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.
It was uploaded by an account (tanastvar) with no other videos. It just so happens that ‘Tanas‘ was an off-screen Klingon character referred to in the DS9 episode "Sons and Daughters."
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
My first thought is Star Trek Online.
Wow, this is crazy stuff.
Yeah, if they’re starting Beta soon it would be a good time to start viral marketing of STO. Looks cool, though, what ever it is.
It’s totally Star Trek Online viral marketing.
That animation is spectacular. The production value is high. The artwork is awesome, the color palette, the animation and the shot selection. It’s probably professional.
anybody else thinkin bout the sequel…come on, in 2006 the big poster for this year’s movie was the teaser poster showing the dated uniforms which let us know the film was a prequel and the era it would be in…….could this be a sign who the next villains are?
Not to be picky, but the crashed Enterprise is way too small. :-P
Still and all, it identifies the Klingons as a cross between the Soviets and the Japanese Empire. Something about the very first sequence, and the last, is reminiscent of Tokyo Rose and some kind of antiquated Orientalism.
Gotta say, love the Pakled.
Death to the Empire!!
I’m also waiting for the Federation version of this video. You know — how the Federation is the last, best hope for peace, justice, and freedom, etc., etc., ad nauseum. Complete with the Amer– I mean, the Federation flag waving in the background as Supe– I mean, a typical Federation explorer stands proudly gazing upward in that classic heroic stance.
Whoever thinks this is not fan made is off their rocker. And if it’s not fan made… I hate even more what star trek has become.
And besides, it has TOS Federation era ships. Not the Abrams fed ships.
Is it at all possible that we just found out who the villians will be in the next film?
Would be cool if this was viral marketing for the next trek film, cool beans!
I can totally see the Klingons in the next movie. With the right budget/script and direction, the Klingons can finally be the next bad boys of cinema.
If this was for STO, I am def gonna try it now.
Anybody else notice Kor? How about the fact that the Kligons looked like a cross between The Original Series and the later look for Klingons? Are we getting a look at The New Universe version of Klingons?
Holy crap – THIS IS AWESOME!!!
This has to be fan made….hope it is something cool!
Didn’t see your post before I commented (#12) but I was thinking the same exact thing. That 2006 poster that came out of nowhere announced to the world that there was a new ST film and that it would be a prequel.
It seems unlikely, but you never know.
Wow, that was fantastic. :) I’m also thinking STO, by the way.
Bad Monkey is a marketing firm in the Bay area.
Cryptic Studios is in the Bay area.
Cryptic is about to start it’s Klingon marketing focus.
My guess this is either the start of that campaign, or the video is the start of a Klingon fleet recruitment drive for the game if it is a fan created thing.
Just where in God’s name did they find a freaking children’s choir that can sing in Klingon?!?!?!?!? Aaaaaaaah – it’s so greaaaaat! XD
As for the Constitution Class starship there that could be a representation of an Original Series ship or if this is part of something for The New Universe it’s apperance could be explaned as simply the artistic choice of the Klingon Ministry of Propaganda.
No body has mentioned that it could be for a new animated series. I mean, neither the movie or the game are cartoony. I think an animated series would be wild.
22. Gary Sebben
Good observation Gary it could indeed. And the era depected in this piece could only be good news for fans of The Original Series!
Very creative, A+
The video did it’s job and garnered interest and getting us folks talking about it and speculating what it is all about, btw, JJ is notorious for these kinds of viral videos, cough cough Cloverfield.
yeah, deff star trek online.
Looks like a grass-roots campaign for a left-of-center organization with a fairly wide-ranging agenda. It refers to the Earth’s very 21st Century problems.
The work is fantastic, however. I’d like to see more!
First thought here was also Star Trek Online.
After reading the “mission” and details in the article I’m also thinking it could be a fan’s indepent environmental / anti-violence agenda.
Either way, very interesting and exciting!
Someone should check over on the kli.org forums to see if any of the expert Klingonists were involved.
I find it strange they’ve got both types of Klingon fonts in use. That’s totally weird to see Mandel characters mixed with the Ad Astra (oft called Okuda/TNG) set…
As a former Klingonist… I must say that propaganda cartoon is the most superb thing I’ve seen. I’ve lost my fluency, so checking the tlhIngan Hol for accuracy would take work, but I really really think there’s a strong hint of Dr. Okrand at work!
Is that a Pakled next to the Andorian prisoner? Great video! Has anyone bothered yet to run the song through their universal translator?
29, yes indeed, a Pakled.
I don’t see how this could be for STO. The era clothing and weaponry for the Klingons is all wrong. Not to mention the era of the Federation ships it looks like the Klingons are destroying. It all points to TOS era, so I really have no idea what this is for. Can’t wait to see where this goes!
