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"I am NOT a merry man!"
March 5, 2014 12:18 AM   Subscribe

"I wasn't drawn to Worf at first... it was just another job." A quarter century after Star Trek Next Generation closed shop, what remains? Worf, that is what. Appearing for seven seasons in Next Gen, and another four in Deep Space Nine, Michael Dorn's Worf appeared in more Star Trek episodes than any other character. Infinitely quotable , a fine singer, and handy with romantic advice, Worf was a complete badass with a bat'leth. Except when he got his ass kicked. There are rumors of a Captain Worf Star Trek show--but those rumors all seem to be started by Michael Dorn. Even though everyone thought he was wrong, his fame endures.
posted by LarryC (83 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
OK, I'm a big Trekkie and I'm not complaining... but seriously, what is up with all the Worf posts? This is looking like more than coincidence.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:24 AM on March 5 [14 favorites]


Klingon PR agencies are the worst.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:25 AM on March 5 [35 favorites]


Worf are you talking about, Ursula Hitler?
posted by brundlefly at 12:25 AM on March 5 [10 favorites]


/r/hailworf
posted by bottlebrushtree at 12:30 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]


Based on the penultimate link, I'm guessing this is an onslaught of relentless Klingon astroturfing.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:31 AM on March 5


Captain Picard Day is right around the corner.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:32 AM on March 5 [5 favorites]


I think Data's painting is making me dizzy.
posted by emmtee at 12:34 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]


Captain Picard Day is right around the corner.

Excellent idea.
posted by LarryC at 12:41 AM on March 5


But Worf wasn't even Michael Dorn's greatest TV role: I AM WEASEL!
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:44 AM on March 5 [21 favorites]


Oh hell I forgot a key link--The Worf of Star Trek.
posted by LarryC at 12:45 AM on March 5 [7 favorites]


What is it, Worf day?

But Worf wasn't even Michael Dorn's greatest TV role: I AM WEASEL!

Whoah, that was him?? In retrospect the voice is really obviously Worf but I never noticed. Now I want to see an angry Worf telling everyone that he is Weasel.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:48 AM on March 5 [3 favorites]


Jesus, it's 2019 already?
posted by MikeKD at 12:57 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]


The best part of all this is when someone will post, in the near future, that A should really be posted in the active thread about A, wherein original A post is a week old and likely not viewed by anyone.
posted by efalk at 1:10 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]




The best part of all this is when someone will post, in the near future, that A should really be posted in the active thread about A, wherein original A post is a week old and likely not viewed by anyone.

The Worf posters must fight to the death to determine which is the true thread of reference.
posted by jaduncan at 1:31 AM on March 5 [6 favorites]


"A quarter century after Star Trek Next Generation closed shop" ???

I was born in 1968. As I grew up, the 1960s seemed like a previous generation. But now I learn that the first episode of Star Trek TOS aired less than two years before I was born. And now the modern, up to date version has been over for a quarter century.

My kids are right. I am older than dirt.
posted by EnterTheStory at 1:32 AM on March 5 [3 favorites]


My kids are right. I am older than dirt.

I comfort myself by considering the obvious alternative. But.. That's all I got.
posted by mikelieman at 1:41 AM on March 5 [5 favorites]


Worf, on Metafilter? Hm... Let us all remember what Greg Nog thoughtfully taught us about Worf and Troi's sex life

A true classic comment. Read that if you don't remember it.

Worf is great, and was arguably necessary. Don't forget, before that, the last time we had seen Klingons had been those vaguely Asian guys with the Fu Manchu moustaches who were Always The Bad Guys, up to schemes of all sorts. Extremely obvious stand-ins for Russians.

Worf redefined them completely, made it so they weren't just not evil, just different. Putting him directly on the Enterprise showed everyone immediately that things were different now. Sure, he was nearly always wrong, and his status as Baddest Ass on the Enterprise meant aliens stood in line to beat him up to show how powerful they were, so he actually has a mediocre W/L rate. But he was simultaneously gruff and loveable, and that's always a winning combination with fans.

