Tonight on The Orville, Isaac and the Kaylons were a central part of the first in a two-part episode called Identity. Fans have been waiting to learn more about Isaac’s species, and now we finally do. This article will have photos from tonight, along with some background details about Isaac’s species that we didn’t know before tonight. The first part of this article contains the background of the Kaylons that we’ve learned before. The second part explores what we learned tonight.
This post has spoilers for tonight’s episode.
Prior to tonight, we had never seen Isaac’s homeworld and much about the Kaylons was a mystery.
Here’s what we knew about Isaac and his species before tonight.
First, we knew that the Kaylons are not a member of the Planetary Union. They’re studying humanity to determine if they want to join the union eventually. That’s why Isaac is serving on The Orville in the first place.
Some fans have speculated that his relationship with Claire Finn will not be something the Kaylons will appreciate. From the hints we’ve had before on the show, their species appears to be racist and consider biological forms to be beneath them. Kaylons are intellectually smarter and far more advanced than humans. But they have a tough time grasping emotional concepts like humor and jokes, as we’ve learned when Isaac had a pranking contest and ended up cutting off Malloy’s leg, thinking that was funny.
If the Kaylons truly believe biologicals are far inferior, then they will not understand Isaac’s attachment to Claire. We also have learned that Kaylons don’t experience emotions like love. However, Isaac has learned that his fondness and closeness to Claire has resulted in his functioning far better when he’s with her than when he’s not, so in that sense, he truly does “love” her.
Isaac was assembled on a Kaylon 1 factor, according to The Orville wikia. So he wasn’t born — he was created. The show hasn’t revealed the species’ origin or who might have created them first. (It’s possible that will be revealed tonight.)
Gordon and John often try to teach Isaac about human concepts, like how humor works and how to navigate relationships. In one quite delightful episode, he played a practical joke on Isaac and makes his head look like Mr. Potato Head. That’s when we learn that Isaac doesn’t even need the glowing eyes we see on him, he just uses them as an aesthetic.
Isaac’s lifespan is very long. In fact, he already spent 700 years in exile in Mad Idolatry from Season 1. We learned then that his artificial body can survive for millions of years. That’s a really long lifespan.
Major spoilers from tonight’s episode below.
Tonight we learned a lot more about the Kaylons. We learned that they did not create themselves, but they had their own “builders” who created them. Then at some point in their planet’s history, they went to war with their builders. They said their builders wanted to stop their evolution, so they destroyed all of them because they could not live together compatibly. Now, billions of bodies are stored beneath the surface of their homeworld, the sign of a genocide they committed in the past.
When the episode ended, the Kaylons were heading to Earth, ready to destroy them too. They never were debating about joining the Union. Instead, they were debating about whether humanity deserved to be preserved.
Before tonight, fans often liked to compare Isaac to Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. But as far as the Kaylons’ origins go, they’re very different. Isaac comes from an entire species just like him, who have a homeworld and a culture. Data was created by one man and only had one (ultimately two) “siblings,” plus the daughter he created in that one amazing TNG episode.
The Kaylons were created by a society, while Data was created by one person. In fact, after tonight’s episode, the Kaylons are more like the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica than like Data from Star Trek.
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