List of races in Farscape
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- 1 Concept and creation
- 2 Translator microbes
- 3 Ancients
- 4 Banik
- 5 Builders
- 6 Delvian
- 7 Diagnosans
- 8 Eidelons
- 9 Hynerians
- 10 Interion
- 11 Kalish
- 12 Leviathan
- 13 Luxans
- 14 Nebari
- 15 Sebaceans
- 16 Pilot
- 17 Scarran
- 18 References
- 19 External links
Concept and creation
The physical, racial and species-specific cultural characteristics, as well as underlying mythological/sociological similarities' and differences of the alien races portrayed in Farscape were conceptualised and created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
Races in Farscape use translator microbes to understand each other's speech. According to the series, they "colonize at the base of the brain" and allow one to understand alien speech. The series shows them injected by Moya's DRDs into the ankle of the person who needs to understand alien languages, and the microbes take effect within moments. According to Rygel XVI, most individuals are injected with the microbes at birth. As far as established, the Kalish (or possibly only "bioloid" duplicates thereof) are the only race who cannot tolerate translator microbes.
The Ancients are a technologically and physically advanced alien species with the ability and knowledge to harness wormhole-based technology. They are the most advanced race in Farscape. They originally existed in another realm until it was bridged to the Farscape universe by wormholes. When they became aware of the various species in the other realm and many of those species' aggressive tendencies, they modified several members of their own species to live and exist in the other universe. These individuals became the Ancients. Yet after many years, the original planet of the Ancients began to die and they needed to search for a suitable location, and they discovered Earth through an elaborate simulation in human John Crichton, who gains wormhole knowledge in the process. A major part of Farscape is the risk of this wormhole knowledge getting in the hands of the Scarran. The Ancients are featured in the episodes "A Human Reaction", "The Hidden Memory", "Infinite Possibilities", "Unrealized Reality", and in Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.
The Banik are a race that were first encountered in the Season 1 episode Nerve. The only member of the species to appear on the TV show was Stark, a member of a powerful spiritualist sect known as Stykera.
Stykera possess an intense spiritual energy and a deep link with space and time. They can, under certain circumstances, assume a non-corporeal form for a time. Stark, however achieved becoming entirely corporeal in PK Wars when his mind was at peace and his spiritual energy faded. A portion of their body, which varies from individual to individual, presents as a radiant golden light. This portion of their body must be kept covered to prevent their energy from spilling out, though when they have spiritually prepared themselves they may temporarily remove the coverings to better use the energy for spiritual purposes.
One such purpose is their ability to "cross over" the souls of dying individuals. During this process the Stykera learns all the soul knows, and they can recall information from past souls they have crossed over. The Stykera actually absorbs a small part of the soul into their own, which can have a positive or negative effect on them depending on the nature of the soul they crossed over.
It is never made completely clear if all Stykera are Baniks, or if non-Banik Stykera exist.
The Builders are the creators of the Leviathan biomechanical space-borne species, which is how they earned their name. They originally intended the Leviathans to be ordinary biomechanical ships, only later giving them souls and the ability to reproduce. The act of giving the vessels sentience has resulted in the Leviathans considering the Builders to be their gods.
The Builders have been seen to appear in a humanoid form, during which time they have pale skin and dress in Roman-esque clothing and can communicate with other humanoid lifeforms. They have also been seen to take a gaseous form, which allows them to travel through space and pass through solid matter.
They are introduced in Episode 2.11 "Look At The Princess: I Do, I Think", in which Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan must save Moya and Pilot by preventing a Builder referred to as Kahaynu from commanding Moya to sacrifice herself needlessly in a test of her capability to defend the Leviathan.
The Delvians first appear in Premiere. Zhaan is a Delvian, a sentient and mobile plant species with a humanoid form. Outwardly they have bluish white hair (or none at all), and colored skin as a result of chloroplast tintation. The skin is covered in yellow highlights that are stomata for the transpiration of water. They also have cartilaginous fibers instead of bone, tuperadinous cellulose tissue, and regenerative fascia membrane. Delvians are a long-lived race, with 800 cycles being the equivalent to mid-life.
Most Delvians follow what is known as the "Delvian Seek", a spiritual discipline with many metaphysical and spiritual rewards. Upon reaching a certain level of knowledge they are known as a Pa'u. Upon reaching full Pa'u status, Delvians acquire certain psychometric abilities with every new level attained. For instance, a level nine Pa'u can search someone's mind for troubles and share someone's pain, while a level ten can shield someone's mind from psychic torture. Some Pa'us can also inflict mental pain on other beings. It is also shown that they can hide their presence so that they cannot be seen and/or smelt.
