Christopher Lloyd's Kruge proved quite the formidable foe for James T. Kirk in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, as the Klingon captain's actions led to the destruction of the U.S.S. Enterprise and the demise of Kirk's son David Marcus. Kruge appeared to fit a villainous role, but what if his intentions were sorely misunderstood? Yes, the Klingon sought to deploy the Genesis Device as a weapon, but we've all made mistakes. In fact, many of us are more like Kruge than we would care to admit...
1. Do you consider yourself to be a hopeless romantic?
Couples often drift apart when work infringes upon their relationship, but Kruge devised a way around this conundrum. The Klingon maintained his bond with Valkris by involving her in his personal mission to pursue ultimate power. Kruge's paramour ascertained vital data pertaining to Genesis, and the two planned a romantic rendezvous in an isolated sector to transmit the intelligence to Kruge's starship. Espionage and conquest in deep space... the recipe for a perfect Klingon date.
Unfortunately, the entire situation ultimately resulted in the pair's deaths and a failure to acquire the Genesis Device. The less than ideal outcome might sour many people, particularly humans, on the merits of this Klingon courtship. However, perhaps the tale of Kruge and Valkris was perceived honorably through the lens of their culture. After all, we know that Klingons cherished Shakespeare's similarly tragic Romeo and Juliet, as General Chang quoted the notorious phrase "parting is such sweet sorrow" in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
2. Are you a tough boss?
As the captain of his Bird-of-Prey, Kruge needed to ensure loyalty and obedience from his crew. The Klingon's strict rule included a lack of tolerance for errors and incompetence. After arriving at the Genesis Planet, Kruge ordered his gunner to disable the Federation vessel U.S.S. Grissom so that prisoners could be captured and interrogated. Whether fueled by ineptitude or an overzealous desire for bloodshed, the subordinate's shot annihilated the science vessel instead of incapacitating its systems... an unlucky break for an officer under Kruge's command.
Rather than listening to any excuses, Kruge quickly drew his disruptor and vaporized the guilty tactician. The captain even uttered a verbal warning to Torg, a crewmember who simply wanted to point out that sensors indicated potential prisoners still roamed the planet's surface. Kruge's iron fist struck fear into his crew's hearts and kept them on their toes. Do you find yourself frequently chastising your employees for taking long coffee breaks or threatening disintegration to those who turn in assignments late?
3. Do you hate worms?
The microbes amassed on the torpedo tube that acted as Spock's coffin endured quite the transition after landing on the Genesis Planet. The Genesis Device's effect resurrected Spock's body and caused swift leaps in aging for the "young" Vulcan, while the life forms on the metallic casing rapidly evolved from simple organisms to massive, worm-like creatures that swarmed around the casket by the time a Klingon landing party arrived at the site.
Kruge took umbrage when a worm sought to offer a welcoming embrace, turning the animal's warm gesture into a struggle for survival. The Klingon prevailed, digging his fingers into his opponent and causing a dark bodily fluid to seep out until the being yielded to its mortality. While not appealing to the eye, the slithering beast deserved a better fate than death resulting from Kruge's violent disdain for the species.
4. Have you ever considered yourself to be a peacekeeper?
Kirk and the Enterprise arrived at the Genesis Planet to face Kruge and his Bird-of-Prey, leading to a standoff between the vessels. Kruge played a crucial hand when he told the Starfleet captain about three prisoners being held by the Klingons on the surface. Always a friend of diplomatic solutions, Kruge explained that the captives would be executed as "enemies of galactic peace" for developing the Genesis Device as a "doomsday weapon."
The Klingon's own objective to attain the technology for nefarious purposes aside, Kruge clearly felt a moral imperative to defend the quadrant's tranquility at all costs... well, at least when it served to further his personal aspirations. Kruge even went so far as to order his men to kill one of the detainees, presumably for what he perceived to be crimes against the galaxy. Kirk's adversary surely saw himself as the hero in this situation.
5. Are you a volcano enthusiast?
Most people who find themselves trapped on a planet being torn apart by volcanic activity display fear, but Kruge thrived during the experience and described the process as "exhilarating." Willing to perish before giving up on Genesis, Kruge refused to beam Kirk and himself away from the dying world. Kirk vehemently disagreed with the Klingon's decision, and a fight ensued between the two.
As the scrap wore down, Kruge found himself hanging from a ledge above a lava flow. Even though Kirk offered to save his opponent, Kruge refused to surrender and attempted to pull the Starfleet officer off of the edge. Forced to kick the Klingon's hand from his leg, Kirk watched as Kruge fell to a fiery death. Some may claim that Kruge simply refused to give in to defeat... but what if the volcano enthusiast just wanted to see the lava up close?
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Jay Stobie is a freelance science fiction writer who contributes articles to the official Star Trek website and Star Trek Magazine. He can be found on Twitter at @CaptStobie and Instagram @JayStobie.