B5TV.COM

B5TV.COM (http://www.b5tv.com/index.php)
-   B5.world (http://www.b5tv.com/forumdisplay.php?f=17)
-   -   The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=11981)

love_nutz2 September 3rd 10 23:54

The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
I'm looking to define the races of babylon 5, I've got two figured out but I need a bit of help, here what I got so far.


Earth Alliance:

http://starbaseatlanta.com/catalog/i...pin%5B1%5D.jpg

Its pretty clear who we are base, the main archetype is clearly Arthur C. Clark, his works are translated to the technology of the show, from the gravity axis on the ships is clearly show in 2010: the year we make contact, Phillip K. Dick also shows some influences the dark aspect of the Earth Alliance and along with Mars, etc. If you wish to add further, be free to do so. I also suspect isaac asimov's foundation books to be a bases and a hint of starship troopers also.

http://www.b5tech.com/oldb5tech/eart...gax/omegax.jpg

Centauri Republic:

http://www.bakers-place.co.uk/abcimages/centauri1.gif

These guys are clearly based off Dune, with the royal houses, the monarchy systems, etc. but they appear to be heavy based on the House Harkonnen for the most part, but with slight hints of House Atreides too for redeeming qualities.

http://www.b5tech.com/oldb5tech/cent...ps/vorchan.jpg

Narn Regime:

http://www.bakers-place.co.uk/abcimages/narnregime.gif

Now, I have no clue who the Narn are based off, but I would suspect fremen from the Dune novels also, be free to correct me.

http://www.b5tech.com/oldb5tech/narn...hips/gquan.jpg

Minbari Federation:

http://www.shipschematics.net/b5/images/minbari.gif

Not a clue to be fair, but I'm guessing a novel series with space nomads?

http://www.b5tech.com/oldb5tech/minb...in/sharlin.jpg


Give us your opinions and ad more expansive knowledge to this thread.

Mike G September 9th 10 18:23

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Why are you assuming that all of the races are based on something else?
Also, I always saw Earth Alliance as a stand in for the United States.
President, Vice President, Joint Chiefs, Governors. Military chain of command headed by the Civilian Government (President).
Earth Dome = Washington DC
Senate = Congress
Earth Force One = Air Force One

Jan September 9th 10 18:54

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
I agree with Mike G. While many elements may have flavored various aspects of B5, JMS is far too creative to have just taken other people's work and adapt it for his own use.

Jan

Triple F September 9th 10 21:08

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Arthur C. Clark’s work is clearly translated to the technology of the show!?

How did you come to that conclusion. Because of one similarity between one design used in 2010 and one used in Babylon 5!?

JoeD80 September 10th 10 02:45

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
I recall Joe stating the Centauri were based on the Roman Empire, but it's not an exact 1-1 correlation either.

KoshN September 10th 10 04:17

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeD80 (Post 364893)
I recall Joe stating the Centauri were based on the Roman Empire, but it's not an exact 1-1 correlation either.

That's who the Centauri remind me of. The Minbari are like the Japanese, IMO.

Sindatur September 10th 10 05:17

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 364896)
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeD80 (Post 364893)
I recall Joe stating the Centauri were based on the Roman Empire, but it's not an exact 1-1 correlation either.

That's who the Centauri remind me of. The Minbari are like the Japanese, IMO.

Agreed on both acounts, I almost posted that the first night the OP went up.

But then I noticed the "based on fictional sci-fi books" in the thread title, and thought it was an inappropriate answer for the question, despite the fact that it questioned the Question?

Republibot 3.0 September 10th 10 20:08

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by love_nutz2 (Post 364780)
I'm looking to define the races of babylon 5, I've got two figured out but I need a bit of help, here what I got so far.