As a plant species, Delvians have powerful experiences when exposed to strong solar energy. At least in Zhaan's case, these experiences are intensely sexual, and she refers to them as "photogasms".
In Season 1, Episode 13, "Rhapsody in Blue," it is suggested that Delvian society is a theocracy, where Pa'us hold political power. It is also suggested that it is not an absolute theocracy. There are at least two resistance movements to the current Delvian rulers, that of Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan (although it is unknown whether her assassination of Bitaal, possibly a ruling Pa'u, was sponsored by a resistance movement or whether she acted alone) and that of Tahleen.
The Diagnosans appear in the episodes Die Me, Dichotomy (Season 2), Season of Death (Season 3), and The Choice (Season 3), as well as the Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars miniseries.
Due to their natural ability to detect and treat a variety of diseases in all types of living things, many of them become physicians. They have complex minds and an equally complex language, so much so that standard translator microbes cannot decode the intricacies of their speech. They are soft-spoken and gentle, further adding to their abilities as doctors. Diagnosans can diagnose disease in many different races, from humans to Leviathans, such as Moya.
Their primary flaw as a species is, ironically, their own inability to tolerate infection in their bodies. Typically, Diagnosans wear special masks whenever they are in a situation where they may come into contact with a contagion. Usually, they use a sterile force field when performing surgery, but they must put their mask back on before turning off the field, since even traces of a disease can prove fatal if inhaled into their nose and mouth at the same time.
The Eidelons are a pacifist race who inhabited the planet Arnessk 12,000 cycles before Farscape takes place. They possess a power best described as "the ability to influence peace" and are referred to as "Peacemakers" in The Peacekeeper Wars. They have a specialised gland located in their heads which grants them this ability. First, the gland acts as an empathic receptor, allowing the Eidelon to sense the wants and desires of those nearby, once the Eidelon has spent time acclimating to and understanding the creatures' psyche. Secondly, the organ vibrates to create an energy field which facilitates tranquility and rationality in those nearby. Using these powers, the ancient Eidelons could devise compromises that met the goals of the involved conflicting parties and could ensure that a peaceful solution to the conflict would be accepted.
As an Eidelon's peace-inducing power is limited to extreme close range, the Eidelons sought out a species to serve both as bodyguards and as enforcers of peace. The Eidelons took great care to choose a species that had yet to make interstellar contact. They found a primitive species, implied to be humans, barely clothed, far removed on the galaxy's outer spiral. 27,000 years ago, they brought some of them back to their homeworld of Arnessk and employed genetic engineering to enhance them. This new species became known as the Sebaceans and they became the Eidelons' trusted acolytes. They took on the name of Peacekeepers due to their function.
12,000 cycles prior to the Farscape storyline, Arnessk became uninhabitable due to an attack by an undisclosed race using the Darnez Probes, and the Eidelons fled to other planets. Some remained in their Arnessk temple, however, and entered suspended animation of a sort, causing their temple to disappear from time. The Peacekeepers attempted to carry on once the Eidelons vanished. However, lacking the Eidelons' mediation abilities, they kept the peace with military force, and eventually became the militaristic Peacekeeper empire of contemporary times. When the three probes that comprised the Darnaz Triangle were reactivated by Crichton, Chiana and Jool, Arnessk became habitable again and the temple reappeared.
In The Peacekeeper Wars, the last surviving Eidelon colony is discovered hidden on the water planet where Moya is healing. During the time they have been away from Arnessk, however, they lost their empathic abilities. Crichton takes a pair of the Eidelons to meet their ancestors in the hope they can be taught the power once more. However, the Scarrans appear to eradicate all of the ancient Eidelons so they cannot influence the empire. During a Peacekeeper-Scarran attack on Qujaga, Stark managed to give an Eidelon priestess the empathy knowledge from an Eidelon named Yondelar. Crichton brought four Eidelons to Moya while Jothee used a Scarran transport to bring at least a hundred Eidelons. In space, the Eidelons watched as their world was torn apart by a universe consuming wormhole created by Crichton. When both sides agreed to a settlement and the wormhole dispersed, the Eidelons supervised the treaty on Moya.
