'Star Trek: Discovery' Klingons Will Have 'Completely New Look' in Season 2

When Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access brought Star Trek back after a hiatus of more than a decade, part of the challenge was to update the franchise’s visuals for the high-definition television.

Among the most controversial decisions was changing the appearance of the Klingons, a fan-favorite alien species, even though Klingons have undergone many visual redesigns throughout the franchise’s history.

The changes will continue. During a panel at Star Trek Las Vegas, Star Trek: Discovery makeup designer Glenn Hetrick teased that the Klingons will be getting a new look in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery.

“As we move into season 2, it has been a while since we have been with our characters,” Hetrick said via Trek Movie. “It has been a while since we have seen our Klingon friends. So, everything keeps evolving. The story has evolved. And I can guarantee you this, you are going to be blown away that they have a completely new look, yet again, going into season two.”

The creative team behind Star Trek: Discovery has repeatedly said the show’s second season will provide many answers to lingering questions about how Star Trek: Discovery fits into established Star Trek canon. Hetrick offered a hint about how the series' very different-looking Klingons may fit in with the Klingons fans have come to know from previous Star Trek shows. That has to do with how appearance is tied to family, like almost everything else in Klingon culture.

“In season two, you are going to see much different designs,” Hetrick said. “You are going to see different houses you haven’t seen before. One of the most important things to us was that at this point in canon, as we head towards the current version of unification, the houses really each grow up on different planets. It is an Empire, it is not just Qo’noS…We have seen six of the great houses in close up in season one. As we move forward into the next season, I promise that we will continue exploring and unpacking and unfolding that infinitely interesting story of what the Klingon culture looks like on a wider level.”

As for why the Klingons who followed T’Kuvma looked so unique — specifically why they all lacked hair while Klingons in the past have had long manes and distinctive facial hair — Hetrick hinted that could be explained by the group’s religious convictions.

“If you really think about season one, and the Klingon storyline, we had this incredibly ritualistic season with them,” he said. “It was really about unification, and igniting the beacon, the Light of Kahless, and bringing him back…so we integrated that very much and thought a lot about that.”

Hetrick then went on to note that the way Kahless unified the Klingon Empire, according to past Star Trek canon, was “by cutting off his hair, and dipping it into a volcano and forging the first bat’leth and tempering in the ocean of Qo’noS.”

He continued, “There is this whole thing with hair and ritual and unification that was very much in the forefront of our mind when we designing.”

The first season of Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream in its entirety on CBS All Access in the U.S., through CraveTV in Canada and through Netflix in other international markets.

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Star Trek: Discovery season 2 is now filming in Toronto and will premiere in January 2019.

Are you excited to see what the Klingons look like in Star Trek: Discovery Season Two? Let us know in the comments!