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Old September 28th 10, 19:25   #11
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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.
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Old November 2nd 10, 08:58   #12
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Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books

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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.
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Old November 2nd 10, 17:06   #13
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Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books

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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

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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>
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Old November 2nd 10, 17:09   #14
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Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books

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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.
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Old November 2nd 10, 17:13   #15
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Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books

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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
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Old November 2nd 10, 20:11   #16
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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.

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Old November 3rd 10, 16:20   #17
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Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books

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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.
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Old November 4th 10, 02:24   #18
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Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books

I thought the telepaths were the Jews.
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Old November 9th 10, 07:41   #19
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Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books

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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). 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.

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Old January 21st 11, 12:55   #20
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Re: The races of Babylon 5 based on fictional sci-fi books

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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.
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