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Aeryn Sun can't go home to her Peacekeeper planet. In one episode, she wants a mad scientist to find her a sebacean planet where she would be able to live. However, just a few episodes earlier, they were at a sebecean planet, and since they just saved that planets ass, it'd make no sense for them to report her. So why didn't she just go down and start living there?
She wasn't looking for just any planet, she was looking for the planet she came from.
Nope, she states that she was born in space.
Because Aeryn has been a Peacekeeper since birth, she's not going to be any more at home on a planet full of Sebacean farmers than she is on Moya, its not Sebaceans that she misses, its the Peacekeeper discipline and lifestyle specifically.
Because they weren't Sebaceans. They were Sykarans. (According to the Sci-Fi channel site.) Related, but different.
Indeed; John makes the mistake of assuming they're the same species and gets an earful of Cultural Posturing from Aeryn about it.
Aeryn's not from any planet. She was born on a Command Carrier like most Peacekeepers who aren't conscripted as children, like Crais and his brother were.
Why does Rygel stay on Moya?
He constantly tries to abandon the ship in the middle of a crisis, usually making the crisis worse as he does so. The ship is usually in the middle of nowhere when disaster strikes, and it's not really clear where he thinks he's going. Since he knows the ship gets into trouble on a regular basis, why doesn't he just disembark on any random commerce planet?
This was actually addressed. The cousin that deposed him put on bounty on him, so he's not really safe on his own. In a later episode, most of the crew went their separate ways, only to come crawling back to Moya after learning that they all have bounties on their heads.
Repeating from the opening post - he tries to abandon the ship in the middle of empty space ALL THE TIME!
My surprise is why they keep him around anyway. I think that he is just very coward and gets irrational (I never seen him as very smart too) and also between a sinking ship and the ocean, what is the better choice? Plus, "middle of nowhere" is a rather open term, the entire space can be described like that.
They keep him around because he's a better diplomat than any of the rest of them (with the possible exception of Zhaan) and on the rare occasion when he's helpful, he's far more helpful than anyone else on the ship. Plus, it's useful having a guy who can fit into DRD tunnels around in case you need to get some repair work done: refer to the episode with the beacon embedded in Moya's nerve bundle.
In her "I'm About to Sacrifice Myself to Save All of You" speech(there's probably a trope for that but I'm lazy), Zhaan refers to Rygel as "wise", and he was — its just hard to see when he's also a complete selfish ass.
My assumption is that they kept Rygel around because he masterminded them originally taking over Moya. In a way, it's thanks to him they're all free and safe, so it's natural they'd be grateful. And also maybe their standards for him are less then their standards for everybody else (excepting maybe Chiana, sometimes).
They keep him probably firstly because it's an unwritten rule that they're all equal, fugitives, with the same right on and to the ship (see episode where they finally decide on a captain, which is seasons into the show; by this logic, if there is no one "more equal" than the others on anything, there is no one "less equal" or worthy to throw out). Strangely, the case of Rygel masterminding their escape was rarely brought up by the crew, usually just by him when he's boasting to others about his well-planned escape: this may be because he did it foremost to get his own ass out, which is obvious, so they really have little to be grateful for. As for leaving in the middle of space, it's implied he's very survival-savvy and could probably get on any other crew on any other condition, just by bargaining some precious stones or blackmailing the future crew if they try to screw him over.
Why does Crichton always carry that tape player around?
He could probably pick something better up at an alien pawn shop.
This troper seems to remember Crichton expressing a desire in Season 1 to get the tapes back to Earth, and it would be more convenient if the humans could actually play them.
Sentimentality. It's something from Earth, made on Earth by humans. I'm not sure why he had a tape recorder in the cockpit with him in the first place, but still.
Because he's a scientist and probably wanted to make his own notes during the Farscape experiment.
Because in the final episode, when the worm hole is closing and John leaves Earth behind, he leaves his notes on the Moon at the Flag his father planted. The notes will give us a few hundred years of technological progress and force us to restart lunar exploration just to get the notes. And by using tape he knows we can use them.
