"Sir, I know I'm not as experienced as you were expecting, but you can count on me." ― Alara Kitan[source]Alara Kitan is a Xelayan Lieutenant and Chief of Security aboard the USS Orville. According to Admiral Halsey, she served with the Orville under the previous captain as Chief of Security prior to Ed Mercer assuming command. Due to the high gravity of her homeworld Xelaya, she possesses incredible strength and durability.
Alara is portrayed by Halston Sage.
Alara Kitan was born in the year 2396 on Xelaya to Drenala and Ildis Kitan, a university professor. Unlike most Xelayans, Alara chose to join the Planetary Union instead of pursuing an academic degree. Her parents believe her decision to join the Union's military was because she is of below-average intelligence, but try to support her decision as best they can. Some time before the year 2419, Alara is stationed aboard the USS Orville, where she is fast-tracked to Chief of Security.
Alara meets Captain Ed Mercer in September, 2419, during introductions with the senior staff, and explains that thanks to the high gravitational pull of Xelaya, her strength is elevated on most planets. She makes it a point to tell Captain Mercer that even though she's the youngest on board, she takes her job seriously and that he and the Orville can count on her.
Alara holds true to her word by taking her job as Chief of Security seriously. She accompanies Ed, Commander Kelly Grayson, and Doctor Claire Finn to the Epsilon Science Station on Epsilon 2. A lab technician named Derek Ashton reveals himself to be an undercover Krill agent and attempts to steal a Quantum accelerator, a device capable of accelerating the rate of time within a quantum bubble. Derek summons a Krill destroyer to raid the Station before Alara manages to subdue him. With Krill soldiers from a destroyer flooding the colony, the team attempts to flee with the accelerator and Doctor Aronov, director of the facility. When they reach a jammed door, Alara breaks down the entire concrete wall, giving everyone a way out. On their way to the return shuttle, she uses her PM-44 to fight aggressive Krill soldiers.
In October, Alara challenges Bortus to a boxing match and uses her Xelayan strength to defeat him to demonstrate the strength of women, though Bortus remains unconvinced. Alara helps Kelly's case again during a Moclan Tribunal by reshaping the Arbitrator's cube, titanium gavel into a sphere, illustrating again the strength females can possess.
While Pria Lavesque stays aboard the Orville later that year, Kelly voices her suspicions of Pria to Alara. The Commander asks if they could check Pria's quarters for anything unusual. While Alara takes her concern seriously, but says she cannot search Pria's quarters without valid cause. Nonetheless, Alara agrees to conduct a "radiation check" of her room on the condition that Kelly promises her reasons are not motivated by jealousy for Pria and Ed's blooming relationship. The two find a suspicious device, but are caught by Pria before they can investigate further. In the Captain's office, Alara confesses to inventing an excuse to search Pria's quarters. Ed is outraged by her actions and announces he will be putting a formal reprimand on her record.
"Wait, this is your first time in command."In October, 2419, Captain Mercer and Commander Grayson are unexpectedly required to go off board in order to help the USS Blériot. With Second Officer Bortus on leave to nest an egg, Alara is given command of the Orville. Though visibly anxious, Alara calms herself when Ed assures her they will be gone only briefly. As soon as Ed and Kelly enter Blériot, they disappear, revealing the Blériot to be a holographic projection from a buoy. Alara orders a search but the commanders are gone. Overwhelmed, Alara scurries to Bortus's quarters and explains the crisis. While sympathetic, he maintains he is unable to leave the egg during the 21-day incubation period without endangering the life inside. Alara alone must figure out how to get Ed and Kelly back.
"Yeah, so maybe someone else should—"
"You got this, okay. You wouldn't be allowed to wear that uniform if you weren't qualified. We trust you." ― Kelly Grayson to Alara Kitan[source]
Alara orders a shot of Xelayan tequila from a nearby food synthesizer to calm down. For a moment, it works; but she soon throws up, and must return to the Bridge. Her first order, as suggested by Helmsman Gordon Malloy, is to retrieve in the empty shuttle and the buoy by tractor beam. Science Officer Isaac advises against the latter action, cautioning that the buoy could have hidden defense mechanisms. Alara notes Isaac's advice but is unmoved. However, once the buoy draws near the Orville's spatial tensor coils, it explodes, badly damaging the coils and Shuttle Bay and injuring several members of the crew.
