Random Nonsense

Legend of the Rangers- The Final Insult
harkovast at 12:49PM, March 29, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Legend of the Rangers

Crusade may have put a bullet in the head of the Babylon 5 franchise…but now its time to dig up the corpse and piss all over it.

If B5 was an Indian burial ground, we would all be arse deep in poltergeist right now!

Legend of the Rangers tells the story of the rangers, a group of special agent types that work for the interstellar alliance.
They are sort of like Jedi, but they get extending staffs instead of light sabres and don't get force powers. Other than that they are your typical mystic warrior order in space.
You always got the feeling that Straczynski thought the idea of these guys was totally bad ass, but on the show they always seemed a bit of an after thought to events.
They were not even mentioned until the second series, and even then they were never very central. There was a ranger character (called Marcus I think) later on, but he was very much B-caste.

Legend of the Rangers set out to make sure we all realised that the Rangers were, above things, incredibly retarded.

We are talking mouth breathing, flinging your own poo, Glenn Beck levels of stupid here.

So the show starts out with the Rangers chasing after some raiders….oh fuck.

One of the worst things from early B5 (something which has been dragged over the coals fiercely on the forums)…. that is what we start with?

And what is the first thing that happens?
A console blows up and kills someone, knocking them off their chair.
Consoles sure do blow up a lot in sci fi, don't they?
Sitting at a computer is the most dangerous job someone can sign up for in the future.
I've never heard of anyone, ever, dieing from being at a computer when an outside force to the structure they are in causes the console to explode in their face and kill them.
I guess I am taking my life in my hands more than I realised sitting here and typing this…

Anyway, I digress.

So our heroes are trying to stop the raiders when their ship takes a hit and is damaged, losing power to all its weapons.
The captain is killed so the Hero has to take command.
He orders the ship to break off pursuit.
So they are on a crippled ship, with no weapons, and one more hit would destroy them, leading the hero to order them to retreat.
So afterwards the hero is court marshalled.
No really, that's how things work in the rangers.
You see, the rangers most important rule is that they never retreat or break off from combat, no matter the reason.
I shouldn't have to explain why this code is retarded, but I will anyway, because it helps me when I share my pain with others.
So anytime a ranger ship is damage, out numbered, or out of position, they are expected to keep fighting. If a ranger runs out of ammo in a gun fight, he should keep on fighting, charging the enemy and hurling rocks presumably.
Their code depends on them always winning every fight all the time, or else they will just throw their lives away.
If I was an enemy of the rangers this knowledge would be invaluable. These idiots will keep attacking you even when it makes no sense, when they could easily escape or even if they are unarmed!
All you have to do is attack one of their ships with several of your own and they wont break off and flee, they will just rush at you to their deaths.
In larger battles, anytime things start to go against them, they will just keep hurling themselves at you until they are all dead.
They can never suffer a minor defeat, they either win or allow themselves to be killed to a man.
The best part? This is not just MY opinion.
The show itself has proved that this philosophy is stupid.
The only defence the Rangers offer for it is “It has been tradition for a thousand years.”
I would speculate that marrying your cousin may have also been tradition for a thousand years amongst these guys, if they think this rule is okay.
Luckily G'kar (of B5 fame) is on hand, and proceeds to explain to the rangers how stupid they are.
He points out that they only focus on the second part of their motto “we live for the one, we die for the one”, and that living for the one is noble as well.
I love the idea that no rangers have ever considered this before.
Are these guys meant to seem like a weird, unthinking, brainwashed cult?
So the hero is allowed to stay in the rangers, but gets a really crappy ship to command that everyone says is haunted (turns out it really is….because this was not retarded enough already.)
There are creepy reports at this point of big black spider shaped ships appearing.
Now all you B5 fans should be thinking (as I was) “Oh so it's the shadows? Or some Shadow allies? Like the Drakh?”
Well it turns out that the rangers don't watch their own show because everyone talks as if these are unlike anything they have ever seen.
Yes, ancient dark forces, driven off long ago by ancient forces of light…never seen anything like that.
Later on we learn that the aliens come from another dimension.
“Oh! Hostile, all powerful beings from another dimension? It's the third space aliens!”
No, they don't mention this either.
This is all completely new to the rangers.