How long will that tape stay magnetized?
Certainly long enough for one of the many nations on Earth to scramble a mission to the moon. We've been there before, remember? We could dust off the old Saturn 5 blueprints and build another one if we had to.
When did Moya's crew become fluent in English?
In the documentary shown in "Constellation of Doubt," they seem to be conversing fluently, but their stay on Earth didn't seem that long in Terra Firma. And if they're not speaking English and we're just hearing them as John would, why isn't the documentary subtitled for viewers who wouldn't have translator microbes?
Maybe they just got the original version, when only the people who interviewed/commented got translator microbes. When they scooped it up for all we know it could have been being emailed, or in the middle of being edited to include said subtitles. That stuff can take time.
The show made it pretty clear that they were at least attempting to learn English before and during their stay on Earth. The footage may have been from after they got the hang of it.
This brings up another question. How can you even learn another language, when you don't actually hear it? All you hear is the translated version.
It could be that the microbes leave the sounds phonetically intact and just sort of overlay meaning over them rather than the listener hearing everything in their own language. That would actually render other langauges easier to learn, and might explain why idiosyncratic phrases are poorly translated and why characters who try to use English phrases (notably Aeryn) end up saying things that sound like, but are amusingly different from, the actual phrase, e.g. "churl power" for "girl power" and "she gives me a woody" for "she gives me the willies."
One of the very first episodes has them crash-land on a planet that has never seen outer space and treats Crichton like an ET. Unless one argues that these microbes are literally everywhere but Earth, how could they possibly understand him? They seem to be used as a Hand Wave more often than not.
If it helps, the "Journey Log" episode recaps on the old official site at least hung a lampshade on that, speculating that maybe there were microbes indigenous to that planet.
The world may have been "seeded" by a species that spoke a language the microbes knew, just so long ago that they'd forgotten about it (as shown happening a few other times). Since they would have had translator microbes to start with (and they would have been passed down), this could have kept the language stable enough that John's microbes could still parse it all those cycles later, and they could understand him. Same explanation works for an earlier situation, where the native population is explicitly stated to have been put there and to have been more advanced at one time.
Sure, the commanders we have met haven't been too nice but considering the heroes of the show are a bunch of escaped convicts from their point of view how nice should we expect them to be? On my last run through of the series it seemed more like they were like the federation from star trek on the brink of war with an Always Chaotic Evil civilization on their border as viewed through the eyes of escaped murderers.
Well, they're not assumed to be Chaotic Evil- they're known to be Lawful Evil mercenary police with a penchant for conquering their own clients. As for "escaped murderers," only Zhaan was a murderer- she killed her lover for taking over Delvia (with Peacekeeper assistance). D'Argo was framed by his brother-in-law. Rygel was deposed by his cousin in another Peacekeeper-assisted coup. Aeryn was discharged for spending too much time with aliens. All in all, the Peacekeepers aren't as bad as the Scarrans, but they're certainly not the Federation.
The escaped murders line is valid. Zhan, and Dargo were convicted murderers. Dargo may be, in fact, innocent but the Peacekeepers believe him to be guilty. While the reasons for Rygel being overthrown are never made explicit, just listening to the guy talk for 5 minutes will tell you all you need to know about what kind of ruler he was. It's more accurate to say "escaped prisoners" but I don't think that changes the sentiment, or makes it less true. How nicely should the Peacekeepers treat their escaped prisoners?
It's made clear that Crais was privy to the fact that D'Argo was innocent, and refused to speak of it. Plus, Rygel's attitude problems don't necessarily mean he was a bad ruler- especially compared to his cousin, who was facing so much bad publicity by Peacekeeper Wars that he just about begged Rygel to come back and take over.
What bugs me is... why are the Scarrans considered to be worse than the Peacekeepers? They do most of the same stuff, good or bad, and both are focused on expanding their territory.
Peacekeepers don't generally perform genocide, mass rape, or the barbecuing of 8 month-old fetuses. True, they're not angels, but when you compare them to the Scarrans, who frequently boasted that they'd cleanse the galaxy of all "inferior" races and hybrids if they ever got the chance, it's best to chose the lesser of two evils.