The new Eidelon colony does eventually regain its powers of mediation through Stark, who gains the knowledge as he crosses over one of the dying ancestors, and he in turn passes the ability on to one of the colony. The event also leaves Stark's mind at peace, no longer filled with the pain of others, and his power to cross spirits over is gone.
Hynerians are an amphibious race of short frog-like aliens with green skin. They can walk, but their short legs make this difficult. Underwater they move with quick darting movements with much grace. The one Hynerian seen in the series regularly, Rygel, rides in a hovering "ThroneSled" while out of water. This mode of transportation is probably atypical, however, as Rygel was once a monarch.
When nervous (or angry), Hynerians produce helium flatulence. They have three stomachs, and spend much of their time eating. If they consume tannot root, their urine and other bodily fluids become explosive. Their metabolism is rapid enough to shrug off some drugs (such as the Nebari mind-cleansing treatment), though sucrose is shown to be extremely addictive. Rygel mistakes human candy and fast food for narcotics. Hynerians can live over 500 cycles (Rygel has lived an unknown number of cycles before becoming a peacekeeper prisoner for a further 130, and when inside Crichton's body mentions that his own has at least 400 more cycles to live).
Hynerian society is split into distinct common and ruling classes and, among the ruling class at least, multiple wives and slaves (often one and the same) are commonplace. Despite this, Hynerian females are not all property. They are quite independent, and even serve as soldiers or spies. The Hynerian Empire is ruled by a monarch called the Dominar, and spans 10,000 planets with a total of 600 billion individuals, though not all of them are of the Hynerian species.
The Interions are a race of bipedal humanoids, roughly the same size and proportions as Humans and Sebaceans, but with different cranial architecture. In some circumstances, most often when in the throes of strong negative emotions, the hair of an Interion will change colors; the hair of Joolushko Tunai Fenta Hovalis, usually a ginger color, changes to a flaming scarlet when she is feeling stressed or angry. Interions also shed like cats, to the point that their lost hair can even clog up machinery and electronics.
The Interions' high-pitched scream is somehow capable of melting small metal objects in her vicinity. It is unknown whether this occurs because of the pitch, the volume, or the pure grating sound of the scream, but it occurs without the Interion's conscious control. Because only female Interions (specifically Jool) have been seen to scream, it is unknown whether the males' scream has the same effect.
Interion society seems to be geared toward education in the arts and sciences; it is not uncommon for a member of the intellectual elite have sixteen advanced degrees or more. Included in the basic education, it would appear, are the biological and medical sciences, history, and archaeology. Indeed, the Interions have established an archaeological dig at Arnessk, the site where, according to legend, a group of priests maintained peace between Sebaceans and Scarrans for five hundred generations, until about 10,000 cycles ago. Tentative evidence—a tile with symbols from Interionn, human and Sebeacean culture—suggests the Interions might have been involved in this truce as well.
Interions are also against violence and war, and believe the Peacekeepers are inferior grunts suited only to carry weapons and die in battle. Jool once claimed that there were no wars, weapons, or violence on her planet, but this might have been an exaggeration.
It would appear that Interions and humans may be related, as they are compatible medical donors for each other in some respects. As Peacekeepers were genetically engineered from primitive humans, it is possible that the Interions share a similar origin.
The Kalish are mainly represented in the series by the character Sikozu, although she is an abnormal case. The species has been conquered by, and assimilated into the structure of, the Scarran Imperium. Following this conquest, the Kalish were socially engineered into the role of the Imperium's bureaucrats, technicians and civil servants. As a result, Kalish society has come to value traits such as intellectualism and pragmatism.
Even though the Kalish chafe beneath their overlords, their lack of military options forces the vast majority of the population to collaborate. However, there is a small resistance movement that have gained access to Scarran bioloid technology in order to further their goals. A number of these Kalish replicants have been genetically engineered with a capability to emit an energy pulse lethal to their oppressors, which may be expressed as an area effect or focused through the hands. The bioloids are able to signal recognition of one another by rotating an eye in its socket.
Kalish are humanoids, with distinct male and female genders that by inference possess a means of reproduction physically compatible with Sebaceans. A common colouration is white skin with a golden scale-like pattern emerging from the hairline, red hair and either blue or green eyes. As a species they are capable of learning to "shift their center of gravity" in order to walk on walls or ceilings, a technique allegedly connected to their lack of large veins and arteries. It also involves 'receptors' of some unspecified kind that can be interfered with by chemical substances - evidence suggests that they may be analogous to the function of the inner ear. Kalish only need to eat ten times a cycle, gorging themselves to excess; the process of digestion generates a pleasurable sensation. Though Sikozu demonstrated a regenerative ability to reattach severed limbs without the need for surgery on a number of occasions, the lack of any other Kalish character showing a similar capability leaves it unclear whether this is a species trait or a factor of her bioloid nature.