Anyway, our heroes end up in a battle with these guys, in which the rangers deploy their special targeting system.
I can't even really explain how stupid this system is…even my powers of hate cant put it into words.
Just click the link below and skip ahead to 7.20.
I can wait, take your time, let it really sink in.

Looked at it? Yeah, nuff said.
The ships guns are controlled by a woman floating in a virtual reality room, doing karate….while pulling funny faces.

So anyway, the show is boring as fuck.
It goes on for fucking ever.
The characters are about as painfully bland as they could be, with Babylon 5's classic strategy of hiring people who cant act as the actors in their show.

The ships ends up badly damaged and with bad guys ships chasing.
Fortunately our heroes have a cunning plan.
They make the bad guys think that a bad guy agent has escaped in an escape pod, so the bad guys will pick it up.
The escape pod actually contains a bomb, and so it blows up the bad guy ship.
A pretty generic plan, but fair enough.

But then they end up having another run in with the bad guys, who we learn are called The Hand.
We don't actually get to see The Hand, just their minions (who are guys in black cloaks and hoods, so loads of thought went into them.)
The Hand(job) are so generic that it hurts.
Oh but one bad guy tells us that The Shadows are mere insects compared to these guys. So I guess that means they must be better. We should use this for all shows, when you want a new bad guy, you can just say “He is like the old bad guy…BUT EVEN WORSE!”
Did anyone involved in this show give a shit? Even slightly?

So when the new bad guy ship shows up and our heroes use a new cunning plan.
They do the same thing again.
No, really.
The put a bomb in the escape pod, tell the bad guys its their agent and the bad guys take it onboard and it blows their ship up.
The hero explains that this was a clever plan, as the exact same plan would be the last thing the enemy would expect.
No….no that is not clever.
That is retarded.
The same trick you used before would be the FIRST thing the enemy would expect!
Fortunately the day is saved when it turns out that the minions of the hand(job) are the one force in the universe more stupid than the rangers.
What a wonderful irony that for a force so crippled by idiocy, that it would be the stupidity of someone else that would save them.
The bad guys know that their previous ship fell for this trick, so they scan to make sure their agent was on board and that there are no remote devices on board….turns out the good guys just put the enemy agent onboard with loads of hand grenades.
A stack of hand grenades apparently strong enough to blow up the entire enemy space ship.
I guess future grenades are just really awesome.
And frankly the bad guys are so fucking dumb for falling for this shit, they deserve all they get.
Makes me wonder how many more times this plan might work, you could take out the entire bad guy fleet with enough escape pods and bombs.
To add pointless tension the hero doesn't even tell the crew what he is doing (having them order the ship moved to between the pod and the enemy, so the enemy think a signal from their ship is coming from the pod.) No one objects to the idea that he put this ass stupid plan into effect without telling them what was happening ( which might have been useful for making sure none of them fucked it up on accident.)
But these are the same people who don't give a second thought to philosophical implications of the fact their ship is literally haunted.
They are retards, but thankfully the bad guys are even bigger retards, so it all turns out for the best.
This show was meant to be a pilot for a new series.
Thank fuck that never happened.
The plot is cliché, boring and recycled, the characters utterly generic, so of the writing is so bad you could use it to teach classes on what not to put in your script.
The shows creator blamed its failure to do well on it being shown at the same time as some sporting event.
I would put the blame on another factor.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 10:46PM, March 29, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Never watched it. Don't want to.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 12:08AM, March 30, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
*Sends Canuovea an escape pod*

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
RED_NED at 2:22AM, March 30, 2011
posts: 39
joined: 12-12-2008
Haha, Legend of the Rangers is awesome. It's like really bad fan fiction, where the nerds who made it also acted in it (really badly).

The whole Rangers concept is balls anyway, they are all such self righteous pricks. Overly superstitious (which I guess makes sense in B5's wacky world where every man and his dog has portents and can see into the future…) with stories of the badges they carry crying blood when they die, fighting with metal sticks because guns aren't honourable, and are totally loyal and unquestioning. Imagine if that crazy warrior caste Neroon guy would have become Ranger One like he nearly did. He would have an army of unfaltering killing machines that would live and die for him. Quite a dangerous mix if you ask me.

