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Recap / Babylon Five Film 04 A Call To Arms

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"When the time comes to choose your target, be sure to pick the right one. Because you will only get one shot."

Five years after the events of the Babylon 5 series, a technomage named Galen predicts an imminent attack by the Drakh, the old allies of the Shadows. Through dreams, a thief, a captain, and a president are brought together to head them off. The president is John Sheridan. Because of his irrational behavior, Sheridan's friends begin to wonder about his sanity. It's up to all of them and two prototype battlecruisers, the Excalibur and the Victory, to stop the fleet and their planet-killer. But is there more to the Drakh's plan?


This movie contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Dureena
  • Affably Evil: Bishop, the leader of the Thieves' Guild chapter in Babylon 5
  • Ass Shove: The Drazi captain kept his recorded message about the Shadow Planet Killer in a pouch, which is revealed in dialogue to be a reproductive organ. Captain Anderson is not amused to learn of this only after he has been handed the data crystal.
  • Call-Back: Dureena's planet was destroyed by a Shadow Planet Killer during the Shadow War.
  • Cool Starship: The Excalibur and her sister ship Victory. This film is also the first time the Warlock class destroyers are seen (in some of the wide battle shots).
  • Deadpan Snarker: General Denisov, commanding the EarthForce defenses over Earth, assumes that Sheridan's alert is an unannounced exercise, and snarks about the wasted effort. His attitude changes immediately when he realizes that it's for real.
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  • Distract and Disarm: Drake revealed himself as the mole. Garibaldi approached slowly, asking why he betrayed. A ranger to the side extended the pole, providing enough of a distraction for Garibaldi to grab the gun.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The result of using a Shadow Planet Killer is shown.
  • Extended Disarming: Dureena
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The Excalibur and Victory's Wave Motion Guns.
  • The End of the World as We Know It
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Captain Anderson and the crew of the Victory.
  • Meaningful Name: The name of the mole is very similar to the enemy's name.
  • Magic from Technology: Galen, the Techno-mage.
  • The Mole: As usual there's one: Drake.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Played With. The Excalibur was actually one of two prototypes, but the Victory was destroyed saving Earth from the Shadow Planet-Killer. The Drakh also destroy the shipyard where both vessels were designed and built, so while the Alliance will be able to build more eventually, it'll take a few more years.
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  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Inverted: The project lead (Drake) is dragging his heels with the excuse of trying to get all of the ships' systems running perfectly, while Garibaldi, the administrative head of the project, is pestering him to just get everything "good enough" and let the ships' crews iron out the wrinkles later.
  • Outrun the Fireball:
    • Excalibur and a bunch of EarthForce destroyers haul ass to get out of the Planet Killer as it is destroyed.
    • The Circle of Techno-mages plays it straighter.
  • Pilot Movie: For Crusade. Although most of the main characters come from Babylon 5 and most of the cast of Crusade aren't introduced yet, not even Captain Gideon; only Dureena and Galen are new characters who cross over into the spinoff. Plus the Excalibur herself.
  • Posthumous Character: The Drazi captain, who dies before he can actually join the party. He leaves behind some valuable intel for the others to find.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Planet Killer is destroyed but the Drakh manage to release a plague into Earth's atmosphere which will kill the entire population within five years.
  • Ramming Always Works: How the Planet Killer is destroyed.
  • Retcon: Previously the Shadow Planet Killer had been depicted as a cloud of missiles. In this film it is established as having a solid superstructure concealed in the cloud.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Sheridan convinced the Shadows to leave the galaxy, and by extension could be seen as responsible for the destruction of Z'ha'dum, the Drakh's adopted homeworld. The Drakh, not happy with their demotion in the grand scheme of the galaxy, decide to destroy Earth in revenge.
  • Rushed Into Service: Despite still undergoing trials, Victory and Excalibur are taken into action against the Drakh.
  • Self-Deprecation: A bit of Meta Humor: Garibaldi tells Sheridan that if he wanted to watch a screen full of nonsense, Garibaldi could show him some 20th century television.
  • Shout-Out: Early in the film, Garibaldi makes a reference to Sheridan having a "galactic empire to run" and later orders a test-firing of the new destroyer's main guns by telling the crew "you may fire when ready."
  • Slipped the Ropes: Never taunt an escape artist about being restrained, especially if she has training in unarmed combat.
  • Tattooed Crook: Dureena has one that marks her as one of the Thieves' Guild.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Drake against Earth, because of the discrimination against Mars-born humans. Ironically, he was only in a position to act on this because Earth-borne Garibaldi hired him based on his merits rather than social connections.
  • Weird Trade Union: The Thieves' Guild.