The Krill are an aggressive, reptilian species from a planet of the same name, which is located in the same quadrant of the galaxy as the Planetary Union.

Krill society is an extreme theocracy dominated by the worship of an omnipotent vengeful creator god named Avis who commands the destruction of all non-Krill through "the divine fight," a state of perpetual conflict.[n 1] The majority of Krill view other species as soulless and unworthy of life. Thus, they are in conflict with virtually all other species.

Because Krill territory abuts Union space, they were the Union's primary antagonists of the early 25th century until the landmark Lak'vai Pact of Tarazed 3.

The Krill were not always so extreme in their religious beliefs. According to Captain Ed Mercer, the Krill were much less "fanatical" adherents prior to achieving space flight and first contact with other worlds.[1] Only after the Krill discovered they were "just one species among a vast diversity of life forms," did the Krill "ratchet up their xenophobia."[1]

Biology Edit

Krill (Dyring)

A Krill dying from exposure to ultraviolet rays.

Krill are a bipedal reptilian humanoid species. They have tough, scaly skin with three bony ridges running along their skulls. Their height and strength are roughly the same as Humans. Males have two bone protrusions from the base of their chins, called "chin horns."[n 2]

There are at least two Krill phenotypes. The first has pale white skin with entirely black eyes.[n 3] The second has blue-grey skin with black irises and white sclerae.[n 4] The Krill homeworld, also called Krill, is covered in a shroud of darkness, and evolutionary adaptation to this environment has caused the Krill to be vulnerable to even mild exposure to the ultraviolet radiation in lights and sunlight.[2]

All observed Krill have the same slender physique. Lieutenant Unk briefly mentions that Krill women can be "chubby," though the extent to which that is only prurient fantasy is unknown.[3]

Politics Edit

As a whole, politics are shaped by a supremacist interpretation of Krill religion, although the Union suspects progressive movements exist "within the Krill power structure."[4]

Lak'vai pact Edit

A lak'vai pact is a joint resolution between two parties with a statement of goodwill and an intention to conduct open treaty negotiations in the future. A lak'vai is not a ceasefire, but initializes peace talks.[5]

One notable example is the Lak'vai Pact of Tarazed 3 between the Krill and the Union, signed by Ambassador K.T.Z. and Captain Ed Mercer.[5]


The Krill religion revolves around the worship of a supreme deity named Avis, whose stories and philosophy are recorded in the Anhkana, the Krill sacred text. Avis created the Krill independent of all other life and granted dominion over all things in the universe to them. All other life life is soulless and thus unworthy of existence.[1] Even complex species are regarded as non-sentient, their actions compared by the Krill to the generated responses of an advanced computer.[2] Avis commands the destruction of all other godless life.[1]

Krill gather for services, religious rituals, inside rooms or buildings known as chapels. Chapels may be found throughout the Krill home world and in their Krill destroyers. Services are led by a High Priest flanked by two Priests.[2]

A basic chapel consists of a single room with an altar at its center-front; a copy of the Anhkana rests on the top of the altar. Two rows of pews flank the sides of the room, separated by a single center aisle. On the altar sits a copy of the Anhkana and a bell, which begins services. The walls of the chapel are adorned with Krill writing proclaiming belief in their god.[n 5]

Services Edit

At the start of services, the Priest opens services by twice ringing the ceremonial bell and greeting the congregation: "A blessed evening. Temeen Everdeen."[n 6] The congregants replying, "Temeen everdeen."[2]

After the salutation, a blood sacrifice is presented for the glory of Avis. The Priest utters, "Let us now cleanse," and the sacrifice is presented. For example, during services on the Yakar, the severed head of a Human from the Union colony planet Chara 3 is placed upon the altar. The Priest produces a ritual dagger and explains the reason for the sacrifice's death.[2]

Finally, the Priest destroys the sacrifice. The Priest says, "Hail, Avis! Hail, victory! Temeen everdeen!," and plunges the dagger into the sacrifice. The Priest proceeds to mash the sacrifice with the dagger while the congregation chants "temeen everdeen."[2]

Military Edit

The Krill military is an extension of the society's religion, and participation in the military is knowing as joining "the divine fight" against other lifeforms.[n 1]
Krill soldier

A concept sketch of a basic Krill soldier by the show's wardrobe designer, Joseph Porro.

The Krill operate warships called destroyers for military operations. Destroyers are led by a captain, in charge of all operations aboard the ship. The captain is assisted by the High Priest who oversees religious affairs. Some destroyers may self-cloak.

There are at least two tiers of Krill military rank: the captain in command of a destroyer and the soldiers who comprise the bulk of the Krill force. Soldiers are highly-trained people trained for hand-to-hand and weapon-based combat. Soldiers are in charge of minor operations, enforcing the commands of leaders aboard destroyers, or leading ground teams on military strikes.

Armor and weaponry Edit

Krill armor is durable yet flexible, having the same toughness as their rifles.[6] Armor covers nearly all of the body of a Krill soldier, although it is not entirely for protection in combat. Because Krill are extremely sensitive to light, their armor blocks out deadly ultraviolet radiation. When on the surface of well-lit worlds like Epsilon 2, Krill soldiers wear helmets that guard the face at all times possible. The helmets open and retract automatically.

