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[Babylon 5] Our Last, Best Hope For Victory

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Posts

  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    I feel like Babylon 5 is pretty clear that the Vorlons aren't good people. They:

    1) Murder anyone that comes into their territory.
    2) Act under a guise of mystery so you can't see their intentions.
    3) Genetically manipulate races.
    4) Set themselves up as literal god figures.
    5) Lie in pursuit of their goals.
    6) Kidnap key historic figures.
    7) Use telepaths as agents and spies.

    Ultimately, the thing the Vorlons ignore is that peace isn't permanent. If they guide the development of other races, it will reach a critical point where a war of resources will occur. At that point, the Shadow ideology will take over. And the Vorlons have never been successful, because if they truly were, then some new race would have grown enough in the past million years to have challenged them.

    I'd argue that the show demonstrates that the Vorlons are Wrong and the Shadows are Bad. The Vorlons think we need their guidance, but it doesn't really help, because the cost of that is the Shadows continually trying to corrupt us and control everything.

    It is also like many things not black and white but shades of grey (council). Neither the Vorlon nor the Shadow plans would work without the other.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    6) Kidnap key historic figures.

    Hmm... I wouldn't say Jack the Ripper is a "key historical figure". Also, you used the plural form there; which other historical figure did they kidnap?

    sig.gif
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    6) Kidnap key historic figures.

    Hmm... I wouldn't say Jack the Ripper is a "key historical figure". Also, you used the plural form there; which other historical figure did they kidnap?

    It was stated in one of the early season 4 episodes that the Vorlons had taken key historical figures from many cultures.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
    ShadowfireMan in the Mists
  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    6) Kidnap key historic figures.

    Hmm... I wouldn't say Jack the Ripper is a "key historical figure". Also, you used the plural form there; which other historical figure did they kidnap?

    Depends on whether you think "Arthur" is the genuine article.

    steam_sig.png
    Steam, Warframe: Megajoule
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    To clarify, I'm not even nitpicking or criticizing really, just found myself surprised at how weak the sales pitch was in relation to a slightly more "grey" version of the Vorlon/Shadow conflict I was vaguely and without detail remembering.

    I might also be applying the memory of an impending "the Vorlons actually suck too" development which I haven't gotten to yet in my re-watch.

    There's nothing particularly wrong about either side's core philosophy. The Shadows think that growth comes from chaos and conflict (which it definitely can), and the Vorlons believe it comes from order and peace (also true). The problem is in the application of their philosophies. The Shadow's idea of conflict is galaxy spanning wars with slight side effects of gigadeaths and genocide, and the Vorlons' concept of peace and order seems to involve sitting on your butt and stagnating (the Minbari weren't exactly rocking the galaxy in the thousand years since the first Shadow war). Extremists.

    DracomicronVoodooV
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    I feel like Babylon 5 is pretty clear that the Vorlons aren't good people. They:

    1) Murder anyone that comes into their territory.
    2) Act under a guise of mystery so you can't see their intentions.
    3) Genetically manipulate races.
    4) Set themselves up as literal god figures.
    5) Lie in pursuit of their goals.
    6) Kidnap key historic figures.
    7) Use telepaths as agents and spies.

    Ultimately, the thing the Vorlons ignore is that peace isn't permanent. If they guide the development of other races, it will reach a critical point where a war of resources will occur. At that point, the Shadow ideology will take over. And the Vorlons have never been successful, because if they truly were, then some new race would have grown enough in the past million years to have challenged them.

    I'd argue that the show demonstrates that the Vorlons are Wrong and the Shadows are Bad. The Vorlons think we need their guidance, but it doesn't really help, because the cost of that is the Shadows continually trying to corrupt us and control everything.

    It is also like many things not black and white but shades of grey (council). Neither the Vorlon nor the Shadow plans would work without the other.