Leviathans are sentient spaceships in the Farscape universe. They are an engineered race, made sentient by the Builders. Leviathans are made of both biological and mechanical systems, and are therefore biomechanoid. They have a thick outer skin capable of keeping a pressurized atmosphere inside, and also generate a bioelectric field that can keep small openings in the hull from venting atmosphere. Holes in the hull are repaired by symbiotic organisms called Hodian trill bats, whose excrement is a sealant. Other maintenance details are handled by mechanical DRDs, cat-sized droids that the Leviathan manufactures.
Inside, the Leviathan consists of countless corridors and compartments. Each Leviathan grows differently depending on the needs of its crew. At the very core of a Leviathan is an area known as the "Pilot's Den". This is where a member of the Pilot species symbiotically bonds to the Leviathan. While Leviathans can operate unbonded, most functional Leviathans have a Pilot bonded to them. A Relgarian can also be bonded to a Leviathan, although it has yet to be seen in the series. Leviathans can be manually steered by the crew from the control deck if they lack a Pilot, or if a crew member has a better chance than the Pilot of performing complex maneuvers.
Because of their nature, Leviathans are not able to communicate well with their passengers. Pilots play the role of translator and liaison between the ship and the crew. They are also responsible for maintaining life support functions, minor internal repairs and other detail jobs that are not related to the Leviathan's well-being but important for the passengers. When a Pilot dies or is incapacitated, most Leviathans lose some degree of control over these internal systems (especially life support).
Leviathans have a vast knowledge of space, and their senses are specifically adapted to be used as sensors for space travel. Leviathans have the unique ability to perform starbursts, a superluminal form of travel that they use for defense and for long-range travel. A Leviathan enters starburst by energizing a matrix of sorts on its outer hull, beginning at the tail of its body and running through to its head. Once the matrix has been completely energized, the ends of the three tails separate from one another, and the Leviathan enters the rift in space-time that opens ahead of it, which promptly seals itself as soon as the Leviathan is through. While in starburst, the Leviathan is "riding the seams between dimensions", essentially sliding around the outside of the universe to get to (roughly) its destination. Navigation is less of a science and more of an art, as one never knows exactly where one will come out when leaving starburst.
Leviathans possess no natural weaponry, as they were designed as transport ships or "Emissaries of Peace" (the exception being Talyn, who is a hybrid). They rely on their ability to Starburst to escape danger. Leviathans also have a docking web they use to "pick up" objects and small ships and bring them into their docking bay. The docking web is apparently powerful enough to immobilize and "reel in" small ships (like a prowler or transport pod), although only at very short range. Because of their large size and usefulness, Leviathans are often enslaved by Peacekeepers by means of control collars.
DRDs (Diagnostic Repair Drones) are small robots that are built by living Leviathans. The DRDs are extensions of the Leviathan's consciousness when a Pilot is not in control of them. The DRDs perform various functions, including repairs, searching for lost items, and defensive combat using built-in laser guns.
They are ovoid, approximately 14 inches long, 10 inches wide and 8 inches tall, with two flexible black eyestalks with lights. They contain multiple types of tools and sensors, including a plasma welder which can double as a weapon.
The most notable DRDs on Moya are: DRD Pike, named after Captain Christopher Pike of Star Trek, who communicated through the use of blinking lights, and which sacrificed itself (unintentionally) to destroy an energy rider; and One-Eye, whose eyestalk John Crichton accidentally damaged (and attempted to repair) soon after his arrival aboard Moya. While Crichton was stranded aboard a dying leviathan another DRD was encountered, which Crichton painted red, white, and blue and named 1812, for the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky. Crichton also taught this DRD to "whistle";
There are hundreds of DRDs aboard a Leviathan, and each Leviathan shown in the series has its own variations on the DRD design. Moya's DRDs are yellow and largely benign; the DRDs on Moya's offspring, Talyn, are red and contain powerful weapons. The Scarran border station visited in "We are So Screwed pt. 1" has its own version of DRDs, who act as a security force.
