Random Nonsense

Babylon 5
harkovast at 2:48PM, March 18, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations.
The name of the place….is Babylon 5!!!

Babylon 5 is an interesting science fiction show.
It was a very successful show in its time, but these days surprisingly few people seem to remember it.
Those that do tend to be die hard and committed in their love for what they see as one of the most visionary series of our time.

I take something of a middle ground.

Babylon 5 WAS ground breaking in many ways, and had a lot going for it.
Unfortunately it also had (and fans are going to hate me for this) some SERIOUSLY glaring faults.

The show told the tale of a space station set up to allow diplomats of the various intergalactic nations to resolve their problems peacefully and avoid war.
And when it started…it was complete shit.
No seriously, it was terrible!
The captain of the space station wasn't so much an actor as an anti actor. It was like he was a sponge, sucking up all the acting talent out of any scene he entered.
The plots were hackneyed and stupid.
The main threat (human space pirates called The Raiders) were utterly laughable. They were pathetically poor at fighting and entirely unexplained (I thought they were a hostile alien empire up until the episode where they get destroyed.)
Several of the sequences and terms used also had a weird, unintentional racism towards the none humans.
The opening sequence featured the phrase “A place where humans and aliens could work out their differences peacefully.”
This phrase always struck me as odd. Like there are two groups of people “humans” and “aliens”.
It would be a bit like me saying “The UN is where the British and foreigners work out their differences peacefully.”
This isn't a one off phrase, either.
There is a an episode where there is a fighting tournament in which only aliens are allowed to compete, not humans.
Now aliens in this show are not one united race in any sense. In fact a lot of them actively hate each other and fight genocidal wars. But despite this, for this one episode they all come together to hate on the humans.
They think humans are imperialist and take over their worlds so dont want them in their fighting tournament, despite the fact that in this series The Earth Alliance was NEVER imperialist….Unlike the Centari EMPIRE! In fact many of the minor alien nations were saved from a brutal occupation by an aggressive race of aliens called the Dilgar by the humans! Ungreatful alien shits!
This episode is probably the ultimate low point of the series as it basically just comes down to two guys taking turns to hit each other (no literally, that is how the fight ends up, they just take turns and dont block!)
So why did we keep watching such derivative bullshit?
Basically because of the Shadows.
Their space ships were huge big screaming black space spiders.
They appeared with no explanation, easily obliterated any force that went againt them and then disappeared.
These fuckers were the definition of bad ass.
When their ships appeared you took notice (even their cool human agent Mr Morden had you desperate to know more.)
They gave the sense that there was a big over riding plot.
A huge epic tale featuring an enemy that (unlike the unfunny joke of the raiders) was genuinely scary and seemingly unstoppable.)
Other elements of the show gave this sense of a mystery, and despite the incredible amounts of bullshit, you were left wanting to watch more in the hope of learning some more of what was really happening.
No most of the time during these early series, you kind of hoped in vain, as most of the time it was just a stupid, nonsensical one off episodes that set up back ground on the alien races that was mind bogglingly stupid (example off the top of my head…the Drazi have a civil war every few years to determine their new government. The two sides are randomly assigned and don't represent anything, they just fight to the death till one side is left. That isn't a system of government…that is a fucking cull! How could a race that ass backwards stupid not be extinct, let alone invent space travel?)

Right now, all you Babylon 5 fans are probably baying for my blood, but stay with me…

But it was at this point that things started to change.
Gradually at first, but green shoots started to spring up.
First of all the shitty captain was replaced by a guy who could actually act!
The background began to become more coherent.
More and more episodes began to relate to the over arching story.
And as time passed, the show became essential viewing.
If you missed an episode, you missed a hell of a lot!
The story became epic in every sense.
The fate of the entire universe was at state as ancient aliens of incredible power returned to beat five shades of Babylon flavoured shit out of the shit out of the younger races.
Every episode became a mass of revelation, twists turns and surprises.
The show was like some kind of crazy freight train, building steam as the story built upon itself.
Special mention has to go to the two characters Londo and G'Kar.
These two were rivals, bitter enemies and ultimately friends stole every episode.
They were wonderfully written, with deep complex personalities that under went massive changes and development as the show progressed.
What at first seemed like a two dimensional bad guy (G'Kar) and the comic relief (Londo) became two of the best characters in sci fi.
This was in no small part because of the fantastic performances of the two actors (unusual for a show so plagued with shitty actors!)
Many fans seemed to go off the show during the fifth series, when the shadow war had been resolved.
Personally I loved the 5th series. It fleshed out the universe and the characters and by that point I was so drawn in to the universe every new detail was a wonderful delight.
I honestly felt by that point that I couldn't get enough of babylong 5….and then Crusade came along….

