Farscape: Character Bios: Aeryn Sun

OFFICER AERYN SUN is played magnificently by Claudia Black

If you were to meet Aeryn Sun in a pub, she would be arm wrestling the barman.

This is one of those rare people that is aggressive without being macho, pretty sexy without being helpless, she’s scary without being frightening and a bloody pain in the bum most of the time.

She was a soldier in the Peacekeeper corps (a front-line member of the elite I’m-gonna-kick-yer-effin-ass – Plysar Regiment ), she’s a ‘grunt’, and proud of it.  Her full title is Officer Aeryn Sun, Special Peacekeeper commando, Ikarian Company, Plyzar Regiment.

What this actually involved was flying around in a little spaceship (called a Prowler), and attempting to destroy any and all enemies of the Peacekeepers (or their clients).  It was on one of these missions that her ship was caught up in the wake of Moya’s escape and she was sucked along with them. Crichton convinced her to escape with them telling her that she could be more than a soldier.  She initially refused but is eventually forced to join Crichton and the others on Moya.

Aeryn Sun is now branded a traitor by her fellow Peacekeepers because of her involvement with the Moyans, which is a shame since she tried so desperately to betray Crichton and the others. But her commanding officer, Bialar Crais refused to believe her story and accused her of spending too much time with an alien race (against regulations because of the danger of contamination).  Sun found herself ostracized by her fellow comrades and forced to join the crew of Moya, something she has great difficulty in coming to terms with.  She was a committed Peacekeeper and is loathed to lead any other life.

In fact her eagerness to be a faithful Peacekeeper has caused her trouble in a number of times.  Most notably when the crew of Moya discovered that she was one of the murderers of the original Pilot to Moya.  There have been countless other instances when Aeryn Sun has reacted to orders rather than conscience and committed acts which we would consider brutal and murderous.

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She was proud to have been a Peacekeeper and was usually defensive whenever Peacekeepers were mentioned, but lately this has changed.

She has had ample opportunity to turn the others in if she wanted to and Crais offered her a chance to return to her old regiment, with her honor restored (… it meant that she would be executed, but her PK honor would be reinstated (?!?) – in the episode “Til the Blood Runs Clear”)

Towards the end of the second season Aeryn Sun pretty much lays it on the line with Crais while he is strapped to the Aurora chair. She tells him that she was ashamed of having been a PK, and that she officially renounces it. She has no reason to lie to him here, in fact she turns on the Aurora Chair to torture him a bit. (It’s Andrea’s opinion that she is sincere in this, but I’m much less convinced.)

Aeryn once had an affair with a scientist called Velorek.  It didn’t last long, she betrayed him to Crais after discovering that he was a traitor. She did this in return for being re-assigned to Prowler duty.

Aeryn is very beautiful if a little scary, and has proved her ability to fight (not just by beating up Crichton) many times.  She has sometimes demonstrated a small amount of compassion and understanding with other crewmembers (most notably Chiana in “Taking the Stone”) but I can’t help feel that this is done from necessity rather than a true sense of well-being for her colleagues.  Aeryn has demonstrated time and time again that she is a nasty-piece-of-work and I personally loath the character.

It’s my duty – my breeding – since birth. It’s what I am” – just doesn’t cut it for me. This is the last person I would trust with my life.  If I had been a member of the Moya crew, I’d have thrown her into space at the beginning.

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Most Scapers have become keenly interested in the relationship between Crichton and Aeryn.  It tends to be stormy at best (bordering on love and hate and all the passion that involves – rather like marriage).  Aeryn and John have bonked (in a “Human Reaction”) but it seems to me that their relationship will probably develop more as a friendship rather than love. – Maybe I’m wrong, I hope so.

Whatever happens with The Aeryn and Crichton’s relationship there is a lot of water flowing under the bridge between each episode.  In Andrea Reeds insightful review of the show “Crackers don’t Matter”, she points out that ‘Part of the point of becoming intimate with someone (either as a friend or a lover) is that you have to trust them and rely on them not to use their knowledge of your weaknesses – which is exactly what happened between the two of them. Will they get over it? Probably, but even if one forgives, it is sometimes pretty hard to forget.’

In a recent Starburst Magazine interview, Claudia Black said, “The analogy Rockne (Rockne S. Obrian the creator of Farscape) gave me about Aeryn was a very powerful one, one that I’ve carried with me through the series so far – that she is a child, basically an orphan, who received no physical contact by the people around her, who has no real concept or understanding of a family unit. When we meet her, she is thrown into an environment where she is forced to deal with a new group which is basically a family. She’s a test-tube baby and she has been taught all her life that her emotions must be suppressed and that it is a sign of weakness to show them. So she is really a powerhouse of quite extraordinary emotions and feelings; in the contemporary world we would say that she has an enormous number of issues to deal with. Right now she is having a crash course in human psychology. She is developing as we watch, a work in progress, really.”
– Excerpt from Starburst Magazine, Special #41. By James E. Brooks

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Claudia is an accomplished and experienced actress. She was recently in the film ‘Pitch Black’ directed by David Twohy (of ‘The Fugitive’ fame) and the film Good Fruit. She has also appeared in many of Australia’s popular TV series and movies. Most notabley for her portrayal of the hermaphrodite Jill Mayhew in Good Guys Bad Guys, and the leading role in City Life. She also appeared in the series GP, Police Rescue, A Country Practice, Water Rats and Seven Deadly Sins, and a number of small parts in the series Hercules.
Claudia Black was a finalist in the 1990 Globe Shakespeare competition and her theatre appearances include Portia in the European production of The Merchant of Venice, also Jo in Little Women, and other roles in Spotlight on Women, Portrait of Dorian Gray, Loose Ends, and Pick Ups for the Belvoir Street Theatre.

Claudia also sings professionally with an emphasis on jazz and classical music.

Film Credits
Pitch Black (1999) …. Shazza
TV Series Credits
“Farscape” (1999) TV Series …. Officer Aeryn Sun
“City Life” (1996) TV Series …. Angela Kostapas
“Country Practice, A” (1994) TV Series …. Claire Bonacci
TV Guest Appearances
“Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” (1995) playing “Cassandra” in episode:
“Hercules on Trial,” (episode # 4.10) 1/19/1998
“Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” (1995) playing “Cassandra” in episode:
“Atlantis,” (episode # 3.22) 5/12/1997
“Water Rats” (1996)
“Country Practice, A” (1993 Eps. 1055-1058) TV Series …. Claire Bonacci
“Seven Deadly Sins” (1993) (mini)
“Police Rescue” (1990)
“G.P.” (1988)

Discuss this character in the Farscape Discussion Forum

The character Biographies are ©2000 – 2019 Tony Fawl.
Corrections and additions ©2000 – 2019 Andrea Reed and not for reproduction without the authors express permission

The FARSCAPE names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Entertainment, Nine Network, and in association with The Sci-Fi Channel and the BBC.

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