Why Am Not Looking Foreword to the Babylon 5 reboot, or any other reboot of any franchise IP. (2024)

Why Am Not Looking Foreword to the Babylon 5 reboot, or any other reboot of any franchise IP. (1)

There something about Hamburger Country’s culture that set it towards dualism, for example there are two major Hamburgian political parties, the Republicans and Democratic, two major Hamburgerian comicbook companies(or what used to be independent companies) Marvel and DC, two major Hamburgerian cultural IP holders, Disney and Warner Bros, and two major Hamburgerian sci fi franchises, Star Trek and Star Wars. Looking as a whole these two franchises appear completely different, Star Wars is a entirely imagine setting, distich from the our real world, taking place in a vague “long long time ago” and in a Galaxy a vague “far far away”, while Star Trek is presented to be a possible version of our contemporary realm’s future, though to keep this imagine future “contemporary” much of its lore such as the Eugenics Wars are later retcon as stated dated “events” passed by we move farther in temporal space away from the 1960sAD, remember the Khan Noonie Singh rule much of Earth during the Clinton Years? But oddly these franchises do have the occasional similarities, both were created by men who grew up in the Los Angeles area, both have “prequel” series in the 2000s AD, which were loudly criticize by its fanbase. In the 2010s AD onto the 2020sAD, both shows get ravage by the same type of controversies, and right now it appears that despite recent revivers, both franchises are in the decline, both in revenue and cultural influence.

Back in the 1930s, 1940s and through the early decades of Ada Neo Mundi, Hamburger Country have a rich culture of populace sci fi. E.E Smith, Asimov, Heinlein to name just a few, full the newsstands with tales of imagine futures full with Brave New Worlds.

Why Am Not Looking Foreword to the Babylon 5 reboot, or any other reboot of any franchise IP. (2)

Thanks in combination of the decline of pop magazines such as Amazing Tales, and the raise of mega IP franchises, in Ada Neo Mundi 79 Hamburger Country’s sci fi landscape have become seemly a wasteland. Though its hard to blame Roddenberry and Lucas personally, both men see themselves as homageing the old pop sci fi of their youth. The decline of the newsstand, the increases costs of printing magazines, and the raise of television did much more to the end of Hamburgerian pop sci fi’s golden years then one franchise. Though by at least the 1980sAD, the big two Star franchises found themselves the “go to” as regard to sci fi in general. Even works such as Dune and Necromancer couldn’t help but to be mention in relation of the two Stars, people can’t help themselves from not describing Dune as the “darker Star Wars” or Necromancer as the “anti-Star Trek”. Even the 2000sAD Battle Star reboot was always being refer as “the dee anti-Star Trek”, for its lack of aliens and more darker takes on politics, war, and human nature. These two major Stars franchises have occupy our cultural mentalscape to such a degree that we find it hard to not frame any other sci fi work in relation to the two.

During the prime of Star Trek’s TNG, having already a years long career in sci fi starting with the radio series Alien Worlds, J. Michael Straczynski conceived of Babylon 5, with inspiration from sci fi classics such as Asimov’s Foundation, and more now obscure works such as E.E Smith’s Lensman stories, with the pilot tile Thew Gathering produce and air by 1993AD, with a official series start in 1994AD, the same year that Star Trek’s TNG ended. Unlike Roddenberry on the original Star Trek, Stracznski is credited with writing the majority of episodes, and have more sole creative control.

Babylon 5 as a whole is hard to describe but think of it as basically a drama of a United Nations in space, if it is also The Wire and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. If you love cop shows, political dramas, space operas this show is made for you. though this being back in the Clintons years, the poorly age CGI space battles were probably come off as old video game footage. For me, the early PSP graphics space battles were the least like aspect of the show, for me what makes me enjoy B5 isn’t its “groundbreaking cut scene footage” but its interaction between its characters.

Basically like in over a dozen other sci fi works, Earth is now a one planet government with faster than light travel, interactions with interstellar alien civilizations and all those other cliches. After some lore, Babylon 5 was created as a sort of “U.N” in space by Earth, and like the actual “U.N” interplanetary nonsense happens until about season three when the show transition from “Space U.N and its space U.N nonsense” to “lord of the rings in space”. The main “Alien races” within the show setting, are the Minbari, a race of super religious weirdoes that Earth was nearly defeated by, the Narn and Centauri, basically “space Isreal” and “space Palestine”. And the Vorlons and shadows, basically the two “godlike aliens” running everything behind the scenes.

In season one, the main show follows Captain Sinclair as long with his second in command Susan Ivanova, chief of security Garibaldi and their medical official Steve Franklin. At first the crew of the Babylon 5 may come off as stacking, Sinclair is the wise leader, Susan is your typical “stuff girl”, Garibaldi is your “loveable” rogue and Franklin is the "Mr. serious”, it takes watching the show season by season to truly know the character’s complexity and nuance, though because of personal issues of his actor Micheal O’Hare, Captain Sinclair was “written off” by season two and only appear once in season three. There are other characters, but the ones ended up “stealing the show” for all five seasons were ambassadors Londo and G’kar, thanks in large part to the performance of their actors (Peter Jackson as Londo and Andreas Katsula as G’Kar).

