Recap / Babylon Five Film 01 In The Beginning

It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the history of pain. If we are wise, what is born of that pain matures into the promise of a better world, because we learn that we can no longer afford the mistakes of the past.

In the year 2278, Emperor Londo Mollari looks out on a devastated Centauri Prime as a pair of children, Luc and Lyssa, come wandering in. Their governess, Senna, tries to usher them out, but the emperor asks to see them. Luc bluntly asks if he is really the emperor, and Londo chuckles, then explains that he is wearing the seal of the Centauri Republic, something only the emperor can to. Londo then hangs the seal around Luc's neck and declares him the Emperor for the next five minutes and asks what his command is.

Londo: What do you want?
Luc: Tell me a story!
Senna: Luc!
Londo: No, no, it's alright. He did far better with that question than I did.

Luc wants an epic tales with heroes and battles and bravery. Lyssa whispers something in his ear: she wants it to be a true story. And so Londo begins telling them a story about humans, a race from a relatively uninteresting sector of space with little military or strategic value so they had gone unnoticed by the rest of the galaxy at large.

35 years before, Londo was on Earth as they began a campaign to expand their sphere of influence, riding the high from their victory over the Dilgar. Mr. Hastur, an aide to President Levy, and General Lefcourt explain their intentions, including an expedition to Minbari space. Londo tries to warn them off, telling them the Minbari are like a bear, if you leave them alone they will leave you alone. They feel they can handle it, and ask him for any information on Minbari military positions so they can make an encounter less likely. Londo is still reluctant, but relents and agrees to give them the information.

Londo: I only hope that in your stumbling around you do not wake the dragon.

Light-years away, on the Minbari homeworld, the head of the Anla'shok or Rangers, Lennon, is trying to gather support for the return of the Shadows, but his efforts are being stymied; the caste elders are not taking him seriously. Frustrated, he demands to meet with the Grey Council. His answer comes one night when a group of acolytes lead him to a ship which takes him to the Valen'Tha, the Council's warcruiser. There the Minbari leader Dukhat grants him an audience with the Grey Council.

Luc: You said there was going to be a battle.
Londo: Excuse me?

Luc is getting impatient, but Londo assures him that all this is leading to a great war, that would leave Earth on the edge of annihilation. And part of the responsibility is Londo's to bear. Senna tries to assuage his guilt, but Londo just tells her he knows his sins before continuing.

Lennon makes his case to the Grey Council, but even here his efforts seem doomed to fail. The members of the council are skeptical and Dukhat points out that Lennon is speaking of prophesy, which falls to the Religious Caste. The Worker Caste will want to know why they will need to build warships and weapons rather than building cities and the Warrior Caste will want to know why they will be called upon to fight and die. All Lennon can say is he believes, and because of that he must ask for more resources to bring the Rangers up to what they should be. And he believes they need to make contact with the Vorlons again.

One of the Warrior Caste, Coplann, scoffs at this, pointing out they have sent ships to Vorlon space. None returned. Why would this be any different? And they know of the prophecy, why haven't they come forth themselves? Lennon believes it is because they know the Minbari have fallen from grace, and Coplann counters that they should appear to give them something to believe in, and their silence indicates that there is no danger.

The exchange is interrupted by another voice; Delenn, though not yet a member of the Council, asks to speak. She suggests that if they require proof, an expedition to Z'Ha'Dum may be in order. They would jump in, observe the planet and area then leave. If the Shadows are indeed returning, there should be some evidence of it there. Coplann dismisses the idea out of hand and Dukhat agrees, they will not send anyone to Z'Ha'Dum.

Coplann: Thank you.
Dukhat: We will go.
Coplann: What?!

Dukhat suddenly seems determined to go and see this place of legend himself, particularly if they are to determine how to support the Rangers. So they will go, with only a few vessels in secret, traveling in indirect paths until they are ready.

Dukhat: It is an elegant and simple solution, Coplann. Thank you for giving it to me.