But that is another story.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 12:15AM, March 19, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Raiders… *Yawn*

Sinclair's best features were his eyebrows. Dear god! The eyebrows! I actually didn't mind Sinclair all that much, but he wasn't near my favourite part… at all.

Also, the fellow who played Bester essentially said what you've said about the beginning (read, whole first season… almost). “Give it a chance” he said. Thank goodness he was on Star Trek so people listened to him. I generally can't stand Star Trek.

The opening sentence was made by humans for humans… and the station was made by humans too, so they can talk how they like. It isn't like the characters were perfect… I mean, they're in the Earth military, they are probably thinking Earth first…

Of all the episodes I hated that underground fighting one the most! The most!

I think that the aliens had more reasons than Human Imperialism… Probably something about them thinking humans were wusses (and we are kinda squishy, really). And the Earth Alliance is a major power, certainly, and is imperialist to a degree. Thats what got them messed up by the Membari in the first place. “Hey, lets go pester our neighbours, who are probably far more dangerous than we are… Oops, killed your leader. Oh well, S'cool, right?… Holy War?… not that it matters, we can take em!”

The Centari are no longer capable of being truly expansionist when the story begins, in fact, the Narn are more dangerous in that regard, but they simply want to kill the Centari.

Shadows. Just freaky. Plain freaky… and powerful. That too… Their ships fucking SCREAM in space! It takes a real badass piece of work to break the laws of physics like that!

The Drazi didn't normally kill each other off… in fact, the Greens just ended up escalating it that one time… normally they beat each other senseless. As for their lack of sense in having the tradition anyway… well, lets face it, they were going for incredibly obvious “moral of the story”. “What, us humans kill each other over stupid little trivial differences like hair colour?” How could we not possibly be extinct, or even make it into space! I think thats a favourite theme in the early bits of Babylon 5 (at least). Not saying that it was a good episode though.

Agree with most of what you said in the positive section though.

Crusade was utter shit. Strazinsky thought so as well. They wanted him to ratchet up the violence and he told them to shove it. Bye bye show… but it wasn't all that great of a loss… (not that my younger self wasn't devastated at the time).

Londo and G'kar. Two of the best characters I have ever seen. Well, more examples of character development.

“Everybody's cute. Everybody's cute! Even I'm cute. But in purple, I am STUNNING!” *thud*. For those hilarious moments I will be forever grateful.


What do you want?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 5:59AM, March 19, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
If the fighting tournament had been only for races from the league of none aligned worlds, so it was kind of their private club, that would have made far more sense.
Or indeed, any sense at all! Ten they could have made it clear that there was a specific list of races that could take part and no others, rather than this sudden pointless and unexplained “Humans are bastards! We hate em!” thing.

Sinclair was so bad it actually made it kind of funny.
I once saw a reviewer (one of those gushing B5 fans who remember the show as perfect when it clearly wasn't) trying to talk about Sinclair an he was saying things like “I liked him, but his acting style never really jelled with the style and writing of the show.”
I was thinking, “its okay, just say he was shit. We all know already, you don't have to pretend!”

Drazi became pretty cool in later episodes, and they certainly looked cool. They basically just didn't mention the utterly ridiculous background they had written for them.
Early on a lot of the races were just introduced for one off episodes with some kind of dumb gimic that was clearly just to tell a stupid aesop that episode.
For example, those retards who all died of some kind of plague which was a really obvious metaphor for aids.
News flash- If you introduce a race in one episode and have them all dead by the end of that episode….No one will care!
It was only later that the aliens in the show were codified so there was a fix list of races.
In the card game (which was bad ass) they assumed anyone with lumpy/bum shaped forehead was a bhakiri and anyone without a nose was a drazi….it actually makes a lot of the early episodes make more sense if you do that!
Harkovast always aims for every race, even those that get only small parts, to be properly designed BEFORE they appear.
All those names on the map? I know what they all mean.
You will NEVER see random walk on animals that dont have a culture worked out appearing in Harkovast.
Aliens of the week shit pisses me off!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 11:17AM, March 19, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
I pretty much agree with everything you said.

Except that the mass extinction thing was a metaphor for AIDS. It clearly wasn't. For one: AIDS isn't airborne, we all know how it's spread so I don't have to go into details… I hope. I'd say it was more like some kinda super-black-plague thing. But yes, here today, gone tomorrow… why were they important again?

I again agree with you about the Raiders too… there was one scene where Ivanova, all alone, chases after one of them and kills it. Then a whole lot more of them show up. And she's like “oh shit.” And then she's back at the station and they're talking about how many repairs her fighter will need. Moral of the story: Raiders suck!

