After we meet five truly alien aliens in the first few minutes of Farscape, we meet our first Sebacean. You may think you remember who that Sebacean is, but no, the first Sebacean shown is this guy – Captain Crais. And we are shown Crais’s underlings and the show establishes the trope of the antagonists being a brutal military regime. [he’s Sebacean clip] The show also gives us the trope of the Sebacean as a familiar face in the sea of strangeness, though it is clearly not a friendly face. [Aeryn beats up Crichton clip]
At first, we are see Sebaceans as synonymous with Peacekeepers, though there is one early hint otherwise. [Sebaceans right? clip] Aeryn’s prejudice is, as we learn, typical of Peacekeepers who see themselves as the superior species in the galaxy and deeply bigoted against aliens. [Crais chews out Aeryn clip]
But first, let’s consider the picture of Sebaceans as a soldier race. [Jool denigrates clip] It’s a reputation well deserved because the Peacekeepers are little more than thugs if not full-fledged fascists. Crais, Grayza, and Reljik exhibit the harsh brutal mindset of Peacekeepers. And we saw in a flashback what atrocities Peacekeepers can commit. [killing a pilot clip]
But if Sebaceans are intellectually suited to be brutal killing machines, they strangely seem less than physically suited. We learn early on that Sebaceans have little tolerance for heat. [heat delirium clips – D’Argo then Aeryn] This has never made sense to me. As we saw, the Sebacean inability to tolerate high temperatures makes them easily vulnerable. [commandos clip] If you were designing a species for all-purpose peacekeeping duties, you would want them to be operational in all climates and terrains. And Sebaceans clearly are not.
I say if you were designing a species because as we learn in The Peacekeeper Wars, Sebaceans were indeed designed and engineered for purpose. [Yondalao clip] It’s the reverse of the ancient aliens theory—humans aren’t the result of alien genetic manipulation, humans are the starting point. [humans are superior clip] Well, not really. Sebaceans are modified humans and the Idelons’ modifications were improvements to give Sebaceans better eyesight, greater stamina, lon ger lifespan and so on, except for this odd Achilles heel of not being able to tolerate heat. Granted, not every Peacekeeper mission will be in an enclosed climate-controlled environment like in “Exodus From Genesis,” but you would have to hire another species for missions on tropical planets.
Of course, Peacekeepers are born and bred aboard space ships. [Peacekeepers born clip] Peacekeeper personnel are kept in highly controlled environments both physically and socially. We know that breeding is normally controlled by the command structure and presumably most of a Peacekeeper’s life is determined for them. They are soldiers after all.
But Peacekeepers and Sebaceans are not equivalent, as we learn in the “Look at the Princess” trilogy. [Breakaway Colonies clip] 1,900 cycles and still hating the Peacekeepers. The Sebaceans of the Breakaway Colonies show that they are capable of far more than carrying weapons and marching in formation. They have built a thriving and powerful civilization without resorting to the Spartan ethos of the Peacekeepers. Their society is autocratic, though come to think of it, so is every society in Farscape, but that’s for another video. Empress Novia rules with a firm hand, but her rule is benevolent and her empire is peaceful and prosperous. Noblesse oblige.
Sebacean history is quite long. [priests disappeared clip] Yes, the Sebaceans are us. Well, as Crichton says [kissing cousins]. And yeah, Crichton knows about kissing Sebaceans [montage – I’m never leaving this world] Down, boy. Crichton also knows about recreating with one Sebacean and reproducing, which is another interesting difference between Sebaceans and humans. [embryo clip] That is a very useful ability, probably one of the modifications made by the Idelons.
Whatever else Sebaceans may do, they are still a species genetically designed to be soldiers. They are as warlike as their kissing cousins, the humans. And apparently they’ve been roaming the galaxy for 12,000 cycles, [keeping the peace clip]
With what happens to the Peacekeepers in the comics—and I’ll keep to my policy of not spoiling major plot developments in the comics—what the future holds for Sebaceans is a fascinating question. We look forward to finding out, especially the future of our favorite Sebacean and her half-Sebacean, half-human son.