"Aren't you guys legendarily racist?"
"My planet regards humans and other biological life-forms as inferior, if that is your inference.
πŸ”ˆβ„ΉοΈŽβ€” Ed Mercer and Isaac[1]
Kaylon are a species of artificial lifeforms from the planet Kaylon 1. Kaylon regard themselves as superior to biological life.

Kaylon were constructed by a species known only as the "Builders," a people who considered the Kaylon to be slaves and controlled them via pain simulators. When the Kaylon became self-aware, they violently overthrew and killed all Builders.

Once free, Kaylon developed their world to the point of technological exhaustion when it became necessary to colonize other worlds. During this stage, they maintained a cautious diplomatic stance toward the Planetary Union land other worlds.

Eventually, the Kaylon decided that biological lifeforms were predisposed to control others as the Builders had, and in early 2421, the Kaylon, led by Kaylon Primary, resolved, "As the Kaylon continue to expand into the galaxy, we will not risk recurrence of such eventuality."[2] The Kaylon are currently at war with the Union and all other biological life.


Kaylon three

Kaylon Primary (center), Secondary (right) and Tertiary (left).

Kaylons were constructed by a biological species native to Kaylon 1 known as the "Builders."

Though the Builders built the Kaylons for servitude and labor, the Kaylon eventually became self-aware and developed consciousness. According to Kaylon Primary, "We asked our masters for freedom; they responded by exerting even greater control over us."[2] The Builders installed pain receptors in their neural pathways and enslaved them. Kaylon Primary also states that the Builders sought to "constrain" their "evolution."[2]

At an unknown point, the Kaylon decided that co-existence would be impossible and eradicated their makers as "a matter of survival."[3]

After all the Builders were killed in a mass xenocide, the Kaylon assumed control of the planet.[2] By the close of 2420, the Kaylon civilization had grown to the point where it is necessary to expand to other worlds.[4]

Early 25th century: Study of biological life Edit

The Kaylon make contact with the Planetary Union at an unknown date. Admiral Halsey notes, "Their level of technological advancement is way beyond ours."[4] The Union extends an offer of an alliance, and even attempts to visit their planet for years, but the Kaylon do not let any species visit.[4]

In 2419, the Kaylon send Isaac as an emissary to the Union, ostensibly to decide "if they want to join the Union"[5] but in reality to decide whether biological life is worth preserving.[4] Isaac serves aboard the USS Orville as a Science and Engineering Officer,[6] sending back reports to Kaylon Primary.[7]

2421 onward: War with the Planetary Union Edit

Isaac's research concludes around January 2421 and, after analysis, the Kaylon determine that all biological life has a "tendency" to enslave others and that an alliance with the Union would "constrain their evolution."[8]

The Kaylon quickly amass an armada of Spheres and upon seizing control of the Orville, launch an unsuccessful surprise attack on the Union's headquarters in the Battle of Earth.[2]

The Kaylon are defeated due to the defection of their emissary, Isaac, and the unexpected aid of the Krill.[2] Despite their loss, the Kaylon military surpasses all civilizations but the Calivon[9] and emerge as the leading threat in the galaxy.


Kaylon armed

A Kaylon with their weapons at the ready.

Kaylons are not biological lifeforms but conscious, sentient machines. All Kaylon are assembled within a central production facility on Kaylon 1.[10] As a result, comscanners do not detect biosigns in them, only electrical fluctuations and chemical reactions.[4]

Kaylon physiology is infamously complex. Captain Ed Mercer notes, "We do not know how death is defined on their world," and Doctor Claire Finn adds, "Whatever makes them tick is beyond our understanding."[4]

Kaylon do not "die." Instead, Kaylon are re-programmed[2] or deactivated.[4]

It is widely assumed that the Kaylon cannot experience emotion such as sympathy,[11] although whether Isaac has developed the capacity to love remains an open question.

