The randomness of the factions' personalities are well-documented with lots of egregious examples. In one example, the faction roles were reversed entirely: Early on, the Spartans declared war as the player was trapping them from getting more land. Fair enough. Then the Peacekeepers made a surprise strike on the player faction even though they were much weaker and the player hadn't declared any wars himself. The Spartans had about as much power as the player, but on the first sign of trouble, they surrendered unconditionally to him. The Peacekeepers, on the hand, continued to fight to the bloody end, refusing to compromise with someone who, again, never started a war. Whoever decided to join that colony for peacekeeping ideals got ripped off to say the least.
The Longevity Vaccine movie features what appears to be a TV show that is a cross between the game and South Park, with a Morgan caricature chasing a Lal caricature away.
Sometimes, faction leaders (especially the ones who are neither particularly peaceful nor particularly aggressive) have trouble making up their minds about whether they want a Pact of Brotherhood or not. It can be amusing when Zakharov declares he's had enough of your ecological ramblings/paranoid delusions/pacifistic whining/whatever else your faction leans towards and breaks his pact with you, but is perfectly happy to remake it with no strings attached the very next turn.