End of Shadow War = Lame

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Starfleet Engineer, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Starfleet Engineer

    Starfleet Engineer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ***Don't post spoilers for stuff after the Babylon 5 Season 4 episode "Into The Fire"***

    I recently saw the episode that ends the Shadow War (I'm not just taking their word that it's over, though). I must say that this end to the war was quite unsatisfying. The unsatisfying part is the Vorlons and Shadows being reduced to the level of whining children. Lorien explains stuff and the whiny Vorlon and Shadow ask him if he'll go with them when they leave and go beyond the rim. They were shockingly whiny and childlike. It felt totally unbelievable. Lorien says yes and it's all over. Also in this scene, Sheridan and Delenn do a lot of talking/explaining the overall picture of what's been going on and it was quite clunky and Sheridan's acting was quite wooden. Did this scene come off unsatisfyingly weak to anyone else? In my opinion, the Londo storyline has been done very well and is the best part of the series.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the series. This end of the war scene was just a letdown.
     
  2. think

    think Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was also let down by how the Vorlons were portrayed in the unfolding of the events; that is why "Into the Fire" was the anticlimactic frivoly that it was. The Vorlons were not as powerful as they were dressed up to be from the beginning.., I had been writting a fanfiction plot inspired by this concept where the Borg move beyond the rim., set after Voyager. It is still "in the process" but the mix is different then what inspired the theme.
     
  3. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I completely agree. Very disappointing.

    Vorlons and Shadows: "Will you come with us?" "And...we won't be alone?"

    Fucking dumb, but I overlook it.
     
  4. Praetor_08

    Praetor_08 Ensign Newbie

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    I completely disagree... I think it makes complete sense.

    These were once two great and powerful races, that through pride and arrogance reverted back to a child like mentality, ie. (Im better than you are! haha he haha.) Its like Sheridan said they were children in the playground.

    So... Its not dumb that they were afraid of being left alone, these were two races that had become accustomed to being the top dogs, demanding obedience of others, and to fighting for complete control among one another for over 2 thousand years. And all of the sudden everything changed for them, they were cast out, no longer important, and were told to leave.

    They were afraid of the unknown, that's not dumb, its life. (And we already know the Vorlans didnt react well to change, simply when Kosh was killed in Season3, they weren't use to dieing and now they weren't use to being told what to do.) Change isnt easy for some people no matter how old they are.

    So when they asked Lorien to join them, I view it less as a child asking for protection of a parent, and more as an adult realizing their mistake and seeking guidence/therapy so they dont do it again.

    As for the dialoge being clunky, I dont really notice. Theres alot to deliver and wrap up so I just give it a pass.
     
  5. stonester1

    stonester1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought it was absolutely excellent. First, it wasn't just another cliched shootout. Second, it was following a theme JMS had from the start. That despite the power and knowledge posessed by the Vorlons and the Shadows, they weren't gods, they didn't know and see all. And like humans, and reasonably, any sentient being, when taken from their comfort zone, they become insecure. This was one hella comfort zone they were leaving. The Vorlons especially wouldn't react well to it, as had been revealed, they don't take to change well. The Shadows were used to living their ideal, the peak of evolutionary strife, and now they were being removed from the driver's seat.

    Lorien was the one being they knew that knew something about what was to come next, and the idea they would turn to him for comfort is very understandable.
     
  6. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Additionally the entire season 4 was a bit rushed because during production time it was unsure if B5 would get a 5th season. JMS had the entire show planned out in 5 seasons and if i recall correctly the Shadow war should have ended with the season 4 cliffhanger and other events past it should take up 5th season as a whole.

    So JMS had to cut corners to finish at least the main plot and when 5th season got greenlighted he was stuck with what he had and explored other (additional) themes in season 5.

    People with the (awesomely expensive) official scriptbooks could go into more detail i believe as to what happened behind the scenes.
     
  7. Saul

    Saul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought it was a let down to. The series was setting up something far greater then what we got in the end. The Shadows deciding to just leave was not what we thought we were going to get.
     
  8. Bishbot

    Bishbot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's the main point. I love the fact that the war is resolved through Sheridan standing in front of these powerful elder races and telling them that they're wrong and they aren't needed any longer. It's the moment that starts the third age of mankind (I assumed) and brings the younger races into their ascendancy and how much better is it that its achieved with words rather than firepower? Even if the younger races had allied with the Vorlons or the Shadows and defeated the other side then their allies would still be around and the younger races would never be truly free. Of course, the elder races could have rejected Sheridan's speech and devastated the galaxy, but what would the point have been, beyond arrogance and vengeance that they were supposed to have evolved beyond.
     
  9. stonester1

    stonester1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Exactly. Not that I've problem with a good shootout, but in this case, it would have been very ho-hum and anti-climactic, since ultimately, the conflict with the Ancients was one of ideas and concepts, not power.