My favorite line on the whole show remains his opinion of prune juice: "A warrior's drink!"
posted by JHarris at 1:49 AM on March 5 [12 favorites]


Oh, and I'm going to mark today as Worf Day on the Metafilter Special Days Calendar.
posted by JHarris at 2:04 AM on March 5 [8 favorites]


Let us all remember what Greg Nog thoughtfully taught us about Worf and Troi's sex life

It's OK, Worf lets out all the frustration on the Holodeck.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:19 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


Greg Nog, if you make an appearance here, I think we'd all be interested to read your thoughts on the love life of Worf and Jadzia Dax.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:22 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]


the love life of Worf and Jadzia Dax

Two actors who were individually good for the show but had very little romantic chemistry as a couple.

I suspect one could write a thesis on Dax's love life.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:45 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


No Worf post can be complete without a link to this supercut.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:04 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]


I hypothesize that this constant use of the word "Worf" is going to deeply affect Metafilter's thinking and culture.
posted by condour75 at 4:08 AM on March 5 [8 favorites]


flagged for astroworfing

wait, I take that back, I like saying "astroworfing" too much

carry on
posted by sidereal at 4:09 AM on March 5 [17 favorites]


Now all we need is a post on the Sapir-Worf hypothesis: the theory that the perception of an ass-kicking is determined by the specific ways in which an ass is kicked in different societies.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:24 AM on March 5 [6 favorites]


And he's so good with cats, too!
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:27 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


I was born in 1968. As I grew up, the 1960s seemed like a previous generation. But now I learn that the first episode of Star Trek TOS aired less than two years before I was born. And now the modern, up to date version has been over for a quarter century.

I may have some good news for you.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:29 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


2014-1994=20
100/4=25
20<>25
posted by MattD at 4:41 AM on March 5 [3 favorites]


~ Let us all remember what Greg Nog thoughtfully taught us about Worf and Troi's sex life
~It's OK, Worf lets out all the frustration on the Holodeck.


It's only 7:45am and my day is over. There can't possibly be anything better than these two posts coming my way today.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:46 AM on March 5


Okay, that was damned freaky. I was totally not trying to "Inception" myself into LarryC's mind and steal post ideas.

But the coincidence has convinced me as well that today should be Worf Day on Metafilter.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:50 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


I'd watch the Gre'thor out of a Worf show. Make it a musical to draw in the kids.
posted by Poldo at 5:00 AM on March 5


Hi, my name is Flunkie, and I dislike Worf.

I liked Worf just fine on TNG, more or less. Not my favorite character, but he was OK; the whole Klingon political crisis arc in particular was quite enjoyable. But when DS9 came around, he became an utter jerk. He was constantly threatening people, pushing them up against walls, putting his hands around their throats, and so on. And I don't mean he was doing this to Jem'Hedar or whatever, I mean he was doing this to his coworkers. The man literally should have been arrested, several times.

And when he wasn't doing or threatening bodily harm, he was constantly hateful and showing it, snarling at people, making deeply insulting remarks, and so on. He was just an asshole, full stop.

I know, I know, "But Flunkie, Worf is a Klingon!". Yes, I know he's a Klingon. But first of all, not all Klingons are assholes; lots of them are basically fun-loving friendly people despite occasionally taking themselves a little too seriously (Martok for example).

Second of all, Worf himself was not previously such a Klingon; it was a major shift in his personality with no real cause.

Third of all, he was raised by humans, he has lived essentially his whole life in human society, and he has risen prominently through the ranks of Star Fleet; he of all Klingons knows you don't go around casually choking people and threatening them with death for no real reason.

Fourth, not even other Klingons liked him, for these reasons. He had some warped view of Klingon culture, gained through his romanticization of it as an outsider who was never really familiar with it other than whatever books about it he read, and as a result he was essentially a zealot, and other Klingons knew it (and commented on it). "Grar rar rar, my honor demands your death for being in my way when I was walking without looking where I was going, grar rar rar." It's like, yeah, chill the fuck out, dude, you know?

The guy's just a jerk.
posted by Flunkie at 5:06 AM on March 5 [5 favorites]


[Klingon bodies contain a number of redundant systems including three lungs, an eight chambered heart, and 2 stomachs.]

