The Babylon 5 television show and associated television movies created a fictional universe containing many planets, moons and other locations.
- 1 Normal space
- 1.1 Centauri system
- 1.2 Chi Draconis system
- 1.3 Deneb system
- 1.4 Drazi system
- 1.5 Grid Epsilon
- 1.6 Narn system
- 1.7 Orion system
- 1.8 Proxima system
- 1.9 Regulus system
- 1.10 The Rim
- 1.11 Sol system
- 1.12 Vega system
- 1.13 Other settings in normal space
- 2 Hyperspace
- 3 Thirdspace
- 4 Quantum space
- 5 See also
- 6 References
A prevalent setting in the fictional universe are planets and other locations that exist in normal space. There is at least one scene that explicitly documents the real-world location, the Milky Way galaxy, as portrayed in the lower image to the right. Most references are implicit.
Within the fictional galaxy are at least one quadrant and grid or sector, and stars containing planetary systems. Several other sectors and quadrants are referenced in the fictional universe, but are not listed here because they are neither used as settings, nor do they have real world references.
The planet Centauri Prime, which is sometimes described as orbiting the star Zeta Tucanae, is the homeworld of the fictional species Centauri. The planet is used as a secondary setting in many episodes and movies.
Note that creator Straczynski has explicitly stated that Centauri in this context is not a reference to Alpha Centauri or Proxima Centauri.
Chi Draconis system
On the fictional planet Deneb 4 (also written Deneb IV) is an outpost/colony. It is the fourth planet from the star Deneb, which is located 1600 light years from Earth. It is only used as a reference, not as a setting.
It is mentioned twice in the fictional universe, hence not much information about the fictional reference is available:
- In season one episode five "The Parliament of Dreams", Catherine Sakai mentions traveling through the Deneb system recently.
- In season four episode ten "Racing Mars", Dr. Franklin comments that Deneb 4 is a large settlement and "the largest colony market in the area".
As a real world reference, Deneb is a bright star, and if a habitable planet did in reality orbit it, it would need to do so at a distance of about 258 AUs, over eight times Neptune's distance from Sol. Any closer and liquid water would not be able to exist.
The Drazi homeworld is located in the Drazi system. It is the primary setting in one episode.
Grid Epsilon is the setting chosen by creator Straczynski as the main area of space for the fictional universe Babylon 5. It was named after the GEnie online forum (message base, known as a "RoundTable" on GEnie) where Straczynski originally communicated with fans starting in 1991, two years before the pilot telefilm aired. The precise coordinates of Grid Epsilon "470 by 18 by 22" are named for the specific GEnie forum, known in the early 1990s on GEnie as "470/18/22" (Page 470, CAT 18, Topic 22).
Epsilon Eridani system
The Epsilon Eridani (ε Eridani) system, situated 10.5 light years from Sol, is located in a fairly central position between the galactic powers. The position makes it a perfect, albeit second, choice for the Babylon 5 space station. The original location was abandoned after Babylon 4 disappeared in the region (see Sector 14, below).
The central, and neutral, location kept Babylon 5 close to the other powers without placing it in harm in the event of a war between them. Even so, alien wars managed to find their way to Babylon 5. This occurred twice during the Narn-Centauri war, first when a Centauri battle cruiser was engaged by a Narn heavy cruiser, resulting in minor damage to the station. Later, another Centauri warship heavily damaged Babylon 5 when it fired on the station, before it was destroyed by station defences.
Its location also makes it a hub for trade and commerce, with thousands of visitors passing through the system each day, and staying at Babylon 5. This is more than once a source of trouble, given the immense scope of keeping the peace on a five mile long space station, with humans and aliens coming and going constantly.
Within the fictional universe, in Grid Epsilon is the Epsilon Eridani planetary system. It is the location of the fictional planet Epsilon 3.
|'Babylon 5' location|
|Created by||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Notable locations||The Great Machine, Babylon 5 (space station)|
|Notable characters||Varn, Draal, Zath'ras, Zathras'|
The fictional planet Epsilon 3 is the location of the Babylon 5 station and the Great Machine. While it has no real world reference, see above for more information on the real world planetary system.
