The Shadows are neat because you can plant the seed without referencing them directly. That way, the germ of the story is there if you want to use it, but is easily ignored or forgotten if you don't want it.
You're right, but the idea hadn't really occurred to me before you suggested/mentioned it.
As an aside, the more I think about the idea of the Minbari being Earth's 'first contact' instead of the Vulcans, the more I'm liking it.
However, I can't decide if it makes sense to have a Minbari 'observer' present on the Enterprise as part of its crew as it undertakes its mission of exploration. Anybody got thoughts on that?