    I wouldn't exactly call it shades of grey, the Vorlons were ok to let the Shadows do what they want because they were "equals" who didn't want the "game" to end over a philosophy debate they didn't want the rest of the galaxy in on, yet they were willing to destroy the any less advanced races who chose sides in their debate which is hypocrisy of the highest order. It was a rigged game on both sides. Especially when the Shadows were capital E Evil.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    To clarify, I'm not even nitpicking or criticizing really, just found myself surprised at how weak the sales pitch was in relation to a slightly more "grey" version of the Vorlon/Shadow conflict I was vaguely and without detail remembering.

    I might also be applying the memory of an impending "the Vorlons actually suck too" development which I haven't gotten to yet in my re-watch.

    There's nothing particularly wrong about either side's core philosophy. The Shadows think that growth comes from chaos and conflict (which it definitely can), and the Vorlons believe it comes from order and peace (also true). The problem is in the application of their philosophies. The Shadow's idea of conflict is galaxy spanning wars with slight side effects of gigadeaths and genocide, and the Vorlons' concept of peace and order seems to involve sitting on your butt and stagnating (the Minbari weren't exactly rocking the galaxy in the thousand years since the first Shadow war). Extremists.

    The Vorlon idea of Order was do as I say and know your place or we will blow up your planet.

    KneelshrykeHefflingShadowfireMrMisterInvectivusMan in the Mists
  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    To clarify, I'm not even nitpicking or criticizing really, just found myself surprised at how weak the sales pitch was in relation to a slightly more "grey" version of the Vorlon/Shadow conflict I was vaguely and without detail remembering.

    I might also be applying the memory of an impending "the Vorlons actually suck too" development which I haven't gotten to yet in my re-watch.

    There's nothing particularly wrong about either side's core philosophy. The Shadows think that growth comes from chaos and conflict (which it definitely can), and the Vorlons believe it comes from order and peace (also true). The problem is in the application of their philosophies. The Shadow's idea of conflict is galaxy spanning wars with slight side effects of gigadeaths and genocide, and the Vorlons' concept of peace and order seems to involve sitting on your butt and stagnating (the Minbari weren't exactly rocking the galaxy in the thousand years since the first Shadow war). Extremists.

    The Vorlon idea of Order was do as I say and know your place or we will blow up your planet.

    Like he said, extremists.

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Part of the problem is that Kosh is the main Vorlon we see, and Kosh is pretty alright. Ulkesh (Kosh's replacement) is more representative of the Vorlons as a whole. So between Kosh being a bro and the Mimbari being on the Vorlon side, we assume that they're good guys... then BAM! They break out the planet buster parfait and start dusting anyone harboring Shadows, even unknowingly.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
    Commander ZoomhawkboxInvectivusMan in the MistsShadowen
  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    Part of the problem is that Kosh is the main Vorlon we see, and Kosh is pretty alright. Ulkesh (Kosh's replacement) is more representative of the Vorlons as a whole. So between Kosh being a bro and the Mimbari being on the Vorlon side, we assume that they're good guys... then BAM! They break out the planet buster parfait and start dusting anyone harboring Shadows, even unknowingly.

    Kosh is basically what the Vorlons were when they started out. He remained a decent dude because he stayed in contact with the younger races, the rest stopped interacting directly and treat the younger races like lab rats.

    Heffling
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    VoodooV wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    To clarify, I'm not even nitpicking or criticizing really, just found myself surprised at how weak the sales pitch was in relation to a slightly more "grey" version of the Vorlon/Shadow conflict I was vaguely and without detail remembering.

    I might also be applying the memory of an impending "the Vorlons actually suck too" development which I haven't gotten to yet in my re-watch.

    There's nothing particularly wrong about either side's core philosophy. The Shadows think that growth comes from chaos and conflict (which it definitely can), and the Vorlons believe it comes from order and peace (also true). The problem is in the application of their philosophies. The Shadow's idea of conflict is galaxy spanning wars with slight side effects of gigadeaths and genocide, and the Vorlons' concept of peace and order seems to involve sitting on your butt and stagnating (the Minbari weren't exactly rocking the galaxy in the thousand years since the first Shadow war). Extremists.