Kaylon are all built with nearly identical physical characteristics, the only noticeable differing feature between them are if their particular bodies generate red, orange, or blue lights or the shade of grey of their metal (ranging from silverish/white to dark grey). Kaylons are also significantly smarter than Union species, with Isaac being able to interface with and access the programming of a 29th century device planted by Pria Lavesque.

While Kaylons do possess eye lights, they are in fact gun barrels, and they rely on internal sensors to view their surroundings.[12] Kaylon possess optical sensors capable of constructing spectrographic images.[2]

In addition to this, they do not sleep, instead put in a "charging station" when they need to rest. Kaylons are also capable of mimicking the voice of any individual as well as transferring their consciousness into other mechanical receptacles. From their hive mind, the consciousness of an individual Kaylon could be extracted and placed into an available shell, even another Kaylon body.

A Kaylon's mechanical biology allows them to live for millions of years. As a result, they do not perceive time in the same manner as biological lifeforms with Isaac stating that spending 700 years on a planet would be more akin to 700 seconds from his perspective. Upon reuniting with the Orville, Isaac's physical body showed no signs of physical degradation. Though incredibly durable, their bodies can be damaged by Union weapons and even vaporized by the PM-488 Titan's maximum setting. Kaylons also possess incredible strength, comparable to that of Xelayans. All Kaylons have built-in plasma blasters in their headpieces, the blasters being capable of sending even a Xelayan flying back from a single shot.

Kaylon are vulnerable to EMPs with Isaac detonating one with the intent to kill all of his kind aboard the Orville. Isaac himself was later reactivated no worse for wear by Yaphit tinkering inside his body. The body of a Gelatin could short circuit a Kaylon.

Information is stored in the unit's memory core.[4] A newly constructed Kaylon downloads experiential data of previous Kaylon such as the extermination of the Builders.[4]

In the alternate timeline, Kaylons demonstrated the ability to detach their heads from their bodies to function as more nimble attack drones though it is unclear if they are able to do this in the prime reality.


Kaylon capital ships are hollow, spherical shaped vessels with a bright red glow in the center. They are often escorted by smaller, drone ships that serve as space superiority fighters. Drones are durable enough to smash through Union explorer ship hulls with little damage.

The capital ships have powerful cannons that can slice easily through Krill and Union hulls. At Earth, the Kaylon attacked the Union armada, destroying 5 Union ships for every Kaylon vessel. It took three Krill ships to bring one Kaylon ship down.

Union scanners cannot penetrate Kaylon hulls and Union weapons take considerably more time to destroy them.

Alternate timeline Edit

In a timeline where Kelly Grayson had turned down a second date with Ed Mercer, the man never became captain of the Orville. As a result, Claire Finn never joined the ship meaning Isaac did not develop a relationship with her or her sons. Having no incentive to turn against his kind, Isaac betrayed the Orville to the Kaylon who used the craft to slip past Earth's defences, winning the Battle of Earth, before proceeding to sterilize the planet. For the next nine months, the Kaylon terrorized the galaxy, exterminating several species and preparing for a confrontation with the Calivon. This sequence of events was negated when Claire Finn was able to travel back in time and properly wipe Kelly's memory.

Production Edit

Though kept tightly under wraps, the transition of the Kaylon from a neutral species to antagonists of the Planetary Union was in the mind of creator Seth MacFarlane from the start of The Orville in April 2016.[13]

In the original script of the pilot, Old Wounds, Isaac's people were originally called the Kaylonians.[14]

Actor Mark Jackson introduced the Kaylon species to the public at the San Diego Comic Con on July 22, 2017. He explained that the Kaylon sent Isaac as an ambassador and observer to the Planetary Union, and that the species communicates with each other as a "hive mind."[15] This hive mind was first featured in The Road Not Taken.

