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The Hand: What it seems or misdirection?(spoilers)


I posted this over on SciFi.com with a few slight additions here:

The Hand: What it seems or misdirection?

Let's break it down:

1)The Hand is (are?) exactly what it seems, a malevolent civilization that is billions of tears old and happened to be out of pocket for the festivities of the Shadow War. Relationship to the other First Ones and Lorien? Who knows.
The dig was destroyed to keep a weakness from being exposed.

2)A "modern" malevolent race who *are* pretty advanced, from outside the ISA's sphere who uses this BS as an intimidation tactic. Perhaps the "helpers" are the actual players and the rest smoke & mirrors. Minister Kafta?
a) The dig was a fraud and destroyed to keep it from being exposed.
b) It was authentic but destroyed because those long dead people are NOT the ones currently claiming to be the Hand.

3)A front for the Drakh, in which case where did totally different ships come from? Or *another* leftover shadow ally.

4) Somebody *inside* the ISA who is trying to create a bogeyman to be played to their advantage in ISA politics.

With less wiggling room because of Crusade (in LOTR's future), one might be more inclined to believe this is a sideshow. But if Crusade is left for dead then JMS may just let the Hand percolate semi-below the radar until LOTR catches up with the Crusade timeframe.

This may either be a threat that lasts
1) Most of the series, perhaps just popping up from time to time.
2) Bumped off just in the first season, perhaps even pretty early, particularly if it just turns out to be pretenders to ancient power.

A few last things to think about:

I assume JMS's "can we do the same thing twice and make it work?" (paraphrase) was a joke directed at us. Whether without irony (just referring to pulling off another long-running show against the odds) or perhaps more ironic (acknowledging theapparent re-hashing with the Hand.)

If the Hand are what they seem then JMS risks cheapening all the mythology going into and coming out of the Shadow War of B5 (which is presumably THE uniquely pivotal event in the history of the younger races). Cheapening it by a rehashed plot, no matter what kind of variation/spin he puts on it.

If the Hand are not what they seem then maybe it is a classic JMS bait and switch.
BUT... if so, isn't self-parody (which appearing to recycle a major element certainly is) a lousy idea given that this is the *pilot* and the joke at our expense could backfire?
From my browsing of various boards it looks like a large majority of even those positive fans, who thought the pilot was fine or even great overall, winced at the very least about this apparently rehashed device now turning the elder races into mere gimmick.

from the SciFi Channel Farscape BB
Addendum: perhaps rather than just phony evidence or real intel source that had to be destroyed, the dig was just bait that was fragged having served its purpose.

from the SciFi Channel Farscape BB
I think you've hit several nails directly on their heads with this one... interesting scenarios abound regarding "The Hand"...

-Londo's Hair
"Vir, intelligence has nothing to do with politics!"
So, are the Hand what they claim to be? Having not watched the movie, I can only answer questions with counterquestions:

Q: Was the city real?
CQ: How much was shown of their alleged city?

Q: Was the city really that old?
CQ: Was there proof? Who mentioned its age and how?

Q: Was the city their city?
CQ: Were there any connection between their activity and the city?

Q: Indications that the Hand might be a straw-man?
CQ: How to find out, if they did not fight directly?

Q: Indications that the Hand might be real?
CQ: How to find out, if their allies did only moderate harm?

[This message has been edited by Lennier (edited January 22, 2002).]
Since space is infinite, would Lorien necessarily be aware of every race that had ever existed?
How can we assume that there are no more ancient and dangerous races out there?
When the older races passed beyond the rim, should we be surprised that some decided not to follow the others?
The Shadows & Vorlons were terrified of moving on into the unknown.
Also, where does The Apocalypse Box fit into all this? Lorien didn't warn Sheridan about these 'devices' perhaps the makers of the box(es) are still crawling around in the uncharted territories?

'I plan to live forever, or die trying' - Villa Blake's 7
I kinda like the idea of the Hand being another powerful enemy. Maybe younger than the first ones, but older than the Minbari. It would be kind of cool to see how they handle them. The First Ones aren't there to help them this time.

"We live for the one, we die for the one."
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>Since space is infinite, would Lorien necessarily be aware of every race that had ever existed?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, but it would know of races advanced enough to build cities in the known part of the galaxy. This leaves three options:

1. Lorien did not know.

Result: they are an unknown danger.

2. Knew, but considered them gone.

Result: possibly great danger, possibly someone claiming to be them.

3. Did not consider them First Ones.

Result: possibly significant danger, but not something you can't beat with sufficient resources.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>No, but (he) would know of races advanced enough to build cities in the known part of the galaxy.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not if said races flourished and died billions of years ago, and Lorien himself is only a few tens of millions (or hundred of millions) years old. That city was buried under miles of rock.

The galaxy (not to mention the rest of the universe) could have had an entire history with races rising, warring on each other and falling, before Lorien ever acheived sentience. If all trace of them were long-buried, he'd have no idea they had ever been there.

It's a big universe. Why assume that even a being as powerful as Lorien knew everything?

"That's why the call it space - because there's a lot of it."



Joseph DeMartino
Sigh Corps
Pat Tallman Division

Sure, there are things which may go unnoticed even during a lifetime that long.

But there is one detail which makes me suspect that Lorien's age extended into billions of years. If Lorien's kind was truly born eternal, but others after them weren't, then we must assume that (it/he) existed in a quite peculiar, possibly very early stage of cosmologic development.

Because during the last billions of years, nothing has really changed. Only the amount of heavy elements has gradually increased - as stars went (super)nova and spilled their contents all over the galaxy.

The Sun is a second-generation star and life on Earth is a few billion years old. My assumption is that for his difference to be believable, Lorien must have appeared significantly earlier.

[This message has been edited by Lennier (edited January 22, 2002).]
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR> Not if said races flourished and died billions of years ago, and Lorien himself is only a few tens of millions (or hundred of millions) years old. That city was buried under miles of rock.

Lorien has to be over a billion years old. When Sheridan asked him how long he has been on Z'Ha'Dum he answered:

'A long time. So long. I was old when the molecules of your world joined and called themselves land and sea and fish .. and man'

That is at least a few hundred million years, more likely in the billions (dinosaurs were 175+ mil years ago, and he is talking before then). And that was only when he was on Z'Ha'Dum, he never commented on anything before that point. If he is the First One (assuming this is true, and I believe we have little reason to doubt it) then that would make him older than anyone else, at least in our Galaxy.

'I don't believe in the no-win scenario' - JTK
A couple points:

A. I thought the City was supposedly built by one of the First One races which Exiled the Hand, not by the Hand themselves.

And, the City wasn't destroyed, just the Archaeologists base. There is something in the City that the Hand want for themselves.
Possibly the Key they need to return to Our universe.

B. Lorien wouldn't have mentioned the Hand because they were dealt with over a million years ago and Lorien didn't think they would ever be Back.
Who'd have thought we'd go around digging into things the first Ones have forgotten about? Like their abandoned cities.
Plus, it's not like Lorien had time to give Sheridan a rundown on the last ten million years or so of galactic history.

C. Lorien and the First Ones were only familiar with OUR Galaxy. Going exploring to find out Who & What is in Other Galaxies is what going "Beyond the Rim" is all about.

Do not ascribe your own motivations to others:
At best, it will break your heart.
At worst, it will get you dead."

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