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Dissing Delenn

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  • DeMonk
    replied
    Originally posted by saori
    Women will no longer have to give birth to their own children because they'll have artificial wombs to gestate the baby.
    That won't work. No one nows how, but somehow the brain of the child in the womb needs the connection with the mother. That is why a baby of a brain-dead mother has very slim chances of survival or a normal life.
    Life needs that connection for it to be a full life.
    Even after birth, if children are only given care... they die.
    There has been at least one such experiment. NONE OF THE CHILDREN SURVIVED THE FIRST YEAR.
    We are One... on levels we are not even aware of.
    If we change that... we might just as well build robots. WE won't have a future.

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  • saori
    replied
    If Delenn was young and inexperienced as a Grey Council member, then that makes more sense, but I guess then Minbari the are not as interesting to me as other species. I like the idea of technological as well as spiritual advancement. But Neroon was just so cool. I'd like to see something in the B5 universe (but not necessarily part of the arc) from the Minbari warrior caste perspective.

    I thought Hawking's theories on this were quite interesting. He said that humans of the future should look different from us because of genetic engineering. Women will no longer have to give birth to their own children because they'll have artificial wombs to gestate the baby. People will have larger heads because head & brain size will no longer be restricted by the size of a woman's hips at birth and so can be genetically engineered to be much smarter than us. That intelligence will make them think and behave differently from us, so they will no be like the human characters we see in Star Trek, etc.

    I don't know if we'll achieve this within the next 100-200 years, but I can't help acceeding to a view of the human future as involving some kind of genetic engineering. Who would not want to have their children or their own genes "perfected" so that they can be the best they can be in life? Have the most opportunities possible for a happy life, etc? (Lose a limb, we'll make you a new one....) I'm sure at first many wouldn't, but later down the track it might just become "normal".

    Actually, I saw a Twilight Zone episode of a human culture that was like this but accidents still happened. They were kept locked up at home.
    Last edited by saori; 12-09-2005, 09:45 PM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by JPH3
    The death of her only real ally so early in the conflict might have left her floundering for a time before she got back on her feet.
    OMG, you bring up an excellent point. She *had* alienated several of the council, hadn't she? Could it be that Dukhat rather forced her on them? That would certainly effect the dynamics of the Council, wouldn't it?

    Unfortunately, the script doesn't give any dates that I can use to try to pin down elapsed time.

    Jan

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  • JPH3
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan
    At a rough guess, I'd say she'd been on the Council for several years (based on her later saying that she's served the Council for 15 cycles) but she may well have still felt she was a more junior member of that body. I seem to recall that it's a lifetime position so probably openings don't crop up often.

    Jan
    Delenn was formally appointed to the Grey Council immediately prior to Dukhat's death if I remember ItB correctly. If his death happened in 2245, that would have been 14 years or so as a Satai. I've always equated her statement about '15 cycles' (roughly 20 years) serving the Council as encompassing her time as Dukhat's aide in addition. That is, as long as 'cycles' wasn't substituted for 'years'.

    If her appointment was concurrent with the beginning of the war, she would have been 'the' junior member - although Morann didn't seem much older and certainly no wiser. As an aside, I've always equated the other Minbari on the Grey Council with Admirals on Star Trek. All semblence of basic common sense and judgment just seems to magically evaporate when one reaches the highest levels...

    As Jan mentioned, Delenn was trying to stop the war from almost the beginning - Lenonn's peace mission was early in the war, almost immediately after the Black Star was destroyed. The death of her only real ally so early in the conflict might have left her floundering for a time before she got back on her feet. Much the same happened after her transformation - she floundered for most of Season 2 until the Vorlon's Inquisitor forced her to stand up for herself again.

    That's pure speculation and interpretation on my part, of course...not having any scripts to go thru and verify and all...

    V/R
    John
    Last edited by JPH3; 12-09-2005, 05:06 PM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    I guess it's a difference in perception. I don't expect more from the religious cast Minbari than any of the other castes. Remember how stupidly the other religious caste members decided to poison their ship when Neroon came to visit? That was just rumor based panic and they were about to commit suicide over it. Lennier understood that Delenn wasn't always wise in her judgment of her fellow caste-members but he was willing to help her raise them up to meet those expectations.

    What I think one needs to remember is that JMS deliberately *didn't* improve people in his universe. Any species that can deliberately segregate themselves into three segments who only seem to communicate or mingle around the edges sure isn't any more advanced psychologically than we are today.

    But then...I don't really agree with what you said Hawking said, either. I'm 50 years old and I have no difficulties dealing with people 30 or more years older than I am. Why should it be any different in another century (two, however might make a difference)? We're certainly dragging our feet when it comes to genetic engineering and technology keeps becoming less visible, not more.