The thing people often forget about the Peacekeeper territories is that the Peacekeepers were invited in by the legitimate governments of the planets they protect. We've seen only a slim fraction of their command structure and general population, so judging the whole race by the few corrupt officials we've seen may not be entirely fair.
We are kind of forgetting that the Peacekeepers aren't a race, but a Sebacean political organizations. An entire species (like the Sebaceans) being Always Chaotic Evil is kind of a stretch, but an organization can self-select for certain personality traits.
The show went out of its way to show the PKs weren't Always Chaotic Evil. Power corrupts though, so the high-ranking PKs we saw tended to be in Well-Intentioned Extremist territory (Scorpius, Grayza) or had Break the Cutie-type personal backstories (Aeryn's mother was implied to be so ruthless because of how she had been punished for conceiving a child out of love). Rank-and-file PKs tended to be xenophobic, but would gladly cooperate with non-PK Sebaceans as well as other non-Sebacean races if ordered to do so, for example, when protecting a caravan of nurses from the Venek Hordes, or when fighting to stop the Scarrans from completely taking over the galaxy. In these instances, they actually were portrayed as heroic. Your average Peacekeeper suffers from xenophobic indoctrination but mostly "just follows orders."
How can Scorpius travel incognito?
When they go to the Scarran border station in Fetal Attraction, Scorpius introduces himself to the Scarran freighter captain as 'Captain Wentrask' and says something in Scarran to convince the freighter captain that he and his crew are in the Scarran Ministry of Dissimulation. The captain takes this all in stride and I believe calls him 'half-breed' before that little discussion. In season 3 when we got Scorpius' backstory, he's told his Scarran mother was raped by a male Sebacean but after defecting to the Peacekeepers, finds that the opposite is true and that out of 90-something Scarran trials, he's the only one who survived. If he was the only half-Scarran, half-Sebacean in existence, wouldn't the freighter captain thought something was either a) generally fishy or b) knew he was Scorpius the whole time. It's entirely possible that both the Scarrans and Peacekeepers had lied to Scorpius about him being the only Scarran/Sebacean hybrid and we just never saw any others but..yeah. It just bugs me.
When he calls Scorpius a half-breed, does he specifically identify him as a Scarran/Sebacean half-breed? Hybrids seem to be relatively common in the Farscape verse. Maybe he could tell Scorpy was a half-breed but couldn't nail down his exact ancestry.
Well we see in season 4, when Aeryn was captured, that the Scarrans have been using other species to breed with in order to try to improve/find an organism they could use as a weapon. I would guess that there are quite a few half-breeds walking around. And it's not like you could look at Scorpius and tell he was half-subaccean. So yeah, I'm guessing the Scarran just assumed he was another half-breed (non-specific) who rose through military ranks because he was an asset.
The next episode "Hot to Katratzi" has a moment between Scorpius and the Scarran Emperor where Scorpy says "I've served you for ten cycles as a spy!". I believe this may mean he has the contacts to create false identities for himself...
He probably does have the contacts to do that, but I believe that particular statement was just a reference to Scorpy's Double Reverse Quadruple Agent status. Later on he says the Emperor only believes Scorpy is a loyal spy for the Scarrans.
It turns out that the Scarran was lying, his mother was Sebacean, raped by a Scarran Male.
Too many considering that Crichton's resemblance to the Sebaceans is supposed to be surprising... not believable in a universe where the inhabitants of seemingly every other planet are aliens that look like Sebaceans.
Sebaceans are an incredibly widespread species that are known to be capable of breeding hybridized offspring. Think about that long enough, and you'll find it makes perfect sense.
It was also considered strange that Chrichton looked not just Sebacean-like, but as though he were a full Sebacean. The reason for this is revealed in the Peacekeeper Wars mini-series.
