Details on Star Trek: Discovery have been fairly scarce—we’ve got a few good general ideas, but nothing specific. That’s changed now, because a bevy of props and images are currently on display at San Diego Comic-Con, and while Starfleet is always Starfleet, the Klingons are stealing the show.
There is a fair bit of concept art for Klingon ships, which look unlike anything we’ve seen from the species before:
But the thing that most drew my attention was this coffin:
In previous footage, we’ve seen the Klingon T’Kuvma (Chris Obi) take charge of the Klingons. Anyone want to bet he becomes their leader after their previous leader dies? It fits everything else we know. This is also a very elaborate coffin, so it’s got to be for someone important.
We also have a close-up look at the new Klingon “Torchbearer” armor, briefly glimpsed at the end of the first trailer for the show:
From the plaque next to it, we know a bit more about Klingon culture in Discovery’s era. The Torchbearer suit is both armor and an EV suit—which the full face helmet makes a bit of sense for. Apparently this version of the suit is “worn only by a warrior chosen through a sacred ritual” and Torchbearers can “sound The Call for all houses to unite by activating a ceremonial obelisk.” We know that uniting the houses is the goal of T’Kuvma, so I wonder if we will see him don this armor.
Along with the armor, the Torchbearer has a weapon called the “D’k tahg,” worn on the Torcherbearer’s boots:
The plaque explains that these aren’t based on TOS-style Klingons, but the “ornate, re-imagined” weapons are based on the films and The Next Generation’s Klingons. Which makes sense, even though Discovery takes place before the original series, Star Trek has always—save a throwaway line in things like Deep Space Nine’s “Trials and Tribble-ations”—just pretended that the ridge-headed Klingons from TNG are what they’ve always looked like.
And here’s a good look at T’Kuvma’s outfit from the trailers:
The outfit’s plaque goes further into T’Kuvma’s motives, saying he “seeks to unite the 24 great Klingon houses to halt the encroachment of others.” “Others” has to be the Federation, right? I guess it could be Romulans. or some other foe for both Starfleet and the Klingons to worry about.
The biggest new addition to the Klingon look are these helmets and collars, which I need to display in my home:
The Klingon armor and helmet can retract into the collar. I’m pretty sure that’s physically impossible, but I bet it looks amazing on camera. It’s also similar in look the “periscopic Klingon bridge officer helmet”:
Is anyone else wondering how the Federation didn’t lose to these Klingons?
This helmet is “worn by Klingon pilots to to provide a Heads Up Display of weapons systems, three-dimensional star system charts and other critical tactical information essential to controlling the ship’s navigational and weapons systems.” This has always been a problem, but it’s becoming really clear that the past was more technologically than the “future” of Kirk and Spock.
Speaking of them and the Federation, nothing about Starfleet on display is too revolutionary—probably a good idea, between continuity and rabid fandom, there’s not a ton of room to shake things up there—so the tricorder, communicator, and badges are roughly as we’d expect for a show set only a decade before the original series:
A slight change is that the badges are different metals depending on the department they represent. Command has gold, science and medical silver, and operations copper. I guess since they don’t have the red, blue, and gold shirts to differentiate, this is how they do it.
Starfleet’s uniforms are as we’ve seen them in stills and the trailer. One big difference to the navy is the white medical uniform, which are meant to be “hospital white,” because white means sterile, I guess. We’ve seen this occasionally in Star Trek, although it most reminds me of what we saw when Kirk was born in Star Trek (2009):
And a close-up look at the armor that Away Teams will finally get:
The badges have another fun detail for fans. Instead of putting the classic rank pips on the collars of the uniforms, they’ve been worked into the badges:
I happen to like it, but it’s been divisive among the people I’ve talked to. One colleague just yelled “NOPE.”
There’s more than just Starfleet and Klingon uniforms on display in San Diego though. Here’s some art of what looks like the Shenzhou’s—or a ship like it, considering it matches the design from the trailer—first encounter with a massive Klingon Fleet:
We’ll end with someone who is neither Starfleet nor Klingon: Harcourt Fenton Mudd (Rainn Wilson). I always use his full name because nothing gives me more joy than the way it was said in the classic original series episode “I, Mudd.” Harry showed up twice in the original series, as a conman with a... let’s say strained relationship with the crew of the Enterprise:
Compared to his later look, this is fairly restrained. Although the bright shirt is probably callback to Harry’s first appearance in “Mudd’s Women”:
We’ll have more in-depth video from the set, including a close up of the Discovery’s captain’s chair later. The exhibit is at the Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts Gallery in San Diego, running for the duration of Comic-Con.