“I would make a Babylon 5 reference here but nobody would have any idea what the fuck I was talking about.”
“Looks like a giant penis!”
“Deep Space 9?”
The Babylon Project was a dream given form. It was blown up by terrorists. So we built another one. It was blown up by terrorists. So we built Babylon 3! It was blown up by terrorists. Not being able to find any discernible pattern to these events, we built Babylon 4. It was stolen by aliens and transported back in time, it crashed into the planet it was orbiting, and it was blown up by terrorists. But the fifth... the fifth one stayed up.
During the great lamented decade of the 90's, lens flares began to populate the world. Recognizing the danger which this presented, then Producer-Priest M. Joseph Straczynski (aka MJS, The Great Baker, and plain ol' Mike) prayed for seven days and seven nights at the altar of the evil undead bloated God of Sci-Fi, Gene Roddenberry. The final result of this project is known as 'Babylon 5'.
History of Babylon 5
Babylon 5 is over there. It is a station for interspecies diplomacy and houses the sort of undesirables that any respectable jihadist would genocide before you can say allahu ackbar. It is the product of a legendary bureaucratic struggle that saw huge amounts of money and human effort wasted on five stations where one would have done. The parties responsible for the stations collectively re-wrote history to support a policy of drastic overspending and minimal results. Despite the waste, it was fortunate that five were built, because Babylons 1 through 4 were all destroyed by a combination of terrorists, space swamps and Cardassians.
Races of Babylon 5
A Minbari can be found at most hotel rooms. However, don't take any drinks from the Minbari, since they are horribly expensive. Visit a local liquor store, instead.
The Minbari are a humanoid race of space fundies who nearly annihilate humanity after finding out our bone marrow tastes like raspberry jam. Their unique physiology allows them to have enhanced strength, resistance to cold, the ability to walk on water and a +5 resistance to edged weapons. But most notably, instead of hair, most Minbari grow and cultivate a bony crest on the back of their heads. This leads to their common nickname 'Boners'.
Minbari society is divided into three castes: Workers, Jocks, and Nerds. The Jock caste is composed of the big tough stupid guys, the Nerds are the useless intelligent weenies, and the Workers are just losers that take up space. Unsurprisingly, those that study Minbari society tend to compare it to the worst aspects of high school.
The most advanced of the Younger Races, the Minbari are naturally smug and arrogant. Using their powerful ships and weapons, they regularly commit genocide, which is incidentally also their national sport. Yearly tournaments are held to see which caste can cleanse the galaxy of 'infidels'. (Being the only one with actual warships, the Jocks almost always take this.)
These poor bastards also are lightweights and can't handle alcohol. Oh well, more for us!
Once thought to be related to humanity, recent revelations have shattered this myth and have revealed the horrible truth: that they are in fact, directly related to anime characters. Their over sized hair styles, their fashion sense, and their tentacled genital apparatus give them away. Extreme caution must be maintained upon meeting these creatures.
A major part of the Centauri industry focuses on the production of hair spray. Due to unspecified problems with hygiene resulting in a planet-wide lice infection, the Centauri were forced to sell huge quantities of their overproduction at discount prices. It was only during the Naaaaarrrrn-Centauri War, that a Centauri hair spray engineer discovered that hair spray makes an excellent missile propellant, providing the Centauri with very effective means to clear some storage space. Incidentally, this discovery led to the Centauri dominance over the Naaaaarrrrn.
Continually fucked over by the Centauri, they have been at war for at least 65 million years. Since being defeated in their first great war with the Centauri (see picture) they have since fled into space and taken up piracy. This war started when the Naaaaarrrrn refused to buy the excess hairspray produced by the Centauri industry. Their homeworld is called Naaaaarrrrn. Why their planet would have the same name as they do is either a coincidence or an utter mystery. Their leader is Captain G'Kaaaaaaaarrrrrr. Contrary to what their color scheme may suggest, they are not actually Communists. You're thinking of the United Federation of Planets from Star Trek.
