Why Star Trek Keeps Changing The Klingons (But Not Other Aliens)

Star Trek has made continuous revisions to the look of the Klingons, but the show’s other alien species haven’t seen nearly as many substantial alterations. In Star Trek: The Original Series, the Klingons appeared to be humans with a vaguely Asian design to them. However, a decade later, the look of the Klingons was changed to an armored, bony-browed, and wild-haired look that began in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and continued into the 24th century era of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Klingons’ appearance in the Kelvin Timeline was altered in Star Trek Into Darkness, but the modification made in Star Trek: Discovery, in which the Klingons were made hairless and seemed even more alien, was the one that attracted the greatest criticism from fans.

Even while the Klingons have been altered at least three times in the Prime timeline and once in the Kelvin timeline, other races, such as the Vulcans, Romulans, Tellarites, Andorians, and even the Borg, have not been affected by time travel in the same way. Even after undergoing relatively slight transformations, the majority of Star Trek’s other aliens have managed to keep their recognizable appearance. Tellarites and blue-skinned Andorians retain easily recognizable characteristics like as snouts and antennae, respectively, whereas Vulcans and Romulans always have sharp ears. Romulans also have pointy ears, although they typically seem like more menacing Vulcans. However, it seems that the Klingons adapt themselves well to change, and each makeover was intended to make the warrior species appear more threatening and otherworldly. It’s also noteworthy to note that the 23rd century is the time period in which the two major reimaginings of Star Trek took place: Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek: Discovery. It suggests that the most iconic appearance of a Klingon, the one associated with Worf (Michael Dorn), will continue to be used throughout the 24th and 25th centuries without any changes.

Star Trek Has Changed Other Aliens

Klingons are the only alien species in Star Trek that have been significantly changed from when they initially appeared; other alien races have been changed, but not to the same extent. The Trills are an example of a species that underwent a complete makeover for the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. When they were first introduced in Star Trek: The Generation, the Trills had a radically different appearance. The original concept for the Trills has been lost, and they are now shown as humanoid creatures with spots that run from their foreheads down their bodies. Aside from that, the Cardiassians didn’t undergo many changes; they only had their peculiar helmet removed, and their appearance from The Next Generation was completed in DS9. Quark (Armin Shimerman), along with Deep Space Nine, performed a more in-depth study of Ferengi culture than The Next Generation did. As a result, the Ferengi’s fundamental look did not change from The Next Generation to Deep Space Nine, but their personalities altered.

Despite this, the Klingons continued to evolve, forcing Star Trek to retcon previous explanations that weren’t entirely convincing. In the episode “Trials and Tribble-ations” from the fifth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Worf yelled “We do not speak about it with outsiders!” in response to the question of why the TOS Klingons seemed to be utterly different. The reimagining of the Klingons in Star Trek: Discovery was never given any type of explanation, unlike the reimagining of the Klingons in Star Trek: Enterprise, which invented the Augment Virus to excuse the alterations to the Klingons. In the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, as the Klingons’ hair began to grow longer, it was only implied that they would ultimately resemble the Klingons from The Next Generation.

Klingons Other Than Worf Return to Live-Action Star Trek?

Worf will appear as the same Klingon he always has, although older, when he eventually makes his comeback in Star Trek: Picard season 3, after being absent for the previous 20 years (in the role of a pacifist). Worf will be the first prominent Klingon character to appear in live-action since the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, but this raises the issue of when the Klingon race as a whole will return to Star Trek. The Klingons were alluded to in the season one finale of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds; however, it is unknown if the Klingons from the Original Series or those from Discovery will appear in the time period of Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), which is about 2259-2260. The Klingons have been mired in chaos ever since all of Star Trek’s alterations, regardless of how well intentioned those adjustments may have been. When the Klingons eventually make their comeback in a live-action Star Trek production, here’s hoping they won’t look any different than they have in the past.

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