Earth Alliance:

http://starbaseatlanta.com/catalog/i...pin%5B1%5D.jpg

Its pretty clear who we are base, the main archetype is clearly Arthur C. Clark, his works are translated to the technology of the show, from the gravity axis on the ships is clearly show in 2010: the year we make contact, Phillip K. Dick also shows some influences the dark aspect of the Earth Alliance and along with Mars, etc. If you wish to add further, be free to do so. I also suspect isaac asimov's foundation books to be a bases and a hint of starship troopers also.

http://www.b5tech.com/oldb5tech/eart...gax/omegax.jpg

Centauri Republic:

http://www.bakers-place.co.uk/abcimages/centauri1.gif

These guys are clearly based off Dune, with the royal houses, the monarchy systems, etc. but they appear to be heavy based on the House Harkonnen for the most part, but with slight hints of House Atreides too for redeeming qualities.

http://www.b5tech.com/oldb5tech/cent...ps/vorchan.jpg

Narn Regime:

http://www.bakers-place.co.uk/abcimages/narnregime.gif

Now, I have no clue who the Narn are based off, but I would suspect fremen from the Dune novels also, be free to correct me.

http://www.b5tech.com/oldb5tech/narn...hips/gquan.jpg

Minbari Federation:

http://www.shipschematics.net/b5/images/minbari.gif

Not a clue to be fair, but I'm guessing a novel series with space nomads?

http://www.b5tech.com/oldb5tech/minb...in/sharlin.jpg


Give us your opinions and ad more expansive knowledge to this thread.

If I was going to say the various species of B5 were based on anything other than JMS' imagination, I'd assume it was from fantasy. For instance, it'd be easier to say the Minbari are based on the Middle Earth Elves than it would on anything else.

But seriously: The EA is the earth writ large, the Centauri is the Roman Empire on the cusp of decline (I think JMS even said so once), The Narn represent any oppressed, underpriveleged poor people who've gained their freedom and fallen unwisely into a bananna republic situation, those all seem pretty obvious to me.

Clarke didn't *invent* the concept of a spaceship revolving for gravity, by the way. That was already pretty common by the 1930s. There's eleventy jillion 1950s stories set on revolving space stations, including the (pretty good) Venus Equilateral series. The Agamemnon *was* pretty clearly ripped off from the Leonov in 2010, but that's taken from the movie, not the book.

Triple F September 10th 10 22:33

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 (Post 364914)
Clarke didn't *invent* the concept of a spaceship revolving for gravity, by the way. That was already pretty common by the 1930s. There's eleventy jillion 1950s stories set on revolving space stations, including the (pretty good) Venus Equilateral series. The Agamemnon *was* pretty clearly ripped off from the Leonov in 2010, but that's taken from the movie, not the book.

Ripped-Off!!!! You don’t want to go there. ; )

Remember, the guy who designed the Omega also designed the Cortez deep space explorer and didn’t include any ‘nod’ of acknowledgement to Syd Mead’s design for the Leonov (and we’re only talking about one element - the rotating section here), but did include some of the other visual cues from the Omega, for this second design, for continuity purposes.

Though your correct of course, in Clark’s novel he specifically pointed out the Leonov had no gravity.

By the way, when I asked Syd Mead about the similarities here’s the reply I got from his partner and fellow designer, Roger Servick

Quote:

I hope this brief response provided by Syd Mead will provide the information you requested. Quite simply, the actions on the part of the Omega’s designers are not really a form of intellectual theft as they have developed these ideas in harmony with a wide range of alternate ideas. The body of work is what stands on it's own here and no credit or acknowledgement could be expected for an individual entity. As you mentioned, the similarity strengthens the credibility of that particular model with its “could be” physics. If Syd Mead provided some inspiration, so much the better. The truth is known to those that really count and those that really care.
The phrase Ripped-Off implies theft, and hints at a lack of understanding that artists (specifically in the visual mediums) have included ‘nods’ to other artists for hundreds of years. Mischievous was the word Bryant used when describing the nod, and that was mainly because he knew it would piss off jms when someone noticed it and question him about it. It’s a bit like Everett over on Optic Nerve going to add some Klingons as background aliens early on but bottled out. If they had I wonder how many angry Trek fans would have started up with Ripping-Off claims. ; )

love_nutz2 September 12th 10 01:16

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Triple F (Post 364885)
Arthur C. Clark’s work is clearly translated to the technology of the show!?

