Klingons are one of Star Trek’s most recognizable alien races. Ask anyone what they think of when they hear “Star Trek”, and they’ll probably shout Klingons at you.
This proud warrior race, often used in juxtaposition against Starfleet’s ideals of diversity or as a precinct political allegory, have helped solidify Star Trek’s iconic status in pop culture. Yet, one aspect of the distinctive race that is often forgotten is how the Klingon’s design and culture are rooted in cultural stereotypes and prejudices dating back to when they were created.
This video discusses the history of racial coding of people of colour in film, stage, television and even fantasy literature, and how those influenced the development of the Klingon race behind the screens. From Gene Roddenberry’s initial notes to the Klingon’s first appearance in The Original Series all the way to their most recent appearance in Star Trek: Discovery, and with a little Star Trek humour to boot, let’s dive into the evolution and depiction of Klingons throughout Star Trek’s 50-year history.
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