HA!! Did anybody else notice that in the “Don’t Deport Me Scotty” parody, Sulu said that the melacortz ramistat was malfunctioning?
The redundant melacortz ramistat was part of the B.S. that Riker made up to confuse the Ferengi pirates that took over the Enterprise D. Just kinda neat to see them throw that in there. Now THAT is technobabble!
Some viral sites for the DVD coming out in a few weeks?
After some reflection and multiple viewings…
this almost 2 minutes of Klingon Propaganda… almost left me feeling as satisfied as the almost 2 hours of Star Trek ’09.
Whomever is truly responsible for this piece… *completely* understand the potential of Star Trek doing a Klingon story right.
Oh if only….
It’s almost like someone read John Ford’s Klingon books, and thought about everything for once.
Can we have this kind of “deeper” please on the screen?
Viral for ST Online? Not likely, because that game won’t take place within the TOS era.
Viral for JJ’s sequel? Even less likely because Bob & Co. haven’t decided on the direction their story is going to take. But it won’t be unreconstructed TOS era, in any event.
So just enjoy it and don’t worry too much about where it came from and what it’s purpose is!
Since people are giving their second thoughts, my second thought on this video is that the size of the Enterprise is actually probably correct. I think that I was thrown off by the size of the flag the Klingons were waving, which, upon pullback, might be disproportionate.
My first thought was also of Star Trek Online.
But after reading the mission statement, I get a feeling this is for some kind of left-wing outfit à la Greenpeace.
But it’s an interesting notion. The way we are destroying our planet and killing each other, would we be better off under Klingon management?
Wow, could someone please translate the whole thing?
Ah, and btw:
‘ej HumtaH ‘ej DechtaH ‘Iw
‘ej Doq SoDtaH ghoSpa’ Sqral bIQtIq
Now everybody sing along!
It can’t be viral for STO…as has already been mentioned, everything about this video screams “Original Series.” STO is post-“Nemesis.”
I like Gary Sebben’s suggestion…what about a new Animated Series? I’ve heard rumblings that Paramount is interested in getting Trek back on the silver screen in a weekly format…maybe this is some sort of precursor to that?
Remember that company which put out TOS desktop themes a few months ago? Maybe they’re working on a Klingon version.
I wrote a comment (as LMUli) and translated the pIqaD…
I watched the video and my first reaction was : WTF!!!?
The song used in the video is a Turkish children song about birds… I used to listen to it in Turkish national TV maybe 20 years ago… How the makers of this video found this song and used it in is a mystery to me… :)
Anyway, here is a video of the song, sang by a group of children…
By the way, this is not the only Turkish reference in the movie…
– At 0:47, when three Klingon are eating around a table, the one who speaks says “Merhaba efendim”, which means “Hello sir” in Turkish… Also, the table setting is very similar to a traditional Turkish table setting…
– At 0:50, while a Klingon troop is marching, the voiceover mentions “Yeniceri”, which is the turkish word for “Janissary”, an elite Ottoman warrior…
Well, there seems to be at least one Turkish guy behind this production, I must say… So, “merhaba efendim!” :)
I am unable to see the link in my previous post… I’m trying to post it once more :
Klingons as the next villain??
How can everyone be so narrow-minded?!! That’s so obvious it’s not even funny! How about something original? Klingons could be a minor villaing in an opening battlee or something, but I’d really like to see a vulcan!
It would be perfect! with their planet destroyed and everything there would be some cool way to do that!
I’ve never posted before, probably never will again – but I had to say that this is one of the coolest Star Trek Universe things i’ve ever seen.
Short animated internet vignettes like this could be a cool way to expand the universe and really flesh out the great species that we know and love (or hate!). Imagine the minutiae we could learn about the Trill, Andorians, etc.
Here’s what the pIqaD says:
tlhIngan ra’ghomquv jabbI’ID (Klingon High Command data transfer)
ghatlh Qapla’ (dominate success)
betleH rach lulbalt (bat’leth ? ?)
Who knows what “rach” and “lulbalt” mean?
Loved the first Video and hated the second. The Klingon Video was great. Having Kor looked as he did in the Tos and some other klingons look as they did in Enterprise and in the Tng era was great. maybe a Sign that the Augmentation was reversing as seen from Enterprise. I hope they do more videos as i love what they did. It would be kool to see a Propaganda of the Terran Empire as well. Long Lve The Terran Empire.
This is so Weird and Sooo Wonderfull … GORGEOUS!!!!
The propaganda vid is just ingenious. So ingenious, in fact, that I HIGHLY doubt that it’s anything to do with Star Trek XII. The writers aren’t *that* smart.
If it’s for STO, I’m so tempted to go and buy it.
tlh’Ingan j’IH! Hahahaha!!!