Stark can be difficult. He can be childish. He can be irritating and irrational and sometimes a little frightening. His panic has been a liability, and his lack of judgement has put others in danger. None of these things make him any less deserving of compassion and understanding. They make him mentally ill. Mental illness is ugly and uncomfy and there is no psychotherapy for a brutalized former slave in the Uncharted Territories. Stark has had to deal with everything- physical and mental torture, personal loss, imprisonment, dispersal, the imprints of thousands of other souls upon his mind- on his own. No matter how frustrating he can get, it is not right or satisfying or funny when he is kicked about or mocked or spiritually raped- even if it turns out all right in the end. (Exceptions allowed for women in labor. Because that was actually genuinely funny.)
Stark does not need to prove his worth. He has done so already.
Stark is a brilliant technician. Alone in a cell, he built a lock-pick out of scraps of metal. He is also familiar with advanced physics- and the biology of live budongs.
Stark has also saved lives. It was his plan that successfully ejected Talyn from the budong. It was Stark who saved Rygel's life in Relativity.
And Stark is a beautiful being. He soothes those in pain and eases one's passage into death- and he does it at the cost of his own sanity. It is the ultimate altruistic act. We should be honoring it.
Stark is a fascinating character. More should be written about the tragedy of his past. About the roots of his madness. About his fight between his essential goodness and the darkness that has left its scars. About his abiding guilt over his frailty. About his admiration of John Crichton ("Crichton will fix it! Crichton always fixes it!") and the unconscious resentment of John Crichton that rests paradoxically beside it. About the dilemma he faces between his peculiar attraction to Aeryn and his desire to honor Zhaan's memory and preserve Aeryn and John because Zhaan died for them. About his love for Zhaan and the way in which it guides him even beyond death. About the ways in which he is strong.
Yea, in the year 2004, let these words be declared in public: I love Stark and I am not ashamed.