A Niner Watches Babylon 5 (NO spoilers, please)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by TheGodBen, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Fist McStrongpunch

    Fist McStrongpunch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    1000 years since the last war against the Shadows. 10,000 years since the lat Great War, the last time the First Ones walked openly.
     
  2. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes and no. The last of the First Ones (the ones that didn't disappear off into the inter galactic void) did make an appearance in the last Shadow War, but yes you're right, before that they'd been keeping to themselves for 9000 years since the others ran off. Still, the point remains valid, 10,000 years isn't that long a time for a race that peeked over a million years ago.
     
  3. chrisspringob

    chrisspringob Commodore Commodore

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    JMS had a thing for events being spaced out by a number of years that's a nice round power of 10. 10 years after the Earth-Minbari War, 1000 years since the last Shadow War, 10,000 years since the Shadow War before that, etc. Granted, they're presumably rounding in many of those cases, but there's never something that happened 600 years ago or 8000 years ago, etc. This comes up again later in the series as well.
     
  4. Aeon

    Aeon Commander Red Shirt

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    Exactly.
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Watch your language! ;)
     
  7. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    For great justice!
     
  8. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    To say it requires audience rationalization is an odd statement, because this is Joe's created Universe so it has Joe's rules; and under Joe's rules all the races can be arrogant regardless of how advanced they are.
     
  9. Vestboy

    Vestboy Captain Captain

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    "Minbari do not lie. We do, however, often round our numbers up."
     
  10. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Q: How many Minbari does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    Human answer: None. They always surrender right before they finish, and they never tell you why.
    Minbari answer: Minbari lightbulbs use a superior technology with an extensive life. No Minbari has had to change a lightbulb since the Dark Times a thousand years ago....
     
  11. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sure there is. The first of the original jump gates were built "8000 years ago", about "500 years ago" Varn became the guardian of the great machine and...

    ...if memory serves, the Hyach finished off the Hyach-do about "820 years ago".

    Sadly, arrogance has never been exclusively a Human trait. ;)
     
  12. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Shari Shattuck was also in Arena with Claudia Christian, Armin Shimmerman and Marc Alamo.
     
  13. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Really? Well... Google, here I come!

    GOOGLE: Your search for "Shari Shattuck" + "snoo-snoo" will be completed in 4 hours.

    Balls! :(

    Some of the tentacle things on it looked familiar to the ship Sinclair's girlfriend saw in that episode way back when, but I don't have the season 1 DVDs anymore to check.


    Dust to Dust (***)

    Recently, something has been bugging me about the show and I think that this episode is a good point to voice my concerns. I've seen a few people saying that one of the great things about this show is how subtle it is, and that's true in some cases, especially when it comes to Londo and G'Kar, but when it comes to President Clark and the Psi Corps I'm just not seeing it, at least not yet. For example, in this episode Bester seems to be mostly on the level and he's genuinely trying to sort out the dust smuggling operation on the station, but at the end we learn that they actually created dust in the first place in order to create more telepaths, here they're just covering their asses.

    What have the Psi Corps ever done that was good? Why are they always scheming and sinister? Almost everything I have seen them do so far appears to be self-serving, where's the subtlety?

    In contrast, DS9's secretive, black leather wearing organisation is far more interesting to me because I genuinely can't decide if they're good guys or bad guys. Sure, they kidnap people, orchestrate plots against foreign diplomats, and on rare occasions they attempt to commit genocide, but everything we saw them do was for a reason greater than themselves. Without Section 31 the Federation could have lost the war, isn't the death of a paranoid, malevolent race worth the freedoms of not just the Federation, but all the other Alpha Quadrant empires? Maybe not, but 10 years later I'm still not sure. I feel that one of the most disappointing things about DS9's final chapter was that they chose to end the Section 31 story by having Bashir judging them as evil rather than letting the audience make that determination.

    Maybe the Psi Corps will gain extra depth in time, along with President Clark. It could be argued that the Psi Corps allied themselves with the Shadows because they feel they could not win a conflict against them, so by aligning Earth with the Shadows the Psi Corps are protecting Earth. Bester even seemed to be alluding to that at one point in this episode, but at the end there's yet another cheap shot at the Psi Corps that just makes them seem sinister. I guess I'll just have to see how it all turns out.

