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Old September 4 2009, 04:27 PM   #1
Brent
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Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

When they took out Ulkesh, why didn't he appear like an Angel to everyone? Why did we see his "true?" form?

IMO, it would have been better to show him as an Angel, that would have been quite a site shooting down and murdering a being that looks like an Angel, then Kosh could have come out of Sheridan looking just like we had seen him before as well, and it would have looked like two Angels fighting. IMO, that would have been way more visual, and possibly even emotional seeing two Angels in distress, fighting for their lives.
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Old September 4 2009, 04:32 PM   #2
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

Because the Angel was a lie. It was a telepathic camouflage projected by the Vorlons. That's why it was different for everyone. Remember, Kosh went and hid in his ship for a week from the strain of projecting thousands of different angelic figures. Ulkesh, on the other hand, didn't really care what the younger races thought of him, and was too busy with being shot at to try to psychically get on everyone's good side.
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Old September 4 2009, 04:34 PM   #3
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

I thought it was more like programmed into us though, through genetic manipulation, that by default whenever we saw a Vorlon it appeared like an Angel.

But your right also because it does cause a great strain on them to be seen by many, but then why have to resort to genetic manipulation if all it takes is telepathy on their part? Kinda confusing
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Old September 4 2009, 04:49 PM   #4
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

As I recall, the genetic manipulation was that we would react favorably to the sight of a Vorlon, not what that sight would be. We couldn't be genetically disposed to see a particular angelic being because that would depend on what belief system we had chosen.

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Old September 4 2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

The whole business of the Vorlons manipulating the younger races in to seeing them as angels (or the local equivalent) gives very strong credence to the Shadows' arguments against them.
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Old September 4 2009, 07:09 PM   #6
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

Brent wrote: View Post
I thought it was more like programmed into us though, through genetic manipulation, that by default whenever we saw a Vorlon it appeared like an Angel.
No, it's something the Vorlon had to physically do, as implied by Kosh in "Matters of Honor." With a million volts going through him and 50 PPGs firing directly in to his heart, Ulkesh couldn't really concentrate on that.
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Old September 4 2009, 07:16 PM   #7
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

Hermiod wrote: View Post
The whole business of the Vorlons manipulating the younger races in to seeing them as angels (or the local equivalent) gives very strong credence to the Shadows' arguments against them.
Truth was, BOTH of them were only interested in making the younger races do as they wanted. The Shadows manipulated the younger races into war to advance their agenda and the Vorlons manipulated them to work for order.

I never bought into the thought of the Vorlons as good guys after Kosh scragged Deathwalker and then subjected Delenn to the Inquisitor. Then when he orchestrated G'Kar's epiphany that nailed it. While one could argue that the last was for G'Kar's (and his people's) best interest, one has to wonder if the good of the many really should outweigh the good of the one.

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Old September 4 2009, 07:18 PM   #8
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

^Ultimately, I think neither had the younger races best interests at heart and "Get the hell out of our galaxy!" was the best response. They were indeed like two divorced parents making life hell for the children caught in the middle.
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Old September 4 2009, 07:32 PM   #9
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

Jan wrote: View Post
Then when he orchestrated G'Kar's epiphany that nailed it. While one could argue that the last was for G'Kar's (and his people's) best interest, one has to wonder if the good of the many really should outweigh the good of the one.

Jan
I'm kinda torn on this one. G'Kar had taken the Dust anyway. Kosh used that to influence him, and sure it was manipulative as hell, but ultimately Kosh's influence - even as far as G'Kar was concerned - helped. Even limiting yourself to "the good of the one", it was the turning point in G'Kar's life. Without his epiphany, he'd have likely gone to jail for a lot longer (his admission of guilt was a key factor in the leniency of the sentence) and certainly wouldn't have forged the rapport with Garibaldi that lead to his early release during B5's confrontation with Clark's forces.

And without G'Kar free, the Narn don't help B5 fend off the Earthforce attack forces... so G'Kar most likely dies.

