Appearances of Klingon: on television - in movies - in the news - in commercials - in politics - in literature - Translations


Picture of the scene
Lucifer is a TV series from the US, which is broadcasted since the 25th of January 2016 on FOX, and is based on the comics of the same name, written by Mike Carey. In other countries, it was published on Amazon Video.

Appearance of Klingon

In season 2 episode 9 "Homewrecker", forensic scientist Ella Lopez (played by Aimee Garcia) prounced a Klingon sentence: ta' vonlu'. (1)

After she said the line, she explained:
It's Klingon for "The King is trapped." In Star Trek, they play three-dimensional chess.


On 1st of October 2016, Chris Lipscombe got an e-mail from a staff-member of the TV series with a request for help for this line. Their first approach was vangbe' ta' ("The emperor doesn't take action anymore").(2) Besides some reasonable suggestions like rIntaH Done and Qapla' the members agreed quickly on an expression with the verb von trap: ta' vonlu' "The King is captured".

Lipscombe was not on the movie set, but has sent a voice recording with the line which the actress Garcia could listen to in order to learn the sentence. (3)

Second appearance

During the 7th episode of the 5th season "Our Mojo", published August 21, 2020, the same character Ella Lopez meets a journalist named Pete who appears to also be a big Star Trek fan. When he invited her to a Star Trek Convention, they start a short dialogue in Klingon (around time index 14:00). Ironically, Lucifer identifies the language incorrectly as "Chewbacca". The subtitles only say "speaking Klingon".

1 Ella qatlho'. bIloy'qu'. Thank you. You are very charismatic.
- Lucifer See? She even speaks Chewbacca. -
2 Pete jIH loy'be' law', SoH loy'be' puS. I am less charismatic than you are.
3 Ella tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh je SoH. You also speak Klingon!
4 Both Qapla'! Success!


  • In line 1, the word is pronounced as 'e' loy'qu'.
  • Line 2 is pronounced like jIq loybe' law', jaq loybe' puS. This phrase looks a bit awkward using loy'be', which makes it literally: "I am more un-charismatic than you". A reversed word order would have made the idea clearer: SoH loy' law', jIH loy' puS.
  • Line 3 is grammatically not a question, although the intonation in the show sounds like one.
  • As a general notice, the actors exaggerate their speaking of Klingon and do not behave very naturally.

See also


1 : scene of the episode on YouTube, published 22nd november 2016

2 : Message of Chris Lipscombe from the 1st of October in 2016 in the Facebook Group tlhIngan Hol jatlhwI'pu'

3 : In dialogue with Lieven L. Litaer on German Comic Con Frankfurt, May 5th 2018


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