Star Trek’s Best Villains Finally About To Return

They're back!

By Michileen Martin | Published

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It wasn’t until toward the end of its inaugural season — in 1967’s “Errand of Mercy” — that Star Trek: The Original Series introduced the Klingons. The merciless warrior race would prove to be one of Trek’s earliest recurring villains, and one of the heroes’ most popular adversaries. Over time their physical appearance, their culture’s backstory, and their relationship with the United Federation of Planets has changed dramatically. But over the decades the Klingons have remained some of the best villains Trek has to offer, and according to a new interview, they’re on their way back.

On the latest episode of the after show The Ready Room (via Trek Movie) Babs Olusomokun — who plays Dr. M’Benga on Strange New Worlds — let it slip that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘ second season will see the return of the Klingons. He said the next season will give us “another side of Dr. M’Benga… a darker side of him.” Olusomokun goes on to call his season 2 story “an exploration of his… contentious relationship with the Klingons.” Of course it doesn’t 100% confirm the Klingons are on their way back, but how do you explore M’Benga’s “contentious relationship with the Klingons” without the Klingons?

Star Trek hasn’t brought the Klingons into one of its live-action series in a major way for over three years, since the conclusion of Discovery‘s second season. In season 3 the show jumped forward to the 32nd century, when the status of the Klingon Empire is something of a mystery. Picard has been more concerned with Romulans, Borg, and Q. And while Klingons have been mentioned in Strange New Worlds, we have yet to see any.

We don’t yet know exactly why Dr. M’Benga has an issue with the Klingons, though it isn’t tough to imagine a reason. In season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery, war breaks out with the Klingons and by the end of the season the aliens have successfully conquered most of the Federation. It’s only by threatening the Klingon homeworld of Qo’noS with a planet-killing bomb that Starfleet manages to halt their enemies’ advance. Taking that much Federation territory no doubt necessitated taking a lot of lives, and it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that Dr. M’Benga lost someone important to a Klingon blade.

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Star Trek: The Original Series (1967)
star trek klingons
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
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Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
star trek klingons
Star Trek: Discovery (2017)

A lot of fans may not actually be very happy about the idea of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds bringing back the Klingons. They were major adversaries in Discovery‘s first season and a lot of fans were extremely unhappy with their new look. Along with a severe new fashion sense, the Klingon redesign included uniformly bald heads and massive nostrils.

But the truth is that the look of Star Trek’s Klingons has been shifting like crazy for years, with the creators always scrambling to force the visual changes to make canonical sense. Enterprise introduced the Augment Virus storyline, for example, to explain why there were Klingons with the turtle shell foreheads and those who looked mostly human. Discovery followed suit. In its second season it had its Klingons grow back their hair, explaining that they shaved their hair in time of war. Considering we never see this during their multiple wars with the Federation or the Dominion in other series, it’s a pretty thin explanation, but it isn’t like the Augment Virus was much better.