These small, unarmed, crafts are the standard issue Leviathan cargo and personnel transports. They are capable of atmospheric flight, and fast enough to allow interplanetary travel. Leviathan transport pods are bioships. A Leviathan can grow new transport pods as needed, and as such they are somewhat expendable. Unlike the Leviathans themselves the transport pods are not sapient, or even intelligent enough to fly on their own. They require at least one crew member to pilot them. If a transport pod is kept away from its Leviathan host for an extended period of time, it will go inactive and become unusable.
A minor contradiction to this point occurred in the episode The Locket during which a transport pod was twice away for a period of 150 'cycles' (years) but continued to function without concern.
Very little is known about Leviathan reproduction or mating rituals. Leviathans females can become pregnant, gestate a fetus, and give birth. The pregnancy is usually a long and complicated process. The child is conceived via a biological process and the embryo nests in one of the innermost chambers (usually on utility tiers which are inaccessible to the passengers). The embryo is tended to and defended by DRDs. This is an instinctive behavior that can override the usual DRD control channels. The DRDs may attack crew members who get too close to the developing child if they are perceived as a threat.
Side effects of pregnancy include involuntary starbursts, malfunctioning of life support and various other internal systems, as well as erratic DRD behavior. Crews of pregnant Leviathans should be prepared for many discomforts and are usually well-advised to abandon the ship for the remainder of her pregnancy.
Only a small portion of the race known as "Pilots" are allowed to bond with Leviathans. The Pilot society forbids young individuals to bond with Leviathans until they reach a certain age.
Peacekeepers have a Leviathan breeding research program attempting to produce a hybrid Leviathan warship that can take orders directly from a Sebacean captain (rather than interact with the crew via a bonded Pilot). They successfully artificially impregnated the Leviathan Moya, who gave birth to the first (and only) hybrid Leviathan ship Talyn. All other breeding attempts resulted in the death of the mother and the child, theorized to be because all other attempts were with enslaved Leviathans wearing control collars.
Talyn had a very powerful external retractable gun turret and wall-mounted security guns on the inside, and did not need a Pilot to control him; however Talyn's architecture still offered a vestigial pilot's den. He could bond with a Sebacean pilot via a special neural implant at the top of the spine. Talyn chose to bond with rogue Peacekeeper captain Bialar Crais; however — using the Pilot's den — Talyn was able to temporarily, yet successfully, bond with Stark while Crais was incapacitated.
Leviathans normally live over 300 cycles. When old age approaches, they try to travel to their sacred burial grounds to rest among the remains of other members of their species. Bonded pilots die along with their host, though their natural lifespan is about 3.3 times longer than that of a Leviathan. Although it is theoretically possible to "transplant" a pilot to another ship, most Pilots do not even consider it as an option.
The sacred Leviathan burial ground is in a remote area of the uncharted territories, and the exact location is a secret.
Leviathans have many predators, from Peacekeepers who try to enslave them, to the Grudeks, who harvest their toubray (neural) tissue. The Patriqu-ro — a race of ship builders that compete with the Builders — also rank among the enemies of Leviathans. In the episode Meltdown, they had employed the services of an alien, Mu-Quillis, who created a Siren Star to bait and, ultimately, destroy Leviathans. Tremendous space-dwelling monstrosities known as Budongs appear in two episodes (the first is dead), and may function as natural predators to the Leviathans (however artificial the latter are themselves).
Aside from being exceptionally strong and agile, Luxans possess two hearts, giving them enhanced constitutions. Luxans can survive in the vacuum of space for at least one-quarter arn (analogous to a quarter hour). Luxans have protruding brow ridges that extend around to the sides of the head, plate-covered noses, long chins that come to a point, and approximately eight tentacles (called "tenkas") that hang down from the back of the head. The tenkas have no muscular function but are sensitive to pleasure and pain. Males' scalps are bald but they have beards that run from beside their noses to above the area where ears would be. Mustache-like portions of the beard hang down to the chest and are braided. The exposed skin of the chin and head is often tattooed. Chin tattoos may denote military rank. They have a long and prehensile tongue covered with a toxin that causes unconsciousness when it stings someone. With practice, Luxans can use their tongues to wrap around objects, and can support a fairly large amount of weight in this manner.
When Luxans are wounded, a quirk of their physiology requires that their blood, which flows black at first, must flow until it turns translucent. Otherwise the blood will become toxic, and they will die. To bring this about, the wounded area must be deliberately hit or squeezed to increase the bleeding until the blood runs clear.
