Star Trek Beyond's Kalara Is One Of The The Series' Most Tragic Villains
Here's how Star Trek Beyond's Kalara is one of the Kelvin Timeline's most tragic villains. Following the critical and commercial failure of 2003's Star Trek: Nemesis, the franchise was looking in weak shape. This was swiftly followed by the cancellation of prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise. It wasn't until J.J. Abrams rebooted the movie series with 2009's Star Trek that the brand came back to life, with the movie receiving solid reviews and becoming a sizable hit. That said, longtime fans were unhappy with the movie's focus on action and setpieces over exploring interesting sci-fi concepts.Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now
These complaints only grew louder with Star Trek Into Darkness, with the 2013 sequel being criticized on several levels, including overt fan service and the decision to hide the fact Benedict Cumberbatch was really playing iconic bad guy Khan. The movie was still a success while Abrams departed the director's seat to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fast & Furious director Justin Lin took over the driver's seat for Star Trek Beyond, which was produced in time for the franchise's 50th anniversary. The movie was arguably the best received of the reboot series and was praised for feeling like a throwback to the original series. That said, it was a box-office disappointment that led initial plans for a fourth entry, which would have featured the return of Chris Hemsworth's George Kirk, being canned.
The Kelvin Timeline featured revenge-seeking foes like Eric Bana's Nero and Cumberbatch's Khan, with Idris Elba playing the primary antagonist of Star Trek Beyond. The backstories of Krall and his henchwoman Kalara are fairly dark and tie into the Federations past. Kalara was originally Jessica Wolff (Lydia Wilson, Ripper Street), a Starfleet officer abroad exploration vessel the USS Franklin. The Franklin later went through a wormhole that led to it crashlanding on a planet called Altamid, where Wolff survived alongside Captain Balthazar Edison - AKA Krall - and Anderson Le.
While they hoped for rescue, it soon became clear there wasn't any coming. Star Trek Beyond reveals they survived by finding and using energy transference tech left by a previous civilization, which they used to suck the lifeforce out of crews they captured. Over time, Kalara and her crew's hatred for the Federation grew and they vowed to destroy it. The process of absorbing the lifeforce of others gradually eroded their humanity too, in addition to mutating them beyond recognition. She encounters the Enterprise after posing as a crewmate whose ship was trapped on Altamid.
In reality, Kalara was sent to lure the Enterprise and its crew to the planet so they could be captured, with the ship being attacked by drone ships. Kalara would serve as a major villain for the first half of Star Trek Beyond before being crushed by the wreckage of the Enterprise during an action scene. In addition to the character's distinct look, there's a tangible sense of tragedy to Kalara and her team, since they started as idealistic Starfleet crew until isolation and insanity literally morphed them into villains. They also proved that seeking out new life in the far reaches of space isn't always a glamorous gig.