    Anyway, some good Londo and G'Kar stuff and I'll be interested to see how G'Kar's new disposition will play out in the future. At first I was confused why G'Kar didn't reveal what he learned about Londo, then I realised that Kosh probably didn't want the information about the Shadows leaking out and somehow G'Kar was "brainwashed" into keeping quiet about it.
     
  14. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, like Section 31 of DS9, all these groups are doing things they feel are totally justified, even if their actions in doing so end up taking villainous routes to attain them (y'know, that whole "quick and easy path leads to the Dark Side" bit). The thing to discover is what their motivations are, but since the human perspective has mostly been from that of Our Heroes on the space station, we haven't been privy to the motivations of these shadowy organizations, just the results of their actions.

    The reason Londo and G'Kar are more subtle at this point is because we get to see them all the time, and understand what makes them tick. For the most part, we haven't had that opportunity with Bester, much less Clark.
     
  15. stonester1

    stonester1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Psi Corps was a classic example of "fruit of the poisoned tree". It was a bad idea created for the wrong reasons, so it was destined to bite everyone in the ass at some point, both Teeps and norms.

    As far as the Corps goes, this is all that poisoned fruit ripening, what we see.

    Now, are they nothing but evil? No. Even Bester, as you are starting to see, has his good traits. But he truly believes in what he's doing, truly believes the ends justify the means, and truly is about protecting HIS telepaths and will do anything to do it.

    I recently read the Psi Corps trilogy, btw. Wonderful story with a tragic ending. But loved it.
     
  16. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The best story to use the Psi Corps isn't found in the series at all, I'd wager. If you ever have the time to read the trilogy (that stonester1 brings up) about them written by J. Gregory Keyes (from an outline by J. Michael Straczynski) it's worth your time.
     
  17. Can

    Can Commander Red Shirt

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    Ah I like "Dust to Dust" so much. G'Kar's "enlightment" , Bester's return , drug ( dust ) bust of Garibaldi and Bester ( though gangster characters were written badly. JMS just can't write criminal characters ) A decent episode.
     
  18. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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    "Dust to Dust" is one of my favorite episodes of Season 3... The first one where I felt the show genuinely got back to the higher quality of latter Season 2.

    Why? G'Kars vision. Brilliant scene. So poignant, even though we realize Kosh was orchestrating it all. I think this episode is a turning point for several characters...
     
  19. chrisspringob

    chrisspringob Commodore Commodore

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    Here's the thing. One thing you've probably picked up on by now is that one of the main themes of the show is nationalism = bad. Most of the main bad guys on the show do bad things either because of nationalism or because of some misguided ideological reason.

    (I'm defining nationalism rather broadly here.....basically I'm defining it to mean elevating the status of your own group over "the other".)

    There are very few bad guys on the show (at least, bad guys who last more than one episode) who are doing bad things just for purely selfish reasons. Lord Refa may be one of the exceptions....he seems to care more about his own position than the good of the Centauri.

    The message "nationalism=bad" is played in a very unsubtle way. The show makes it pretty clear that people who take actions purely for the benefit of their own group are in the wrong. It's pretty obvious that JMS considers Londo's actions against the Narns to be unquestionably wrong. However, Londo is still a really interesting character because of how the show plays the torment in his soul over what he's doing.

    This is the sort of thing you get sometimes, but not always. Most members of the upper echelons of Psi Corps (including Bester, I'd say) for example, do what they do because they think they're acting in the best interests of telepaths. For many of them, normals are the "other", and the lives of normals aren't worth much relative to the lives of telepaths. The show sometimes delves into the inner conflict in people who think this way, but not always. Certainly, there are no other characters who are forced to confront the tragic consequences of their nationalism to the extent that Londo and G'Kar are.
     
  20. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    Side note: In G'Kar's vision we see him speaking with another Narn, presumably his father. This Narn is played by actor Jim Norton who appeared in S1 as one of the ombuds. The speech he gives G'Kar is one of my favorites in the series. Aportion of it: