Starburst appears to be a method of traveling great distances over a short time. It seems to be able to jump a Leviathan between planets and systems almost immediately, implying that it facilitates FTL travel in terms of traditional space topology.

But, if this is the case, it seems to imply that Starburst bends spacetime in order to cross the vast distances - surely this would be a much easier source of wormhole technology for Scorpius to go after?

Is there any explanation around this?

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2 Answers 2


There's a pretty good technobabble explanation in "Through the Looking Glass"

Pilot: Starburst is technically the seam between space-time dimensions. Moya’s power cells allow us access and we simply ride out the energy stream until we're pushed out. At random.

Chiana: (incredulous) Pushed out at random?

Zhaan: Not now, Chiana.

Chiana: What do you mean, "not now"? W-we go into this starlurch thing and we don't even know where we're going?

This obviously differs from wormhole tech which uses focused energy to enter a system of linked routeways between points in real (3D) space.


There's some evidence that leviathan starburst and some wormhole tech are tangentially related, but not much.

As noted in Richard's answer, Starburst just punches a hole in space for the leviathan (with just a little wiggle room). It doesn't have an endpoint, except whatever space starburst functions in. There is no target destination because they just ride their energy wave in whatever direction it ends up pointing them, until the energy and speed run out and they tip back into normal space. This is directly opposite grom a wormhole, which always connects to some other point in space.

Now, there's some basic connections there. Punching a hole is probably a good start, and at the end of the series, Chrichton's final weapon even seems to use a burst of energy from Moya.

That said, Scorpius is looking for more control than leviathans give. He needed a way to direct a wormhole, at both endpoints, either to transport ships, direct fire, or directly impact a target with one. Even presuming starburst has wormhole elements, controlling the effects is exactly what leviathans are bad at. It would endlessly complicate his research (would need biologists and geneticists for leviathans) and the PKs just had a big project fail in that regard (Crais' original gig). So while it might provide some initial ideas, Scorpius would have lots of reasons not to rely on leviathan research.

When he does find a sure thing (Chrichton), he had even less reason.

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