It's as much for G'Kar's benefit as it is anyone else's. If he achieved nothing else, Kosh could probably die happy knowing he saved G'Kar from going down the route he was on - becoming as bad as the Centauri he despised.
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Old September 4 2009, 08:13 PM   #10
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

Kosh had extra sympathy for the humans that the other Vorlons didn't share, and Kosh also decided at some point that he should try to break the cycle instead of perpetuating it:

jms wrote:
part of it was knowing Valen [for Kosh feeling the particular] way he did towards humans
jms wrote:
Ulkesh was the more military of the two, very isolationist, while Kosh was the curious one, interested in the younger races, and more willing to extend himself.
...
Kosh always worried what Ulkesh would do without his moderating presence...and ultimately had to be the one to take him down to allow the younger races to step forward.
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I don't think [Kosh] came to B5 with that intent, but it grew in him over time that this cycle had to end, and he could be instrumental to that.
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Old September 4 2009, 11:23 PM   #11
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

Jan wrote: View Post
Hermiod wrote: View Post
The whole business of the Vorlons manipulating the younger races in to seeing them as angels (or the local equivalent) gives very strong credence to the Shadows' arguments against them.
Truth was, BOTH of them were only interested in making the younger races do as they wanted. The Shadows manipulated the younger races into war to advance their agenda and the Vorlons manipulated them to work for order.

I never bought into the thought of the Vorlons as good guys after Kosh scragged Deathwalker and then subjected Delenn to the Inquisitor. Then when he orchestrated G'Kar's epiphany that nailed it. While one could argue that the last was for G'Kar's (and his people's) best interest, one has to wonder if the good of the many really should outweigh the good of the one.

Jan
For a while there in season 2 I thought the Shadows and the Vorlons might be one and the same (probably because I missed Signs & Portents the first time round) and they were playing the races off one another from both ends.

Speaking of the Angel form, I was actually quite disappointed the first time round when Kosh finally revealed himself. Reason being I had a theory that Kosh's ship was the actual Vorlon and the thing in the encounter suit was an avatar. But then my theories are usually way off.

One thing I did like about the look of Ulkesh's "true" form was how it wasn't so dissimilar from the various projections. Sure the details were all different but it was indeed a winged "being of light".
On a related note, I've only recently started reading the works of H.P. Lovecraft and I was surprised just how similar the Vorlons are to the Elder Things from 'At the Mountains of Madness'. Radially symmetrical body, two sets of tentacles, wings, the chirping, musical language and of course an ancient war with hordes of telepathic extra-dimensional beings. I assume these were all intentional.
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Old September 4 2009, 11:32 PM   #12
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

JoeD80 wrote: View Post
Kosh had extra sympathy for the humans that the other Vorlons didn't share, and Kosh also decided at some point that he should try to break the cycle instead of perpetuating it:

jms wrote:
part of it was knowing Valen [for Kosh feeling the particular] way he did towards humans
jms wrote:
Ulkesh was the more military of the two, very isolationist, while Kosh was the curious one, interested in the younger races, and more willing to extend himself.
...
Kosh always worried what Ulkesh would do without his moderating presence...and ultimately had to be the one to take him down to allow the younger races to step forward.
jms wrote:
I don't think [Kosh] came to B5 with that intent, but it grew in him over time that this cycle had to end, and he could be instrumental to that.
Indeed. If we compare Kosh's comments in "Midnight on the Firing Line" to those in G'Kar's Dust vision, Kosh has clearly undergone character development of his own in the time between. He starts by insisting the Narns and Centauri are "a dying people" and that "we should let them pass", but by season three he isn't content to let that happen, he wants to pull the Narns and Centauri out of the cycle of death and move into something better. He doesn't want them to be trapped as his people and the Shadows are. And in the end he helps take down his comrade Ulkesh to end that, larger cycle.
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Old September 5 2009, 01:45 AM   #13
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

Brent wrote: View Post
I thought it was more like programmed into us though, through genetic manipulation, that by default whenever we saw a Vorlon it appeared like an Angel.
Well, for one thing, the Shadows were probably exaggerating, just like the Vorlons did when talking about them. For another, it parses out that Morden was only talking about making telepaths when he mentioned genetic manipulation. His first sentence supports the idea that the Vorlon image is an active projection.

"When you look at a Vorlon, you see what they want you to see. They've manipulated us so we would respond favorably to them. They've even interfered at a genetic level by taking humans and then... adjusting them. Why do you think certifiable telepaths came out of nowhere a hundred years ago?"
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Old September 5 2009, 02:32 AM   #14
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

I never realised his name was Ulkesh.Mainly cos he introduced himself to Sheridan as 'Kosh' in Walkabout.
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Old September 5 2009, 02:41 AM   #15
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Re: Ulkesh question, B5 Spoilers

The name comes from the "To Dream in the City of Sorrows" novel. You actually first see him/it with Rathann at the beginning of "War Without End", though you might not think so by the different look and voice.

As for the "We are all Kosh" bit, I think JMS said he was talking philosophically while at the same time being just obtuse, in the way only a Vorlon can.
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