My side, your side
|First appearance||1.19 "Nerve"|
|Last appearance||"The Beginning of The End of The Beginning"|
|Weapon of Choice||Pulse pistol|
|Portrayed by||Paul Goddard|
- "This is my side! That's your side. You stay on your side. My side, your side! My side, your side! My side, your side!"
- ― Stark
Stark is Stykera, a specialized subrace of the Banik. Stark wears a half-mask strapped to his head by two separate buckles of an unidentified metal, covering an incorporeal area that glows dark orange when uncovered, on the right side of his face (roughly his eye and cheekbone) that he only reveals when he is taking away someone's pain or "crossing over" a soul: aiding or comforting a person in the moments prior to their death. However, in doing so, Stark absorbs a small fragment of the soul and thus the knowledge and lingering emotions of the person "crosses over" into his own psyche, something which might explain his somewhat unbalanced mental behaviour. In addition, by virtue of being a Stykera, Stark can ease the pain and suffering of others, one of the traits that made him sought after for Scorpius' Aurora Chair research. This has not helped relations between Stark and the Peacekeepers, judging by his hatred for Scorpius and deep distrust of Bialar Crais (even after he defected from the Peacekeepers).
For some time, Stark worked for the Scarrans on Katratzi where he assisted the Scarran ruling caste with their death rituals. He was eventually captured by the Peacekeepers and Scorpius. Believing that Stark knew information on the Scarrans' Crystherium Utilia flower, Scorpius put him through multiple sessions in the Aurora Chair. Though Stark had no information, he defied his Peacekeeper captors by keeping one piece of information hidden from them, the memory of a beautiful place he had once seen as a boy.
John Crichton first meets Stark when both are imprisoned on Scorpius' Gammak Base. They share a cell together and Stark is not very accommodating ("My side, your side! My side, your side!"). Both are also subjects of Scorpius' Aurora Chair, and over 100 sessions in it may have driven Stark somewhat crazy, although he later reveals to Crichton, who is in pain and disoriented from his own Aurora Chair experiences, it is mostly an act to keep Scorpius' interest in him as low as possible (Stark has also been constructing an electronic doorkey to the cell at the time). His species is apparently the only one who can indefinitely resist the Aurora Chair. It is here where Stark first demonstrates his gift for easing people's pain, shifting back his mask slightly to bathe Crichton's face in orange light and calm him down. Moya's crew is eventually successful in rescuing Crichton. Stark gratefully escapes the Gammak Base with them and, after crossing over Gilina Renaez (mortally wounded rescuing them) borrows one of Moya's transport pods and heads off on his own way.
Stark returns nearly a cycle later to find Moya trapped in a time-bubble of sorts (a "center-halo", where time does not exist, a theory he heard put forward - interestingly enough by the Ancients). After aiding a distraught and suddenly extremely aged Aeryn Sun, he "joins minds" - fuses spirits - with Zotoh Zhaan to discover the anomaly and later again to keep time alive to allow an also aged Crichton to reverse things. Stark then reveals the real reason he returned to Moya: he has formulated a plan to rescue a cargo ship full of Banik slaves, amongst them Ka D'Argo's son Ka Jothee.
Not long after these events, Moya reunites with her son Talyn, and Crais recognises Stark from the Gammak Base. However, they are all subsequently imprisoned by the Plokavians when Talyn opens fire on one of their ships. The entire crew, including Stark, are interrogated to find who is responsible for the incident, where Rashomon-like intermeshed but not-quite-matching versions of events leading up to the ship's destruction are given from each member. However, most testimonies seem to recall Stark lunging at one of Talyn's control panels just before Talyn fires. When Stark learns that one of the possible punishments is dispersal, to which he might possibly survive by transferring enough of his inner energies to another plane beforehand, he falsely confesses to the crime, saving the rest of the crew. He gives his face mask to Zhaan for safe keeping, revealing that his face no longer glows (thereby suggesting he might have had enough time to transfer his energies away), and is promptly dispersed. This has a personal impact on Zhaan. They were becoming very close after fusing spirits sharing their similar mental abilities and she is seen quietly weeping over Stark's mask.
Stark survives dispersal and soon makes contact with Moya again, having reconstituted his body, stolen a ship, and formulated a plan. He hopes to rob a Shadow Depository for currency and use it to buy the lot of slaves of sale. However, not all goes to plan, even when he has possession of the bank's maps and doorkeys, after Scorpius unexpectedly arrives. Things take a turn for the worse when they realize that the currency they had stolen was actually disguised metal-eating arachnids that proceed to strip Moya and Scorpius has outmaneuvered Stark by purchasing the entire slave lot himself just to get Jothee. The unneeded 9,999 Banik slaves were later spaced by Natira, the owner of the shadow depository. This sends Stark into a screaming fit as he experiences the psychic shock of the mass murder. Having then learned Crichton had exchanged himself for Jothee's life, he aids Moya's crew (still somewhat enraged) to successfully rescue Crichton before escaping what is left of the bank. He is then content to stay on Moya with Zhaan, "sharing the future with her," as he feels they are soulmates.