A wandering band of intra-galactic hippies, the Vorlons want no more than peace and love between all children of the stars. And if you disagree, they'll blow up your fucking planet. They don't talk much, and when they do, it comes off like the ramblings of a stoner. No one's quite sure what they look like, as their filthy hippy stench requires them to wear fully enclosed 'encounter suits' at all times.
Their ships are closely tied with their philosophy, and are 'organic' rather than manufactured. Extremely advanced and disturbingly phallic, they are noted to be the only vessels that contain 100% of the FDA daily requirement of fiber for healthy, regular bowel movements.
A typical conversation with a Vorlon goes something like this:
|Sheridan : Kosh! There you are! You've been gone for at least two weeks! Where were you?
Kosh: ... WHO ... ARE ... YOU ...
Sheridan : What do you mean, who am I? It's Sheridan! You know, captain of this station, highest ranking officer in light-years for a major race, AND the guy whom you said was your best buddy a mere month ago. Don't you remember?
Kosh: ... ... ... ...
Sheridan: *gag* Nevermind. Man, what were you smoking? No wonder why you're never about. Do you mind if we could like, share some later?
Kosh: YOU ... ARE ... NOT ... READY ...
Sheridan : Kosh, whadajamean we're not ready? You damn older races are all alike, you just want to have it all for yourselves. And if I wasn't such a goddamn pussy, I'd kick yer ass real good. Jerk.
Kosh: ............ WHO ... IS ... KOSH ...(Taken from Season 2 Episode A Huge Fuckload of Foreshadowing)
"Understanding is a three-edged bong; your hit, their hit, and the tripping" - Vorlon Proverb
Shadowy Shades of the Shadows, or "Shadows" for short
A bunch of angsty, whiny, anarchist crybabies dedicated to the destruction of society, laws, and 'The Man' in all its shapes, forms and guises. Long ago they were allies of the Vorlons, until they figured out that the Vorlons didn't seem to notice or care. So, feeling slighted, they declared war on them. This war has been fought on and off, whenever the Shadows feel the need to get whupped. Not many people know what a Shadow looks like either, probably because they spontaneously evolved invisibility powers to hide their shame.
Like the Vorlons, Shadow ships are based on organic technology. Unlike Vorlon ships which are probably based on trees, Shadow ships are based on spiders because they are black, ugly and very misunderstood. Shadow ships must contain at least one sentient being inside as a captive audience to read poetry to or the ship gets depressed and sulks. Shadow poetry being as bad as it is, there is little wonder as to the origin of the constant psychic and regular scream that accompany this vessel wherever it goes.
Benjerman Cisco Jeffery "Timex" Sinclair
An 8-bit brained mannequin constructed from a magically animated 2'x4', Sinclair is the first commander of Babylon 5. While no actual blood flows in his veins, his fondest hope is that if he is a good boy long enough, the Minbari will use their magical mystery machine to turn him into a real boy. Sadly enough, his scheduled appointment was over a thousand years ago, so he appears to be out of luck. He gets replaced by someone made out of less construction material in between the first and second seasons.
Leader of the Minbari on Babylon 5, Delenn fools Earthlings and others by trying to speak in an Eastern European accent, unlike every other Minbari. Eventually she becomes half-human, via liposuction and a teleporter, and begins to have a relationship with John Sheridan. She eventually marries him, then he dies, and she moves to an island in the South Pacific and starts claiming she's French.
Former used-hovercar salesman Mr. Morden is the Shadow's chief representative, a position he took for the prospects of a future management position. While he seems to offer fantastic deals, nearly all of them carry a hidden price tag. A brief glance at his E-Bay account reveals horrid review ratings, and it's probably even worse as it seems apparent that someone hacked into his account to 'fix' it. Those customers that we can get hold of that actually bought from Mr. Morden have confirmed the negative publicity.
When we needed the baddest, toughest, and all-around best Ranger there was, we spared no expense. Yes, it's the heir of Isildur himself, Aragorn Son of Arathorn! Chieftain of the Dúnedain, King of the Reunited Kingdom, Wielder of Andúril the Flame of the West, Texan law enforcer!
Wait, no, that's not quite right. Mr. "I'm too good for thou" was too busy playing escort service with midgets, so we got this guy instead. Almost as good, and MUCH cheaper. And he sings!
