Contents: Overview - Backplot - Questions - Analysis - Notes - JMS
The Army of Light mounts its final assault. Londo learns some surprising information about Morden. Ed Wasser as Morden.
P5 Rating: 9.30 Production number: 406 Original air week: February 3, 1997 Written by J. Michael Straczynski Directed by Kevin Dobson
An episodic soundtrack is available.
It could be argued that they had to be present because Lorien needed them to see that it was time to depart. But given how reclusive most of the remaining First Ones were, they could likely have remained right where they were without ever significantly affecting mankind's reign of the galaxy. Only the Shadows and Vorlons were actively interfering with the younger races. For all intents and purposes the remaining First Ones were already gone anyway.
Whether those allies will also be responsible for putting the keeper on Londo isn't clear. If so, they would appear to be after more than simple revenge, since they were trying to extract information from Delenn.
Ironically, if Londo had left the base and Morden alone, the Vorlons would have turned back anyway, since their planet-killer was summoned to Coriana 6 before it fired a shot at Centauri Prime. Of course, he had no way of knowing that.
Similarly, is the Vorlon homeworld now accessible to anyone who cares to visit? What did the Vorlons leave behind?
Lorien also may have left something behind, namely the ship he and Sheridan took to Babylon 5 in "The Summoning."
Perhaps that role will be filled by Jason Ironheart ("Mind War.") He indicated he'd be back in a million years.
What interests me, what I wanted to do with making this show, was in large measure to examine the issues and emotions and events that precede a war, precipitate a war, the effects of the war itself, the end of the war and the aftermath of the war. The war is hardware; the people are at the center of the story.
Everybody keeps commenting, "This is the sort of episode you have at the end, not 6 eps into your season." Yep.
We're funny that way....
There's a line one of the characters will say soon, "The duration's going to be a lot longer than the war." It's a very true comment.
One of my favorite books is "Alas, Babylon," by Pat Frank, which is about a nuclear war (written in the early 60s). But the war happens entirely off-stage, way in the distance...and the book focuses on one small township dealing with the after effects, and the day-to-day realities of surviving in a changed world. I've always been partial to that kind of storytelling.
After all, we all know how nice and calm and civilized Europe was after the War To End All Wars came to an end...we hardly heard a peep from that part of the world thereafter....
1) to alert folks interested in Lightwave to check out the B5 episode airing in about 2 weeks, "Into the Fire," the second new episode back, to see some nifty stuff one can do when one applies oneself. That episode has roughly 114 CGI shots in 43 minutes, and are easily some of the most elaborate ever done for TV. (There's some nice stuff toward the latter half of this coming week's episode, but the following one is the big blow-out.)
2) to plink the noses of those on here who came on proclaiming that "good sources" told them that the CGI EFX on B5 would either go to hell, or look crappy, or be less than before. We're now doing far more EFX than in any previous season, and more elaborate shots. I said these individuals were full of it then, and the facts have spoken for themselves in the time since. These individuals have since dropped away and gotten real silent. I hope they'll be as forthright now that they've been shown to be wrong as they were in their original proclamations.
Otherwise we'd have to assume that these individuals were spewing out things they knew weren't true, just to poison the well and cause us grief, and I just can't *imagine* that *anyone* would do something like that....
From a production standpoing, since "Fire" darn near killed us in the CGI department, it's probably a darned good thing it DIDN'T go for 2 eps. That puppy had something around 120 or 140 EFX shots.
Overall, I'm actually quite happy with how this season is going, in terms of the intensity of the arc and the emotions and incidents. Parts would've been a bit more laid-back if I had decided not to cover my bets on renewal, and maybe the situation has worked out to the best (again the ABA principle, Art By Accident).
So I dunno...all I know is what's in the episodes this season, and it's pretty cool overall....
We're trying some new rendering techniques...I think they're working very well. (Some of the stuff in the next episode has a very realistic feel to it.)
2.) Have you found some way to slow down time or compress the episode into a shorter span? When I finished this one, I swore I had watched a two hour movie.
You did. We arranged for a time dilation bubble to appear over your house.
3.) Any reaction from the actor or staff on this one? Especially, Ed Wasser? (Might be a bit of spoilers in the answer to this one)
Ed wants to come back as an alien. I see no problem with this.
Definitely didn't want it to end in a big explosion. We've seen many of those; how many more can you see? One is the same as the other after a while. And if we destroyed everything, how would that show we'd grown enough to create the new age? It's a matter of evolution, not destruction.
The director initially didn't want to do the Londo rage scene in one take; it was something I felt very strongly about, and I think it works well.
BTW, there's another example of a long single take coming up soon, on Epsilon 3, which is all I'll specify. I kinda wanted the scene to play itself out, without cutting, and to show just how amazingly capable some of our actors can be. We're talking here almost 4 minutes of footage, not one cut in the whole thing, very fast dialogue, and not a single muffed line, with the performances working wonderfully. You'll know it when you see it.
The jostling from the asteroid was an accident, though the others would've figured out what was going on soon enough.
b) The other key for me is that neither the Vorlons nor the Shadows saw themselves as conquerers or adversaries...both believed they were doing what was right for us. And like any possessive parent, they'll keep on believing that until the kid is strong enough to stand up and say, "No, this is what *I* want."
Most wars tend to end with one singular event...sometimes it's a big bomb, or a series of big bombs...and sometimes it comes with a negotiation. The two sides meet in a room, sometimes with representatives of other nations, and together they hammer out a truce, or a peace. There's the Nagasaki solution on the one hand, and the "let's meet in a room and talk about this" of Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat and Minister Begin.
Very early on, John Copeland asked me, "Okay, bottom line it for me, what's the war about?" I said, "It's about killing your parents." And his eyes went wide, and I explained, "No, not literally...but at some point you have to step outside the control of your parents and create your own life, your own destiny. That process is inevitable...and if there are indeed older races, and they're interfering, that puts them smack in the middle of that same process."
It's not about who has the biggest gun, because there's *always* somebody else with a bigger gun...it's about *understanding* your way out of a problem.