, made a very compelling and damning case against Worf. Not so much about Worf's action against the civilian ship, but about Worf's Klingon-ness. He was right on about Worf, and why Worf lived with humans because Worf was afraid to live with Klingons.

    It took a "real" Klingon to be a good judge of another Klingon.

    Worf nitpicked about the meaning of honor and whether other Klingons were being honorable, all the while Worf was living in the comfort and safety of Starfleet and not among other Klingons in the rough and tumble Klingon empire.
     
  6. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've heard people say they don't care for the Klingon stuff in TNG. I just don't get that. It's pretty compelling stuff
     
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  7. ELURIA

    ELURIA Captain Captain

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    So what you're saying is....... Worf was a Tumblr social justice warrior? :eek:
     
  8. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I like the way Worf struggles to contend with his fellow Klingons. Growing up, he learnt from afar how to be an orthodox Klingon. There's alot of tough traditionalism in his interactions with K'Ehleyr. To the eye of his colleagues, he's the ultimate Klingon.

    But in actuality, when he meets with his fellow Klingons he struggles and is uncertain. Something correctly pointed out by the Duras sisters in Redemption. I loved the way Kurn tests him and guides him and obeys him as they navigate through their relationship.



    The only problem I have with Worf is that his relationship with Alexander on DS9 is a bit of a damp squib and his romantic interest in Troi is quite forgettable. But overall, Worf is a very strong character with a great deadpan delivery.

    And Wort thrives on DS9. He's bit like Seven of Nine on the other series. Outwardly parachuting in a novelty character is a crude device to stimulate ratings but in fact when introduced, the characters integrate with the ensemble very well indeed. Worf is a natural.
     
  9. velour

    velour Commander Red Shirt

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    I saw "Reunion" recently on H&I. What really got me worked up about the episode was watching any scene where Picard was arbitrating. I didn't like Picard's role as the Klingon Empire's Arbiter of Succession. It didn't make sense to me.

    Sure, there was that scene where K'mpec explained to Picard why he chose Picard to be the arbiter. I understood K'mpec reasoning. But it was unbelievable that the rest of the Klingon council or the Klingon population would accept a foreigner telling them who should be their next leader. I know you're suppose to suspend disbelief, but I just couldn't in this case.

    I found it really frustrating to watch the scene in the Enterprise conference room where Picard was lecturing Duras and Gowron about the process of Klingon succession. It was incredible that Picard (a human, a foreigner) was dictating to two Klingons about how they should be behaving during a Klingon rite.

    Then Picard had the audacity to bring Worf into the process. Both Duras and Gowron were outraged that the disgraced Worf was in their presence. Imo, Picard showed utter disrespect to those Klingons. As I was watching that, I couldn't help but feel that both Duras and Gowron should have walked out of the room at that moment.

    It didn't make sense to me that two proud Klingon warriors would sit there and put up with, not only a human lecturing to them about Klingon ways, but also having that same human shove a discommendated Klingon, Worf, in their faces.

    Then at the end of the ep, Worf killed one of the two contenders for the Klingon leadership. And we were suppose to believe that the Klingons were alright with the fact that a discommendated Klingon did that because of some code of vengeance.

    This aspect of the Klingon story arc was nutty.
     
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  10. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    K'mpec was the ruler of the high council, no matter how weird his actions might seem, I guess the rest of the high council had to go with it. And maybe some other members of the council too thought it was a good idea.

    Picard did give them the choice, if one of them didn't want to continue, they could just leave.

    Honor, vengeance, that's how Klingons operate.
    I think it's totally believable that it would be allowed for a Klingon to take action against someone who has killed someones mate.
     
  11. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Picard knows Klingons respect strength and the role of the arbiter is to take charge of the process. It's also yet another example of Picard having the biggest bollocks in the galaxy.
     
  12. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's not clear what happened to Kahless. DS9 writers kind of ignored him. It's possible Gowron did away with him but equally possible he became a symbolic leader like the British monarchy and evolved into a role that didn't threaten Gowron at all and just made Klingons feel patriotic.
     
  13. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Worf mentions him in Way of the Warrior, and possibly Sword of Khaless. I think he's around but reduced to a barely credible novelty tourist attraction on Boreth.
     
