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SYFY WIRE Farscape

Farscape's Ben Browder on How Guardians of the Galaxy Was Inspired by Hit SYFY Series

John Crichton explains how Farscape got him cast as the Sovereign Admiral in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

By Tara Bennett

Before writer/director James Gunn created his cinematic vision of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, he was a science fiction nerd like so many of us. A child of the '80s, he grew up on a pop culture diet of horror movies and oddball series like SYFY's Farscape. All of it became inspiration for his own film projects, and in the case of Farscape, its rag tag group of space misfits kinda led by a human became the tonal template for Gunn's Guardians

In fact, during one of Gunn's informal Twitter (now X) fan conversations (via Landmark Cinemas), Gunn even formally name checked the series: "People are always bringing up a million films asking me if they're inspirations. Usually the answer is no. In the case of #Farscape it is most definitely YES."

As 2024 is the 25th anniversary of Farscape and the 10th anniversary of Guardians of the Galaxy's debut in theaters, SYFY WIRE sat down with actor Ben Browder to get the story of how John Crichton led to him playing Ayesha's (Elizabeth Debicki) Sovereign Admiral in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (catch the first Guardians movie airing this month on SYFY).

For More on Farscape: 
Farscape at 25: Ben Browder, Creators Talk Series Legacy - and Ideas For a Series Revival of Moya's Crew
Why Farscape Ended With a Miniseries Event - The Story of the Peacekeeper Wars
From Farscape to Five Nights at Freddy's? The Connection Between the SYFY Classic & Horror Hit

How Guardians of the Galaxy Was Inspired by Farscape

In Farscape, Browder played wormhole-displaced human astronaut John Crichton. He's saved by the living ship, Moya, and becomes part of the crew running from Peacekeepers in the remote areas of the Milky Way. While Guardians was released 10 years after the release of Farscape: The Peacekeepers War on SYFY, Browder told SYFY WIRE as soon as he saw Guardians of the Galaxy in theaters that he knew there was some Farscape DNA in Marvel Studio's most improbable hit. He sniffed out Gunn as a fellow Spacer. 

"I would have been surprised if I hadn't seen Guardians before I met him," Browder said of discovering Gunn to be a fan of the show. "When I met him, I introduced myself and said, 'Hey, James Gunn... I'm Ben Browder. Huge, huge fan of Guardians.' And he goes, 'Yeah, I know who you are.' And I said, 'I thought you did! You stole my show,'" he laughed.

Since Farscape was always considered a cult show and Guardians was immediately embraced by the masses, we wondered if there were any sore feelings about GOTG's easier path to mainstream success? "If it sucked, then it would be a problem," Browder laughed. "But Guardians of Galaxy did not suck. It was really good."

How Farscape's Ben Browder Got a Cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Browder said his part as the very golden Sovereign Admiral to High Priestess Ayesha came after his initial meeting with Gunn, where the director said he would cast the actor in the movie's sequel. 

"I walked away expecting the classic Hollywood, 'Oh, yeah. I'll wait for that job,'" Browder said of his typical actor cynicism for what creatives promise. "And then he did. Literally, like the last honest man in Hollywood," the actor continued with genuine shock. "I got a lot of time for James Gunn. He's a man of his word. And really good at what he does!"

Watch all four seasons of Farscape and Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars on Peacock, and check the SYFY schedule for airings of Guardians of the Galaxy.