Viral Video Leads To ‘Klingon Empire’ Website October 25, 2009by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Fan Productions,Great Links,Marketing/Promotion , trackback
The Klingons were created in the 60s to be the Star Trek stand-ins for the Cold War ‘Red Menace’. This week an impressive new video was uploaded to YouTube titled ‘Klingon Propaganda’, which runs with the notion by creating a motivational cartoon from the Klingon perspective in the style of 20th century Communist Propaganda. And it is so well-made, it raises the question as to whether or not it is ‘Fan Made’ or something more.
One Friday the following video was uploaded to YouTube under the name "Klingon Propaganda".
That is pretty impressive, not just for the production value, but for quality of Trek-ness, right down to Kor licking the Klingon knife. But, what is this for? The video description is:
A transmission recently received from an extraterrestrial source. Prepare for battle.
Video leads to website
The final frame of video shows Klingon letters in what appears to be a website address.
Web address in Klingon
Translating the Klingon letters into English gives you the web address www.tlhingan.org, which turns out to be a real website with a distinctively Klingon interface.
The tlhingan.org website
The left side menu of the site has four sections, the first being ‘movie’ which shows the same thing that is on YouTube. The second section is called ‘Mission’, which is told by "Tanas T’var" who is a "fellow Terran" explaining how the Klingons are coming and how that is a good thing because we will all become part of the Empire, which is better than the current state of being "a deeply flawed Species" that wastes resources, etc. The third section includes desktop downloads from some of the images from the video and the final section allows you to sign up (via email) to join the Klingon Empire.
Join the empire?
What is this all about?
Checking the ‘WHOIS‘ record for the website doesn’t illuminate anything as it lists the owner as "Tanas T’var" from "tlhIngan yejquv." It is unclear when the site went live, but it was registered on May 1, 2009 (the same day that the ‘tanastvar’ YouTube account was created). However when you right click on the website you can see that the Flash Animation was made by "Bad Monkey Studios" which is an animation studio in San Francisco run by a Mark Farinas, who is certainly a Trekkie since he has a profile on Memory Alpha, and he even has a review of the Star Trek 2009 movie on his blog.
It is not clear if this video and site are something that Farinas has done on his own, or is for a client. The client list of Bad Monkey is mostly made up of left-leaning political groups like Greenpeace, PETA and the ACLU. It is possible this is somehow related to a campaign for a group called Breakthrough regarding immigration. In 2008 Bad Monkey made a Star Trek parody animation for Breakthrough titled "Don’t Deport Me Scotty" (watch that below).
So for now "Klingon Propaganda" is cool animation that may be part of some campaign, or just a fun project for a creative Trekkie. TrekMovie will keep an eye out for more.
Thanks to Ulrich for the YouTube find