Epsilon 3 is the third planet of the Epsilon Eridani system, which the Babylon 5 space station orbits. Formerly the home of an advanced alien race, it is now abandoned but still contains the Great Machine, which guards the planet against interference. Epsilon 3 has been the home to Varn, Draal, Zath'ras and Zathras'.
Battle of Epsilon 3
In "A Voice in the Wilderness", during the first contact with the Great Machine's controller, an unknown alien vessel engaged Babylon 5 defences, and the Earth Alliance warship Hyperion, claiming that they were descendants of the race who originally inhabited the planet. The fight lasted for quite some time before the ship made a suicidal run at the planet, only to be shot down by Draal, who had taken control of the machine’s defences.
The Babylon 5 space station is the main setting in the fictional universe. It orbits Epsilon 3.
The Great Machine
Epsilon 3 serves as home not only to Babylon 5, but also to a species of ancients, whose name is still unknown. They departed the planet long before Babylon 5 was built, but they left their machines behind, a recurring theme in Babylon 5. The "Great Machine" is the name for a subterranean mechanism which has enormous power. This machine has been observed not only defending the planet with powerful energy weapons, but also allowing users to remotely view far away locations such as star systems, as well as creating and controlling time fields. The machine was thought to be able to destroy the entire planet if it destabilized. Additionally, the machine is controlled by a single individual, who is bonded to it both physically and mentally.
Sector 14 is a spatial location near the Babylon 5 space station. It has contained a rift, and a space station/ship called Babylon 4.
The Narn system is the location of the Narn homeworld. It has no real world reference.
Systemically, there are two references to Orion. The planet Orion 4 is referred to in "TKO" as the planet where Garibaldi was employed after losing work on Europa. Orion 7 was visited by the Vendrizi in "Exogenesis" and the Alexander was ambushed near there on April 10, 2260 in "Severed Dreams". It is not a setting, only a reference.
The location has three real world references, none of which is a star.
The Proxima system is the setting for a major offensive "to retake Earth".
A location in the Babylon 5 story. It is the site of a battle to take back Earth in episode "No Surrender, No Retreat".
Alpha Centauri plays a large role as one of the Earth Alliance's major colonies. The human designation for the star changed to simply "Proxima" to avoid confusing the star system with the name of the alien species Centauri. The Proxima system has 3 known planets, with Proxima 3 being a major colony of the Earth Alliance. In the year 2260, it was embroiled in the burgeoning conflict of the Earth civil war when it declared independence in response to then-President Clark's bombing of Mars (who refused to accede to martial law). In 2261 Earth sent military ships to blockade the planet and sent ground troops to secure it, prompting many refugees to attempt escaping the blockade. Refugee ships were destroyed by Earthforce ships, prompting Captain John Sheridan to attack Proxima 3 and liberate it from Clark's forces.
It has a real world reference.
Regulus is the site of the Earth Alliance's first extrasolar colony. It is not a setting, only a reference.
The star has a real world reference.
The "Rim" is notable for having no real world or in-universe reference, yet referred to frequently as a potential setting. There is no explanation in-universe as to whether it is "the rim of known space" or "the rim of the galaxy", and the reference is left ambiguous. In "Where is Earth?" King points out:
"Thus, there is no 'edge' or 'rim' to the galaxy. ([Writer] David Gerrold once commented that trying to find the 'edge' of the galaxy is like trying to bisect a sneeze.)".
The Solar System is a planetary system in the Orion spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The star, Sol, is commonly referred to as the Sun (☉).
The general location has three relevant real world references.
In Babylon 5, Earth is the Earth of real life, but set approximately 250 years in the future. The series makes reference to actual historical events, as well as creating fictional future events.
In the show, Earth is the original home of humans, though humans have colonized many worlds. The governing body of Earth and these colonies is Earthgov. Earth and its colonies are collectively known as the Earth Alliance. Earthgov's military arm is EarthForce. EarthGov, the Earth Alliance, and EarthForce are major political, diplomatic and military plot elements in the story arc.
