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For the 24th century Starfleet officer, please see Worf.
"Objection! Captain Kirk has not been identified as the assassin!"
– Worf defending James T. Kirk, 2293 (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Colonel Worf was a prominent Klingon attorney and diplomatic figure during the late 23rd century.


In 2293, Worf represented Captain James T. Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy when they were put on trial on the planet Qo'noS, on the charge of murdering Chancellor Gorkon. While Worf was powerless to prevent the pair being convicted in what was essentially a show trial, he nonetheless managed to convince a trio of judges who were presiding over the case that the evidence was not strong enough to support the death penalty. He noted that Gorkon's assassins could have merely been wearing Starfleet uniforms rather than being members of Starfleet themselves. Due to this line of deliberation, combined with the closeness of an impending peace summit, the sentence was commuted to a life term on Rura Penthe.

Worf was later a member of a Klingon delegation that accompanied Chancellor Azetbur to Camp Khitomer, where the peace conference was to be held. Shortly after the event began, he unmasked a disguised Klingon sniper and discovered that this assassin was, in fact, Colonel West. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Memorable quotes

"Objection! My client's political views are not on trial."
"On the contrary, Captain Kirk's views and motives are indeed at the very heart of the matter! This officer's record shows him to be an insubordinate, unprincipled, career-minded opportunist with a history of violating the chain of command whenever it suited him!"

- Worf and Chang

"And if it should be proved that members of your crew did in fact carry out such an assassination?..."
"Jim! They're setting us up! Your honors...!"
"Do not answer!"

- Chang, Leonard McCoy, and Worf

"It is the determination of this court that the prisoners are guilty as charged.'"
"I wish to note, for the record, that the evidence against my client is entirely circumstantial. I beg the court to consider this when pronouncing its sentence."
"So noted. Captain James T. Kirk, Doctor Leonard McCoy. In the interests of fostering amity for the forthcoming peace talks, the sentence of death is commuted.... It is the judgment of this court that without possibility of reprieve or parole, you be taken from this place to the dilithium mines on the penal asteroid of Rura Penthe, there to spend the rest of your natural lives."

- Klingon Judge and Worf


Background information

Colonel Worf publicity still

Colonel Worf was played by Michael Dorn, who also played the 24th century Starfleet officer Worf. Although it was never confirmed on screen, publicity materials for Star Trek VI indicated that Colonel Worf was intended to be the grandfather of his Next Generation namesake, and the father of Mogh. (Star Trek Encyclopedia (2nd ed., p. 563)) Michael Dorn has confirmed that this was the filmmakers' intention. [1] Co-writer Denny Martin Flinn recalled, "The genesis was really Nick [Meyer] saying, 'How about if we get Michael Dorn to play the part of Worf? and everybody said 'Nick, The Next Generation is 75 years later!' and Nick said, 'Okay, we'll make it his grandfather' and that was it." Initially, however, the part wasn't created with any specific actor planned to take it on. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 143)

In the fifth draft script for Star Trek VI, Colonel Worf was characterized as a "young, eager Klingon defense attorney." The same script draft also described the character as initially sitting, though he is consistently seen to be standing in the film. The wording of his objections during the trial was also slightly different from how they are phrased in the movie. At one point between the questioning and the delivery of the sentence, he even grimly explained to the accused Kirk and McCoy that, according to Klingon law, "both sides present their cases at the same time," going on to comment that the defendants had had their turn, though none of this dialogue is in the film. The script almost completely referred to the character as simply "defense attorney," with the name Colonel Worf used only in two instances of dialogue as well as in a single scene description (the latter upon establishing his presence at Camp Khitomer). [2]

Michael Dorn remembered the offhand way he learned about his involvement in the project; "Nick Meyer was on set with Herman Zimmerman, the former production designer from our show and the movie. He just happened to walk by. We were introduced, and he said, 'I wrote a part for you on the show.' The story lent itself to Worf being there. They wanted to have a thread between the old and the new." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 22, No. 5, p. 52) Denny Martin Flinn clarified, "Nick had not created the part of Worf for a particular actor, but we got Michael Dorn and they explained to him he couldn't play himself." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 143) Dorn further recalled, "Before we began shooting, I talked to the director and I asked, 'What do you want this guy to be? Do you want him to be like Worf or do you want him to be different?' And he said, 'No, we wanted him to be totally different. This is Worf's grandfather, so we want some flashes of Worf, but we don't want to see Worf 'cause you know we don't want it to be too close.'" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 104, p. 63)

Michael Dorn receiving his Colonel Worf appliances...

