Soldiers of the Empire

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"Soldiers of the Empire"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 21
Directed byLeVar Burton
Written byRonald D. Moore
Featured musicDavid Bell
Production code519
Original air dateApril 28, 1997 (1997-04-28)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Children of Time"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (season 5)
List of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

"Soldiers of the Empire" is the 119th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 21st episode of the fifth season. One reviewer called this TV episode ".. an exciting, well-paced underdog saga"[1] Several guest stars take center stage including J. G. Hertzler as Martok, alongside cast regulars Jadzia Dax and Worf.

This episode was directed by LeVar Burton, and focusing on Klingon characters including Worf and Martok.[2]


The episode opens with Dr. Bashir caring for a badly injured General Martok. Martok then receives a message from the Klingon government stating that he has been assigned to retrieve a missing Klingon vessel, the B'Moth, lost several days ago. The Klingon High Council assigns the General a ship of his own, the Rotarran, to accomplish the mission. He departs Deep Space Nine along with his newly appointed First Officer, Worf who has signed on to the mission at Martok's request. To Worf's surprise Jadzia Dax joins them as the ship's Science Officer. The Rotarran is Martok's first command since his escape from the Dominion prison camp, and he is dismayed to find that the crew are anything but happy; instead, it is an embittered ensemble whose morale has been destroyed by a series of punishing losses at the hands of the Jem'Hadar.

The morale situation aboard ship is only made worse by Martok's overcautious nature and unwillingness to go into battle and because of this he misses a chance for an easy victory. Dax, acting as a Klingon would, challenges Worf about the General's behavior which Worf will hear none of. In the mess hall, Dax is forced to stun a Klingon officer with her phaser when a pair of officers get into violent argument, almost causing the death of one of them. After this, Dax angrily confronts Worf about it and tells him that he needs to deal with the General by challenging him for command.

The B'Moth, the missing Klingon vessel, is found just across the Cardassian border, but Martok - fearing that the Jem'Hadar left it behind as a trap - refuses to enter Cardassian territory to rescue it. Worf realizes Martok is paralyzed by fear. Reluctantly, he decides to challenge Martok for control of the ship. A knife fight ensues, during which Worf sees that Martok's fear is gone and allows him to win the fight. Worf sustains a nasty wound yet survives, putting Martok into a battle frenzy - just as a Jem'Hadar ship approaches. The revitalized crew defeats the enemy, rescues the B'Moth, and returns to Deep Space Nine as victors for the first time. Martok is forever grateful to Worf for reminding him of his duty as a Klingon warrior, and offers him a place in the House of Martok.


This episode uses a fictional spacecraft design introduced in the 1984 film Star Trek: The Search for Spock as well as in other films and television episodes of Star Trek.[3] In the Star Trek franchise the design is called the "Bird of Prey", and this specific model design was used many times on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, usually as vessel of the Klingon aliens.[3]


In 2016, The Hollywood Reporter rated "Soldiers of the Empire" the 44th best television episode of all Star Trek franchise television prior to Star Trek: Discovery, including live-action and the animated series but not counting the movies.[4] Within the series they ranked "Soldiers of the Empire" as the tenth best episode of this show.[2]

The episode is noted for featuring one of the Star Trek franchise famous fictional spacecraft designs, the Klingon Bird of Prey.[3]

In 2018, Nerdist ranked this episode the 8th most essential episode of the series.[5]


  1. ^ "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "Soldiers Of The Empire"/"Children Of Time"". 2013-06-06.
  2. ^ a b "'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' — The 20 Greatest Episodes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  3. ^ a b c Sorrells, Paul (2013-04-02). "13 Awesome Star Trek Ships". Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  4. ^ ""Endgame" - 'Star Trek': 100 Greatest Episodes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  5. ^ "The 12 Most Essential Episodes of STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE — Nerdist". Retrieved 2019-07-11.

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