Discovery could undo its disastrous season 1 version of the Klingons by introducing next-gen-style Klingons in the highly anticipated season 5.
Star Trek: Discovery should bid farewell to the disastrous Klingons of earlier seasons and reintroduce a version of the beloved warrior race that rose to prominence in Star Trek: The Next Generation. One of Star Trek's essential alien races, the Klingons made their debut as one of the Federation's fiercest antagonists in the Star Trek: The Original series. Those original Klingons look mostly human, albeit with some unfortunate brown face makeup.
Klingons briefly appear in Star Trek: The Movie, where they are given a decidedly more alien appearance, with prominent forehead bumps and sharp teeth. They were slightly improved upon in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, in which Klingon Kruger played the main villain. Kruger and his followers had a major impact on the Klingons in TNG. Lieutenant Wolf, in particular, would become the face of the Klingon race not just on TNG, but throughout pop culture. That version of the Klingons lasted until Discovery season 1, where they were completely redesigned as hairless, oddly colored monsters. That version was immediately reviled, and they haven't been featured in Discovery in any capacity since season 2.
Why Discovery Must Bring Back TNG Style Klingons
Klingons are The cornerstone alien species in Star Trek. Their absence in live-action Star Trek has been conspicuous since Discovery season 2, perhaps most importantly in Discovery's new 32nd century setting. Their absence in season 3 was somewhat understandable, as the crew of the Discovery spent most of that season simply trying to navigate their distant new future. The fact that Discovery season 4 was dealing with the galactic politics surrounding the dark matter anomaly, and the fact that the Klingons weren't involved at all, felt wrong.
Discovery's new 32nd century timeframe means they can reintroduce TNG-style Klingon without much trouble. Typically, the most recent Klingons seen are the TNG styles that appeared in Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: The Prodigy in the late 24th century. Their long absence from Discovery seems to be tacitly tacit that the Season 1 version of Klingons in Discovery is useless, so there should be no practical or creative hurdles to the return of TNG-style Klingons.
How TNG Klingons Would Link Discovery & Picard
Klingons did not appear in the first two seasons of Star Trek: Picard, although this is about to change significantly. Picard Season 3 Will See Beloved Crew Return Enterprise-D, including Worf, who looks almost exactly the same as in TNG days, only now with luxurious white hair. Even though they haven't appeared in the series so far, Picard's return to classic Klingon style seems like a no-brainer.
Star Trek: Discovery returns with a TNG-style Klingon that visually connects it to Picard and the vast majority of Star Trek fiction, creating a more cohesive feel for the characters. Discovery season 1 Klingons might be considered a regional anomaly - just like the different appearance of the Romulans was finally explained in Picard season 1. It is also possible that they are simply re-controlled and forgotten. Star Trek: Discovery would do well to leave the failed experiment behind and embrace the version of the Klingons that thrived on Star Trek for so long.