One of Earth's media outlets is Interstellar Network News (ISN), which broadcasts throughout the galaxy and to the Babylon 5 station. ISN appears in multiple episodes and often plays a significant role in plot development.
There is a real world reference to Earth (♁).
A battle with a Shadow vessel occurs at Jupiter in "Messages from Earth". Many scenes are set near or on Jupiter's moons. See below.
Garibaldi refers to the loss of work on Europa in "TKO".
An "awakening" Shadow vessel is destroyed at Ganymede in "Messages from Earth".
The transfer point on Io is an outpost. The outpost was constructed by the Earth Alliance since the primary jumpgate of the Sol system orbits the moon. Space Station Io also orbits nearby; the base is second in size only to the Earth Alliance colony on Mars, and is the one most generally used by EarthForce. Similar in some ways to the station Babylon 5 itself, Io functions both as a civilian and military way station for most out-of-system traffic, especially those ships too small to have their own jump engines. The area is always heavily patrolled since any damage to the jumpgate could cripple or seriously harm Earth's interests. Series creator wrote:
Yes, this is the primary jumpgate for Earth. It is positioned at Io (most of the base is actually in orbit outside Io, some of it on the surface, as we showed in "Chrysalis") to keep Earth a bit safer by removing it some distance, and because putting it near the huge energy field of Jupiter makes it more difficult for weapons to target it from a distance. It is mainly a tactical decision.— Straczynski, J. Michael, America Online, 1996-03-27 04:20:09
It is located about three days in hyperspace travel from the jump gate near Babylon 5.
Three days is the time to the jumpgate off Io. Once you're within our solar system, it takes another several days or more to reach Earth itself. It is fairly common to keep your jumpgate a bit removed from your "core" planet so you have warning if any aggressors come out of it.— Straczynski, J. Michael, CompuServe, 1996-08-22 12:28:18 -0700
According to Russo of Voltayre's Encyclopedia Xenobiologica Earth Force constructed the jumpgate at Io in 2198 and deactivated the Centauri jumpgate (built in 2156) in Earth orbit, due to Earth Alliance security concerns. Unlike the cylindrical O'Neill-inspired Babylon-series of space colonies, the one time the Io station (in "Chrysalis") is seen, the station is shown to be in the shape of a large rotating wheel space station reminiscent of Space Station V.
In the Babylon 5 story, the impact of Earth–Minbari War on Io is unclear as Earth Alliance lost all contact with its colonies, including Io, before the Minbari fleet bypassed Mars and jumped straight to Earth at the Battle of the Line. It is not mentioned whether Io was destroyed or had its communications and defenses disabled.
On December 31, 2258, Station Io was the site of an official visit from President Luis Santiago prior to departing on a goodwill tour of the outer planet colonies. According to Interstellar Network News (ISN) at the time, "sources close to the President have hinted that he'll give a major policy speech New Year's Day from the jump point on Io. The speech is likely to concern human-alien relations over the remainder of his five-year term".
At the same time, a shipment of jammers set to broadcast static at a location near Io was discovered on Babylon 5 by Security Chief Michael Garibaldi just before he was shot in the back. He was able to warn Commander Jeffrey Sinclair only as he lost consciousness, but there was not enough time to warn the President that he might be in danger.
Just as it was about to dock with Space Station Io, the President's transport, EarthForce One, was utterly destroyed by a massive explosion, killing President Santiago along with many others. The explosion was broadcast live across the galaxy on ISN, who reported that Vice President Morgan Clark had previously disembarked "suffering from a viral infection, and had been hoping to catch up with the tour as it returned from Io". According to show creator Straczynski, Chief of Presidential Security Lianna Kemmer also survived since "she would've been handling the advance work on Io prior to Santiago's arrival".
Susan Ivanova had served under John Sheridan for a time at Station Io prior to 2258. He had great respect and professional admiration for her, and they quickly became friends again once they were reunited upon his assignment to Babylon 5 as commander.