By season two, Captain Sinclair was replace by John Sheridan. While Sinclair was more reserve, giving off a personality of a “old cowboy”, Sheridan was more your typical pop sci fi space hero, more chasmic, more idealistic and more loud-spoken. This is where the show become less episodic and engage in more season long and seasons long story arches. This was well two decades before the popularization of streaming, such long term story telling in Hamburgerian television was rare, specially for a pop sci fi show.

The Show is in a way Straczynski’s homage to the pervious pop Hamburgerian sci fi of decades past, even recurring characters Alfred Bester(best boy) were name after past sci fi authors. With a version of Earth government being pertain as either corrupt to the time of the President Clark arc downright dystopian, with a more willingness to explore the darker expects of human nature, B5 is sometimes and usually reference as the “darker Star Trek”. Though there were a determine effort by Straczynski to differentiate B5 from Star Trek, it is hard to imagine a reality with B5 without the success of Star Trek’s TNG. Despite being remember as the more darker alternative to Star Trek, B5 seems in the end committed to the same Bill Clinton era lib values of different races overcoming their differences to achieve something greater. By season five, Sheridan was able to form a interplanetary, interspecies Federation of sorts, making B5 a better version of Star Trek’s Enterprise than Star Trek’s Enterprise. Despite having a more imperfect “human” humanity in a interstellar future, and more willing to engage in the more darker/realistic areas of politics and nature, B5 still feels for the same optimism as Roddenberry’s Star Trek. Though with characters with a more realistic human nature, even in its inhuman characters and the more challenging dark road to get there, B5’s optimism feels more genuine than Star Trek’s.

In the episode The Deconstruction of Falling Stars it was implied that humanity end up joining the other more godlike older races such as the Vorlons in a “end of history” movement. Though not exactly as Star Trek’s “Whig History in space” but more Ibn Khaldun with human civilization falling and raising for a million years before earning “godhood”. There’s even A Canticle For Leibowitz movement in the episode.

When discussion both B5 and Star Trek, one will end drawing suspicious comparisons between B5 and DS9. Both takes place on a space station, and both involve a mega war in its final seasons. Though one would come up with even more comparisons there are in my opinion more differences. Either Sinclair or Sheridan are exactly like Sisko, Franklin is more serious than the jokey Bashir, Garibaldi is more warm-blooded and have a “blue collar working class” sense of humor than the cold sometimes Spock like Odo. Susan isn’t a centuries long alien parasite who have lived multiple lives going through body to body like Dax. While B5 the station was built to be the “United Nations of the Galaxy”, DS9 started out as a low key station orbiting a “third world nation of a planet”. Though there have been allegations that Paramount ripoff B5 by creating DS9, the two shows ended more different than the same, in its setting and characters.

B5 never did became as large a franchise as the two major Star franchises, both spinoffs Ligands of the Rangers and Crusade lasted for one season, and now in fact nearly forgotten outside the B5 fandom. There was a animated feature that was release in 2023AD title the Road Home. If you are not already a fan of B5, it probably isn’t to your liking sense it more a over hour length of animated “fan service” and “cameos of whose” than a actual continuation, specially if you are one of those who are sick of “multiverse stories”.

Though the final season is divisive and controversial among the fanbase even today, B5 did able to close off at a determine point though in retrospect Deconstruction of Falling Stars is a better “series finally” than the official “season finally”, considering that series was impose to have ended at season 4.

B5 didn’t start a “ cinematic/televisonic universe” like Star Trek or Star Wars, in retrospect that was for the better. Not every work needs to become a “expanded universe” own and control by a mega corporation. “mega IP franchises” have a tendency to drain away the available potential energy away from more original creative works. The reason why B5 is still finely remember is that Straczynski wasn’t confine by the rules and expectations of a pervious franchise’s universe and continuity. If B5 became as big a franchise as the two major Stars, the potential energy for original creative works will have been less available.

It have for a long time already become a cliche for a article like this to comment “now they rebooting everything”. If you have been consuming pop culture related content like this as long as I have, you already must be sick of death of hearing “originality is dead, now they scaping the bowel by rebooting this!” That complaint have been overstated even back when George II of the House of Bush was still in office. Ironically there anything original left to even comment about Hollywood’s lack of originality, even the statement “Hollywood have no original ideas” have lost all its value by the number of times that it had been said and heard. You probably already heard at least over a million variants of the “they have no ideas, now they rebooting everything” joke. But for such a overstated Joke to still being told, there got to be some truth to it, right?

