Fun Writing Exercise: Remaking Babylon 5
The first thing I’d do if I were to remake Babylon 5 is to remove the First Ones from actively affecting the plot. No Vorlons, no Shadows, no Lorien, or any of the others. They existed. Some of their ruins and artifacts still exist, but they have gone away.
With this change comes two others: There are no telepaths (baring the Minbari) and the Centauri never get their brief resurgence of glory. (For those worried about the telepath characters, don’t worry, I have plans for them).
Another change I would make is to combine the Earth-Minbari War with the Shadow War. This conflict would form the centerpiece of the third through fifth seasons. (I’m doing this because I love the order vs. chaos motif, but I feel the Vorlons and the Shadows lessen the motif. The two add an epic fantasy quality that doesn’t allow for a fuller exploration of the positives and negatives of the two philosophies. Also, I hate the causus belli of the Earth-Minbari War).
The Dilgar War will get more attention due to it taking place fifteen years before Babylon 5 goes online. The after effects of that terrible war will still be felt almost two decades later as Jha’Dur and remnants of the Dilgar race return to seek revenge for their defeat and destruction.
And finally, I’d do away with the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. The races that make up the League would be the races who have diplomatic and trading relations with the Earth Alliance. I’d also try to give each of the major League races more attention.
So, a rough sketch of the main plots of the series. The first two seasons deal with the Narn-Centauri peace process, the renewed Dilgar threat, the Raiders, and building up to first contact with the Minbari. The final three seasons deal with the Earth-Minbari War and Earth’s desperate struggle to stave off extermination. (If I had a weekend, I’d make a more in depth outline).
What about the Minbari? They are getting the short end of the stick, after all. Well, I’m going to be combining them with the Vorlons. Whether they look like the Minbari of the series or if they are transcendent cephalopods remains to be seen. (I have an idea for Delenn and Lennier that probably would require the Minbari to be an ascendant species).
What about the Narn-Centauri conflict? I’m going to let them achieve peace before I pull out the rug from under the Earth Alliance. But I also want to do more with both species. How do the Narn feel about becoming more like the hated Centauri? And how do the Centauri overcome their history of imperial conquest?
I’ll wrap up this post with some thoughts on how I’d change the characters.
Jeffrey Sinclair will remain the CO of Babylon 5. He’s a veteran of the Dilgar War and a very humane man.
Laurel Takashima is the head of Earth’s diplomatic mission. She handles the diplomacy while Sinclair runs the station. Lyta Alexander is her aide.
Talia Winters is a xenobiologist who works with Dr. Stephen Franklin and has a romantic relationship with Susan Ivanova.
Delenn and Lennier are spies for the Minbari who act as ambassadors when the time comes.
G’Kar remains largely unchanged. But Londo will be a huge departure. I may even make him a woman.
John Sheridan will be a replacement for either Sinclair or Takashima as the need arises. Anna Sheridan is still a xenoarchaeologist who will be a recurring character. Likely to lead the hunt for new alien tech during the Earth-Minbari War.
Alfred Bester and Morden will be in Earth Intelligence.
The Rangers are a division of Earth Force (like the Rangers in the U.S. Army).
I’ll end this exercise here. Any questions or comments, please let me know.
(This has been a fun little exercise. I can’t wait to tackle Highlander).