Babylon 5: Reconciling "The Gathering" with the series

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Gotham Central, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I honestly view The Gathering as having the same relationship to the rest of Babylon 5 as the Kristy Swanson Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie does to BtVS the series: its events happened and inform (the rest of) the series, but it's not a part of the series.
     
  2. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Dilgar all died when their homeworld's sun went nova, presumably after the EA chased them back out of League space.

    And yeah, killing the last survivor of a race is not genocide. The Dilgar were already a dead race by that point. Hell, they'd be a dead race even if there were a half dozen of them left. I'm pretty sure for a species to be viable there needs to be a base minimum of genetic diversity.

    Also, there's ZERO evidence that the immortality serum was Shadow tech. Hell, I'm pretty confident that if the Volrons didn't snuff her, then the Shadows would have. Having all the younger races running around slaughtering each other to become immortal would but equally undesirable to both parties.

    It was established that the virus was intelligent and directed. Able to bypass non-critical parts of the body and go straight for the vital organs, glands, bone marrow etc. I think Franklin said it was similar to that techno-mage virus they ran into, but a lot more complex. Which makes sense given their origins.

    Of course it's possible that the virus is advanced enough to swarm communicate across a host or even the whole planet, but all we know for sure is that the techno-mage one needed a central control mechanism to keep issuing programming or the virus would go inert. Honestly, given the nightmare scenario of an intelligent nanotech virus gone out of control--especially if you depend on organic technology--I'd be willing to bet that centralized control is more of an in-built safety precaution than a technical limitation.

    In that case then the Drakh would have to have gotten it past the defence net and dropped it from orbit. Maybe that's how they finally cured the plague. Perhaps they just found the off switch? ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  3. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, the Dilgar went full Nazi when they learned their sun was going to go nova, they had done quite a bit of damage to the Non-Aligned worlds and it was EF's interference that forced the Dilgar back into their own system to be eliminated by the nova. The Wind Swords sheltered Deathwalker and I think it was insinuated elsewhere that there was a Dilgar colony that pretty much went bronze-age somewhere.
     
  4. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    AFAIK, canon information on the Dilgar is pretty scarce. Indeed I think everything we know about them comes from that one episode. That is that in 2230 they swept through the non-aligned sectors (and at least one Narn colony) raising ten kinds of hell, that Earth got involved and ultimately defeated them. Then in 2232 their sun went nova and that was the end of them. Pretty sure there's nothing extra in the CDROM, the published background notes or the script books. If there is I'm sure Jan would know.

    I don't think it's ever said why Earth got involved. I can't see the EA helping out of the goodness of their hearts, or even just to curry favour with the league worlds. Perhaps the Dilgar hit an Earth colony so they felt the need to rattle some sabres and make an example so as not to appear weak.

    I don't think it's ever mentioned why exactly the Dilgar invaded in the first place, but then it's not much of a leap to suppose that their sun about to go nova is one hell of a motivation for rapid expansion.

    Never heard anything about a survivor Dilgar colony though. Was it in one of the novels?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  5. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    The Dilgar were conquering Nazis they wanted to rule/kill everyone... Earth joined the war to increase their standing in the galactic community.
     
  6. TheMasterOfOrion

    TheMasterOfOrion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    some magic cure juice, every show needs their plot devices
     
  7. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Suns don't just "go nova".....unless someone interferes with them, of course. It's an interesting supposition considering what the Vorlons did later.

    True, but that's also....a very interesting supposition.
     
  8. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sure they do, it happens all the time. At the rate of about 30 or 40 a year in this galaxy alone, if memory serves. It happens in binary systems when a white dwarf accretes hydrogen on it's surface, which ignites in a runaway fusion reaction throwing off a blast wave of stellar matter and radiation. It doesn't destroy the star like say a supernova (totally different thing, but also totally naturally occurring) but it's still very bad news for any habitable planets that may be orbiting it.

    Indeed, orbiting a star you know is probably going to go nova *soon* is about as good an explanation as any for why the Dilgar suddenly decided to invade the Non-Aligned Worlds. The alternatives being death and having their species becoming a race of refugees forced to either depend on the charity of the other races, or start over from scratch on some uninhabited world.

    They apparently chose to build a new empire and rule over the conquered worlds while their homeworld died. It might have worked too since the only major races that could have stopped them (the Minbari, Centauri, Narn & Vorlons) didn't care. Clearly the gambit backfired.

    Not so much IMO. As I said I think it's a better story if the Dilgar came up with it on their own and it makes no sense for the Shadows to give it to them. It runs totally contrary to their ideology and their agenda isn't served by having half the younger races wiped out, leaving the surviving half to live forever, dominating any other race that tries to evolve.

    It'd doom the galaxy to stagnation and both the Shadows and the Vorlon would likely be forced to just wipe the slate clean with them and start over in another thousand years.
     
  9. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    You misunderstand. I meant they would know it was coming a lot sooner than three years before it happened. The timeline doesn't add up.

    You're assuming the serum worked as advertised. We don't really know that, all we know is it extended Deathwalker's life somewhat. And as we saw, its purported properties could make it an exceptional agent of chaos. I could see it as a Shadow tool.
     
  10. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Would they though? We've been studying our own star for thousands of years and it's only in the last few decades that we've really stared to grasp how the thing works and what it's doing.

    Now I'm not certain how long it takes for a binary system to reach critical mass, but given that the Dilgar homeworld was able to evolve life at all it seems likely that this is the first time it'd ever happened. They'd have no point of comparison. Those two stars are the only ones they'd ever known and they may not have realized what was happening until relativity recently.

    Really though, we have no idea *when* they discovered their planet was doomed. For all we know they could have figured it out only a few decades ago or a few centuries. Maybe it just took them that long to get to the point where they felt confident they could take on the other minor races and survive. Indeed, I'd put money on the truth being a closely guarded state secret and anyone trying to raise the alarm would have been quickly silenced. Indeed, the best evidence for this is that their surviving forces (assuming there were any) went back to their home system after the invasion failed. The only one who didn't return home was the invasion's supreme commander, who would logically be the only person in the know besides their ruler(s).

    I suppose the logical question would be why the leaders didn't attempt an evacuation like Earth did before the Battle of the Line? Maybe they did, but then again maybe Earthforce blew up their jumpgate, stranding them in their home system at relativistic speeds and unable to outrun the blast wave. On the other hand maybe their calculations were off and they didn't think the star would blow for another century.

    In the short term, sure. But as I said, in the long run it'd lead to a stagnant state of affairs and therefore not something either the Shadows or the Vorlons would want. Remember that the Shadows don't believe in chaos for the sake of chaos. They believe in chaos as THE driving force of evolution. The scenario Jha'dur described was quite the opposite: an evolutionary dead end.

    As for whether of not it worked the way she said; the initial tests came back positive and clearly the Vorlons were convinced enough to openly off her. Really, we have no reason to believe otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  11. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    The initial tests on miracle drugs always come back positive. 40 minutes later, they discover some cataclysmic flaw that prevents them from being used. It's just how medicine works in the future!
     
  12. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm pretty sure if the Vorlons are convinced, there's really no arguing the point. ;)
     
  13. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks There's a- a peck here with an acorn pointed at me Premium Member

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    Once the avalanche starts , it's too late for the pebbles to vote.