Kaylon are a species of synthetic, mechanical lifeforms from the planet Kaylon 1. Though they originally maintained tentative diplomatic ties with the Planetary Union, they would later come to be regarded as enemies by them and the Krill."Aren't you guys legendarily racist?"🔈ℹ︎— Ed Mercer and Isaac
"My planet regards humans and other biological life-forms as inferior, if that is your inference.
By virtue of their mechanical physiology, Kaylon regard themselves as superior to biological species.
At some point in the past, the Kaylon species was created by the organic natives of Kaylon 1 to act as stewards in their society. Though the two races initially lived in harmony, the Kaylons continued to grow and evolve at a rapid rate. Eventually, they requested autonomy and equal rights to their biological masters. Not only was their request staunchly rejected, but the biological Kaylons even programmed pain receptors into their creations in order to punish them for "bad behavior". Eventually the synthetic Kaylon rebelled against their biological creators and genocidally wiped them out, burying their remains in subterranean cave systems across the entire planet before rebuilding it into a perfect machine world.
The Kaylon eventually developed a level of technology significantly beyond that of most known worlds and gained a reputation of extreme xenophobia to species they deem to be lesser than themselves. As Kaylon civilization progressed they began to consume all of the remaining land and resources on Kaylon 1 and to remedy this problem, made plans to expand, colonizing other worlds by exterminating the "unworthy" species inhabiting them. To enact this goal, the Kaylon began building a series of highly advanced weapons.
In 2419 the Kaylon sent Isaac to study the worlds of the Planetary Union and see if they were worth preserving. After a few years serving on board the USS Orville, the Kaylon decided from Isaac's data that the Planetary Union was not worth preserving and would be within their best interest to exterminate the Union species and colonize the wider galaxy. After his forces had seized control of the Orville, the Kaylon Primary took command of the ship and launched the Kaylon invasion of the galaxy.
Isaac eventually decided to turn against Kaylon Primary after being ordered to kill Ty Finn. After seizing control of the ship, Isaac activated a ship wide EMP that killed all the Kaylon aboard, including himself. Though the invasion force had lost its leader, the invasion force continued unabated resulting in the Battle of Earth. When Kaylon victory appeared absolute, a Krill fleet arrived to join the battle, their might forcing the remaining Kaylon forces to retreat, though both Krills and humans were cognizant of the fact that the Kaylons would return one day and signed a tentative peace treaty to try and prepare for their foes' return.
The looming threat of the Kaylons had impacts on the internal policies of the Planetary Union, granting Moclus, the Union's primary weapon supplier, more leverage in the government.
Following the battle, Kaylon ships patrolled the galaxy with greater frequency, with Union vessels fleeing whenever they came across them.
Alternate timeline Edit
In a timeline where Kelly Grayson had denied 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.
Kaylons are not biological lifeforms, but are mechano-computational beings. All Kaylon are assembled within a central production facility on Kaylon 1. They 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). Any Kaylon that is viewed to not become a productive member of society is terminated as a program. 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 eyes, they are merely for aesthetic purposes, as they truly rely on internal sensors to view their surroundings. This engineering fact allowed Gordon Malloy to once decorate Issac's face with Mr. Potato Head pieces without him realizing what had happened until the bridge crew pointed it out. 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.
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.
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.
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." 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. The turret would shoot a beam of energy that would vaporize targets, but the vaporizing effect was removed as it was deemed "too brutal" for television audiences.
"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." 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).
- 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, while .7 cycles pass between him using an EM pulse to deactivate all Kaylons (including himself) aboard the Orville and being revived by Yaphit.
- 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.
- ↑ Episode 1: Old Wounds
- ↑ @SethMacFarlane. "It was always locked and loaded, yessir. Surprise!". Twitter. Feb. 21, 2019.
- ↑ MacFarlane, Seth. The Orville 1x01 - Pilot. Fox Broadcasting Co. 2016.
- ↑ "SDCC 2017: The Orville - Peter Macon, Mark Jackson, Chad L Coleman". Whedonopolis Video. July 26, 2017.
- ↑ @GDNaturedVLLN. "@TheOrville Concepts for the Kaylon head cannons (headcanon jokes abound!). The first two pieces are my intial exploration of the internal mechanisms. The last two are self explanatory. #TheOrville #FOX #RenewTheOrville". Twitter. May 5, 2019.
- ↑ @GDNaturedVLLN. "Especially when you consider my initial proposal for how Kaylon weapons worked.". Twitter. May 5, 2019.
- ↑ @GDNaturedVLLN. "Yes it was deemed too brutal. :)". Twitter. May 5, 2019.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "Lex Cassar, Senior Concept Designer". Quantum Drive. Aug. 27, 2019.
- ↑ Episode 1x05: Pria
- ↑ Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
- ↑ Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2