Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 Brings Back A Fan-Favorite Klingon Character – Here's What You Need To Remember

This post contains minor spoilers for episode two of "Star Trek: Lower Decks" season 3, and major spoilers for "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."

"Star Trek: Lower Decks" is an irreverent animated take on "Star Trek" created by a bunch of nerds who love the franchise and really know their stuff. They know what kinds of Easter eggs and cameos are going to get fans excited, and boy howdy does the latest cameo get me more excited than Ensign Boimler (Jack Quaid) on bridge duty. The series has featured a couple of cameos from major "Star Trek: The Next Generation" alumni like Commander Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), but now they're finally giving the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" fanatics their own perfect cartoon cameo.

General Martok, the Klingon warrior played by J.G. Hertzler, makes his "Lower Decks" debut in season 3, episode 2, "The Least Dangerous Game," and Hertzler even returned to voice the character. This charismatic cyclops was a major player on "Deep Space Nine" and is a serious fan favorite, but fans of other "Trek" shows might not recognize him. So who is General Martok, and why is his inclusion more exciting than an all-expenses paid trip to Risa? Grab a bat'leth and read on, brave warrior!

From General to Chancellor

Though Klingons were a major antagonistic force in "Star Trek: The Original Series," Klingon characters and their unique culture weren't really expanded on until "Star Trek: The Next Generation." On that series, Michael Dorn's Worf, the first Klingon member of Starfleet, helped bridge the massive cultural gaps between humans and Klingons. There are a few decent Klingon episodes on "Next Generation," but "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" really explored the Klingon Empire's influence on the rest of the quadrant and introduced fans to Martok, who met Worf while captured by the Jem'hadar and befriended his fellow warrior. Later episodes show his unusual (by human standards) romance with his wife Sirella (Shannon Cochran) and a moment of relatable weakness when he's asked to command an attack on the Jem'hadar after his imprisonment. Martok is the most fleshed-out Klingon in the entire franchise save for Worf, and he's one honorable dude.

Perhaps his most endearing moment on the series is when he sees Trill science officer Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) for the first time and calls her by the name of Dax's former host, Curzon. "Curzon, my old friend!" he shouts as he grabs her in a hug, and she gently corrects him that her name is Jadzia now. "Jadzia, my old friend!" he laughs, immediately accepting her and honoring her. 

Martok eventually becomes the Chancellor of the Klingon empire when Worf kills the previous chancellor, Gowron (Robert O'Reilly). As Chancellor, Martok helps Captain Sisko and the Federation win the Dominion War, meaning he's definitely headed to the Klingon Valhalla, Sto'vo'kor. 


On "Lower Decks," our intrepid lower deckers spend some downtime playing a board game called "Bat'leths and Bihnuchs," inspired by the real-life "Star Trek: The Next Generation" VHS game from the 1990s. The game itself is part "Dungeons & Dragons," part "Settlers of Catan," and Martok narrates the adventure. Well, a Ferengi-created facsimile of Martok does, anyway. The real Chancellor would be too busy to record so many different dialogue options, and he wouldn't want to anyway, so some clever Ferengi made a knock-off Martok that's as good as the real thing. With Hertzler doing the artificial Martok's voice, it's more then close enough for me. 

The trailer for season 3 hinted that the Cerritos is going to dock with Deep Space Nine, which means there's potential to see the actual Martok somewhere on the Promenade if he's back for a visit. That means there's more "Deep Space Nine"-related goodness on the way, which is like Klingon acid punk to my ears. Now can we please get a version of this game in real life? 

New episodes of "Star Trek: Lower Decks" premiere Thursdays on Paramount+.