How did you come to that conclusion. Because of one similarity between one design used in 2010 and one used in Babylon 5!?

There a lot of elements in there, the space suit design, the communication system, etc another example that was devised by physicist Gerard K. O'Neill that was used for the B5 station was the O'Neill cylinder.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%27Neill_cylinder

@Mike G first post:

Well I only said technology wise, and aesthetic designs for EA, never said much about political standings, it was clear there based on modern earth but with technology advanced to that level, were never going to be like star trek, were'll still be pity, greedy, selfish human beings.

@Sindatur

Quote:

But then I noticed the "based on fictional sci-fi books" in the thread title, and thought it was an inappropriate answer for the question, despite the fact that it questioned the Question?
There clearly some winks and nods here and there to other great sci-fi epics like what Triple F said.


@Jan

Quote:

I agree with Mike G. While many elements may have flavored various aspects of B5, JMS is far too creative to have just taken other people's work and adapt it for his own use.
Where does creative inspiration come from? from other works, from real life event, most sci-fi is a social message to modern times.

@JoeD80

Quote:

I recall Joe stating the Centauri were based on the Roman Empire, but it's not an exact 1-1 correlation either.
That could be another influence, I'm not discounting it, not at all, I'd embrace that concept, but I'd still believe Dune's House Harkonnen has another influence on the Centauri

Boredom September 28th 10 19:25

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
I think Centauri Republic were more closer to the Byzantine empire (of history book) with all the plotting and backstabbing even to the eve of final Turkish assault.

And the Minbari is closer to the elves of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Somehow that one always find it's way to space operas.

Boredom November 2nd 10 08:58

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 (Post 364914)
The Narn represent any oppressed, underpriveleged poor people who've gained their freedom and fallen unwisely into a bananna republic situation, those all seem pretty obvious to me.

The Narn is Central Europe of the 30s. After centuries of occupation, they regained independence and started picking on their former masters, namely German-Austrian-Russian. Eventually, their old masters called their bluff and slammed them, while the other great forces just watched in terror.

Republibot 3.0 November 2nd 10 17:06

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Triple F (Post 364917)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 (Post 364914)
Clarke didn't *invent* the concept of a spaceship revolving for gravity, by the way. That was already pretty common by the 1930s. There's eleventy jillion 1950s stories set on revolving space stations, including the (pretty good) Venus Equilateral series. The Agamemnon *was* pretty clearly ripped off from the Leonov in 2010, but that's taken from the movie, not the book.

Ripped-Off!!!! You don’t want to go there. ; )

Remember, the guy who designed the Omega also designed the Cortez deep space explorer and didn’t include any ‘nod’ of acknowledgement to Syd Mead’s design for the Leonov (and we’re only talking about one element - the rotating section here), but did include some of the other visual cues from the Omega, for this second design, for continuity purposes.

Though your correct of course, in Clark’s novel he specifically pointed out the Leonov had no gravity.

By the way, when I asked Syd Mead about the similarities here’s the reply I got from his partner and fellow designer, Roger Servick

Quote:

I hope this brief response provided by Syd Mead will provide the information you requested. Quite simply, the actions on the part of the Omega’s designers are not really a form of intellectual theft as they have developed these ideas in harmony with a wide range of alternate ideas. The body of work is what stands on it's own here and no credit or acknowledgement could be expected for an individual entity. As you mentioned, the similarity strengthens the credibility of that particular model with its “could be” physics. If Syd Mead provided some inspiration, so much the better. The truth is known to those that really count and those that really care.
The phrase Ripped-Off implies theft, and hints at a lack of understanding that artists (specifically in the visual mediums) have included ‘nods’ to other artists for hundreds of years. Mischievous was the word Bryant used when describing the nod, and that was mainly because he knew it would piss off jms when someone noticed it and question him about it. It’s a bit like Everett over on Optic Nerve going to add some Klingons as background aliens early on but bottled out. If they had I wonder how many angry Trek fans would have started up with Ripping-Off claims. ; )

You are right, and I most humbly apologize. It was ill-chosen. The Omega Carousel was an homage to the Leonov, not a ripoff. <G>

Republibot 3.0 November 2nd 10 17:09

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Boredom (Post 365210)
I think Centauri Republic were more closer to the Byzantine empire (of history book) with all the plotting and backstabbing even to the eve of final Turkish assault.

