- "Like her family, Jaylah belongs among the stars; because no matter how far she travels, no matter what happens... she will find a home."
- —Jaylah's mother[src]
Jaylah was born in a family of space traders, aboard a ship, like her older sister Keelah. Her facial markings meant "fierce". Jaylah's mother, who died during Jaylah's childhood, acknowledged her daughter had a special talent with machines, highlighted by her inventing a holodisk that projected various holograms at once. One day, Jaylah and her family, like many before them, were attacked by Krall and imprisoned on Altamid. Jaylah and her family quickly realized that people were routinely taken from Krall's holding cells and killed, so she and her family decided to try to escape - but not before Krall himself killed Keelah by draining from her lifeforce. During the attempt, Jaylah and her father were confronted by Krall's subordinate Manas. Jaylah's father stayed behind to hold off Manas, buying Jaylah time to flee at the cost of his own life. (TOS - Boldly Go comic: "Issue 5"; TOS movie: Star Trek Beyond)
Jaylah discovered the derelict hulk of the USS Franklin, and made it her home in it. She hid it using holographic technology, and set up multiple defensive traps in the surrounding area. Inside the vessel, she discovered a music player, from which she particularly liked music featuring "beats and shouting." She also learned how to speak English from the ship's records. In time, Jaylah became a formidable warrior, skilled in martial arts and in wielding a quarterstaff that doubled as a rifle. Jaylah became a scavenger to obtain parts with which to repair the Franklin and leave Altamid.
In 2263, she came across Lieutenant commander Montgomery Scott, who had recently escaped the crash of the USS Enterprise and was inspecting a escape pod, and saved him from a pair of rival scavengers. Realizing Scotty was an engineer, Jaylah agreed to help him find his crew if he helped her finish her repairs. She and Scotty were then joined by Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Chekov. She then assisted modifying the Franklin's transporter to beam Commander Spock and Dr. McCoy there.
Jaylah, despite her hesitation, then helped Kirk in rescuing what remained of the crew from Krall's base. There, she fought Manas until they both fell. Jaylah was then saved by Kirk. She then allowed Kirk and his crew to take the Franklin to stop Krall's attack on Yorktown station. There, she and Scotty were able to use her music player, by using the "Sabotage" song to disrupt the Swarm drones and their ships signal, which caused them implode.
After the Franklin crashed in Yorktown's plaza, Jaylah assisted Scotty in stopping Krall from using the Abronath through the station's atmospheric regulator. After Krall was defeated, she then attended Kirk's birthday party. There, Jaylah was then accepted into Starfleet Academy on Scotty's recommendation. Jaylah however, disliked that she would have a Starfleet uniform. (TOS movie: Star Trek Beyond)
Jaylah then accepted Scott's offer to attend Starfleet Academy, and went to Earth. There, she attended Scotty's lecture on safety protocol aboard Constitution-class starships. (TOS - Boldly Go comic: "Issue 1")
|USS Franklin personnel|
|Primary universe||Cormier • Crosby • Edison • Le • Noble • Peters • Smith • Wolff • Yanovich • unamed USS Franklin personnel|
|Kelvin timeline||Kirk • Spock • Scott • McCoy • Sulu • Chekov • Uhura • Keenser • Jaylah • unnamed USS Enterprise (alternate reality) personnel|