What's the point of the Arborian trial of initiation? It is not a test of skill, or wisdom, or anything really as it seemed to be entirely based on the random occurrence of the venomous beast being pissed off and stinging or not the young boy. What's exactly being tested? Luck?
I thought it was religious: "your god depends on the forest god's will" or whatever.
Luck and courage, are you brave enough to stick your hand in the hole and lucky enough to pick the right one? The bravery part is self-evident, but the luck thing needs spelled out. There are multiple holes, the beast is only in one of them, plus it doesn't always sting even after being riled up (we know that because Flash stuck his hand in the hole where it lived and was unharmed), so the odds are pretty good that you'll live. Anyone too cowardly to try it doesn't deserve pass the initiation. Anyone who is unlucky enough to be stung, even when the odds are stacked against it, clearly doesn't have the favour of ...insert deity of choice here...
Or alternatively, Ming came up with it and its purpose is to demonstrate to everyone that Ming is a Dick who likes the thought of people killing themselves for no reason.
"Activate Agent Zarkov." Oh yes, send the newly-brainwashed guy after the girl causing all the trouble. After all, if for some reason the brainwashing failed, reuniting two allies can't hurt at all.
It makes sense to use a brainwashed ally to trap someone, if the someone doesn't know that their ally is brainwashed. Besides, Ming the Merciless without bombastic overconfidence is not Ming the Merciless.
In the novelization, there was a scene where using Agent Zarkov in this manner was deemed economical. Literally. The Mongo economy is suffering from inflation, and running the scenario through a computer simulation reveals that using Zarkov to get Dale is saving them on resources.
Okay, Dr. Zarkov. Smart enough to know that aliens are destroying the Earth and can build a rocket that travel to other planets, but he didn't think of using a cinder block for that other pedal he couldn't reach? Also, they never actually stop the moon crashing into the earth, they just kill Ming. Did somebody have to take Flash aside after the film ended and explain that the Earth had been destroyed?
Presumably, when Ming died, it somehow reversed the effects.
The little floaty robot-thing tells Flash that he's "saved [his] Earth" after he kills Ming, so we can assume the moon-crashing badness was averted.
Also, Barin runs in and says "The generators have been destroyed!", which I presume means the generators that were moving the moon.
"Barin is the rightful heir!" So what's Aura, a Fanservice extra?
Wasn't Ming a usurper?
In the original newspaper comics, it is in fact implied several times that Barin is the last survivor of a previous dynasty overthrown by Ming. He still has supporters even in Ming's own army.
The daughter of a deposed, hated, and feared tyrant whose cruelty and capriciousness was second only to her father. If she had taken the throne it would have been the quickest counter-revolution in history.
Barin and Aura were most likely married shortly afterward anyway. In fact his coronation was probably Aura's decision.
What kind of planet is Mongo, and why are the "moons" essentially floating islands in the atmosphere with nothing below (in the Hawkmen's realm) but the Imperial Vortex? I seem to recall something looking like a solid surface for the palace during the wedding scene, but am unsure. Is Mongo in fact a gas giant for purposes of the film or some weird extradimensional space?