    Now, the Earth Civil War, that one came down to a shoot-out, and it felt right.
     
  10. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Once the truth of the Shadow war was made known to the other races niether side could kill enough of them off to continue the conflict according to the rules. Once the younger races were allowed to be free to decide their own destiny the First Ones were no longer needed, I agree it's the perfect ending of the war. Sheridan had to end the cycle of the conflict between the Vorlons and the Shadows not wipe them out which they coldn't do anyway.
     
  11. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    Unbeknownst to the fans at the time, the fifth season wasn't just uncertain due to the demise of the PTEN network, JMS had been told on no uncertain terms that he had to wrap the show up in season 4.

    While JMS has said that he'd planned the Shadow War to be a couple of episodes longer, it wasn't planned for it to be the season cliffhanger. The cliffhanger would have been events that happened in 417.

    It had been established that the Shadows and Vorlons could wipe out everything on every planet. How else could it realistically have ended if not by reason rather than warfare?

    As for the reactions of the Shadows, the Shadow figure asked if Lorien would go with them because it had been established back in "Revelations" that the Shadows always returned to Z'ha'dum and Lorien explains that it's because of his presence in "Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi". It's less clear why the Vorlon figure needed reassurance but since it came after Lorien's explaining that they'd be seeing all of the other First Ones who'd gone beyond the Rim before, I just took it as relief that they wouldn't just be stuck with their ancient enemy.

    The end of the Shadow War did suffer from the shortened season but I think it still holds together. For all that it was established that the Shadows and Vorlons had lost their way and were no longer fulfilling their obligations as mentors to the younger races, it was never suggested that they were stupid and it would have been stupidity of the first order for them to try to continue the fight to the destruction of the races they were supposed to have guided.

    Jan
     
  12. Starfleet Engineer

    Starfleet Engineer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's all acceptable to me. I had no particular desire to see the war end in a shootout. What was unsatisfying was the unbelievably weak way it was executed and, in addition, the very jarring effect of having spent over three seasons on this and then have the Vorlons and Shadows and the war disappear in an instant. Of course, maybe something in the future explains this and I'm just not there yet. I'm open to better undetstanding things as I continue to watch.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  13. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    The war was always about getting rid of the First Ones and understanding a way out of the war.

    http://www.jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-2415&query=The%20Shadow%20War

     
  14. clunky dialogue and wooden acting? on Babylon 5?

    NO WAY! :-P
     
  15. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    That's "Face of the Enemy" for those not wanting to look it up.



    mmhmm.... just like in TNG, DS9, Stargate, BSG ...... ;)
     
  16. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Too late. I already looked it up. :p

    That would have served as a great season finale, but I don't think, while an excellent episode on its own merit, "Intersections in Real Time" would have served as a strong season premiere.
     
  17. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    I felt similarly my first time through. But you know what the really surprising thing is?

    The explanation you're seeking-----the justification for this particular development----it isn't ahead of you. It's behind. If you watch the show again, knowing this is coming, you'll pick up quite a number of clues which all point to this as pretty much the only possible ending.

    It's very subtle foreshadowing....perhaps even too subtle, since so many people seem surprised when they get to this point. You have to look beyond what you expect in order to pick up on most of the clues.

    These guys both wanted nothing more than to guide the younger races into improving themselves. After Sheridan rejected them, they tried to kill him. But after the rest of the fleet rejected them as well.....what recourse did they have? Destroy the entire fleet? They could have done that, but then none of those races would ever see either of them as anything but a threat. They would be unable to achieve their goals. This is the reason why Sheridan wanted the largest fleet in history; not for its military value, but for the large fraction of the sentient races it represented. Faced with that reality, and with Lorien----whom both sides respected a great deal----counseling withdrawal, was there really another option open to them besides leaving, that wouldn't have seemed petty and spiteful?

    Sheridan's "Get the hell out of our galaxy!" line is the one that doesn't sit well with me, because it gives him too much credit. By that point in the confrontation the outcome was already decided, and his parting shot had nothing to do with the First Ones' decision. Everything he said before that, sure, important. But the last one? Just simple human anger, nothing more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  18. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    As to the Shadows and Vorlons reacting like whiney children at the end - I think, if you look at it, the Shadows' and Vorlons' behavior was always childish. They were playground bullies, control freaks, always wanting their own way no matter who they hurt.

    And as to the end of the war being anticlimactic - well, it was apparently good enough for (here I go) Deep Space Nine to rip off. After all that fighting, Odo just talks the "Female Shape Shifter" into stopping? Hm. Original.

    ;)
     
  19. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    "Now, get the hell out of"--oops, wait, no swearing in the 24th century.

    "Now, get out of our galaxy!"--err, quadrant, sorry.
     
  20. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I loved the ending as I felt it fit in perfectly with everything that went on before it especially in light of the conversations in "Za'ha'dum."