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Old November 4th 02, 17:46   #1
RW7427
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G\'Kar question

I watched In the Beginning last night, and I thought of something I wanted to ask everyone here their opinion on. I've thought of this before when I've watched this movie, but I decided to post on it this time and see what others think.

My question has to do with G'Kar. He is in ItB, of course, and at one point in the movie, they are about to send Sheridan and Franklin out to meet Lenonn to discuss finding a peaceful end to the Earth-Minbari war. G'Kar announces that he is going along to be the mediator because he is fluent in both Minbari and English.

My question is, if G'Kar wasn't yet an ambassador, why would he have reason to learn Minbari and English? I don't remember the Narns having much contact with the Humans before this, except maybe during the Dilgar War because both planets were involved in it. And I certainly don't see alot of need for him to learn Minbari. Perhaps if he was in the Kah'Ri at the time, he needed to learn those languages for diplomatic reasons. But if he was not a part of the Kah'Ri then, the only way I can see him learning both langauges was in an effort to help free Narn from the first Centauri occupation, the one where he said in Dust to Dust that his father was killed because he spilled hot jhala on the Centauri mistress that they served. Maybe it was felt that if learned English and Minbari, he could one day seek their help against the Centauri.

So what do you all think? Post and let me know. Any new insights would be greatly appreciated. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Old November 4th 02, 17:54   #2
Kribu
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Re: G\'Kar question

I always thought he was the Narn ambassador to Earth or something at the time - why else would he have been there? After all, Narn and Earth did have diplomatic relations already at the time, what with the Narns supplying Earth with weapons and all that.

As for why he'd have spoken Minbari as well - maybe once he decided to become a diplomat, he made a point of learning some more languages? The Narn must obviously have had at least some contact with the Minbari prior to the time in ItB, so it may have made sense to a diplomat to learn that language as well.

Or maybe he just had a knack for languages, so he learned whatever seemed potentially useful. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
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Old November 4th 02, 18:00   #3
QMCO5
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Re: G\'Kar question

Hey, RW! The matter of G'Kar's status in the movie is unclear, except that he might be considered a "gun runner." Considering his fetus for females of other species and that Narns "sell to anyone with the credits" (Midnight on the Firing Line) he would probably learn other languages as needed for trade and personal interests.
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Old November 4th 02, 18:17   #4
B5_Obsessed
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Re: G\'Kar question

His multilingual skills were developed through years of business transactions - some legitimate and most others not.

He appeared in "In the Beginning" strictly to broker used Centauri weapons to the Humans. This part of his portrayal fit the character, but I do think the "helpful" G'Kar that accompanied Sheridan and Franklin on the mission was out of character for that period. This was, after all, a guy who would later try to frame Sinclair for the attempted assassination of Kosh.

The Minbari knew of G'Kar's involvement in the weapons sale but they didn't act upon the information.

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Old November 4th 02, 18:26   #5
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Re: G\'Kar question

Yeah, I kinda figured he learned some other langauges from selling arms to other races.
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Old November 4th 02, 20:55   #6
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Re: G\'Kar question

Yes, I suppose G'Kar being a weapons' broker makes sense, too. I never really thought too much about that. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Of course, that wouldn't explain why he could speak Minbari... I somehow doubt the Narns were doing too much weapons trading with the Minbari. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] I guess he just figured speaking the language of a major power in the universe wouldn't hurt.
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Old November 5th 02, 01:06   #7
Joseph DeMartino
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Re: G\'Kar question

There are a great many diplomatic and quasi-diplomatic posts that fall somewhere between "gun-runner" and "ambassador". [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] G'Kar may well have been involved in many such roles - including dealings with the Minbari in an attempt to buy technology in order to improve Narn living standards after the Centauri occupation. There may well have been a Minbari trade mission on Narn, with which G'Kar had dealings, or he may have been part of a Narn trade mission to Minbar. Certainly the Narn would have had an interest in disrupting the close association of the Centauri and the Humans, purely to spite the Centauri, if for no other reason. G'Kar may well have been on Earth handling non-military trade matters when the war with Minbar broke out, and naturally added weapons to his list of trade items under the circumstances. It is unclear if he actually had a seat on the Narn governing council at that point, but that doesn't mean he didn't hold a non-legislative senior government post. So I don't think there's anything odd about his linguistic skills.

It is actually stranger that he would serve as ambassador to Babylon 5 while a member of the Kha'ri. A bit like the Vice President or a Senator serving as U.S. Ambassador to France. (Delenn was in a similar position, but she kept her membership on the Grey Council secret precisely because it would be unusual for a Satai to serve in a relatively unimportant role like ambassador to B5.)

Regards,

Joe
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Old November 5th 02, 15:58   #8
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Re: G\'Kar question

Once again Joe's hit the nail on the proverbial head. I think G'Kar was being all helpful because he was trying to woo the Humans further away from the Centauri and into the Narn camp. I think the Narns are looking for allies. The Humans have proved through the Dilgar War that they are fairly tough customers, quickly rising to major race status. Of the other major races, the Vorlons and Minbari are fairly isolationist and the Centauri are the mortal enemies. So the Narns might have been hoping to get the Humans in their camp -- especially when the Centauri lied to the humans at the first meeting and refused to get involved in the war. The Narns are covering their own tails as well, but at least they are trying to help; if the Humans survive they will be happier with the Narns than anyone else. No one else lifted a finger.

Although if the Minbari hadn't discovered the secret of Sinclair's soul, would Kosh have done anything?
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Old November 5th 02, 16:10   #9
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Re: G\'Kar question

I don't have much to add about why G'kar can speak Minbari ... but I have a suggestion to why he was a Kha'ri sent to B5. We don't know exactly about the Narn system of government but there are many members of the Kha'ri. According to a short story by JMS, there are several circles / teirs of the Kha'ri - though I believe G'kar has been on the most powerful one for awhile, since at least before season 1. Because there are many of them (like our Congress) they can spread out if need be. Our Congress members often travel across the country and even the world - be it not on full ambassodoral missions, but that's just us. The Narn might send their Kha'ri out as ambassadors - since they could actually speak for the government being part of it. G'kar might have been the prime choice since - from ItB - we know he already had exstensive contact with other races. Another reason to have a Kha'ri on Babylon 5 was because it was almost like a mini-Narn colony (as well as being a mini-colony for most of the other races) so they might have wanted a leader and goverment representive for those Narn. A final reason probably has to be with the war like nature of the Narn and the worry of fighting with the Centauri. Keeping all theri eggs (all the Kha'ri) in one basket (Narn) was asking for them all to be captured and executed - which is what almost happened. Given the nearly instantious tachyon communication, he could deal with government matters from where ever he was as long as he was near a relay. So I can see a member of a government like the Kha'ri being sent to a international space station.
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Old November 6th 02, 16:26   #10
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Re: G\'Kar question

Good thoughts -- and as to why it would be unusual for a member of the Grey Council to do the same thing, when on the surface the organization is similar: the Grey Council is famous for being remote and distant, even from its own people.
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