"Oh! Boom, bitch. That's what I'm talking about. Right there. I'm like, boom." ― Lieutenant LaMarr after destroying a Krill destroyer.[source]

John LaMarr is the Human Lieutenant Commander and Chief Engineer of the USS Orville. According to Admiral Halsey, LaMarr served with the Orville under the previous captain as lieutenant and navigator prior to Ed Mercer assuming command.[1] LaMarr served as navigator for most of the first season. He is promoted to chief engineer in the episode New Dimensions, replacing Steve Newton.


John LaMarr grew up on a farming colony on an unnamed planet. He attended the academy at Union Point where he earned some of the highest marks in Point's history, an achievement he keeps secret from his peers. In New Dimensions, he describes the colonists of his youth as deeply suspicious of anything perceived as intellectual, which pushed him to hide his brilliance. After an unknown period, Lieutenant LaMarr is assigned to the Orville where he served as Navigator under an unnamed captain.

At the start of the show, LaMarr remains Navigator under the Orville's new captain, Ed Mercer. When Chief Engineer Steve Newton leaves the Orville for a new assignment, LaMarr is promoted to Newton's vacant spot as Lieutenant Commander, leapfrogging Lieutenant Yaphit, who was next in line for promotion.

Old WoundsEdit

Main article: Old Wounds.

Captain Mercer meets LaMarr during formal introductions with the senior staff. LaMarr is noticeably more casual in his demeanor toward the Captain than the rest of the crew, calling the Captain "man" in place of "sir."

When the Orville is forced to battle a heavy Krill warship. LaMarr assists Malloy maneuver the Orville in a difficult attack tactic called "Hugging the Donkey" to distract the Krill ship from capturing a shuttle holding the ground team, Aronov, and valuable technology.

Command PerformanceEdit

Main article: Command Performance.

When the bridge crew learns from Mercer that Bortus has laid an egg, LaMarr wants to know how the egg exits a Moclan body and is surprised Mercer did not ask. While Kitan serves as acting captain of the ship, LaMarr is critical of her reluctant decision-making and inexperience.

About a GirlEdit

Main article: About a Girl.

Dressed in U.S. Marshall outfits typical of the "Old West," Mercer, Malloy, and LaMarr participate in a standoff with a simulation of 19th century bandidos in the holographic generator that turns into a dance contest. Malloy and LaMarr have Bortus watch the movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in a successful effort to convince Bortus not to alter the sex of his child.[2]

If the Stars Should AppearEdit

Main article: If the Stars Should Appear.

When a Krill destroyer has nearly destroyed the Orville in battle, LaMarr convinces Bortus to target the destroyer's engines in a last-ditch attack. His gambit works and the crew is able to return to the away team.


Main article: Krill.

In the Orville mess hall, Kitan, Malloy, and LaMarr challenge Bortus to eat a variety of inorganic and unusual items. LaMarr offers Bortus a napkin that he easily consumes.

Majority RuleEdit

Main article: Majority Rule.

LaMarr is assigned to a landing team to Sargas 4 to find two missing Union explorers. While teasing Lieutenant Alara Kitan, he simulates grind dancing on a statue of Mella Giffendon. His dance is witnessed by several passerby, one of whom records LaMarr's dance and uploads the video to the planet's Master Feed. LaMarr receives hundreds of thousands of "downvotes," public votes of disapproval, and LaMarr is arrested.

The arrest creates a crisis for the Orville. Admiral Tucker forbids the Orville rescue LaMarr by interfering with Sargas 4. LaMarr is sentenced to a final vote: if Sargans cast over 10 million downvotes against LaMarr, he will be subjected to a drastic neurological treatment by surgery. Isaac manipulates public Sargan opinion by uploading doctored videos of LaMarr in heart-warming situations to the Master Feed. The plan works and public opinion turns in time for LaMarr to avoid neurological readjustment.

Into the FoldEdit

Main article: Into the Fold.

LaMarr installs a new spacial manifold on the Orville with Newton, Yaphit, and other engineers. The new upgrade takes several days to install, so LaMarr navigates space using antiquated star charts. After Mercer takes the Orville through a wormhole, LaMarr is unable to locate their new position in space using the charts.


Main article: Firestorm.

Kitan creates a holographic program to test her ability to perform her duties under terrifying conditions. Consultation with LaMarr leads her to add randomly-appearing, murderous clowns to the program, as per his fear of clowns.

New DimensionsEdit

Main article: New Dimensions.

John Lamarr

Lieutenant LaMarr feels unready to accept more responsibility, and hides his stellar academic record.

