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Old February 9th 18, 20:32   #2
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Re: Telepathy - why not use it more often?

Originally Posted by Zimmix View Post
I have always had questions about why telepathic ability was never used as often as it could have been. Especially by the Centauri.
Specifically, during the time Londo was with Emperor Cartagia and was plotting to assassinate him with the help of G'kar. Cartagia might have been insane, but the total lack of telepaths and telepathic use during this time by the Emperor is mystifying.
When Londo was trying to convince Cartagia to get rid of the Shadow fleet being harbored on Centauri Prime, one would think Cartagia might use a telepath to read Londo's thoughts. Or again when Londo was trying to convince Cartagia to go to Narn (to execute G'kar) one would think Cartagia might use a telepath to scan him.
There are many other instances where telepaths could have been used to "force" the truth from people. Any thoughts?
Welcome Zimmix! Thanks for posting.

This is a question I have often pondered, especially given that the Centauri are supposed to know how they will die. Of course there is the question of Cartagia's sanity, but I think there is also a question of Centauri Telepaths.

This is pure speculation and my own way of looking at it that is likely in no way close to what JMS intended, but here are some thoughts. We know that Emperor Turhan had Telepaths around him so it only makes sense that Cartagia would too. However, I am not so sure Centauri Telepaths were particularly strong. Thinking back to Passing Through Gethsemane 3.4 remember that there was a Centauri Telepath who was able to mess with Brother Edward, but when it came down to it he was no match for Lyta. At this stage in the series no one knew Lyta might be more powerful than she had been before. My theory is that maybe Centauri Telepaths lean more toward Premonition than direct Telepathy. Maybe Centauri Telepaths just aren't very powerful. And if that theory sounds crazy you can always fall back on the Cartagia insanity defense. If he truly was mentally ill there is no telling how he would react to what anyone told him, including the premonitions of his own dreams.

As far as the use of Telepaths generally in Babylon 5 I think we need to fall back on the very boring explanation that Telepaths are just a plot device of the storyteller. So logically one might think Telepaths would have been used a great deal more in the real world, but JMS decided they were a tool to be used only when he needed them in the Babylon 5 Universe. Now what was GENIUS about JMS' use of Telepaths is that he gave us one HUGE reason why we don't see them more in the Babylon 5 Universe, at least where Humans were concerned, and that is that very few characters showed any trust in Telepaths. I think this is a brilliant story tool that just so happens to seem like a truly logical prediction of what would happen if Telepaths were a reality.

Last edited by Looney; February 9th 18 at 20:37.
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