``Rightful Heir''
Stardate: 46852.2
Rating: ** 1/2

Edited Length: 45:02
U.S. Airdate: May 30, 1993
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [10.6/3]

Guest Stars
Alan Oppenheimer: [Koroth]
Robert O'Reilly: [Gowron]
Norman Snow: [Torin]
Charles Esten: [Divok]

Kevin Conway: "Kahless"

Co-Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Line Producer: Merri D. Howard
Producer: Peter Lauritson
Supervising Producer: David Livingston
Co-Executive Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Teleplay By: Ronald D. Moore
Story By: James E. Brooks
Directed By: Winrich Kolbe

[end credit]
Executive Producer: Rick Berman

[closing credits]
Co-Producer: Wendy Neuss
Story Editor: Brannon Braga
Story Editor: René Echevarria

Majel Barrett: Computer Voice


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Extended Synopsis (by Tim Lynch) ------------------------------------

Worf, feeling bereft of his faith after his recent encounter with a group of young Klingons, becomes derelict of duty by performing a Klingon religious rite in his quarters, trying to summon a vision of the legendary Kahless. Picard, after harshly reprimanding him for the inappropriateness of his actions, offers his sympathies for what Worf is feeling, and places Worf on leave. This allows Worf to go to Borath, home of the Klingon High Clerics, who are awaiting Kahless's prophesied return.

After only ten days on Borath, though, Worf becomes restless and considers leaving, deciding to stay only after a lecture on open-mindedness from Koroth, head of the clerics. In a rite soon after, though, Worf not only sees a vision of Kahless, but feels Kahless's reality, as the legendary figure claims to have returned.

Initially, everyone is somewhat skeptical, but Kahless tells a tale of his bat'lekh's forging that has only been passed down orally through the centuries from cleric to cleric, thus convincing all but Worf of his reality. Kahless says that he has returned because the Klingon people have "lost their way", becoming decadent and corrupt. Kahless acknowledges and welcomes Worf's skepticism at first, saying at least that Worf's desire to believe is "a beginning". After a few days, however, Kahless begins to tire of it, and eventually Worf openly questions whether Kahless is trustworthy. They fight for a short time, but Kahless abruptly breaks off and laughs, exhorting those around him to rejoice in battle for *honor*, not for bloodshed. "We are Klingon!", he leads them all to shout...

Before long, the Enterprise comes to collect Kahless for transport to the Klingon homeworld. Initially, only Worf refuses to dismiss the possibility of it actually being Kahless, but Picard points out that Kahless is to be an honored guest while on board. Gowron's arrival, however, puts that hope into question, as Gowron is convinced Kahless is an impostor and wants the idea of his return stopped immediately before the Klingons fall into a religious war. Kahless accepts Gowron's demand for a genetic comparison of him to the bloodstains on a knife said to hold the blood of Kahless. The scan is carried out, and shows the two identical. This leaves Gowron incredulous, and Worf fervent - "Kahless has returned!"

As Worf and Kahless drink together, Kahless begins to talk of his plans for the Empire and invites Worf to join him in creating them. Gowron, however, insists that it is all a plot by Koroth to seize power, and that this "return" will lead to war between those who believe and those who do not. Gowron urges Worf to renounce Kahless, reminding Worf of old alliances and urging him to help keep the Empire together a second time. Gowron meets Kahless for the first time shortly thereafter, and challenges him to battle. Amazingly, Gowron wins that battle, and laughs his contempt at "the greatest warrior of them all".

The clerics want to ignore this setback, but Worf becomes indignant, saying that he's now convinced Kahless is not real, and threatens to kill the clerics unless they tell him what's really going on. They admit, reluctantly, that Kahless is a clone of the original Kahless, with some experiences and memories from the sacred texts implanted in him. Kahless is taken aback, and Worf is equally horrified. Koroth urges Worf not to make this information public, saying that real or not, the Klingons need Kahless now.

Worf, however, stalks out, and goes to Kahless's holodeck "altar", where he sees two of Gowron's men waiting fervently for Kahless to return. After a talk with Data about faith, Worf realizes that the "technicality" of this Kahless's origins may not be enough to shake the faith of some. He informs Gowron of Kahless's origins, but notes that enough will believe the signs to cause a civil war anyway if Gowron stands against Kahless. Worf proposes Kahless as a figurehead Emperor, thus letting him serve as a moral leader while keeping the secular power in the hands of the Council. He says that the people will be told the truth, and that Kahless will be considered the rightful heir to the original Kahless. Gowron is skeptical, but when Worf threatens to denounce Gowron and withdraw his brother's support on the Council, Gowron agrees and bends his knee. Shortly thereafter, Kahless leaves, but not before reminding Worf that the true Kahless's return may not matter - "what is important is that we follow his teachings."

Highlight Listing:
"Rightful Heir" - Worf finds his faith sorely tested when it appears that the greatest Klingon warrior of all time has returned from the dead to reclaim the empire.
Advertising Headline:
THE RULER RETURNS! When a Kilingon legend comes back from the dead, will Worf dare to stand between him and control of the empire?
TV log listing:
Worf challenges a Klingon who has returned from the dead on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.
Operation SNAFU
It is stated that there has not been a Klingon Emperor for over 300 years. However, in "Sins of the Father", Worf's nanny states that Worf's father was loyal to the Emperor.

[ Mr. Video Productions ]

Andrew Tong

Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: November 09, 2010