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"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.
πŸ”ˆβ„ΉοΈŽβ€” Alara Kitan explaining the science of her species notorious enhanced strength to Gordon Malloy.[1]

Xelayans were a space flight-capable, humanoid species from the planet Xelaya. Xelayans were an important member species of the Planetary Union, known for their devotion to the sciences and humanities and respected for their extreme physical strength. In the 25th century, a Xelayan male was chair of the Planetary Union Council.

As Xelaya's gravitational pull was higher than most planets, the Xelayans possessed elevated strength and resilience in environments with an Earth-like gravity.[2] Despite their formidable power, most Xelayans, though not all, were an intellectual species, well-versed in the arts and sciences, who considered the military and physical pursuits as less "evolved"[3]


Talla Keyali lifting a Regorian with just one hand.

Xelayans were humanoid in appearance with pointy, indented ears, and ridges on their foreheads and the bridges of the nose. They were anatomically different from humans, lacking livers[4] or appendices.[5]

Due to the comparatively high gravity of their home planet, Xelayans enjoyed exceptional strength outside of Xelaya. In these alien environments, their strength surpassed that of Moclans[6] and possibly even Kaylons.[7] Xelayan skin was very durable, resilient enough even to stop bullets from piercing vital organs.[8]

Young Xelayans who remained in lower-gravity environments such as Earth for long stretches of time could begin to lose bone density and muscle mass, a condition known as gravity sickness. Gravity sickness could become a permanent affliction if the individual did not return to a Xelaya-like environment or undergo physically difficult gravity treatments in an Environmental Simulator.[9][10]

Xelayans suffered to some extent from at least two diseases, Mellara and Torin's syndrome, and they vaccinated themselves against Mellara.[9]

Xelayans were susceptible to alcoholism.[11]


The origins of the Xelayans are shrouded in mystery. They bore a strong physical semblance to the Okudum and some scholars hypothesized the two species shared a common evolutionary ancestor.[12]

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

The Xelayan people made contact with and joined the Planetary Union sometime before the 25th century. Because most Xelayans were interested in intellectual careers, few actually joined the Union's military; when one of them did, the Union usually fast-tracked them.[2] Some Xelayan families such as the Keyalis, however, had served in the military for generations.[13]

In 2421, a Xelayan served as the speaker of the house of the Union Council.[14]


A pelpifa.

Island beaches were popular holiday getaways in high season. "You can actually see sand and water," Cambis Borrin commented. "Instead of umbrellas and towels."[9]

Evidently, Xelayans had no concept of astrology as the term was wholly unfamiliar to Talla Keyali.[15]

The pelpifa was a Xelayan musical instrument which combined musical tones with holographic patterns. Youth sometimes learned the instrument. "My parents forced me to learn it when I was in school," Talla remarked. "It's pretty much the whole reason I never got laid."[16]


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

Xelayan civilization was decidedly academic, placing a heavy emphasis on knowledge and education. Children attended school prior to higher education such as university or Union Point.[16]

At least two universities are known: an unnamed school where the professor Ildis Kitan taught and the University of Xenara. The University of Xenara Medical School boasted a "beautiful"[17] and "lovely campus."[18] Associate professor Galdus Harona taught there at the prodigious young age of 21 until his death,[9] and Professor Kitan did "a few stints" as a visiting lecturer as well.[18]

One peer-reviewed journal was 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.[19]


Dinner in a Xelayan home.

  • Xelayans enjoyed sweetened gupsela when sad, similar to how humans ate ice cream as comfort food.[20]
  • Trivalve sauce, according to Ildis Kitan, was a "delicate thing" which should not be eaten before completely boiled.[21]
  • The Union credited Xelayans with the creation of many popular alcoholic beverages: Xelayan tequila,[22] which could be ordered as a single[23] or double shot;[4] Xelayan rum;[24] and Xelayan blossom whiskey.[25]
  • Frizzian champagne, a "wonderful" prestige drink enjoyed by "higher class company."[26]

Additionally, Chief of Security Talla Keyali made an unidentified beverage that caused both Captain Ed Mercer and First Officer Kelly Grayson to vomit.[27]

Notable Xelayans[]


Alara as seen in the comics.

  • The endings of Xelyan names seem to divided by gender:
  • In the original script, the name Xelayan was spelled Seleyan.[28]
    • 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."[29]
  • During a March 20, 2018 Season 2 sneak-peak of The Orville to members of the Academy, drinks of "Xelayan tequila" were served (in reality a margarita). The ingredients were tequila, squeezed lime juice, and Triple Sec with a salted rim and lime garnish.[30]
  • 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.[31]


  1. ↑ Episode 1: Old Wounds
  2. ↑ 2.0 2.1 Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
  3. ↑ Solana Kitan. Episode 2x03: Home
  4. ↑ 4.0 4.1 Episode 2x01: Ja'loja
  5. ↑ Episode 2x05: All the World is Birthday Cake
  6. ↑ Episode 1x03: About a Girl
  7. ↑ Episode 1x10: Firestorm
  8. ↑ Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
  9. ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Episode 2x03: Home
  10. ↑ Episode 2x14: The Road Not Taken
  11. ↑ Alara acknowledges that drinking too much Xelayan tequila makes her a "lush" and Ed later calls the both of them alcoholics. Episode 2x01: Ja'loja
  12. ↑ Episode 2.5x03: Heroes, Pt. 1
  13. ↑ Episode 2x07: Deflectors
  14. ↑ Episode 2x12: Sanctuary
  15. ↑ Episode 2x05: All the World is Birthday Cake
  16. ↑ 16.0 16.1 Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  17. ↑ Floratta Borrin. Episode 2x03: Home
  18. ↑ 18.0 18.1 Ildis Kitan. Episode 2x03: Home
  19. ↑ Cambis Borrin. Episode 2x03: Home
  20. ↑ Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
  21. ↑ Episode 2x03: Home
  22. ↑ Episode 1x02: Command PerformanceEpisode 2x01: Ja'loja
  23. ↑ Episode 1x02: Command Performance
  24. ↑ Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  25. ↑ Episode 2x02: Primal Urges
  26. ↑ Cambis Borrin. Episode 2x03: Home
  27. ↑ Episode 2x08: Identity, Pt. 1
  28. ↑ MacFarlane, Seth. The Orville 1x01 - Pilot. Fox.
  29. ↑ "Inside Look In 360Β° | Season 1 | THE ORVILLE". Fox. Sept. 1, 2017.
  30. ↑ u/MrHelloOperator. "Good to know...". June 1, 2018.
  31. ↑ Ildis Kitan: "If we don't hear from him by tomorrow morning I'm calling the police." Episode 2x03: Home