And the Minbari is closer to the elves of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Somehow that one always find it's way to space operas.

I recall JMS saying that the Centauri were "Rome on the cusp of decline." I totally agree that the late Byzantine era is a much, much better fit, and the Narn are a good fit for the Turks as well.

Republibot 3.0 November 2nd 10 17:13

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Boredom (Post 366001)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 (Post 364914)
The Narn represent any oppressed, underpriveleged poor people who've gained their freedom and fallen unwisely into a bananna republic situation, those all seem pretty obvious to me.

The Narn is Central Europe of the 30s. After centuries of occupation, they regained independence and started picking on their former masters, namely German-Austrian-Russian. Eventually, their old masters called their bluff and slammed them, while the other great forces just watched in terror.

I can certainly see that, but one can also argue that they're Islamic: A proud people with a very long history and a strong religious dedication to the Prophet, subjugated by foreign powers who in general treated them really badly. Now that they're free again, they lash out at anything they precieve as threat to their independence. I always felt they were more Muslim than anything else, an emerging power with a somewhat spartan outlook, a very strong martial code, and a kind of austere beauty

Raw Shark November 2nd 10 20:11

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
JMS said at some point that the Narns are like the Israelis. They're so traumatized by their past that they have adopted a form of ultra-nationalism, which sometimes blinds them to the consequences of their actions. And their will to resist the Centauri at every turn eventually leads them right back to the Centauri occupation they had worked so hard to escape.

Serbia, too, ultra-nationalists, who were devastated in World War I, but by the war's end were finally independent. G'kar's plan to assassinate Emperor Turhan echoes the plan of Gavrilo Princip, and though his plan didn't work out, the war happened anyway.

They also reminded me of the Soviet character after World War II, traumatized as a people, nationalistic, but strong and belligerent, and not always reasonable.

Raw Shark

"I know they're losing this war! Anyone smart enough to pour piss out of a boot knows they're losing this war!"
Lyndon Johnson, Path To War

Republibot 3.0 November 3rd 10 16:20

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raw Shark (Post 366012)
JMS said at some point that the Narns are like the Israelis. They're so traumatized by their past that they have adopted a form of ultra-nationalism, which sometimes blinds them to the consequences of their actions. And their will to resist the Centauri at every turn eventually leads them right back to the Centauri occupation they had worked so hard to escape.

Well that settles it. Having it pointed out to me, I can totally see it now.

A_M_Swallow November 4th 10 02:24

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
I thought the telepaths were the Jews.

Boredom November 9th 10 07:41

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Republibot 3.0 (Post 366030)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raw Shark (Post 366012)
JMS said at some point that the Narns are like the Israelis. They're so traumatized by their past that they have adopted a form of ultra-nationalism, which sometimes blinds them to the consequences of their actions. And their will to resist the Centauri at every turn eventually leads them right back to the Centauri occupation they had worked so hard to escape.

Well that settles it. Having it pointed out to me, I can totally see it now.

Yeah. However, JMS might had Israelis in mind when he designed the N'arn, but with the way the story turned out, I don't think it's Israel. The Israel state never (at least openly) lashed against European. Their troublemaking activities are mostly against their neighboring Middle Eastern countries, and you can say that it's roughly tit for tat attitude for both parties, not to mention that the Arabs are unable to conquer the Israel (yet:evil:). Also, the N'arn didn't lash at everyone, they focused their hatred towards Centauri. You can saw some attitude like that by the Poles and Czech towards Germany, or more recently by the Muslims towards Western civilizations.

