Star Trek Beyond proved itself worthy of raving reviews and incredible enjoyment due to its many positive attributes. Among these attributes is the excellent character development found in the movie, including that of Jaylah, a newcomer to the Star Trek Universe. Pictured prominently in promotional content, Jaylah is a character whose prominent role helped Beyond become the excellent movie it is.
Scotty is the first to encounter Jaylah when he, like the rest of the crew, is abandoned on a distant and unknown planet. Jaylah quickly shows that she is incredibly intelligent and quite capable of handling herself. The alien fends off some scavengers who attack Scotty with some nifty tech that allow her to appear in duplicate. She also has set up various traps to catch beings who stray to close to her home. Seeing the Star Fleet emblem on Scotty’s shirt, Jaylah realizes he can help her as her home for the past few years has been an abandoned Star Fleet vessel, but she doesn’t just use him, but offers an option mutually beneficially to the both of them.
Jaylah’s backstory isn’t completely brand-new, but her response to it is, which helps make her believable. Her ship was taken down by Krall (much like the Enterprise), but unlike most unlucky beings who Krall captures, she survived. The rest of her people have been killed, including her father who she watched die in front of her — he sacrificed himself so she may live. Jaylah’s reaction to these events is fresh for us. Instead of the vengeful character that we are used to, someone who spent years alone concocting a plan to avenge her father’s death, Jaylah just wants to get away from the doomed planet. And who can blame her? Krall is a monster, and if getting as far away from him as possible means survival, it makes sense. We can feel Jaylah’s pain and reactions to her situations. We buy them.
Jaylah’s uneasiness and original unwillingness to help Kirk save his crew makes sense. She has no obligation to them, but the fact that Scotty and Kirk are able to convince her to go along speak volumes about the nature of her character and good heart. Her independent nature doesn’t get in the way of her newfound willingness to help her new friends. This is what moves her from a relatable character to lovable one. She is the type of character you connect with and root for. Plus her unintentional little quirks create the comedic value of some of the scenes, and for that, we are grateful.
An independent, intelligent, and good-natured character, Jaylah is a fantastic new player in the Star Trek Universe. With the notion that Star Trek Beyond wasn’t the last place we will see her, we can be excited for the inclusion of such a well-developed character in future Star Trek productions.
What did you think of Star Trek Beyond’s Jaylah?
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