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Old June 7th 07, 17:06   #1
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First Ones Technology

Hi, Everyone. This is my first post here. First let me say I love Babylon 5, but there is one issue that bothers me. The First Ones are millions of years older than the younger races, but thier technology level doesn't seem to reflect that in the show. Let me put it this way, imagine a Roman Tireme attacking a modern day American Nuclear aircraft carrier. The Tireme couldn't even make a dent in it. Now that time seperation is only a few thousand years, imagine a MILLION or even more though! Now granted, the First Ones ships are advanced, but the Narn displayed the ability to destroy Shadow fighter craft, and once the Alliance started using telepaths, they said that they were more evenly matched with the shadows...they lost 3 ships to every Shadow Vessel. But still!!! I mean come on, there should be no way possible for us to have even made a dent in a Shadow or Vorlon Vessel. Their technology seems to reflect a limited imagination by JMS. They are basically more powerful versions of the younger races ships, ie a Vorlon Cruiser is nothing but a Minbari ship with a bigger gun and better armour.

Continuing that line of thought, the Thirdspace aliens were able to nearly defeat the Vorlons, their ships must have bee incredibly powerful. But somehow the forces on B5 were able to hold them back miliarily for a while. Again, this doesn't make any sense to me. The Thirdspace aliens seem far too weak to have posed a threat to the Vorlons.
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Old June 7th 07, 17:37   #2
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Re: First Ones Technology

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{snip}Now granted, the First Ones ships are advanced, but the Narn displayed the ability to destroy Shadow fighter craft, and once the Alliance started using telepaths, they said that they were more evenly matched with the shadows...they lost 3 ships to every Shadow Vessel. But still!!! I mean come on, there should be no way possible for us to have even made a dent in a Shadow or Vorlon Vessel. Their technology seems to reflect a limited imagination by JMS. They are basically more powerful versions of the younger races ships, ie a Vorlon Cruiser is nothing but a Minbari ship with a bigger gun and better armour.
Telepaths and jump gates are Vorlon technology so there is less of a technology gap than you would expect. The Whitestars are partially Vorlon technology. The Vorlons were active 1,000 years ago so they may have given a few hints on making beam weapons and armour.
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Old June 7th 07, 17:50   #3
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Re: First Ones Technology

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Telepaths and jump gates are Vorlon technology so there is less of a technology gap than you would expect. The Whitestars are partially Vorlon technology. The Vorlons were active 1,000 years ago so they may have given a few hints on making beam weapons and armour.
Another thing, when you get to be a million year old race, like the Vorlon or Shadows, and keep to yourself for the most part (aside from the occasional war) you become complacement. You're not advancing your technology much, and you're not as innovative as say the Humans are. So, the Vorlons and Shadows were a bit on the stagnant side, and Humans are quite innovative, so that becomes an advantage for the humans.
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Old June 7th 07, 18:12   #4
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Re: First Ones Technology

That's a good point. Technology advances fastest in times of war, especially when the two sides are at a roughly equal level. That was more or less the Shadows' game plan. We have the second world war to thank for the development of radar, microwaves, nuclear power, civilian airflight and even computers.
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Old June 7th 07, 18:26   #5
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Re: First Ones Technology

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Another thing, when you get to be a million year old race, like the Vorlon or Shadows, and keep to yourself for the most part (aside from the occasional war) you become complacement. You're not advancing your technology much, and you're not as innovative as say the Humans are. So, the Vorlons and Shadows were a bit on the stagnant side, and Humans are quite innovative, so that becomes an advantage for the humans.
Yes, thats a good point, I've thought of that too, but it doesn't quite satisfy me. Even if they were complacent, 1 million years is a long technological gap. Like I said, imagine a Roman army versus the modern day American army. There would be no contest. Thats a mere 2,000 years. Even if the Vorlons were only 2,000 years ahead of us in technology levels, they would still be FAR more advanced than us. Nevermind over a MILLION. Thats such a big number its incomprehensible to us. Wars or no wars (and we know they were involved in wars) they would still be so far ahead of us it would be like humans waging war on ants.
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Old June 7th 07, 18:52   #6
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Re: First Ones Technology

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Like I said, imagine a Roman army versus the modern day American army. There would be no contest.
I wouldn't be so sure of that.

Technology only wins the battles in the hands of a capable commander. If someone studies your techniques well enough.. you can bet they'd find a weakness. And the romans especially would understand US tactical deployments quite well because most modern armies base their strategies on tried and tested Roman methods.

Knowing their dire technological deficiency, they would probably opt for a guerrila campaign.

