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|Babylon 5 character|
In the Beginning (chronological),Atonement (airdate)
Atonement (chronological),In the Beginning (airdate)
|Portrayed by||Reiner Schöne|
|Affiliated with||Minbari Federation|
Dukhat is a fictional character from the universe of the science fiction television series Babylon 5, portrayed by Reiner Schöne. He was first mentioned in the episode "Soul Hunter". His only appearances were in the movie In the Beginning and in the episode "Atonement" as flashbacks.
Dukhat was the leader of the Minbari Grey Council when he was first introduced in the film In the Beginning. The Minbari considered him one of their greatest leaders, second only to the legendary Valen. In The Beginning reveals Dukhat as Delenn's mentor, and her eventual sponsor into the Grey Council, even though Dukhat belonged to the Warrior Caste and Delenn to the Religious Caste.
Dukhat's administration of the Council was marked by growing fears of the reemergence of the ancient enemy of the Minbari, The Shadows. Many in the Gray Council refused to consider the possibility of the Shadows' return. In defiance, Dukhat ordered that the Council travel directly to the planet Z'ha'dum to investigate the rumors more closely. It was on this voyage that the Minbari first encountered humans.
This first contact ended disastrously for both sides. The Minbari Warrior Caste soldiers who crewed the Council's flagship approached the Earth fleet with open gunports, a traditional gesture of respect. Realizing that humans would have no knowledge of this tradition, Dukhat ordered the gunports closed, but it was too late. Since the Earth ships could not jump away (due to an accidental side effect of the powerful Minbari scanners, which prevented Earth jump engines from working) and the human fleet commander was known to handle first contact situations rather badly, the humans believed that the Minbari were about to attack; they misinterpreted the Minbari gesture and opened fire. Dukhat was killed in the exchange, his death witnessed only by a grieving Delenn, whom Dukhat had trained. Delenn swore vengeance against the humans who had killed her master, and cast the deciding Council vote that began the Earth-Minbari War.
In The Beginning also revealed that Dukhat had secret Vorlon advisors when Vorlons had not openly contacted the Minbari for a long time.
Dukhat's facial hair was thought to indicate that, like Delenn, he was a descendant of Valen; most Minbari do not have any hair, and the gene for hair is assumed to come from Valen's DNA. This is actually incorrect, as stated by JMS himself, who said that Dukhat is not descended from Valen, and that facial hair is uncommon among Minbari, but still present in their gene pool. This is proven by the fact that the Triluminary (which normally glows when exposed to any descendant of Valen) does not react to Dukhat's presence.