As far as Harkovast goes, you've been thinking about this for a very long time, before you even started the webcomic. I would hope you would have the world more or less understood! Babylon 5 took a bit to get into that…

One more thing. I also really liked the 5th Season. It wasn't “Hey guys, big meanies gone and dead, Earth's doing fine, happy ending time!” I wouldn't call it essential, but it was good to have!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 8:25PM, March 19, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
OH yeah I remember that one with the 50 raiders vs ivonova and she got away!
I assume (at least I hope) she didn't actually kill them all, but the fact hat a small fleet of them could not take out one star fury is a fucking joke.
How the hell do you damage a star fury anyway?
JUst look at those things! Where hte hell could you hit one and not cripple it or destroy it?
Its four engines and a cabin! That is it!
What kind of guns were they firing that managed to hit that thing and yet failed to destroy it?
Also, I always hated that raider ships looked NOTHING like earth vessels.
That is a another thing that made me think they were some kind of alien empire when they first showed up. Their ships were a totally different design to the human ones.
I understand they would not have military grade ships but you expect some of hte design principles to at least be vaguely similar.
In the episode where they goot killed of they attacked the station with a huge fleet and managed to kill about 3 ships or something laughable.
after wards they were saying that with some jewel thing they stole they could buy a dozen more mother ships.
A few problems….
Who the fuck would buy that jewel? Everyone would know it was stolen goods that the centari empire would stop at nothign to recover. Owning it is a fucking death sentance!
Second, who would sell them the ships?
Who the fuck just builds nad sells huge warships to random pirates?
Is there some alien race with dock yards who will build you a military battle ship and just let you take it, no questions asked?
This is not a used car people!
This is the equivilant of me stealing the british crown jewels and then using them to buy a fleet of air craft carriers….THINGS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!
Another flaw in their plan was that all their pilots got killed.
I dont think any of their fighters actually got back.
So now what? Are they going to hire a ton of mercenaries to fly the fighters wiht their new fond wealth? Do these mercs then get a split the profits or a regular pay cheque from now on?
Or do the raiders have dozens more pilots ready to go? Where do these pilots train? Where are they based? Hell, where do any of the raiders live?
Wont people be a little reluctant to sign up to an organisation that takes casualties like they do and always loses? I mean they lost their ENTIRE fighter fleet in a moronic attack on a well defended international space station!
The response to being asked to join them would be something like “are you high?”
When they were obliterated, it really was a blessed relief.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 3:48PM, March 20, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Damaging a Starfury? depends. They seem to have some kind of energy shield that has some trouble stopping anything seriously. Also, it depends on what kind of weapons are being used. If it is a weapon programmed to explode at a certain distance (US soldiers have something similar now) then it wouldn't have to be a direct hit to cause some measure of damage. Plus, blowing off an engine (well, stabilizer as they seem to call it) and not killing anything is technically possible.

As for why the Raiders are designed the way they are? Simple: they are military class human design, but they are multi-role. They are designed to be able to fly in atmosphere (hence the stealth-fighter style design). Star Furies are impossible to fly in atmosphere (just look at them!), and are completely dedicated to space combat. There is a good explanation for that. I would assume they were designed for a kind of quick space-planet assault. Surely you can think of something that would require that, I can.

As for that Jewel… they weren't stupid to assume that the Centari government, or at least someone in the Empire (perhaps an ambitious someone), would pay a huge sum of money for it. Why? The Centari government already payed a huge fee to the person that gave it to Londo at the beginning. That is that. That was more of a finder's fee though… but still, it was buying it back.

As for the Raiders' laughability vis a vis starfuries? I can see why. Raiders can fly in a straight line and turn slowly whereas Starfuries can turn on the spot, move up/down, and side to side on the spot. That would be like putting a WWI biplane against a fighter jet. If you had 70 biplanes against 5 fighters? Or perhaps a spider and a wasp. Wasps win one on one, but it wouldn't make much of a difference if there were a bunch of spiders on the ground too. Yet spiders are good for things that wasps aren't. Its a simple matter of Jack of all trades, master of none.

And its possible that the raiders had plenty of pilots, just not enough ships. Hell, they could have had a moon base or something. Plus if they did sell it then they could buy more mothership things. It's like stealing the Crown Jewels, selling them back, and using the money to get stuff from a third party. Stuff like that has happened in the past. I don't think its entirely as far fetched as you think. Some third parties, particularly in a whole galaxy, are pretty shady… after all, someone sold them a huge warship already!

