Gene Roddenberry Originally Had No Interest In One Of Star Trek’s Most Famous Characters

Even so, the writers initially didn’t know quite what to do with Worf. Producer Rick Berman noted that Dorn originally wasn’t guaranteed a spot on the main cast in season 1.

Take the pilot, “Encounter At Farpoint,” when the Enterprise-D separates the saucer section from the rest of the ship. Worf assumes command of the bifurcated saucer and thus doesn’t encounter Q (John de Lancie) with the rest of the crew. This makes him feel like more of an ancillary character, not part of the core cast. During that initial season, Worf was overshadowed by Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby). When she dies abruptly in “Skin of Evil,” Worf takes her place as Security Chief among the crew.

The writers also hadn’t worked out the specifics of the Federation/Klingon relationship even into season 2. A Klingon ship brandishes the Federation insignia in “Heart of Glory” while in “Samaritan Share,” it’s outright said that the Klingons have “joined the Federation.” Worf’s very presence on the Enterprise suggested as such, even if he was a bit of an outsider.

It’s only established later that Worf is a unique case. He’s a war orphan who was raised on Earth in an adoptive human family and, thus, the only Klingon in Starfleet. The Empire is a mere ally of the Federation, not a member. This was the right call; the Klingons may not be enemies of the Federation anymore, but they’re still foils. Worf allowed them to explore those lingering differences, as well as how his idealized Klingon culture falls short of the reality. After all, Worf is of two worlds; he’s just as much a fish out of the water on the Klingon homeworld Qo’noS as he is on the Enterprise.

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