Coplann looks like he's about to be sick.

As they leave the council chambers, Dukhat notes something is bothering Delenn. She says Coplann is correct about something, where are the Vorlons? Dukhat reminds her that the Vorlons never reveal themselves quickly and never all at once.

Delenn: What are you saying?
Dukhat: I'm not saying anything. I didn't say anything then and I'm not saying anything now.

He bids her good day and retreats to his sanctum where two Vorlons appear. "Now it starts."

General Lefcourt brings Lt. Commander John Sheridan in for a talk about an opportunity. He offers Sheridan a position as first officer on the Prometheus, the expedition flagship. Sheridan, however, feels an obligation to his current ship, the Lexington, and CO, Captain Sterns. He's also not happy with the man chosen to lead the expedition, Captain Jankowski, considering him to be a loose cannon, and not someone to lead a possible first contact. Lefcourt is not pleased, and curtly dismisses him. Looking like he thinks he can say good-bye to a command of his own, Sheridan takes off.

The Valen'tha is in hyperspace when Delenn notices a transport making a delivery, a risky thing to do in hyperspace. She tracks down the pilot and tries to get some information, but he doesn't have any to give, except the cargo has something to do with life support systems. All he knows is what his orders are, orders that apparently came from Dukhat himself. Delenn wants to dig deeper but Dukhat interrupts.

She should be getting ready for the ceremony, not getting involved in trivial things like transport shipments. Unless the trivial things are part of something bigger. Only an alien life form would need such equipment, but since no one has seen a Vorlon, other aliens have come forward claiming to be one. It's easy to be deceived.

Dukhat: Are you saying I'm being deceived?
Delenn: I'm not saying anything. I didn't say anything then and I'm not saying anything now. Unless you are saying you have seen a Vorlon.
Dukhat: I'm saying even less than you, except for this: when the darkness comes, if you ever have doubt about your actions, all you need do is look into the face of a Vorlon. Once you see that, all doubt is erased forever.

The Prometheus expedition is preparing to jump out of hyperspace to begin their mission while Dukhat oversees the initiation of Delenn as the newest member of the Grey Council. Meanwhile, the Prometheus picks up the Minbari ships at the edge of their sensor range and Captain Jankowski orders them to go in for a better look. Things take a turn shortly after as the Minbari turn their scanners to full power, which disrupts the Earth ships' jump capabilities, trapping them in normal space. Jankowski begins to panic, thinking they had been lured into a trap, and when they realize the Minbari gunports are open he orders his ships to open fire.

The Valen'Tha is severely damaged in the barrage, and Dukhat is killed. His death enrages Delenn, who casts the deciding vote to follow the ships back to their base and destroy them all. From here begins a holy war to exterminate mankind in revenge. As the Minbari begin moving on Earth outposts, Gens. Lefcourt and Fontaine brief an assembly of Earth Force personnel. They point out that the Minbari ships are immensely superior to their own and want their people to understand two things, they need a victory to boost morale, and unless they can turn this around, the human race ends with the current generation.

Sheridan is with Captain Sterns among the assembled. They discuss the situation, Sterns wondering how they can possibly win this, but Sheridan doesn't believe in an unbeatable opponent. Since it'll be a few days before the Lexington is ready for action, Sterns grants him leave to see his family, especially after what they just saw.

Preparations are made, people are shipped out; a pilot named Ganya Ivanov is surprised by a visit from his little sister, Susan. She came to see him off, since she's worried about what she's been hearing. He tries to reassure her and she gives him one of her earrings as a good luck charm. He leaves and she turns to watch the transports take off.

Meanwhile, efforts are made to gain support for the war effort from other governments. The Centauri rebuff their proposals, but the Narns are willing to supply weapons and a deal is cut.

While the Minbari are enjoying great success, Delenn is not happy. Regretting her enraged decision, she is now looking for a way to stop the war, but Lennon has her go to Dukhat's chamber where she is surprised when she encounters two Vorlons. One of them has a message from Dukhat in case of his death, in which he explains that the Shadows are returning to Z'Ha'Dum and in order to win they will need allies, in particular a race known as humans. Now it is imperative that the war be ended before the humans are driven to extinction.