    IMO, YMMV, of course!

    Jan

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  • saori
    replied
    Yeah, I remember that scene. I didn't find the argument against Delenn being able to do something (or at least publicly voice her disapproval) convincing at that time either but then if she was a junior council member that would make more sense.

    I guess I equate the religious caste of the Minbari with the Vulcans somewhat. (Yes, I know they are not equivalent and the comparison is sacriledge but their spirituality, meditative practices and passivism are similar.) And like the Vulcans my impression of the religious caste Minbari was that they were more advanced not only technologically but psychologically as well. To see Delenn (and the rest of the Minbari) willing to completely annihilate the human race because of the death of Dukhat just not seem consistent with this impression. But then maybe the Minbari (despite Delenn's high talk on B5) aren't particularly more advanced than we are (psychologically speaking) and my expectations were too high.

    I read something by Stephen Hawking that said the human characters we see on sci fi programmes look, think and act in ways that will not be consistent with humans 100-200 years into the future because of the changes in our intelligence and physiology due to genetic engineering and other technologies. Maybe the religious caste of the Minbari suffer from the same problem for me.
    Last edited by saori; 12-09-2005, 03:05 PM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    I think you're forgetting a scene, perhaps. She regretted it and tried to call it all off almost immediately but the other Grey Council member told her that they were 'a world gone mad' and it was too late.

    At a rough guess, I'd say she'd been on the Council for several years (based on her later saying that she's served the Council for 15 cycles) but she may well have still felt she was a more junior member of that body. I seem to recall that it's a lifetime position so probably openings don't crop up often.

    Jan

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  • saori
    replied
    I think the crux of the matter for me comes down to 2 things:

    1) Delenn really didn't seem to live up to her position in the Grey Council or the philosophy of the religious caste to me when it came down to the crunch (whether to order the attack on the humans or not and her actions after doing so) and

    2) Mira didn't portray the character convincingly enough for me to accept the credibility of (1). This is not to say that I think Mira is a bad actor, only she didn't do the part as much justice (as convincingly to me) as maybe another could have.

    I think this is a problem I have with some of the other characters too. Sheridan really didn't seem to bear the full emotional brunt of his choices and actions over the series (particularly seasons 3 & 4). But this is only TV and JMS can't do everything absolutely perfectly for everyone's tastes (he has neither the time, budget nor power of God to do so) and the actors playing the roles must also take part of the responsibility for a convincing portrayal of their characters.

    Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair
    It is also clear if you watch In The Beginning (and if you haven't you should - it is excellent) that Delenn very quickly regrets her actions and is horrified by the escalating conflict, moving towards genocide that results from it.
    Yes, but for me she didn't act quickly enough. Delenn is showed regretting her actions and wanting to do something about it on the verge of human genocide (from my understanding of the timeline) 2-3 years down the track from the first tragic encounter. This is not quickly enough to convince me that she really was such a great leader of the Minbari religious caste as her position, training, the philosophy she expounded on B5, and the respect she was showed by other religious caste Minbari suggest. But then maybe this incident had a huge impact on her in the intervening time and made her even more committed to the path? And maybe the choice was made when she was still quite immature and young (as the scenes with Dukhat in the series suggest) but if so why was she on the council?

    Last edited by saori; 12-09-2005, 02:26 PM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Nop, you're good. Now to answer your post; I think the main thing to remember is that her statement was said while she was grieving and in shock. Those things can and often do cause people to act completely out of character and against training IRL. If I had a problem, it was when she didn't push harder to end things. There, it's necessary to consider the culture she came from, one that Sebastian could later mock her with '...be a good Minbari, conform.' Yeah, she still should have tried harder and more vocally, though.

    Jan

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  • Garibaldi's Hair
    replied
    I don't think anyone is going to pound you for holding an opinion ... which, after all, is all it is, an opinion. Some people like the Centauri, oithers don't, likewise the Narn etc. etc.

    I, on the other hand, like the Minbari, Delenn and their portrayal in the series.

    As far as the hostilities against Earth are concerned, we humans are just as likely to do something galactically irrational at times of high emotion, the difference here is that the Minbari are so much more technologically advanced that their irrational response has devastating consequences.

    Moreover, as far as Delenn is concerned, Dukhat was not just the leader of the Minbari, he was her mentor and friend and, effectively, the highest ranking member of her own caste, so her response seems pretty convincing to me. Delenn is not perfect, and is never painted as being so in the show, so a response of this kind, going against the religious caste philosophy, is not out of the question by any stretch.

