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Old October 27th 04, 13:40   #26
GKarsEye
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 16,754
Re: EpDis: Soul Hunter

FWIW, I also accept the possibility that soul hunters captured personality and/or memory matrixes, as Franklin suggested.

We know that people can interpret "mundane" events as religious experiences. Imagine a technology so advanced in the face of people prone to "spiritual" interpretation.

We don't know the origins or history of soul hunters. We don't know what came first, their spiritual beliefs or their technology, or if they're related, or whatnot.

Alternative, logical explanations for religious phenomena is a constant theme throughout the series. The biggest example is the very basis of Minbari religion, based on "prophecies" of a dude the just went back in time. Even the Centauri "prophecies" and dreaming of their own deaths have possible logical explanations.

Now let's say Franklin's explanation was true. Imagine your intellect and memory were ripped out of your body and preserved, and you're this weird tihng in a ball. If you felt you were ripped out early, wouldn't you be pissed? Sure would explain how they charged the wacko Soul Hunter. The whole deal with that guy was that he was soul-collecting too early, fearing a repeat of the Dukat situation.

One thing we never really learn (unless it was in the movie River of Souls, which I haven't watched in ages) is if the other soul-balls are happy with where they are. Maybe the ones kept by the "sane" soul hunters are glad that they're somehow preserved.

The interesting thing about a soul is that it's not a clearly defined concept, like god. Everyone kind of has their own definition of it. In a very real sense, Franklin's and Delenn's perception of what the soul hunters do is actually the same- not allowing the natural act of death take its course. The only difference is that Delenn believes that it tangibly and directly removes from the "soul pool." This premise is true if you define the soul as the collection of thoughts, memories, and personality of an individual. If, however, you think of the soul as some ghostly thing inhabiting a body that literally travels up and down and is reborn, that's a different story.

The god analogy I made is that some people think of god as the collection of everything in the universe, known and unkown, fate, luck, "destiny," etc, while some think of him as a specific being of his own with wants or needs or laws. The former is more similar to an atheist than they realise.

Remember- B5 keeps things open, so no, you can't say for sure that in the B5 universe souls exist and that's a fact. We just don't know enough, and we haven't even defined "soul." This is to be expected from the personal brainchild of an atheist sympathetic to and respectful of religion.

As for Sheppard's acting, I think it's pretty ballsy, but annoying (especially the chanting). Just think of what he had to portray: a truly alien creature, part of some weird cult of people who travel around the galaxy collecting souls(!). You can't expect them to act human (my big criticism of Martin Sheen in River of Souls). Now add losen a screw of this dude's mental makeup and a twisted guilt complex and all bets are off.
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