Upset that her first command decision led to casualties, Alara begs Doctor Finn for medical relief of duty from the Captain's chair. She refuses, and instead advises Alara that to be a capable leader, she must learn from her mistakes and take help when she can get it. Ignoring Isaac simply to appear confident, Claire continues, was poor judgement.
Alara returns to the Bridge. Isaac speculates that recovered traces from a pulse sent by the buoy may be the remnants from a teleportation signal. Further research follows the pulse to the home world of the Calivon. Alara is strictly prohibited from contact with the Calivon by Admiral Tucker. (The Calivon system is off limits for all Union ships.) Alara begrudgingly orders the bridge officers to return to Earth, and Ed and Kelly will be considered lost in the line of duty. The Bridge is disappointed by her decision. Gordon especially is outraged and refuses to abandon the commanders. Unmoved, Alara removes him of duty.
Privately, Alara goes back to Claire to bemoan how the entire crew "hates her." Claire explains that she has a choice either to follow orders and living with the crew's resentment or to disobey and potentially risk ruining her career. The dilemma is what command is all about. In the Mess Hall, Alara orders another Xelayan tequila and sits with Gordon and Navigator John LaMarr. She tries to explain that she has orders not to engage the Calivon, but Gordon replies that if the situation was reversed, Ed would have never left her to die.
Emboldened by Claire's advice and his response, Alara tells the Mess Hall that the Orville will go to the Calivon system in spite of Admiral Tucker's orders to save Ed and Kelly, receiving a round of applause. As the Orville approaches the planet, Isaac—a Kaylon—accompanies Alara to the Calivon Zoo that Ed and Kelly are kept in because the Calivon view Kaylons as equals but not Humans. The pair barter with the Administrator for Ed and Kelly's release. He claims the human couple are one of the their most successful exhibits, but Alara offers a trade for Ed and Kelly in exchange for archives of 21st Century Earth reality television. The offer is accepted and the two Union officers are freed.
Back on the Orville, Alara is awarded the Sapphire Star for her outstanding skill and leadership abilities to save her crew
Alara accompanies Captain Mercer, Commander Grayson, Doctor Finn, and Isaac to the Dorahl bioship, using her strength to open the airlock to the vessel's ecosystem. Ed insists they should split up to cover more ground, Alara and Kelly explore the grass plains. While walking the Commander talks about her relationship with Ed and why she cheated on him, and Alara emphathizes.
Dorahlian police officers approach the pair and demand to see identification. Both stammer trying to give an answer and the officers grow suspicious, taking their guns out and demanding they come with them. Alara tries to discuss diplomatically the Orville's mission but is shot and left to die; the officers haul Kelly away by car. Alara contacts the others by comscanner, who find her and use a Foreign Object Retractor and a Dermoscanner to heal the bullet wounds. The team storm the capital building to find Kelly. Inside, Alara, determined to help, uses her strength to rip the doors off Hamelac's office. She throttles Hamelac by the neck until he produces an antidote to poison used to torture Kelly
After freeing Kelly, the Reformers show the away team a door they found leading to the bioship's bridge. Ed and Isaac discover a recording of the ship's former captain, Jahavus Dorahl, explaining the origin of the vessel and how it was meant to bring their people to another world, but an ion storm destroyed their engines and left them marooned in space for generations.
Exploring Sargus 4Edit
Alara is recruited as part of the landing team on Sargus 4. Alara comments about how strange she looks in Sargun clothing. Kelly shuts her down instantly and explains that she can't be walking around exposing her Xelayan ridges. Understanding her point nonetheless, Grayson has the Matter Synthesizer produce more choices of Sargun headwear, Claire Finn gives her a Nefolo which Alara wears more comfortably. When Captain Mercer enters the room he gives Alara paper currency explaining that Sargus 4 is Capitalist and they need money in order to buy necessary utilities, she comments how unusual that is compared to the Union worlds. After arriving on Sargus 4, Grayson buys everyone a Vote Badge from a local vendor. Alara is questioned by John LaMarr about her relationship with the crew member Andy, Alara confesses she and him broke him because the way he danced was "too grindy".
