Moya is the living ship which the main protagonists on The Sci-Fi Channel's show Farscape reside on. Most of the show happens onboard Moya. Moya really should be considered another character on the show, because she definitely has moods, wants, needs, and often voices concerns through Pilot, an entity symbiotically intertwined with Moya.

Moya is a Leviathan. While Moya doesn't look organic in the way typical Sci-Fi ships do, (blobby with an orifice or two) Moya is far more natural-looking than most ships on the series, and has a warm coloring (mostly bronze) throughout. Underneath the hull, bulkheads, and such, are lots of pipes, veins, arteries and nerve channels. Pilot is intertwined with Moya at this level, and Pilot's tentacles extend throughout the ship.

Leviathans are capable of FTL (faster-than-light) travel and generating the necessary environment for crew members. This includes an atmosphere, food, water, light, gravity, waste processing, etc. However, normal Leviathans are totally free of any exterior weaponry, and naturally lack shielding, though it can be added.

Moya's story is intertwined with that of the Peacekeepers, one of the erroneously named militaristic races of Farscape. Leviathans are used by Peacekeepers for random, non-battle tasks. When Moya picked up John Crichton in the pilot, it had been stolen by some prisoners which had been interred there. (Some for many cycles(years)) Moya has a large docking bay, and apparently space for all kinds of things. Moya has a lot of odd crawl-spaces and such which the crew can get lost in sometimes. Once Ka D'Argo accidentally slid down a crawlway into outer space. In (IIRC) the second season, Moya had an unusual baby named Talyn. Because Moya was going to be used in a Peacekeeper project to make armed Leviathans, a little canister of Peacekeeper gene-altering-thingies got dumped into embryonic Talyn. Talyn came out all cool, red, full of guns and ready to kick ass.

The Peacekeepers developed all kinds of weird technology to be applied to Leviathans, including gigantic 'control collars.'

Leviathans can fly themselves, but require a Pilot to navigate interstellar space, and properly control systems. As luck would have it, there is a race of beings that are exactly suited for this and are happy to be 'chosen' to be surgically implanted in a Leviathan.

Pilot and Moya are definitely sentient and individual. Pilot cares deeply for Moya, and above all his loyalties lie with the ship.

The starburst is Moya's method of FTL movement. It's a very draining event that propels the ship for short bursts. Moya needs to spend several hours recharging its power supplies before another starburst can take place. Essentially, starburst is almost instantaneous, and usually lands the ship somewhere random.

Moya has a couple of transport pods used for ferrying people and supplies in and out, a docking net used like a tractor beam and a dozens of small yellow bots called DRDs. The DRDs are fun little guys who have tiny lasers, spotlight eyes on stalks, and often act and sound like small unique characters. (much like R2-D2) They flee from angry D'Argo or bravely approach an unknown vessel in the docking bay, or look quizzically at characters. Supposedly DRD stands for Diagnostic Repair Drone.

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Moya is also the name for a genus of edible tropical fruits (Annona) native to South America and the West Indies. These were one of the first fruits recorded when traders from Europe explored the New World. Moya fruits are grown on large tropical trees. All of the heart-shaped fruits have a tough, bumpy skin resembling large scales. Inside the skin is a soft white flesh that has a sweet, floral flavor. The flesh is segmented and contains numerous large black seeds that resemble the seeds of a watermelon.

There are five major species of Moya and all of them are often labeled simply as “moya” for marketing purposes. They are:

  • Cherimoya (Annona cherimola) This fruit is probably the best known of the Moya fruits. It is native to Central America and is grown in South and Central America, Hawaii, and Australia. The fruit has a yellow-green skin when ripe.
  • Sweet-sop (Annona squamosa) Also known as the “sugar apple,” this variety is the most widely grown. It has a bluish-green skin and is grown in South America, Mexico, the Carribean, and Florida.
  • Custard Apple (Annona reticulata) Its skin is yellow, brown, or pinkish color when ripe and the flesh has a milder flavor that the other members of the Moya genus.
  • Atemoya (Annona cherimola x squamosa) This fruit is actually a cross between a cherimoya and a sweetsop. The plant is hardier than either of its parents and the fruit has a yellow-green skin.
  • Soursop (Annona muricata) This is the largest fruit of the genus and is the best variety to can. It has a yellow-green skin and some cultivars have a very sour flavor, hence its name. The fruit is native to the West Indies and South America and is also grown in Florida and the Carribean

All Moya varieties can be used interchangeably, except for the sour cultivars of the soursop. The skin and seeds should be removed before eating. They are excellent eaten out of the rind or in fruit salads, drinks, and frozen desserts.

Moya is a phonetic spelling of the Irish name Maeve.

While the name in either spelling has never been common outside Ireland, the phonetic spelling is found with surprising frequency in the Canberra region in Australia. I have not one but two aunts, unrelated to each other, named Moya. This intrigued me, so I looked into it.

Dr Moya Blackall (later Bailey) was one of the first doctors to practice in the newly founded city of Canberra, and the first female doctor most people in the area had ever met. Her father was already established in the area as a highly respected doctor. When Moya graduated from Sydney University in 1929 she returned home to Canberra, and quickly gained a reputation for excellence in the field of obstetrics. She delivered her first set of twins soon after graduating, near the small town of Gundagai. In those days, before ultrasounds or even regular pre-natal checkups, twins arrived as a surprise. Hearing that this was the first set of twins Dr Blackall delivered, the grateful parents named their daughters Moya and Clare

There are many women around Canberra who were born in the 1930s through to the 50s named Moya. Whenever I meet one I ask them about it. Occasionally they are named for a relative, but often they will tell me about a difficult or remarkable birth.

Family legend says that Clare, the second twin, was given the middle name of the doctor, however sources tell me that Dr Blackall's middle name was actually Kathleen. Perhaps the good doctor simply liked the name Clare, and suggested it when asked. Many of the Moyas I have spoken to have the middle name Clare, especially the ones who had a difficult start in life.




The online sources were accessed on September 24, 2018

Moy"a (?), n.

Mud poured out from volcanoes during eruptions; -- so called in South America.


© Webster 1913.

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