Soldiers carry several types of weapons, an assault weapon known as a Plasma Rifle, a single-handed plasma gun, and a sword for close-quarters combat.[n 7] Some Krill (notably Captain Haros) carry daggers, which features a trademark dagger-within-a-dagger design.[2]

Krill use electrified batons as an instrument of torture on prisoners, which have at least nine levels of intensity to hurt the victim. It is assumed that higher levels are extraordinarily painful and damaging as the Krill themselves are only able to survive up to level eight.[1]

Prison Edit

Captured enemies are temporarily stored in the brig of a ship,[1] but long-term captives such as Orrin Channing are held in prisons.[5]

Conflict with the Planetary Union Edit

The Krill are adversaries of the Planetary Union, though the Union has been careful to avoid an official declaration of war. As Admiral Ozawa elaborates, the Krill see a declared war with the Union as "a holy crusade," which means it would last decades.[2] In the absence of an official war, the Krill are responsible for a number of military strikes and raids on Union territory, and take a keen interest in Union technologies.

Some time in 2418, the Krill seeded a spy in the Epsilon Science Station of Epsilon 2 in the person of a lab technician, Doctor Derek Ashton. Station physicists led by Doctor Janice Lee working on quantum field technologies developed a quantum accelerator, a device capable of rapidly aging anything within a "quantum bubble." In September, 2419, after a year of quiet observation, Ashton calls for the Krill, who bring a Krill destroyer to the planet and raid the Station. Though the destroyer does capture the device, the Union vessel USS Orville manages to destroy the ship.[7]

The Krill pepper Union colonies with military raids throughout 2419. Some time in autumn, the destroyer Yakar conquers the Union colony of Chara 3 and kills its settlers.[2] Later, a different, unnamed destroyer attacks the USS Druyan, but is defeated by the intervening Orville.[8] Around December, the Kakov attempts to raid the colony planet Kastra 4 but is destroyed by the Orville. Dozens of Union settlers are confirmed killed.[2] At some point before she was transferred to the Orville in late 2420, Talla Keyali was serving on a ship when they had their "butts kicked" by the Krill; though the Union vessel escaped destruction, they were crippled and required a passing Janisi ship to retrieve them.[9]

Loss of the Yakar Edit

While the Krill had suffered several military defeats, their military was yet to lose a destroyer. That changed in late December when a shuttle recovered from the Kakov is used by Union agents Captain Ed Mercer and Helmsman Gordon Malloy to infiltrate the Yakar. The Yakar's current mission is to test a new prototype bomb on the colony planet of Rana 3. Gordon manages to hack the computers of the ship to emit extremely powerful blasts of light, fatally burning all inhabitants on board save Mercer, Malloy, a handful of schoolchildren, and the school teacher Teleya.

The Yakar is captured and is currently under Union possession, though the Union returned the children to their home world. Teleya was put in Union custody, but managed to escape. The capture of the Yakar stands as the most significant loss of a Krill ship yet.

Kaylon Conflict Edit

A turning point in Krill-Union relations came when the Kaylon launched an offensive against the Union. Assembling a large fleet, headed by a commandeered Orville, the Kaylon were advancing on Earth when Commander Grayson managed to escape with Lieutenant Malloy, jump to Krill space, and plead their case to the Krill. While the Krill were initially reluctant to believe them, they were convinced when Kaylon ship emerged from quantum space and destroyed two of their ships.

Mustering their own fleet, the Krill came to the Union's defense, their combined forces managed to push the Kaylon back. Assured that the Kaylon were now the primary threat to both races, the Krill agreed to a historic ceasefire with the Union.

Ceasefire Edit

One unintended consequence of the conflict was it paved the way for Krill reformists to make a push for power, and they lobbied for the Krill government to pursue a long term peace with the Union. They eventually succeeded, and the government agreed to sign the lak'vai pact on the Orville. Though the signing hit a snag due to the arrival of Orrin Channing, a terrorist responsible for destroying multiple Krill vessels, the crew of the Orville managed to avoid any further escalation, and the pact was signed. This paved the way for further negotiations between the Krill and Union.

During a Union Council dispute over the matter of rogue Moclan colonists, Moclan Ambassador Dojin threatened to secede from the Union, which Admiral Halsey believed would leave the galaxy open to extermination at the hands of the Kaylon. In answer to this, Dojin went on to suggest that the Krill would "follow the weapons" to make an alliance with the military power of Moclus over the Union. However, Captain Ed Mercer openly disagreed with the Ambassador's belief that the Moclans and the Krill could stop the Kaylon alone. Ultimately, the dispute was resolved with the Moclans content to allow the colony to remain with no official ties to the Union.[10]

Technology Edit

Distress beacon

The Krill's escape pods come equipped with a portable distress beacon for emergency situations.

Krill use dedicated broadcast frequencies for communications and distress signals that other civilizations identify as distinctive to the Krill.[1]

Education Edit

Krill children are educated in space vessels such as destroyers, exposing the children to warfare on the ship and indoctrinating them into the Krill's military society. A classroom consists of roughly a dozen pupils led by a single teacher.