    The Vorlon idea of Order was do as I say and know your place or we will blow up your planet.

    Like he said, extremists.

    Yes, but I don't consider planet killing to be sitting on your ass.

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    VoodooV wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    To clarify, I'm not even nitpicking or criticizing really, just found myself surprised at how weak the sales pitch was in relation to a slightly more "grey" version of the Vorlon/Shadow conflict I was vaguely and without detail remembering.

    I might also be applying the memory of an impending "the Vorlons actually suck too" development which I haven't gotten to yet in my re-watch.

    There's nothing particularly wrong about either side's core philosophy. The Shadows think that growth comes from chaos and conflict (which it definitely can), and the Vorlons believe it comes from order and peace (also true). The problem is in the application of their philosophies. The Shadow's idea of conflict is galaxy spanning wars with slight side effects of gigadeaths and genocide, and the Vorlons' concept of peace and order seems to involve sitting on your butt and stagnating (the Minbari weren't exactly rocking the galaxy in the thousand years since the first Shadow war). Extremists.

    The Vorlon idea of Order was do as I say and know your place or we will blow up your planet.

    Like he said, extremists.

    Yes, but I don't consider planet killing to be sitting on your ass.

    They spent the 1000 years between wars, and even the beginning of the war, sitting on their asses. Only after the war took an unexpected turn did they decide to start blowing up planets.

    sig.gif
    Heffling
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    VoodooV wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    To clarify, I'm not even nitpicking or criticizing really, just found myself surprised at how weak the sales pitch was in relation to a slightly more "grey" version of the Vorlon/Shadow conflict I was vaguely and without detail remembering.

    I might also be applying the memory of an impending "the Vorlons actually suck too" development which I haven't gotten to yet in my re-watch.

    There's nothing particularly wrong about either side's core philosophy. The Shadows think that growth comes from chaos and conflict (which it definitely can), and the Vorlons believe it comes from order and peace (also true). The problem is in the application of their philosophies. The Shadow's idea of conflict is galaxy spanning wars with slight side effects of gigadeaths and genocide, and the Vorlons' concept of peace and order seems to involve sitting on your butt and stagnating (the Minbari weren't exactly rocking the galaxy in the thousand years since the first Shadow war). Extremists.

    The Vorlon idea of Order was do as I say and know your place or we will blow up your planet.

    Like he said, extremists.

    Yes, but I don't consider planet killing to be sitting on your ass.

    They spent the 1000 years between wars, and even the beginning of the war, sitting on their asses. Only after the war took an unexpected turn did they decide to start blowing up planets.

    They spent a thousand years fucking with psychics. In some cases literally.

  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    I liked that the Vorlons' goal towards the end of the war was to destroy the Shadows' military, but leave them alive so they could be forced to watch the Vorlons prove the superiority of their methods as they
    Richy wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    VoodooV wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    To clarify, I'm not even nitpicking or criticizing really, just found myself surprised at how weak the sales pitch was in relation to a slightly more "grey" version of the Vorlon/Shadow conflict I was vaguely and without detail remembering.

    I might also be applying the memory of an impending "the Vorlons actually suck too" development which I haven't gotten to yet in my re-watch.

    There's nothing particularly wrong about either side's core philosophy. The Shadows think that growth comes from chaos and conflict (which it definitely can), and the Vorlons believe it comes from order and peace (also true). The problem is in the application of their philosophies. The Shadow's idea of conflict is galaxy spanning wars with slight side effects of gigadeaths and genocide, and the Vorlons' concept of peace and order seems to involve sitting on your butt and stagnating (the Minbari weren't exactly rocking the galaxy in the thousand years since the first Shadow war). Extremists.

    The Vorlon idea of Order was do as I say and know your place or we will blow up your planet.

    Like he said, extremists.

    Yes, but I don't consider planet killing to be sitting on your ass.

