Worf

Worf, Son of Mogh
WorfTNG.jpg
Species Klingon
Home planet Qo'noS, later
Earth (Belarus)
Affiliation United Federation of Planets
Starfleet
Klingon Empire
House of Martok
House of Mogh
Posting Tactical officer and Chief of security,
USS Enterprise-D
USS Enterprise-E;
Strategic operations officer and USS Defiant First Officer,
Deep Space Nine
Rank

Lieutenant J.G. (TNG Seasons 1-2)
Lieutenant (TNG Seasons 3-7)
Lieutenant Commander (Feature films and DS9)
Ambassador to the Klingon Empire1 (DS9 & Beyond)

1 Requested by then-General Martok, who became chancellor when Worf declined the position.
Portrayed by Michael Dorn

Worf, played by Michael Dorn, is a main character in Star Trek: The Next Generation and in seasons four to seven of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He also appears in the films based on The Next Generation. Worf is the first Klingon main character to appear in Star Trek, and has appeared in more Star Trek franchise episodes than any other character. Worf was the only character to be a regular in more than one live-action Star Trek series (While Miles O'Brien was featured in both The Next Generation and Deep Space 9, he was not a regular cast member in the former series).

Contents

Casting

Worf was at first not intended to be a regular character, since Roddenberry wanted to avoid "retreads of characters or races featured prominently in the original Star Trek series", and so the June 1, 1987 cast portrait did not include Worf.[1] Several "tall, slim, black actors" auditioned for Worf before Michael Dorn came along, walking into the audition in character and not smiling[2] (Indeed, Michael Dorn found the seriousness of the role, especially during the audition, at first to be uncomfortable, since he considers himself a comedian at heart).[citation needed]

Dorn is the only Star Trek actor to have worked concurrently on the Next Generation films and the Deep Space Nine series, both of which are set in the same time period. There are scenes in First Contact and Insurrection to explain his absence and reunion with Captain Picard's officers. In First Contact Worf is initially commanding USS Defiant (NX-74205) (originally created for Deep Space Nine) before he is beamed aboard Picard's ship, while in Insurrection Picard jokes that Worf was late for his bridge shift due to being accustomed to life aboard Deep Space Nine.

Family history

The House of Mogh was a family of high social and political rank which was for a time represented on the Klingon High Council. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Worf's grandfather Colonel Worf (also portrayed by Michael Dorn) appears in a role as the legal advocate of Captain James T. Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy after they are accused of killing Chancellor Gorkon of the Klingon High Council. He was also a member of the Klingon delegation at Camp Khitomer. Although not explicitly stated, he was intended to be Worf's grandfather.[3]

Backstory

Worf was born in 2340 on the Klingon homeworld as the son of Mogh. Five years later, his parents moved to the Khitomer colony. Worf's parents were killed during a surprise attack by the Romulans on the Khitomer outpost. The colony's distress call was answered by the Federation starship USS Intrepid. Chief Petty Officer Sergey Rozhenko found Worf in the rubble and took him in after failing to find any living relatives. Rozhenko and his wife Helena raised him on a small farm colony on the planet Gault, a world of about 20,000 inhabitants, almost all of them human. Worf also has a human brother, Nikolai, through his adoption by the Rozhenkos, with whom he often quarreled.[4] He also spent time in his parents' native Minsk, later recommending it to O'Brien as one of his favorite places on Earth.[5][6][7]

Worf did not take the Rozhenkos' last name, preferring to be addressed by the Klingon designation "Worf, son of Mogh". However, his son Alexander Rozhenko, who was raised by the Rozhenkos after his mother K'Ehleyr died, did use their surname. Although Worf was raised by humans, he considered himself a Klingon at heart and studied the ways of his people. As an adult, his mannerisms and personality, as well as his innate sense of honor, became more Klingon than human.

Worf's brother Kurn, barely a year old at the time of the Khitomer attack, had been left behind on the Klingon homeworld Qo'noS by his parents. Lorgh, a friend to House of Mogh (appearing only in dialog of the episode "Sins of the Father"), was charged with the care of the younger son, originally expecting Mogh's stay at the Khitomer outpost to be short-term. Lorgh adopted Kurn after the attack, but informed Klingon authorities that he had died with the rest of the family. Kurn was not revealed as being alive until both brothers were adults.

In 2357, Worf entered Starfleet Academy. He graduated in 2361 and was commissioned with the rank of Ensign, becoming the first Klingon officer in Starfleet. Although Worf took immense pride and a sense of honor from serving in Starfleet, most other Klingons shunned and belittled his choice of vocation.