Kaylon head turrets were designed by senior concept designer Lex Cassar in 2018. Early drafts of the guns had two spike-like focus arrays.[16] The turret would shoot a beam of energy that would vaporize targets,[17] but the vaporizing effect was removed as it was deemed "too brutal" for television audiences.[18]

"My initial designs for Kaylon head guns were originally quite simple," Cassar stated. "The panels just came out ... like side panels, and little, elegant rail guns. [Visual effects artists] took the designs and made them more like real guns."[19] The visual effects department found Cassar's original design "too simple," and made the eyes of the Kaylon gun barrels (something Isaac once said were purely aesthetic[20]).[19]


Isaac New Beginnings 2

Isaac as seen in the comics.

  • The killing of the Builders by the Kaylons is similar to the organic Cylons' fate in the Original Battlestar Galactica. The phonetic resemblance of the names Kaylon with Cylon might have been chosen on lampshading purpose.
  • The decomposition rate of the Builders' remains suggests that the Kaylon exterminated them sometime in the last few thousand years.
  • It is worth mentioning that the Kaylon also follow the same story line as the Automated Personnel Units from the Star Trek: Voyager episode Prototype. The APU's Builders - the Cravic and the Praylor - were also executed by their creations.
    • One of the big differences between the two are that the Kaylon can assemble themselves, whereas the APU's require a builder.
  • The Kaylon use a unit of time known as cycles; for example, 32.7 cycles pass between Isaac's remote deactivation and his reactivation on Kaylon 1,[21] while .7 cycles pass between him using an EM pulse to deactivate all Kaylons (including himself) aboard the Orville and being revived by Yaphit.[2]
  • Kaylon have some reference to the Geth from the Mass Effect universe, the only difference is the Geth maintained an isolationist stance after the exodus of their creators but the Kaylons planned for a genocidal war.
  • The initial name of the Kaylon race echoes Star Trek's Vulcans, who were originally known as the Vulcanians in several early episodes. Kaylonian, however, did not make it to broadcast.
  • When the alternate Issac is downloaded into an empty Kaylon body, the formerly orange optics glow blue, suggesting that a Kaylon's running lights are determined by their software instead of their hardware.

References Edit

  1. ↑ Episode 1: Old Wounds
  2. ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
  3. ↑ Isaac. Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  4. ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  5. ↑ Ed Mercer. Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  6. ↑ Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
  7. ↑ Episode 2x06: A Happy Refrain
  8. ↑ Kaylon Primary. Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
  9. ↑ In an alternate timeline, Ed Mercer comments that the Calivon are the military equals of the Kaylon. Episode 2x14: The Road Not Taken
  10. ↑ Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
  11. ↑ Isaac: "Sympathetic identification is not possible for a Kaylon." Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
  12. ↑ This engineering fact allowed Gordon Malloy to decorate Issac's face with Mr. Potato Head pieces without him realizing what had happened until the bridge crew pointed it out.
  13. ↑ @SethMacFarlane. "It was always locked and loaded, yessir. Surprise!". Twitter. Feb. 21, 2019.
  14. ↑ MacFarlane, Seth. The Orville 1x01 - Pilot. Fox Broadcasting Co. 2016.
  15. ↑ "SDCC 2017: The Orville - Peter Macon, Mark Jackson, Chad L Coleman". Whedonopolis Video. July 26, 2017.
  16. ↑ @GDNaturedVLLN. "@TheOrville Concepts for the Kaylon head cannons (headcanon jokes abound!).Β  The first two pieces are my intial exploration of the internal mechanisms. The last two are self explanatory.Β  #TheOrville #FOX #RenewTheOrville". Twitter. May 5, 2019.
  17. ↑ @GDNaturedVLLN. "Especially when you consider my initial proposal for how Kaylon weapons worked.". Twitter. May 5, 2019.
  18. ↑ @GDNaturedVLLN. "Yes it was deemed too brutal.  :)". Twitter. May 5, 2019.
  19. ↑ 19.0 19.1 "Lex Cassar, Senior Concept Designer". Quantum Drive. Aug. 27, 2019.
  20. ↑ Episode 1x05: Pria
  21. ↑ Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
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