28

Tango's answer to "TNG crew in weird shopped rainbow hats" question mentioned that there was some sort of identifiable change to the color AND texture of Worf's sash.

The random images below seem to support this theory.

Question: Was there an in-universe explanation for the change?

TNG 120 - Heart of Glory

enter image description here

Season 2 Ep. 18 - Up The Long Ladder

enter image description here

  • I've been wondering the same thing for quite some time now! – Teknophilia Jun 18 '11 at 3:16
  • This "bicycle chains" story is repeated all over the place, but an important detail keeps getting left out: the ACTUAL sash/baldric used onscreen starting in season 2 of TNG wasn't made from bicycle chains. You can find lots of nice close-up views of it online and there isn't any part of it that looks like a part of a bicycle chain. Perhaps Ms. Wood made a prototype out of bicycle chains but it either didn't look right or wouldn't have worked well for some reason so it was remade in similar style but out of other hardware. – user60533 Feb 5 '16 at 2:49
  • @A.Nonamus - Yes, the Season 2 featurette confirms that the bike chains were only used for a prototype. The actual sash was custom-made. – Valorum Apr 17 '16 at 16:41
34

Answer: Yes, it changed at the start of season two of TNG, and no, there was no in-universe explanation.

The original sash (or baldric, or Ha'quj) was a prop from the original series, according to Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (page 20):

The sash he would originally wear on the new series was the original Trek Klingon prop, explained as an heirloom.

Worf's original sash, as seen in TOS

The character of Worf was a late addition to TNG, so it's likely that the costume department had to come up with something distinctive fairly quickly and fairly cheaply. As far as I know, the "heirloom" explanation doesn't ever get mentioned on-screen.

Between the end of the first season and the start of the second season, Worf (and Geordi) switched to operations division, and Worf became official permanent security chief. As far as I know, it was never mentioned on-screen, but the new Ha'quj was probably used by Worf to mark this promotion.

Out-of-universe, the costume designer wanted to change some elements for the second season (and by this time Worf was a well-established character, who was definitely continuing on through the second season). The painted-gold burlap original was replaced with one made of bicycle chains (as explained in a Season 2 DVD special feature).

Also somewhat out-of-universe, because Worf changed divisions, the colour of his uniform changed, and a gold Ha'quj on a gold shirt would not have worked well, so some change had to be made. (In much the same way, Data wore the 'wrong' colour uniform because a grey shirt on a grey android wouldn't look good).

Apparently, the Writers' Guide for the second season suggested that the new version was also a weapon, but, like the heirloom idea, this was never used on-screen.

After the change at the start of TNG season two, the Ha'quj didn't change again, other than the family symbols changing when (in DS9) he joined the House of Martok.

  • Who is that wearing the sash in TOS screen cap? Surely not Mogh? And if not Mogh, how else could the heirloom explanation make any kind of sense? – Dacio Apr 15 '14 at 15:47
  • 3
    I know the discussions about Data at various times acting as a command (should be wearing red) or science (should be wearing blue) officer, but why should he be wearing a grey shirt? – O. R. Mapper Aug 5 '14 at 7:27
  • @Dacio - that's Kor, so it would obviously have to be a different sash, just the same style. – Omegacron Aug 25 '15 at 18:55
  • What's this about Data wearing the wrong color? – ThePopMachine Feb 10 '16 at 6:12
  • I'm just watching the Season 2 special featurette "Costumes" interview with Durinda Rice Wood. The sash wasn't made from bicycle chains, it was prototyped using bicycle chains, then custom-made by the costume dept. She confirms that the bike chain version they only made "a couple of inches of..." – Valorum Apr 17 '16 at 16:40
9

This might be what your looking for: Costume designer Durinda Rice Wood wanted to redesign some things on the second season of ST, including the baldric (the sash) of Worf. She came up with a new one, made out of bicycle chains she bought in a hardware store. Michael Dorn liked the new one and started using that one.

Reference: Baldric

  • 1
    O.M.G. Someone would WANT to wear a bunch of bicycle chains??? Ouch. Excellent answer, Thanks! – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jun 18 '11 at 7:10
  • 1
    The question, however, is specifically asking for an in-universe explanation. – neilfein Jun 19 '11 at 5:09
  • I'm just watching the Season 2 special featurette "Costumes" interview with Durinda Rice Wood. The sash wasn't made from bicycle chains, it was prototyped using bicycle chains, then custom-made by the costume dept. She confirms that the bike chain version they only made "a couple of inches of..." – Valorum Apr 17 '16 at 16:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.