Male Luxans may enter a state known as Luxan Hyper-Rage. These rages are marked by extreme violence, especially against other males, and subsequent memory loss. Luxans can learn to control hyper-rage; however, this a gradual process, taking many cycles; it might be compared to the amount of time a modern human spends acquiring an education. One could say that the primary sign of maturity among Luxans is learning to control hyper-rage. Due to the danger an immature Luxan in the midst of hyper-rage would pose to a spouse or child, they are forbidden to marry young.
The Nebari are featured in the episodes "Durka Returns" (Season 1), "A Clockwork Nebari" (Season 2), and "Fractures" (Season 3). Most of the information about Nebari culture is conveyed in "A Clockwork Nebari". The most commonly seen Nebari on the show is regular Chiana. Nebari are humanoid in form, with grey skin and black hair (in males) or white hair (in females). Their skin is also immune to solar radiation. Nebari blood is blackish-blue in colour.
On their home planet, conformity is enforced by The Establishment, an Orwellian imperial regime that maintains utter conformity, through use of mind control techniques where necessary, both chemical-based and neuro-surgically, upon any and all who are within their influences, no matter the race of the individual. Young Nebari are tested and placed into a position in society based on their abilities, and are expected to conform. Nebari failing to conform to these strict controls are "stabilized" or "mind-cleansed" to fit in. Even displays of heightened emotion are considered to break conformity and are therefore bad: Nebari Establishment officials maintain a sedate, unnervingly calm and stoic demeanor even when torturing enemies or when under attack themselves. A small number of Nebari are natural hermaphrodites called "androgynes"; being inherently incapable of conforming, androgynes are social exiles.
Nebari technology appears to be highly advanced, especially military technology. It is discovered that the Peacekeeper Carrier captained by Durka was completely crippled by only one Nebari ship.
There are two types of mind-cleansing: The first is permanent (except in isolated cases), but takes cycles (years) to complete. The second is temporary, chemical-induced, and can be quickly applied, but does not work on all species; Nebari are immune to it, as are Pilot's species, and species such as Hynerians are affected for only a short time before their quick metabolisms rid their bodies of the drug. Prisoners are controlled with torture collars until cleansing can be effected. The Nebari Establishment claims to be acting for the "greater good" of everyone involved.
Among the Nebari, Chiana is a non-conformist and her brother, Nerri, is a notorious anti-Establishment rebel, making Chiana a target for mind cleansing by the Establishment. In "A Clockwork Nebari" it is revealed that the reason for Nerri's rebellion is the Establishment's great plan to infect significant numbers of every species in the galaxy with a dormant contagious agent; this agent is given to select "non-conformist" Nebari during routine examinations in the hopes that they will leave their home and spread it among the galaxy, primarily through sexual contact. Both Chiana and her brother were carriers, before Nerri discovered the truth and procured an antibody. The Establishment plans to simultaneously activate the disease at an undisclosed future date upon which all infected will run rampant, creating enough chaos within their civilizations to facilitate a galaxy-wide Nebari invasion.
Sebaceans are externally similar to humans, and by inference are a genetic offshoot of humans artificially created some 27 millennia before the events of the series; as a result of this genetic enhancement, Sebacean biology has several notable differences. Among the known advantages granted by their creators is a delay in the gestation of the fetus, eyesight significantly keener than that of humans, and average lifespans at least twice that of a human from the 20th century (though it is unclear if this is due to their advanced medical technology).
However, whether as a direct side effect of the process or a result of millennia of genetic drift, the changes from root human stock have not all been positive. The function of the human kidneys as a means of toxin removal has been replaced by a single organ named the paraphoral nerve. Lacking the redundancy of the human equivalent, up until the time period of Farscape, serious damage to the organ could only be healed using a graft from a compatible donor; by the end of the 1st season a synthetic treatment has been developed, though its availability outside the ranks of the Peacekeepers is unknown. Another biological drawback is their inability to deal with extreme heat (due to their genetic loss of the gland required to regulate heat): overheating leads to a state known as the heat delirium, a brain fever that leads to a permanent coma-state referred to as the living death. Until the onset of the final stage, the condition may be halted or even reversed by sufficiently lowering the sufferer's core temperature.