Speaking of complaining about Hollywood’s lack of ideas, in recent years there been talk of rebooting B5. Though it isn’t currently in smooth sailing. ]

Why Am Not Looking Foreword to the Babylon 5 reboot, or any other reboot of any franchise IP. (4)

With comes of rebooting anything is the age old question that is “dose it really need a reboot?”. If Warner Bros executive or a executive of which ever company that ends up buying Warner Bros, the answer to that depends on how profitable B5 as a IP is and the amount of people that are willing to subscribe to your steaming service just to watch it. But dose B5 deserve a reboot?

B5 is nothing but its characters, the character interactions have always been more entertaining than the “Amazing” Clinton era gameplay graphics. What I found lacking from the Road Home, is that a significant share of the core cast have die. G’Kar didn’t sound right without Katsulas’ voice and touch on the character. Am not sure that Garibaldi could be play be anyone other than Jerry Doyle. From all accounts Straczynski is still the creative head of the reboot, though that could be a good thing for a original creator to play a large part it had been a good two decades and over a half. I doubt that anyone will be exactly the same person living though such a large graph of time. People are not destine to always have that creative spark through their entire lives, everyone have that one favorite author from their youth, whose works only degrades, decline in quaintly later on .

But there is also a more deeper question of a “reboot” or “reviver” of any franchise property these days. How are they going to make it “revenant”?

Believers was a season one episode, back before the show began multi-episode, multi-season stories. Like in your typical Star Trek episode there is a moral dilemma. Dr. Franklin encounters a il child that he thinks could save by a operation, but say operation will be against the child’s parents who see it as against they hold spiritual beliefs. If this was Star Trek episode back when it was manage by Roddenberry, the parents will be presented as “villains” to be made to see the light by our “late stage Whig History” enlighten characters. But the episode goes out of its way to present the parents as sympatric.

If this were another show, the parents will be presented as one dimensional “religious freaks” and our dear Doctor 100% in the right. Spoilers, unlike in some episodes of Star Trek, there isn’t a “magic third option” or a “happy ending”, and no conclusive stance on the topic.

Modern writing is so terrible because this crop of writers have had eight years of throwing away all subtlety, all nuance in the service of ensuring everyone gets The Message they want to convey with a megaphone, unable to think of anything villainous that isn't based in at least some small way as Trump. It's all they know, their only influence. Older fiction used to handle this sort of thing with a chisel from the shadows, now it's a sledgehammer under spotlights.”

Every villain must be a Elon Musk, Jorden Peterson or Mr. Trump, or a combination of two or all three. Since Obama’s second term, nuance and subtly have been on the decrease. All dissenters of the Cathedral’s values and doctrine must be presented at all times as the absolute worst. Yes B5 always been political, it kind of hard of a show with that promise not to be, yes B5 was always oriented towards Lib Clinton era values. But B5 always do more than give a “one sided lecture” when dealing with political themes. Londo Mollari is in all regards a apologist and agent of a colonial Empire, but he is arguably giving more depth and character growth than any other character.

The increasing ideologically confirm seem to have become unable to tell stories on such political topics without the nuances. Today’s TV writers care more about the “MESSAGE” than giving a good story with that “MESSAGE”. To them the “MESSAGE” isn’t about trying to convince anyone, or trying to change anyone’s views but whether the “MESSAGE” is more about “OWNING THE CONS” and signaling to the already converted than changing minds. It is becoming harder to consume media without being fisted with the “MESSAGE”. To this current generation of leftists, the “political” in “political” art, is a form of therapy to confirm their ideological battle against their enemies. Because of the current nature of Big HR and civil rights law, more of these people are going to be hire into the writer’s room. Reason why “#GoWokeGoBroke” ever seem to work long term even as “Broke” these corporations may get, is how the whole H.R system is set up and enforce by government. Even if “GoWokeGoBroke” become 100% true, and those corporations did go bankrupt as much as folks been hoping since at least 2014AD, these corporations couldn’t even then “put the woke away”. Unless Big HR and current “Civil Law” changes, every corporate institution will end up being Woke, even if it makes them broke.

But despite recent big profile flops, mega IPs are still the rage, at this on the big screen but in steaming shows and fighting games. Even without Stracznski’s involvement, Warner Bros or some other mega media corporation will end up rebooting B5. It has famous and well known among the public as the two major Stars, but even nearing 3 decades when it ended, a significant number of people are still discussing it, even making Youtube videos of it.

Considering the issues I raise about the current political cultural condition of Hamburger Country’s entertainment environment, I am not looking foreword to anything coming out of the Hollywood machine. There is always hope for the day that Hollywood gets bankrupt out of existence and replace by something more “Based”, but until that day if it ever arrives I whether watch that 90s show.

Why Am Not Looking Foreword to the Babylon 5 reboot, or any other reboot of any franchise IP. (2024)
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