The Klingons from Star Trek are an interesting species.
When first presented in the Original Series, they were portrayed as manipulative, deceptive, treacherous even. We saw this many times throughout that series, as the Klingons tried to sneakily destroy the Federation, whether it be via poisoning grain (Sherman’s Planet), or arming primitives, or just being jerks in general.
Fast forward a hundred years and Klingons, as exemplified by Worf, seem to be a wholly different society. Now they are concerned with honor, fight blood feuds to the death, are ruled by an Emperor, and are an all-around primitive-like warrior society equipped with all-too modern weaponry. Some fans of the franchise didn’t particularly take to this sudden change, some argued that no society can change so radically in such a short time. Is that true, though?
Let’s take a look at a society in our own world, Japan. Prior to American Commodore Perry’s arrival in Japan in 1853, Japanese society was isolationist, feudal, and by the standards of the western world at that time was technologically primitive. Perry’s arrival changed all that.
Within 40 years of Perry’s arrival, Japan had become a modern industrial nation, and by 1905 Japan proved it by being the first eastern power in recent history to decisively defeat a European power. Japanese society had also undergone a radical transformation. We were no longer dealing with a feudal warrior society going into battle on horseback armed with swords and bows, by the dawn of the 20th century, Japan was a militarily aggressive nation that had a modern army equipped with current firearms and fielding a navy powerful enough to defeat the Russian far eastern fleet.
Now let’s look at Japan 100 years after Perry’s arrival. Japanese society in 1953 had undergone yet another transformation. By this time Japanese society was no longer militarily aggressive, but was beginning its rise as an democratic, peaceful, and economic power.
Societies change, people change, the world changes, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Below are some Klingon ships in honor of changing societies.