In TOS: Errand of Mercy the Klingons occupy a planet apparently at around the stage Europe was at in the 1000s or so. (While their appearance was an illusion or at least a disguise, perhaps the buildings were actual remains of their pre-incorporeal civilization -- I forget if the village was also simulated.)

My question is, why go through this masquerade or even make themselves evident to Klingons and Humans? Was it to learn about the species? To teach a lesson?

  • I don't regard Enterprise as anything worth thinking about. But the plot of Observer effect is the only televised additional context for you to speculate about their motives... memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Observer_Effect_(episode) Nov 16, 2023 at 3:56
  • @lucasbachmann did two crew members keep playing the same game of chess, just one move over and over? if so, that sure was silly.
    – releseabe
    Nov 16, 2023 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


It would seem the whole thing was a ruse by the Organians to lure the Federation and Klingons to the same planet, present themselves as a neutral simple people, and encourage both sides to sit down and hash out a diplomatic solution to the war. The ruse was their attempt at trying to minimize their interference in the affairs of others (which they claim to dislike) in the hopes the Federation and Klingons could come to a solution themselves. A sort of their own attempt at a Prime Directive, if you will. The buildings and possibly even the planet were part of the ruse. When it became clear that it wasn't going work, the Organians dropped the ruse and used their godlike powers to force an to end the war.

Quoting the relevant lines from a transcript of the episode:

AYELBORNE: It is no trick, Commander. We have simply put an end to your war. All your military forces, wherever they are, are now completely paralysed.

CLAYMARE: We find interference in other people's affairs most disgusting, but you gentlemen have given us no choice.


AYELBORNE: Millions of years ago, Captain, we were humanoid like yourselves, but we have developed beyond the need of physical bodies. That of us which you see is mere appearance for your sake.

KOR: Captain, it's a trick. We can handle them. I have an army. (Kirk holds him back as Ayelborne and Claymare transform into pulsating lights, too bright to look at. Then they disappear.)

SPOCK: Fascinating. Pure energy. Pure thought. Totally incorporeal. Not life as we know it at all.

KIRK: But what about this planet? The fields, the buildings, this citadel?

SPOCK: Conventionalisations, I should say. Useless to the Organians. Created so that visitors such as ourselves, could have conventional points of reference.

KOR: But is all of this possible?

SPOCK: We have seen it with our own eyes. I should say the Organians are as far above us on the evolutionary scale as we are above the amoeba.

Source: http://chakoteya.net/StarTrek/27.htm

  • 2
    It occurs to me the only thing worse than disguising oneself as human so klingons can oppress you for awhile is to stay invisible. Because then klingons think they have an empty planet to fill up with even more klingons. Nov 16, 2023 at 23:37
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    I disagree with your paragraph about it being a ruse. Everything in the episode indicates this is the Organian homeworld*. Kirk comments that it just happens to be located at a strategic location. It would appear the Organians cosplay as humanoids just enough to keep visitors from thinking the planet is empty but primitive enough to ignore. But due to the impending war the Organians are stuck with two factions that are failing to leave. Eventually they get sufficiently annoyed, use their powers and end all of the bickering. There's no indication of strategy or luring. *using TOS only. Nov 16, 2023 at 23:59
  • @lucasbachmann: I wanted to cosplay as a human but I did not think I could do a good job.
    – releseabe
    Nov 17, 2023 at 5:10
  • I wonder what the Organians would think of the Edo god (and vice versa). Nov 20, 2023 at 15:41

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