In 2359, he became briefly involved with K'Ehleyr who was the daughter of a Klingon father and a human mother.

The Next Generation

In 2364 Worf was assigned to the USS Enterprise-D as relief flight control and tactical officer with the rank of lieutenant junior grade (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint"). The next year he was made Acting Chief of Security following the death of Natasha Yar, even though he believed that a promotion due to the death of a comrade was not honorable (TNG: "Skin of Evil"). The next year he transferred to operations division and was formally made Chief of Security (TNG: "The Child").

In 2365, he renewed his relationship with K'Ehleyr when she came aboard the Enterprise as a Federation emissary on an urgent mission. He proposed marriage but was rejected.

In 2366, he was promoted to lieutenant (TNG: "Evolution"). After an accident caused the death of Lt. Marla Astor, Worf brought the orphaned Jeremy Astor into the House of Mogh through the rite of R'uustai (TNG: "The Bonding").

Worf learned of Kurn's existence when Kurn was assigned to the Enterprise as an Exchange Officer. Kurn specifically asked for the Enterprise so he could observe his brother before revealing his true identity and informing him that their father was accused of betraying the empire by Duras of helping the Romulans attack Khitomer. Worf would eventually accept a ritual loss of honor from the Klingon High Council in order to protect the Empire from a scandal that had framed his father, falsely dishonored his house and could potentially lead to civil war. While Worf decided to accept this dishonor, it was decided to keep Kurn's true identity secret in order to protect his honor (TNG: "Sins of the Father").

In 2367, K'Ehleyr returned with Klingon Chancellor K'mpec who had come to meet with Capt. Picard. When she came aboard, Worf learned he had a son named Alexander. She wanted to marry him but Worf refused because he did not want to share his dishonor with her and their son (TNG: "Reunion").

After K'mpec's death, she assisted Capt. Picard with the rite of succession. K'Ehleyr was eventually murdered by Duras when she found evidence of his involvement in the effort to discredit Worf. Exercising his right of vengeance, Worf fought and killed Duras allowing Duras's opponent Gowron to become chancellor (TNG: "Reunion").

A civil war erupted when the Duras' son challenged Gowron. Worf believed Gowron was the legitimate ruler and convinced his brother to bring forces loyal to him into battle on Gowron's behalf. Worf resigned from Starfleet to fight for Gowron and served on his brother's ship. Gowron won the war after Starfleet exposed Romulan support for the House of Duras. In appreciation of his support, Chancellor Gowron restored Worf's honor (TNG: "Redemption, Part I") and gave Kurn a seat on the High Council. Worf later regained his Starfleet commission (TNG: "Redemption, Part II").

In 2369 while the Enterprise was at Deep Space Nine, Worf investigated a claim that his father might still be alive in a Romulan prison camp. His father was not there but a number of Klingons were living there with the Romulans. Unable to return home with honor, they stayed and strayed from their way of life. Worf's visit had a profound effect on the children of the prisoners and many chose to leave with Worf (TNG: Birthright).

Worf's visit to the camp caused him to reconsider his own beliefs. He visited the monastery at Boreth to meditate. One day, a man appeared before him claiming to be Kahless the Unforgettable who had returned to lead the empire once more. Worf was willing to consider the idea that Kahless was genuine because he believed the Klingons had lost their ways. Gowron was skeptical. He challenged Kahless to combat and defeated him easily. The loss forced the clerics to reveal that they had created a clone of Kahless. Despite this, Worf became convinced that the Klingons would make a leap of faith and accept him as the legitimate heir of Kahless. He convinced the Klingons to appoint the new Kahless as emperor. While real power remained with Gowron as head of government, the emperor would be the formal head of state and teach the stories of Kahless. (TNG: "Rightful Heir").

Worf avoided romantic attachments with non-Klingons during his first few years on board the Enterprise-D. As Worf explained to both Riker and Guinan, he felt that non-Klingon females would be too fragile, and that he would have to restrain himself too much. He eventually developed strong feelings for Counsellor Deanna Troi, and explored a relationship with her for a time, which at times strained his relationship with her former lover, Commander Riker. Worf and Troi ended their relationship following the destruction of the Enterprise-D at Veridian III and Worf's reassignment to Deep Space Nine.

At the beginning of TNG Worf's "Klingon sash" is clearly fabric, but by later episodes it has become metallic, more resembling "chain mail" (this coincides with his promotion to chief of security) and looks more like something a warrior would wear (The Image shows the "chain mail" version.)

