I finished watching the main Babylon 5 series, and reviewed the whole series along the way. I adored it. It has grown into my favorite TV show of all time. But, having finished the finale, I have some questions to ask before diving into the offshoots, movies, comics, and novels. There will be SPOILERS for the whole main series in this post, but please don’t spoil ANY offshoot series, movies, comics, or novels here.
Vorlon are Angels? Wha-?
Remember that episode where we found out the Vorlon are literally angels? Remember how basically nothing happened with that after we saw the angelic Vorlon save Sheridan’s life? I’d love to know more about the Vorlon. So many fans seem to love them, but to me, they are opportunists who manipulated the history of other species for hundreds or thousands of years just for their own ends. What makes them such fan favorites? Is it the enigmatic nature of them? Is it just that we don’t know about them, and that makes them fascinating?
Mollari- What the hell?
Okay, I honestly have to say this is the one that upsets me the most about the whole series. What the heck happens to Mollari and the Centauri between the second to last episode and the finale (and beyond)? We see Mollari sneak a Keeper into Sheridan and Delenn’s possession, and then we just lose that plot thread? Please tell me it gets resolved somewhere! I do recall that in one of the episodes Mollari seems to be drinking to drive off some inner demons–perhaps that’s to stop the Keeper from intervening at a certain point? I don’t know.
Speaking of future Mollari–wasn’t G’Kar with him in that time traveling scene? And if so, what does that mean for where G’Kar ends up? Where does he go with Lyta? What do they discover, and how does that inform his life going forward? Does he continue to be a religious icon for his people?
Girabaldi and Lyta- what next?
Will there be war against the Psi Corps? And if so, how will that play out? If anyone can do it, I would think Lyta and Girabaldi would be the ones able to do so. Remember–Lyta was apparently turned into a kind of nuclear telepath option by the Vorlon, which makes her extremely powerful and dangerous to any of her enemies. Her experience with Byron changed her, as well, but she’s clearly not following his pacifistic path. At a guess, I would say the Psi Corps trilogy of books that I got will probably deal with this.
Resolving the Questions
The good news is that I still have several movies to watch, as well as the single season of the offshoot show “Crusade” to help ansqer these questions. I’ll also be reading the books, several of which were written after the series concluded. Presumably, some of these will answer the questions that remain. I certainly hope they will, anyway, because some of these questions are burning to get answered. If not, I honestly think I’ll probably go looking for some fanfic somewhere to help wrap up some of the plots in my head. I’ve not read a lot of fanfiction, but I did read some to help wrap up the Star Wars expanded universe, for example.
Anyway, I look forward to exploring these questions with you going forward!
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@Vorlons: Not sure if I’d say that the Vorlons themselves are fan favorites. Kosh certainly is, but that’s probably because he was one of the nicer ones, and actually seemed to care about what happens to the younger races. And concerning the angel-bit: That this was achieved by manipulating the younger races in order to see them in a more favorable light was pretty much all there was to it. That was the whole point.
@Londo & G’Kar: You’ll learn more about that in the Centaury trilogy of books, however, might I suggest rewatching “War Without End” (especially part 2)? It pretty much offers all the puzzle pieces you need to get the overall image.
@Garibaldi & Lyta: Just so you won’t end up disappointed: Unfortunately, the story of the Telepath War itself got never told. It was one of the ideas for a feature film that JMS had about 20 years ago, but it never even got to the script-stage. The Psi-Corps trilogy deals with the first emergence of telepaths (book 1), Besters backstory (book 2), and the aftermath of the telepath crisis (book 3), but not the war itself.
Yeah, I guess I see the point of the Vorlons there. I just thought it could be developed much more. I want more than just puzzle pieces for Londo/G’Kar though! I want every juicy detail and second with them! Sad about not having the Telepath War get its story told. Oh well. I am looking forward to the novels very much.
Since you intend to proceed with the rest of the franchise (which I think is a good idea), I really can’t deal with most of these issues without spoilers. The TV movie In the Beginning is really critical to understanding much of what may be unclear from the series. I think I mentioned before when you hit season 5 that you should have paused the actual series and watched it. It aired between seasons 4 and 5 and was intended to be watched at that point. It centrality to the plot is unusual because TV movies Thirdspace & River of Souls are excellent, but tangential. You learn little in them that enhances your understanding of the plot of the series. With In the Beginning, you learn a LOT that enhances your understanding of the plot of the series, going back to things that were unclear from the earliest episodes (this is JMS, after all). I think that what happened was that In the Beginning had been part of JMS’s plan all along, whereas with Thirdspace and River of Souls, he came up with them later in order to make a “set” of TV movies (which, as I said, does not mean that they aren’t excellent, and Thirdspace does have some implications that look ahead to some episodes in season 5 and even to Crusade). My feeling is that if he had known during season 4 that he would be getting a season 5, the events of In the Beginning would have been folded into regular episodes rather than being a TV movie. They are THAT critical.
The other 2 movies are effectively pilots. The Gathering was a pilot for the series, and, while events in it are referenced a lot in season 1, I started the series without having watched it and I don’t think my understanding was compromised in any way. It might even be confusing, because JMS shuffled around some character traits in between that and the first episode. A Call to Arms is a pilot for Crusade. Be SURE to watch it before Crusade. Then, years later, Legend of the Rangers was an attempt to revive the series.
Now, we come to the books. A number of tie-in novels had been published while the series was originally airing. Later JMS, pulling a Disney, declared them to be non-canon. Canonical novels, written, as you say, after the series concluded, consist of 3 trilogies, all of them pretty good. I am using the trilogy titles. The Psi Corps Trilogy (written by Gregory Keyes, I almost typed Keynes, as in John Maynard) will answer some of your questions, and the Centauri Trilogy (written by Peter David) will answer other questions. The Technomage Trilogy (written by Jeanne Cavelos) is very good, but it does not answer any of your questions. There are also novelizations of three of the TV movies that I’ve discussed, but I rarely read novelizations as opposed to tie-ins which I do read. One of the novelizations (A Call to Arms) was written by Robert Sheckley, long a favorite, and I still didn’t read it. The three trilogies are tie-ins and are explicitly designed to complement the series.
I never read the comic books. I can’t deal with comic books at this point. It is too hard to find them near me, local specialty stores having gone out of business, and the post office mangles them if I subscribe. My guess is that they are probably enjoyable, but you won’t find many answers there because most of what was left open is covered by In the Beginning and the Psi Corps & Centauri trilogies.
Hope this helps.
Congratulations on finishing the series!
I’m just starting a rewatch series, from a Minbari point of view, if you are interested in seeing the posts?
Where’s the link!?
Hi, sorry, I didn’t want to drop it without your permission.
I just sent it, but it’s gone, now? Or just awaiting moderation?
[…] no it doesn’t. I was all excited to finally get to a movie that might answer some of my unanswered questions, but was somewhat disappointed to find that Thirdspace, instead, took place during the series. I am […]
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