The existence of so many near-Sebacean (but not "pure" Sebacean, whatever that means) aliens who could potentially infiltrate Peacekeeper society also somewhat explains why the Peacekeepers are so xenophobic... they're more afraid of the differences they can't see than they are of facial tentacles or blue skin. No wonder they're so obsessed with keeping the bloodlines pure.
"Sebaceanoid" aliens frequently had unusually colored hair, irises, or skin pigments that set them off, if only slightly, for the more human-looking full Sebaceans. However, at least twos Sebacean, Scorpius's nurse and Commandant Mele-On Grayza, had unusually colored irises like some of the near-Sebaceans the crew encountered on various planets. So it's possible that all these more or less Human Aliens are all Sebaceans, but from different ethnic groups, some of these ethnic groups being overrepresented in the Peacekeepers while others (the lighter-eyed varieties) are rare or virtually absent. Litigarians, another Sebacean-like species, actually had dark spots covering their bald heads which made them look more like Rubber-Forehead Aliens when they took their nicehats off.
What Happened to Stark?
Maybe this was addressed and I missed it, but Stark and Zhaan are seen attending Gilina at the end of the episode in which he is introduced, so we know he was on Moya. And the next episode, they are hiding in an asteroid belt, and he's gone. No explanation of when or how he left?
-In his next appearance (season 2) he thanks them for lending him a transport pod.
All Those Dead Slaves
In "Liars, Guns, and Money," Scorpius buys the lot of slaves containing D'Argo's son Jothee, so that he can hold him hostage and make Crichton surrender. Thing is, there are 10,000 slaves in the lot, and Scorpius has no use for 9,999 of them. He later gives them to Natira, so that she can sell them and try to recoup some of her losses from the events of the trilogy. Cut to: Stark having a fit because he just sensed all those slaves dying at once. Wait...what? Why would Natira kill them? There's no profit in that!
There could have been profit in it, depending on how and why they were killed. Maybe Natira sold them to a race that feeds on the brains of sentient species. Also, Natira is in charge of a Shadow Depository and is already spectacularly rich. She can probably afford to massacre 9,000 slaves for shits and giggles.
The original plan was to give the rest of the slaves to Natira. However, the slave traders weren't willing to go and find Jothee in the crowd, so Scorpius just opened up all the slaves to hard vacuum, relying on Jothee's Luxan ability to survive to separate him from the crowd.
When exactly was this stated? I know for a fact that the slave traders enforced a bulk-buy, but it's never specifically stated that Scorpius did a damn thing other than send a Marauder to pick Jothee up. He never said he was going to kill them, he didn't order the Marauder crew to kill them: all he said was that Natira could have the remaining 9999. Why would exposing them to vacuum be necessary at all? The slaves are all Banik; Jothee is half-Luxan: it's not that hard to tell them apart. Why would Scorpius bother? When was this stated?
Scorpius orders Braca to get Jothee as quickly as possible, but doesn't give specifics. It was probably Braca's idea to space everyone and pick out the surviving lifesign. That was probably quicker than searching through a 10,000 strong crowd. A crowd that size would take a lot of searching, even for someone visibly different.
True, but the effects of hard vacuum are also problematic: Jothee is a known hybrid and not possessed of the exact same strengths as a pure Luxan - can tongue-stun but isn't as effective at it, doesn't like the cold but not as much as a pure Luxan, etc. Presumably, the same equation applies to the resistance to vacuum, and even Pure Luxans can't last much longer than fifteen minutes: spacing the slaves might be quicker than sorting through them rank by rank, but it also runs the risk of killing Jothee and losing Scorpy's bargaining chip. Furthermore, where was this strategy even mentioned? Is this from the comics?
In "Kansas," most of the crew of Moya visits Earth in the year 1985. When they get there, every single one of them is shown to be capable of holding a conversation in English with the locals, none of whom have been injected with Translator Microbes. Now, it had been previously established that Sikozou (who didn't go on that trip) had learned English from Crichton due to her photographic memory, and that Aeryn (who did go) had painstakingly taught herself the language, but does anyone believe that Chiana, Rygel, D'Argo, and (especially) Noranti had learned it?
