“No one here is exactly what he appears ....”

Babylon 5 Summary

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The Story

The time is the 23rd century. In the wake of a devastating interstellar war, the survivors decide to build a space station where representatives from various races can meet and resolve their differences peacefully. The station is intended to be the galaxy's last, best hope to put an end to violence. Its name is Babylon 1.

It gets blown out of the sky.

Undeterred, the advocates of peace build Babylon 2, and then Babylon 3.

Both get blown up as well.

So they build Babylon 4. And it doesn't get blown up!

Instead, within hours of completion, it just inexplicably ... goes missing. But we're sure to track it down, real soon now.

In the meantime -- welcome to Babylon 5.

The Six Major Races of Babylon 5

Name: Minbari
Appearance: Click here
Homeworld: Minbar
The Minbari are an ancient and secretive race, reputed to possess knowledge and powers of a mystical nature. Their society is divided into three castes: the religious caste, the warrior caste, and the worker caste. In the recent Earth-Minbari war, the Minbari showed themselves overwhlemingly more powerful, and were on the verge of completely annihilating the human race when, on the eve of victory, they suddenly ... surrendered. They have never explained why. The one person who might be able to provide a clue is Jeffrey Sinclair, the human commander of Babylon 5, who was a prisoner on a Minbari ship at the time of the Minbari decision to surrender. Unfortunately, 24 hours are mysteriously missing from his memory....

Name: Humans
Appearance: Click here
Homeworld: Earth
A fairly recent arrival on the galactic scene, humans are a young and ambitious race. The trait of telepathy, possessed by most advanced races, has only recently developed in great strength among humans, and an organization known as Psi Corps has been created to regulate the behavior of telepaths. Humans appear to have peaceful intentions, as is evidenced by their role in creating the Babylon project. But anti-alien sentiment is growing among humans, as a reaction to their near-defeat in the recent Earth-Minbari war. Human colonists on Mars, seeking independence for their adopted planet, have been committing terrorist acts against Earth authority. There are rumors of corruption and abuse of power at the highest levels of Earth government. And the Psi Corps seems to have an agenda all its own....

Name: Centauri
Appearance: Click here
Homeworld: Centauri Prime
The Centauri Empire was once a major player in galactic politics. But its power has waned, and the Centauri have turned from conquest to dissipated pleasure-seeking. But there are some among the Centauri who long for a return to earlier days of greatness -- whatever the price....

Name: Narns
Appearance: Click here
Homeworld: Narn
A proud and warlike race, oddly lacking a telepathic gene (all Narn telepaths having mysteriously died out millennia ago), the Narns were subjugated for centuries by the Centauri. Now the Centauri are weak and the Narns are gaining strength, and many Narns are hungry for vengeance against their former oppressors -- whatever the price....

Name: Vorlons
Appearance: Click here
Homeworld: Vorlon
Very little information is available concerning the aloof, cryptic beings known as Vorlons. Ships entering Vorlon space never return. No one even knows what Vorlons actually look like, since when dealing with other races they always wear bulky encounter suits. They are without doubt among the oldest and most powerful races, but their motives and nature remain a mystery. One Vorlon, asked why its kind never reveal their true appearance, replied "To prevent being recognized." When asked, "By whom?" it replied, "Everybody" ....

Name: Shadows
Appearance: Click here
Homeworld: Z'ha'dum
The existence of this race is only a dark rumor. Ancient legends contain hints about terrifying beings possibly older and more powerful than the Vorlons. Starcraft have increasingly been sighted, of unknown design but bearing an eerie similarity to mysterious symbols in the ancient books of Narn. Since the Shadows are an unknown race, they have not been invited to send a representative to Babylon 5, but a mysterious human who claims to speak for them has recently arrived on the station, bearing an offer of power and temptation beyond imagination....

Who Are You? What Do You Want?

"Who are you?" is the Vorlon question. "What do you want?" is the Shadow question. Which question you make primary will determine your fundamental outlook on life. Do you define yourself in terms of your desires, or do you first determine what kind of person to be and then shape your desires accordingly?

Which answer you give will determine your fate. Which answer the characters in Babylon 5 give will determine the fate of a galaxy.

Two of the central figures in the Babylon 5 storyline are Londo Mollari and G'kar, the ambassadors from Centauri and Narn respectively. Londo and G'kar are archenemies, and Londo has already foreseen in a vision that he and G'kar will die with their hands at one another's throats. (Note that a vision may be accurate even if it is misleading....) Both men make the mistake of asking the Shadow question first, and both men ultimately come to find their way to the Vorlon question instead. But one realizes his mistake sooner than the other, and therein lies the central tragedy of the entire saga.

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Babylon 5 1999 Time Warner Entertainment