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Beyond the rim
Going along with the DNA discussion on another threat: Where did the Triluminaries come from? Apparently Sinclair/Valen only took one with him when he "returned to the beginning" in War Without End yet there were three when Delenn was given the one she used to change from Minbari to human.

I get the feeling these are not Minbari tech so suspect the three Triluminaries are Vorlon. Did I miss the answer somewhere?
Zathros brought the triluminaries from the Great Machine. We do not know much about the race that built the Great Machine.
I remember Zathras bringing time stablizers from the Great Machine but don't remember seeing him bring Triluminaries.
We're not shown that Zathras brought the Triluminaries, but they were aren't explicitly shown that he brought the Chrysalis device with him, either, but he clearly did since it is used at the end of the episode. And why assume that he brings one Triluminary (the one used in the Chrysalis device) but not the other two? They happen not to get used at that point, but if Zathras has access to one Triluminary, surely he has access to the rest of the set.

That much is implied in what's seen on-air, but in fact JMS has confirmed that Zathras brings both the Chrysalis device (pre-assembled) and the Triluminaries aboard the White Star from his shuttle. The large box he brings up actually has the same triangle/circle symbol often seen on Minbar on its side, but the angles chosen for the final edit don't make this as clear as JMS intended.

So it seems that the Triluminaries and the Chrysalis device are both created on, or at least delivered to, Epsilon III at some point between the end of Valen's Shadow War and 2260. In 2260 they go back in time with Valen and Zathras, and after the war pass into the hands of the Grey Council. In 2257 or 58 the pieces of the Chrysalis device are delivered to Delenn, who spends the better part of a year assembling them in her spare time. :) Near the end of the year she is given one of the "spare" Triluminaries (the Minbari seem to use only one of them at any given time) to activate the Chrysalis device. After the Minbari Civil War both the device and the Triluminaries are presumably given into the keeping of the restored Grey Council. I suspect the Chrysalis device is never used again.

Who built all this stuff? The obvious suspects are the Vorlons. The Great Machine on Epsilon III seems to have been built when and where it was primarily to facilitate Sinclair's journey through time. Zathras is closely associated with that journey, he supplies the Chrysalis and the Triluminaries, etc. The Great Machine seems to have been built hundreds of years ago, but after the last Shadow War. At the end of the last Shadow War, the only people who knew that Babylon 4 was someday going to come back in time, and where the rift was, and where Babylon 5 would be built were Valen, Zathras, and the Vorlons. And I don't think Valen and Zathras (for all that Zathras knew more about the GM than even Draal did) were capable of building the GM and the other things.


I wonder if perhaps Varn's people (not the outcasts that came back and try to take the Great Machine from him) were originally responsible for building the Great Machine. It's been a while since I last watched "A Voice In The Wilderness," so I can't remember if it's said Varn's race came to Epsilon 3 recently or if they've been there for a while. If they had been there for a very long time, perhaps they took some part in the war against the Shadows a thousand years ago when Valen showed up with Babylon 4. If so, perhaps Valen informed the leaders of Varn's race about what would be needed in the future and they built the Great Machine, the Chrysalis device, and the Triluminaries.
Varn's people are obviously very advanced (as we can tell from the renegades' ship). I can see them being at about the same level of advancement as the Minbari. I think it's very plausable that Varn's people participated in Valen's Shadow War. After all, Delenn tells us that it was a coalition of races along with the remaining First Ones that drove back the Shadows. Varn's people could well have been one of those races. I seem to remember someone in the show (Varn, Draal, Zathras) stating that the Great Machine was about 500 years old. I don't know if this means that they started building the machine 500 years ago, or that it's been complete and functional for 500 years.

At any rate, if Varn's people did help build the Great Machine, I can see how a faction of the people might feel rather put out about giving the Vorlons (or whoever) so much of their planet to devote to building this great monstrosity.
The reason the exiles are so desperate to reclaim the great machine is that they are not capable of building one on their own since they didn't build it originally. I don't remember if I'm remembering word from up on high(JMS) or just old chatter.
I suspect the Chrysalis device is never used again

If the one used by Delenn is the same one used by Sinclair to become Valen then it gets used repeatedly; but the Minbari rarely have just one of something so if it can only be used once, who has used (or will use) the third? Hmmm!
I suspect the Chrysalis device is never used again

If the one used by Delenn is the same one used by Sinclair to become Valen then it gets used repeatedly; but the Minbari rarely have just one of something so if it can only be used once, who has used (or will use) the third? Hmmm!

