The vast differences in the Klingon race from the original Star Trek to the current day have been explained in a few different ways, but one of those that make the most sense is the budgetary constraints that would no doubt explain just why the savage race that has been present within the story for so long has changed in such a dramatic way. The one defining characteristic of the Klingon race, the heavy cranial ridge that is pretty much impossible to miss, is perhaps the biggest change from the original series to the current day since decades ago that ridge didn’t exist. Of course, the reason why is likely due to time constraints and the overall budget that was given for makeup, and the possibility that no one had come up with the idea or knew how to create such prostheses to start with. The early Klingons were simply adorned with extra facial hair and brown body paint and written in as aggressive aliens that were to be feared. Over the years however this race has evolved and their looks have changed accordingly to make them appear even more alien and in some ways a lot more savage, even though their empire would suggest that they have a rather highly-developed sense of order to go along with their savagery.
If someone was going to get really tricky they would go with the explanation that Klingons had indeed injected themselves with something to increase their capabilities, but that also had the effect of changing up their appearance to such a degree that it became a species-wide alteration that was either mandated or simply happened through one method or another. In other words, the Klingons altered their own biology for reasons that were entirely their own. But as the story has continued to be told the best way to go about detailing why Klingons are so different from one show to one movie and so on is that the budget and the narrative changes ever so slightly from one project to another and as a result, so do the characters. That does make sense in a way considering that there have been a few different perspectives that have been allowed to shape and mold Star Trek over the years and the fact is that the more hands there are in the mix, the more likely it will be that the mix will change now and again to conform to the will of each creator. That’s the kind of thought that might unnerve a few fans since it indicates that there isn’t a collective that seeks to tell this story in the same manner that will conform to one narrative, but the truth is that Star Trek was put on this path a long time ago and the changes that have been seen have come about for a number of reasons. But the changes to the Klingons feels as though it’s due largely to the budget and the possibility that those in charge have been able to expand on the race and their appearance as the money has continued to roll in.
Out of all the aliens that have been shown in the various Star Trek movies and TV shows, the Klingons are one of several among the core group that has earned the attention of the fans in such a big way. The Vulcans, Romulans, Borg, and a few others have gone on to gain a great deal of recognition due to the fact that they’ve been included in so many different storylines, but the Klingons are one race that has been interesting to witness since not only have they been at odds with the Federation more than once, but they’ve also been at odds with each other when various individuals and factions within their race have tried to worth with the Federation instead of against it. As a warring species, it’s a little confusing sometimes to see the Klingons attempting to be peaceful with anyone since the story tends to make them appear uncomfortable with the notion of getting along with others, but it’s another interesting quirk that’s been added to their race that makes for better storytelling given the fact that it adds another layer of depth to an otherwise simple race that loves warfare and doesn’t hide that fact. Trekkies would no doubt want to argue that there is more to Klingons than war and there’s no doubt of that, but one of the major plot points when dealing with Klingons has usually been that there’s trouble brewing and they’re on the forefront, ready to fire off with whatever they’ve got ready.
As to their appearance, the one big change that has been throughout the years likely comes down to finally making them stand out from the crowd and having the budget to do it since creating every Klingon prosthetic has to take a bit of time, and the application is no doubt a lengthy process unless CGI is being used.
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