The Klingons are back!
Star Trek: Discovery season 2 is set in a time of peace. But that peace threatens to unravel at any moment. The most compelling evidence of this threat is the seven red bursts that—spoiler alert—are thought of as Spock sending distress signals. This season is already causing tongues to wag. However, there is one thing that bugs some viewers and other Star Trek fans: the new photo of L’Rell, the new chancellor of the Klingon high council, with hair.
“New chancellor, who dis?”
Mary Chieffo, who plays the role of L’Rell, posted a tweet of her in costume with well, hair. The brown locks frame the rest of her face quite lovingly. However, the addition of hair and the way that it surrounds her forehead looks somewhat uncomfortable. This caused a discussion, stripping the usual Twitter rudeness, between fans, on the presence of hair.
The first season of Star Trek: Discovery shows Klingons without hair. What are the reasons behind the sudden appearance?
Klingons, a history
During the Star Trek: Discovery NYCC Panel, Chieffo explains the reasons as to why the Klingons now have hair. Glenn Hetrick, a huge fan and designer for the show, gets his inspiration from The Next Generation, season 6, episode 23, ‘Rightful Heir’. Chieffo states:
“There is a reference when Kahless is brought back as a clone. The way he proves himself is he tells the story of how he cut off a lock of his hair and dipped it into a volcano and made the first bat’leth, with which he killed Molor, the terrible tyrant who was running Qo’noS at the time.”
Hence, the Klingons shave their heads in time of war and grow their hair back in a time of peace. Symbolism.
Some observant fans have pointed out the flaw, stating that we never see the Klingons actually shaving their heads during the story arc of the Dominion War. That can be found in Star Trek, Deep Space Nine if anyone is wondering. Chieffo quickly pointed out the difference in time, citing the change in culture. This happens in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country wherein the destruction of Praxis and Khitomer Accords’ signing takes place.
“The Dominion War takes place more than 100 years after the events of Discovery,” she says. “Traditions change and are lost in time. Much of what T’Kuvma predicted about homogenization and assimilation of the Klingon race occurs after the explosion of Praxis & subsequent political shift.”
It is still too early to judge the second season, but the symbolism behind the hair is a great addition to the show. It will be exciting to see Spock in Season 2 and watch L’Rell lead the empire. Star Trek: Discovery premieres on CBS in January 2019.