[tlhIngan Hol] hard truths about the future

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Tue Dec 21 01:32:16 PST 2021

On Mon, 20 Dec 2021 at 15:28, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> The ability of Klingon to survive a transition to a new keeper for
> people like us will not depend on someone being able to replicate the
> work of a genius. It will depend, rather, on how believably the
> fictional reality of Klingon can be maintained in its new context. If
> Okrand just says, "Maltz has decided to move to Joe's basement, so Joe
> gets to report new Klingon words now" or some such statement, I would
> find that ham-handed at best. If authority is granted to a committee to
> invent new Klingon words, that would be even worse, since I can imagine
> no good way in which a committee of human beings could be connected with
> reporting actual Klingon from the fictional universe. I would actually
> find it more satisfying to learn that our window into the secondary
> world has closed, leaving our canon of Klingon frozen at the current
> state, because that would be most believable. But it would be
> disappointing.

I think the likeliest scenario is that Paramount/CBS (or whoever the rights
owner is at the time) will hire someone to continue to supply Klingon for
the movies and shows. (Indeed, people other than Okrand are already doing
this, though they are not producing anything "beyond canon" at the moment.)
If they hire the same person over and over (which is not a given), and that
person were to be interested in expanding Klingon (which is also not a
given), then that person will effectively become the new authority on
Klingon. After all, the reason that we treat Okrand's work as being
authoritative is partly because it's "official", and not just because he
invented it. (If he had invented the Klingon language on his own as a hobby
with no connection to Star Trek, I doubt any of us would be speaking it.
He'd also worked on other languages like Atlantean, which have basically no
community around them. The reason Klingon is popular is because of its
connection to Star Trek.)

It may be that some of the "old guard" who have been around since forever
won't accept another authority, but if Paramount/CBS continues to produce
Klingon-language media (not a given), and some new person was working on
it, then anyone who is new to Klingon (and thus don't especially have an
attachment to Okrand's work) would just accept that person's work as

While Maltz-is-living-in-Okrand's-basement is a cute joke, we don't really
*need* the fiction of Maltz. If a new Star Trek movie or show came out with
new Klingon words, and the person who worked on it told us what they meant,
what does it matter whether or not they said that the information came
through Maltz? Okrand himself hasn't consistently used the Maltz backstory
when revealing new information.

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