LaMarr finds this answer humorous and begins asking her how exactly he danced, mimicking suggestive moves on a nearby statue of Mella Giffendon. After he is arrested by the Department of Corrections for receiving excess downvotes, Alara and Commander Grayson head into a coffee shop to discuss the situation before a Kelvic man approaches her and, knowing Alara is not Kelvic, demands she remove the hat. Realizing it would expose her Xelayan features she argues but soon receives a heavy pour of downvotes because of it. Grayson takes her to a bathroom to try and find something else to cover her head with before Lysella walks in and notices her without the hat. Later, the two take her out to a nearby table and Alara explains the crew's objective. They manage to convince Lysella to come aboard the Orville and discuss how they can get LaMarr's vote count up again as his Apology tour is failing to yield any support on its own.
Alara flies Lysella in a Shuttle to The Orville. She uses her smart phone to take a picture of it and Alara confiscates it out of her hand. When Lysella says without picture proof no one will believe her, Alara confirms that was the reason she took it in the first place. On the ship Lysella tells Isaac to hack into the Master Feed and flood it with evidence that would make the Sargun populace more sympathetic to LaMarr. Alara abruptly suggests Isaac add that John has a pet dog named "Chuckles". That in addition to another suggestion that LaMarr be a veteran is added by the crew, as Lysella explains soldiers reuniting with pets always is well-loved by the voters.
Main article: Cupid's Dagger.
When the USS Olympia carrying the assigned Forensic Archeologist is approaching the ship, Alara informs Grayson the vessel is sending a personnel file to her and she'll forward the information once it comes through. Kelly leaves the room and Kitan receives the file shortly after. Shocked to find out the Archeologist is Darulio. Alara anxiously jogs through the Orville's hallways to try and tell the Engineers not to let the Shuttle land, but it's too late as Mercer and Grayson quickly learn the hard truth of their situation. She escorts Darulio to the Lab and they talk about Kelly and Ed on the way there, Alara pretending not to know that he slept with her while she was still married to the Captain.
The Navarians and Bruidians argue over war crimes committed by each other on Lopovius. Enraged, one attempts to pull out a dagger but is subdued quickly by Alara. Once the tension is settled Kelly and her talk about the former's growing attraction to Darulio again, Kitan is supportive but finds the turn of events jarring. She explains her feelings to LaMarr in the Mess Hall before one the Navarian ambassadors approaches her and complains that the Captain isn't answering his message, though Kitan is able to temporarily appease him. While working in the Bridge, Ty and Marcus wander the hallways saying that they're locked out the their quarters. Alara investigates and opens the door witnessing Claire having sexual intercourse with Yaphit.
Claire explains herself to Alara claiming that she's in love with him now. Noticing a recurring pattern of similarly erratic behavior around the ship, Kitan finds Darulio and demands to know what it is he's doing that causing the crew to act like hormonal teenagers. He confesses that he is currently in heat & Retepsians release pheromones that attract anyone they touch during that time. Alars responds angrily telling him that involving the Captain and Commander in it was irresponsible and if the Navarian-Bruidian peace fails because of it he would be to blame. She proceeds to bring him into Sick Bay in order to research an antidote. Isaac and Nurse Park, unfortunately, are not able to find anything in the database. To prevent any further trouble Alara dismisses Darulio and confines him to his quarters until further notice.
Main article: Firestorm.
"I was gonna grab the fallen bulkhead, but when the fire started, I just I froze. I have no idea why. I just I've never been so scared in my life." ― Alara Kitan[source]
After the Orville is caught in a Plasma Storm, Chief Engineer Steve Newton calls Alara down to Engineering in order to lift a piece of debris off of Lieutenant Harrison Payne. While rushing through the hallways to perform the task, Alara is paralyzed with fear by a large fire that has erupted in the middle of the room. Lieutenant Payne eventually dies, and at his eulogy Alara is devastated. She later practices boxing in the Environmental Simulator destroying the bag in a fit of rage. Commander Grayson and Doctor Finn come in to try and comfort her, by insisting Payne would've died even if she removed the Debris as his injuries were too extensive to be remedied in time. But Alara can't shake the feeling of guilt that her fear of fire made her unable to perform her job.