How many conversations between the Moya crewmates and the local humans do we actually see? It seemed to me that all the on-screen conversations between aliens and humans in that episode involved humans who could plausibly have accepted translator microbes. When they were out touring Earth off-screen they could have had a translator assisting them.
Just rewatched this episode in my rewatch of the entire series. The only person anyone speaks to at length is the cop. Aeryn does most of the talking, and Dargo can only say "yes" "no" and "bite me" as previously said. Noranti, however, is able to speak with the police officer perfectly fine. But we can handwave that since she has a large amount of vague and ill-defined mystical powers. Chiana only speaks to young John in one word sentences. They don't really have a conversation.
If Chiana had already injected Crichton with translator microbes when he was a teenager, why would he need them again as an adult when he first boarded Moya? And how would she have explained it? I suppose we can accept that Granny injected the Sheriff and his men with them while they were out, but that is hard to buy.
Ah, my mistake. I misread your JBM and thought you were referring to Terra Firma. In that case I have no explanation.
She doesn't seem to hold up too big of a conversation with Crichton, so maybe it just seems like she was talking "normal" English so the viewers wouldn't have to struggle with her accent.
Watch the episode again. The fact that nobody but Aeryn can speak passable English is a major plot point. D'Argo himself can only say "Yes," "No," and "Bite Me." and he says that Chiana taught him, meaning that when she took interest in Aeryn's learning English prior to that, it wasn't wasted.
When Crichton's injected at the beginning of the series, one of the characters remarks that they don't know why he wasn't injected at birth. If this is the norm, how do children ever learn a language? The microbes seem to translate based on the speaker's meaning (otherwise, how would the ever be able to translate into the vastly foreign language of English). Therefore, the child never has to learn a first language since the microbes have translated everything from day one. It seems like generation 1 of microbe implanted infants onwards would be speaking goo-goo baby noises and everyone else's microbes sending the meaning along. (But that can't be the case since Sikozou has to learn everyone's language, and she doesn't go through the point-and-speak ritual with everyone she meets.)
You still have to translate from something to something, though. The microbes don't just beam thoughts from one person to another (otherwise you wouldn't have to clarify "good frell" or "bad frell"), just allow people to understand spoken languages from other cultures. You have to learn at least one language for the translator microbes to work, since baby sounds don't have an agreed upon meaning and thus they can't be translated. Plus, it's not like it sounds like everyone is speaking English to Chrichton, just that he can understand the alien languages and they understand him. This is why he uses all the Farscape profanities instead of the real ones in English, he's learning to pronounce them but already knows exactly what they mean.
Maybe the translator microbes don't activate until the child has learned its first language.
Why do the DRD have a reserve of translator microbes in the first place when everyone is already suppose to have them?
They're floating around in Moya's body. She could just have them extracted from herself.
It makes sense that the DR Ds are prepared for every eventuality, including alien visitors who have had no contact with them previously. Even more likely, they are prepared in case someone is born aboard the Leviathan, and needs to be injected with them.
How are Sebaceans and Scarrans compatable in the first place?
Scorpius is cool and all but it seems... unbelievable a warm blooded lizard and a cold blooded mammal could ever produce an offspring.
Sebaceans aren't cold-blooded. They're endothermic like all mammals. They simply have a very low tolerance for temperatures above their optimum. There's a difference. If they were cold-blooded they wouldn't have any problem with heat because outside temperatures would be the main way through which they'd regulate their body temperature. It is because they are warm-blooded that they cannot tolerate much more heat than their optimal temperature. It takes less time for them to overheat.
Okay but it still seems utterly impossible for them to ever produce an offspring together.
Scarrans have the technology to transfer foetuses (foeti?) between women. It is entirely plausible that with sufficiently advanced technology and the canonical fact that there was a massive failure rate indicating that they tried this a lot of times, they could manage it once (and even then, the mother died in the process).
The Maltese Crichton — no one thought of this?
