What is a Kobliad in ‘Star Trek’?
Star Trek Resurgence arrives today on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, promising a narratively focused Telltale-style adventure in the vein of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. This style of game is such a perfect fit for Star Trek we’re surprised we haven’t seen one before, with the franchise having always been more focused on tricky philosophical questions and moral choices rather than blasting stuff with photon torpedoes. You can check out our full review here.
The game is set aboard the Resolute a few years after Star Trek: Nemesis. You control two characters, Academy graduate Jara Rydeck and first officer Carter Diaz, both of whom are eager to explore the galaxy and promote the mission of the Federation. One interesting wrinkle is that Rydeck is a Kobliad, who’re definitely one of the lesser-seen aliens in Star Trek. So what exactly is a Kobliad?
Kobliads made their debut in the Deep Space Nine episode ‘The Passenger’, which aired in February 1993. Like many Star Trek aliens they look superficially similar to humans, though can be distinguished by the ridge that runs down their forehead from the hairline to the tip of their nose. At first, the species was known informally as the ‘Kaitlin’, a reference to the actor Caitlin Brown who played the first onscreen Kobliad character.
Soon the backstory of the Kobliads began to be filled out, with the species going to appear in minor roles in The Next Generation, Voyager, and Enterprise. They were established as originating from a planet near the Bajoran system, are slowly going extinct, and are reliant on Federation-supplied Deurideum to prolong their lives. Even with the Federation’s help, this rare substance is difficult to get, with some Kobliad going underground in order to get their fix.
Notable Kobliad characters
The first on-screen Kobliad was Security Officer Ty Kajada on Deep Space Nine, who was hunting fellow Kobliad Rao Vantika for his illegal experimentations into cellular longevity.
We later met another interesting Kobliad in Deep Space Nine episode ‘Second Skin’. This was Yteppa, who was assisting the Cardassian intelligence agency the Obsidian Order. As part of her mission, Yteppa helped kidnap Kira, though she didn’t seem like an especially cruel character and was likely driven by the promise of getting her vital Deuridium rather than allegiance to the Cardassians.
Since then, Kobliads have generally been associated with seedier locations, with them popping up in bars across various shows. The species slowly going extinct means they’re never going to be a common sight on screen in Star Trek, but at least with Resurgence, there’s finally a lead Kobliad character.
We won’t get into the specifics of Jara Rydeck’s story, but like all her species she is reliant on Deurideum infusions to survive, making her totally dependent on the Federation.
So, that’s about all you need to know about Kobliads, who if nothing else are a very interesting choice of alien to helm one of the biggest Star Trek games in years.