The Long, Twilight Struggle
|"The Long, Twilight Struggle"|
|Babylon 5 episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||John C. Flinn, III|
|Written by||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Original air date||18 October 1995 (US)
1 August 1995 (UK)
"The Long, Twilight Struggle" is an episode from the second season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5.
The Centauri learn of a Narn plan to destroy a Centauri supply and communications base at a system, Gorash 7. A senior minister in the Centauri government, Lord Refa, convinces Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari to use his contacts with the Shadows to stop the Narn attack. However Londo has become afraid of reports of his so-called "Associates" and tells Refa that the Centauri must win this war by themselves and that this is the last time he will call upon the Shadows. While the Shadows engage the Narn, Refa and Mollari will join the Centauri fleet for an all-out attack on the Narn homeworld.
The Narn commit nearly their entire battle fleet to the attack and hyperspace to Gorash 7. However several Shadow ships are waiting for them and jump from hyperspace. Within minutes the numerically superior Narn fleet is completely wiped out by the Shadow ships. Among those killed is the Narn Warmaster G'Sten, uncle of Narn ambassador G'Kar.
Using their now overwhelming advantage over the Narn, the Centauri launch their final attack on the Narn homeworld, using universally outlawed mass drivers for planetary bombardment. Within a few days most of Narn's major cities are in ruins, millions of Narns are dead, and the planet's economy and infrastructure are on the verge of total collapse. In an act of sheer survival, the Narn Regime agrees to an unconditional surrender to the Centauri, who quickly occupy the Narn homeworld and re-enslave its people. The Narn ruling council, the Kha'Ri, is arrested by the Centauri and charged with war crimes; it is assumed that most of the Kha'Ri members will be executed by the Centauri.
Draal, the keeper of the Great Machine on Epsilon 3, invites Sheridan and Delenn to visit, and during the visit offers assistance in the coming Shadow War. The existence of the Rangers is revealed to Sheridan, and Delenn transfers equal authority over the Rangers to him.
- The Centauri defeat the Narn and conquer their home planet with the aid of Londo's Shadow allies, ending the Narn-Centauri War mini-arc.
- The existence of the Rangers is revealed to Captain Sheridan.
- Draal returns and forms an alliance with Babylon 5.
- The Centauri assault fleet uses illegal mass drivers to bombard the Narn homeworld with large meteors. The surface damage caused by the meteors leads to great negative changes in the planet's climate; these changes will become apparent in later episodes of the series.
- G'Kar is no longer an ambassador and he receives sanctuary by Sheridan.
- According to the terms of the Narn surrender for every Centauri killed by any Narn, the penalty will be the death of five hundred Narns and the perpetrator's own family.
- During the mass bombardment of the Narn homeworld, a long zoom shot focuses on Londo watching the bombardment. He seems to be quite aware that he has damned himself.