Why are Klingon weapons so ridiculous?

You would think the Klingons, being a warrior culture, would have come up with some eminently practical pre-firearms weapons. Yet, look at the most distinctively Klingon weapon of all, the bat’leth or betleH: http://www.klingonimperialweaponsguild.org/ A crescent-shaped blade, sharpened on the inner curve, wielded with two handles on the outer curve, with four points. It looks nasty, but it’s got no reach. Unwieldy, too. A 17th-Century human swashbuckler with a rapier or a katana could take down a bat’leth-armed Klingon in half a minute.

Then there’s the daqtagh, a dagger with two forward-slanting spring-loaded prongs on either side of the hilt that, presumably, pop out when a button is pressed. Looks way cool, don’t it? But, what is the purpose of those prongs? What do they do that a broad static hilt-guard couldn’t do? If my enemy has a daqtagh, gimme a plain ol’ Bowie knife!

Memo to all movie and TV SF writers: Don’t try to invent new weapons. Unless they’re black-box-technology weapons, like phasers. Otherwise, if humanity’s bloody history to date, and all our ingenuity in devising ways to kill each other, has never yet produced a given basic design of weapon, then that design is probably not a practical one for humanoids of any species.

Well, IIRC, the Bat’leth is based on an Indian weapon of sorts…don’t ask for a cite, I just remember it from somewhere…

I believe, the Klingon, being taller and stronger, can easily handle the “unwieldy” batleth. Also, there is an art form to it. You don’t pick one up and start swinging. I imagine young Klingon children take classes, akin to youth karate classes here on Earth. :wink:

I found their weapons appropriate. Klingons revere honor and blood-spilling, and I would assume it’s a matter of great warrior pride to get up close enough to an enemy and look in his eyes while you’re gutting him.

BTW, click the “Klingon Imperial Weapons Guild” link in the OP, click the “Kri’stak Collection” button at the top of the welcome page, and you’ll see a page of pix of various Klingon weapons – some are recognizable variants of weapons you’ll find in human museums, but others seem to have been designed under the influence of LSD-laced bloodwine. Like, what use is a meqleH? Or a qutluch?

Or an 11th century human with a long bow. Or…the list could go on. Watching the history channel I’m amazed (and depressed) by the ingenuity of our weapons.

But. Berhaps the bat’leth is more just the hold over from their past. Not their most effecient weapon, just the one that was associated with “noble” combat.

Just like we still sword fight but we don’t shoot arrows (at each other that is).

In the Discworld novel Thud!, Terry Pratchett describes the trend of elaborate, overloaded, excessively-edged, intimidating-looking (dwarf) weaponry as “clang”.

Any chance we can start a meme to get that applied to Klingons?

I’ve always told myself that the TNG and later Klingons are so ridiculous because a social conservative movement gained power on the Klingon homeworld after they “lost” the war with the Federation, prompting them to revive what might otherwise have been considered archaic or medieval ideas or customs. Of course, their best source for such ideas and customs would have been dramas or songs or the like rather than actual histories, and so when put into practice the old-time ideas seem silly or self-deprecating to outsiders. (One might similarly imagine Americans acting like John Wayne in the wake of a nuclear war.) There’s absolutely no canonical support for this idea as far as I know - it’s just what helps me sleep at night.

Good point – but I recall a TNG episode, “Reunion,” where Worf, armed with a bat’leth, duels Duras, armed with some kind of longsword, and Worf wins. I don’ buy it.

Go to your local cutlery store, or the sword table at any flea market, and you will see an astounding collection of “spikey pointy weapony things” some of which make the bat’leth look downright practical.

Oddly enough if you do a websearch, there are people who will actually teach you to use a bat'leth.

I know. And I doubt a single one of them would be worth remembering for later use, if fate should send me on a “Connecticut Yankee” trip to the past.

I seem to recall that there was a real-world weapon like that in the 17th-18th century. The idea was, you could catch a rapier between the prongs, twist your wrist, and either disarm your opponent or snap the blade of his sword. What good that would be against a bat’leh, I can’t say.

The bat’leh itself seems to exsist primarily to make lightsabers seem practical by comparison.

How about if the Air Force invents it?

They’re even calling it a PHaSR!
So far it just interferes with vision, but give it time…

You might have to spell it “klang” :stuck_out_tongue:

Over-elaborate dwarf weaponry? What is that, like a bear claw with sprinkles?


I always thought that Klingon weaponry was over ornate to distract you from their strange noggins.

Assuming the prongs work in the same manner as similar human daggers: the idea is put it in your foe up to the hilt, trigger the prongs, then twist.

Goddammit, I wanted to make this joke!

Klang makes more sense to me than what we’ve seen of traditional Vulcan weaponry. The lirpa and the ahn’woon? Please.

Klingon weapons are ridiculous because most things about Klingons are ridiculous; in fact most things about aliens in the ST universe are ridiculous, because they aren’t alien at all, just gross exaggerations of a subset of human traits.

Why? Twisting the blade itself should do enough damage to make the prongs negligible – in fact, the prongs would only interfere with the twisting. And what’s the point of having the prongs folded up and spring-loaded, instead of stationary and always-there?