Worf: "Deanna, I cannot copulate with you. You do not posses sufficient orifices."
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 5:10 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]


My theory is that maybe the primary reason why Worf was such a breakout character (he's appeared in the Star Trek franchise more often than any other, thanks to crossing over to DS9 after TNG ended) was that, to put it simply and bluntly, Gene Roddenberry didn't pay that much attention to him, and that was probably a good thing. In the first version of the TNG writers' bible, Roddenberry doesn't even give Worf a name--he's mentioned in passing as "a Klingon marine" (this is also the stage at which Dr. Crusher has a daughter named Leslie)--and even though he was a regular cast member by the time the show aired, he still had to compete for attention with the rest of the cast. His featured episode, though, "Heart of Glory", is probably the best episode of the first season, which had some real stinkers in it.

And that in turn is because one of the worst things that the show had going for it in the early seasons was Roddenberry. He had a very narrow vision of what the show should be, and in the late Michael Piller's unpublished book about writing Star Trek: Insurrection, Fade In (the PDF is easy enough to find online), Piller talks about "Roddenberry's Box", the specific way that you had to pitch a story idea in order to get it past (or, more accurately, around) Roddenberry and his Star Trek dogma. My theory is that Worf broke out simply because Roddenberry didn't give that much thought to him, so the character got a decent arc while others languished.

P.S. Flunkie: well, YMMV and all that, but the outsider with an idealistic view of The Way Things Should Be has a long, long history in fiction.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:20 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]


Having a vague character trait with a long, long history in fiction doesn't make a character not a jerk. In particular, when "The Way Things Should Be" includes choking people.
posted by Flunkie at 5:24 AM on March 5


MINSK. (Mild spoilers, in that this is one of the final scenes of DS9)


One of the few times watching Star Trek that I've laughed out loud (much as I love that show).
posted by Drexen at 5:58 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]


meta
posted by leotrotsky at 6:09 AM on March 5


Worf is for reals my spirit animal. I too have no idea why anyone does or says the things they do and am often shut down at work. But we just keep on keepin on.
posted by bleep at 6:13 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


For all you people congratulating themselves on TNG being less than a quarter-century away I would like to again point out that more time has passed between now and the end of TNG than passed between the start of TNG and the end of the original series.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:20 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


If Ezri Dax was on Metafilter, people would be rushing to tell her to read The Gift of Fear.
posted by Flunkie at 6:33 AM on March 5 [3 favorites]


I'd watch the Gre'thor out of a Worf show. Make it a musical to draw in the kids.


I would watch the baktag out of it if they make Quark the sarcastic MC.



"We thought we'd seen the last of them after their previous appearance, and certainly that was what we promised the Starfleet Entertainments Bureau and the Federation Council on the Family (please stop sending us letters). However, they have assured me that they've cleaned up the lyrics to "General Kath'mar Was A Filthy Mak'dar," that their targ is now much better trained, and that they have prepared an all-new family-friendly act (and that I may be severely beaten if I don't book them).

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado...the Duras Sisters."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:42 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]


I think that surly DS9 Worf was a much more interesting character than put-upon-not-really-respected Worf.

By the time he gets to DS9, he's be in/out of the good graces of the Klingon empire at least once or twice, he's got a broken relationship with a kid that he ignores, the Enterprise that was his home for many years has been destroyed. I thought that it was a really interesting study in what happens to a character who goes from the flagship of the federation to hang out on what's basically a civilian station.

I forgive him his grumpiness -- I don't know why _anyone_ wasn't mean to Ezri Dax.
posted by sparklemotion at 6:45 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]


The Worf of Wall Street: criminally overlooked by the academy this year...
posted by Renoroc at 6:49 AM on March 5


Not a Worf fan, but he has great taste in Half Human, Half Klingon Women.

Team K'Ehleyr.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 6:55 AM on March 5 [8 favorites]


Ezri was adorable in a sort of "Gidget Goes to Space" way, but she could never hold a candle to Jadzia. Mirror-universe Ezri was much more interesting.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:56 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]


K'Ehleyr might have been the best female character in the Star Trek franchise. Putting her in Worf's refrigerator was stupidly short-sighted.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:04 AM on March 5 [7 favorites]


As for "Worf the abusive boyfriend" I don't know, didn't all the women he was with know exactly what dating Klingons involved, i.e., willingly and gleefully causing each other injury and bloodshed? Jadzia was definitely into it, (and gave as good as she got), I really didn't like Ezri so I don't recall if she and Worf ever really got to a dating stage.