They eventually leave at her request, and Alara goes to Captain Mercer's office and, still feeling immense guilt, asks to be relieved of her duties as Chief of Security, Mercer is weary of doing this and tells Kitan if she thinks there's a bigger problem that stopped her from saving the Lieutenant she should talk to her parents about it. Heeding the advice, Alara hails them in her quarters. When asked, Drenala tells a story of when Alara was an infant and their home caught fire, that if wasn't for her screams she wouldn't have been able to get help in time. Kitan thanks them and tries to process everything they told her.
She walks in the hallways until noticing a frightening circus clown starring right at her. She holds eye contact for a minute until it starts running towards her and dashes to the side, she chases him but around the corner he vanishes. Startled, Alara goes to the Bridge and informs Mercer that she is losing her mind. He asks why she believes that and Alara tells him what happened in the hall, much to the chagrin of LaMarr who has a severe phobia of clowns. Mercer suggests they check the logs to see if they caught anything. Isaac goes through all the hallway monitors until they see one with the Clown standing just as Kitan described.
Isaac says that scans show there was a human on the deck at the time but that it somehow disappeared afterward. The Captain commands the Bridge to split up into teams in order to find the Clown and detain it. Alara with Bortus look in Cargo Hold and split up to check on different levels. Kitan walks slowly until the Clown attacks her and wrestles the PM-44 out of her hands. She fights back against him, until finally getting ahold of the gun again and killing the Clown. In the Briefing Room, Alara explains that the Clown set her blaster to the highest setting and that she didn't mean to kill him. The crew understands and Kitan insists that the Clown wasn't human, saying how strong he was during their fight. Alara and Kelly walk and talk about what's going on, eventually deciding to meet in the Mess Hall later for a drink. As Kelly opens the door to her quarters however, she almost plummets to her death, as the room had been replaced with a large pit leading into the void of space.
The duo explain to Mercer what happened and how it defied all known laws of the observable universe. Ed concludes if it was impossible it couldn't have actually happened and theorizes there must be something wrong with the crew instead of the ship. Doctor Finn agrees to do a brain scan on Alara, Kelly and Ed to see what could be going on. During Kitan's turn she lays down and is strapped to the diagnostic bed, Claire claiming it's to keep Alara still during her brain surgery, she tries to break free but Finn explains they're quadruple fortified. Kitan asks why she's doing this but Claire avoids the question, walking out of the room to get her equipment from the back. Nurse Park comes in and asks what's going on and Alara explains everything to him, Park says restraining her for surgery is ridiculous and tries to set her free, but is unable to since the code for the computer had been changed. As he continues to fiddle with it, Finn shoots him in the back with a PM-44.
Claire takes a scalpel out and is prepared to slash into Alara's abdomen until she breaks free and knocks her out, calling help from the rest of the crew. Captain Mercer and Commander Grayson take Claire to the Brig and ask her why she's doing this, but the former Doctor gives cryptic nonsensical answers. After realizing they're getting nowhere everyone prepares to leave until Claire begins taunting them about the vastness of space and how frightening it all truly is. Finn eventually walks up to Alara and says that she especially will be forced to witness them. Back in the Briefing Room, Alara along with the rest of the crew desperately try to rationalize what could be happening until a swarm of Tarantulas begin crawling through the entire room. Everyone leaves in a panic and when they re-enter with weapons, the arachnids are all gone.
The crew decides the best course of action is to drive into another Plasma Storm, as they think the first one might be what trigged this series of events. Alara is assigned to go with Gordon to Engineering to stabilize the area for re-entry. They go to the elevator and when the doors open a gigantic spider comes out immune to their PM-44 blasts. Both of them run and Gordon gets tripped and eaten by the Spider before retreating, leaving Alara alone. She calls for anyone to help but receives no answer from anyone. She goes to the Bridge and sees it entirely empty, she searches any other room and continues calling for assistance but the entire Orville appears abandoned. Once she explores engineering Isaac approaches her and Alara tries to confide with him about the unnerving phenomenon. She tells him how Gordon died in front of her, and Isaac says how it is unfortunate for him to have been eaten alive. Alara notices she never told Isaac how Gordon died and wonders how he knew that. Kitan realizes that isn't Isaac, it's the creature who's been terrorizing the ship. It proceeds to attack her and the two engage in a drawn out battle that extends to the Shuttle Bay.
