Actor Michael Dorn has never been shy about his love of playing Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. He’s been trying to get a Worf spinoff project going for years now. While that project still remains in limbo, he is finally returning to the role that made him famous. It won’t be in a new movie or TV show, but rather in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Trek Online.
For those not familiar with the game, over the course of its three years of life STO has released periodic content updates, dubbed “seasons,” which add new storylines and features into the game. The latest of these is the upcoming “Season 8: Sphere of Influence.” Players will get to adventure alongside Worf, now an ambassador for the Klingon Empire, on a mission to New Romulus. Trek lore junkies will get more than just the Worf factor: the story involves the discovery and reactivation of an ancient Iconian gateway. You remember the Iconians, don’t you? First mentioned in the 1989 Next Gen episode “Contagion,” the Iconians were an ancient race who had created a portal technology that allowed them to step across light years instantaneously. They were believed to be extinct, but based on the trailer below, I’m guessing the rumors of their death may have been exaggerated.
StarTrek.com landed an exclusive interview with Dorn, who opened up about the legacy of Worf and returning to the character. He says he had little trouble stepping back into Worf’s shoes, joking that “I really didn’t look at him as older. I think Michael Dorn aging probably had the desired effect.”
When asked how his performance as Worf had shaped how the writers portrayed the Klingon Empire as a whole, further emphasizing them as noble warriors, Dorn keeps it humble but does admit that his choices and goals early on helped chart the course for the Klingons as well.
I just gave him the gruff and surly attitude and the writers took off from there. The first season (of TNG), Worf was an out-of-control fighter. He was almost running amok without any form or function. I told Gene (Roddenberry) that I wanted him to be more in control, almost ‘Samurai-like.’ To his credit, he allowed me to create the whole ‘Klingon Martial Arts’ mystique.
While the J.J. Abrams movies are exploring an alternate version of the Original Series’ time period, Star Trek Online begins some 30 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. Among other changes in the Trek landscape, the world of STO has the Federation and the Klingon Empire once more at war. When asked how Dorn thought Worf was dealing with his divided loyalties, Dorn replies:
Worf has learned he does not have to choose. Even if the writers on STO have him making statements to the contrary, I feel he feels that life is a journey and this is just a stop along the way. And maybe next year he’ll make a different choice and rejoin the Federation. You never know with Worf.
The “Season 8” content will be available in Star Trek Online as of tomorrow, October 31. You’ll need to have a character level 10 or higher, but the “Sphere of Influence” content will be available to all three in-game factions: Federation, Klingon, and Romulan. Completing the content will give players access to a new ship and new items. Here’s how to access the content beginning tomorrow:
…characters level 10 or higher from all three factions can hail D’Tan from the ‘Available’ tab in the mission journal (default key ‘J’), or via the event entry on the in-game calendar, to learn about the restoration of the Gateway. Once they accept the mission, they will be directed to travel to New Romulus to attend the reactivation as a representative of their faction.
Hopefully with his new station as an ambassador people will actually listen to Worf once in a while…