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Old June 7th 07, 19:23   #7
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Re: First Ones Technology

It should also be noted, to my understanding... that no ship of the younger races was ever seen successfully destroying a *crewed* First One ship, neither Shadow nor Vorlon.

Shadow vessels were impressive, but ultimately they were remote-controlled, and operated without regard to their survival. Highly scary, but not far into hopeless territory. Possible to oppose with a leap in coordination and a decent jump in technology... which was possibly what the Shadows wanted to see happen, and hence the relative strength of their ships.

The battle at Sector 83 (?) had unseen proportions and grievous levels of loss for Minbari, Brakiri, Vree, Narn, Human and whatever humanoid crews, compared to their respective history (except perhaps Minbari comparisons to the previous Shadow war)... but you could safely stick a label on it saying:

"No Shadows were harmed in the process of making this battle."

The production capabilities of First Ones were unseen and untargetable for the younger races. Hidden in the void, in hyperspace or between the two, were doubtless many bases, planets without a sun, rocks, ships, stations and other similar structures, hard to find, even harder to hurt (case in point, the Shadow planetkiller's version seen in at Coriana) which never came to be seen.

When it came to strategic weapons, the capabilities of humanoid species were rather credibly depicted as falling far short of doing anything but slight nuisance. Their strategic resources meanwhile (planets with stars, and stars themselves) were probably open for strike in many more ways than depicted.

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Old June 7th 07, 19:59   #8
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Re: First Ones Technology

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It should also be noted, to my understanding... that no ship of the younger races was ever seen successfully destroying a *crewed* First One ship, neither Shadow nor Vorlon.

Shadow vessels were impressive, but ultimately they were remote-controlled, and operated without regard to their survival. Highly scary, but not far into hopeless territory. Possible to oppose with a leap in coordination and a decent jump in technology... which was possibly what the Shadows wanted to see happen, and hence the relative strength of their ships.

The battle at Sector 83 (?) had unseen proportions and grievous levels of loss for Minbari, Brakiri, Vree, Narn, Human and whatever humanoid crews, compared to their respective history (except perhaps Minbari comparisons to the previous Shadow war)... but you could safely stick a label on it saying:

"No Shadows were harmed in the process of making this battle."

The production capabilities of First Ones were unseen and untargetable for the younger races. Hidden in the void, in hyperspace or between the two, were doubtless many bases, planets without a sun, rocks, ships, stations and other similar structures, hard to find, even harder to hurt (case in point, the Shadow planetkiller's version seen in at Coriana) which never came to be seen.

When it came to strategic weapons, the capabilities of humanoid species were rather credibly depicted as falling far short of doing anything but slight nuisance. Their strategic resources meanwhile (planets with stars, and stars themselves) were probably open for strike in many more ways than depicted.
Very true. Humans were not depicted as destroying any Vorlon vessels. I will grant that, but it doesn't explain how some of the Thirdspace aliens, who almost defeated the Vorlons, were destroyed by younger races vessels.

Let me ask you this: Without the Vorlons or other First Ones interfering could the Shadows have conquered the galaxy?
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Old June 7th 07, 20:04   #9
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Re: First Ones Technology

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I wouldn't be so sure of that.

Technology only wins the battles in the hands of a capable commander. If someone studies your techniques well enough.. you can bet they'd find a weakness. And the romans especially would understand US tactical deployments quite well because most modern armies base their strategies on tried and tested Roman methods.

Knowing their dire technological deficiency, they would probably opt for a guerrila campaign.

Hello by the way.
Hi. Well, put it this way, if the Roman empire existed today as a political entity, with only the technology it had during the height of its power, would it not be an easy target for the USA if we decided to attack it? We would only need a couple of bombers, or fighter planes...or even a couple of well placed nukes to utterly destroy them. They would be so scared seeing a napalm bomb, or a tank it would be overwhelming. Now like I said, thats a few thousand years difference. Not to mention over a million. Its inconcievable. Thats my main point. The first ones would be so far past us as to make any attempt at attacking them, or diplomacy on our part laughable.
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Old June 7th 07, 20:16   #10
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Re: First Ones Technology

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Very true. Humans were not depicted as destroying any Vorlon vessels. I will grant that, but it doesn't explain how some of the Thirdspace aliens, who almost defeated the Vorlons, were destroyed by younger races vessels.

Let me ask you this: Without the Vorlons or other First Ones interfering could the Shadows have conquered the galaxy?
I vote absolutely, because the equalizer was Teeps and the White Stars, which were Vorlon Tech. Even the Whitestars alone, without Teeps were barely effective.
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