The continuity of the learning article is about the fictional alien species. For the language, see Klingon language.
Klingons are recurring antagonists in the 1960s television series Star Trek: The Original Series, and have appeared in all five spin-off series, along with ten of the feature films. As originally developed by screenwriter Gene L. Coon, Klingons were swarthy humanoids characterized mainly by prideful ruthlessness and brutality. Among the elements created for the revised Klingons was a complete Klingon language, developed by Marc Okrand from gibberish suggested by actor James Doohan. Two Klingon males and a female as they appear in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Day of the Dove”. The bronzed skin, facial hair, lack of ridged foreheads, and simple costumes are typical of The Original Series.
The Klingons were created by screenwriter Gene L. For the first two seasons, no Klingon ships were seen despite being frequently mentioned. This was because of budget constraints— designer Matt Jefferies did not have the money to create a Klingon ship until the third season. Klingons were retconned and their appearance and behavior radically changed. To give the aliens a more sophisticated and threatening demeanor, the Klingons were depicted with ridged foreheads, snaggled and prominent teeth, and a defined language and alphabet. Certain elements of Klingon culture, such as a general influence of Japanese culture with honor at the forefront, were actually first explored with the script for the planned two-part “Kitumba” episode for the unproduced 1978 Star Trek: Phase II series.
Michael Dorn and Robert O’Reilly as Worf and Gowron in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, sporting Fletcher’s costumes. The release of a new television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, prompted a further revision in the depiction of Klingon culture, though Gene Roddenberry had wanted to avoid re-appearances of races from the old series. Curry, a collector of weapons, was annoyed by fictional weaponry that was designed to “look cool” but could not be handled practically. Curry combined elements of the Himalayan kukri, Chinese axes and fighting crescents to create a two-handed, curved weapon that has since been widely used in the franchise. The culture of the Klingons began to resemble revised western stereotypes of civilizations such as the Zulu, the Vikings, and various Native American nations — as a proud, warlike and principled race.
Klingons at war with the Federation to the time of The Next Generation, and presents a subtly different treatment of the race. Dorn described playing a Klingon as simple, joking that after hours sitting in a makeup chair, actors were highly motivated to get the dialogue right the first time. Repeat Klingon Robert O’Reilly told all neophyte Klingons that the most important part of speaking was to say the lines with belief and “go all the way”. When filming The Undiscovered Country, Christopher Plummer asked director Nicholas Meyer to adapt his character’s look, feeling the heavy forehead appliances looked rather fake. Instead, Plummer’s character, General Chang, was made bald with subdued ridges and an eyepatch bolted to his skull. For Star Trek: Discovery, the Klingon appearance was once again modified with more extensive facial and teeth prosthetics and elongated craniums.
The new Klingons are all bald, in contrast with the previous depictions, and have black and purple skin color variations. According to the official Star Trek web site, the Klingons’ varying appearance was “probably the single most popular topic of conversation among Star Trek fans”. Klingons seen in the original series were called “fusions”, in particular “human fusions”, with “Romulan fusions” also existing. They were a deliberate blending of Klingon genes with those of other races in an effort to gain an understanding of, and thus advantage over, the other races. In the video game Star Trek Online, Klingons under the command of Ambassador B’vat once again attempt to fuse the DNA of other races with their own. This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style.
Klingons possess a robust and enduring biology as well as large and muscular statures. They appear to be among the strongest fully organic humanoid species seen, being vastly stronger than humans. In comparison to The Original Series, Klingon culture is thoroughly examined in later series’ episodes, part of a larger movement by Star Trek writers to deepen viewer understanding of the alien races of the franchise. The Klingons adhere to a strict code of honor, similar to feudal Mongolian or Japanese customs, although some, such as Gowron, appear to struggle to live up to their ideals. Klingons are depicted as a spiritual people. According to their legends, Klingons slew their own gods. Sto-Vo-Kor, battle and feasting can be eternally won and shared, while those sent to Gre’Thor are condemned to eternal torture unless their honor is restored by living relatives.
The Klingons’ spiritual leader is Kahless, a messianic historical figure who established early codes of honor and was the first Klingon emperor. Klingon equivalent of the Holy Grail. In the TNG episode “Rightful Heir”, Kahless appears in the flesh to Worf, who had doubted his Klingon faith. Marc Okrand is the author of several books about the Klingon language, which he developed. The Klingons have their own language that was developed for the feature films, often described as “guttural”. For The Motion Picture, James Doohan, the actor who portrayed Montgomery Scott, devised the initial Klingon-language dialogue heard in the film.
Okrand was presented with a difficult task of contriving a language that sounded alien, while still simple enough for the actors to pronounce. While most constructed languages follow basic tenets of natural languages — for example, all languages have an “ah” sound — Okrand deliberately broke them. Okrand elaborated on the Klingon language’s grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. While Okrand expected the book to only sell as a novelty item, eleven years after publication it had sold 250,000 copies. Star Trek: Klingon, requires players to learn the language to advance. As the Klingons are portrayed as a warrior culture, Klingon starships are usually depicted as warships, heavily armed with a variety of particle beam weaponry and antimatter warheads. Marc Okrand, the planet would have been referred to in several ways, just as Earth is referred to variously as “the world” or “Terra”.
Early Star Trek literature referred to the planet as Klinzhai, but the TNG episode “Heart of Glory” called the planet Kling. In Star Trek Into Darkness, the planet’s name is both spelled and spoken by Starfleet personnel as Kronos, suggesting that this was the traditional transliteration early in relations between the two cultures, in that series’ universe. Qo’noS, said to be in the Omega Leonis Star System, is depicted as green when viewed from space. This section does not cite any sources. This game was first published more than a decade after the original series ended and the publication of supplements and expansions was substantially ended prior to the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation. With the exception of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, during this period depictions of Klingons on screen were limited. Living with Star Trek: American Culture and the Star Trek Universe.
Special Features, “Klingons: Conjuring the Legend. Gimpy Spy Antennas, And The Coolness That Awaits Us! The Finest Crew in the Fleet: The Next Generation Cast On Screen and Off. The Hand of Kahless: The Final Reflection and Kahless. A Network of Support: Coping with Trauma Through Star Trek Fan Letters”.