|“||taH pagh, taH be? (To be or not be)?||„|
|~ Chang quoting Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 1|
General Chang is the main antagonist of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He was a Klingon officer and chief of staff to Gorkon, Chancellor of the Klingon High Council, and was the founder & leader of the Khitomer Conspiracy. Prior to that he was the head instructor at the Klingon Elite Command Academy.
He was portrayed by the late Christopher Plummer, who also played The Grand Duke of Owls in Rock-A-Doodle, Charles Muntz in Disney/Pixar's Up, Ralph Nickleby in Nicholas Nickleby, King Herod in The Star, 1 in 9, Arthur Case in Inside Man, and Mr. Caruthers in The Clown at Midnight.
Star Trek: Klingon Academy
In 2291, Chang organized a defense against an attempted coup against Chancellor Lorak, the legitimate ruler of the Klingon Empire. Chang ended the coup by slaying its leader, Kalnor in a duel under the rites of Blood Peace, but lost his left eye in the process. Shortly thereafter, Chang began that year's term at the Elite Command Academy, weeding out the initial dozens of applicants to find a select few worthy of commanding the Empire's finest warships. During the course of the year he discovered that Kalnor's brother Melkor was putting together his own coup attempt.
Early in 2292, shortly after the academy graduated its latest batch of students, Lorak died and Gorkon was elected as the new Chancellor, but Melkor declared himself the new Klingon Emperor, a long-defunct title. This resulted in a three-way civil war between Gorkon, Melkor, and Chang, who did not feel that Melkor was a legitimate ruler, but was also not willing to accept Gorkon as Chancellor due to the latter's wish to seek peace with the Federation.
After several months of conflict, Chang fell into a trap by Melkor and almost died; Gorkon rescued Chang, who was honor-bound to end his opposition to Gorkon and swear loyalty to him. Chang was successfully able to co-ordinate his and Gorkon's combined forces and defeat Melkor, but before his defeat Melkor unleashed a supernova weapon which destroyed the system housing the Empire's key manufacturing and energy production facilities, a crippling blow to the Empire as a whole, and one that in part forced their eventual peace talks with the Federation.
Afterwards, Chang left his position at the Elite Command Academy and was appointed Gorkon's new Chief-of-Staff.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
One year after the civil war, Chang was involved in the conspiracy to sabotage peace talks between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets. Chang was extremely fond of Shakespeare, and would often quote lines from his various plays. In an attempt to frame Captain James T. Kirk for the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon, Chang commanded an experimental Klingon Bird-of-Prey which had the unique ability to fire its weapons while under cloak. Chang's ship fired on Kronos One while it was under escort by the USS Enterprise, making it appear as if the latter ship had fired upon the Klingons, violating the terms of the truce.
This attack facilitated the boarding of Kronos One by co-conspirators from the Enterprise, who assassinated Gorkon. When Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy boarded Kronos One to provide assistance and prevent a full-scale conflict from developing, Chang ordered them arrested and charged with Gorkon's assassination under the rules of Interstellar Law. He also served as the prosecutor for the state at Kirk and McCoy's trial, where he was successful in obtaining a conviction by forcing Kirk to admit that, as captain, he was responsible for the conduct of the crew under his command.However, Chang was surprised that, due to the impending peace talks, the judge did not order the customary death sentence, but instead sent the pair to Rura Penthe. In an attempt to ensure Kirk and McCoy's death, Chang had the commandant arrange for the Starfleet officers to be killed while attempting to escape, therefore eliminating any suspicion as to the motive for the killings. Kirk and McCoy were ultimately rescued, however, by the Enterprise crew.With time running out before the Khitomer Conference, Chang ordered his Bird-of-Prey to intercept and attack the Enterprise in orbit of Khitomer. His ship initially had the advantage in being able to fire while cloaked, causing considerable damage to the Enterprise and also scoring a hit on USS Excelsior, under the command of Hikaru Sulu, which had arrived to divert fire away from the crippled Enterprise.
However, this advantage was eventually negated when Enterprise crew member Captain Spock developed a means whereby a photon torpedo could be modified to hone in on the plasma exhaust of Chang's ship. Chang and the other bridge officers are killed by the initial explosion of the modified torpedo, which allows Enterprise and Excelsior to launch more torpedoes that destroy the Bird-of-Prey.
- The game Star Trek: Klingon Academy indicates that Chang lost his eye in a blood duel against the usurper Kalnor who attempted to gain control of the Klingon Empire. It also stated that Chang had been a general at least since the 2260s, and commanded the fleet at the Battle of Organia before the Organians imposed their peace treaty.
- Christopher Plummer asked that he be allowed to wear less "severe" Klingon make-up for the role.
- Chang was originally to have had hair, but as his make-up was being applied for the first time, Plummer liked the bald look, and had the make-up technician omit the hair.
- Chang's eyepatch has three bolts that go into the skull. They all have the Klingon insignia engraved on them.