Deep Space Nine

In 2371 he was promoted to lieutenant commander (Star Trek Generations). After the destruction of the Enterprise-D, Worf took an extended leave to evaluate his future. He was at a monastery on the Klingon colony of Boreth when he was ordered to go to Deep Space Nine to advise Captain Sisko when a Klingon fleet massed at DS9. When he arrived, he is met by former Enterprise-D crewmember and DS9 Chief of Operations, Miles O'Brien. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior").

Worf learned that the Klingons were planning to invade Cardassia because of a coup which they had been led to believe was engineered by the Dominion. Worf reluctantly informed Sisko, knowing this would jeopardize his status in the empire. After the invasion had begun, Gowron traveled to DS9 to ask Worf to join him in battle. Gowron believed the Federation was unworthy of Worf's loyalty because they would not fight the Dominion. Worf felt the war was wrong and he could not support it. Gowron punished him by stripping him and his family of his honor, lands and titles.

Worf submitted his resignation but Sisko rejected it because he still needed him. He had decided to rescue the members of the Cardassian council from certain death at the hands of the Klingons. In doing so, he was able to prove that there was no Dominion involvement by verifying their identities. The Klingons attacked the station in order to capture the council members but withdrew as Starfleet ships approached fearing a war on two fronts.

At the end of the immediate crisis, Sisko convinced Worf to join the crew as Strategic Operations officer. In this role, he would coordinate all Starfleet activity in the sector and act as an executive officer on the Defiant.

After the Klingon civil war, Kurn had gained a seat on the High Council. Worf's opposition to the war against Cardassia cost Kurn his seat on the council. Four months later, he arrived at DS9 seeking help from his brother to perform a ritual to die with honor. He felt that the ritual, which involved Worf killing him, was the only way to restore his honor. After receiving orders from Sisko not to carry out the honor killing, Worf arranged for his brother to have cosmetic surgery and his memory wiped so he could start a new life with no ties to the House of Mogh. Kurn now has the identity of Rodek, who believes he lost his memory after being hit by a plasma discharge (DS9 episode "Sons of Mogh").

After a year of war between the Federation and the Klingons, Worf joined a team sent to investigate claims that Gowron was a changeling in disguise. The imposter turned out to be disguised as Gowron's military adviser General Martok. The discovery helped restore peace between the Federation and the Klingons. (DS9: "Broken Link') (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising").

In early 2373, Worf became involved with DS9 science officer Jadzia Dax who was a Trill woman. She was familiar with Klingon customs due to the experience of the Dax symbiont's previous host. She was the first non-Klingon that Worf could "physically" be with in the traditional Klingon way.

While on a mission to the Gamma Quadrant, Worf was captured and sent to a prison camp where he met the real General Martok and was reunited with the real Dr. Bashir, who had both been captured and replaced by changelings. While the prisoners worked to escape, Worf entered a daily round of combat with each of the guards in turn. He earned the respect and admiration of Martok and even of the guards because he would not yield. Once the prisoners escaped, they managed to warn the station about the changeling.

Upon their return, Martok was assigned command of the Klingon detachment on Deep Space Nine and command of the IKS Rotaran. He asked Worf to be his first officer. The ship had suffered many losses to the Dominion and morale was low. Martok's refusal to engage the enemy made things worse. Worf challenged him for command but allowed Martok to win and retain command. This led to the crew's first victory against the Dominion. Understanding what Worf had done, Martok thanked him for reminding him of his duty as a soldier and offered him a place in his house as his brother. By joining the House of Martok, Worf's status in the empire was restored. Worf's son, Alexander, is also assigned to the Rotaran after joining the Klingon Defense Force. Though Worf is initially estranged by his now adult son, and skeptical of his son's desire to serve the Empire, he eventually reconciles with him and his son joins the House of Martok. Worf continued to serve on the Rotaran after Sisko withdrew from DS9 at the beginning of the Dominion War.

When Sisko eventually returned with a fleet of Federation ships to retake the station, Worf and Martok lobbied Gowron to send Klingon ships to join the battle. The entry of the Klingon ships turned the tide and allowed the Defiant to break through and retake the station (DS9: "Favor The Bold") (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels").

Having helped liberate the station, Worf and Jadzia decided to get married. The wedding was a traditional Klingon ceremony which included a series of trials on Jadzia's part in order to gain the approval of Martok's wife to join the House of Martok (DS9: "You are Cordially Invited").

In the DS9 episode "Change of Heart", Worf prematurely ends a mission to contact a Cardassian informant inside the Dominion in order to save his injured wife. The informant is subsequently executed by the Dominion, causing Captain Benjamin Sisko, the commander of Deep Space Nine, to caution that Starfleet might not grant Worf his own command after this incident, but adds that had he been forced to choose between his duty and his wife, he would have done the same thing.

