Published Oct 8, 2018
5 Signs You're Like Jaylah
Does your mood run parallel with Altamid's most-intriguing resident?
By Jay Stobie
Star Trek Beyond's Jaylah, the staff-wielding and tech-savvy alien portrayed by Sofia Boutella, proved to be a popular addition to the franchise and inspired numerous cosplayers and fan artists to render their own interpretations of the character. Many viewers identified with Jaylah's disposition and conduct, sympathizing with her nature on a personal level. Let's look at five signs that indicate your temperament might also run parallel with Altamid's most-intriguing resident.
Are you quick to make friends?
After enduring a bumpy ride to Altamid's surface in a photon torpedo, Scotty found himself alone and unaware of his surroundings. Several locals attempted to take advantage of Scotty's confused state, until Jaylah intervened and convinced the unruly gang to disperse by displaying her proficiency in hand-to-hand combat. I don't know about you, but I only employ my best martial arts moves when I am hoping to impress a new pal.
Oblivious to their recently established friendship, Scotty mistook Jaylah's need to borrow parts from the downed torpedo as an attempt to steal Starfleet property. Jaylah employed her knife to persuade the engineer of their relationship's cordial nature and offered to help find the U.S.S. Enterprise's surviving crew members in exchange for the Scotsman's technical support. Scotty agreed to the conditions, finally recognizing Jaylah's desire for an amicable alliance.
Do you enjoy "beats and shouting?"
Jaylah's status as a music aficionado revealed itself as she worked with Scotty to make repairs on the U.S.S. Franklin. Jaylah did not know it at the time, but her melodic tastes coincided with what Spock later referred to as the classical genre. Like many of us, the intense alien enjoyed passing the time by listening to her favorite songs and tinkering with the starship's varied technological deficiencies. One must appreciate the simple pleasures in life when marooned in solitary on a distant world.
Jaylah's song selections may not be your cup of tea, but the exhilaration and stress relief that accompany such artistic expressions transcends musical styles. The upbeat reactions from Sulu and Chekov upon hearing the unfamiliar sounds aboard the Franklin stand as a testament to music's universal appeal. Of course, the fact that the "beats and shouting" aided the crew's endeavor to destroy Krall's fleet probably boosted the enthusiasm in their responses.
Have you ever behaved rebelliously?
Rank and ceremony meant little to Jaylah, as her free spirit permitted her words and actions to flow in an uninhibited fashion. While touring the Franklin's bridge, Jaylah casually plopped down in the command chair normally reserved for the officer in charge. A visibly chagrined Captain Kirk stood by her side, yet the defiant young woman either did not notice or felt no inclination to bow to authority. The pattern continued when Jaylah initially refused Kirk's request to go to Krall's base.
Jaylah's rebellious streak also manifested in more exhilarating ways. After finally agreeing to accompany the crew on their rescue attempt, Jaylah showed no qualms about charging into danger on a motorcycle with Kirk at high speed. The insubordinate alien later encouraged the captain to risk everyone's lives and make the Franklin fly in order to pursue Krall and his swarm. Heck, even Jaylah's decision to play Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" and the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" reflected her mutinous mindset.
Are you protective of your favorite possessions?
Despite the rapport she formed with Kirk and his senior staff, Jaylah still needed to highlight some boundaries between her friends and her belongings. Scotty emerged as the chief culprit, compelling Jaylah to warn the engineer not to set off the traps surrounding the Franklin or break her futuristic boombox during the process of upgrading its capabilities. In the latter situation, Scotty's inability to fine tune the device without shocking himself left Jaylah with no alternative but to complete the modifications herself.
As the Franklin barreled through Starbase Yorktown's shielded space doors, Jaylah understandably expressed displeasure over the damage done to her house. Kirk's choice to deploy the starship as a barricade to intercept Krall's three remaining vessels inflicted further scars upon a hull which Jaylah undoubtedly never had insured. Considering the ship's Federation origins and Jaylah's assistance in thwarting Krall's attack, hopefully Starfleet opted to foot the bill for any necessary repairs.
Do you demonstrate resourcefulness?
Perhaps Jaylah's most-defining trait was a knack for inventive solutions, which permeated her storyline in Star Trek Beyond. Left with nothing following her escape from Krall's compound, Jaylah went on to discover a crashed starship, set up various contraptions to cloak her whereabouts and form a defensive perimeter, learn an alien language, fix numerous systems on the abandoned craft, survive amid hostile neighbors, and find a nifty staff to ward off any pesky intruders. These feats were all accomplished before she even encountered Scotty and his Enterprise cohorts.
In the short time span between saving Scotty and protecting Yorktown, Jaylah's ingenuity and technical prowess proved invaluable to her new Starfleet friends. The combination of those skills and Jaylah's bravery made quite the impression on Captain Kirk, who took the drastic step of securing entry to Starfleet Academy for the alien woman. I would say that going from fending for one's own life and living in a scuttled vessel to escaping Altamid and being accepted into a prestigious institution in mere days is about as resourceful as you can get.
Jay Stobie is a freelance science fiction writer who contributes articles to the official Star Trek website and Star Trek Magazine. He can be found on Twitter at @CaptStobie and Instagram @JayStobie.