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I am a super huge fan of sci-fi. Star Wars is more up to my taste so are other notable sci-fi series. Star Wars is always close to my heart because it was the first sci-fi movie I ever saw that made me fall in love with the genre. Babylon 5 was the first sci-fi series I saw before I eventually managed to catch up with the rest.
This post is not about Star Wars but Babylon 5.
Initial years of Sci-Fi:
The moment anyone hears about sci-fi, technobabble is what comes to their mind. This technobabble can be unwarranted and may seem repulsive for non-sci-fi lovers. I can’t blame them since the sci-fi series has somewhat earned its stereotypical praise from the Star Trek series.
The ‘magic’ of technobabble is that it is without any sound logic. You create a problem and then devise a solution that makes ‘sense’ in general terms.
Those were the early days of sci-fi where technobabble was needed to make it sound futuristic and confine the series within the realms of sci-fi wizardry!
I see technobabble as fillers when needed. You can extend an episode to introduce additional problems. Stargate SG1 and many such series followed in those footsteps. They have two storylines in every episode. The particular episode will follow the main storyline, and the second will act as a filler. The filler always came in handy to extend the number of episodes for that season.
Introducing Babylon 5:
The first thing you would notice about it is the lack of technobabble. Can sci-fi be structured that way without it? Yes, it can. In a sci-fi setting, the universe and the characters are best that identify a series. It is a series focused extensively on character development and story arcs.
Interwoven characters make the plot more interesting. There’s interstellar politics-local politics and quotes are perfect excuses to watch this series. The core reason is something else, however.
How can the Babylon 5 universe be without space battles? Yes, they do have it, but they are more balanced. The space battles aren’t as grand as star wars, but they do ample justice to the series.
The special effects may seem dated compared to the current generation of CGI. I would still say it should suffice.
Exploring the Babylon 5 universe:
The setting is on a gigantic space station built in the neutral zone. The space station is neutral in every respect. All alien species come here to conduct trade with other species. The station also had permanent ambassadors, so it also works as an embassy.
The story revolves around Earth politics, Centauri Prime, Narn homeworld and ancient alien races. The series also takes you through the politics of Centari of Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik) as the central figure. I loved his quotes! I will refrain from showing or discussing some notable clips from which YouTube has in excess.
There are several characters and recurring appearances to watch out for. Names to look out for in the series are Londo Mollari, G’Kar, Vir, Reefa, to name a few.
I like Londo. He is a patriot to the core and loves his species. I think Londo has the best character arc. There are many quotes that you will come across from Ivanova to Sheridan. But, Londo has the best of all of them. These are the best quotes from Londo Molari I will highlight here:
“My shoes are too tight, but it doesn’t matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.”
“Ah! Arrogance and stupidity all in the same package!”
“Gentlemen, of all things in life, are females, not the finest?”
“Isn’t it strange, G’Kar? When we first met, I had no power and all the choices I could ever want. And now I have all the power I could ever want and no choices at all. No choice at all.”
There is a story behind every quote I have mentioned above. Of course, you have to watch the series to understand when what and why.
The way he gets into the powerplay to watch it unfold is one thing. The events are not at all predictable and more of a drama. Wikipedia calls it more of a space opera which I disagree with.
What you should about them is that they are a powerful space-faring species. As the United Earth Government – they are a major race in the series. They are fascinating. They are also the oldest. For now, that’s all you need to know should you intend to see it online.
The space battles aren’t that much to look at. They seem like fillers in the entire story arc. However, space battles are essential to the whole story. They are good but not great. The story is what should primarily concern any first time viewer.
What you may also find interesting is the politics the revolves around the story arcs. How the story unfolds is filled with unpredictability.
Babylon 5 series should be re-launched with a digitally remastered version in 4K resolutions. The audio effects can be re-done in the space battle as I feel it can be better. Some of the battles, I remember, has no sound.
I hope I have provided many reasons to compel you to watch this series whenever it has re-run online.