In the last episode of Babylon 5’s Third Season, the Shadow Wars is at the “Armageddon” stage. The worlds ravaged by wars has been staggering. Refugees are fleeing the destruction on several worlds. All manner of ships ferrying refugees…bursting at the seams. Heading towards a region of space where all the warring factions will meet and the fate of the galaxy in the balance…a galactic Armageddon. The younger races formed an uneasy alliance against, at the start, against the Shadows….then against the Vorlons as well. The Shadows and the Vorlons are ancient powerful races who used to shepherd the younger races through their development. The Shadows represent Chaos–their belief is that wars and conflict must ensue so that “weaker” races are annihilated, making the “stronger” races event stronger—Darwin’s Evolution Theory gone out of control. The Vorlons represent Order—their belief is that rules, obedience, and discipline must prevail, even if applied ruthlessly and without compassion, to the betterment of all. Towards the end, the Vorlons went on the offensive. With their planet killers, they sought out all the worlds “tainted” with the Shadows—annihilating entire planets where the Shadows have a base—regardless of the presence of billions of innocent victims powerless to oppose the Shadows.
In a final gambit, Babylon 5’s Captain John Sheridan, dispatches his second, Commander Susan Ivanova, to find the “First Ones” (the other ancient races who didn’t want anything to do with neither the younger races, the Vorlons nor the Shadows), and have them come to the “final battle” as well. Sheridan also orders the crew of one of the White Stars to sacrifice themselves to draw the Shadows to the confrontation.
In the end, as the fighting began. Along the way, the Alliance was asked to choose between the Vorlons (Order) and Shadows (Chaos). They chose neither. Thus, all the ancient ones left the galaxy to the younger races, and retired to the outermost reaches of space.
At the ending, one of the main characters, G’Kar spoke so eloquently about the eternal and universal battle between good and evil…between light and darkness:
It was the end of the Earth year 2260, and the war had paused, suddenly and unexpectedly.
All around us, it was as if the universe were holding its breath . . . waiting.
All of life can be broken down into moments of transition or moments of revelation.
This had the feeling of both.
“There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way.”
The war we fight is not against powers and principalities…it is against chaos and despair.
Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope…the death of dreams.
Against this peril we can never surrender.
The future is all around us…waiting in moments of transition…to be born in moments of revelation.
No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us.
We know only that it is always born…in pain.
The battle between light and dark is closer than you think. It’s not merely in wars of oppression and aggression. It is not only criminals against law enforcers…not only in slavery and freedom. The daily battles rage relentlessly within us as well…light versus dark, compassion versus indifference, tolerance versus anger, love versus hate, acceptance versus prejudice, hope versus despair, optimism versus pessimism. We are all both light and dark, good and evil. Everyday we struggle with these two opposite halves of ourselves.
Sometimes, the light prevails…when we help a stranger, when we obey traffic laws (even if no one is looking), in acts of charity and selflessness. Sometimes, our evil nature gets the best of us…when we talk ill of someone, when we lie, when we steal, when we curse. The choices we make dictate the outcome of each battle—whether we walk in the light or plunge into darkness.
There are times when the choices are clear and easily made. In other times, it is complicated and the choice extremely painful. At every moment of decision, we stand at a crossroad—the immediate future hanging in the balance. Our lives are strings of “immediate futures” connected by these decisions. Moments of dread and fear. Through it all, we must never give up hope. We must always cling to the truth that in the end, we have the power to make things right. The only question we need to ask ourselves is: are we going to do it or not.