Klingons may be aliens, but to hardcore Trekkies who have become used to seeing them a certain way throughout the different manifestations of the series as it continues to boldly go where no show has gone before, Discovery’s Klingon’s might have been too... alien.
What exactly does “too alien” mean? In this case, it isn’t how far you can get from human (just look at Saru) but how far you stray from canon. Despite L’rell’s heroics when it came to uniting the warring houses of the Klingon Empire, one thing that disappointed fans was the design of her species. These bald and pale creatures almost seemed to be a different subspecies of the bronze and often hairy extraterrestrials from Qo’nos. When the producers of Discovery, who already swore that the show would gradually fall into established Trek history, heard this, they decided their Klingons needed a facelift.
Mary Chieffo, the human actress behind L’rell’s ridged visage, just tweeted a photo of what her redesigned character will appear like going into Season 2. It’s a lot more classic Klingon. She actually has hair this time, and lots of it, which immediately makes her that much more humanoid and less reptilian.
She even has braids that have been seen in the manes and beards of many other past Klingons. The classic ridges are still there, but they are designed around a more human facial shape rather than what could pass for some undiscovered species of dinosaur.
Her more pronounced eye ridges also make it look like she’s wearing some impossibly cool eyeshadow look that no human could pull off.
This wasn’t just about throwing on a wig and calling it Klingon. Surprisingly enough for some Trek fans, it has been confirmed that Klingons around during Discovery’s time period would take to the razorblade during times of war. Whether it was to look more fearsome or some sort of religious ritual is anybody’s guess. With Season 2 dawning on a new era of peace, they can go ahead and let their locks loose again.
Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery premieres on CBS All Access January 17, 2019.