After Zhaan's death, Stark became mentally disjointed, as well as becoming strangely interested in Aeryn, who Zhaan sacrificed herself to save. After the separation of Moya and Talyn at Kanvia, Stark travels aboard Talyn with one of the Johns, Aeryn, Crais, and Rygel. During this time Stark helped Talyn escape a budong, brought Rygel back to life after he had been killed by Xhalax Sun, made contact with Zhaan (or so he claimed), temporarily became Talyn's Pilot, and helped Crais and Talyn kill a Scarran scout that boarded Talyn. After Crichton's death, Stark tells a mourning Aeryn about the planet Valdun and the supernatural abilities its inhabitants allegedly possess. When she leaves Talyn to contact her father and Crichton there, Stark, Crais, and Rygel follow. Stark's growing infatuation with Aeryn comes to a head when she flat out rejects him. Things get even more complicated when Stark and Rygel spot Xhalax, much more alive than she should be. They bind and question Crais, once again no longer trusting him, but eventually work together when Xhalax threatens Aeryn. Crais leaves Stark and Rygel behind to cover his back while he goes to help Aeryn. By the time he returns to Talyn, Stark has left. Ever since he arrived on Valdun, Stark had been hearing Zhaan's voice. Now he has decided to leave and search for her. He left his mask behind on Talyn with instructions to give it to the other Crichton.
Stark is discovered on Katratzi over a cycle later. As Rygel and Noranti have trouble with his bioloid duplicate (see below), they stumble across Stark himself being kept in stasis. They free him and Stark escapes Katratzi with the rest of Moya's crew. He is with them when Aeryn and Crichton are crystallized.
The Peacekeeper Wars
In the days before the revival of Aeryn and Crichton, Stark accompanies Chiana to a Diagnosan who is able to give her new eyes, reversing her blindness. He returned with Chiana, the Diagnosan, and Grunchlk, who was believed to be dead, to Qujaga where it is soon discovered that the planet's inhabitants are the ancient peace-inspiring race known as the Eidelons. Stark, along with the rest of Moya's crew, returns to Arnessk in hopes that the priests there will be able to teach their descendants their long forgotten ability. The arrival of the Scarrans almost ends this plan as does the death of the last priest, Hierarch Yondalao. To save their ability, Crichton and Aeryn force Stark to cross Yondalao over against the Banik's will, allowing the Eidelon power to pass to him. Stark eventually passes it to the other Eidelons and his mental derangement stabilizes. At the end of Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars Stark removes his metal mask to reveal his "light" gone and his soul at peace.
After the signing of the Peacekeeper/Scarran treaty, Stark brought the Eidelons to Delvia, where he served as an envoy. When Scorpius and Rygel requested landing on Delvia, Stark vouched for them, and the two were thus able to deliver the news of the arrival of Kkore. Stark accompanied the Delvians and Eidelons to the Falaman System. When Crichton suggested combining the Delvian Dej-Wah with the Eidelons' abilities to empathically inspire peace and the various faiths of assembled species, Stark helped facilitate the spiritual undertaking. During the battle, Stark also helped ease Moya's pain when she was damaged by Kkore fire.
After the battle was won, Stark dedicated a memorial on one of Falaman's planets to those who died in the war, honoring, among countless others, Sikozu, Jothee, Noranti, Lt. Kirlix, Admiral Josbek, and General Turralde.
- Peacekeepers killed most of my people. But they kept me alive because I interest them. I'm able to hide thoughts that the chair can't touch. It's almost ironic - what made me a slave now keeps me alive.
- I am of the Banik slave race. Outsiders think that we do not feel. But it's only that our feelings don't always show. Just as this can hide our feelings, we're also able to cloud thoughts from our minds. What I know deep inside, Peacekeepers will never see.
- If you are in agreement, Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan, it would be an honor and a pleasure to share the future with you.
- I have a darkness, which frightens lovers away. Whenever I assist the dying, I cannot help but absorb a tiny spillet of their existence. Over the cycles, the endless parade of death... I've accumulated a vast reservoir of evil. I cannot bear to lose the one thing that mitigates this twisted core of my existence.
- Dead! All of us, dead! My love, dead! My dreams, dead! You, dead! Me, dead. You dead, me dead, you dead, me dead, you dead, me dead. Your list is short and unworthy of entree to this ship of horror. Tortured by demons you can never know. Mocked by love that will never be.
- Fear is good... keep that. But travel light. Forget hate.
- "Your quest is for the Princess Fair to seek."
- "The one a human's fleeting love did rend."
- "Bring forth the sword and through the darkness peek."
- "One loving kiss amends, and there's an end."
- "And if we shades with taste do not agree,
- a door of green shall set your senses free."
- Time's up. Game's on. Good luck. Have fun. The tower's up but up is down. Follow the path through the fairy town.
- Hey! I know. Maybe... you have to do more than just kiss her. Maybe "kiss" is a metaphor for showing her a really good time. Can I watch? I love to watch...
- *sings* Comina, comina, comina, nic, comina, comina, comina, nic, comina, comina, comina, nic...... RYGEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Quotes Involving Others
- STARK: NO, SCARRANS! TORTURE! KILL! TORTURE KILL TORTURE KILL!