Sheridan is aboard the Lexington when they encounter a small Minbari ship. It seems to flame out, but it turns out to be a trap to get their fleet in a pre-determined position, and the Minbari jump right into the midst of them, doing considerable damage and leaving the Lexington disabled. Sheridan finds himself in command after Captain Sterns is killed. Now they are faced with either slowly being pulverized in an asteroid field, or being finished off by the Minbari if they try to call for help.

Meanwhile, Delenn and Lennon meet to discuss the situation. She's sat idle for too long and wants to make an effort to end the war. They've learned of the arms deal Earth has with the Narn, and decide to use that as a back channel to open informal negotiations. Delenn asks Lennon to go and be the one to meet with them, and they begin the process of preparing.

The Lexington has been adrift for hours, unable to fight or move out of the asteroid field she's caught in. Since the Minbari are still lurking about, Sheridan decides to lay a trap. He has the crew lay nuclear mines on the asteroids and sends a distress signal. As a Minbari warcruiser approaches, he detonates the nukes, destroying the ship.

The news is welcome on Earth, especially since that ship, the Black Star, was their flagship. With this victory under his belt, Sheridan is tapped by command for another mission. The Minbari have been able to arrange through the Narn for one of them to meet with representatives from Earth to try and work out an end to the war. Since Sheridan has shown he can handle himself, they want him to be the first one there before they send in a diplomatic team. Accompanying him will be G'Kar, who can speak English and Minbari, and Dr. Stephen Franklin, who is has to either go or sit in a cell for not turning notes on Minbari physiology to Earth Force weapons division.

Londo: Orders, we all have out orders. That is something you do not understand yet; you think to go to bed early is an order, to clean you room is an order. The hard orders...those are the ones you discover later. The order to leave your friends on the battlefield, the order to fire upon the weak, the powerless. My orders - my orders were to prevent the Narns from using the war to establish closer ties with the humans. My spies learned of the mission to the Epsilon System; we assumed it was an arms shipment, we didn't know, we couldn't know, that it was an attempt to end the war. And so I gave the order to intercept them. Great Maker forgive me.

A Narn ship arrives and launches a shuttle down to a cold and forbidding planet. Sheridan and G'Kar try to get some power going as Franklin scouts the perimeter, stumbling onto Lennon in the process. He introduces himself to the team, and expresses the wishes of those who sent him and the sentiments of many who remember what Sheridan did. Before they can continue, a signal comes from the Narn ship of something coming through the jumpgate. A Centauri warship charges out, guns blazing, destroying the Narn cruiser before it can identify them, then turns toward the planet, firing missiles at the surface, mortally wounding Lennon. Before he dies he whispers something to Sheridan. When the Minbari arrive they find Lennon's body, and bring Sheridan, G'Kar and Franklin up as prisoners. Sheridan and Franklin are to be executed, but Sheridan tries to tell them something, "I know what's in Dukhat's sacred space."

Delenn: What is in Dukhat's sacred space.
Sheridan: Isil'zha.
Delenn: Let them go. There has been enough death today.
Franlkin Isil'zha? What the hell does that mean?
G'Kar: The future.

Unfortunately, the war only gets worse from there.

Londo pauses here and looks out over the devastated city, lamenting the fate that has befallen his beloved Centauri Prime. Everything he ever did was for his homeworld, and yet look at what it resulted in. He says there is still hope, but it will be very hard. He then continues with his story.

Londo: 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 all my life, I have never seen anything like it; they would weep, they would pray, they would say goodbye to their loved ones... and then throw themselves, without fear or hesitation, at 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 that 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.

On Earth the president of the Earth Alliance addresses her forces. Intelligence believes that the Minbari will soon attack Earth itself. She calls for all available forces to go up and hold the Minbari off long enough for civilians to escape to neutral space.

