Dear Kordite: A Klingon Advise Column

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Real Klingons

Dear Kordite,
How strong are Klingons? They are supposed to be great warriors, raised to kill, but individuals are routinely taken down by humans.
--- Curious

Dear Curious,

Remember that "Star Trek," your entire exposure to the Klingon race, is a show written by Humans, produced by Humans, about Humans and for Human viewing audiences. It presents Human strength of moral standards and ingenuity in a typically ethnocentric manner. If it showed Klingons to be as strong as they truly are, Picard, Riker, Sisko, Kirk and a whole shipload of redshirts would be seeing their squishy entrails spilled at their feet. As entertaining as I would find it to see Kirk get the royal snot kicked out of him, that kind of thing just wouldn't make money for the Humans at Paramount.
It's not just the Klingons that fall to the arrogant Human writers. Look at "Star Trek" in all its incarnations and see that about every alien species, the Romulans, the Borg, Gorns, Tholians, Cardassians, Andromedans and even nigh-omnipotent beings like Trelane, Q and "God" are routinely out-fought, out-thought, out-tricked and out-moraled by the clever Humans. Sure, there is a token Vulcan or Klingon standing around but, for the vast majority of episodes, the humans save the day/ship/galaxy.
The only way that Klingons can be shown anywhere near as tough as they truly are is to have them fight non-Human opponents as when Kor, Kang and Koloth, each well over 100 years old, were able to slaughter a heavily fortified garrison of non-Humans in the episode "Blood Oath." Even then, the episode was adjusted for Human audiences by removing any decapitation, amputation or disemboweling scenes and adding Dax's reluctance to kill (in this scripting a Trill is just a Human stand-in with a slug in her belly).
Think on that next time you watch "Star Trek" and see if you don't recognize the stereotyping or 'dumbing down' of non-Humans. So much for universal political correctness. If we could harness the energy of Gene Roddenberry spinning in his grave. . .
[signed Kordite]
[home] [table of contents] [previous article] [next article] -- Revised: 18 May 2002
Copyright © 1996, 2002 Kevin A. Geiselman