    They spent the 1000 years between wars, and even the beginning of the war, sitting on their asses. Only after the war took an unexpected turn did they decide to start blowing up planets.

    Ah, the ass sitting I was referring to was being done by the Minbari. In the thousand years since the first Shadow War, their great advancement seems to have been a slight redesign of their warcruisers.

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    Ah, the ass sitting I was referring to was being done by the Minbari. In the thousand years since the first Shadow War, their great advancement seems to have been a slight redesign of their warcruisers.

    That is true, and something that's always bugged me. The Mimbari have virtually zero technological improvement over 1000 years.

    sig.gif
  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    I liked that the Vorlons' goal towards the end of the war was to destroy the Shadows' military, but leave them alive so they could be forced to watch the Vorlons prove the superiority of their methods as they
    Richy wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    VoodooV wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    To clarify, I'm not even nitpicking or criticizing really, just found myself surprised at how weak the sales pitch was in relation to a slightly more "grey" version of the Vorlon/Shadow conflict I was vaguely and without detail remembering.

    I might also be applying the memory of an impending "the Vorlons actually suck too" development which I haven't gotten to yet in my re-watch.

    There's nothing particularly wrong about either side's core philosophy. The Shadows think that growth comes from chaos and conflict (which it definitely can), and the Vorlons believe it comes from order and peace (also true). The problem is in the application of their philosophies. The Shadow's idea of conflict is galaxy spanning wars with slight side effects of gigadeaths and genocide, and the Vorlons' concept of peace and order seems to involve sitting on your butt and stagnating (the Minbari weren't exactly rocking the galaxy in the thousand years since the first Shadow war). Extremists.

    The Vorlon idea of Order was do as I say and know your place or we will blow up your planet.

    Like he said, extremists.

    Yes, but I don't consider planet killing to be sitting on your ass.

    They spent the 1000 years between wars, and even the beginning of the war, sitting on their asses. Only after the war took an unexpected turn did they decide to start blowing up planets.

    Ah, the ass sitting I was referring to was being done by the Minbari. In the thousand years since the first Shadow War, their great advancement seems to have been a slight redesign of their warcruisers.
    well the thing last shadow war the Minbari became a Theocratic Oligarchy pupped by the Vorlons.

    I mean there's a reason that when they are telepathically communicating the Vorlons appear frozen in a block of ice. Vorlon's ideal state for a civilization is being frozen in development and total adherence to law.

    Man in the MistsHefflingInvectivus
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    Ah, the ass sitting I was referring to was being done by the Minbari. In the thousand years since the first Shadow War, their great advancement seems to have been a slight redesign of their warcruisers.

    That is true, and something that's always bugged me. The Mimbari have virtually zero technological improvement over 1000 years.

    The Minbari are where the Vorlon philosophy breaks down, because if the Minbari had grown any stronger they would have been able to challenge the Vorlons and Shadow. Because ultimately neither elder race will allow new competition.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
    autono-wally, erotibot300
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    Ah, the ass sitting I was referring to was being done by the Minbari. In the thousand years since the first Shadow War, their great advancement seems to have been a slight redesign of their warcruisers.

    That is true, and something that's always bugged me. The Mimbari have virtually zero technological improvement over 1000 years.

    What are we basing this assessment on exactly?

  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    Ah, the ass sitting I was referring to was being done by the Minbari. In the thousand years since the first Shadow War, their great advancement seems to have been a slight redesign of their warcruisers.

    That is true, and something that's always bugged me. The Mimbari have virtually zero technological improvement over 1000 years.

    What are we basing this assessment on exactly?

    Yeah, we see a brief scene of ships cruising towards B4. Zero indication of what their abilities are. The tech inside could be radically different. I could see the Minbari being, as ritualistic as they are, the kind of race that keeps the same aesthetic in ship design that long.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    VoodooV wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    Ah, the ass sitting I was referring to was being done by the Minbari. In the thousand years since the first Shadow War, their great advancement seems to have been a slight redesign of their warcruisers.

