As a child of two worlds, Worf is a unique position to critique Klingon society, and he points out one fatal flaw they must urgently overcome.
Warning: contains spoilers for Star Trek #12!
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Star Trek’s Worf admits one terrible flaw that the Klingons must overcome. The Star Trek franchise has been rocked by the “Day of Blood”, a massive reckoning for the galaxy’s god-like beings. At the center of this struggle has been the Klingon Emperor Kahless, looking to reassert his people’s dominance. In Star Trek #12, Worf explains how one fundamental aspect of Klingon culture must change if they wish to survive.
Star Trek #12 – written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly and drawn by Angel Unzueta – finds the “Day of Blood” passed, and Kahless exposed as a power mad despot.
Rejoicing at his son Alexander’s revival, following his apparent death at Kahless’ hands, Star Trek’s most iconic Klingon reflects on the origins of his people’s obsession with “honor,” saying Kahless did not invent the concept, but “only bound it to violence.“
Related: The Klingons’ Silliest Scheme Called Out a Star Trek Franchise Trope
The Klingons Are a Complicated Species
IDW’s Star Trek crossover “Day of Blood” featured Worf’s wayward son Alexander falling under Kahless’ sinister influence, culminating in Alexander’s death at the mad clone Emperor’s hands. Subsequently, Alexander is revived by the Bajoran Orb of Creation. Cradling his son, Worf recounts the parable of Kahless and his brother, and how the Klingon conception of honor, rather than beginning there, was twisted by Kahless’ influence. Worf believes that not only will Alexander come to believe this, but the rest of the Klingons will as well. “Honor” is enmeshed in the fabric of Klingon society, but for them to move forward, they must redefine their understanding of it.
The Klingons Think Their Best Days Are Behind Them
The violent, war-like Klingons have been an integral part of the Star Trek universe since its first season. At times, they have been the Federation’s worst enemies, and at other points their most staunch ally. The Klingons are held together by the concept of honor. According to legend, Kahless, the founder of modern Klingon society, slew his errant brother, thus establishing the precedent of honor. In recent times, a group of Klingon monks, feeling their people needed a figure to rally around, cloned Kahless. Yet as seen in IDW’s Star Trek comic, Kahless grew discontented as a figurehead, and launched a massive campaign against the god-like beings of the universe.
The source of Kahless’ restlessness lies in the Klingons’ aggressive and confrontational natures. For centuries, the Klingons were a race of conquerors, but that has slowed down in recent years, leading some to feel they have lost their old glory. Some Klingons yearn for days gone by, and Kahless was able to manipulate these feelings of disillusionment and create the violent Red Path cult. While the Red Path spread among Romulans, Cardassians and even the Federation, it was still rooted in Klingon traditions and rituals, all of which embraced fighting and combat. Kahless nearly spread his hateful ideology to every corner of the galaxy.
Worf, as a child of two worlds, is in a unique spot to criticize Klingon society. Worf very much believes in the concepts of honor and loyalty, but his time serving in Starfleet among other species has given him a much broader perspective. Worf has seen time and again where the Klingons’ violent nature leads them, and he knows that they will soon understand this as well. Kahless manipulated his own people and nearly led them into a galactic war, proving Worf’s point for him. This one troubling aspect of Klingon society must change, and soon if these iconic Star Trek aliens wish to survive.
Star Trek #12 is on sale now from IDW Publishing!