President: 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. May God go with you all.

As the battle approaches, Delenn goes to see the Vorlons one more time. She is out of ideas, and even though everyone, even the Warrior Caste, is tired of it, the war has taken on a life of its own. She pleads with them for advice. They simply tell her, "The truth points to itself."

Around Earth, a massive fleet assembles to hold the Minbari off, but they jump right into it, and begin decimating the Earth ships. One fighter, Alpha Leader, is damaged and the pilot, Jeffrey Sinclair, attempts to ram a Minbari cruiser. Delenn, observing the battle, suggests taking a prisoner to interrogate about Earth Forces on the ground if that is to be the next phase. The others agree and she turns around, seeing Sinclair's fighter, and remembers the Vorlons' advice. "That one."

Sinclair's ship is disabled and brought aboard. During their interrogations, they discover something unexpected. The human has a Minbari soul. Minbari do not kill Minbari, and Delenn pleads with the others to end it now. The order to cease fire goes out, but there is still the matter of the human. They decide to have his mind telepathically wiped of his interrogation, and Delenn arranges to keep him close to them, one way or another.

As the Minbari forces cease fire, the war comes to a close.

Londo: For the next ten years, one question would obsess a hundred worlds: why did the Minbari surrender at the Battle of the Line on the very eve of victory? The answer to that question would change the galaxy forever.

Shortly after the war's end, the Earth president announces a new project, aimed at preventing incidents like the one that lead to the war, called the Babylon Project. It gets off to a rocky start, though, as the unfinished station suddenly explodes.

Londo: Of course, as with all good things, it took them a while to work it all out.

With that Londo ends his story, and as Senna ushers them out, Londo calls for another bottle, several more bottles, then pulls up an image of Sheridan and Delenn down in the palace dungeon, as he pours himself a drink.

