- For other uses, see Chang.
- This page details Chang in the primary universe; for the Chang in the mirror universe see Chang (mirror); for the Chang in the Kelvin timeline created by Nero's temporal incursion, see Chang (Kelvin timeline); for the Chang in the mirror universe created by Nero's temporal incursion see Chang (mirror) (Kelvin timeline); for the Chang in all other alternate universes see Chang (alternates).
- There are currently two versions of Chang's early history — as described in the PC game Klingon Academy, and in the Pocket Books novel continuity, particularly the Star Trek: Vanguard series.
Rise to general (Klingon Academy continuity)
In his early life as a warrior, Chang served under the command of Lorak, and became fiercely loyal to the older Klingon, as he learnt many of the skills that made him a warrior from his mentor. During his rise to the position of General of the Klingon Defense Force, Chang came to believe that the true enemy of the Empire was the United Federation of Planets.
To prepare for this eventual conflict, Chang began to study his enemy, and read the writings of the Human warrior-poet William Shakespeare, whom he came to greatly admire. This was because Chang believed that Humans had a warrior-culture similar to his own people's, though more primitive, and they turned their back on it. He came to greatly appreciate Shakespeare's writings to the point that he believed the playwright would have made a fine Klingon.
In the years leading up to 1666 Imperial Reckoning, the General was involved in combating a power struggle within the Klingon Empire when a usurper known as Kalnor of the House of G'Iogh had risen in order to claim the position of Chancellor of the High Council of the Klingon Empire. During this Klingon Civil War, Chang worked to defend the Klingon High Council and led the loyalist Klingon forces against Kalnor's rebels.
In order to secure a decisive victory, the general beamed onto Kalnor's flagship and engaged the usurper in ancient ritual of Blood Peace. He was successful in killing Kalnor at the cost of his left eye, and stability returned to the Empire, which continued under the leadership of Chancellor Lorak, who had reigned for thirty years. The loss of his eye led to Chang using an eye patch to cover the wound, and he was later placed as the head instructor of the eighteenth term of the Elite Command Academy, where he trained cadets to become warship commanders for an eventual confrontation with the United Federation of Planets.
While he believed that the Federation was spineless and that Humanity was weak, he did agree that Captain James T. Kirk was a formidable warrior, though an aberration among his kind. In addition, he struck a friendship with Chancellor Lorak's Chief of Staff, Gorkon, son of Toq, though they frequently disagreed with each other on matters of policy.
At the Elite Command Academy, Chang prepared his students in the art of war by way of simulations and tests in order to determine their effectiveness. Some failed, and were dismissed from the institution, leaving only the best warriors behind, who he taught the basic tenents of Klingon society as emphasized by the Heart of Virtue. One of the general's star pupils was cadet Torlek, who quickly rose among the ranks of his class mates. As the studies continued, Chang became aware of a new threat to the stability of the Empire when it was learned that Kalnor had a half-brother known as Melkor, who was secretly plotting to take control of the Empire.
As the general and his top commanders were monitored by Melkor's allies, Chang dispatched Torlek on an espionage mission, which recorded a meeting that Melkor had with the members of four other Houses, and the conspiracy began to slowly grow. Despite the use of Torlek in a cloaked vessel to spy on Melkor and his conspirators, the usurper managed to detect the vessel, foiling any further attempts at observing his activities. Whilst this was a loss, Chang continued with training the next generation of commanders with his students graduating from the Elite Command Academy.
Though the new recruits received their commissions, the general had withheld Torlek's in order to bring him to a secret meeting with Chief of Staff Gorkon. Once there, Gorkon revealed to Chang the devastating news that Lorak had died, with Melkor finally making his move. However, rather than make a claim for the Chancellorship, Melkor was even more ambitious by declaring himself Emperor of the Klingon Empire; a post that had been vacant since the time of Krokh the Weak. While it was clear that the Klingon High Council was going to appoint Gorkon as the new Chancellor, Chang did not support his old comrade as he knew that the son of Toq would forge a peace with the Federation — a move that the general believed foolish and despicable. With harsh words exchanged, Gorkon left, and a new civil war erupted within the Empire.
In the aftermath, the forces loyal to General Chang became another faction that fought for control of the Klingon Empire. Chang himself had managed to secure the aid of many commanders, though their resources were spread out, and they were fewer in number when compared to those that swore loyalty to the House of G'Iogh. Due to Gorkon's policies, Chang refused to deal with the Chief of Staff, and instead sought to wage his own war against Melkor.
