When a Klingon crashed on Earth in 2151, it was already evident that they had much more technology than humans did. It was also apparent that they knew more races and had been to many more planets by this time. How and when did the Klingons get so much technology?
The Klingons are a powerful race that gained technology and planets through conquering the weaker species. They also gained technology from other races that conquered Kronos, such as the Hur’ q in the 14th century. Klingons made pacts with other races only when it suited them.
The Klingon Empire had much more advanced technology than humans did, but how did they get it? Read on for the full answer.
A Brief History Lesson on the Klingon Empire
To tell the entire history of the Klingon Empire would take up more space than needed, so only the highlights will be discussed here.
According to Klingon legend, the gods created Kortar and his mate and placed them in a “Garden of Eden” type of place. Once they were created, they rose up and destroyed the gods.
Molor ruled the Empire in the 9th century CE as a tyrant, even by Klingon standards. Though Molor was a tyrant and was unpopular with the people, people threw live sacrifices into the chambers of the planet’s volcanoes in his honor.
A commoner, Kahless, gathered forces to fight with him against Molor and overthrew the tyrannical government with his love, Lady Lukara. After they won, Kahless killed Molor with a sword, which became a famous artifact within the Klingon Empire. After ruling the Empire and showing Klingons a better way to live, Kahless left Kronos, never to be seen again.
Kahless’s legacy lived on, even though Molor’s followers kept his philosophies and practices alive. Molor’s legacy lived on until the 23rd century when T’Kuvma tried uniting the houses against the Federation.
Between Kahless and the time when Klingons were members of Starfleet, the Klingons fought hard to become the most powerful force in the galaxy. They had wars with Earth in the 22nd century while placing their alliance with the Romulans, then wars against the Romulans when the Klingons began working with the Federation.
Through it all, their quest for technology and sophisticated weaponry drove them to become powerful.
Klingons Are a Conquering Race
The Klingons don’t take prisoners, but they do take technology. Whenever they conquer a civilization or planet with more advanced technology, they take what they want and integrate it into their systems. When other species attempted to take Kronos, the Klingons would fight back and destroy those who would take control of their world. Once their enemies were destroyed, they would adapt the new technology for their own.
They have also been known to kill enemies while taking their ships and the new technology that came with them. While the Federation prohibited its members from taking technology from other, more advanced races, the Klingons saw no problem doing this very thing.
For example, the Klingons went to Organia to conquer the people to get their technology. Captain Kirk and the Enterprise arrived at the planet right before the Klingons to warn the Organians. Due to the hostilities between the Federation and the Klingons, the Organians disabled both parties’ weapons and ships.
The Klingons went to this planet to take more technology and to establish the world for their Empire. However, the Organians were no match for either side, and they both went away without any advantage.
However, many races came under the Empire’s rule that had unique technology, which the Klingons added to their technology. Klingon space encompasses the following planets:
- Khitomer, where the treaty between the Federation and the Klingon Empire was signed.
- Krios Prime, invaded in the mid-24th-century by the Klingons, even after being a member of the Federation.
- Praxis, the moon that the Klingons used as a key energy production facility for Kronos.
- Rura Penthe, the Klingon penal colony’s site that Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy spent some time on.
- Ogat, a planet used for the Klingon training academy that trains young Klingons to be warriors.
- Sherman’s planet, which was shared between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, until the two factions signed the Organian Peace Treaty.
There are many more planets in the Klingon star system, many of which they conquered and stole the races’ technology.
Klingons Traveled in Space Since the 14th Century
Ever since Kahless’s time, Klingons were a space-faring species, which is supported by what Kahless told his followers before he left Kronos. Before he left, he pointed to a star and said, “Look for me there on that point of light.” While he likely died, the legend says that he left in a ship for that star.
There are conflicting reports that record when they first achieved warp drive. Some reports say they achieved warp drive as early as 930 CE. Other reports say that they didn’t get it until after 1947, shortly before the Vulcans.
At any rate, they had space exploration abilities fairly early in their cultural development. Whether that is what gave them so much technology, or they spent more time in conquering other worlds and stealing others’ technology is not clear. What is clear is that they were opportunists who grabbed every opportunity to make themselves and their world the best they could be. That is a warrior’s mindset.
The Klingons Made Pacts That Benefited Them
When the Klingons were at war with Starfleet and later the Federation, they were allies with the Romulans. Due to this alliance, they shared technology and gained an advantage in the Earth-Romulan war. Later, the Romulans assisted the Klingons in their war against the Federation. The similarities between the Romulan and Klingon bird-of-prey ships are evidence of this alliance.
When Praxis exploded, leaving them facing a bleak future on their own, Chancellor Gorkon pushed for an alliance with the Federation to keep the Klingon people from dying due to a lack of resources. As any Trek fan knows, this is the worst fate a Klingon would face, as it brings dishonor to them and their households.
But as their relationship with the Federation grew, they realized that being a member of the Federation brought advantages that they wouldn’t have any other way.
For example, 51 years after the Khitomer Accords, the Enterprise-C responded to a distress signal from one of the Klingon outposts. The Romulans attacked the outpost as a means of disrupting the peace that was invading the galaxy. When the Romulans destroyed the Enterprise-C, the Klingons realized that they could trust the Federation and form alliances with them.
Many of the Klingon pacts made with other cultures were because they wanted the technology that those cultures had. While they could have taken it by force, many of the cultures they made pacts with were more powerful in many ways than the Klingons. It was purely a tactical move on their part.
The Klingons developed space-faring ships much more quickly than Humans or even Vulcans if the legends are to be believed. Since they are a warrior race, everything they did was to advance their Empire and culture in the pursuit of glory. Every conquest, war, and pact was a way to bring honor and glory to the Empire and acquire more technology that would bring more power.
Even when they joined the Federation, they continued their quest to obtain as much technology as possible. The Klingons got technology any way they could, despite the rules and regulations.
- Memory Alpha: Klingon History
- Memory Alpha: Augment Crisis
- Memory Alpha: Klingon Empire
- Memory Alpha: Klingon Planets
- Memory Alpha: Ogat
- Memory Alpha: Praxis
- Memory Alpha: Krios Prime
- Memory Alpha: Sherman’s Planet
- Star Trek: Klingons
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