Heroes, Pt. 1 is the first part of a two-part episode known as Heroes and the third issue of Season 2.5 of The Orville published by Dark Horse Comics. Talla Keyali returns to a primitive species she studied as an ensign after a quantum reactor is discovered on the planet.

Heroes, Pt. 1 was written by David A. Goodman, executive producer for the show, drawn by David Cabeza, and colored by Michael Atiyeh.

The issue was released on November 4, 2020.

Plot[edit | edit source]

In the year 2416 on the fourth planet of HR 5070, Aki reads a story of Xandia, hero of the Okudem, to Ensign Talla Keyali. Talla is a guest in Aki's home, but she cuts Aki's story short by saying she needs to leave.

On board the USS Wilson in orbit over the planet, the Captain Mosley asks Talla why the Okudem are so physically similar to the Xelayans. Talla admits that the two species are not similar, neither in culture nor in strength, though she repeats a theory that the two share a common ancestor. The topic shifts to deposits of dysonium found on the planet. Talla opposes any mining operations, as they would be too disruptive.

Five years later, Talla serves as Chief of Security aboard the USS Orville, now in orbit over the same planet. Talla is flummoxed by recent news that the primitive Okudem have developed a quantum reactor. Captain Ed Mercer decides to send an away team consisting of himself, Talla, Doctor Claire Finn, and Chief Engineer John LaMarr. Now that the Okudem have achieved faster-than-light travel, prohibitions against cultural contamination no longer apply; nevertheless, they agree to don head coverings to mask their alien features.

The away team cloaks their shuttlecraft and does a low pass of the planet's surface. The find the village Talla visited years ago, as well as a space ship and "some kind of mining operation." Scanners reveal the people below to be Nazh, not Okudem. Ed sends Talla and Claire to find Aki's family, while he and John will approach the space ship.

In the village, Talla and Claire stop several Nazh from harassing an Okudem woman drawing water from a well. The woman is Aki, who has grown up. Meanwhile, Ed and John find Okudem slaves in a pit mining dysonium by hand.

Aki takes the two to her home, where her mother explains that the Nazh arrived a year ago - they killed the Okudem leaders who resisted and forced the rest to work in the mine. Her father is sick from mining dysonium, but warns that if Ilis, the foreman, finds them, he will enslave them as well.

Several Nazh spot Ed and John, but the scurry back to their shuttle and re-cloak. Talla and Claire decide to leave, and Aki gives Talla her children's book on Xandia. The Nazh who pursued Ed and John report to Ilis that they followed foot prints that seemed to end in the middle of nowhere. Ilis concludes that they may have "meddlers."

The team returns to the Orville, and the senior staff consult Admiral Perry. Perry sympathizes but says that the Okudem are not in the Planetary Union, and interference might be seen as an act of war by the Nazh. He cuts short Talla and Ed's attempt to reason and orders the ship to Rochelle for a new mission. Once Perry leaves, some of the team wonder if they should break Perry's orders or at the very least contact the Nazh directly. Ed disagrees and says "we can't always be the heroes," provoking Talla to shout and break the Briefing Room table.

Later, Claire and John find Talla reading Aki's book in the Mess Hall. Xandia freed the Okudem from a military dictatorship, she says, which gives her an idea. Talla requests several days' leave for herself, Claire, and John. Ed suspects something, but instead of asking questions, wishes her a good trip.

On the planet, several Nazh break into Aki's home and grab her ill father for his shift at the mine. They slap Aki away when she attempts to intervene, but Talla - dressed as Xandia - appears "in the flesh."

Production[edit | edit source]

Heroes, Pt. 1 was written by executive producer David A. Goodman who called the script "a barn-burner"[1] focusing on Chief of Security Talla Keyali.[1]

At the Mainframe Comic Con in April 26, 2020, Goodman stated that David Cabeza was working on the art for the issue.[1] Cabeza stated that "circumstances" (likely referring to the lockdown in Spain due to Covid-19) had made work on this issue more difficult than on Launch Day.[1]

All Okudem clothing was based on African styles.[2] Nazh clothing and weapons were based on French and Spanish uniforms from the 18th century, especially the soldiers depicted in the television series Zorro.[3] When designing Ed, John, Talla, and Claire's clothing for the planet's surface, Cabeza made them blue, light orange, red, and blue-green respectively to subtly remind readers of their Planetary Union uniforms.[4]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • While Talla talks to Captain Mosley and his first officer on the bridge of the USS Wilson, an officer in the background has a screen display of Epsilon 2.
  • The Okudem's sun, HR 5070, is an actual star located 69.57 light years from Earth, and can be seen in the night sky.[5]
  • Writer David A. Goodman has stated that characters in the comics were based on actual people.[6]
    • Xandia is widely considered to be modeled after the fictional hero Zorro, especially as depicted in the movie The Mask of Zorro, and Catwoman.
    • Captain Mosley resembles Yaphet Kotto (interestingly, Lieutenant Yaphit was named after Kotto).
    • The First Officer of the USS Wilson resembles Sigourney Weaver, especially in the Alien franchise.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • The episode opens in the year 2416.
    • Talla spent only a few days during her mission to the Okudem.
  • The Nazh arrive in 2420 and enslave the Okudem.
  • The rest of the episode takes place in the year 2421.

Mistakes[edit | edit source]

Cast[edit | edit source]

Despite being credited, Second Officer Bortus makes no appearance in this issue.

Main Cast[edit | edit source]

Special Guest Cast[edit | edit source]

Recurring Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Cast[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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