Let’s talk about the photos that were leaked from the sets of Star Trek: Discovery. While the blame when to one of the extras on the show, what followed was a hailstorm of opinion, speculations and mostly curses. Why? Well, because we had a look at the Klingons and things couldn’t have been weirder.
To begin with, the new Klingons look remarkably different from the old ones. Their makeup makes them more alien-like than human-like, resembling closely to their counterparts in Star Trek: Into Darkness. But that was not all.
The Klingons are also bald. If you are a real Trekkie, your first reaction would be “WHAAATTT??”. That’s because Klingons were supposed to value their hair more than anything else. It was their pride and a symbol of social status. Thus, making them bald is not just about reinventing the race; it is about erasing a traditional piece of canon for the sake of artistic liberties.
The move comes as a shock, especially because previous shows (The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine) had spent a lot of time in explaining the Klingon culture. We came to know them as individuals, and now they were just replaced like supporting characters.
That being said, it would not be the first time Klingons had to go through a makeover. The prominent forehead ridges of the Klingons were also absent on many shows. This issue was solved in very awkward manners.
Enterprise, for instance, explained the absence of ridges as the effect of an Augment virus. It was a lame explanation, but at least they tried. Deep Space Nine, on the other hand, simply made it into a joke.
Perhaps the desire to be unique has led the team behind Star Trek: Discovery to seek such drastic changes. However, these changes are not met with enthusiasm with the fans. One would have thought that the showrunners would have learned their lesson after fans rejected the similar-looking Klingons in Star Trek: Into Darkness, but it seems like it was too much to ask for.
Many fans are worried that the new Klingon look means that the series would be set in the Kelvin Timeline (the one J. J. Abrams created for his movies). Thankfully, it was confirmed in 2016 SDCC that it would be set in the original Prime timeline.
Amidst all the negativity, we can also see one ray of hope: Klingons would play a significant role in the series. We already got a few clues about the plot, like T’Kuvma’s attempts to unite all the Klingon houses. Let’s hope the show upholds the legacy of the franchise.