Monday, August 15, 2005

Babylon 5

The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. It failed. But, in the Year of the Shadow War, it became something greater: our last, best hope... for victory. The year is 2260. The place: Babylon 5. So, here we are, halfway through Season Three, and can I say that this is one of the best television series that I have ever seen? There's a certain poignancy to it. The overarching story of Babylon 5 is of a world lurching towards war, so, from one perspective, as the Season Three intro explains, it is the story of a noble attempt that fails. The Babylon stations were supposed to be diplomatic stations, dedicated to the peaceful solving of interstellar problems. But that is not to be. By this point in the story, we have already seen the outbreak of a destructive war that resulted in the orbital bombardment and near annihilation of the homeworld of one of the warring races. And worse is to come. And, on the homefront, ruthless men have seized power on Earth and are extending their control through the Nightwatch, a organization of snitches and Thought Police. But, at the same time, it is a show that has made me think. At the end of Season Two, we hear one of the characters muse:
It was the end of the year 2259 and the war was upon us. As anticipated, a few days after the Earth-Centauri treaty was announced, the Centauri widened their war to include many of the Non-Aligned Worlds. And there was another war brewing closer to home. A personal one, whose cost would be higher than any of us could imagine. We came to this place, because Babylon 5 was our last, best hope for peace. By the end of 2259, we knew that it had failed. But in so doing it became something greater. As the war expanded, it became our last, best hope for victory, because sometimes peace is another word for surrender, and because secrets have a way of getting out.
"Sometimes peace is another word for surrender." As I look around at the world I live in, a world where I wish that I could just be left alone to live in peace, I ponder these words, and I wonder what the future will hold for me.

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