I was talking about the Chrysalis Device, which is separate from the triluminaries (although it evidently needs one to work, and Delenn once careless referred to a triluminary transforming Sinclair into Valen.) There is only one Chrysalis device. There are three triluminaries - and they can obviously be used for multiple purposes, so it isn't clear why they'd each only be good for one genetic transformation. The Minbari who gave Delenn her triluminary was quite casual about it - "Here's a triluminary, nobody'll miss it, we've still got the other two." He doesn't assure her that it isn't the one Valen used and that therefore he's sure it will work, or anything. If a Chrysalis transformation "used up" a triluminary, someone as careful as Delenn would want to verify that she was getting one that still worked. Since she was surprised when the Minbari gave it to her, and evidently hadn't even figured out how she was going to get one, the fact that she didn't ask any questions suggests that they are capable of multiple transformations.

I know, everybody wants them to be one-time use so that "who used the third" can be a matter of endless speculation. :) But even if they were single use devices there are plenty of indications that the third Chrysalis DNA transformation was worked on Catherine Sakai after Valen found her in the 13th century.


But even if they were single use devices there are plenty of indications that the third Chrysalis DNA transformation was worked on Catherine Sakai after Valen found her in the 13th century.
I have always wondered about that part Joe. OK so plenty of seeds have been dropped in books and the comic that JMS made that Sinclair/Valen eventually did find Sakai, and it was to HER whom he married and had children.

But if Sinclair was turned into a Minbari, then in order for Human and Minbari DNA to be mixed, wouldn't she have remained a human? That would also explain why he had to flee to excape his pursuers, because a holy person like Valen taking a wife of an unknown species could be a bad thing. Thus his children are now human/minbari.

Of course the other possibility is that she DID convert to Minbari, and that there was still residual human DNA her their makeup. I dont think this fully explains why he had to flee away or escape as was described.

This point has always made me wonder a bit...
Joseph-I know I'm new to this website, so I'll forgive you're implying that I'm a newbie & don't know the difference ;) Thanks for the other info though; I forgot about Catherine Sakai. Sinclair DID swear he'd find her somehow. :cool:
If Sakai had remained Human, Valen would not have been able to have children with her. The same argument that applies to Sheridan and Delenn applies to Valen and Sakai.

And it is residual Human DNA (probably "junk" DNA that does not have any obvious purpose) that marks the descendents of Valen.

I just watched "Atonement" last night and noted that the children of Valen are not persecuted until after Valen's death. They flee Minbar, he doesn't. Later they return and are accepted into Minbari society so thoroughly that their descendents in the 2260s are "too numerous to count." That doesn't sound like a bunch of semi-Human freaks to me.

As for the reason Minbari resentment of Valen's offspring might have boiled over after his death, consider this:

Before Valen's reforms (and even after them) Minbari society was organized around family, clan and caste. Geneological records would have been very important and blood relationships would have laid obligations on people. That's why everybody knew that Valen was a "Minbari not born of Minbari" in the first place. He had no family, no relatives, he could not point to a caste or clan and claim it as his own, speak about it with the kind of intimate knowledge any Minbari would be expected to have. Think about it, an alien could land on Earth as an adult, disguised in Human form, and everybody would just assume that he came from someplace else here on the planet - the next block, the next town, another country. But on Minbari he'd be identified as a stranger immediately because no one could identify him as someone they'd grown up with, or were related to, or had gone to school with. (Even on Earth our hypothetical alien might become a war hero, or rich and famous, but it is unlikely that he could become Prime Minister or President of any country with a free press. Reporters and political rivals would dig into his background and discover that he didn't have one. How much harder would acheiving political power be among the insular Minbari.)

Because Valen had miraculously appeared with a forward base just when the Alliance needed it most, because the Vorlons vouched for him, and because he won the Shadow War Valen became the leader of the Minbari. Because he belonged to no caste and to no clan, he was able to foound the Grey Council and become its leader. Because he did all this the Minbari were willing to accept the mysterious "Minbari not born of Minbari" story, and probably regard him as semi-divine.

So they probably would also have accepted his suddenly pulling another "Minbari not born of Minbari" out of his hat when he produced a transformed Catherine Sakai. They would have honored Valen's wife, and his children.

But after he himself died, or set off on his last journey or what-have-you, the respect that Valen commanded would no longer protect his off-spring and their children, who may still have been outside the clan and caste system. It is evident that leadership among the Minbari is not hereditary, so it is likely that none of Valen's sons or daughters succeeded him or was in any other position of power from which to protect his family. The "true", "pure", Minbari may have been grateful to Valen, but they may also have resented, even 100 years later, having had their whole society remade by some mysterious creature who evidently not been born Minbari, his equally mysterious mate, or their children. There needn't have been any real, visible, differences between Valen's children and the other Minbari. It may have been enough that people knew who they were and somehow considered them less than 100% Minbari. After the last generation that had lived under the pre-Grey Council regime died out, the events of the Founding had begun to pass into legend and the cult of Valen had begun to take root (helped along, no doubt, by some timely prophecies being fulfilled) it probably became safe for the Children of Valen to return.



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