Initially, this proved to be successful, and the head of the House of G'Iogh's power base was seemingly eroding. In order to bring a swift end to the conflict, Chang sought to personally confront Melkor, but this proved to be a trap, as Melkor had now allied himself with the Romulan Star Empire, and gained their aid in his bid for the Imperial throne. In desperation, his student Captain Torlek gained the assistance of Gorkon's forces who rushed to Chang's aid, much to the general's anger, though Melkor escaped.
Enraged at Torlek's actions, Chang removed his star pupil from his fleet, as now the general owed a debt of honor to Gorkon for saving him, and thus had to support his policies. During this new spirit of cooperation, the general received word that the Klingon observation-post on the Federation border was attacked by a Starfleet task force poised to strike at the Empire. Seeing that his true enemy had revealed themselves, the general took three fleets to invade the Federation. However, this was a carefully orchestrated trick by Melkor, who was counting on Chang's hatred of the Federation to force him to move away from Qo'noS.
This would allow Melkor and his Romulan allies to strike at the Klingon homeworld, with its strength cut in half after the general's departure. In desperation, Gorkon sent Torlek to confront his mentor and bring him back to Klingon space. Chang refused to do so, as he genuinely believed the Federation had struck against the Empire, and it was only after Torlek called upon the general's character and honor that he changed his mind, as he realized his hatred of Starfleet had gotten the better of him. Accompanying Torlek back to Qo'noS, the general was successful in defeating Melkor's forces and slaying the usurper's forces, thus finally ending the Civil War.
In the aftermath of the conflict, Gorkon appointed Chang as his Chief of Staff in order to keep him "honest," and the general was required to hold the post for the next two years. Furthermore, an elaborate lie was fabricated to the Federation, claiming that Chang's forces were only to draw the Romulans to Qo'noS for an ambush. Chang also assigned Torlek on the far side of the Empire's territory as part of an exploratory/expeditionary force, with the intention of locating new resources for the Klingon people, since the destruction of Tal'hannor Gates had deprived them of critical energy-reserves.
While, initially, Chang was resentful of Torlek, he met with the young warrior, and claimed that he realized that his student was only doing what the general had taught him to do. He also confessed to assigning Torlek away from the center of the Empire. Chang stated that Torlek had served as his conscience, and that in the coming days, events were going to come to pass, and that he needed no conscience during that time. He finally bid farewell to Torlek, and claimed that the future needed new heroes and warriors like him who would replace Chang in the future. (TOS video game: Klingon Academy)
Following the destruction of Praxis in 2293, Chang conspired with several officers in Starfleet, including Admiral Lance Cartwright and Colonel Patrick West, to destabilize any move for peace between the Klingon Empire and the Federation, by planning to assassinate Gorkon and Federation President Ra-ghoratreii. Chang had a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, the IKS Dakronh, fitted with a specially adapted cloaking device that would allow it to fire torpedoes when cloaked. When Kronos One departed Qo'noS to rendezvous with the USS Enterprise-A and be escorted to Earth, Chang ordered the Dakronh to follow.
Following a dinner aboard the Enterprise, Chang ordered the Dakronh to maneuver underneath the Enterprise and fire two photon torpedoes at Kronos One, making it appear that the Enterprise had attacked. Two conspirators (Yeomans Burke, Samno) aiding the warriors also beamed aboard Kronos One in Starfleet EVA suits and assassinated Gorkon. When Captain James T. Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy beamed aboard to see if they could treat Gorkon, Chang had them arrested and took them to Qo'noS to face charges for assassinating the chancellor.
At the trial of Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy, Chang acted as the prosecuting counsel and successfully had Kirk and McCoy sentenced to the dilithium mines on Rura Penthe, for life. With Kirk out of the way, Chang and his cohorts began planning the next phase of the operation, by assassinating Federation President Ra-ghoratreii at the new peace conference on Camp Khitomer. However, as he was travelling to Khitomer, Kirk and McCoy were able to escape from Rura Penthe and the Enterprise was also on its way to Khitomer along with the USS Excelsior. Chang was then contacted by Rura Penthe's warden, Koth who informed him of Kirk's escape.
Together, the Enterprise and the Excelsior were able to destroy the Dakronh and kill Chang, using probes that were able to detect the Bird-of-Prey's impulse engine exhaust, and targeted that point. The assassination of Ra-ghoratreii was also prevented by Captain Kirk and his crew. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Undiscovered Country)
- According to Star Trek Magazine # 149, Chang was based off Claus von Stauffenberg, since like Stauffenberg, he lost an eye and made an attempt on his Chancellor's life. Difference being that Chang was successful.