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The Orville Wiki

The Orville's upgraded deflector screens withstand a hit from a Moclan ship.

Raise Deflector Screens!— Second Officer Bortus[1]

Deflector Screens, also called deflectors and (very rarely) shields,[2][3][4] were a type of force field shield surrounding a space vessel, meant to provide protection from enemy attacks or natural hazards. It was used by space vessels in the Planetary Union.

Deflector Screens were not only defensive, they also protected a crew from solar and cosmic radiation,[5] and marginal defense against dark matter.[6] A ship did not typically raise their deflectors without reason.


The exact technology behind the deflectors is unknown but believed to be gravitational waves created by graviton generators housed in a ship's deflector core.[n 1][7] The gravitational waves were then projected through emitters.[7]

Deflector screens were modulated so as to allow the ship's own weapons to pass effortlessly through the deflectors.[n 2] Further, modulation allowed the crew to evade capture by an enemy's tractor beam.[8] Deflectors could not be modulated to allow matter to enter, and had to be turned off - however briefly - to allow things such as shuttlecraft to enter.[n 3]

A ship powered its deflectors, which was also a measure of the deflector's ability to deflect weapons or natural hazards, and was commonly measured by a percentage of power remaining.[n 4] Additional power could be routed through the quantum engine's auxiliary power.[7]

Graviton generators and deflector core[]

Until either December 2420 or January 2421, an Exploratory-class A ship was permitted a maximum of only four graviton generators under Planetary Union regulations.[7] After, technological breakthroughs enabled ships to reconfigure their deflector cores to accommodated a fifth generator.[7]

Emitter array[]

Gravitational waves produced by graviton generators were projected from the ship through emitters installed along emitter arrays located in different sections, such as the starboard emitter array. Pre-2420, emitter arrays buckled and collapsed under stress, such as Plasma Torpedo bombardment, leading to a shield failure. After reconfigurations in 2421, emitter arrays reset automatically, allowing the deflector shields to last longer.[7]


Union Security interfaced with the deflector screens with firewall safety checks.[7]

USS Orville[]

The USS Orville upgraded its deflector screens with the help of Locar in December 2420 or January 2421.[7] A month later, the Kaylon (who commandeer the ship) incorporated their own upgrades to its screens.[9]


  • Deflector screens interacted with atmosphere. Friction of the Orville's screens against Kastra 4's atmosphere created significant smoke screen, and led to the Orville's victory in the Battle of Kastra 4.[10]
  • In Cupid's Dagger, Navigator John LaMarr hatched an idea to project the Orville's screens into space to place a barrier between Navarians and Bruidians. His plan was never carried out.
  • In a simulation of the Orville in Firestorm, Engineering prepared to modulate their deflector screens to match the frequencies of a plasma storm to provide a better buffer for the ship. The preparations were never carried out.
  • In New Dimensions, the Orville entered two-dimensional space protected by a quantum bubble. When the quantum field begins to fail, Lieutenant Yaphit figured out that by coupling the quantum phase inducers to the deflector grid, Engineering could match the "deflector amplitude to the quantum wave function" and compensate for field instability.[11]



  1. This is based on the fact that the Orville is able to elude a Benzian's tractor beam, which uses beams of gravity, by modulating their deflectors. Episode 5: Pria.
  2. The Orville frequently fires weapons while weapons are charged. In Old Wounds, shuttle ECV-197-1 enters the Orville while deflectors are still up.
  3. Ed Mercer asks if Bortus can cut power to the deflectors long enough for their shuttle to dock in the Shuttle Bay. Episode 1: Old Wounds
  4. For example, deflector shields are stated at "two-thirds power" in Old Wounds.


  1. Old Wounds
  2. Bortus' screen of the BCV Burton lists the ship's "shields." Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
  3. Kaylon Primary: "Isaac, you will go to the bridge and assist with the shield upgrade." Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
  4. Bortus: "Starboard shields are failing." Episode 2x12: Sanctuary
  5. Episode 2x02: Primal Urges
  6. Episode 1x05: Pria
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Episode 2x07: Deflectors
  8. Episode 1x05: Pria
  9. Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt 2
  10. Episode 1x06: Krill
  11. Episode 1x11: New Dimensions