    That is true, and something that's always bugged me. The Mimbari have virtually zero technological improvement over 1000 years.

    What are we basing this assessment on exactly?

    Yeah, we see a brief scene of ships cruising towards B4. Zero indication of what their abilities are. The tech inside could be radically different. I could see the Minbari being, as ritualistic as they are, the kind of race that keeps the same aesthetic in ship design that long.

    1000 years ago, Minbari ships fought the Shadows and got beat to the point that their last chance of victory was a borrowed space station from the future.
    Now, 1000 years later, Minbari ships are nearly on level with the Shadow vessels, possibly advancing past them in the case of some White Stars (though those were co-designed by the Vorlons, so it might be considered cheating).

    It certainly isn't the exponential technological leap that humanity went through in those 1000 years (1250-2250 where we went from swords and spears to interstellar starships), but clearly some advancements were made there.

    I'd guess it's like a 4x game, the early tech advancements are quick, easy and cheap because you don't play the game if you never get off world. But if you want the good shit at the end game, you need to spend the time to earn it (or ally with someone who cheated and is willing to share the good shit).

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    I think it's worth pointing out that an inevitable, exponential march towards progress is a fallacy and not at all supported by the historical evidence we have available.

    Simply not having another Dark Ages or going extinct may be enough. Then again if the Vorlons were around the entire time it does make you wonder why more visible progress wasn't made.

    Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
    HefflingKipling217Shadowen
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Simply not having another Dark Ages or going extinct may be enough. Then again if the Vorlons were around the entire time it does make you wonder why more visible progress wasn't made.

    I'd guess it's because if the Vorlons openly interfered with or guided a species development that would ruin the game and, even worse, prove the Shadows correct. Afterall, what open guidance could the Vorlons offer to better equip their followers? Weapons and technology directly connected to developing weapons and ships, tools of war and strife. The very elements of chaos that the Shadows imagine as the driving force of development.

    So, instead, the Vorlons got to be all sneaky about it, quietly genetically modifying races to breed telepaths, influencing their religious development to think kindly of the Vorlons and the Shadows appear the physical embodiment of evil, and maybe a few pieces of Vorlon tech wind up reversed engineered by their favorite races, but certainly nothing that Shadow Fox News could use to point out the hypocrisy of the "Peaceful and Orderly Vorlons advocating and advancing the cause of war among the lower species".

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    How would you measure "visible progress" when we basically have no direct excamples of Mimbari tech 1000 years ago. We don't actually have any conception of what they were capable of then vs now.

  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    I think it's worth pointing out that an inevitable, exponential march towards progress is a fallacy and not at all supported by the historical evidence we have available.

    Simply not having another Dark Ages or going extinct may be enough. Then again if the Vorlons were around the entire time it does make you wonder why more visible progress wasn't made.

    i mean, humans literally nearly went extinct and a few years later were close to even footing with the Minbari.
    Narn went from, what ever the equivalent of Pre-Warp is to standing a fighting chance against the Centauri.
    then there's the Pak'ma'ra, who have no noses. How do they smell you ask? Terrible!

    Richy
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    I think it's worth pointing out that an inevitable, exponential march towards progress is a fallacy and not at all supported by the historical evidence we have available.

    Simply not having another Dark Ages or going extinct may be enough. Then again if the Vorlons were around the entire time it does make you wonder why more visible progress wasn't made.

    i mean, humans literally nearly went extinct and a few years later were close to even footing with the Minbari.
    Narn went from, what ever the equivalent of Pre-Warp is to standing a fighting chance against the Centauri.
    then there's the Pak'ma'ra, who have no noses. How do they smell you ask? Terrible!

    Wha?

    Humans are nowhere near even footing with the Mimbari. That's like the entire point of Delenn's most famous scene.

    EntaruHefflingDracomicronMan in the MistsInvectivusMatevNaphtali
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    How would you measure "visible progress" when we basically have no direct excamples of Mimbari tech 1000 years ago. We don't actually have any conception of what they were capable of then vs now.