    It is also clear if you watch In The Beginning (and if you haven't you should - it is excellent) that Delenn very quickly regrets her actions and is horrified by the escalating conflict, moving towards genocide that results from it.

    As far as the caste's disagreements are concerned, I think Valen had that taped when he formed the grey council. Why equal balance? Why three from each caste?

    Two reasons as far as I can see ...

    First, in order to give equal power and equal responsibility to the three castes in leading the Minbari people as a whole.

    Second, recognising that there were fundamental differences of philosophy and approach between the castes, to force them to work together and to compromise in the best interests of the Minbari people - as no one caste had the power to dictate Minbari policy.

    You only have to watch seasons 3 and 4 to see the consequences of the absence of that balance in Minbari society, first in the replacement of religious caste Delenn with warrior caste Neroon, and then the warriors wanting to take control for themselves in the aftermath of the final breaking of the council.

    For me, the whole Minbari thing works really well ... and I happen to enjoy Mira Furlan's portrayal of Delenn as well.

    [tongue in cheek]
    Lennier on the other hand is just a crybaby.
    [/tongue in cheek]

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  • saori
    replied
    Damn it! Just knew the spelling would let me down. But the spell-checker doesn't do Minbari....

    Changed it, so you don't need to pound now. Right?
    Last edited by saori; 12-09-2005, 12:24 AM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by saori
    Please don't pound me...
    Dear saori, we'd never pound you....unless you keep spelling it Mimbari . It's Minbari with an 'n', not an 'm'.

    Jan

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  • saori
    replied
    If you like Delenn, then you probably don't want to read this post. Let me apologise in advance. I love B5, I like Delenn (and Mira Furlan) now but I'm afraid I'm just gonna flame away.

    I want to support the earlier posters' comments about Delenn. It took me a very long time to like her character (or the actress who plays her) and even when I started it was only really because other characters (or actors) I liked liked her (Sheridan, G'kar, Londo; Claudia Christian, Bruce B., etc.).

    My friend and I used to laugh everytime Sheridan and Delenn would get close. She always seemed to lean in for a kiss but end up with her face scrunched up against Sheridan's chest or neck. And she (Mira) never seemed to leave scenes normally, always rushing out of the room.

    Now that I've seen the entire series more than a few times she's grown on me, but I think tipping the vote in favour of wiping out the humans will probably always stand out as one of the more irrational and highly emotion driven things that she did that seemed so antithetical to the religious caste philosophy - that she constantly spouted aboard B5.

    Yes, I know how important Dukhat (sp?) was to the Minbari and to Delenn personally but her action and rage went against all her training. She seemed to have no distance or perspective of her feelings whatsoever when she ordered "no mercy" for the humans yet that is what meditation is used to cultivate - stillness and perspective amid the flurry of thought and feeling that generally drive people's actions. It was an action that didn't seem to fit her character unless as an earlier poster mentioned, she was hypocritical.

    And Lennier, as a Delenn sycophant, couldn't serve to redeem the Minbari in my eyes any further.

    The Minbari as a race/species really didn't work for me (even though their role in the overall arc was very cool, including Delenn's role). Personally I don't know how the Minbari could have had such a stable society if the castes had as conflicting views as the show seemed to suggest.

    I must admit that I really liked Neroon though. Maybe it was the actor who played him or the development of the character over time himself, but he had a great voice, great conviction to his principles, and generally just a more solid (believeable/consistent) character. Wish we had been able to see more of him.

    Please don't pound me...
    Last edited by saori; 12-09-2005, 12:19 AM. Reason: spelling

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  • jahkneebee
    replied
    Actually, she was no more responsible than the other members of the council who wished to retaliate. We like to talk about the "deciding vote", but that's really just a matter of timing.
    Timing had less to do with it than that. JMS conveniently allowed the Minbari to have the 'go mad as a race...recover sanity as a group' quality to their species' make-up.

    This gets Delenn off the moral hook on that one. She was a pebble, and we all know where that goes.

    Perhaps we need to refranchise some possibly misdirected pebbles in our own electorate. Or would that be re-enfranchise some misdirected pebbles...or re-direct some disenfranchised...oh, the heck with it: Its only Rock'n'Roll!

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  • Satai Delenn
    replied
    Only one Earth captain has survived engaments with the Minbari fleet. HE is behind me. YOU are in front of me..
    Slightly off topic You know I was watching In the beginning the other day and was reminder of the above quote .Sheridan isn't the only one to survive a battle with the minbari Jankowski is when he fires on the ship .but if you read the novel he commits suicide if I remember correctly but if you didn't read the novel you might think that he survived since it was never shown .So I guess my question is which verison is accurate ?Or better yet was the scene filmed and cut .

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