But, regardless, thank goodness they got wiped out! Bring on the Shadows!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 4:43PM, March 20, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
So your point regarding the raider weapons is that they use a weapon that explodes after a set distance…a ship weapon then?
Why dont they just use energy weapons like everyone else on B5 (adn like we see them using in all the battles they take part in) which would blow a puny star fury to bits one hit? If they have another kind of weapon that is crappier -
a- why do we never see this weapon used?
b- Why would they use such a crappy weapon?

The raider ships are NOT war ships design for atmosphere.
Later on in teh series they have a star fury vaiant with a longer nose that can fly in an atmosphere (they use em to attack mars.) So this still does not justifiy their utterly alien design (Which interestingly looks msot liek a fucking technomage ship!)

if the raiders weakness was deliberate and they are the equivilant of biplanes vs ww2 fighters….why do the radiers attack at all? why dont they flee when ever they see star furies? Why the fuck would they dare attack teh station?
Dont the fighter pilots realise they are signing their own death warrants?
The pilots would not reap any of the profits from their mission.
Were they doing it for some ideological reason? They seemed to just be in it for a cash. Why would you agree to die to make someone ELSE in teh organisation rich?

You also fail to address- WHO would you buy a fleet of motherships from?
Who the hell is selling fleets of air craft carriers to pirates? You would need massive shipyards to make the things, and then you are handing them to pirates who could well use them to attack YOU!
That is insane!

The raiders own a moon?
Well it was implied they all died on teh mothership, as thats the last we see of them.
How do these fuckers recruit people anyway?

The centari would have to be retards to buyteh eye thing back anyway. The raiders have no fighters and jsut one unarmed ship now. Put out a reward! The raiders would never be able to unload the eye (as carrying it would be a death sentance from the centari) and it would be so distinctive, if you did buy it you would have to never show it to anyone EVER!

Sorry but the raiders are not jsut lame but make no sense as well.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 7:11PM, March 20, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
I'm saying that those could be weapons like that. I dunno, it never was mentioned, just speculation. But B5 didn't just use energy weapons. Their early defense grid had what looked like flak guns!

Yes, they were designed for atmosphere. The longer nosed starfury was designed during the course of the series I believe. Probably so they wouldn't have to use Raider ships again. It is constantly mentioned that raiders were designed for atmosphere and starfuries were not. They are pretty outdated though… but I do recall that, plus I've been rewatching the series recently. So the stealth fighter kite design is justified.

The raiders don't seem to bother taking starfuries head on when they can. They attack semi-defenseless transport ships most of the time. When the starfuries do show up, well, the raiders might as well fight because they couldn't escape. That big attack on B5 was decidedly out of character. Evidently they managed to rationalize it, and probably didn't expect to be completely annihilated. They could have been expecting to be able to escape with their ship. Instead the starfuries herded them to a flak kill zone. I think this could best be summarized as, most likely, “no plan survives contact with the enemy.” But if the plan, as I imagine it, had worked some of the fighter pilots would be dead, but some would be significantly more wealthy.

The Narn seem willing to sell whatever to anyone, as they have done business with the raiders in the past (see first episode). However, the point remains that they got that mothership from somewhere. I doubt that they built it. But the ships are obviously human in design, so I would assume someone was churning these things out for someone, a military corporation perhaps? Some of those guys sell to anyone…

They could have a base on a moon/asteroid/etc… doesn't mean they own it… and doesn't mean they did actually have one. But I'm just saying there are plenty of possible explanations…

Recruit people? How do poorly armed bandits get people? Why are there bandits anyway? If they have to fight soldiers who are obviously going to be better than them and chop them into tiny pieces? Desperation? Inability to return to civilian life? There have been plenty of bandits in history, several in worse situations than these fellows.

The bandits were also going to ransom that lord fellow… but not just that. Not all the raiders were necessarily dead, but without that ship they might have decided to just take off and go elsewhere. Goodness knows that I would. So it is possible that they could have been able to sell it off. As I said, the Centari bought it once, they might be willing to do so again. Not entirely unreasonable I think.

Yes, the raiders were lame, but not impossible.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 8:14AM, March 21, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
As soon as the eye was stolen from Londo he would have reported that this had happened (so all centari ships would be on alert to destroy the raider vessel.)
Otherwise, he is a moron.

When the Centari bought the thing the first time, it was buying back a lost relic someone had found.

This time is a little different because someone actually STOLE the thing and was now trying to sell it back.

If the Centari are willing to accept that set up, they are basically saying “Steal from us as much as you like, we will reward you for it every time!”

Open season on the Centari!

This would make the centari almost as stupid as the raiders, AND make the raiders even MORE stupid. Why do the raiders attack anyone but centari ships, if the centari will always pay ransom like suckers?

