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The Sword of Kahless (episode)

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"The Sword of Kahless"
DS9, Episode 4x09
Production number: 40510-481
First aired: 20 November 1995
79th of 173 produced in DS9
79th of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 173 released in DS9 Remastered  
390th of 728 released in all
Korworf
Teleplay By
Hans Beimler

Story By
Richard Danus

Directed By
LeVar Burton
Unknown (2372)
Arc: Worf vs. Duras (6 of 6)  
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Template:Disambiguate

Klingon Dahar Master Kor, Jadzia Dax, and Worf search for the fabled Sword of Kahless on a remote planet in the Gamma Quadrant.

Summary

Dahar master Kor is seated in Quark's, regaling a crowd with the story of the glorious battle between Kor, Kang, and Koloth, and the forces of T'nag. Almost the entire bar is gathered around the old Klingon, except Worf, who huddles uncomfortably at the bar. When Kor finishes, Jadzia Dax notices Worf and invites him to meet her old friend. Worf declines, reminding her that he is considered an outcast by most Klingons, but she insists. Introduced by Jadzia anyway, Kor calls Worf a traitor and a pariah, followed by a long uncomfortable pause – after which he smiles, extends his hand, assures a visibly upset Worf that anyone so disliked at the highest levels of the Klingon Empire is a friend of his.

Worf prepares to accompany Jadzia Dax and Kor, a legendary Klingon warrior, on a mission to recover the Sword of Kahless, the mythical, millennia-old weapon of the Klingon Empire's first leader – an artifact missing for centuries. A Vulcan geological survey team discovered evidence of the sword's presence without realizing its significance and gifted the Shroud of the Sword to Kor when he was ambassador to Vulcan. When the drunken Kor finally retires to his quarters after first speaking with Worf, he is attacked by a Lethean, who reads his mind, then erases the incident from Kor's mind.

The next day, Dax finds Kor passed out following the attack and assumes he is merely hung over. She explains that she has verified the authenticity of the Shroud, particularly since it shows evidence of Hur'q DNA. Captain Sisko – hoping to restore Federation/Klingon relations – allows them the use of a runabout for travel to the Gamma Quadrant world where the sword is believed to be located. Upon arrival in a subterranean vault, the three get into a deserted, protected chamber, but find that all the artifacts hidden there have been removed. But Worf, unwilling to give up, discovers another hidden chamber, where they finally find the Sword of Kahless.

When they exit the chamber, they are confronted by several Klingons led by Toral, son of Duras, who hired the Lethean to attack Kor and learn about their plans to recover the Sword. Though outnumbered, Kor, Worf, and Dax brawl their way past Toral's group and escape into the caves. Toral's ship was jamming their communications with the runabout, though, so Dax advises that they try to exit the caves so they can break through the jamming when they reach the surface.

As they trek through the caves, Kor grows increasingly bombastic about plans for the Sword and the Empire when they return. He expresses that it would require a true warrior to unite the Klingon people, not someone like Gowron or even the reborn Emperor Kahless. Later, Worf decides that it is his destiny, not Kor's, to possess the Sword and lead his people. The long journey takes the three of them to an abyss, where Kor slips and loses his footing, but still holds the Sword. Worf saves Kor by grabbing the other end. Straining, he tries to convince Kor to let go and land on a dangerously small ledge, but Kor refuses. Dax helps pull up Kor and holds on to the sword herself as the other two squabble over it. She holds it even as she sleeps.

Dax is awakened by the sound of Worf and Kor, ready to fight to the death. They are interrupted when Toral's party catches up to the trio and begins another battle, which Toral looses again. Then, Worf and Kor turn on each other, and Worf is on the verge of killing Kor when Dax stuns each of them with her phaser. She forces Toral to deactivate the jamming signal, then transports the three of them back to the runabout. Later, on board, Worf and Kor realize that the Sword turned the two of them against each other, and will probably divide the Klingon people as well. They make the decision to beam the sword into space, leaving it to destiny to decide when it should be revealed to the Klingon people.

Memorable Quotes

"You know what I like about Klingon stories, Commander? Nothing. Lots of people die, and nobody makes any profit."

- Quark, to Worf


"Which of us had slain him? No one could say for certain, so we cut out his heart and all three of us feasted on it together!"
"Big heart."

