In memorium – Christopher Plummer’s Chang2 minute read

A retrospective look at the Klingon that Christopher Plummer brought to life in three adaptations

Today marks a sad moment in hollywood history – the passing of acting legend Christopher Plummer. With 217 acting credits to his name his career was broad, ranging from 1953 – 2021. The loss has already been felt across the Twitter community and his manager of forty-six year and long-time friend, Lou Pitt, remembered him as “an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession.

Among his film credits was of course his portrayal of Chang in the 1991 movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The film was directed by Nicholas Meyer who actually wrote the role of Change for Plummer, even though he was reluctant to accept it at first. Plummer made the role his own, even asking the makeup department for a specific set of ridges as oppossed to the traditional Klingon look of the day. He also decided that there was to be no wig, meaning until they could arrange an appliance at the back of Plummers head film and shots could only be from the front for the first few days.

The shakespearean elements were to be added to the film but Meyer was initially unsure about them. However, when Plummer was cast he became much more enthusiastic about them stating “but once you get Plummer, suddenly it’s working.” Plummer’s portrayal of Chang was well-received; with Janet Maslin of The New York Times stating that “whenever a skilled actor […] manages to emerge from behind all this [makeup] with his personality intact, it’s a notable accomplishment.”

Plummer also reprised his roles as the character Chang in Star Trek: Starfleet Academy in 1997 as well as Star Trek: Klingon Academy in 2000. The games both resembled Wing Commander more than Star Trek but are still highly rated amongst the Star Trek communities. Few games get top-rated talent voicing the characters therein, so to have Plummer within the casting was mesmerising.

“With top talent like Christopher Plummer and David Warner reprising their roles from The Undiscovered Country and a story that could have easily been made into feature film, Interplay’s Star Trek: Klingon Academy is as much an entertainment experience as it is a computer game”

Gamespy on Star Trek: Klingon Academy

The closure of any passing is difficult, especially for those close to the individual. The thoughts of all of us at Fing’rs & Thu’ums goes out to his family, friends and loved ones in this sad time. For the rest of us – put The Undiscovered Country in your Blu Ray player or, if you have more time, restart Starfleet Academy or Klingon Academy and relive his amazing portrayal of a Klingon that will always go down in legend.


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