The Centari lord guy was also an idiot. What the fuck was his plan?
As soon as the eye was stolen, as I mentioned, Londo will have told the authorities so they can try to get it back.
So when he comes back from having been captured by the raiders (who stole the eye) with the eye…├íren't the centari going to be slightly suspicious?
The Raiders one up his moron plan by, rather than just taking their pay and leaving rich men, kidnap the centari guy so they can sell the eye THEMSELVES!
This is insanely dangerous and almost impossible to make work, as I have explained AND sends a message that no one should EVER work with these guys ever again.
Great job raiders. You've now got the centari empire out to kill you horribly, you've got an item you cannot POSSIBLY hope to sell and you've made to clear no one will ever work with you ever again for anything.

You say that the raiders might as well fight star furies because they cant escape…couldn't they all jsut fly in different directions? The Star Furies might not be able to catch all of them.
Certainly they would stand a better chance than the insane kamikaze attacks they seem to mount, flying straight at enemies against whome they stand no chance.
In fact all their behaviour seems to suggest they live by some kind of samurai honour code (fighting to the death, suicide attacks agaisnt B5 where they were obviously all going to die.) They never seem nervous of cautious about a fight and hurl away their lives with no regard at all.
I guess they think they will get paid in heaven?

The attack on B5 was the most insane plan I have ever seen in my life.
Before the attack started I already knew the raiders ships were useless, how come the raiders had not figured this out?
The attack was like Somali pirates deciding to launch a raid on a US carrier group!
Thats not a tactic, a suicide attempt.

It goes without saying that ZERO thought went into these guys.
They were just there to give the heroes someone to fight to show off the space combat without having them being at war (which would go against the point of the show!)
Imagine how much cooler it would have been if the radiers had flown a different variation of star fury? Like an early outdated model.
Then by looking at them visually I would have immediately been clued in that these guys are some kind of rogue human organisation.

I dont actually think they were human produced ships anyway, and here is why.
The radier mother ship also looked NOTHING like anything earth force has ever been shown to use, and I dont think earth force sells surplus weapons and ships to pirates, so the raiders must be buying this shit (and it really is shit) from some very stupid alien empire.

Now I will accept that some dodgey alien might be willing to sell them some weapons and ships, or that the raiders may have salvaged a damaged vessel that was floating in space etc.
But buying one ships is different to buying a fucking fleet!
The raiders should be treating their ships as highly prized, since they don't have factories and industry to build more themselves, and trying to buy huge warships with stolen cash is obviously putting themselves in huge danger.
Instead they happily let their fighters die in droves (if the guys getting killed did not know what would happen, then that just confirms how dumb these guys are!)
as if you can just go down to the local cornershop and order a new fleet, plus a few hundred trained pilots, when ever you want.
“damn, we lost another 12 ships in a futile attempt to fight star furies.”
“Well, I was going to the shops anyway, I Will get some more while I am there.”
“Don't forget to pick up some milk as well.”

The sad fact is that had the shows creators put ANY thought into these guys, they could have been cool. Bad ass, bloodthirsty pirates who flee whenever the authorities come after them and trying to strike deals with more shady alien empires.
But it was so mishandled as to be laughable.
Zero thought went into these guys and it shows.

There is a reason they were never mentioned again after their destruction.
(I dont think the good guys even question how come the raider attacks have all stopped…I guess they were so inconsequential that no one noticed a difference.)

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 11:50AM, March 21, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Wait. The Centari would have fired on a ship that was carrying their holiest of holies? In space? That would make the Centari even stupider! The shadows did it cause they were the shadows, they defy the laws of physics! But thats just a short cut to losing the eye again! Or blowing it up!

Plus, given the state of Centari politics, its more likely that there would be a rush by crazy power hungry families to get the eye and secure themselves as the next emperor. Simplest way is to buy it off em. Besides, not all possible claimants to the throne were as toothless as that fellow in the episode… who thought the raiders would support his claim to the throne. Now, they found that kinda funny. Cause it was stupid! But, Cartagia's son described the struggle to be emperor as a kind of free for all. I mean… Cartagia ended up with the throne!

As for stealing from the Centari all they want… the eye is a special case. I highly doubt that anybody would be able to steal it again after it ended up in the custody of the freaken Emperor! I highly doubt that it would be open season on the Centari.

The plan of the Lord fellow was to get the eye and return home, gather support (which he assumed the raiders would help provide because they agreed to… which is why he is stupid), and make a bid for the throne. If he weren't so pathetic it might have worked too. It isn't a matter of the central government being suspicious or not, it was a matter of being able to force his way into candidate spot #1. From my understanding of politics, it might have worked. In theory.

If this scheme had worked, then the Raiders wouldn't have needed to work for anyone again. Hell, they could have retired comfortably if they wanted.