- Kor and Jadzia Dax, poking holes in his story about his, Kang, and Koloth's battle against T'nag


"Kor! I have someone I'd like you to meet."
"Oh?"
"I'd like you to meet our strategic operations officer, Commander Worf."
"Ah, Worf the traitor, the pariah, the lowest of the low. (big pause then a grin) It's a pleasure to meet you. Any enemy of Gowron and the High Council is a friend of mine."
"This is a great honor."
"No doubt."
"Worf is a great admirer of yours."
"Yes. Please. (they sit) I have heard stories about you since I was a child. Your confrontation with Kirk on Organia, your attack on Romulus, your defense of the Korama Pass..."
"Everything I have done pales in comparison to what I am about to achieve. I am on a quest. A quest for the most revered icon in Klingon history..."

- Jadzia Dax, Kor and Worf


"Damn that Ferengi and his replicated bloodwine!"

- Kor


"A true warrior has no need to exaggerate his feats."
"You'd better hope that I exaggerate, or else when they start singing songs about this quest and come to your verse, it will be "and Worf came along.""

- Worf and Kor


"The sword will unite us if it's held in the hands of a true Klingon, not a politician like Gowron, or some toothless figurehead like the Emperor. The sword must rest in the hands of someone who has been hardened by battle, pure of heart, who understands loyalty and honor. A warrior like Kang and Koloth."
"Someone like you?"
"The Empire could do far worse."

- Kor and Worf


"Did you see the look on the face of that Klingon that I killed? It was as if he understood the honor bestowed upon him. The first man in a thousand years to be killed by the Sword of Kahless."
"I'm sure he was very proud."

- Kor and Dax

Background Information

Story and script

Production

  • The final design of the Sword of Kahless was done by Dan Curry, based upon an illustration by John Eaves. Originally, Eaves was assigned to design the sword himself, but after making some preliminary drawings, he went to Curry, who was the original designer of the bat'leth, and allowed him to finish the project. (Deep Space Nine Sketchbook: John Eaves, DS9 Season 4 DVD, Special Features)

Reception

  • This episode was somewhat unpopular with viewers, something which disappointed writer Hans Beimler and producer René Echevarria. What particularly disappointed them was the fact that many viewers were unable to accept the notion that the bat'leth itself had no actual power. According to Echevarria, "A lot of fan reaction was that there must be a tech explanation, that the sword must be emitting something. I was astonished." Beimler explains Echevarria's astonishment when he says, "the sword itself doesn't have any magic. It's the concept of the sword that has the power. We wanted to explore the notion that there were some dark streaks to be revealed within these characters. The minute anyone starts talking about the sword it starts infecting them, so Worf gets caught up from the very beginning." Both men were disappointed that many fans missed this point, instead assuming that the Sword of Kahless had some mysterious power that simply wasn't revealed in the episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

Trivia

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Guest Stars

Co-Star

Uncredited Co-Star

References

Alvanian cave sloth; Ambassador; Bajoran wormhole; bakrinium; bat'leth; bloodwine; Cardassia; cave-rat; caves of No'Mat; cleric; Dahar master; Degebian mountain goat; Earth; Emperor's Crown; Federation; Fek'lhri; Ferengi; First Empire; Gamma Quadrant; Gowron; Great Domes of Qo'noS; Hall of Heroes; heart; House of Duras; Hur'q; jamming signal; Kang; Kirk, James T.; Kahless (clone); Kahless the Unforgettable; kilometer; Klingons; Klingon-Cardassian War; Klingon Empire; Klingon High Council; Koloth; Korma Pass; legion; Letheans; Lukara; meter; Milky Way Galaxy; mining; Mogh; Molor; "Old Man"; Organia; Pakleds; poison; Qo'noS; Quark's; Right of Vengeance; Rio Grande, USS; Romulus; Rozhenko, Helena; Rozhenko, Sergey; runabout; Sabak; Sabak's armor; serpent of Xol; Shroud of the Sword; Sword of Kahless; T'nag; Torch of G'boj; Torna IV; tricorder; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); Yridian brandy

External links


Previous episode:
"Little Green Men"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 4
Next episode:
"Our Man Bashir"
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