After a long series of Starfleet-based Star Trek: Discovery promotional videos, it’s time to shift our sights to the Klingons! T’Kuvma (Chris Obi) takes center stage in this week’s newest Discovery spot, giving a fiery focus to the warrior race.
“They are coming. Atom by atom, they will silence us; cell by cell our souls shall become theirs. We must fight for one thing, above all: to remain Klingon.”
A tantalizing bit of voiceover from the leader of the House of T’Kuvma, adding some more mystery to the character’s motivation in the new series.
Already billed by CBS as a leader who “seeks to united the 24 great Klingon houses to halt the encroachment of others,” this new dialogue seems to indicate his concern is not just to hold back Federation expansion in space, but also on some kind of biological level as well.
And where have we seen a conflict between Human and Klingon biology? The last season of Star Trek: Enterprise, of course!
In 2005, Enterprise established that the Klingon race became affected by a modified version of the Augment genetic enhancements which came about during Earth’s Eugenics Wars, biological samples of which were secretly saved in deep storage at Cold Station 12 through the mid-22nd Century. (“Cold Station 12,” “Affliction,” “Divergence”)
The Klingon Empire experimented with stolen Augment DNA in an effort to create their own “Klingon Augments,” a scientific endeavor which ended in disaster when the modified Human genetic material combined with a strain of Levodian Flu and began to spread throughout the Empire with deadly effects – killing millions.
With the help of a kidnapped Phlox, the Klingons were able to halt the virus’ lethal effects, however those infected still succumbed to its most visible side effect: the elimination of their cranial head ridges.
As seen in “Trials and Tribble-ations,” the aftereffects of the genetic virus were visible to the time-traveling Starfleet crew — solidifying the minimal, 1960’s era Klingon makeup design into canon — with Worf confirming a “long story” behind the biological differences between the centuries.
With Discovery set a hundred years after the Klingon Empire first became affected by the Augment virus, perhaps T’Kuvma is fighting to “remain Klingon” not only on cultural levels — but on genetic levels as well.
We’ll find out when the series premieres in September!