"Aside from Isaac, John is the smartest officer on board." ― Kelly Grayson
"My God, he sure doesn't act like it. I heard about the Yaphit thing." ― Ed Mercer[source]
LaMarr and Malloy play a practical joke on Yaphit and Bortus by hiding a piece of Yaphit's gelatinous body inside Bortus's food. The prank incenses Yaphit, who reports the two to Grayson. The Commander reviews their personnel files and notices that LaMarr has one of the highest Union aptitude ratings and Union Point academic performances of all time. Grayson assigns LaMarr to assist Isaac to scan a spatial anomaly that damaged the ship's quantum engines, replacing Yaphit; however, LaMarr is nonplussed, uninterested in a promotion and assuming more responsibilities.

LaMarr leads all engineers to investigate the anomaly, and LaMarr and Isaac pore over data recovered by the team. LaMarr realizes that the spacial anomaly is a pocket of 2-dimensional space.

Alerted by a nearby cache of stolen Krill weapons, Krill destroyers warp to the Orville. With the Krill closing in from almost all sides and the spacial anomaly behind them, engineering needs to find a way to escape quickly. LaMarr conceives of a "quantum bubble" that would allow the ship to maintain 3-dimensional form inside a bubble while traversing 2-dimensional space.

LaMarr and Mercer pilot a shuttle in front of the Orville, which is able to manifest a spatial conduit that permits the shuttle to enter 2-dimensional space and tow the ship to a new exit to 3-dimensional space. LaMarr discloses to the Captain that he hides his intelligence because of his oppressive childhood on an anti-intellectual colony.

The episode concludes with LaMarr confidently assuming the duties of Chief Engineer, introducing himself anew:

Okay, everybody listen up. There's a new boss in town and his name is Lieutenant Commander John LaMarr. You guys ready to step it up? Okay, boom. Now, if we can increase engine efficiency to 97 percent by the end of the work week, we can all take off early and get wasted. Sound good? Well don't just stand there, snap to it.


LaMarr gets along best with his bridgemate, Malloy. The two are laid-back and often disregard decorum. LaMarr drinks soda on the bridge, addresses other crew members as "man" or "dude," even to superior officers, and frequently makes openly critical or sarcastic remarks.[3] In the episode Command Performance, LaMarr jokes about her inexperience after she demurs in the face of a decision. When Kitan dares him to repeat his remark, he stands down and addresses her as "sir."

Actor J. Lee explains LaMarr's casual attitude during introductions in Old Wounds as LaMarr's way to assess Captain Mercer: "When I first meet Ed, the new captain of the ship, I sort of take him in and size him up a little but then quickly shows how great of a captain he really is."[4]

LaMarr often functions as a writer's tool to explain the story through metaphors that audiences will understand. For example, Isaac says that the Orville can enter Calivon space because Isaac is Kaylon. LaMarr summarizes: "White guy can go to Compton if black dude says it's cool."[5]


  • He requests permission from Mercer to drink soda on the bridge. Late, during the Orville's first departure from Earth, LaMarr can be seen drinking soda on the bridge.[6]
  • Along with Malloy, LaMarr finds star-mapping to be extremely boring.[7]
  • He thinks blue jeans to be uncomfortably tight and to look ridiculous.[8]
  • He loathes the music of Barry Manilow, which the rest of engineering loves.[9]
  • He has a crippling fear of clowns (Coulrophobia), and considers "hobo clowns" to be the scariest of all. His phobia is so strong even mention of the word "clown" causes him to grow noticeably uncomfortable.[10]
  • He has one of the highest academic records from Union Point, and after Isaac is considered the most intelligent member of the Orville.[11]
  • He experiences motion sickness when entering 2-dimensional space, vomiting in front of the Captain.[12]
  • According to an interview on Reddit, Lee says LaMarr is a Level Eight Helmsman, "which means he's quite quite good at his job." As a result, Lee chooses to portray LaMarr as relaxed in the face of danger.[13]
  • LaMarr's character parallels Geordie LaForge of Star Trek: The Next Generation. LaForge and LaMarr start as helmsmen on the bridges, and later are promoted to Chiefs of Engineering.


References Edit

  1. Episode One: Old Wounds.
  2. National Broadcasting Company. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. NBC. 1964.
  3. In promotional materials for the show, LaMarr is often depicted drinking soda.
  4. Lauren Mayo. "Actor J Lee talks artistry and new Fox series ‘The Orville’". Rolling Out. August 24, 2017.
  5. Episode Two: Command Performance.
  6. Old Wounds, supra, n. 1.
  7. Episode Four: If the Stars Should Appear.
  8. Episode Seven: Majority Rule.
  9. Episode Eight: Into the Fold.
  10. Episode Ten: Firestorm.
  11. Episode Eleven: New Dimensions.
  12. Id.
  13. J. Lee. "I am J Lee. I like making movies and tv shows and writing them and stuff. AMA". Online. Nov., 2017. Last accessed Dec. 5, 2017.

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