By late 2374, Worf and Jadzia are married less than a year when they decided to try to have a child despite the extreme difficulties posed by the disparate biologies of Trill and Klingons. She visited the Bajoran temple on the station where she was attacked and killed by an alien possessing the body of Gul Dukat who came aboard the station to destroy an Orb of the Prophet. (DS9: "Time's Orphan", "Tears of the Prophets")

In 2375, Worf led a mission to destroy a Dominion shipyard. He dedicated this mission to his late wife, in order to ensure her entry into the Sto-vo-kor the realm of the honored dead (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols").

Julian Bashir is able to save the Dax symbiont, who is sent back to the Trill homeworld to be rejoined with a new host aboard the USS Destiny. When the symbiont's health worsened, The Dax symbiont was implanted into a new host named Ezri Dax who was the assistant ship's counselor. She was not trained to be a host but she was the only available unjoined Trill aboard. Ezri had difficulty making the transition and sought out Ben Sisko on Earth. She helped him on his mission and then returned to DS9 with him. She accepts his request to stay on as station counselor.

Worf avoided Ezri at first, confused about what to do about this new situation. Her quick posting to DS9 led to a number of awkward moments between her and Worf since the new host carries all the memories of their former hosts but has its own distinct personality. Also, it is frowned upon for new hosts to fraternize with former lovers. After a brief rekindling of their feelings for one another, they decide that things are just too different and, eventually, the two settle into a comfortable friendship, with Ezri eventually becoming romantically involved with Julian Bashir (Who previously had feelings for Jadzia)

In 2375, Worf became concerned with the leadership of Gowron. The entry of the Breen into the war on the side of the Dominion temporarily sidelined the Federation and Romulan fleets which proved vulnerable to Breen weaponry. This left the Klingons alone to carry on the fight as their ships were not affected in the same manner. Gowron assumed direct command because he feared Martok's growing popularity and devised a plan to discredit Martok. He began ordering Martok on near-suicidal missions against Dominion forces, hoping that a string of defeats would weaken Martok's popularity and discredit him as a military leader. Recognizing that Gowron was jeopardizing the entire war effort, Worf tried to convince Martok that he should challenge Gowron for the leadership. After Martok refused, Worf decided to challenge Gowron himself, citing his faulty battle planning, his dishonorable conduct in trying to discredit Martok, and poor strategies at the later stages of the Dominion War. After a brief battle, Worf killed Gowron; by right he was proclaimed the new chancellor of the Klingon High Council. However, Worf declined in favor of Martok (DS9: "Tacking Into the Wind").

After the conclusion of the Dominion War, Worf is made the Federation ambassador to Qo'noS (the Klingon homeworld), as depicted in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series finale "What You Leave Behind" despite the fact that he killed a candidate for chancellor (Duras), a sitting chancellor (Gowron) and was related to the new chancellor who he put into office in the first place.

Worf continued to appear in TNG films which is explained in various ways such as rescue (ST: First Contact) and leave (ST: Insurrection). Star Trek: Nemesis was released after the conclusion of DS9. Worf's status at this time is unclear. He was attending the wedding of William Riker and Deanna Troi on Earth and was traveling to Betazed with the Enterprise crew for the second wedding ceremony when the ship was diverted to investigate positronic signals from a system near the Romulan border. He was still wearing a standard Star-Fleet officer uniform, and not one of an ambassador during Nemesis.

Subsequent non-canon books have featured him as the Enterprise 's new first officer after the departure of William Riker to his own command. They also mention that he has adopted Data's cat, Spot.

Alternate Versions

After returning from a tournament, Worf encountered a quantum fissure and begins shifting into different realities. In one reality, he became involved with Deanna Troi while recovering from a spinal injury. He asked permission from Commander Riker to court Troi. By the time the events in this episode takes place, he has been married to her for two years. In another reality, Worf is first officer of the Enterprise serving under Capt. Riker who assumed command after Capt. Picard was killed by the Borg. He is married to Deanna Troi and has a daughter Shannara Rozhenko and a son Eric Christopher Rozhenko. However, she doesn't know anything about Alexander (TNG: "Parallels").

In an alternate future, Alexander becomes a diplomat instead of a warrior. He wanted to end the feuding among the great houses and declared that the House of Mogh would no longer engage in blood feuds. Worf warned him that this was a show of weakness but Alexander persisted. Shortly after Alexander's decision, he witnesses Worf being killed on the floor of the High Council. Had he become a warrior, he thinks perhaps he could have saved his father's life. Eventually, he finds a way to travel back in time to try to prevent these events from occurring by convincing his younger self to train to become a warrior (TNG: "Firstborn").