    Hence the word visible. The qualification was for exactly the point you make.

    From what we can see, they didn't seem to make much progress. But that's just from what we can see.

    Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
  • EntaruEntaru Goddess with a blade Registered User regular
    Neither are bad. They had good intentions and both only tried to help the younger races.
    shryke wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    I think it's worth pointing out that an inevitable, exponential march towards progress is a fallacy and not at all supported by the historical evidence we have available.

    Simply not having another Dark Ages or going extinct may be enough. Then again if the Vorlons were around the entire time it does make you wonder why more visible progress wasn't made.

    i mean, humans literally nearly went extinct and a few years later were close to even footing with the Minbari.
    Narn went from, what ever the equivalent of Pre-Warp is to standing a fighting chance against the Centauri.
    then there's the Pak'ma'ra, who have no noses. How do they smell you ask? Terrible!

    Wha?

    Humans are nowhere near even footing with the Mimbari. That's like the entire point of Delenn's most famous scene.

    That scene is soooooo good

    Mostly just huntin' monsters.
    XBL:Phenyhelm - 3DS:Phenyhelm
    Naphtali
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    Simply not having another Dark Ages or going extinct may be enough. Then again if the Vorlons were around the entire time it does make you wonder why more visible progress wasn't made.

    I'd guess it's because if the Vorlons openly interfered with or guided a species development that would ruin the game and, even worse, prove the Shadows correct. Afterall, what open guidance could the Vorlons offer to better equip their followers? Weapons and technology directly connected to developing weapons and ships, tools of war and strife. The very elements of chaos that the Shadows imagine as the driving force of development.

    So, instead, the Vorlons got to be all sneaky about it, quietly genetically modifying races to breed telepaths, influencing their religious development to think kindly of the Vorlons and the Shadows appear the physical embodiment of evil, and maybe a few pieces of Vorlon tech wind up reversed engineered by their favorite races, but certainly nothing that Shadow Fox News could use to point out the hypocrisy of the "Peaceful and Orderly Vorlons advocating and advancing the cause of war among the lower species".

    For all we know the Vorlons could have interfered with racial advancements, giving us our Da Vincis and Teslas.

    I think it's also worth noting that two major species were rendered extinct in a short period of time in events related to Babylon 5, the Dilgar and the Markab. It makes me wonder if the Dilgar hadn't been a false start from the Shadow.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    How would you measure "visible progress" when we basically have no direct excamples of Mimbari tech 1000 years ago. We don't actually have any conception of what they were capable of then vs now.

    Hence the word visible. The qualification was for exactly the point you make.

    From what we can see, they didn't seem to make much progress. But that's just from what we can see.

    No, that's the opposite of my point. From what we can see, we don't know anything. We literally have on basis to judge this issue on at all. We cannot make any statement about them suffering technological stagnation because we don't know anything about their technology during the last shadow war.

    That leaves us with the base assumption that, yeah, they probably got better at stuff in the intervening period.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    How would you measure "visible progress" when we basically have no direct excamples of Mimbari tech 1000 years ago. We don't actually have any conception of what they were capable of then vs now.

    Hence the word visible. The qualification was for exactly the point you make.

    From what we can see, they didn't seem to make much progress. But that's just from what we can see.

    No, that's the opposite of my point. From what we can see, we don't know anything. We literally have on basis to judge this issue on at all. We cannot make any statement about them suffering technological stagnation because we don't know anything about their technology during the last shadow war.

    That leaves us with the base assumption that, yeah, they probably got better at stuff in the intervening period.

    Except we kind of do. I mean, we don't have specifics, but we know they were losing the Shadow War of a thousand years ago until B4 showed up to serve as a staging ground and reinforced their fleets. Flash forward to current day and the Mimbari are going hand to hand with the Shadow vessels and coming out on top surprisingly often. That would seem to imply to me that either the Shadows got substantially weaker in the last 1000 years, Sheridan's attack on Za'Ha'Dum did a lot more to fuck them up then we know, or the Mimbari stepped up their game substantially in preparation (with Vorlon assistance). Given the White Star fleet showing up being a massive turning point in the war, I'd put my money on that last one.