The Eidelons sought out a species to serve both as bodyguards and as enforcers of peace. The Eidelons took great care to choose a species that had yet to make interstellar contact, thus ensuring that their guardians would begin as a neutral party in interstellar politics. They found primitive humans, barely clothed, far removed on the galaxy's outer spiral. 27,000 years ago, they brought some of them back to their homeworld of Arnessk and employed genetic engineering to accelerate their evolution and enhance them. This new species became known as the Sebaceans and they became the Eidelons' trusted acolytes. They took on the name of Peacekeepers due to their function.
As a result of their shared genetic lineage, Sebaceans and Humans are capable of interbreeding with no assistance. Sebaceans have also shown the ability to interbreed with other humanoid species. The degree to which such pairings require external intervention is unknown - for example out of a sample of 91 matings with Scarrans, only one produced a viable offspring (Scorpius was the result). The reproductive biology of Sebacean women differs from their human forebears in that after the 2nd cellular division following conception, the pregnancy enters a state of stasis that can last for up to 7 years; within this period the pregnancy can only continue through medical intervention, though whether fetal development naturally restarts or aborts after the stasis period is unknown. Peacekeeper women born into battle groups experience a massively accelerated pregnancy that lasts only a few days, though it is uncertain how widespread this is for non-soldier Sebaceans.
Sebaceans seem to make up the bulk of the Peacekeepers, which originally was a law enforcement agency, but has become a private military company which employs their people as mercenary soldiers. For a price, they will serve as the military force for planets that lack one, though this arrangement usually is more advantageous to the Peacekeepers than to their "clients". During the storyline, the Peacekeepers are known to be employed by Hynerian rebel elements loyal to Dominar Rygel XVI's cousin Bishan (although the extent of their involvement in the rebellion is unknown), and by the rulers of Delvia. The half-breed Scorpius was a notable exception to the Peacekeepers racial purity rules, and was required to endure a loyalty test to be excepted from those rules. The Peacekeepers employ several large groups as slave laborers, notably Banik.
Pilot is the only name given to members of a particular fictional race from the Farscape universe. It may additionally be the name of the race as a whole. Much of what is known about them comes from the Pilot of the Leviathan Moya, known only as Pilot. It is indicated that all bonded members of the Pilot race become known only as "Pilot". Any other naming conventions held by them are unknown. They are featured in the episodes "DNA Mad Scientist" (Season 1), "Through the Looking Glass" (Season 1), and "The Way We Weren't" (Season 2).
Pilots are large crustacean-like creatures with four arms on their upper half, and four legs on their lower half which would appear to be vestigial. Their lower half is adapted to bond with a Leviathan spacecraft. They have a very rich and complex language that is too advanced for translator microbes to interpret unless spoken in very simple form. One sentence in this language can communicate the same amount of information as dozens of sentences in other languages.
The primary distinction of Pilots is that they can bond with Leviathan spacecraft. Most Pilots when bonded, do so for life and die with their Leviathan; but they can be removed and a new pilot can be put in its place (as happened to Moya's Pilot). Once bonded, they can no longer exist independently for more than an hour or so. Leviathans can live about 300 cycles (slightly longer than 300 Earth years) and their death will mean death for their Pilot as well, even though the Pilot's race's natural lifespan is much longer.
Pilots are chosen for bonding from among the population by their Elders, and are carefully screened for maturity and ability. The bonding process takes several cycles to complete naturally, although there are methods to artificially accelerate it. However, some of these methods cause severe pain for the Pilot over the entire length of time it is bonded to the Leviathan - usually, the rest of its life. Moya's Pilot is shown as unlinking from Moya and then re-linking.
Pilots choose to bond because it is their only means of space travel, though further details on this limitation are not given. Pilots staying on their home planet can live up to 1,000 cycles (slightly more than 1,000 Earth years), so unless they are several hundred cycles old at the time of their bonding, joining with a Leviathan causes them to lose a significant amount of their lifespan. Despite his youth, Moya's Pilot was willing to make this sacrifice to travel the galaxy, as his species regards it as a great honor.
Pilots can multitask, necessary for their simultaneous handling of the many systems aboard a Leviathan required by its passengers. The Leviathan's vital systems, however, are not affected by the absence of a Pilot. Pilots can regenerate severed arms. The process takes at least several solar days, though exactly how long is unclear.