...and on the Khitomer set of Star Trek VI

One element that Michael Dorn was not fond of was the prosthetics required for the role. He stated, "For the first time in my life, I was in makeup for almost 24 hours. That's a long time." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 104, p. 63) He was, however, thrilled about the opportunity to play a role that essentially linked Star Trek: The Original Series with Star Trek: The Next Generation, describing the experience as "a lot of fun" and "an honor." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 143) He remarked, "It was wonderful." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 9, p. 19) However, he also said, "You don't think about it till it happens and then you realize how important it is." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 143) Early in his stint playing Colonel Worf, Michael Dorn enjoyed working with both Christopher Plummer and Rosana DeSoto. Having been a longtime fan of the original Star Trek series, he was also excited about meeting the cast of that show. He reminisced, "There was one day where they were shooting this huge scene and everybody was there, and I'm sitting in this little alcove in my chair, and right across from me are all of the characters – Shatner, Nimoy, everybody. On the outside I was really cool, but inside I'm thinking, 'Oh, my God, they're all there, and they are looking at me!' [....] That was one of the most special moments ever in this whole thing." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 9, p. 19)

On the differences between the two characters, Dorn noted, "I felt Worf was more at peace with himself in Star Trek VI than Worf on the television show, because he's a Klingon, all Klingon. He is a Klingon and he's from Klingon [sic], he's never been taken away from his family. He's spent all his time with Klingons and was more in touch with himself. He was more even-keeled and not quite as racked with inner turmoil." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 143)

Worf's unmasking of Colonel West was included only in the film's VHS and Special Edition DVD releases and was excluded from the movie's theatrical cut. In the theatrical version of the movie, Worf's presence at Camp Khitomer is virtually unnoticeable, save for a very brief glimpse.

The writing staff of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine considered having Colonel Worf be mentioned by his grandson Worf. In the first draft script of DS9: "Sons and Daughters" (dated 1 July 1997), the younger Worf told his son, Alexander Rozhenko, "One hundred years ago, in the Battle of Minas, my grandfather, your great-grandfather, beheaded his own brother for cowardice. He did his duty as a warrior." However, this line of dialogue was excised from the "Sons and Daughters" script as the first draft continued to be revised.

In October 1997, Ronald D. Moore addressed the possibility of having Colonel Worf's grandson mention his grandfather. Moore commented, "We've thought about it, but haven't found a place to throw it in. It could still happen." (AOL chat, 1997)


The novelization of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country establishes that Azetbur noted that Worf had performed the distasteful task of defending Kirk and McCoy, in their murder trial, with honor.

The view that Colonel Worf is the grandfather of The Next Generation character of the same name is supported by novels such as The Art of the Impossible, which portrays a promoted General Worf as the father of Mogh. The book also establishes that the elder Worf was not a warrior of any type, saying that, as a defense attorney, his battlefield was the courtroom. Worf did, however, make sure that his son, Mogh, was a warrior. Worf, unlike many other Klingons during his time, did not hold a very high opinion of "The Great Curzon". The novel also states that Lorgh, the man who raised Kurn as his own son after the assault on Khitomer, was an old friend of Worf's, who also kept an eye on the younger Worf living in the Federation, to ensure that both the sons of Mogh would live to adulthood so that his friend's family line would continue. General Worf represented the Klingon Empire in Federation-mediated negotiations with the Cardassian Union in 2328 during the first stages of the Betreka Nebula Incident and was killed in 2333 on board the Klingon passenger vessel Chut when it was destroyed in a collision with the Cardassian freighter Gratok over Raknal V. He was one of 98 Klingon casualties. The incident led to a significant deterioration in Klingon-Cardassian relations.

In the novel The Forgotten War, the younger Worf mentions to one of the reptilian aliens called the Tarn that he "had a grandsire" who was involved in a protracted battle against the Tarn, at a location called Garamora.

In the game Star Trek: Klingon Academy, it was revealed that Colonel Worf had a younger brother named Thok Mak (β), who was an instructor at the Elite Command Academy (β). As with both Worf and Colonel Worf, Thok Mak was played by Michael Dorn.

In the second volume of the DC Comics Star Trek series, Colonel Worf appeared in an alternate timeline during the five-part "Time Crime" arc. In this reality, created by a Romulan plot, the Klingons had developed a peaceful society akin to the Federation, with whom they were staunch allies. Worf was a lieutenant aboard the USS Enterprise, under Kirk's command. Once the prime timeline was restored, Colonel Worf remained aware of his alternate self, due to the influence of the Guardian of Forever, which revealed that, in this reality, he was a defense attorney specializing in hard luck cases.

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