The Orville begins getting destroyed by the approaching Plasma Storm and Alara readies a Shuttle to escape the destruction. The creature takes a crate of explosives and blows it up to create a stream of fire across the exit, but Alara now having conquered her fear effortlessly flies through it to safety. She then notices everything around her change as it's revealed the entire ordeal, starting with the Clown running in the hallway, was an advanced program in the Simulator. In her quarters, Captain Mercer explains that after Alara spoke to her parents she requested a simulation be made where she had to deal with common phobias to conquer whatever prevented her from saving Lieutenant Paynes, and had her memories of asking redacted to make the experience more authentic. Captain Mercer reveals that Alara had activated Directive 38 to prevent them from shutting down the program prematurely, and that under normal circumstances it would've lead to a Union Chief of Security being discharged. But that he will look the other way because of how well Kitan handled herself in the simulation. She proceeds to go to sleep that night with at peacefully, no longer burdened by her phobias.
"I left Alara in command.Despite having incredible strength due to the elevated gravity of her homeworld, Alara appears to be a very sensitive, innocent, and kind-hearted person. Often taking interest in trying to help Captain Mercer or Commander Grayson whenever they're forced to deal with trouble from their past relationship. She also showed genuine concern for Isaac when Gordon Malloy had pranked him, and worked with the rest of the crew to help convince Bortus and Klyden not to perform gender-reassignment surgery on Topa, when she believed it would be negatively impact her development. Alara takes her job as Head of Security seriously and will go to extreme lengths to keep The Orville and its crew safe. When acting as Captain she disobeyed the command of Admiral Tucker in order to save Mercer and Grayson from the Calivon Zoo. During her fear simulation, she tried her best to keep everyone safe from the Clown that was roaming the ship and the giant tarantula from consuming Gordon Malloy. She later wholeheartedly supports Gordon's suggestion of getting a cat for the bridge.
What do you think?
Well, she's smart, but she's really green." ― Ed Mercer and Kelly Grayson[source]
Alara often struggles with issues of insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. A significant part of this likely stems from her parents believing her to be "slow" for choosing to work with the Planetary Union instead of getting a degree on Xelaya. She also is insistent that even though she is one of the youngest members on board The Orville she can contribute as well as anyone else can. Alara furthermore seems to have complicated feelings in regards to her Xelayan strength. On one hand she seems to feel self-conscious about her ex-boyfriend Josh breaking up with her due to being so strong, but also feels that it's her responsibility to use her strength whenever needed. She has a deep respect for Captain Mercer, and appears to be friendly enough with him to refer to him as Ed and occasionally not even add "sir" or "Captain" when addressing him. After breaking up with Josh, she tells Kelly that Ed is one of the few men who seems to appreciate her and her strength.
Throughout the series she's done everything asked of her, but in Firestorm failed to lift a piece of fallen debris off of Lieutenant Harrison Payne due to her deep seated phobia. Feeling deeply saddened by this failure for days afterward. However, her fears are often proven to be inaccurate as whenever Alara is forced into a situation she must illustrate her strength or mental aptitude she is always able to succeed and prove her worth to everyone.
Relationship with KellyEdit
Alara and Kelly Grayson are good friends. Due to having cheated on Captain Mercer while they were married a year prior, Kelly often confides in Alara whenever she needs to vent any emotional stress that may arise from working with him. Kitan is a good listener and even when she doesn't always agree with Kelly, makes sure to respectfully explain her reasoning in a careful and nurturing tone. Such as when she was abnormally infatuated with Darulio, Alara knew something unusual was going on but didn't outright confront her over it when they were talking. Knowing such an act would just upset or frustrate Kelly.
Relationship with IsaacEdit
Barring Kelly, she appears to be closest to Isaac. Alara is empathic towards his inability to understand the behaviors of biological lifeforms. Going out of her way to explain why she and Gordon would enjoy having a cat on the Bridge. Their relationship reaches an awkward level of closeness though when Isaac observes her internet in dating and offers to have sex with her in order to better understand it. Alara, is off put by the suggestion, but keeping to her kind nature gently tells him she's trying to work on herself at the moment.