- CHIANA: AAAAAGGGH! STARK!
- STARK: I think I'm okay now...
- CRAIS: There will no contact with Moya, until the threat of the retrival sqaud is gone.
- STARK: Thats right, Rygel, so we'll just have to accept it gracefully.
- RYGEL: Frell gracefully! Well, as long as I must be imprisoned here, feed me and show me to my quarters!
- CRAIS: Talyn's passenger quarters are not fully developed yet, food will be tightly rationed, and you two will have to share accommodations.
- RYGEL: .....UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- STARK: There'll be my side and your side. MY SIDE, YOUR SIDE!
- RYGEL: Don't start...
- Stark is one of nine characters to appear in all four seasons of Farscape as well as The Peacekeeper Wars. The others are Crichton, Aeryn, D'Argo, Rygel, Chiana, Pilot, Scorpius and Braca.
- Justin Monjo came up with the name "Stark" from a friend who found a sick stray dog that was not expected to survive and named it Stark. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
- Stark is notably the only character (unless the two Crichtons are counted as the same person) to directly witness both uses of a wormhole weapon.
- Stark was the only member of his species to appear in the show.
Within the Farscape universe as the series progresses, another three different 'versions' of Stark were seen: as a not-quite-sane Gamesmaster in a twisted reality-based amusement, a fused Stark/Sikozu character witnessed in an alternate reality, and as a convincing bioloid replica of himself.
Stark the Gamesmaster
Episode: "John Quixote"
When Chiana drags Crichton into a neural-based reality game, the game's guide is manifested as Stark ("I'm Stark, avatar, guide, the game embodied."), albeit one with outgrown longer red hair (compared to Stark's usual shaved head), with a cape and wearing his mask on the other side of his face (a mirror image). It's discovered the game is based on Stark's memories and viewpoints, with a lot of influence and knowledge gained from from Crichton's deceased twin when Stark crossed his soul over before he died, created ultimately to trap him inside the simulation. He might have had this done because deep down he blamed Crichton for the death of Zhaan or perhaps he was jealous over Crichton's relationship with Aeryn Sun and thus had a game fashioned around Crichton's experiences and memories recalled by Stark as a form of punishment. Whether or not this was actually true is unknown as the original Stark revealed nothing of such feelings to anyone and there was never a hint to such from his later appearances. Stark the Gamesmaster seems to be indicative of a much darker, deceptive, and more manipulative version of Stark than had been seen before. How the Stark-influenced game came to be created and how it ended up in Chiana's hands is not explained: a rumor that Maldis was somehow involved persists, but this has been neither confirmed nor denied. It's also possible the Scarrans were behind the creation of the game since the bioloid was similar to this evil Stark in many aspects. Stark also uses Scorpius in the game to speak through as well.
After attempting to learn more of the wormhole information in his head from the Ancient Einstein, Crichton was propelled into an Unrealized Reality where the people he knows onboard Moya seemed to be fused with each other: one of them is Stark in the shape of Sikozu with her usual Kalish features, only wearing Stark's clothes, mask, and with his shorter hair and unbalanced mental state. This version of Stark acted slightly differently when crossing someone over: she had to love the soul and care about where it's going ("Different Stark, different rules!" Crichton summed up). It was through this version of Stark that Crichton and Scorpius discovered the secret Scarran base Katratzi that Aeryn had been taken to, which also existed in Crichton's home reality.
Stark the bioloid
Episode: "We're So Screwed - Hot to Katratzi"
Having been captured on the Scarran base Katratzi, Scorpius was greeted by a sadistic Stark, extremely pleased to be Scorpius' torturer who babbled about how he intented to trap his soul crossing him over to feed information to War Minister Ahkna overseeing the proceeds. It is believed this was the real version of Stark converted to the Scarran side of the conflict, but Scorpius later revealed to Rygel and Noranti that he was a bioloid, a mechanical replica of Stark, and that he knew it was all along to fool Ahkna. Rygel and Noranti eventually were successful in subduing the duplicate and freeing the original Stark from the bioloid duplicator chamber, who was welcomed back onto Moya. Stark's bioloid creation was another twist in Scorpius' plans for wormhole information - seemingly a spy for the Scarran Emperor Staleek (for the last ten cycles, Scorpius protested) - designed to fool, or distract, Ahkna into thinking she could use him to extract information from Scorpius. By the time Moya's crew, and the original Stark, escaped Katratzi, it was believed the bioloid was dead or deactivated from Noranti's attack. It's possible he was the template for the evil Stark in a virtual game.
- Season 1:
- Season 2:
- Season 3:
- "Season of Death"
- "Suns and Lovers"
- "Self-Inflicted Wounds - Could'a, Would'a, Should'a"
- "Self-Inflicted Wounds - Wait for the Wheel"
- "...Different Destinations"
- "Eat Me"
- "Thanks for Sharing"
- "Green Eyed Monster"
- "Infinite Possibilities - Daedalus Demands"
- "Infinite Possibilities - Icarus Abides"
- "The Choice"
- "Fractures" (recording)
- Season 4:
- The Peacekeeper Wars
- Farscape: The War for the Uncharted Territories: