Producers explain why Klingons look so different in Star Trek: Discovery

3 min read

I’ve been getting more and more excited about the upcoming new Star Trek: Discovery for many reasons. It looks high budget, it features some fantastic actors, and it involves Klingons! Grow up Kerv, not that type. The one thing I wasn’t sure about from the trailers was who the Klingons were. You see, they have had a very distinct look since Star Trek: The Next Generation. Usually with brown skin and forehead ridges that could knock the Liverpool out of a Liverpool kiss. Below is the most famous of all Klingons, Worf – as played by Micheal Dorn.

That is his puzzled look, which is what I have on my face right now. You see the aliens we had seen in the trailers for the new series were indeed Klingons. Only they look about as Klingon as a Dalek does. Don’t believe me, feast your eyes on what will probably set most Trekkies’ phasers to ‘blast myself to death’:

Those are apparently Klingons… While the ridges are still there, there are quite a few changes and showrunner Aaron Harberts says we can thank original series showrunner Bryan Fuller for them. According to EW, Harberts said the look of the Klingons has changed often over the 52 years and that is why they have changed them again (what?)

“In the different versions of Trek, the Klingons have never been completely consistent. We will introduce several different houses with different styles. Hopefully, fans will become more invested in the characters than worried about the redesign.”

He does have a point. Over the years the Klingons have gone through… Two major physical changes… In The Original Series, they were literally just humans with darker skin and extra facial hair. I am pretty sure I read that was because of budget reasons. In The Next Generation we had the new, and what became the most iconic of looks. Sure, there were variations, usually when the character was of human/Klingon decent, but I can’t quite see how there have been so many major changes that making a new one for the sake of it is justified. I mean we have seen a Vulcan already in the new show, and they look the same. Also, those pesky humaaans! They are STILL bipedal! I call foul!

Read  The teaser trailer for the second half of Star Trek: Discovery season one reveals some intriguing possibilities

I am not so sure about this update. Changing the look of an iconic race because it’s post-millennial seems like a bit of a weird idea. Even their clothing looks more Romulan than Klingon. I can’t imagine many of my peers, those who are fans of the series, being especially enthralled with this at first. I’ll obviously give it a chance, but I really do not see the point of this, not at all. Does anyone else?

Last Updated: July 20, 2017

Nick Reay

I have been an avid fan of movies ever since I discovered Santa Clause wasn’t real, a day marked in my memory by my first viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, which wasn’t so wonderful that day. Since then I’ve watched thousands of movies and even fooled my parents into putting me through uni to get a degree in the subject. I first started writing as a journalist for The South African Newspaper before moving onto communications for an NGO trying to save the planet. Unfortunately my recommendations to the CEO that we should all don rings imbued with the powers of earth, fire, wind, water and HEART went unheard. Now I pretend the end isn’t nigh by hiding in movies.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I see the point. They’re trying to expand on the Klingon race by actually giving them more variation. You know, like humans have.

    Also… klingons… tee hee.

    • Humans have variation in their physical features? Like, some have ridges and others don’t? And the Vulcans? They don’t deserve gene survival by genetic mutation?! Be clear!

      • Hammersteyn

        So here they decided to cut the foreskin of the forehead?

        • Admiral Chief

          Nee ou, net, nee

          • Hammersteyn

            Sorry, foregot where the line was.

          • At the SARS Office?

          • Hammersteyn

            At SARS the foreclose on your home if you owe too much in taxes.

        • MonsterCheddar

          HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Jewish Klingons

      • Alien Emperor Trevor
        • that is strangely hypnotic…

          • Admiral Chief

            Yes the old tannie does have quite the hairflip flair

        • MonsterCheddar

          Love that Chick. She is funny as hell.

    • Hammersteyn

      Something tells me fans will klingon to the old design…

  • Hammersteyn

    Hopefully, fans will become more invested in the characters than worried about the redesign.”
    Has he even seen, heard or been to any Star Trek convention???

    • Haha!

    • Admiral Chief

      Trekkies are going to conventions to hopefully lose their virginity for over 52 years

  • Admiral Chief

    I blame the SJWs

    • MonsterCheddar

      We always blame those motherfuckers for EVERYTHING.

    • HvR

      So the SJW’s gave the Klingons “blackerface”

  • Original Heretic

    That’s a pretty piss poor explanation for the change.

    • I couldn’t agree more. It’s almost like he’s saying ‘this IS the change, DEAL with it’.

      • Original Heretic

        The one saving grace in his statement is “different houses with different styles”. Looking at it from that perspective, who’s to say that the Klingons we’ve seen up until now weren’t only from a couple of the larger houses?
        It lends itself to the explanation of them being different races of the same species, much like in humanity.
        If they bring Klingons on that have the classic look that we’re accustomed to, then I might bet on board with this new look.

        • I took from the “different houses with different styles” the clothing, which is quite different from what we have seen. But let’s hope!

          • Original Heretic

            As you said in the article, these do seem to resemble Romulons in their style of clothing.
            But it does also reinforce the “different races” approach to it. Just look at the more traditional clothing for our various races, they are very different from one another.

  • HvR

    O look the Goa’uld crossed over to the Star Trek universe

    • Waiting for them to shout “Kree!”

      • Admiral Chief


  • miaau

    Yeah, V was pretty good, but a different type of Sci-fi entirely.

    comparing them is not entirely accurate.

    • que?

      • miaau

        Look at image at top of article. Fingers in a V, with human eye looking on.

        Clearly mean to make us think of 80’s sci-fi show V.

        Right? Do I get a prize for spotting that?

  • Rene

    Where are the fact checkers on this one?!?
    was stated several times in TNG and DS9 (and lecture) that Klingons had
    long hair as a symbol of courage. They weren’t affraid that their
    enemies would pull their hair in battle.

    Then we had General Chang in Star Trek VI. The first bald Klingon, no explanation given.
    Then came the Kelvin timeline. Again a bald Klingon.

    And now, in DSC, we get bald Klingons?!? Where is the courage? Why was Kahless (their God) not bald??

    • Audioholics

      and now they hold on to dead bodies and treat them as sacred instead of an empty shell. #noconsistency

  • Rob

    It’s ten years BEFORE Kirk you nutters, maybe it’s part of an origin story, before they have hair, geez people, think for once.

    • LOL. An Origin story for Hair? That movie has already been made 😛

      • Rob

        LOL, just poking fun at the ridiculous concern over Star Trek, as if it matters more than real life.

        • miaau

          No, you did not just say that. Hah. How could you even think that? Seriously?

          Is nothing sacred anymore?

          Disclaimer: trying to do more poking fun

    • Audioholics

      Kahless had a full head of hair 1000s of years before the origin story so maybe rethink that statement. There is absolutely no reason for all the Klingons to be bald other than CBS thought it would be clever to redesign the most iconic species in the franchise.

  • Ronnie Solbakken

    On one hand, I think it looks strange. But on the other hand, Klingons and pretty much 95% of all the aliens in the Star Trek Universe don’t exactly look very alien. I mean, Klingons were just brown-skinned humans with a ridge for a forehead. Similarly, Vulcans and Romulans were more or less Space Elves.

    So, like it or not, at least the Klingons now look much more alien-like. If nothing else, then at least that’s a large step in the right direction IMO.

  • These Klingons seem to based on the Atevi, from C.J. Cherryh’s “Foreigner” series.

  • Da_Bearon

    Those costumes don’t look Romulan. They look Elizabethan, or perhaps Jocobian.

Check Also

The teaser trailer for the second half of Star Trek: Discovery season one reveals some intriguing possibilities

Star Trek: Discovery has just aired its mid-season finale, finishing the first half of its…