Raider Fighter (Babylon 5)

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Raider Fighter
First appearance Midnight on the Firing Line
Affiliation Raiders
General characteristics
Armaments Pulse cannons
Missile hardpoints

The Raider Fighter is an aerospace fighter used by various outlaw groups in the fictional universe of the Babylon 5 television series.

Appearances[edit]

These ships have appeared in Babylon 5 both during the series and subsequent movies. They have been seen in episodes such as Midnight on the Firing Line, Believers,[1]:123 Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers (movie) and others. Combat between a Raider Fighter and a Starfury is depicted in the Babylon 5 season 1 opening credits.[2]

In the episode Midnight on the Firing Line G'Kar, the Narn ambassador to Babylon 5 is proved to be supplying weapons to the Raiders under official orders from his government.[1]:85 These weapons were said to be far superior to typical Raider weaponry because of the intensity of the blast damage to a discovered cargo ship.[3]:249

Depiction[edit]

The Raider fighter is a delta winged craft with simple weapons and weak armor.[4] The Raider ships cannot form their own jump point thus limiting their ability to attack larger ships or also to run from the more powerful escorts from the other races. Because of this they have been known to utilize a "Battle Wagon" class of ship that can form its own jump point into hyperspace. The "Battle Wagon" is not an actual combat ship in its own right but rather a carrier for Raider Fighters. The "Battle Wagon" first appeared in the Babylon 5 episode Signs and Portents.[3]:178 An alternative version of it is seen in the TV movie Babylon 5: Thirdspace.[5]:199

Generally speaking, Raider fighters are inferior in weapons and capabilities to fighters from the Earth Alliance, Centauri Republic, Minbari Federation, and other alien races. Partly this is because they are an older design; they tend to be slower and less-maneuverable than fighters from more advanced races. In several episodes of Babylon 5, Earth Alliance Starfury fighters were able to destroy or disable large numbers of Raider fighters while losing few or no ships themselves. As a result of this weakness, Raider Fighters are primarily used by pirates, raiders, and other "outlaw" groups to attack and capture or destroy unarmed civilian merchant starships; they are rarely used in combat against other fighters. Raider fighters are also capable of atmospheric flight.[3]:178

Games[edit]

Raider Fighters are one of the opponents in the "Shadow Wars" game within the Babylon 5 Arcade Series Entertainment Utility: Shadow Wars DVD-ROM. In a review of the game, reviewer Roy Bassave noted that players would be "battling against beautifully three-dimensional Raiders [...] without ever dropping a quarter."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lane, Andy (1997). The Babylon File: The Definitive Unauthorized Guide to J. Michael Straczynski's Babylon 5. Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0753500493. 
  2. ^ Johnson-Smith, Jan (2003). American Science Fiction TV: Star Trek, Stargate, and Beyond. Wesleyan University Press. p. 186. ISBN 0819567388. 
  3. ^ a b c Bassom, David (1997). The A-Z Guide to Babylon 5. Dell Publishing. ISBN 0440223857. 
  4. ^ Mortimore, Jim. Babylon 5 Security Manual. Boxtree Limited. ISBN 978-0-7522-2271-4. 
  5. ^ Lane, Andy (1999). The Babylon File Volume 2: The Definitive Unauthorized Guide to J. Michael Straczynski's Babylon 5. Virgin Publishing. ISBN 075350233X. 
  6. ^ Bassave, Roy (September 21, 1997). "'Babylon' Transports This Gamer". San Jose Mercury News. p. 3F.