I will admit that I haven't watched DS9 in long enough that I don't remember if Worf was acting unusually jerky compared to NG Worf to people he wasn't dating.
posted by emjaybee at 7:13 AM on March 5


Agreed. I'd have watched the SHIT out of a Captain K'Ehleyr show.
She has the smart mouth to get her into trouble, and the sexy sexy to get her out of it.
Like Kirk, only different.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 7:15 AM on March 5 [3 favorites]


I really didn't like Ezri so I don't recall if she and Worf ever really got to a dating stage.



The Trill have a taboo against relationships with the partners of a symbiont's previous hosts, but Ezri and Worf did hook up once just before they were captured by the Breen. They later realized that they weren't especially compatible, and Ezri went on to date Bashir (and, boy, if you want to talk about lack of sexual chemistry...).
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:22 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


what is up with all the Worf posts? This is looking like more than coincidence.

Fnorf
posted by sourwookie at 7:23 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]


I liked Worf just fine on TNG, more or less. [...] But when DS9 came around, he became an utter jerk.

The well-known Sappier Worf Hypothesis.

ducks, runs
posted by ormondsacker at 7:28 AM on March 5 [11 favorites]


She has the smart mouth to get her into trouble, and the sexy sexy to get her out of it.
Like Kirk, only different sexy.


ftfy
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:31 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


Flunkie: "He had some warped view of Klingon culture, gained through his romanticization of it as an outsider who was never really familiar with it other than whatever books about it he read, and as a result he was essentially a zealot, and other Klingons knew it (and commented on it)."

Wait, so...he was a weeboo? A Klingon weeaboo?

A Kliaboo?
posted by KChasm at 7:35 AM on March 5


Worf's storylines over the years varied from pretty good to completely ridiculous, but I generally enjoyed Michael Dorn's performances, some of which may seem over-the-top or dated now, but generally worked in the context of the show.

I always liked Suzie Plakson as K'Ehleyr, too, and have wondered why she never became a bigger star. Looking at her IMDB, she's worked a fair amount, but always in supporting roles. I guess being 6'2" probably was a drawback for her in a lot of auditions, though.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 7:36 AM on March 5


As for "Worf the abusive boyfriend" I don't know, didn't all the women he was with know exactly what dating Klingons involved...

To be fair, I think the implication that Worf is a bad boyfriend is less about the fact that he liked it rough, and more about how controlling and jealous he would be outside of the bedroom.

Even back with K'Ehleyr he had such a screwed up version of sex and love that it was unacceptable to him to have sex with her without it immediately leading to marriage (K'Ehleyr being awesome didn't put up with that shit and didn't marry him until after he got that particular ridiculous notion out of his head).

Then with Jadzia and Ezri, he cared way too much about what other men were thinking about them, to the point of threatening Bashir for going after Ezri because somehow that would dishonour Jadzia. I think the fact that Ezri didn't put up with that nonsense either is one of very few credits to her character

Can we talk some more about how Ezri is the worst Trill? Rite of Emergence on a serial killer? Reconnection with Worf? Come on girl, there are rules.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:37 AM on March 5 [5 favorites]


Best.Forehead.Alien.Ever
posted by y2karl at 8:03 AM on March 5


Worfsi Blue.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:05 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]


A lot of the ladies I know, both inside and outside my family, have a thing for Worf.
posted by juiceCake at 8:50 AM on March 5


I could see him as captain of a Klingon ship. Seems like it would give you the most room for conflict and character development. Some huge event cuts the Klingon Empire off diplomatically from the Federation, but in such a way that Worf feels compelled to remain loyal to his heritage and due to his experience he's put into command. So, it's Klingons against the Galaxy, Worf against his crew and often his ship against the Klingon high command.
posted by stavrogin at 9:25 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


Ladies liked Worf because he was what Riker was supposed to be. He had all the gruff manliness, none of the smarm.
posted by emjaybee at 9:37 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


How many times could you hear someone shout 'ramming speed' as a precursor to sex before you decided to DTMF?
posted by biffa at 9:45 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


I cannot watch episodes with Riker's sensual appeal as part of the plot. Can't do it. Won't do it. He's the grossest. Always taking advantage of Data at the helm too. Riker's the worst, long live Worf.
posted by RollingGreens at 10:06 AM on March 5




How many times could you hear someone shout 'ramming speed' as a precursor to sex before you decided to DTMF?