Londo: To the future, my old friends.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Attack on One Is an Attack on All: The disastrous first contact causing the death of Dukhat is taken as an assault on the entire Minbari race and they embark on a genocidal holy war of revenge.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: The Minbari are unique among the B5 races in evidently taking this very seriously, which is subverted via Loophole Abuse, below.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Londo's narration misquotes The Bible, saying that the humans have a saying, "Pride goeth before a fall,"note  going on to state that the humans were very proud indeed.
  • Ass in Ambassador: G'Kar, the Narn Regime's representative to the Earth Alliance, who is more than willing to sell advanced weapons technology (stolen from the Centauri) to the humans to use against the Minbari, at vastly inflated prices, in hopes of falsely incriminating the Centauri Republic of supplying an enemy of the Minbari Federation.
    • His exact words were that "human currency has been devalued on the interstellar market." If you're on a losing war for the survival of your race/country/planet, your currency will be rendered worthless by others, requiring more to buy the same items. It's economic practicality on G'Kar's part. In fact in the series itself he and the Narn resistance have to buy the same weapons from a human arms dealer, and he remarks the asking price is far higher than what the Narn sold them for.
    • That said, he also agrees to broker a meeting between representatives from Earth and an important Minbari official to try and figure out how to stop the war. Depending on how you interpret his character, this could be anything from Jerk with a Heart of Gold to Even Evil Has Standards (he may have a hate-on for the Centauri, but that doesn't mean he likes the idea of the humans being slaughtered wholesale by the Minbari.) Or that he's simply an opportunist with a Long Game view on things, and figures having a human race grateful to the Narn for helping save them would be advantageous in the long run. The deal was actually brokered from the Minbari end, and had the fairly-obvious second message of "we know where the weapons are coming from."
  • And Man Grew Proud: Pretty much the theme of the movie.
  • Balance of Power: The primary motivation behind the Narns being willing to sell stolen Centauri weaponry to the Humans to use against the Minbari. If the Minbari track the weapons back to their creators, it will lead them to the Narns' enemies, thus ridding the Narn of the Centauri. Subverted in that the Minbari were aware of the Narn's dealings. They didn't care.
  • Be All My Sins Remembered: Londo's storytelling is interspersed with his regrets over all the hardship he was responsible for, including unintentionally prolonging the Earth-Minbari War, and being personally responsible for the widespread destruction on Centauri Prime.
  • Berserk Button: Hurt someone she cares for, Delenn will hurt you. Kill her mentor/father-figure, she will start a war to end your race.
  • Break the Haughty: The human leadership believes they can take on any alien species in the galaxy, after they defeated the hostile Dilgar Empire. Then they meet the Minbari.
  • Call-Forward: Many, given that this is a prequel that is substantially a Clip Show of flashbacks from the original show.
  • The Cameo:
    • Claudia Christian playing a young Susan Ivanova in one scene midway through the movie, visiting her brother Ganya and giving him one of her earrings for luck before he deploys during the war.
    • Which is a Call-Forward to the fact that throughout the show, Ivanova always wore a single earring.
    • Michael York has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as the weapons officer aboard the EAS Prometheus, the clip being recycled from A Late Delivery From Avalon, the episode he guest-starred in as a Shell-Shocked Veteran.
    • Michael O'Hare has a single scene towards the end of the film as Jeffrey Sinclair (originally The Captain on the show itself), leading a squadron of Starfuries at the Battle of the Line and being captured by the Minbari.
  • Clip Show: This film was produced, editing new footage in with footage used for flashbacks in the original series, in order to help familiarize new viewers with the show's universe when it jumped networks to TNT.
  • Commanding Coolness: John Sheridan, serving as Number Two to Captain Sterns.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The children Londo tells the story to are Luc and Lyssa Deradi, nephew and niece of the late Urza Jaddo.
    • The children's governess is Senna, daughter to recurring character Lord Refa.
    • Londo watches the conversation Sheridan had with Delenn while visiting from the past.
    • Londo admits that Luc's answer to "What do you want?" was better than his.
    • Lyssa seems to have hair under that cap. If you recall, Centauri women are not naturally bald, they shave their heads.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Almost every fight between the Minbari and the Humans. In one battle sequence, we see a sizable fleet of human ships wiped out in seconds.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: The humans win a single battle against a Minbari cruiser, at the cost of most of the task force that ran into it. Otherwise, it is made clear that despite their horrific losses, the humans are making the Minbari pay in blood for every inch of territory they take.
  • Damage Control: After the Lexington's task force is hit by a Minbari attack, Sheridan begins reading off damage reports to the captain. When Captain Sterns fails to respond to his report, Sheridan turns around to find his superior has been killed, leaving him in command.