So at the beginning of the final episode of "Look at the Princess," Clavor and the Scarran ambassador chop off the head of the Crichton statue and toss it in some acid. Everyone else is running around for the rest of the episode trying to figure out who did it. Why didn't they just immediately pick up the headset D'argo and Chiana were using to talk to him earlier and use it to communicate with a witness they had right there — Princess Katrala? The statues see and hear everything, and they can speak via headset. Clavor and the Scarran were clearly visible, they talked a lot before cutting off Crichton's head, they didn't bother with stealth — so why not ask the Princess, "Hey, who cut off Crichton's head?" They even used the headset to talk with her statue later, as they're about the leave the planet.
How do ships other than Leviathans travel FTL?
Was this ever addressed? Isn't Starbursting something only Leviathans can do?
The nearest thing non-Leviathans have is the strictly un-starbustlike Hetch Drive; all it does is stop travel between planets and nearby star systems from dragging on for years. It also happens to be the reason why Wormhole travel is so desirable.
Hetch Drive is explicitly stated to be FTL. It's responsible for the Casual Interstellar Travel in the setting. Starburst, on the other hand, is implied to be much faster and untraceable: unlike Hetch Drive, which is easy to track, Starburst, by virtue of its unpredictable process (you enter another dimension, ride an energy wave, and end up in a pretty much random location), is preferable if you're trying to stay under the radar of the Peacekeepers or the Scarrans.
In one episode, John watches as Aeryn's Prowler sort of dematerializes into energy/plasma/mist. The episode never makes it clear if this is Peacekeeper FTL technology or just an abstract way of visualizing John and Aeryn's emotional separation.
As we never, ever see this happen again, I'd say it's most definitely abstract visualization.
Moya in the field.
So, Moya's part of this grand scientific experiment to breed a half-Leviathan/half-warship. And the experiment is so important that Crais is able to get authorization to have the original Pilot executed and replaced with a new one. Then why is she still being deployed in the field as a prison transport, rather than being kept somewhere where scientists can observe her and she won't run the risk of being damaged or stolen?
In all likelihood, because nobody figured out where Velorek's sabotage had taken place and Moya failed to concieve a child, the Peacekeepers probably gave up on Moya and returned her to the field; in the meantime, they either tried the same thing with a different Leviathan, or scrapped the project altogether.
Why not just LoJack 'im?
When Scorpius implanted the neural chip in Crichton's head, why didn't he also put a tracking device in there?
There probably wasn't enough room left. In all seriousness, "Look At The Princess" showed that he had other means of tracking Crichton- hence the reason he tended to show up on planets Moya was visiting.
No tracking device small enough to fit inside a man's head has the necessary range to keep up with a starbursting Leviathan.
Besides, the neural chip was also designed to take control of Crichton's brain; once it had the wormhole knowledge, it'd simply take him over and use the nearest communications system to broadcast his location to Scorpius- which it did in Die Me Dichotomy. No need for a tracking device when you've got that on hand.
"Crackers Don't Matter"
What exactly was T'raltixx hoping to accomplish by turning Moya into the galaxy's largest floodlight? I've watched it several times now, and I'm still unclear. Did they ever explain what the point of the exercise was?
T'raltixx's species seems to feed on light somehow. And just before being defeated he says there are thousands more of his species out there who will find another leviathan and use it to "spread across the galaxy like a plague". So his goal was to take over the world.
What happened to Moya's internal lighting?
In Season One, Moya was well lit. From Season Two on, the set was fairly dark. Does anyone know if the writers ever had a reason?
Symbolism perhaps? To indicate the gradual darkening of the mood of the show?
Moya also gets fairly beaten up over the course of the series, so it may be an indication of her internal lighting failing due to damage. Since the crew is constantly on the run they never had the opportunity to get her properly repaired.
It's also possible that from season two on they may have started using better cameras, and suddenly the sets didn't look so good anymore. It was either lower the lights or build all new sets, and one is a lot cheaper than the other.
Starburst is random?
Starburst is said to be random, but in what sense of the word "random"? When Moya starbursts does she literally pop out at a completely random location in space? And if so, how does she navigate?