The Scarrans are large humanoids that are distinctly reptilian in appearance and display a noticeable variation in body types. Most members of this species are perhaps best described as tailless "lizard men" with extended necks and long muzzled faces that some have found reminiscent of a horse. A significantly smaller portion possess a slightly smaller and more humanoid face on a shorter neck. Finally there is a third and even rarer variety that are almost human in proportion though their faces retain a certain bestial mien. There have been examples of male Scarrans of all three types, but the only females seen to date have been of this last variety - a large sexual dimorphism exists between the large muscular males and the smaller svelte females. As these Scarran women possess breasts, it may be inferred that they give birth to and nurture live young; whether the same can be said of females of the other types is uncertain. Scarrans are known to reproduce in a manner physically compatible with humans and Sebaceans.
By inference natives of a hot world, Scarrans nonetheless seem comfortable in temperate conditions to the point that their military facilities are heated to a level comfortable for non-Scarrans. This may have to do with the specialized gland in their chest that permits a Scarran to emit a focused beam of heat, usually from the hand, that proves exceptionally useful for purposes of torture and interrogation. Some Scarrans are skilled enough in applying this ability and studying the response its effects elicit that they can tell whether or not the victim is answering truthfully, though certain individuals (including the Scarran/Sebacean hybrid Scorpius) seem immune to this probe. The gland's ability to produce heat is negated by sub-zero temperatures, and its removal has a noticeably debilitating physical effect. The indifference to climate may, however, be due to the Scarran being cold-blooded, similar to reptiles, and that evolution resulted in a gland that 'stores' heat, which may be discharged as a defensive mechanism.
Scarrans are much stronger than most other humanoid species in the galaxy, and are capable of snapping a victim's neck with a single hand. Thick skin provides effective natural armor against most pulse weapons (however concentrated fire from even a pulse pistol will eventually compromise this); the more evolved Scarrans are generally more vulnerable to such attacks than their brutish kin. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Scarrans seem particularly vulnerable to cold damage.
Scarran mental faculties are known to be enhanced by the continued consumption of the plant Crystherium utilia. Whether this has a secondary effect of altering their physiology towards a more human appearance - as possibly evidenced by the secondary sexual characteristic of female breasts - is unknown. However, given the penchant for the Scarran Imperium to assimilate other races into its service, there remains the possibility that the different types of Scarrans seen in the series are distinct subspecies working in co-operation rather than a mutation of a single core race.
Scarran society is structured along imperial lines, with an Emperor in overall charge. This position's power is not absolute - an incompetent may be removed by a Council (of Ministers). Though dynastic succession is expected, killing the current Emperor and taking power is a perfectly legitimate means of ascending to the throne which has no gender restriction on who may occupy it. The position of War Minister is considered the third to the Emperorship in terms of power and prestige within Scarran society, though whether this is constitutional mandate or a result of the Imperium's inexorable mobilisation to war by the time of the Farscape series is unknown.
The Scarran Imperium rose to its current position as a major galactic power within the last 12,000 cycles and within that time they have come into conflict with the Peacekeepers, both civilisations laying claim to parts of the so-called Uncharted Territories into which their populaces might expand. How long the state of cold war has existed between them is unknown - though legend tells of the Eidelons creating a peace between the two species over 12,000 years prior to the Farscape series at the temple on Arnesk, the testimony of the Eidelons themselves as to their lack of familiarity with the Scarran species would indicate the story as the galaxy knows it is fallacious.
By the end of the Farscape series, hostilities between Scarrans and Peacekeepers escalate into an open conflict that lasts for a number of months; almost without exception, the Scarran war machine carries every battle, conquering many systems both within the Uncharted Territories, and under Peacekeeper control. Despite this, the war is brought to a peaceful conclusion with no victor when John Crichton utilises a wormhole weapon with the potential to destroy the galaxy in order to frighten both sides into signing a peace treaty.
- Nazzaro, Joe (2004). The Creatures of Farscape: Inside Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. ISBN 978-1-90311-185-7.
- Season 1, Episode 1, "Premiere".
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- Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars
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- In the episode "Fractures" (Season 3, Episode 18, 24 August 2001) a Nebari androgyne is among a group of prisoners used by the Nebari as targets in weapon tests. Chiana had heard of androgynes but most were removed from society as soon as they were identified. Chiana the rebel bonds with Hubero the outcast and risks her life trying save Hubero.
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- Season 2, Episode 11, "Look at the Princess Part I: A Kiss is But a Kiss".
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- Murphy, Kevin Andrew (2005). Farscape Forever!: Masks of Transformation. BenBella Books, Inc.