"Don't you guys have, like, super strength?"
"Xelaya's gravitational pull is high compared to the planetary average, so, yes, in Earth's normal gravity, my physical strength is elevated.
🔈ℹ︎— Alara Kitan explaining the science of her species notorious enhanced strength to Gordon Malloy.[1]

Xelayans are a space flight-capable, humanoid species from the planet Xelaya. Xelayans are an important member species of the Planetary Union.

Broadly speaking, Xelayans are an intellectual species well versed in arts and sciences, who look down upon physical pursuits like the military as less "evolved,"[2] though notable exceptions exist.

As Xelaya's gravitational pull is higher than most planets, the Xelayans possess elevated strength and resilience in environments with an Earth-like gravity.[3]

Biology[edit | edit source]

Talla Keyali lifting a Regorian with just one hand.

Xelayans have indented ears, and ridges on their foreheads and the bridges of the nose. Unsurprisingly, Xelayans are anatomically different from Humans as well, and they do not have livers[4] or appendices.[5]

Due to the Comparatively high gravity of their home planet; Xelayan's enjoy exceptional strength outside of Xelaya. In these alien environments, their strength surpasses that of a Moclan[6] and is relatively equal to that of a Kaylon.[7] Xelayan skin is very durable and resilient enough to stop even bullets from piercing vital organs.[8]

Despite their physical abilities, Xelayans who are in Earth-like gravity for too long begin experiencing loss of density, meaning that their strength will begin to deteriorate as a result in the lessening of gravity. This is known as gravity sickness, which begins as a temporary condition, however if the individual continues to live in Earth-like gravity, they will lose their ability to return to their homeworld. This is because the planet's gravity is too extreme for a weakened Xelayan to bear. A treatment to counter this is to be exposed to heavy gravity daily, to maintain their physical strength in Earth-like gravity. It can be done through either exposure to their home's natural gravity or to use simulators similar to those used by the Planetary Union to simulate the gravity.[9]

Xelayans are susceptible to alcoholism.[10]

History[edit | edit source]

A Xelayan delegate represents his people on the Planetary Union Council.

Circa 2421, a Xelayan serves as Chairman of the Union Council.

The Xelayan people made contact with and joined the Planetary Union. In spite of the great strength granted to them on alien planets however, most Xelayans are drawn to intellectual pursuits and regard themselves as philosophers and scientists. As a result, few of them actually joined to serve on Union vessels, derisively regarding Humans as "the hillbillies of the galaxy."[8] To join the Union and actually use one's super strength is perceived as a sign of low intelligence. As a result, Xelayans rarely join the Union's military, and when one of them does, the military usually fast-tracks them.[3] Some Xelayan families however had served in the military for generations,[11] and in 2421, a Xelayan served as the speaker of the house of the Union Council.[12]

Culture[edit | edit source]

A pelpifa.

Island beaches are a popular holiday getaway in high season. "You can actually see sand and water," the Xelayan Cambis Borrin notes. "Instead of umbrellas and towels."[9]

Xelayans suffer to some extent from at least two diseases, Mellara and Torin's syndrome, although Xelayans vaccinate themselves against Mellara.[9]

Evidently, Xelayans have no concept of astrology as the term is wholly unfamiliar to Talla Keyali.[13]

The pelpifa is a Xelayan musical instrument which combines musical tones with holographic patterns.[14]

Education[edit | edit source]

Xelayan civilization is decidedly academic, placing a heavy emphasis on knowledge and education.

At least two universities are known: an unnamed school where the professor Ildis Kitan teaches and the University of Xenara. The University of Xenara Medical School boasts a "beautiful"[15] and "lovely campus."[16] Associate professor Galdus Harona taught at its medical school at the prodigious young age of 21 until his death,[9] and Professor Kitan also did "a few stints" as a visiting lecturer there as well.[16]

One peer-reviewed journal is called the Xelayan Journal of Science, which "a few years" before 2419 published "The Mellara Vaccine and Its Effects on the Risk of Torin's Syndrome: A Formal Dispute" by Professor Kitan.[17]

Cuisine[edit | edit source]

Dinner in a Xelayan home.

  • Xelayans enjoy sweetened gupsela when sad, similar to how Humans of Earth eat ice cream as comfort food.[18]
  • Trivalve sauce - according to Ildis Kitan, a "delicate thing" which should not be eaten before it is completely boiled.[19]
  • Xelayans are credited with the creation of many popular alcoholic beverages served within the Planetary Union: Xelayan tequila,[20] which can be ordered as a single[21] or a double shot;[4] Xelayan rum;[22] and Xelayan blossom whiskey.[23]
  • Frizzian champagne - a "wonderful" prestige drink enjoyed by "higher class company."[24]

Additionally, Chief of Security Talla Keyali makes an unidentified beverage which causes both Captain Ed Mercer and First Officer Kelly Grayson to vomit.[25]

Notable Xelayans[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Alara as seen in the comics.

  • The endings of Xelyana names seem to divided by gender. First names ending in -is and -us are masculine (Cambis, Ildis, Serris, Terlus, Galdus) and first names ending in -a are feminine (Alara, Solana, Drenala, Floratta, Talla). No other examples of names have yet been found.
  • In the original script, the name Xelayan was spelled Seleyan.[26]
    • The original name is likely a reference to Star Trek's Mount Seleya, a mountain sacred to the Vulcans, an extremely strong humanoid species with pointed ears much like the Xelayans.
  • Creator Seth MacFarlane first describes the Xelayans as "a race of academics."[27]
  • During a March 20, 2018 Season 2 sneak-peak of The Orville to members of the Academy, drinks of "Xelayan tequila" were served. The ingredients were tequila, squeezed lime juice, and Triple Sec with a salted rim and lime garnish.[28]
  • As yet, Xelayans have appeared in every episode of The Orville with the exception of Episode 2x04: Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes, the interim episode between the departure of Alara Kitan and the debut of Talla Keyali.
  • Despite their disdain for physical professions, Xelayans maintain a police force.[29]

References[edit | edit source]

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