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"Soldiers of the Empire" Worf

Deep Space Nine
by Artemis

One thing Diamond Select/Art Asylum's Star Trek line isn't short of is Worfs. There's Nemesis Worf (also suitable for late-Deep Space Nine), Mirror Universe Regent Worf, Next Generation Worf (also his first appearance in DS9), regular DS9 Worf, and alternate-timeline Governor Worf (the only one I don't have, since it wasn't a DS9 episode). So - unless DS/AA plans to go the Batman route in future and give us Arctic Samurai Worf and other such made-up variants - let's finish off the set with Klingon officer Worf.

"I am Worf, son of Mogh. I now take my place as first officer. I serve the captain, but I stand for the crew."

"Soldiers of the Empire," by Ron Moore - he of Battlestar Galactica fame - was known around the Paramount offices as Star Trek: Klingon. No, not the CD-ROM game. Give us, the higher-ups told Moore, a story that's all Klingon, as if Star Trek was a Klingon show and this was a regular episode of it. His first idea was a kind of Klingon-afterlife-based Heart of Darkness riff, with a Bird of Prey crew searching for a lost colony, entering a vast field of mist, finding a mysterious boatman who ferried them across a river to where the dead were waiting... Moore likes his mystical stuff, doesn't he?

After they'd rationed his caffeine and calmed him down, the episode became a straight-forward war story about a Klingon crew who'd suffered too many defeats, and Worf's struggle to re-ignite their Klingon spirit (i.e. bloodlust), while at the same time dealing with an over-cautious Martok, whose time in a Dominion prison camp had atrophied his leadership skills. And Dax came along because she thinks Klingons are fun, and really there's only so many rubber foreheads you can put in an episode before the viewers' eyes start to glaze over. And in the end they all blew the hell out of the enemy while singing viking sea shanties, which is basically the Klingon idea of a happy ending.

Anyway, you can't command Klingons dressed in a colourful jumpsuit, so Worf naturally donned native attire for the duration, the good old Klingon Defence Force warrior gear dating all the way back to the ill-fated crew of the IKS Amar in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It's functionally the same body as we've seen on the various other Klingon figures, just with a different torso piece, giving him the plainer chest and collar seen on lower-ranking officers, rather than the more elaborate V-neck and chainmail arrangement captains and generals seem to prefer. The arms come from Regent Worf, giving him plain sleeves without the ribbed bicep sections Martok and Gowron have, and since he's not wearing his sash (the House of Mogh being on the out yet again in Klingon society at the time) if you turn him around you get a good view of the elaborate spine armour at the back.

The head is the same one as on Nemesis and TNG Worf (and the later DS9 Worf), with his hair pulled back into a ponytail; only the Regent version has varied from this, with the hair in the more traditional Klingon straggly mane. It's a solid Michael Dorn likeness, and the fine details of his makeup are reproduced faithfully; nothing more to say, really.

Articulation is identical to previous Klingon figures - balljoint neck and shoulders, swivel biceps, pin elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, peg hips, slanted swivel thighs, pin knees, pin ankles. He comes with the usual TNG-series transporter podium base to stand on - this one with a Klingon symbol on its faceplate, rather than Starfleet, but otherwise unchanged - and has two pairs of hands to choose from, closed fists and open accessory grips.

Said accessories consist of the usual small arsenal, although since this is technically a TNG figure and there's the big base to account for, not quite so many as DS9 is inclined to bury its figures under. He's got a Klingon disruptor pistol and the shoulder strap holster for it, which is packaged rolled up in the tray rather than already on the figure, so the strap doesn't automatically straighten out, but if you have his arm at his side holding the holster itself down, the strap will behave itself and eventually smooth out. He's also got a Klingon PADD (taller and narrower than Starfleet versions, with buttons rather than a touchscreen), a d'k tahg dagger, and a bat'leth blade, which we've seen before, but it's not like you'd want a Klingon not to have them.

There's nothing surprising about this figure, really - if you know DS/AA's Star Trek line, you'll know you're getting a high quality sculpt, good paintwork, fairly useful articulation, and a nice handful of accessories, and that's what "Soldiers" Worf provides. If you're a DS9 fan this is a valuable (though not mandatory) version of Worf; if you're a Klingon fan this is the one you'll want above all others.

-- 04/18/09

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