The Shadow Wars are a fictional series of wars involving the Shadows in the televisionscience fiction series Babylon 5. There have actually been many Shadow Wars since ancient times in the galaxy. Roughly every thousand years, the Shadows begin a new Shadow War to promote chaos in the universe in accordance with their ideology of growth through conflict. During the first two seasons, "The Shadow War" typically refers to the previous Shadow War in the cycle, a thousand years earlier. At this point the one that takes place within the series itself is referred to as "the Coming Shadow War", as it is anticipated but not yet begun. This last war is mainly referred to as "the Shadow War" in the fourth and fifth seasons.
In the "Shadow War" that occurred in the year 1260, the Shadows battled an alliance of races led by the Vorlons and Minbari. The use of Babylon 4, brought back in time from a thousand years in the future, was pivotal in the defeat of the Shadows. It is referred to by the Minbari as "The Great War".