  • David Vs Goliath: At one point, a small Earth Force corvette and a squadron of Starfuries face down a fleet of dozens of giant War Cruisers. The humans charge into battle regardless, and are wiped out in seconds.
  • Despair Event Horizon: As the end of the war approaches, Earth is nearing this. Delenn also is nearing it as her ship prepares for the Battle of the Line. She is out of ideas, and her plea to the Vorlons is answered only with a cryptic (though surprisingly useful for a Vorlon) response.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In return for the death of their religious and political leader, Dukhat, the Minbari set out to wipe out all of humanity.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: As Londo narrates how hard the Humans fought back we are shown examples of it, including a Starfury chasing and shooting down a Minbari fighter just as two or three other Minbari were shooting at it from behind, a Nova-class dreadnought ramming a Minbari warcruiser in spite of being shot by the same warcruiser at least three times before the contact, and a unarmed human fighting a knife-wielding Minbari warrior, punching it after being downed and still trying to stand up and fight after being knifed in the heart.
  • Face Death with Dignity/Obi-Wan Moment: Londo's story to the children can be seen as both as he knows he will soon die and chooses to tell those who will come after him about one of his greatest failings so that they will not end up like him.
  • Faking Engine Trouble: A Minbari flyer fakes an engine flame out to lure the Lexington's battle group into a kill zone.
  • First Contact: A human recon expedition into Minbari space accidentally stumbles across a Minbari ship, and are spotted before they can withdraw. A series of misunderstandings leads directly to We Come in Peace Shoot to Kill.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The Minbari realize their error in using the Warrior Caste's customary greeting towards strangers who might not react kindly to having guns pointed at them (particularly when their stealth technology prevents the humans from knowing whether or not the guns are running hot, and when their sensors accidentally knock out the humans' jump drives), immediately before the humans open fire on them in response.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Everyone who's watched the show knows how the war ends, but that doesn't make it seem any less tragic.
  • Framing Device: The story is told by Londo to a pair of Centauri children.
  • Greeting Gesture Confusion: The Minbar's gesture of respect is mistaken by Janskowski as a hostile action, prompting him to preemptively fire.
  • Hold the Line/You Shall Not Pass!: The purpose of the Battle of the Line was to buy time for civilian transports to escape off of Earth. The President's final speech makes makes it clear those who fight will likely die but with their deaths many civilians might be able to escape.
  • Hopeless War: For the humans. Londo assumes humanity knew this near the start of the war but that did not stop them from fighting. When other species might crumble with despair, the humans reforged their efforts and made the Minbari taste blood at every inch. There are plentiful examples on this page of just how hard Humanity fought against the odds.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Londo's description of how they made the Minbari fight for every inch of space.
  • Hyperspeed Ambush:
    • The Minbari have actually made it a standard tactic. They lure Earth warships into a predetermined position then jump right into the middle of them. The vortex itself is devastating to any ship caught near it, and then the Minbari proceed to carve up whatever's left.
    • Another happens when the Centauri interrupt the attempted peace meeting. They emerge from the jumpgate and destroy the Narn cruiser before it can identify them, then fires on the planet, killing the Minbari representative and ruining the only chance to end the war.
  • Hyperspeed Escape: Attempted by Captain Jankowski's scout expedition after they are spotted by the Minbari, but fails due to the Minbari's scanners inadvertently disrupting their jump engines.
    • Once they have disabled the Grey Council's starship and stopped the scanners, the human fleet proceeds to make good their escape. The Minbari proceed to follow them to their base and Kill 'em All.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Upon seeing Emperor Mollari, Luc blurts out, "Are you really the emperor?" Londo doesn't take offense, as he quite understands the question.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Sheridan begins to think something's off when he picks up no Minbari transmissions right before the Lexington is ambushed.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: The French-accented Centauri nursemaid in the framing story stands out quite glaringly among every other Centauri we ever hear. In the Centauri Prime Trilogy, she is a major character and is described as having a "northern" accent.
  • Karmic Nod:
    Londo: I know my sins, and the price I will eventually pay for them.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Chronologically, this show takes place before anything else in the series, but if you watch it first, it will spoil many important plot points throughout the first four seasons of the show proper.
  • Loophole Abuse: When they determine that Sinclair has a Minbari soul, Delenn uses that as an excuse to stop the war.
  • Lured into a Trap: The Lexington group with a lone Minbari flyer as the bait to set up their Hyperspeed Ambush.