Language Edit

Other culture Edit

Some Krill women choose a life of dedicated child-rearing.[11]

Unmarried Krill women have maiden names before they adopt a new name at marriage. One such maiden name is Kalavus, belonging to the mother of Ambassador K.T.Z.[5]

Notable Krill Edit

Production Edit

Krill soldier older

An older concept sketch of a Krill soldier. Note the significant differences in appearance.

Years before The Orville was greenlit, creator Seth MacFarlane envisioned an alien species of religious extremists that viewed all other life as inferior.[12] His vision evolved into the "Krill:" a highly religious species and a metaphor of fundamentalist religions on 21st century Earth. As cinematographer Marvin Rush explained, "The Krill are very religious in a way for instance that ISIS or ISIL is. ... We're not saying this is the story of ISIS, we're not telling that story, but there's a corrupting effect that religion can have."[13]

Yet despite the fact that the Krill are the primary antagonists of the Planetary Union, MacFarlane was careful to show that the Krill are not wholly evil. During the premiere of Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes, MacFarlane elaborated: "We wanted to create an enemy that felt threatening on the surface, but with an underlying humanity that we have to patiently unearth over time."[14] At San Diego Comic Con in 2019, MacFarlane stated that he wanted to make sure that "no alien species is 100% evil" in the show.

Design, make-up, and costumes Edit

Design of the Krill was heavily influenced by the classic film Nosferatu. More specifically: their sensitivity to light and their vampiric appearance. Howard Berger, make-up department head for Season 1, recalled that "we did a series of design work on them - Seth [MacFarlane] said they're vampiric, they should be pale, black eyes and scary."[15] Yet MacFarlane originally envisioned simpler aliens with nose and forehead prosthetics and make-up. To convince the man that realistic, large-scale Krill costumes were possible, Berger dressed his wife and two men in his vision of the Krill in November, 2016 and presented them to MacFarlane. He was impressed and immediately approved Berger's idea.[16]

Artists designing the Krill chose to contrast the Krill people against Krill architecture by aiming for "polar opposites." The grey and blue-grey skin of the Krill moved the production team to design Krill architecture that is very dark; the gentle ridges on Krill bodies meant sharp angles on the walls; the soft skin of the Krill led to hard, metallic surfaces and harsh lighting.[17]

Krill costumes have three generic types: adult male, adult female, and child. Berger notes: "We came up with a male and female version and a child version because there's an episode [Krill] with children, and on that episode we ended up doing 111 Krill in eight days."[17] Only particularly important Krill characters received unique prosthetic masks, such as Chris, Haros, and Teleya.

Each costume is comprised of a prosthetic head, face, and chin piece, which are pre-painted to save time and then added to the actor.[18] Application of the prosthetic and blending them into the skin take roughly one hour per person.[18]

Trivia Edit

  • Actors portraying Krill wore dentures in the pilot episode Old Wounds. Unfortunately, the collection of dentures was lost after filming.[19]
  • Howard Berger says that, once in costume, extras portraying Krill curiously tend to eat their meals together, isolated from the rest of the cast.[16]

External links Edit

Appearances Edit

Notes Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Teleya: "To become a soldier in the divine fight." Episode 2x04: Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes
  2. Ed Mercer as "Chris" calls them such to a Krill guard. Episode 1x06: Krill
  3. These Krill attacked during the Battle of Epsilon 2. Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
  4. This is the most commonly encountered Krill phenotype, including in the Battle of Kastra 4 and the infiltration of the Yakar. Episode 1x06: Krill
  5. The writing of which has not yet been deciphered. See Krillain.
  6. The meaning of this phrase is unknown.
  7. The sword is not seen in any episode but depicted and described in the book The World of the Orville as a double-bladed sword for close combat.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Episode 2x04: Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Episode 1x06: Krill
  3. Episode 2x02: Primal Urges
  4. Perry. Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  6. Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 94.
  7. Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
  8. Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
  9. Episode 2x05: All the World is Birthday Cake
  10. Episode 2x12: Sanctuary
  11. Unk states that there are Krill "housewives." Episode 2x02: Primal Urges
  12. Pascale, Anthony. "Interview: David A. Goodman On ‘The Orville’ As Sci-Fi Gateway And How ‘Futurama’ Landed ‘Enterprise’ Job". Oct. 23, 2017.
  13. Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 109.
  14. @SethMacFarlane. "We wanted to create an enemy that felt threatening on the surface, but with an underlying humanity that we have to patiently unearth over time.". Twitter. Jan. 17, 2019.
  15. Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 105.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "PLANETARY UNION NETWORK: EPISODE 20". Planetary Union Network. June 17, 2018.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 110.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "The IMDb Show | Episode 103: Amber Stevens West, the FX of “The Orville,” and Shows Ending in 2018". The IMDb Show. Dec. 1, 2017.
  19. The Martini Shot Show. "Ep. 5 Howard Berger talks The Orville, breaking into the industry, and more!". Youtube. March 2, 2018.
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