Fly in different directions, get lost in space, wait for pickup after fuel runs out, and probably suffocate from lack of oxygen? Eeeeh. No thank you sir! They have a better chance against the Starfuries!

Desperation can do funny things. For example, I remember a story where a boat of Somali pirates DID attack an American destroyer (or some other class of warship). Didn't end well. And the raider ships weren't entirely useless… they destroyed 3 starfuries… and maybe would have gotten more if they weren't herded into a killzone.

Little thought went into them, not zero. It requires the assumption that these characters know their own universe better than us. A little suspension of disbelief. Relying on that is dangerous, but I'd say it is possible here.

The Raider ship was designed to launch the space to atmosphere fighters. We don't see Earthforce use those ever, so… but, perhaps you are right, they may not be human in origin, but I think so. After all, Earthforce probably doesn't usually build their own ships. There is probably a design contest or something between competing weapons corporations…

They do get mentioned after destruction. “Raider activity seems to have gone down…” “Must be because we thinned them out!” So they did notice a difference.

Anyway, poorly thought out, not impossible.

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 3:47PM, March 21, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
I suppose it might be possible…but only in a universe where everyone present is an idiot.

The centari could attack the (seemingly unarmed and now fighterless) raider mothership to disable it.
You credit the raiders (whose gear is total shit) with having weapons that wont even destroy a fucking star fury (the most flimsy fighter design in the universe) so I think the centari are capable of disabling a massive ship and not destroying it.
They could also board it (people use boarding attack pods on the show), or just follow it till has to dock somewhere etc then ambush it.
I would assume a modern centari ship is faster, has longer ranger sensors and is all around better than a tatty raider ship, so this shouldn't be that difficult.
And the thing is pretty distinctive! There is only ONE ship on hte show EVER that looks like that!
Put out a notice to bounty hunters, mercs etc, wont be long till someone sees that ship.

As for flying in different directions being a suicide tactic, you actually just hit on another massive flaw in the raiders which shows the shows creator gave them no thought.
Until the carrier ship arrived, the only raiders we saw were the fighters, they showed up without any support (the good guys had never seen a ship like the raider mother ship before as I recall, certainly not in the hands of raiders.)
How do raider fighters NORMALLY get there? There was never a mothership nearby in previous raids. Did they open their own jump points? Fighters on the show cant normally do that, so what gives?
I assumed they would fly in different directions and then flee by the same method they used to get there and then meet up again at a predetermined place. POssibly strip so of the weapons from their ship to carry more fuel so they have more range than a well armed star fury?
Nah that would involve THOUGHT having gone into these guys, and that just cant be allowed.
I just assumed that they would have come up with some kind of plan in case of attack better than “DIE WITH HONOUR!!”

As for the idea that a guy could use human pirates to steal a cherished artifact from a high ranking Centari diplomat and then the other centari would act like
this was not only acceptable but actually good, and rally behind the thief/traitor?
I like to think that a race that mastered space travel are not 100% insane!
If their society is that dumb, how the fuck do they manage to get anything done at all? The raiders should have just planned to fly into the centari empire and declared THEMSELVES emperor! The centari sound so dumb they would have gone for it!
Hell, if I wanted power in teh centari court, I would wait till the guys ship landed, punched him in the face and pulled it out of his hands nad run off.
If they accept him robbing londo for it, they will accept my mugging in teh street for it. My plan is even better…I didn't have to rely on outside alien help!
Its the political equivilant of a fucking game of grab ass!
The centari cannot be that stupid…though in the first series, maybe they were? Most of the aliens seemed about that retarded at that stage.

The lame raider betrayal was pointless, tagged on and went no where.
What would have been better would be if the plan involved murdering Londo (so no one will know he ever had the eye in the first place) and then getting the traiterous lord guy into power so they would be on friendly terms with a powerful alien empire that could then support them.
That would have made some kind of sense for both parties.

The shadows have a special technology on their spider ships that can detect idiocy.
The more dumbness gathers, the faster they are drawn in.
The ass backwards plans of the raiders combined with the ass backwards plans of centari Lord mcdouche were so stupid, that it was like a bright beacon in hyperspace that shone for a million miles. A veritable light house of stupid!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 6:04PM, March 21, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Actually, I recall starfuries being the second best fighter of the major powers (excluding the Vorlons of course), they only regularly get their asses handed to them by the Membari fighters, and that had something to do with stealth systems.