  14. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

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    Not a fan of what they did with Klingons in later TNG or that they had them at all. On a whole Klingons got dumber and more primitive, based on the throwbacks in Heart of Glory. I would have preferred if they had gone out into the galaxy at large and never seen another Klingon again as was promised. I also liked the original idea of Klingons being part of the federation. They really needed to dump the past.
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Hated all the Next Gen Klingon stuff. They became a world of caricatures.

    And their foreheads often resembled pies.

    And the perm wigs were identikit and terrible.
     
  16. velour

    velour Commander Red Shirt

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    I saw "Soldiers of the Empire" the other night on H&I.

    The episode reinforced the notion that the TNG/DS9 Klingons did get dumber and more primitive. The Klingon ship in the episode, the Rotarran, was manned by a rag tag crew of Klingons. There was a lot of dysfunction in the way the Klingons run a ship. It makes you wonder how the Klingons are still a big power, and why the empire hasn't collapsed on itself.

    There were fistfights among the crew members, drinking, and the ever present undercurrent of mutiny by the crew. And apparently, a Klingon captain not only have to carry out the mission as ordered, but he also has to the accommodate the war mongering wishes of his crew or risk being deposed. What a way to run a ship.

    Martok was under constant pressure from the crew to engage in combat in order for the crew to record a combat victory. Martok actually gave reasonable explanations why the ship must not willy nilly engage in battle with every enemy ship that crossed its path. The ship had a mission to accomplish. He seemed like a reasonable captain who operated under a crazy system and culture.

    By portraying the crew as a bunch of misfits, I guess the writers were trying to make the Klingons likable underdogs. To a certain degree, I found the crew to be sympathetic. But it still made me think how ridiculous it is that the Klingons can really survive their own denseness and primitiveness.
     
  17. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But the whole point of that episode is to show what happens when a Klingon crew breaks down. They aren't supposed to represent the majority of Klingon ships any more than the Equinox represents the majority of Starfleet ships.

    The crew are demoralised and cowed, they've forgotten the taste of victory and they've lacked effective leadership. Likewise their captain, Martok, has also lost his edge, creating a toxic atmosphere on the ship. They are the opposite of an efficient, well-drilled Klingon crew.

    During the episode Martok recovers his mojo and the ship gets a much-needed victory. That's the spark that leads to the recovery of their fortunes, and from then on, Martok and the Rotarran become a force to be feared.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  18. velour

    velour Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree with the gist of your post. I did get that the crew was demoralized. But through their bumpy and trying journey together, the captain and crew found their winning ways again -- and lived happily after. ;) :beer: The misfit underdogs won. :klingon: I enjoyed the story.

    But we still saw the primitiveness of the Klingons. There were fist fights among the crew of the Rotarran. But we have seen fisticuffs among the Klingons throughout the story arc. Physical violence seems to be the norm to settle disputes in Klingon society.

    The crew drank blood wine on board the Rotarran even though the ship was in a combat zone. The ship could have encountered a Jem'Hadar ship at any time. That was not a time to be drunk. They should have drank all they wanted while at DS9 before their mission, or waited till the mission was over.

    The command and control system seemed a bit wacky too. The Rotarran had a mission, to search for a missing Klingon ship. But the crew had another agenda. They wanted a combat victory regardless of the mission. Martok gave reasonable explanations why they must not attack any enemy ship that crossed their path. But the crew couldn't be persuaded by reason.

    And Martok paid the price by not giving in to the crew's desire, when Worf challenged his authority with physical combat (while Jem'Hadar ships were in their midst). It seemed crazy. But it was perfectly fine and legal under Klingon rules.

    The crew wanted to spill enemy blood for a victory. Seems kind of primitive. Why couldn't the crew have been satisfied with accomplishing the mission even it meant no actual destruction of an enemy ship? A mission accomplished should be a morale booster. I guess they needed to satisfy a basic Klingon urge.

    As you know, there was a happy ending. The crew and captain accomplished the mission and got what they wanted and needed.

    Like I said, I enjoyed watching the episode. But the TNG/DS9 Klingons came across as dumber and more primitive than TOS Klingons.
     
  19. ClintDagger

    ClintDagger Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    It really is tremendous. I love the subtlety of Klingons claiming to do everything in the name of bravery & honor, yet the reality is that their entire power structure and political system is based on lies and cowardice. And Worf carries that burden for all of them.