While the series pilot Babylon 5: The Gathering establishes the characters and introduces the conflicts that will become central to the series, it also draws upon a rich history that is continually alluded to but never fully explained. Babylon 5: In the Beginning, produced in the hiatus between the fourth and fifth seasons of the series, packs all that history--and more--into a prequel stuffed to the hatches with the epic doings of Earth, Minbar, Narn, and Centauri in the days before the Babylon stations were built. Told in almost fairy-tale fashion by Londo Molari to a pair of children, the movie explicates the ill-fated first meeting between representatives of Earth and Minbar, the devastating war, the sudden surrender, and the universe-altering secret of Jeffrey Sinclair. It also gives the early histories of characters who will become central to the series, in particular Londo and G'Kar. Ostensibly created to catch recent converts up with the series as it made its transition to a new network, the movie is infused with the epic sweep and storytelling confidence producer-writer Michael J. Straczynski and his cast and crew had developed by the fourth season. It's an elegant, compelling addition to the Babylon 5 universe and a dramatic highlight of the series. As an introduction, though, it gives away the mystery that pervades the shadowy history slowly revealed through the first three seasons--it's actually better seen from the vantage point of the fifth season. --Sean Axmaker
Are we on? This is... this is the President. I have just been informed that the midrange military bases at Beta Durani and Proxima 3 have fallen to the Minbari advance. We have lost contact with Io and must presume they have fallen to an advance force. Intelligence believes the Minbari intend to bypass Mars and hit Earth directly. They say the attack could come at any time. We have... we have continued to broadcast our surrender and a plea for mercy. They have not responded. We can only conclude that we stand at the twilight of the human race. To buy time for more evacuation transports to leave Earth, we ask for the support of every ship capable of fighting to take part in a last defense of our home world. We will not lie to you: survival is not a possibility. Those who enter the battle will never come back. But for every ten minutes we can delay the enemy advance, several hundred more civilians may be able to escape to neutral territory. Though Earth may fall, the human race must have a chance to continue elsewhere. No greater sacrifice has ever been asked of a people. But I ask you now to step forward one last time, one last battle to hold the line against the night. God go with you all.
Emperor Londo Mollari:
The humans, I think, knew they were doomed. But where another race would surrender to despair, the humans fought back with even greater strength. They made the Minbari fight for every inch of space. In my life, I have never seen anything like it. They would weep, They would pray, They would say goodbye to their loved ones, then throw themselves without fear or hesitation into the very face of death itself, never surrendering. No one who saw them fighting against the inevitable, could help but be moved to tears by their courage, their stubborn nobility. When they ran out of ships they used guns. When they ran out of guns they used knives and sticks, and bare hands. They were magnificent. I only hope that when it is my time, I may die with half as much dignity as I saw in their eyes in the end. They did this for two years. They never ran out of courage. But in the end, they ran out of time.
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