After Cole's romantic suicide (see below), a telepath called Byron was appointed as the station's English guy with poofy hair.
Some obsessive fans believe that, rather than die and prove that he really loved her, Marcus chose to become a popsicle.
Initially an angry, homicidal nobody, G'kaaaaaaaarrrrrr becomes a religious leader after a particularly intense remake of the Crucifixion. By complete accident. (And we all know how embarrassing that can be.) Faced with the chance to change the moral and ethical outlook of his people forever, G'kaaaaaaaarrrrrr does the only thing a respectable evangelist can do - runs off with a perky little redhead. The next time anybody sees him is 20 years later, dead of asphyxiation and locked in a passionate embrace with some old guy.
Man, what a way to go.
A blond human telepath who starts out loyal to the PsiCorps. Throughout nearly two seasons, she gains telekinetic powers, helps out illegal refugees, and learns to climax people just by squinting. Eventually she is forced to leave as another telepath brings out a hidden, dark personality that was inside her,
but not before getting busy with Susan Ivanova.
And NO, that had nothing to do with the PsiCorps or even psionics. It's just that every woman has some sort of 'Psycho-Bitch Switch' waiting to be flipped.
Julian Bashier Stephen Franklin
Hired after the Racial Fairness in Sci-Fi Act of 2254, he's the station doctor. And, in accordance with the Standard Cliches in Television Act of 2260, he became a drug addict. Then he went around distributing substances in the 'Ghetto Section'. Because all black people everywhere eventually become drug addicts. And/or dealers.
Many sources, however, say this is all Sheridan's fault.
MajorCommander Kira Nuryse Susan Ivanova
Russian, and absolutely NOT a lesbian. I repeat, NOT a lesbian. Nothing happened between her and Talia Winters in Blue Sector. Repeat, NOTHING HAPPENED. Thank you for your attention. Nothing also happened between her and Marcus Cole, who shortsightedly committed a very romantic suicide for her. Left Babylon 5 to pursue a news-reading career. She's also half-elf or magical telepath or something.
Replacement Ivanova. Replacement plotlines.
Frustrated that he couldn't get his own command in Star Trek or even an occasional voice acting role on the Simpsons like that Sulu bastard, Pavel Chekov turned evil, developed psychic powers and started wearing all black.
Don't make Chekov angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.
Odo Michael Garibaldi
Chief of Security for Babylon 5 through six wars and two different Tory administrations, the poor man's Bruce Willis, and exceptionally suspicious to boot. His acute awareness of his advancing male-pattern-baldness (get it? Gari-BALD-i?) causes him to feel resentful of Sheridan, who is constantly reminding Michael how much better his hair is, and how because of it he's getting constantly laid by hot alien chicks. Garibaldi REALLY loses it, though, when Sheridan hires Lorien, a personal hairdresser, to follow him around and make sure that he 'looks fresh' 24/7.
Ultimately, Garibaldi's follicular follies fail with a futile attempt to assassinate Sheridan. Oh, he'll CLAIM Bester made him do it, but really? It was all about the hair.
Captain John Sheridan
The second commander of Babylon 5 and the poor bastard who's unlucky enough to be saddled with carrying the burden of the plot. All he needs now is a forehead scar, a dark past, and a dead set of parents and he'll have the whole Hero Cliché collector card set. When he's not fumbling interspecies relations by acting like a jackass at Minbari mating rituals, or arrogantly taking it on himself to fix philosophical conflicts that have lasted thousands of years, or manipulating alien races to do his bidding, or hypocritically plotting sedition against his own government after bombing the Mars colony during the food riots, or boldly ignoring the personal problems of his command staff (he drove that poor doctor Franklin to stims and made Garibaldi lose all his hair) ...well, then, he's just being an ass.
A Vorlon, Kosh enjoys blazin' it up with his homies, even though he's a quiet motherfucker and likes to talk in random riddles if he ever does talk. He later died when his meth-making experiment went terribly wrong. His replacement's name was also Kosh, because Vorlons like being ridiculously enigmatic.