According to Worlds Of JMS' Helba, Sheridan took command of the EarthForce base on Io at the conclusion of the Earth–Minbari War in 2248, and was transferred in early 2251 after helping to suppress the Martian Food Riots. Sheridan met and married Anna Sheridan in 2249 on Io. The same source suggests that after graduating from Officer Training School in 2249, Ivanova was posted to Io in 2250 where she worked with Sheridan for the first time. She was then transferred from Io to Earth in 2253.
In 2259, General Richard Franklin used the official story that his 25,000 EarthForce troops arriving on Babylon 5 were traveling on to Io to cover the fact that they were really being deployed on Operation Sudden Death to attack the rebel stronghold at Matok, on the planet Akdor in the Sh'Lassen Triumvirate, at the request of the Sh'Lassen government.
In mid-2260, the transfer point on Io was again in the news when President Morgan Clark declared martial law, ostensibly because of the nearby confrontations between an insane Shadow vessel discovered on Ganymede, Sheridan's White Star, and the EAS Agamemnon ("Messages from Earth").
Shortly after, Io became the scene of the first space battle in the Earth Alliance Civil War when five rebel EarthForce ships led by General William Hague attempted to flee the Solar System via Io's jumpgate, but were ambushed by a superior force loyal to President Clark (including the EAS Schwarzkopf and EAS Excalibur). Three of the rebel ships were destroyed (or four according to ISN). After disabling or destroying their pursuit, the two surviving ships, including General Hague's flagship EAS Alexander continued onwards to a rendezvous at the Orion 7 Earth colony.
Many scenes throughout the series take place on Mars. The human Mars Colony eventually becomes an independent state.
Several of the major characters have close links to Mars and, alongside Centauri Prime and the White Star fleet, Mars is the most common setting for action other than the Babylon 5 space station itself. In addition, there is reference to a past Shadow presence on Mars, which left its remains behind, along with the half-legendary memory of Mars having once harbored hostile alien sentients.
Mars (♂) has a real world reference.
According to EarthForce records, Abel Horn was killed in an encounter with an EarthForce warship in orbit of the Martian moon Phobos.
It has a real world reference.
The Vega Colony is an outpost/colony planet in the solar system of Vega, also known as Alpha Lyrae. Vega is an unremarkable white star about 25 light years from Earth, much brighter and hotter than our own star. In the fictional universe, Vega has at least seven planets, and serendipitously in reality it is strongly suspected to have at least several. It was mentioned several times through the course of the series, in such a way as to imply the presumption that it has a habitable world:
- In The Gathering it is mentioned that Del Varner had been smuggling goods between the Vega Colony and Proxima 3.
- In part two of "A Voice in the Wilderness", it is mentioned that the EAS Hyperion will next make port at Vega.
- In the episode, "In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum", Morden mentions he'd been interned in a medical facility on the Vega Colony, and Sheridan mentions having been briefly stationed there.
- Robert Carlson, a mad bomber, stole explosives from an ice-mining operation on Vega 7 in episode "Convictions".
- In A Call To Arms, Captain Anderson was taking the Omega class destroyer Charon to Vega when he got caught up in the events of that movie.
Aside from these mentions, there is no information about the world, and it was never actually shown on screen during the run of the series or its various spinoffs.
Other settings in normal space
Marcus and G'Kar end up on a vague planet searching for Mr. Garibaldi.
The Excalibur visits many planets in Crusade.
In the Babylon 5 fictional universe many scenes take place aboard ships in hyperspace. It is usually used as a plot device to enable faster-than-light travel between distant location. Hyperspace is a parallel environment of the physical universe apparently under the physical laws of the dark matter and dark energy, which do not affect the structure of normal matter or normal energy. Apparently it is infinite as space itself, and contains no solid matter concentrations consistent as those seen in normal space. Opening channels of access to this environment are made by applying a specific energy flow, artificially generated by a kind of locks or machinery control on spacecraft, normally reserved for big military cruises or research ships. Inside the room the distances and time of travel agency points of normal space are much lower, so civilizations set jump points, near its checkpoints and settlements. Two scenes in Crusade take place in hyperspace itself. "The Well of Forever", and the one where Matheson goes out in a space suit.[episode needed]
Quantum space is a fictional setting used in the 2007 direct-to-DVD anthology movie The Lost Tales – Voices in the Dark. It appears to be variation of the hyperspace which appears in earlier series and movies, but which allows even faster faster-than-light travel.
