The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: The Sword of Kahless

When Klingon Master Kor returns to the station, he lets Dax and Worf in on a secret – he believes he has found the location of the legendary Klingon artefact, the Sword of Kahless. The trio head to the Gamma Quadrant to chase up this lead, but will the legendary bat’leth of the first emperor really be just the thing to unite the Klingon Empire?

This is DS9’s first proper Klingon romp since Worf came aboard, and it’s a good one. Having lost Kang and Koloth in Blood Oath, Kor is eager for one more grand adventure, and this time it’s Dax and Worf who accompany him. Kor is one of Worf’s heroes, but as is so often the case, the reality doesn’t quite live up to the legend – yes, he may be a respected warrior, but he’s also an old man who drinks too much and embellishes all his tales. Dax, meanwhile, provides the balance to the group – much as she loves Klingons and Klingon lore, she doesn’t have the same unquestioning reverence towards it that Worf does, enabling her to be the voice of reason when the others start quarrelling over the sword. You have to admire a woman who isn’t afraid to stun two Klingon warriors with her phaser if that’s what it takes to sort them out.

Klingon callbacks

  • A thousand years ago, the Klingon homeworld was invaded and plundered by a race of aliens known as the Hur’q. Whether via the wormhole or otherwise (perhaps they had transwarp capabilities). The Hur’q also had access to the Gamma Quadrant. Perhaps it was the invasion that led to the Klingon warrior culture and distrust of outsiders.
  • Worf believes the sword should be given to the Emperor Kahless, i.e. the clone of the original Kahless seen in Rightful Heir. Kor believes this would be useless, as the clone is just a figurehead.
  • Worf tells Dax about the time a vision of Kahless appeared to him and told him he would do something no other Klingon has ever done. This recollection was last referenced in Rightful Heir, when the Kahless clone somehow knew about it.
  • According to the legends we heard in TNG, the Sword of Kahless was forged when Kahless plunged a lock of his hair into molten lava. This is clearly typical Klingon embellishment, as the sword we see here is a conventional metallic weapon.
  • Given the vastness of space, it’s unlikely that the sword can ever be found again. Of course, now that it’s been through the transporter at least once, it is arguably no longer even the original sword, and has lost its value.
  • Worf tells Kor he has read about his encounter with Kirk on Organia, as we saw all the way back in Errand of Mercy.
  • Toral, the supposed son of Duras, was last seen in Redemption, when Worf spared his life.
  • Both Dax and later Toral’s party were able to get through the forcefield relatively easily, so why weren’t the super-smart and logical Vulcans able to manage it? Maybe they just didn’t think it was logical to expend so much effort on it.

Summary – The Sword of Kahless: In which Worf and Kor argue over a priceless artefact. This is why Klingons can’t have nice things.

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