Boredom January 21st 11 12:55

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike G (Post 364879)
Why are you assuming that all of the races are based on something else?
Also, I always saw Earth Alliance as a stand in for the United States.
President, Vice President, Joint Chiefs, Governors. Military chain of command headed by the Civilian Government (President).
Earth Dome = Washington DC
Senate = Congress
Earth Force One = Air Force One

1918, after his final push, the Kaiser realized that it's all over. His generals staff informed him that they had nothing more to throw at the advancing allied forces. Meanwhile, after long years of terrible war, the Allied sigh in relief for not having to fight it all the way to Berlin. They stopped their armies at the border. Hence, no sacking, no looting, no rape, no massacre, nothing, and as far as proud German people concerned, the war wasn't lost, and their politicians had just turned chicken and betrayed them with the Treaty of Versailles. They only felt the humiliation and the heavy burden of the undeserved peace treaty. Adolf Hitler rose to prominence capitalizing on such feelings. Using the discontents, first he forced his way to become Hindenburg's second. Then he got rid of the old man. And as a final coup, disbanded the parliament and assumed total control of the government, suppressing all oppositions. Now he had freehand to lash out at all directions, all the while entertaining his xenophobic and ethnic cleansing pet programmes.

Alioth March 25th 11 00:48

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
The Minbari remind me a bit of the Mri in CJ Cherryh's Faded Sun trilogy. Not a lot of similarity, except in the aspect of their caste divisions, segregation of information to within these castes, and their Spartan and somewhat fatalistic acceptance of duty without understanding, with a deeply instilled sense of honor. And their mythos that they were created from the stars (which it is true that all the matter we're made of came from the insides of exploded stars, but spiritually they see this as well, rather than "from the earth" or "from dust", which is also true in the same fashion). Everything else diverges greatly from there, and their fates are certainly very different, but that aspect of Minbari culture struck me as familiar from having read this trilogy (a long time ago).

I'm treating this thread, btw, as a place to point out similarities with other fictional races in sci-fi, without in any way suggesting or implying JMS lifted these.

Alioth March 25th 11 01:15

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
The "Moties" in Niven and Pournelle's Mote in God's Eye also have these kind of castes and segregation of information and purpose, only it carries further into physical differences and evolutionary branching.

I'm not sure if Minbari caste placement is based on birth or an individual's "calling"--the other two examples are based on birth (IIRC in the case of the Mri). We do know they can change castes, which is different from the other cases.

GKarsEye March 25th 11 16:02

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
I've definitely always connected the races to historical nations:

Earth: post WWI Germany. The United States, 19th century. Expansionary, arrogant, a new power, alternately fascinating or distasteful to other nations. The new kids on the block in terms of political power.

Centauri: Roman empire, natch.

Narn: post-WW1/Ottoman Arab/Persian mid-east nation state. Justifiably angry, corrupt, expansionary, major chip on their shoulder, tribal.

Minbari: India or Chinese at the height of their power, i.e., Moghuls or Han Dynasty. Militarily powerful but strongly spiritual. Caste system.

League of Non-Alligned Worlds: current Europe.

Alioth March 26th 11 01:23

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
The League of Non-Aligned Worlds reminded me more of the Non-Aligned Movement started by the Bandung Conference in 1955, a response by many third-world nations to the Cold War and the last vestiges of colonialism. These nations had little say in the direction of the emerging world order, and wanted to assert more say by banding together. Likewise, the Non-Aligned worlds felt they were given little say (c.f. Deathwalker) in Galactic affairs and were willing to flex their muscles as a group when need be to have more say. But they ended up divided in the Shadow War, which was kind of analogous to the Cold War (non-engagement between Shadows and Vorlons, using younger races as proxies)--just as no real third-world bloc emerged strong enough to counter the use of these nations as pawns in the Cold War.

The ISA was kind of like a European Union though, only encompassing most of the "world" (galaxy).

RW7427 March 26th 11 02:35

Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books
 
This is how the B5 races remind me...

Minbari...the British Empire at its height during colonial times
Humans...the United States and its rise to superpower status
Centauri...the French of Napoleon's time
Narns...Russia and its rise to superpower status
Vorlons...China during the mysterious closed Communist years


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:50.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
©2001 - 2008 B5TV.COM