Could be that the distance is random, but not the direction. Or at least the general direction. So navigation would work as 1) Reference starcharts 2) Point in direction of destination 3) Starburst 4) Check location, realign direction 5) Starburst again when possible.
It's especially a problem in "Bad Timing," when Moya executes an extended Starburst with a specified destination. Granted, it's a difficult and disconcerting experience for everyone involved...
Luxan biology makes no sense. What is the evolutionary advantage of your blood becoming fatally toxic unless you beat the shit out of yourself?
Well, maybe it wasn't evolved at all: if you prescribe to the theory that the Eidolons didn't stop at tinkering with the Sebaceans, then maybe it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that ancient geneticists with a very bad sense of humour added the "blood runs clear" attribute in order to a) force Luxans in a unit to rely on one another for medical support and b) force lone Luxans to beat the shit out of themselves or die.
Moreover, it might actually force Luxans to go out and fight more, since it might be as effective as just hitting yourself. A cowardly Luxan who ran from a fight and then was too afraid of the pain to hit himself would die... may as well be brave about it!
Also, some organs and functions just stick around in an organism even though they are detrimental. Evolution won't weed out all bad traits if they don't prevent the creature from successfully and frequently passing on those genes.
Why would luxans use tattoos to denote military rank? First, tattoos are fairly permanent. A soldier would have to have his tattoo painfully burned off and replaced with a new one every time he advanced in rank. Second, why put the tattoo on the chin tentacles? I assume they want it to be visible, but why not a nice flat surface like the neck or the upper chest so you can actually tell what it is? When I first saw Dargo I didn't even realize he had a tattoo. I thought luxans had naturally spotty skin around the chin area.
No idea why they chose the chin tentacles, but maybe there doesn't have to be any removal; maybe it's just a progressive system of tattoos with more being added to the initial design as time goes on; new recruits have only a small part of their chin tentacles marked, and as they rise through the ranks, the tattoos are expanded until- at the rank of General- it covers the entire chin. And besides, even if this isn't the case, having the tattoo burned off actually sounds pretty true to a Proud Warrior Race.
Take a look at the progression of the Tatau in Far Cry 3 for how this might work.
And just because you didn't realize that the chin markings are tattoos doesn't mean the luxans can't. It's prominent on the face. And necks aren't flat surfaces.
How do pilots get on their Leviathans?
It is stated that pilots must manage life support systems and leviathans explicitly cannot. So how does a pilot get on board in the first place? No air, no heating, nothing to make it a livable environment. Furthermore, it's stated that Pilots aren't able to travel in space on their own, and the only way they have to leave their home planet is to bond with a leviathan. This means that either Pilot society hasn't progressed far enough to invent space ships, or (and this is the impression I got) they're physiologically incapable of "normal" space flight without the support of a leviathan. So, how do Pilots get aboard Leviathans in the first place?
The Builders Did It. Or maybe the Leviathan sends down a transport pod when it finds a Pilot it likes.
The question that always comes up in my mind is, Pilot!Moya explicitly states that his species "cannot travel in space on [their] own." Does this mean that they are biologically incompatible with space flight, or that they simply haven't developed the technology on their own? We know how Pilot!Moya got on board Moya, but it doesn't explain how it "naturally" happens.
How did Moya get away in the first place?
There was one thing I was disappointed to never see addressed: how did Moya get away from Crais' armada in the first episode? Moya is a apparently a considerable distance from the command carrier, judging by the lack of being blown up the moment the control collar was released, but was repeatedly shown during the series to be slower than most peacekeeper vessels. In addition, you'd expect even a relatively unimportant prison ship to have a contingent of guards on board, yet apart from Pilot and the three prisoners Moya is abandoned. Rygel did bribe several peacekeepers for the codes needed for their escape, but no code is going to spontaneously displace you over fifty kilometres and make several dozen people evaporate.
A ship with only three prisoners wouldn't need a huge complement of guards. It's plausible that Dargo and Zhan took them all out, maybe even Dargo all by himself. The control collar only stops a Leviathan from starbursting, so they could still run for it at maximum hetch while attempting to break off the collar.