That always bothered me. Worf was never, to my knowledge, affiliated with Xur or the Ko-Dan Armada, and in fact could be said to have defended the frontier.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:15 AM on March 5


The Last Starfighter reference for the win.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:39 AM on March 5


(Lesson three, my dear doctor: Always trust Garak!)
posted by Spatch at 10:46 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]


Trivia: I've never actually seen The Last Starfighter, but I read the Alan Dean Foster novelization 30 times.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:08 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


Trivia: I've never actually seen The Last Starfighter, but I read the Alan Dean Foster novelization 30 times.

Whoa, I didn't even know such a thing existed.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:16 AM on March 5


It's okay enough for what it is, and an interesting experiment in early CGI.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:16 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]


It has a great score, and (spoiler alert) one of my favorite (cheesy) lines of all time. All in all, it's probably the best space opera ever directed by the guy who played Michael Myers.
posted by brundlefly at 12:59 PM on March 5 [1 favorite]


In my year of watching all of Star Trek, one thing really leaps out at me.

The reason there is so much Worf in Star Trek is that the viewers love Klingons.

When TNG went off the air, B'ellana Torres was stuck in the Delta Quadrant unable to interact with other Klingons, and DS9 had no obvious Klingon connection. Thus, the source for Klingon stories dried up.

Fans demand more Klingon stories? Bring back Worf! Throw a ton of Klingon subplots at DS9 for no real reason aside from fan service. Klingon battles, Klingon ceremonies, Klingon drinks and songs and weapons and even weddings, for chrissakes.

The Klingons are like the Disney Princesses of the Star Trek franchise. And Worf is the lynchpin that gave the 90s iterations an excuse to keep bringing them back.
posted by Sara C. at 1:11 PM on March 5 [9 favorites]


Then with Jadzia and Ezri, he cared way too much about what other men were thinking about them, to the point of threatening Bashir for going after Ezri because somehow that would dishonour Jadzia.

Don't forget the time he like practically tried to buy Deanna Troi off of Riker.

Or all the times he used her as a parent substitute for his kid, because, like, she's a chick, I guess?
posted by Sara C. at 1:13 PM on March 5


have wondered why she never became a bigger star

She's Marshall's mom on How I Met Your Mother, an arguably bigger and more mainstream pop cultural role than any Star Trek actor aside from Nimoy, Shatner, or Patrick Stewart has ever held.

See also Wallace Shawn as Grand Nagus Zek on DS9. Star Trek's guest stars were often more successful as actors than Star Trek's regular cast.
posted by Sara C. at 1:15 PM on March 5


Wait- Grand Negus Zek was also Vizzini? Inconceivable!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:22 PM on March 5 [6 favorites]


Steely-eyed Missile Man: Any SF film of any significance made in the 1980s will have been novelized by ADF.
posted by biffa at 2:16 PM on March 5 [2 favorites]


My oldest niece, when she was just learning to talk, would walk by the television showing TNG, and pronounce clearly, "Worf, out in space!" I still say that to her 25-year old self when I see her. She, of course, hated it when she was a teenager, but now thinks it's funny.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:08 PM on March 5


Oh wow, I hadn't yet gotten to the point in DS9 where Worf shows up again. Good to know that's going to happen!
posted by limeonaire at 4:57 PM on March 5


Time becomes a loop...
posted by Evilspork at 8:44 PM on March 5


Sara C., point taken about Suzie Plakson having a role on HIMYM. But an occasionally recurring supporting part, even on a popular sitcom, is not what I'd call a big starring role. IMDB says she's appeared in 14 episodes out of 208 produced, which is a pretty small percentage of the total.

It's the sort of gig Plakson's gotten all throughout her career. To me, "star" means that the show is built around that actor, or he or she is one of the 2 or 3 main characters in an ensemble piece.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 8:58 PM on March 5


Okay, looking at ADF's site, here are his 1980s movie novelizations:
The Black Hole
Clash of the Titans
Outland
The Thing
Krull
The Last Starfighter
Starman
Pale Rider
Aliens
Alien Nation
posted by Chrysostom at 8:58 PM on March 5


I always liked Suzie Plakson as K'Ehleyr

I've always liked Klingon females. They've got such... spunk.
posted by homunculus at 12:33 AM on March 6


ADF also ghost wrote the Star Wars and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind novelizations.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:40 AM on March 7


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