The ship wasn't actually all that massive, it was totally dwarfed by the Shadow ship… I know those are massive, but still. Not warship size. Looking for the damn thing in neutral space? That would be a needle in a haystack thing. The raiders could just threaten to destroy the eye if the Centari did anything. It's a hostage situation that the Centari could not afford to fail at. And neither could the Raiders, cause then they'd be dead. And that ship can make jump points, which means it can run… Plus, what happens if the raiders ditch the ship? Now they're just looking for a bunch of people, only one or two of whom they had actually seen before. Needle? Meet haystack. Centari? start looking. Plus, I doubt that any of the major governments want Centari messing around in their space! Maybe go to Narn space… Hell, the Narns might want to buy the eye themselves!

We saw a base long before that mothership showed up. It was in the first episode. Sinclair used exactly my logic now to find out where the base was. “They can't just scatter, they must have a base… but…” etc. And the mothership was used to explain the raider's doing what they did later on in the season, we just never saw it until that one episode. After all, the other characters didn't know about it, why should we? Us knowing how the raiders are moving about all the time was unnecessary. For example, you didn't tell us what the Heretic was up to exactly until the other characters knew! This doesn't have to always be the case… but it has it's uses.

Then again, the Heretic doesn't seem quite as stupid as the raiders… I wonder what his contingency plan is? Does he have one?

Strip some weapons from their ships? So it takes more time to deal with the merchant ships? And risk starfuries showing up in the first place? Seems more sense to do a “blow em up fast, get out before authorities can respond.” They would probably rely on not normally having to deal with the authorities if they could avoid it. Besides, nobody ever called the raiders geniuses. I assume they thought they could get away with it and not worry about contingency plans.

A word on the Centari. Their politics is not centralized and is based almost entirely on family prestige. The eye is a powerful symbol, but just decking the Emperor and taking it wouldn't do you any good in and of itself. I'm assuming that neither of us are from prestigious Centari families, each with their own personal troops, who could accomplish this. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if someone once did wax the Emperor, grab the eye, move their own troops in, and successfully declare themselves the next Emperor. But that person would have to be powerful and with their own prestige and strikeforce… Being able to buy the eye? That would be great for someone wanting a leg up, and everyone wanted a leg up!

Londo gets Cartagia killed, and presto, winds up Emperor, though not immediately. I suspect the situation I described would best suit Vir after Londo croaked. Even if Vir didn't kill Londo himself…

Yes, Machiavelli would love the Centari. Such behaviour is far from 100% insane though. It's essentially how the Romans behaved, and they lasted a good amount of time!

The Centari government did know that Londo had the eye, or would be getting it, long before the episode began. They had paid for it and he was supposed to retrieve it and hand it over. Londo was essentially a middleman. So murdering Londo doesn't really make sense, kinda looks suspicious, yes? Getting the traitorous Lord into power would be a lot more difficult and risky than attacking B5, which you call stupid. Lord Dumbass Mcgee had NO power or backing without the raiders, he was completely desperate and useless. Now, if I were them, I'd betray him too! If anyone was stupid there, or most stupid, it was the Lord fellow. A further problem with your plan would be that these raiders would be expecting to actually be supported once this Lord fellow was emperor. If that did happen, well, any Emperor worth their salt would have them liquidated.

I do agree that there was some lack of thought, but the raiders could generally make sense. Same with the Centari political structure (read: snake pit), which has a successful human basis.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 6:49PM, March 21, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
I would think to take on unarmed merchant ships you would not need very many weapons at all.
The threat of “we have fighters, we will attack you!” should be enough for most (sane) people to surrender.
Of course we never saw the raiders do that, because the raiders are idiots.
Mind you, maybe people figured out the raiders are shit and mostly just take their chances fighting them.
These idiots cant destroy a single star fury with 50 ships, so flying away from them gives you pretty good odds.

The set up you describe could indeed lead to a stalemate.
The raiders need to keep the eye so the centari don't kill them, and the centari may not be able to attack for fear of the eye being damage.
That seems to leave both sides stuck.
The only difference between the two sides is the centari can wait to get the eye back, while the raiders have lost all their fighters and if they don't unload that thing fast their entire organisation will disintegrate.
The centari only have to hound hte raiders for a few months and one their supplies run out they will just give themselves up.
Unless they all commit samurai suicide…that is an option for these suicidal fucktards.

Maybe the narn would take them in, but even the narn liked to keep their dodgey deals with raiders on the quiet. Openly welcoming raiders and paying them for their stolen goods would annoy the centari, but it would be a diplomatic disaster as it would be a slap in the face to every nation that has been attacked by those guys.
That is on the level of me welcoming osama bin laden into my country cause I know that would really annoy saudi arabia.
There are more consequences then just “nah nah! look what I did!”

Even if the centari agree to buy it (because they are morons I guess) how would such an exchange even work? The difficulties is handing over the eye without the centari killing them all seem massive.

