Chris Beilby (
Thu, 01 Jun 2000 02:31:23 GMT

>I will say, however, that I think B5 is sorely lacking when compared
>to Gundam in that the enemy they face is ultimately the physical
>embodiment of evil and its machinations. Whereas in Gundam, the enemy
>is often a rather likeable fellow who just happens to have a
>different ideology. In fact, as a whole I find it to be a bit of a
>cop out whenever writers make the enemy unimaginably evil. One of the
>things I have always thought put Gundam ahead of most of the rest of
>sci-fi, is that who the bad guy is, often is dependent on what
>character you are watching at the moment. B5 on the other hand had
>the forces of good, the forces of evil, and most of the interactions
>you speak of are an issue of characters trying to strike compromises
>and deals with the two sides in order to preserve or gain something.
>This is better than something like Star Wars, but still not quite as
>far a departure from the mold as something like Gundam or VOTOMS. UC
>Gundam reads like the American war of independence, and the only
>decision of what is good or evil comes directly from whether the
>story is being told by the British or Americans. To my knowledge B5
>never devoted a season to showing the reasonable motives of the
>shadows, then showing how valiantly and bravely they did whatever
>they could to defend themselves from Sheridan's psychotic genocidal

This is not exactly true. There are two major enemies in Babylon 5 in two
different major conflicts: The Shadows and President Clark's regieme. I'll
take both of these in order...

Why don't you try rewatching the final episodes in the 'War Without End'
story arc (The Shadow War, covering season 3.) By the end of this story
arc, you begin to see that neither the Shadows nor the Vorlons are the
ultimate incarnations of good or evil. They are just as flawed and as
selfish as the other races, and neither side has any hesitation to use and
manipulate the younger races of the galaxy for their own purposes. By the
end of season 3, both of the major manipulators have been discredited, and
have lost most of their influence.

As for the other major conflict, the schism within the Earth Alliance, while
it may not be quite in the shades of grey that Gundam's Zeon/Federation
conflict is painted in, it's still pretty far from absolute black and white.
  For years following the civil war, there are still personal conflicts
going on within EarthForce and even within individual families as a result
of old friends or family members being on opposite sides during the war.
And before you say that there is no hint that the 'enemy' had likeable
sorts, remember that Captain Lockley sided with President Clark during the
civil war, yet she was still handpicked by Sheridan to command the station

Basically, saying that Babylon 5 is about the battle between Good and Evil
is doing it as much of a disservice as saying that Gundam is just another
Giant Robot show... Babylon 5 is less about the battle of the ultimate good
against the ultimate evil than it is about the battle between good and evil
within the human heart. Just try to rewatch the show, and you might see
this... It's about the triumph of humanity over our inner beast...
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