My Problem with the Highbreed



  • I don't consider Ben 10: Alien Force to be a good show. To me, it lies somewhere between decent and mediocre. The show just doesn't live up to the quality of the Original Series and the direction that it went doesn't really give the Ben 10 franchise the proper justice and treatment that it deserved. Even by itself, Alien Force has many significant issues with its writing and characters that degraded its overall quality. However, one of the few things about Alien Force that I did like were the Highbreed. I thought that they were pretty good villains with characteristics and their motives for doing what they do to be something that stood out well for them and they do create a good level of tension after seeing what they're capable of doing. I don't think they are at the level of other Ben 10 villains such as Vilgax, Hex, Kevin, etc but they are a nicely well implemented set of foes for the main characters to face...for the most part. There is one issue that I have about the Highbreed that stands out the most about them and I would like to discuss my thoughts on them. This will contain spoilers for Ben 10: Alien Force so if anyone reading this hasn't seen the show and does mind about plot spoilers, you have been warned. It has been a while since I saw Alien Force so if there's anything that I missed, feel free to let me know.

    In the show, the Highbreed see themselves as a superior race of species that looks down upon every other species. They believe so much in this ridiculous viewpoint about themselves that the Highbreed try their best to ensure that they maintain their racial purity only for that to backfire on them terribly when they ended up constantly inbreeding with themselves to the point where the current generation of Highbreed were thus plagued with a weakened immune system and became incapable of reproducing new offsprings. Knowing that the Highbreed race is doomed, they decide to go on a massive intergalactic genocidal campaign on every other species in the universe to ensure that nothing surpasses the Highbreed after they become extinct. To resolve this issue, Ben uses the Omnitrix to repair and rewrite the Highbreed DNA structure and problem solved. The Highbreed get to continue on with their lived and they look pass their old ways while the rest of the universe is no longer at risk of being wiped out by the Highbreed. At the very least, this is a very quick summary of what happened in order to add some context to my topic of discussion here.

    My issue is how the resolution of the conflict with the Highbreed was played out. The Highbreed basically went full-blown Nazi on the rest of the universe, exterminating any species that were unfortunate enough to be in their path. They kidnapped innocent human beings and enslaved them by turning them into DNAliens. They destroyed Galvan Prime as well as attacking other planets. The Highbreed overall caused so much destruction, death, and suffering and season 2 ends with the Highbreed race being saved and returning home and the rest of the universe continuing on as if nothing happened? Sure, the war is over but considering everything that the Highbreed race did, were they ever held accountable for it? Did they ever make reparations for their action in the show? Did they face any sort of punishment for causing so much death, destruction, and suffering? To me, it felt like the Highbreed had it too easy. That they were let off the hook considering what they did. Stuff like this was pretty much an issue with most, if not all, of the conflicts that Alien Force and Ultimate Alien had. Both shows would build up huge conflicts that the characters had to find a way to resolve and the resolution of these conflicts usually don't pay off in the end. Often times, the writers push for something only to hold back on it at the last moment. The last part of season 1 of Ultimate Alien could've ended with Kevin going back to his old ways and becoming a villain again (like how he was originally supposed to be) but instead, the writers held back on that and Kevin remained allied with Ben and Gwen. Kevin going crazy during that part prominently illustrated the major issues of Kevin being a hero character and being in a relationship with Gwen. In regards to the Highbreed, I felt that the same happened here as well. The writers held back at the last moment and therefore, it felt that the resolution to the war that the Highbreed were responsible for causing didn't really pay off well. In fact, even if the Highbreed did make reparations for what they did, to me, it still felt like they had it too easy. That it wouldn't be enough.

    What I think should've happened instead is this. The Highbreed should've lost the war. Ben stops the portal from opening, thus preventing the Highbreed from invading Earth...for now. Earth could still be at risk of invasion by the Highbreed. It would just take longer for the Highbreed to reach Earth. Plus, the Highbreed would still go about invading other planets that are closer to them as well. This could lead to two outcomes. With the invasion of Earth having failed, other planets manage to push back the Highbreed and thus the Highbreed lose the war and face the consequences of their actions. Either that or most likely the universe, including Earth, would still be in danger of the Highbreed. Destroying the jump-gate portal would only temporarily prevented the Highbreed from invading Earth and other planets would still be at risk of being destroyed. Ben decides to do one thing to end the war and that is to follow the original, real purpose of the creation of the Omnitrix. Ben uses the jump-gate portal to go to the Highbreed home world, Augstaka, to communicate with the Highbreed leaders. Either he fights his way to them or the Highbreed leaders let him approach them. Most likely the latter. From there, Ben communicates with the Highbreed leaders and negotiates and eventually convinces them to end the war. The dialogue that would play out during this moment would illustrate character flaws within the Highbreed and likely within Ben as well. That's what I think would be the best approach to take to illustrate the conversation between these characters and how the conversation further develops said characters; especially in regards to Ben. Eventually, the Highbreed leaders would realize and come to understand the flaws that their species has and thus they are not actually not superior over other species, come to an understanding of the very doomed fate that they put themselves in, and praise and credit Ben for being willing and able to persuade them to come to the very understandings that I just mentioned. The Highbreed leaders call the war off and the Highbreed race face the severe consequences that would result in the actions and atrocities that they committed upon the universe. However, Ben doesn't use the Omnitrix to save the Highbreed race. Instead, the Highbreed accept their fate and some time later, the Highbreed species would go extinct while the rest of the universe rebuilds and continues onwards towards the future, learning from the actions that the Highbreed made to ensure that something like this doesn't happen again. Meanwhile, that very moment with the Highbreed further develops Ben as a character, helping him to further understand Azmuth's intentions when he created the Omnitrix. Further help Ben come to an understanding that not every situation had to be resolved by fighting but instead some situations could be resolved by communicating and talking with his opposition. That some situations can be resolved in more peaceful ways and that sometimes Ben can't save everyone.

    This is how I think the conflict with the Highbreed should've been resolved. The Highbreed properly face the consequences of their actions and instead of being saved, they go extinct while the rest of the universe is saved. As for Ben, he experiences a major moment in his life that further significantly develops him as a character, helping to further improve him and make him a better hero. If anyone has any thoughts and opinions on this, feel free to comment down below.

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