Yes the raiders can use jump points, but eventually they will have to go somewhere to reply their shitty ship (raider crews are so dumb they probably don't complain if you under feed them, but their stupidity might also damage the ship a lot, so it will even out.)

Where the fuck do the raiders keep recruiting from anyway?
If their base got destroyed in the first episode…wouldn't that mean they were fucked? I mean even if they have a mother ship already, that would still seem to suggest their organisation would be crippled by such loss? Mind you, with these idiots, their default is so bad you cant really tell when they are fucked or not.
Where do they buy all the star ship fuel their ships need?
I assume all those big engines and energy weapons use a lot of power, that has to come from somewhere.
Or do they have their own nuclear power plant?
Along with their own moon.
And training camp.
And civilian population to produce more people.
And all the other shit they need to support their goofy plans?

The events only make sense if I assume that the raiders are entirely retarded.
Maybe those funny triangle ships leek radiation that makes you an idiot.

Lastly, the fact they had a base to flee to in the first episodes means that they could have scattered and then regrouped at the base later.
There was no need to madly rush against the fighters and get themselves killed.
Argh! I hate the raiders so much!
They personify everything I hate when people make shit up for fantasy and sci fi.
They are so poorly realised and developed it is like some kind of deliberate joke from the writers.

As for the Heretic, we will have to wait and see how his plans play out…

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 7:54PM, March 21, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Raiders didn't tend to get the merchants to surrender, they blew them up, then took their stuff. You don't surrender to someone going to kill you anyway.

Okay, remember the head start the raiders have over Centari giving chase. Then, think about how vast space is. Then realize that Centari have to basically stick to international rules. Couldn't be that difficult to disappear before the Centari even start looking. After all, Centari aren't omnipotent.

The Narn wouldn't have to announce it to the world, er, Galaxy! They were willing to take in humans during the Earth-Membari war, and they were willing to sell weapons to the humans. So…

I presume they would sell the eye once they had gone to ground somewhere. Then, they would get a money transfer to certain bank accounts, etc… thats how the Centari government paid for the eye in the first place…

It's kinda hard to track people in hyperspace. And the Raiders can go places that the Centari cannot.

Apparently their entire operation wasn't fucked after the first episode, damaged, yes, but fucked? No. There are a multitude of reasons for that, which could be either the case or not.

I'm not a walking encyclopedia of B5 information, I can't answer all these questions. But I could easily imagine answers that wouldn't require raiders to be entirely stupid.

Depends. If they had scattered and ended up with not enough fuel to regroup later then they die of lack of oxygen. A far more likely outcome if they expected to get away from pursuing starfuries. So, running is probably not that smart. I dunno, point is, some imagination can explain it in a satisfactory way. Not everyone can be a Tolkien! Or you, who could afford to take the time to make such a flushed out world. Good for you! You beat out Strazinsky.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 8:35PM, March 21, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Wait…they blow up ships and THEN take their stuff?
There is something slightly wrong with that tactic.

And why would they kill everyone?
If they are just in it to make money, it is easier, cheaper and safer just to get people to surrender, take their stuff and let them go.
it is not like they will be witnesses. All they will witness is your space ships, and everyone knows what those look like already.

That is what somali pirates do these days. They take people for ransom and then trade them back.
They only very rarely kill people, because there is no profit to be gained from doing so.
(In fact it would harm their operation by telling everyone else never to surrender to them if they murdered prisoners.)

Dear God…we need to stop taking about fucking Raiders.
I think this is the most text those guys have ever had devoted to them.
Certainly the shows creators did not give them this much thought!

Just wait till you read what I have to say about Crusade…no more Mr Nice guy!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 10:38PM, March 21, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Well. If it worked For Geoffery Rush's character in Pirates of the Caribbean… it could work for these losers. Put enough holes in the ship to kill everyone and then go and grab stuff. They don't actually make the whole ship go BooM!

Thing with the Somali pirates is that those people actually have some value… apparently the raiders don't think that they will get enough from ransom. Or the time it would take is too risky, or something.

Strazinsky has stated that he prefers to focus less on violence and more on character etc. Maybe explains the dark blot of the unknown that is the raider's background and methods. In fact, one of the reasons Crusade stopped is because Strazinsky didn't want to just add violence, there was some more, but the two show-making factions involved just didn't get along. I'm not gonna complain though. Crusade was terrible. So terrible I don't remember all that much of it.

B5 was never meant to be some kind of Kill Bill slaughter gore fest. There was death and all that, but it never got particularly gruesome. I mean, even the torture devices didn't actually draw blood. Apparently that wasn't doing it for some audiences. Eh. Bloody Philistines! At least B5 itself was finished before they could ruin it.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM

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