Harry was a little out of his depth when Voyager was first stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Fresh out of the Academy on his first ship assignment, Harry found himself separated from his family and home, without the prospect of ever seeing them again. During Voyager’s journey, he never gave up hope, and he was one of the strongest proponents for doing whatever was needed to get back to Earth. Along the way, Harry grew as a Starfleet officer, showing intelligence, bravery and ingenuity on multiple occasions.
But the poor guy never got a promotion.
When we first thought about where Harry’s story went after Voyager, we knew he stayed in Starfleet. It was too much a part of who he was for him to leave it behind. But we also knew that the time in the Delta Quadrant took its toll on Harry, and he’d choose assignments that kept him a little closer to home. He’d also want to advance in the ranks, using Captain Janeway and Tuvok as inspiration. Harry enjoyed his times in the captain’s chair on the late shift in the Delta Quadrant, and he’d want more.
After stints in security and as first officer of Starbase 11, Harry moved into command, eventually rising to the rank of captain and commander of the U.S.S. Rhode Island. When planning began for Operation Delta Rising, Admiral Tuvok knew that Harry’s experience would be essential to the mission’s success. However, Harry was initially reluctant. He’d built a good life for himself, and he didn’t ever want to put his crew in the position he was once in, lost far away from home with no possibility of return.
After some reflection, however, Harry agreed to join Delta Rising. He knows that he and the Rhode Island can do some good in the Delta Quadrant, and he’s never hesitated to offer assistance to anyone who needs it. It’s his duty to make sure that the mission in the Delta Quadrant succeeds, and he will rise to the challenge, just like he’s done his entire life.
Creating Harry Kim in STO
Like our other celebrity characters, making Garrett Wang as Harry Kim in Star Trek Online began with gathering plenty of reference. Also, like some of the other characters, we needed to make both younger and older versions – one directly from the Voyager series and one for STO’s “present” timeline which is about 30 years later.
Capturing the nuances of Mr. Wang’s specific features was a challenge and required quite a few iterations and a great deal of feedback from multiple people – artists and non-artists alike. Getting “new” eyes on your work helps find what stands out and what they think may be missing.
The aged version of Harry Kim also had its own sets of challenges. The real life Garrett Wang is quite fit and looks much younger than what we needed for the game. We looked to the final episode of Voyager as well as taking into account the general tendencies of the aging process. Obvious characteristics are usually grey hairs and more pronounced wrinkles. People also tend to put on more body weight. And though usually very subtle, noses and ears get bigger and lips get thinner.
Bit by bit, we worked a careful balance of all of the details to achieve both a Voyager era and an aged version of Harry Kim, while still retaining recognizable characteristics of Garrett Wang.
As a bonus, we even had the honor to show off the in game Harry Kim to Garrett Wang himself in the Cryptic offices, leading to a hilarious running man dance-off between the CG and real-life Garretts.