One look at Krall in Star Trek Beyond, it's clear that he's not someone you want to mess with. With his creepy, scale-like skin and striking bone structure, jagged teeth and intense glares, Krall is almost more monster than villain — forgive me, more alien than villain. When Krall makes his not so subtle debut in Star Trek Beyond, it's pretty obvious he's not human, at least not any kind of human the Enterprise crew has ever seen before. Appearance aside, he speaks an alien language and appears to have super human strength (i.e. he throws Captain Kirk into a wall), so it makes sense that he's been billed as a new Star Trek alien baddie. But, he's also not any kind of alien Trek fans have seen before. What kind of alien species is Krall, exactly?
After the first image of Idris Elba's Krall was released in early Star Trek Beyond trailers, fans went crazy trying to figure out what kind of alien Krall was, going through past Star Trek episodes, movies spinoffs — anything you could think of. The most popular theory: that Krall was a Gorn, a lizard-like alien species defeated by Kirk and the Enterprise crew in the original Star Trek series. Elba shut down those rumors in an interview with Entertainment Weekly , and, when asked if Krall was a brand new species, he answered clearly, "Yes." So, that's that? Wrong.
Saying that Krall is not exactly correct (spoilers ahead). In Star Trek Beyond, it's revealed that Krall wasn't born an alien — he's actually a human, and not just a human, a former Starfleet Captain. In the last act of the movie, it's revealed that Krall was actually Balthazar Edison, Captain of the USS Franklin, in the early years of Starfleet. Of course, by the time we meet him, Balthazar has become Krall. As Krall, his humanity is essentially lost, not unlike his human appearance, thanks, in part, to some ancient alien technology his crew stumbled upon after they were stranded on Altamid.
The alien technology changed Balthazar into Krall. The changes in his physical appearance appears to be a side-effect of the technology that helped prolong his life and gave him the ability to suck the life force out of people. (But that's a whole other story.) Technically, you could say that Krall, despite his human origins, has become the alien species that invented that technology. In that sense, Krall is a brand new Star Trek alien species, but, unfortunately for fans, that species is unnamed in the film. Referred to by Krall as "the Ancient Ones," the alien species that used to live on Altamid and supposedly created all this terrifying technology that turned Balthazar into Krall, appears to be nothing more than legend at this point in the Star Trek timeline.
It's unlikely we'll ever really know what species of alien Krall is (or became). Perhaps they left Altamid and populated another uncharted planet. Or, maybe they died out, went extinct before Balthazar and his crew crashed on their home planet. Whatever happened to the "Ancient Ones," if Krall is anything to go by, they definitely didn't disappear without a fight. Maybe not knowing exactly what species they are (or were) is for the best.
Images: Paramount Pictures; entertainmentweekly/tumblr