Though the first season of ‘Star Trek: Discovery‘ was largely well received, it hasn’t been without its share of criticisms among the fan community. Of these, perhaps the most persistent (and, so it seems to this writer, the one to which the show’s creative staff seem least receptive) has been the show’s handling of the Klingons. While the producers promised to delve into Klingon culture in exciting new ways, that largely translated into ignoring thirty years of storytelling, with the most identifiably Klingon aspect of these characters often being their language.
But in the series finale, ‘Will You Take My Hand?’, they finally made good on that promise, showing an aspect of the Klingons that, while new, required far less in the way of mental gymnastics on the part of continuity obsessives such as yours truly.
And yes, those of you who’ve noticed the banner image can already guess where this is going!
The episode finds the crew of the Discovery on a mission to Qo’nos, the Klingon homeworld. While infiltrating an Orion compound on the planet’s surface, they pass by a Klingon engaging in the time-honored tradition of desperate drunks from every corner of the Alpha Quadrant. That is to say, he’s relieving himself on a wall.
Yes, that’s right, Klingons pee! But wait, there’s more! Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that there are two distinct streams of urine, indicating that a particular bit of Klingon anatomy either comes in pairs or is otherwise… unique. Either that or this gentleman has a serious issue and should seek medical attention immediately.
While it’s been long established that Klingons have a variety of redundant organs (to the extent that nearly every vital function has a functional backup), this is the first time we’ve been treated to quite this level of detail. For insight into the thought that went into this on the production side, we can turn to a recent installment of Garret Wang and Aron Eisenberg’s podcast, ‘The Alpha Quadrant‘, which included the following remarks from ‘Discovery’ writer Bo Yeon-Kim:
“This was an ongoing writers’ room debate. According to canon, Klingons have two organs, they have two of everything, right? So we had this debate. When we say two of everything, does that include the penis? I think this was something that [director Akiva Goldsman] really liked the notion of. He just kept joking, “Klingons have two dicks! Klingons have two dicks!” And then finally showed it on television.”
No doubt the Tumblr crowd will have fun with that one.
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