If matoran that turned into toa would look like whatever they though a toa looked like, does that mean the voyatoran would look like a skakdi?
This is a really good question, thank you Anon for sending it!
Okay, short answer, no. Longer answer, probably at least a little, for three possible reasons..
Reason One: The Voyatoran discovered the Piraka weren’t Toa fairly soon after they arrived (within days to weeks) and they met with actual Toa (the Nuva and Inika) shortly after. That leaves a very short window for a Voyatoran to become a Toa with the image of the Piraka in their minds.
Reason Two: Turaga Jovan. He may or may not have settled on Voya Nui before transforming into a Turaga, so we can’t be sure the Matoran him him prior to that transformation.
Even if they only saw him as a Turaga, Jovan spent many years feeding stories and legends about Toa to his Matoran. This probably included fairly detailed descriptions of what a Toa looked like, and helped to form an image in their minds. Jovan may have also made carvings or pictures of Toa, either to remember his team or to aid in his storytelling to his charges.
Reason Three: All Toa seem to follow a general bodyform regardless of team and background. Short version, there are probably programmed limits as to how different they can appear from a generic “tall Matoran” build.
The Great Beings probably worked to ensure that Toa were fairly easy to identify by all beings in the GSR. since they were supposed to serve as something akin to white blood cells. Prior to the Awakening, it would make sense to program everything in the GSR to recognize and aid/not inhibit the actions of the Toa to help keep things working properly. Sadly, this also made them very easy to find and kill when things went all pear shaped.
Okay, so they probably wouldn’t look like Piraka. However, nothing says the image of the Piraka couldn’t influence their build at least a little. You might end up with a team of Toa with insanely thick armor plating, covered in spikes and sharp edges. They’d probably carry a much more vicious and heavy ordnance than an average Toa team as well, as much because their island is going straight to the pit as from seeing the Piraka wield something similar.
Possibly, they might also develop something akin to fangs or predatory teeth, but likely not to the extreme a Skakdi would have. Of course, it could make them much more intimidating when they smile.
Congratulations, you just invented a Toa heavy combat team.