    The Mimbari may have stuck with a general design theme for their ships (and can you blame them? It's a good look.), but they certainly haven't been stagnant in the mean time.

    Which seems to be a lot of words to say that an advanced race that just got their asses kicked by space demons before being saved by a Deus Ex Vorlon showing up at the last minute probably isn't going to sit back and rest on their laurels when they know they've only got a thousand years before the space demons show up again.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Given the relatively static nature of Minbari culture and how closely it's been tied to/controlled by the Vorlons, them not advancing on their own much in a thousand years would not be that much of a surprise. They have a stratified caste-based society that is peaceful, yes, but it is also heavily, heavily restricted by obligations to caste and clan. There's no indication that they would have a problem with being a largely untouchable power in the galaxy for centuries and having the Vorlons dole out technology when they deem it necessary or useful. All the Vorlons would have to do is pitch the changes as being "at the appointed time" or some nonsense like that, and the Minbari would eat it up.

    As for being an "advanced" race, we know that the Minbari are certainly intelligent on an individual level, but there's no indication that many of them are ambitious or highly creative outside the goals of their cast. They don't seem likely to have many individuals that would aggressively go outside the rules for new discoveries, or even that technological advancement is any kind of priority for the culture. They've been a pawn race of the Vorlons for a very long time, with nothing to motivate them to not listen to the Vorlons and strike out on their own; it's likely they only became a major galactic player because of Vorlon influence and tech.

    Dracomicron
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    It is also worth noting out that the Minbari treated the other races in much the same way as the Vorlons treated the Minbari. Acting superior, having a legacy of always being truthful, but never telling the entire truth, using their superior technology to discourage other races advances, etc.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
    Commander ZoomDanHibikiShadowfire
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Let us also remember that the Minbari didn't defeat the shadows, they made the shadows go away for a thousand years. The shadows fought because conflict was a way to build strength in their eyes, the Minbari may have fought with everything they had, but the shadows didn't(no world killer clouds). I could totally see the Shadows a thousand years ago(when they still followed the agreement with the Vorlons not to fight directly) fighting with less then 100% effort and the Minbari thinking it was everything they had. Its not like the Vorlons would tell them.


    It was only in the last conflict that they went all out and even then they didn't use the Drakh plague.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    I'm pretty sure the Minbari didn't make huge leaps in jump engine technology. They made a huge deal about the whitestars being able to generate a jump point and it looks like every current race's heavy cruiser type ships can pull that off, so I'd assume the old Minbari cruisers could do that too and they just stuck with that for the next millennium. I will perform some research this weekend and rewatch War Without End. I should be able to check out the old cruiser's propulsion system and if the Minbari base was using rotational gravity.
    see317 wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    How would you measure "visible progress" when we basically have no direct excamples of Mimbari tech 1000 years ago. We don't actually have any conception of what they were capable of then vs now.

    Hence the word visible. The qualification was for exactly the point you make.

    From what we can see, they didn't seem to make much progress. But that's just from what we can see.

    No, that's the opposite of my point. From what we can see, we don't know anything. We literally have on basis to judge this issue on at all. We cannot make any statement about them suffering technological stagnation because we don't know anything about their technology during the last shadow war.

    That leaves us with the base assumption that, yeah, they probably got better at stuff in the intervening period.

    Except we kind of do. I mean, we don't have specifics, but we know they were losing the Shadow War of a thousand years ago until B4 showed up to serve as a staging ground and reinforced their fleets. Flash forward to current day and the Mimbari are going hand to hand with the Shadow vessels and coming out on top surprisingly often. That would seem to imply to me that either the Shadows got substantially weaker in the last 1000 years, Sheridan's attack on Za'Ha'Dum did a lot more to fuck them up then we know, or the Mimbari stepped up their game substantially in preparation (with Vorlon assistance). Given the White Star fleet showing up being a massive turning point in the war, I'd put my money on that last one.

