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EpDis: The Deconstruction Of Falling Stars

The Face Of The Enemy

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The impression I got wasn't just that Earth was "sent back to the stone age" by a nuclear war but that the war itself created a reaction against technology and outside influence that's taken along time to fall away.

You could argue as well that we don't know that nobody did anything to help, maybe they did and maybe the non xenophobic population that survived moved off world with those who remained being from Daniels side thus unwilling to accept help or leave.

Yes, you're quite right. There is indeed apparently a strong anti-technology and anti-alien sentiment involved in the "great burn", and a great many people apparently really wanted to live like that. It's also true that we simply don't know what is going on with the population of Earth who do NOT feel that way. Maybe they are indeed elsewhere, leaving the rest of Earth alone to do their isolationist thing. And maybe there are some Rangers there to VERY gently guide those people back to interstellar travel and politics. I'd have to wonder WHY, though. And, after 500 years anti-technology sentiment would have turned into total ignorance. There could be quite a few generations in those 500 years, depending on just how anti-technology those people are, and whether they reject all medical science and thus significantly reduce the average lifespan ...

In all, there isn't enough information for me to claim that it is unrealistic, and anything I say could be refuted by a "well, maybe ...", and that would be as valid a theory as any. The only truth is that that bit just really doesn't work for me. I don't have to love every single scene in every single episode for this to be my favorite show :)
Idea's can pass down the generations of course. I think its notable that the Rangers are looking to reintroduce the alliance via religion as you could probably make the case that a lot of the xenophobic/anti tech movements motivation came from existing religions as it does today.
Idea's can pass down the generations of course.

Absolutely. It seems to me that in this situation, no one on Earth is aware of their past, before the Great Burn. Whatever it was that that first generation was so very against, no one remembers it existed, so what exactly is their hatred focused on? Also it doesn't seem like 100% of the later generations would be on board with these ideas.

When I posted to this thread last week I had just watched this episode, but my memory of it is already a bit vague now. I might be making things up!

I THINK that what we're seeing in that segment is some kind of anti-technology sentiment. But, even if they had gone back to making stone tools, that's still, you know, technology. Perhaps they just went back to a "pre-industrial" type of society, but the contents of that room we see in the segment don't look all that pre-industrial to me. Are they pre-burn antiques? If so, that's some excellent preservation, and it would make me wonder what else was acceptable to keep from the pre-burn days.There's that talk about gasoline engines. Does that mean they're already using steam engines, or are they skipping that whole thing?

Anyway :D
I think its clear that they know of a more advanced history prior to the great burn, there shown as having found buried technology and 500 years isn't long enough for all outward signs of the previous society to have vanished even after a nuclear war. That would be a pretty strong link for an anti tech/anti alien sentiment to carry on
I almost want to go watch this episode again because it bothers me that I can't remember. As it is, I probably shouldn't be commenting too much on a thing I can't properly remember, but obviously I'm going to anyway :p

You're right about the buried technology. I do remember the bit about making the gas can look sufficiently old. Amazing that it kept so long! :p

I'm extremely curious about the climate and available resources on the planet, or in this particular spot where Brother Whatshisname lives. We don't know how the Great Burn affected climate, and how it has evolved over the past 500 years. But, judging from the stuff in that room, they either have immediate access to abundant resources and highly specialized labor, or they have access to some vast trade network.

I think I've figured out what my main issue with that bit is. I like my sci-fi with a very solid background, where everything in the universe makes sense and connects properly. That's true for Babylon 5 in general. But this bit is just this tiny little glimpse into a future we don't know anything about other than what we see in these 10 minutes or however long it is. It just leaves me with too many questions and I can't stand it. That's not to say that that isn't a perfectly valid storytelling style. Just that I, personally, like SOME of my questions answered :p
I think it is completely probable that it took 500 years for Earth to get back to just a gasoline engine.

The Dark Ages of our own history, which was a time when science and technology were regarded as evil, lasted about 800 years. With Ranger and outside help, shaving 300 years off what we experienced is pretty reasonable.
Without wanting to come across to Waldemar Januszczak the Dark Ages weren't actually THAT dark but again I think the episode presents a big issue being that much of the population don't actually want to return to a high tech lifestyle blaming it on previous events.
Maybe the Dark Ages weren't that dark, but they were still pretty miserable for most people. What was the average life expectancy? The standard of living? While I imagine there might be a reaction to some types of technology, such as spacecraft or weapons, would people seriously opt to live in conditions without things like medicine, or the ability to grow enough food, when they know there's an alternative?
While I recognize that this episode has its merits - the whole concept is quite good - there was too much for me NOT to like.

Most often, I simply don't like any "20 years later" kind of epilogues. Hated the 19-years-later epilogue in Harry Potter. Either tell the whole story, or don't. Not these glimpses, especially when they are, for the most part, depressing and nauseating. Yes, my reaction to the 100-yrs-later scene was quite strong. I felt physically nauseated. (The Delenn part was excellent, though. The lady has authority, she silenced those selfrighteous "historians" with A Look. Go Delenn!!)

And even though, in the 500 yrs story, the Garibaldi scene was highly satisfactory (yesssssss, Garibaldi!!), again I felt nausea. Because I can see that kind of thing happening. History can be distorted, it can be retold. There's really nothing *that* fictional about the scene, except for the technological means of distortion.

I liked the monk story. Yes, it left a bunch of questions unanswered. I wondered what happened to all other humans or Earth's old allies but someone in this thread already said that probably Mars and other colonies + other allies were sick and tired of Earth making a deliberate mess of itself. Rangers were helping in any case so Earth wasn't totally abandoned to its own devices. I can totally believe that there was still a lot of anti-technology feeling. It's not rational, but look at human history: we as a species are not known to be 100% rational.

However, unanswered questions aside, I just liked the two monks and the 'revelation' that the other one was actually a Ranger. That 1000-yrs-story was actually the only one I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm not usually one to want "side series" to fill any gaps in the "original" storyline but this makes an exception: I would totally watch a series concentrating on the Great Burn + Next 700 years...

I think I'm the exception here: I didn't really care for the million-yrs-later scene. Ok, the encounter suit was kind of cool but other than that, meh.

The end of season 4 feels like the end of the whole series. On the other hand, the series could easily have gone on for a several seasons more. There's simply so much stuff that could be handled indepth! What can be done in one sorry season?
Meh. I don't feel eager to start the 5th season. There's no Ivanova. No Marcus. There's bad stuff coming, right? Teep war, the drakh, right?
I really liked the Shadow story line, it was thrilling, exciting, and rather intelligent. Earth war was ok, better than I remembered.
Let's see.