Relationship with the crewEdit
Alara, has an interesting relationship with Captain Mercer. Not discussing personal matters with him, she appears to think highly of Ed as a leader and values his advice on most matters. Often when her issues of poor self confidence arise he is able to talk her down and offer a neutral perspective on how important she is to the crew. Doctor Claire Finn has also mentored Alara, though appears to be much more blunt than Mercer about what she needs to do in order to better herself. Alara appears to be friendly towards most of her other crew members, parking in social events such as Karaoke and having dinner most nights in the Mess Hall alongside them.
Alara, in the pilot, was meant to appear very alien with a large forehead and more apparent nose ridges. Seth MacFarlane too gave very detailed sketches to the art department of the show for how he wanted Alara to look, even showing fine details to the shape of her earlobes. This look however, was eventually omitted and simplified once Command Performance aired in order to "add a sense of humanity" to the character. Even then, gluing her wig, applying prosthetics, and adding make-up took a surprising three-four hours to each day. Sage admits she wishes she could have walked into Starbucks in costume to see people's reactions.
However, adding eyebrows to Alara created a thorny continuity problem for the show's creative team: it was too expensive to re-shoot scenes in her updated costume, and digitally adding the eyebrows looks unrealistic. Howard Berger, the make-up department head in Season 1, recalls that some crew members even floated the idea to retcon the problem by having Alara turn 24 in the second episode and someone saying that Xelayans grow eyebrows on their 24th birthday. With no feasible alternatives, Berger concluded that no one would notice the error.
Supervising producer and science consultant André Bormanis proposed to the writing team that Alara's private quarters on the Orville hosts a special device that simulates the high gravity of her planet to prevent her muscles from atrophying, and the gravity device is a reason she has trouble dating men. At the close of Season 1, it was uncertain even to Bormanis whether the idea has been adopted by the other writers.
When asked at Paleyfest what direction Alara's story should take in Season 2, Halston agreed with sentiments that having her settle down with a stable romantic relationship would be interesting. She also added on her desire to see Alara develop from her experiences in Season 1 by gaining more confidence in herself and her position as Chief of Security.
- Alara is one of the few non-human characters in The Orville to have an established surname.
- At some point between Old Wounds and Command Performance, Alara undergoes a slight change of appearance, gaining eyebrows and losing some prominence to her brow. It is not yet known if an in-universe reason for this will be revealed. Oddly, a number of publicity images from Old Wounds depicting scenes from the episode show Alara with her later appearance with eyebrows.
- Whenever she is called upon to use her strength to open something heavy, Ed often asks her "Alara, you wanna open this jar of pickles for me?". This repeated joke disappears in Season 1 after the first few episodes.
- Alara is unfamiliar with the popular 21st century Earth Sci-Fi franchise Star Wars, as she was confused when Claire Finn volunteered to be her "Obi-Wan".
- As of Season 1, Kitan is one of only two characters whose specific age is known, the other being the physicist Janice Lee.
- Alara is 23 years old in season 1, meaning that she was born in the year 2396.
- Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
- Episode 1x02: Command Performance
- Episode 1x03: About a Girl
- Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
- Episode 1x05: Pria
- Episode 1x06: Krill
- Episode 1x07: Majority Rule
- Episode 1x08: Into the Fold
- Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
- Episode 1x10: Firestorm
- Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
- Episode 1x12: Mad Idolatry
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Episode 1: Old Wounds
- ↑ Episode 10: Firestorm
- ↑ Episode 3: About a Girl
- ↑ Episode 5: Pria
- ↑ ""Orville" Comic Con 2017 panel-like interview". Sromba. July 23, 2018.
- ↑ "Halston Sage Talks THE ORVILLE Season 1, Alara's Makeup & More | Interview". Shine on Media. Sept. 21, 2017.
- ↑ "PLANETARY UNION NETWORK: EPISODE 20". Planetary Union Network. June 17, 2018.
- ↑ "The Orville Fan Podcast “THINK”sgiving Episode w/ André Bormanis". Planetary Union Network. Nov. 21, 2017.