Made his name producing mixtapes in the underground Minbari electronic scene. Began collaborating with the classically trained Delenn in 2254. Wanted to make a move on her but never found the right time. Grew bitter and resentful that Sheridan had what it took. Joined the Rangers in order to receive free meditation lessons. Had hoped to record Marcus's rendition of "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General". Eventually loses all hope of ever being interesting, becomes a Scientologist and gets lost in space.
When the Centauri decide to send a representative to the newly-constructed Babylon 5, they choose an individual who stands for the values of their glorious Republic. More specifically, they look for a drunken idiot with big hair. After figuring out that set of criteria only eliminates two, maybe three Centauri males at the most they further narrow it down to the one person they know would be ignored even if the listeners' entire species existence depended on it. In this, Londo Mollari was the proven choice. Once there, he spends most of his time either drinking, whining or using his genitalia to gamble. This happy state of affairs would have continued until the good Doctor would have been forced to remove Londo's pickled, shriveled liver had Londo not had the misfortune to whine to just the wrong person.
Suddenly finding out he made countless lives suck much worse than his, his life turns for the slightly more interesting. In one memorable instance, he is stuck in an enclosed elevator with the man of his dreams, while said man does stuff to Londo that they could not do together without risking the wrath of greater society. Eventually, he gets his aide to poison Emperor "Caligula" Cartagia and, after a brief regency, finds himself Emperor of Centauri. This joyous occasion soon turned sour after he figures out that he would be saddled with an annoying sidekick for the rest of his life or risk cancellation. Driven to drunkenness by this setback, he drives the Centauri Republic series into a spiral of suckiness that only ends when 16 years later he dies in a cameo episode with more interesting characters, his one-eyed G'Kaaaaaaaarrrrrr limp and flaccid on the ground.
Telepath, latterly adulterated by Vorlons. Originally a character, then not a character, then a character again, then a metacharacter, then G'Kaaaaaaaarrrrrr's 'companion', although possibly not involving a blue box. Completely unrelated to Alexander of Greece, Hales, Aphrodisia, Constantinople, or low fat margarine*. Possibly the hottest telepath without the "Psycho Switch" mentioned above... well, unless you count the evil, glowing eye doomsday bomb thing she has going on. Gets her freak on with Byron, leader of a Gandhi-like group of telepaths, and shows that telepaths can have a group-orgy-orgasm in their mind.
- Her first name is similar to the word 'lighter'. It's a pun. You should have noticed.
- 2187: The Centauri discover Earth and immediately begin worshiping Sophia.
- 2245: First contact between Terrans and Minbari and beginning of Earth-Minbari war. The Minbari maintain that having weapons armed and ready to fire is a respectful gesture.
- 2248: Delenn finally changes her mind about exterminating the human race only after stumbling upon evidence that, by gum, humans are Minbari.
- 2261: Tired of the all the bullshit from both the Shadows and the Vorlons, Sheridan gathers up a posse of concerned residents and confronts both sides at Coriana 6. After a hearty round of bitchslapping on both sides, Sheridan makes a pompous speech, which I'll paraphrase here:
- Alright you blubbering babies, we've all sick of your whiny-assed bullshit. Consider this the final straw.
- Okay, it was nice of you two to babysit us, even though you were too stupid to realize it was probably just a way for all the cool people to spend some quality time without you. But seriously, we 'kids' could not care less about some anarcho-Social Darwinism vs Big Government argument that's been going on before most of here has been even born. We also do not care for being used as actual object examples either, or the fact that you've decided to vandalize our homes.
- So get off my porch, get off my lawn, and maybe (God Willing) GET A JOB!
- after which both the Vorlons and the Shadows go scurrying off with their tails between their legs, but not before emotionally blackmailing their beloved grandfather-type figure to hold their mucus and tearstained hands as they do so.
- 2362: 3 out of 4 agree: Sheridan is an ass.