In an alternate future, Worf had been reluctant to become involved with Troi and her subsequent death led to a rift between Riker and himself as a result. He later served as a member of the Klingon High Council and was governor of the Klingon colony of H'atoria (TNG: "All Good Things").

While on a mission in the Gamma Quadrant, the Defiant detects an energy barrier surrounding a planet in a nearby solar system. When they enter the barrier, the ship is damaged and they detect a settlement with 8,000 people who are mostly human. When they investigate, they learn they have been expected. The settlers explain they are the descendants of the Defiant crew. In a couple of days, when the Defiant tries to leave orbit, they will be thrown back in time two centuries and crash land on the planet. Worf learns he married and raised a family. He meets his descendant Brota who leads the Sons of Mogh. The members are descendants of Worf and Jadzia and others who choose to join them. They follow Klingon customs as first taught to them by Worf (DS9: "Children of Time").

In an alternate universe, Worf leads the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance as regent. After Terran rebels take over Terek Nor, Worf tries to recapture the station but is defeated by the rebels who have a new ship based on the design of the Defiant. Enraged, Worf claimed he lost only because he had been betrayed. Garak blamed Intendant Kira Nerys (DS9: "Shattered Mirror"). Eventually, Worf would capture her and Grand Nagus Zek who crossed over to this universe to open new markets. Worf agreed to let Zek go in exchange for a cloaking device but the device was sabotaged and his ship was disabled allowing the Terrans rebels to capture him (DS9: "Emperor's New Cloak").

Star Trek: Countdown

In the official comic book prequel to the movie Star Trek, Worf is a General in the Klingon Empire who is dispatched to deal with Romulan Captain Nero and his significantly altered mining vessel, the Narada. When the Klingon forces suffer a crushing defeat, Worf agrees to Nero's demand to board a shuttle and come onboard the Narada. Worf takes the opportunity to surprise Nero, cutting into the Narada's hull and fighting his way to the main bridge for a confrontation with Nero. Already prepared for such a tactic, Nero succeeds in surprising Worf by impaling him through the back with a large mechanical tentacle. When the Enterprise-E arrives to do battle with the Narada, Nero agrees to beam Worf over if the ship will lower its shields. When Captain Data agrees, Worf is beamed back to the ship, giving the Narada time to fire on the Enterprise. The ship suffers heavy damage, but manages to raise its shields in time to prevent a second attack. However, Nero leaves the battle to continue his assault on the planet Vulcan. Worf is assumed to have survived, but this is never explicitly mentioned in the comic.

Critical and fan reception

Worf is a popular character among fans.[8] The episode "Heart of Glory", which focuses on Worf and his relationship to other Klingons, is credited with planting "many seeds for successive Klingon storylines ... and new insights into Klingon culture".[9]

In 1995, with TNG over, the writers of DS9 came up with the idea of adding Worf to the cast in response to pressure to boost ratings.[10]

Musician Voltaire wrote a song called "Worf's Rap" for his EP Banned on Vulcan.

References

  1. ^ Adam Schrager, The Finest Crew in the Fleet: The Next Generation Cast On Screen and Off. New York: Wolf Valley Books (1997): 96 - 97
  2. ^ Schrager (1997): 97
  3. ^ http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Worf_(Colonel)
  4. ^ "Homeward"
  5. ^ "Heart of Glory"
  6. ^ "Let He Who is without Sin..."
  7. ^ "What You Leave Behind"
  8. ^ Jeff Greenwald, "Worf Factors" Future Perfect: How Star Trek Conquered Planet Earth. New York: Viking (1998): 79. "Dorn plays the immensely popular Worf ... Worf may be the most complex and sympathetic character in the history of Star Trek.
  9. ^ Lincoln Geraghty, "A Network of Support: Coping with Trauma Through Star Trek Fan Letters" The Journal of Popular Culture Volume 39 Issue 6 Page 1002-1024, December 2006. "Fans of the aggressive but honorable aliens were delighted to see the Worf character given some screen time and that the Klingons were becoming an important part of the Star Trek universe once again."
  10. ^ Source: "Charting New Territory". DVD extra included with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete Fourth Season. Of Worf, writer/producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe said in an interview conducted on October 20, 2002 that the studio felt DS9's ratings were sagging at the end of the third season, and he and the other writers were asked to give viewers a new reason to watch. Their answer was to make Worf a part of the cast.

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