- Straczynski, J. Michael (Writer); Cremin, Kevin G. (Director) (August 12, 2003). Babylon 5: The Complete Third Season (Point of No Return) (DVD). Warner Home Video. Event occurs at disc 1, episode 01, time mark 23:40 "Matters of Honor". ISBN 0-7907-7610-3. OCLC 52825322. Retrieved December 4, 2009.
Conquer all the worlds you like, we won't bother you.
- King, Larry. (August 9, 2008) "Where are the alien homeworlds?", Science Fiction Timeline Site, "We know that the Centauri Republic does not contain the Alpha Centauri system. Long ago, [Straczynski] claimed that the Centauri do not come from any star in the constellation Centaurus, but rather that's where humans 'met' them."
- King, Larry. (August 9, 2008) "Planets of the Earth Alliance", Science Fiction Timeline Site
- Deneb, Internet Stellar Database, October 3, 1999
- "koreth", et al. (from page metadata) (March 19, 2006). "What effect have fans had?". The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. compiled and archived by Steven Grimm. Archived from the original on January 23, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
The location of Babylon 5 is at Grid Epsilon 470,18,22 which corresponds to the original location of the Babylon 5 topic on GEnie...
- Straczynski, J. Michael (September 7, 1996). "(War Without End): Vorlons in the Past". The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. CompuServe, compiled and archived by Steven Grimm. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
Yeah, B4 had more firepower, and it had one thing B5 doesn't...engines that can move it forward if necessary.[permanent dead link]
- "TYC 9010-4949-1 (Proxima Centauri) at Wikisky". Retrieved October 6, 2014.
- King, Larry. (August 9, 2008) "Where is Earth?", Science Fiction Timeline Site
- Straczynski, J. Michael (Writer/Director/Creator/Executive Producer) (July 31, 2007). Babylon 5: The Lost Tales – Voices in the Dark (DVD [Video Object (VOB)], Region 1). Warner Home Video. Event occurs at disc 1. ISBN 1-4198-4706-6. OCLC 124074396. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
Episodes: 'Over here' and 'Over there'
- Straczynski, J. Michael (February 16, 1994). "Transfer point at Io". The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. Usenet, compiled and archived by Steven Grimm. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
The transfer point off Io is a Jump Gate, the one most generally used by Earthforce. jms (It's not on Io, it's on a station *off* Io.)
- Russo, Christopher (Updated Sat November 6, 2004 06:21:18 PM CST per metadata) Galactic Timeline, Voltayre's Encyclopedia Xenobiologica
- Straczynski, J. Michael (July 13, 2004). "'Chrysalis' section JMS speaks". The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. compiled and archived by Steven Grimm. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
- Helba, Mike (Updated Sun April 22, 2007 04:15:13 PM CDT per metadata) John Sheridan Character Profile Archived November 20, 2005, at the Wayback Machine, Worlds of JMS
- Helba, Mike (Updated Sun April 22, 2007 04:15:08 PM CDT per metadata) Susan Ivanova Character Profile, Worlds of JMS
- Straczynski, J. Michael (March 1, 1996). "PoNR [Point of No Return]". The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. CompuServe, compiled and archived by Steven Grimm. Archived from the original on October 27, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
And yes, that was the Schwartzkopf. [Editor's note: Straczynski is not the only person who has difficulty spelling Schwarzkopf.]
- Straczynski, J. Michael (July 13, 2004). "'Point of No Return' section JMS speaks". The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. compiled and archived by Steven Grimm. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
Actually, only 3 were destroyed, the other two took off separately, trying to throw off a united pursuit. But you know how ISN's been lately...
- During The Lost Tales – Voices in the Dark, Sheridan makes specific mention of quantum space as being faster than "normal" hyperspace.