|“||Perfect! Then that is the way it shall be!||„|
|~ Kruge's most famous quote after Kirk reminded him that fighting in a volcano would likely be the end of both of them.|
Kruge was a Klingon officer and the main antagonist of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and a postumous antagonist in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
He was portrayed by Christopher Lloyd, who also played Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
A protegee of Kamarag, Kruge served for many years in the Klingon Defense Force. His career began in the 2240s under Commander Kor on the IKS Kut'luch. In 2245 Kruge questioned the decision of Kor to withdraw from battle against the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). Kruge backed down but Kor believed some day that Kruge would challenge him for command.
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
By the 2280s Kruge was Captain of a Klingon Bird of Prey, with a dozen officers and crew under his command. He had a female friend named Valkris, who was a Klingon spy. Kruge also had a Targ hound that he brought with him, and ordered hapless crew members to feed his Targ. In 2285 Kruge obtained data on Project Genesis from Valkris. After learning that she had seen the data, he had her killed by destroying her ship in order to prevent any news about the mission from getting out or having possible witnesses later on.
Viewing the data with his most trusted officers, Kruge decided to travel to the planet that had been created after Khan Noonien Singh detonated the Genesis torpedo in the Mutara Nebula. Upon arrival he found the Federation science ship USS Grissom in orbit over Genesis. He ordered his crew to disable the ship, however the gunner's shot destroyed Grissom. Enraged, Kruge vaporized the gunner with his disruptor, then called the guy an animal.
When Torg spoke up Kruge was quick to point his disruptor at the other man, threatening to fire if Torg said the wrong thing. Torg pointed out that there were survivors on the surface of Genesis who might have detailed knowledge of the weapon. Kruge led a team to the planet surface to find the survivors. Taking the survivors - Saavik, David Marcus, and the regenerated body of Spock - prisoner, he threatened to torture the information out of the prisoners. However the USS Enterprise arrived at that time, and Kruge beamed up to take care of that threat. Because the Enterprise was so undermanned and running on automation, Kruge was able to disable the Federation ship with a single shot, even though ordinarily Kruge's ship would have been no match for a Constitution-class starship. Admiral Kirk attempted to bluff the Klingons into surrendering, but that failed. Kruge ordered his crew on the surface to kill a prisoner, the Klingon warrior was going to kill Saavik before David intervened. David died fighting the Klingon, Saavik informed Kirk that his son was dead.
Kruge sent a team over to the Enterprise but before abandoning ship Admiral Kirk had set the ship to self-destruct. When Kruge heard the Enterprise computer counting down Kruge realized what was about to happen, and screamed for his men to get off the ship, but it was too late for the transporter chief to beam them out. Kruge and Maltz could only watch as powerful charges on the Enterprise killed the boarding party and reduced the Federation ship to a lifeless hulk that burned up in the atmosphere of Genesis.
Realizing that Kirk and the others had made it off the Enterprise before she exploded, Kruge then beamed down to Genesis to confront Kirk directly. The two engaged in physical combat while Genesis broke up beneath their feet. Kruge and Kirk fought to the edge of a cliff and wound up on a ledge overlooking a lake of lava. A piece of ground gave way underneath Kruge. Kruge wound up holding on to the edge of the cliff for his life. Despite everything that Kruge had done, Kirk tried to pull the man up, but Kruge was determined to take Kirk with him. Having had enough, Kirk kicked Kruge in the head until Kruge lost his grip and fell to his death in the lava below.
After Kruge's death, Kirk got Maltz - the sole Klingon remaining on Kruge's ship - to beam him and Spock's body up. The crew rushed to Vulcan, where Spock's body and katra were successfully reunited with each other.
James T. Kirk would later on develop a bitter hatred for Klingons years because Kruge had killed his son. Kirk would even refer to this when he was on his final mission as captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A, that he never trusted Klingons and he never will, nor could he forgive them for the death of his boy. Before his own death Chancellor Gorkon was aware of what happened to Kirk's son and realized that Kirk's hatred of Klingons was due to Kirk still grieving David's death.
After seeing what extremes others would go to because of their hatred of the Klingon race, Kirk finally let go of his hatred and forgave the Klingon people rather than let his hatred consume him. Nearly a century later Captain K'Nera - who belonged to the same House as Kruge - made an unsuccessful attempt of his own to seize the secrets of Genesis before being stopped by the crew of the Enterprise.
Kruge is a very unique Klingon in that Klingons are usually depicted in pre-The Undiscovered Country Star Trek as feral and viscious creatures. Kruge on the other hand was an honorable if psychopathic and brutal general but held respect for his enemies and showed great comraderie for his men. Kruge also demonstrated an intensely strong sense of honor, outright killing a random Klingon for destroying a Federation ship after it asked to surrender.
|“||Get out! Get out of there! Get out!||„|
|~ Kruge to his men after realizing the USS Enterprise was about to explode.|
|“||Give me Genesis!||„|
|~ Kruge when brawling with Kirk and his final words before his death.|
- Kruge is notable for being the first main antagonist in a Star Trek film to actually fight a member of the Enterprise crew. The previous two antagonists were V'Ger (who was a sentient satellite and thus incapable of combat) and Khan Noonien Singh who was unable to engage Kirk due to Richardo Montalban having to film Fantasy Island.
- Commander Kruge's name is only spoken once, by his lover Valkris. As such, Admiral Kirk never learns his adversary's name.
- Edward James Olmos was director Leonard Nimoy's original choice for the role of Kruge. However, producer Harve Bennett preferred Christopher Lloyd. Nimoy finally cast Lloyd because he came off more operatic and physically intimidating.
- In a June 2009 interview, Christopher Lloyd said that the role of Commander Kruge was one of his favorites.
- When Admiral Kirk calls out to Lord Kruge, the Klingon commander has his head in his hands. According to the original storyline, Kruge is not mourning the loss of his troops, he is humiliated because Kirk was more cunning than he was. Through Kirk's apparent suicide, Kruge has been beaten and shamed.