fans are Trek
fans - almost everyone enjoyed at least one of the show's incarnations, and it has hardly been possible to grow up in the industrialized world in the last 30 years without some
exposure to the show.
fans are not B5
fans - in fact a good number of them aren't even science fiction
fans - they are just Star Trek
fans. They view any
space show as a threat, an implied criticism, or a rip-off of their beloved show. (Sometimes to the point of absurdity. I've seen a usenet post claiming that "Soul Hunter" ripped-off Star Trek III
- as if the concept of "the soul" were (tm) Paramount Pictures Corp. Another complained about the "unrealistic" back-of-hand communicators because "everybody knows" that in the future we'll be using little chest-mounted pins to talk to one another.)
Fueling the inter-show venom was the fact that many of the Trek
converts to B5
had become critical of the direction "the franchise" was taking (usually they became critical before
ever seeing B5
) and later held up B5
as a model of the kind of show that Trek
could be and should be. That was heresy in the eyes of many Trek
fans, and they responded by attacking the "false god."
Re: non-fan critiques of the show:
The series wasn't about
the Shadow War, any more than The Lord of the Rings
was about the War of the Ring. Both were about the events leading up to their respective wars, the events flowing from them, and the effect they had on the characters. People who complain that the show was over after the Shadow War simply didn't understand what they were watching.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>"Dear Mr. Tolkien:
I just wanted to say that I think the way you ended THE LORD OF THE RINGS was crap. You didn't provide any closure. Instead of spending time with the hobbits clearing out the shire (come on, urban renwal in LoTR? give me a break) and lots of goodbyes, you SHOULD have shown me what happened to Tom Bombadil, he was an important part of the story, and you just left his story thread there unresolved.
You made a big deal out of the elves going to the west, but we never SAW it! We never found out what was there, or what Bilbo found when he got there, or what happened to the dwarves, or what happened to Merry and Pippin....
You betrayed your audience by not resolving every single plot thread you introduced in your book, and as a result, it is never going to be of value to anyone, ever, and will never go past its first printing."
You have to really decide *Who is the story about?* You can really only track a couple of characters to the end...here we tracked a number there or nearly there. This story is a history -- told from a future perspective -- about the events of the Babylon station, and those who passed through it, during a specific period in its history. - JMS<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
"If you want to find out how the major players turn out you have to buy a friggin' trilogy of books... screw that!"
No you don't. With the exception of Lyta & Lennier - and their fates aren't revealed
in the novels - all you have to do is pay attention to the show.
Londo and G'Kar die as shown several times. So what if we don't know every detail that led up to the final moment. Vir is Emperor, the Centauri are free, the Drakh are gone. Lennier is dead by the time of "SiL". David Sheridan (who isn't
a character, he's a name we hear a couple of times, and his lifespan falls outside the main body of the plot) is in Ranger training, obviously Keeper-free.
That we may be curious
about details never shown doesn't mean that these things had
to be in the story. I might be curious about how Kirk and Spock first met, how McCoy joined the crew, how Starfleet and the Federation were formed in the first place. Does Star Trek
"suck" because these things are never shown?
Hell, we don't see the deaths of Garibaldi, Franklin or Ivanova, either. In a way a "future history" really doesn't have
an end-point, any more than real history does. There are always people still alive to carry on the story. In both fictional and real history the writer chooses a story to tell about
those events, selects which incidents to illuminate and which to pass over briefly, and arranges them in a coherent order with an apparent beginning, middle, and end - but these are all somewhat arbitrary.
Do you start a history of the American Civil War with Fort Sumter and end with Appomattox? Or do you start with "bleeding Kanasas", or even the Constitutional convention (where the slavery issue was swept under the carpet in the interest of getting the new nation started) and carry through to Reconstruction? Which characters do you follow through the War? Lincoln? Grant? Lee? From which city do you view the War, Washington or Richmond? Or both?
JMS broadly outlined the history of his universe from several million years in the past to about a million years in the future. He outlined it in greater detail for 1,000 years on either side of the B5
arc. Within that history he picked the story he wanted to tell, the characters he wanted to write about and the incidents that he would use to tell it.
Pat Tallman Division