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"My people were never motivated by domination. Illyrians seek collaboration with nature."

The Illyrians were a spacefaring humanoid species native to the former Delphic Expanse. Their original settlement was located in the Vaultera Nebula, though they also had colonies across a wide swath of space, including one located at Hetemit IX.


In 2154, the Starfleet vessel Enterprise NX-01 – badly damaged by the recent Battle of Azati Prime – was assisted in its repair efforts by an Illyrian starship that had been disabled by an anomaly field. Enterprise helped the Illyrians in turn. They were unwilling, however, to trade their warp coil because not having it would mean a three-year journey home. Needing the warp coil in order to save Earth from the Xindi, Captain Jonathan Archer and several MACOs boarded the Illyrian craft and stole their warp coil, leaving the Illyrians stranded. (ENT: "Damage")

Due to the ban on genetic augmentations in the United Federation of Planets, in the 23rd century, they were considered outcasts in the Federation. Illyrians could not join the Federation or Starfleet, and there was a directive against mixing Human and Illyrian blood. The Federation also banned the use of any Illyrian medical technology. (SNW: "Ghosts of Illyria")


Illyrian children

Illyrian children with various genetic modifications

Illyrians were avid practitioners of genetic engineering; they believed in adapting their bodies to the new planets they settled, rather than changing the planet to suit themselves. As a result, Illyrians varied widely in appearance as well as in capabilities. Some Illyrians were externally indistinguishable from Humans, while others exhibited various traits such as cranial ridges, webbed hands, pointed ears, and differently structured eyes.

Some Illyrians, like Una Chin-Riley, were also modified with enhanced strength and an immune system that could literally burn out infectious agents from the body rather than rely on antibodies. (ENT: "Damage"; SNW: "Ghosts of Illyria")

The Illyrians' cranial ridges in ENT: "Damage" resemble that of the Tanugans. Those Illyrians were not identified by name on-screen, but rather identified in the episode's script.





Note: All episodes marked with an {*} denote appearances made only by Una Chin-Riley.

Background information[]

Asked whether the Illyrians who appeared in ENT: "Damage" are the same species as those in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, "Ghosts of Illyria" co-writer Bill Wolkoff stated: “I think that’s consistent with what happened in the episode. There is another scene where Una researched potential Illyrian modifications, and on the viewscreen we caught a glimpse of what some of those look like. I saw one Illyrian with webbed hands and feet, another with spiky eyebrows… I’d certainly believe Illyrians could have bumpy foreheads too! And if Una had researched long enough, she might have found a file on those Illyrians.” [1]


Illyrians originate in the novel Vulcan's Glory, by Star Trek: The Original Series writer D.C. Fontana, which identified Number One as an Illyrian, with a numerical designation instead of a name. In the novel Child of Two Worlds, it was revealed that their government was a meritocracy, with aptitude testing used to select its officials.

In IDW Publishing's Star Trek: Strange New Worlds's miniseries, The Illyrian Enigma, it was revealed that during their first contact with the Vulcans, they learned how to carry out genetic modifications to themselves.

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