  • Meaningful Name: The ship that makes first contact with the Minbari, starting the war that nearly wipes out humanity, is named for Prometheus, the Titan from Classical Mythology who stole fire from the Gods to give to man, and was punished severely for it.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Dukhat.
  • Military Maverick: Captain Jankowski, regarded by Commander Sheridan and other officers as being a "loose cannon." Inadvertently starts the Earth Minbari War.
  • Moment of Weakness/A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Right after Dukhat is killed, Delenn in her grief, angrily orders the extermination of the humans. When she finally calms down, she is horrified by what she has done.
  • Mundane Wish: When Londo tells Luc he may give any one order he pleases with the authority of the Emperor and asks him "What do you want?", Luc asks Londo to tell him a story. When Senna chastises Luc for wasting his wish, Londo ruefully notes that Luc's answer to that question was much better than his.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Delenn carries this all the way to the end.
    • Londo describes going through this years later, when he learned that he was responsible for prolonging the war by ordering an attack on an attempted truce brokerage between the Earthers and the Minbari (brokered by the Narn), mistaking it for a weapons deal between the Earth Alliance and the Narn Regime.
    • In the novelization, Captain Jankowski commits suicide; the note he leaves behind simply reads, "On my head."note 
  • Noodle Incident: The Omega Incident. A number of officers feel that Captain Jankowski was responsible for whatever went down there, but he was officially cleared of responsibility by the authorities.
  • Nuclear Option: How Sheridan defeats the Black Star.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The Soul Hunters were heavily involved in the beginning of the war in the show, a sighting of one their ships cluing Dukhat into the impending disaster just a moment too late and their subsequent boarding attempt to claim his soul being part of why emotions ran so high when the decision was made. They are neither shown or mentioned in the movie, which given they have no further bearing on events is probably wise. JMS says that showing the Soul Hunters would have been too confusing to new viewers unless they took 15 minutes to set it up, which they couldn't fit in. They do appear in the novelization along with a scene in which a wall of Minbari try to prevent them from taking Dukhat's soul.
  • The Quiet One: Lyssa doesn't say anything until the very end. Londo says the quiet ones are the ones that change the universe. The loud ones just take credit for it.
  • Ramming Always Works: One Earth warship destroys a Minbari warcruiser by ramming it.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Both sides assume the attack on the peace conference was done by one of these from their own government. It turns out they're wrong.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Human weapons and technology are far inferior to what the Minbari have. That said, nuclear weapons still prove to be quite effective once you manage to get the enemy close enough to the warhead to be caught in the blast. Sheridan does this by way of jury-rigged Space Mines in an Asteroid Thicket. Mind you, this is the only time in the war that any human commander wins a battle against the Minbari until the end of the war.
  • Silent Whisper: We don't find out what Lennon said to Sheridan until he tells it to Delenn. "Isil'zha."
  • Simple Score of Sadness: As Londo laments the state of Centauri Prime, weighed down further by the knowledge that a good portion of it is his responsibility, a piece featuring a lone bagpipe plays, then builds as he describes the human's Hopeless War before trailing off to the bagpipe again near the end.
  • Sink the Lifeboats: The Minbari will home in on Earth Force SOSs and destroy crippled ships, rather than capture them. Sheridan takes advantage of this when planning his ambush of the Black Star.
  • Space Mines: Sheridan mines the Asteroid Thicket around his crippled ship, using the ship's magazine of tactical nuclear warheads, before sending out a distress call. When the Black Star returns to finish off the surviving ship, Sheridan sets off the nukes.
  • Spanner in the Works: The attempt to negotiate an end to the war might have worked if the Centauri hadn't misread the situation.
  • The Storyteller: Londo takes this role.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Vorlons.
  • Taking You with Me: Sheridan admits to the crew of the Lexington that his plan to destroy the Black Star with nuclear mines is just as likely to kill them as the enemy. But, at least they'll take the Minbari down with them.
    • A crippled Nova-class dreadnought rams a Minbari war cruiser during the Hopeless War montage.
    • At the climax of the Battle of the Line, Sinclair attempts to ram another war cruiser with his crippled Starfury.
  • Trust Password: After the attempt to end the war ends with a surprise attack, Lennon tells Sheridan something to say to his people. When they arrive they find Lennon's body and bring Sheridan, Franklin and G'Kar aboard. Sheridan tells them what is in Dukhat's sacred space (Isil'zha, the future), which prompts Delenn to let them go.
  • We Come in Peace Shoot to Kill: Subverted: Neither side intended to start a fight, but nobody told the Warrior Caste that revealing your weapons is considered a threatening gesture by the humans, who panic and open fire.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The entire movie is Londo telling a story to a couple of children.
  • You Are in Command Now: Commander Sheridan finds himself in command of the Lexington, after the death of Captain Sterns.
    • Also played with, as Londo makes Luc emperor for five minutes.