The Earth Alliance
The Earth Alliance, headquartered in Geneva, is currently under martial law, led by its corrupt president, William Morgan Clark. Several colonies of Earth (including Babylon 5) have seceded from the EA, but Clark's grip back home is strong, thanks to his loyalists and help from Psi-Corps, a government agency in charge of overseeing humans with telepathic abilities, and the Night Watch, and Orwellian agency designed to stifle political dissent. Earth has taken a questionable stance by allying itself with the expansionist Centauri Empire, hoping to save its own skin by allowing the Centauri to roll unhindered over the lesser races Earth once saved. Even worse is the fact the EA goverment appears to be working behind the scenes with the Shadows, the great Enemy against which Babylon 5 is leading the forces of light.
(an independent state)
Babylon 5 was an outpost operated by the Earth Allance, built with the aid of a few alien governments. Captain Sheridan declared independence in mid-2260 to side with the resistance opposing the corrupt government on Earth. By continuing its function as a remote outpost for use by a multitude of species, B5 has been able to maintain its autonomy from Earth. With the war against the Shadows out in the open, the station has served as a base of operations. The station orbits around a planet, once thought barren, which houses an ancient, vast machine that may prove useful to the forces of light in the years to come.
The Minbari Federation
old, highly spiritual race, the Minbari are humanoid with exterior bone crests
on their heads. Once an adversary of Earth, the Minbari Federation has teamed
up with Babylon 5 and a coalition of many other races to fight an ancient enemy
from a thousand years ago, the Shadows. The Grey Council, Minbar's ruling body,
was recently dissolved, with a rift opening between the Warrior Caste and the
Only a few know that Minbar and Earth have linked histories: a human, Sinclair, the first commander of Babylon 5, traveled back in time to the previous war against the Shadows and delivered a new base of operations, Babylon 4, to the Minbari. Sinclair became a great spiritual leader, the founder of Minbari society and a prophet thanks to his knowledge of future events. Sinclair's journey opened a doorway between Minbari and humans, and since the last war a thousand years ago, Minbari souls have been slowly reincarnating in human bodies. Upon discovering that, the Minbari halted their recent war against the humans.
The Rangers are an "army of light," comprised of Humans and Minbari, formed to gather information and perform covert operations in the war against the Shadows. With fighting out in the open, so too is their presence. Their leader is Minbari Ambassador Delenn, with the aid of Captain Sheridan. Rangers are identified by a pin which depicts elements of human and Minbari appearance.
The Centauri Republic
The Centauri Republic, once a fading former power, has allied itself with the Shadows and is enjoying a renaissance of military and political might. The Centauri are even allowing the Shadows to house ships and personnel on their homeworld. The insane Centauri Emperor, Cartagia, believes the Shadows will elevate him to godhood if he cooperates with them. Instead, the pact is likely to leave Cartagia dead and Centauri Prime in ruins. Centauri are mostly human in appearance; men wear their hear in fans whose height indicate social standing, and women have shaved heads.
a major power, the Narn Regime was one of the victims of Centauri expansionism,
especially humiliating since they were unwilling subjects of the Centauri Republic
a hundred years ago and had only recently won their freedom.
Under the leadership of former ambassador G'Kar, now living in sanctuary on Babylon 5, the Narn are assisting with Babylon 5 security and doing what they can to help in the struggle in the fight against the Shadows while attempting to rebuild their homeworld and their forces. Narns have a reptilian appearance and are easily provoked.
The Vorlon Empire
The Vorlons are an ancient race, the last remaining member of a group of elder races known as the First Ones who ruled the galaxy millions of years ago. The Vorlons have visited the lesser races for eons, manipulating many of them for their own purposes; they are responsible for the appearance of telepathy in at least some races, a modification they hoped would aid the eventual defeat of the Shadows, their ancient adversaries. Though the Vorlons have helped orchestrate the alliance against the Shadows, and have shown themselves to be an awesome military power, they are reluctant to involve themselves directly, preferring to place younger races on the front lines and avoid the risks of direct confrontation.
The Shadows are a dark power, ancient beyond even the Vorlons. They have fought fierce wars against the First Ones across millions of years. The last Great War against the Shadows was ten thousand years ago; after that, perhaps thinking the Shadows destroyed, most of the First Ones departed. A thousand years ago the Shadows rose again, and were defeated by an alliance of the few remaining First Ones and others, including the Minbari. The Shadows have been working over the millenia to spark struggle and chaos among the lesser races, ostensibly to provoke growth and evolution; their method is the opposite of that of the Vorlons, who prefer to manipulate the other races more subtly. The Shadows generally choose to make themselves invisible, though some -- such as telepaths -- can not only sense their presence, but are able to immobilize Shadow ships, a fact which has not escaped the notice of Babylon 5's crew and their allies in the Shadow war.
©1997 Warner Bros