How Jennifer Lawrence Accidentally Inspired A Star Trek Beyond Character

Star Trek Beyond

Jennifer Lawrence has made her mark on genre cinema thanks to roles in The Hunger Games as well as the recent X-Men films. However, it turns out that the woman is such a big star she can even impact movies she's never been in, like Star Trek Beyond. It would seem that one of Lawrence's non-science fiction characters, her role in Winter's Bone, was something of an inspiration for the character played by Sofia Boutella. Eventually, this led to the character basically getting Lawrence's name, because Jaylah is pronounced very similarly to J. Law.

In Star Trek Beyond Sofia Boutella plays a white-skinned alien character who comes across the Enterprise crew after they've crashed on her planet. Jaylah is surviving on her own, scrounging out an existence off the land. Beyond's writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung apparently took inspiration for the character from Jennifer Lawrence's Oscar-nominated role in Winter's Bone, so much so that Pegg tells Vox that before the character had a name, he would just refer to her by that really long title.

Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone. Then we started calling her J. Law, and that became Jaylah.

Jaylah, I think we can all agree, is a significantly better name than "Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone," although, maybe that's the characters full name, and Jaylah is just her nickname as it is for Jennifer Lawrence.

Star Trek Beyond

If you're going to pick another role to inspire your new character, there are certainly worse places to go than Oscar worthy performances. In Winter's Bone Jennifer Lawrence played Ree, a young girl who has to provide for her family while dealing with the criminal underworld of rural Kentucky. Of course, now we have to wonder exactly how much inspiration Simon Pegg and Doug Jung really took when creating the character. Will the fact that Ree's own family is involved in criminal activity play any part in Jaylah's relationship to the plot in Star Trek Beyond?

We'll have to wait and see how it all plays out when Star Trek Beyond is released next week. The good news is that it sounds like Beyond is certainly worth checking out. Early reviews have been generally positive, claiming that the movie does a good job of balancing the blockbuster moments with solid storytelling, and most praising it or being more like a Star Trek story than the previous film. We're looking forward to checking it out, and meeting Jaylah as well.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.