    I'd argue that any improvements in Minbari performance are due to the use of telepaths. There's still plenty of shots of Minbari cruisers getting wrecked by the Shadows, and even a Narn heavy cruiser can beat down a Shadow vessel (assuming it gets the jump on one).

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    I think it's worth pointing out that an inevitable, exponential march towards progress is a fallacy and not at all supported by the historical evidence we have available.

    Simply not having another Dark Ages or going extinct may be enough. Then again if the Vorlons were around the entire time it does make you wonder why more visible progress wasn't made.

    i mean, humans literally nearly went extinct and a few years later were close to even footing with the Minbari.
    Narn went from, what ever the equivalent of Pre-Warp is to standing a fighting chance against the Centauri.
    then there's the Pak'ma'ra, who have no noses. How do they smell you ask? Terrible!

    Wha?

    Humans are nowhere near even footing with the Mimbari. That's like the entire point of Delenn's most famous scene.

    Not equal, but close enough.

    1000 years ago, the Mimbari were a space-faring empire at 2300s Human technology level (as pointed before, Babylon 4 was state-of-the-art for them). Humanity is in the 1300s, state-of-the-art is swords and longbows. Give them a Mimbari ship, and they'd have not a single clue what to make of it. Hell, they'd have not a single clue about where to get a single clue what to make of it. They'd probably poke it with a sword and yell "dragon!".

    1000 years later, humanity caught up to where the Mimbari were. The Mimbari advanced... a bit, enough to come out on top in a fight against humanity and stand a change in a one-on-one fight with a smaller Shadow ship. But the edge is gone. Humanity can recognize Mimbari ships as ships, understand how they work, devise one-in-a-hundred-shot strategies against them, even use them if they're invited on board. They are ahead of us, but not 1000 years ahead of us.

    sig.gif
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Humans also are able to take their own tech and integrate it with reverse-engineered Shadow tech to make warships the equal of multiple White Star ships, closing a thousand-year gap of Vorlon-assisted tech in less than a generation and without one of the elder races directly handing them advantages.

    The Vorlons could not have been happy with humanity suddenly exploding onto the galactic stage with tendencies like that. I do wonder if the Vorlons wanted the Minbari to wipe out humanity, but were ultimately thwarted by Kosh.

  • KneelKneel Ten thick coats Registered User regular
    The Vorlons could not have been happy with humanity suddenly exploding onto the galactic stage with tendencies like that. I do wonder if the Vorlons wanted the Minbari to wipe out humanity, but were ultimately thwarted by Kosh.

    Sounds more like the kinda thing the Shadows would instigate.

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    MINbari.

    MINbari.

    It's raining MINbari.

    Shadowfire
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Also, I don't think there's really that much to infer about the technological development of the Minbari 1000 years ago. We get a glimpse of two of their spaceships.

    The original Babylon stations were a collaboration between the various involved worlds, and Babylon 4 was the biggest and best of them all. It may not have been purely Earth technology.

    But even if it was, it's not like the station is the only thing that came back to the past: there was also a dude who'd been living on present-day Minbar for years and could well have brought back a bunch of knowledge with him.

    moniker
  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Also, I don't think there's really that much to infer about the technological development of the Minbari 1000 years ago. We get a glimpse of two of their spaceships.

    The original Babylon stations were a collaboration between the various involved worlds, and Babylon 4 was the biggest and best of them all. It may not have been purely Earth technology.

    But even if it was, it's not like the station is the only thing that came back to the past: there was also a dude who'd been living on present-day Minbar for years and could well have brought back a bunch of knowledge with him.

    And that closed loop was my absolute favorite storyline of the entire series. The show had a few plotholes, but MJS's ability to thread the needle when it mattered, was awesome.

    DracomicronCommander ZoomMan in the Mistsautono-wally, erotibot300
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