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Old 10-30-2017, 02:51 PM
miffy23 miffy23 is offline

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Default How much of the story is actually stolen from Babylon 5?

So couple of us were discussing this on the discord the other day, and I have to say the more I think about it, the more obvious (and kind of irritating it gets). Bear with me, i'll explain the Babylon 5 plot first.


So in Bab5 the meta narrative consists of two very old races, the Shadows and the Vorlons, that have fought each other for eons in our galaxy. The Shadows are chaotic, warring, and believe in strength through conflict. They are the antagonists of the show and are pretty much as chaotic evil as you could get. They've been gone for thousands of years and are beginning to creep back into activity as the show begins.

The Vorlons are beings of order, they nurture some of the younger races along and stand for structure and control. Babylon 5's main protagonist is Captain Sheridan, a human, along with his love interest, a Minbari named Delenn. The Minari are basically the equivalent of elves, having a special relationship with the humans, living longer and being generally more graceful and wise than the humans.

Sheridan is lured to Xahadum, the Shadow's homeworld, where he seemingly perishes as he blows up one of their cities after they fail to convert him to their side. He later returns with an ancient being named Lorien, who found him and resurrected him, granting him a few more years of life. He returns as the Shadows are about to strike, and basically becomes the unifying messianic figure for the younger races caught in the middle.

As the narrative goes on through the seasons, the Shadows begin satellite conflicts and corrupt some of the younger races to their cause (sometimes unintionally helping the Shadows for their own gains), and eventually full-blown conflict erupts as the Shadows reveil themselves and all-out war begins. The Vorlons react near hysterically, having always been very secluded and secretive about their culture, and engage the Shadows in a with-us or against-us war. Both sides proceed to eliminate entire planets that contain any hint of the other side's influence.

Eventually it leads to a final battle between all three sides that sees the Shadows and the Vorlons attempting to force the younger races to pick a side, only for Lorien to encourage them to leave this galaxy and move into the Great Beyond, where apparently other ancient races had gone before while these remained behind. They leave and that part of the meta narrative is effectively ended.

Still here?

Good, now we get to the blatantly obvious rip-offs in WoW.

The Voidlords are a chaotic force that believe in destruction and endless conflict, and battled the Naaru endlessly in the past. They send out agents and influencers to corrupt lesser beings to their will (just like the Shadows). The Naaru stand for order and structure, and nurture younger races along instead of pitting them against each other in conflict (just like the Vorlons).

Alleria and Turalyon are a human and an elf leader caught in the middle, drawn to opposite ends of this conflict (Alleria to the Void, Turalyon to the Light), just like Sheridan, and symbolically the human race,is targeted by the Shadows for manipulation, while Delenn and the elflike Minbari are firm disciplies of Order, the Vorlons.

Locus-walker fulfils - so far - a very similar role to Lorien in that he aids Alleria and "grants" her powers, and serves as the mysterious ancient being that seems to be guiding events to a certain purpose.

The Naaru are growing increasingly ominous as their total benevolence is put into question by Illidan, who's act of resistance against Xe'ra's influence and subsequent destruction of her are again an echo of the Babylon 5 crew killing a Vorlon ambassador on board the station after the Vorlons grew increasingly controlling and hostile towards mostly innocent races that had come into contact with Shadow elements. In both cases the forces of Order are going into full fanatic mode and are resisted by the younger or lesser beings.

I find these similarities mildly irritating, and cannot really unsee them anymore. I could very well see them taking the road of us having to end up rejecting either extreme, which they are already sort of setting up by easing Alleria into the role of the Void as protagonists to explain their motivations.

Granted, every narrative borrows heavily from classic stories and myths, but in this case it does seem a little bit too on-the-nose for me.
El. Psy. Congroo.
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