Finally: Why 'Star Trek: Discovery' Klingons Look So Different

After months of speculation, it looks like there’s finally a solid explanation for the radical new look for the Klingons on 'Star Trek: Discovery'.

Honor to the Klingon Empire has been restored! After months of speculation, it looks like there’s finally a solid explanation for the radical new look for the Klingons on Star Trek: Discovery.

What Happened

On Thursday, TrekCore excerpted an interview with Discovery writer Ted Sullivan from the magazine SFX... In it, Sullivan explains what the new Klingon Sarcophagus ship is all about. “It’s a 200-year-old ship. This is a group of Klingons who’ve gone back to a puritan way of life. They look very different: they wear armor that’s 200 years old and they don’t have any hair,” Sullivan said.” Their commander runs his Klingon house – the house of T’Kuvma – by the rules of Kahless, the Klingon messiah. And he calls himself the second coming of the Klingon messiah.” Sullivan also claimed that this specific Klingon house was one never before seen in any version of Star Teerek.

What It Means

From a production design standpoint, the new Klingons look awesome, but now that they are actually being revealed to be old Klingons, the canon of Star Trek: Discovery can retcon around the cosmetic differences between these Klingons and the more traditional ones seen in the majority of Trek. If these Klingons have been isolated from the rest of their species, the differences in their appearances could be explained. Two-hundredTwo-hundredTwo-hundred years is an interesting figure,,, too, simply because it establishes that Klingons have been capable of interstellar travel way before humans were. The time of the prequel series,,, Star Trek: Enterprise,,, was in the 2150s. Discovery takes place in the 2250s.

So quick 200-year-old math means this old Klingon ship is from 2050, only three decades in our own future! The Sarcophagus ship is older than the NX-01 Enterprise and predates the events of Star Trek: First Contact, making it feel like deeper Trek magic from before the dawn of Trek.

What’s Next

All of this could mean there will be several different types of Klingons on Star Trek: Discovery, including the long-haired Next Generation variety. Because the events of Discovery will revolve around the infamous war between the Klingon Empire and the Federation, it looks like there’s a good chance that the encounter with these “Puritan” Klingons will trigger that conflict. Also, because Commander Michael Burnham’s parents were killed by Klingons on the planet Vulcan when she was a child, it stands to reason that those Klingons might look like the ones Star Trek fans are familiar with.

Plus, everyone in real life should also probably get ready for a Klingon invasion in about 30 years.

Star Trek: Discovery hits CBS All Access on September 24.

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