- 2762: Sheridan, Delenn, Dr. Franklin and Garibaldi wake up to find themselves in the most horrifying situation: cast as guest stars to Star Trek: Voyager. As they are now holographic reproductions they are helpless as they are forced into increasingly out of character roles, like Sheridan tap-dancing, Delenn seducing Harry Kim, and Dr. Franklin going around on a baby-eating spree. Finally, Garibaldi saves the day with his newfound [_]|3r l33t h/\XX0r skillz to arrange a hyperkinetic missile strike to his location, blowing up both him and Voyager to the immense relief of fans of both of the franchises. (Although by the next week Voyager is intact again and no mention of this incident comes up ever again.)
- 3262: Ravaged by interstellar war, Earth has been taken over by a most insidious organization: the Society for Creative Anachronism. Having learned their lesson from the last Shadow War, the Advanced Spacefaring Races with Dangerous Technology don't touch Earth with a 10-lightyear pole while the actual Earthlings keep faith by knowing deep down in their heart of hearts that all of this is probably Sheridan's fault.
- 1,000,000: We celebrate our big going-away party by blowing up the Sun. Sheridan's still an ass.
Science and Technology
In terms of technology, the hyperspace portal system stands out as a triumph, a notably huge success of applied science and engineering. You'd be hard-pressed to find a sentient that can overstate their satisfaction over this one, as now they can do the things they must, now that they can. Which is good for everyone, except maybe the deceased.
Now, don't cry if you make a mistake understanding hyperspace geometry. Just try it again, this time imagining it as a multi-tiered wedding cake - 'normal space' can be thought of as the big layer on the bottom, where it takes a long time to get from one end to the other. But by punching your up to the upper layers with the misshapen bride-and-groom figures, crossing the much smaller distance and punching down again you can travel a smaller distance and save yourself time.
But while the theory is simple, the actual use and execution is far trickier. Very likely, early explorers found themselves torn to pieces and then set on fire by anomalous forces. But even as they burned, they must have found a small glimmer of happiness - for their sacrifice helped set up a system of jump gates and hyperspace beacons, forming many points of data to navigate by. So now instead of travelling around in circles you can fly away in a beautiful line, cruising out of Beta Aquliae you got released from its gravitational pull on time. In a way, I'm glad they got burned - think of what they learned for the people that are still alive.
Hyperspace opens up new frontiers for the outgoing types - freed from the naysayers that prefer to stay inside their own star system, they can seek out new frontiers, or if a crisis pops up they can now go find someone else to help them. This shows the greatness of the integrated hyperspace 'cake' - it's so spacious and vast. But don't get too complacent - we don't know everything there is know about hyperspace, for there is still science to do. But looking out there, believe me when I say long after you're dead and dying (although maybe not in that particular order) hyperspace travel will still be alive and well.
Fiverism is a mental disorder that is very similar to Trekkism, but far more obscure. It's cause is excessive exposure to Babylon 5 media. It's symptoms include buying Babylon 5 merchandise, posting on web forums, and making parody articles that only people who should be doing more important things read. Traditional treatment for this condition included strapping the afflicted in a straightjacket and then pushing them in the middle of the street, which while completely ineffective is still rather amusing to watch. More modern treatments include exposure to Legend of the Rangers.
Recent studies have shown that fiverism has shown an alarming tendency to develop into full blown Straczynskism. Straczynskism, which has symptoms including comic-book completism and obsessively following USENET posts, has no known cure.
Hermann Göring testified during his trial that "nothing on Earth scares me more than Babylon 5 fans. I am happy that the Allies found me first."
- Until WE blew it up.
- Those nuclear wessels will be his now!
- In stark contrast to our own Earthling customs
- See: In the Beginning
- Or rather, doesn't do anything.
- Much like a one-eyed Willie, but with more spots
- The fourth one being a creepy old lady who once slept with him.
- Never teach anybody anything. They'll hate you forever and kick yer ass real good.
- Such as non-leech based medical practices and flushable toilets
- I guess we figured we couldn't go wrong with the classic approach.
- Either assuming you're REALLY small like an ant or we're holding a wedding for a secluded cult in Texas.
- If you STILL don't understand after this, just neatly put a gun against your head. If it sounds like I'm angry, it's not. However, I can sincerely say it breaks my heart and kills me when people get physics wrong.
- Maybe the Vorlons? THAT WAS A JOKE, HA HA FAT CHANCE.