The phrase ‘We Live for The One, We die for The One’ is so bloody stupid. The One being Ranger One, who is basically their commander or spiritual leader.
I'm pretty sure thats the same as chanting ‘We live and die for the glorious leader!’ like indoctrinated footsoldiers for a tinpot dicatator.

Also the Rangers are always assholes - There's scenes with them scoffing at Pak' Mara trying to join the rangers, its always nice to have your holy warriors being racists. The minbari warrior caste who were meant to lead the rangers were really dismissive of humans in the show, hating them for the previous war.

The rangers are just minbari wankery with some human minbarophiles wanting to get in on their culture. What human qualities did the rangers have? Even the ships they flew were part minbari part vorlon - the vorlons have more impact on what rangers are like than humans do.

Plus they have a load of baggage from the minbari culture (which I'm not a fan of). Nice to have a culture with 3 distinct ‘castes’ yet can anyone name me a worker caste Minbari from the show?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 3:08AM, March 30, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Name a worker caste?
Hell, lets make it easier! Someone find an example of a worker getting a speaking part!
Minbari are racist to a third of their own poeple, who are basically ignored by the other two groups. Ironically they are the only useful part of heir culture, the other secs being concerned with noting but fighting and war mongering (and being stupid, the warrior caste are good at being stupid) and superstition and rituals.
The earth minbari war was a land slide not because minbari warriors were better trained, or because minbari had a better religion-
It was because they had better technology.
Who built and designed that technology?
The Workers; who are basically swept under the rug for their trouble.

In Legend of the Rangers at one point the minbari first mate guy (and the heroes best friend), complains that their crew includes Drazi and Narn.
He says something about how they have not yet learned assimilated into ranger culture properly.
Could this guy be more racist?
The hero calms his concerns…rather than calling him a racist fuck wit!
Mind you, he would probably have had the same reaction if a worker caste member had asked to join.

Come to think of it….do the worker caste get paid?
Do they have a choice but to keep working?
Are they, infact, effectively a slave caste of untouchables?

We live for the glorious leader, we will die for the glorious leader!
We never stop fighting! Even if we have to kill ourselves to strike at the enemy!
If we have no weapons we will just launch suicide attacks!
Am I still talking about the rangers or al queada here?

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 3:09AM, March 30, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
*sends Red_Ned an escape pod*

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 6:28PM, March 30, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
You know what is funny? Who else tried to do that whole “No retreat! No Surrender! Willpower over all!” Thing? Oh… right. The freaken Nazis… and the Japanese in WW2 as well. That worked out really well for them, didn't it? Especially the Nazis, who started doing in, WHEN THEY STARTED LOSING!

Anyway. Worker caste. Shouldn't be too hard. Some of the Grey Council HAD to be worker caste. In fact, we don't really know which ones were which except for Neroon and a handful of others.

But on a more important point, when Delenn recreates the Grey Council (after having made it defunct) she decides to mess with the ration. It used to be 3:3:3 (worker, religious, warrior), but she decided that after fucking the Membari the hell up for so long the Religious and Warrior classes had had their time in the sun. I think that the Ratio was 6:3:3, (worker, religious, warrior), but I'm not sure. I do recall that the Worker class basically got a veto block between them. It's the closest thing possible to a Membari dictatorship of the proletariat. So at the very end the workers don't do too badly… But before that… no, certainly not, they had nothing.

*explodes the escape pod with particle beam weaponry*

I exist to ruin people's day. See, I suspect the escape pod held a free next generation X-box that was meant as a present. My jealousy took over.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
RED_NED at 7:51PM, March 30, 2011
posts: 39
joined: 12-12-2008
Haha, yeah the whole workers running the grey council thing was bizarre. Then again, having 9 people running an entire multiplanet civilisation is a pretty dumb idea at the best of times.

To be fair to the Minbari though, their entire society is retarded and manipulated by the Vorlons – they are basically the same as the Drakh are to the shadows.

Their society shown in B5 is formed 1000 years ago when Sinclair travels back in time to become Valen. Here he meets the vorlons, who show themselves as angels to the Minbari to make them compliant.

The council 3x3x3 thing is made by Valen, they presumably had something crazy like a democracy before then. The Vorlons presumably informed Sinclair on what to do, they instructed about the Shadows (Who are meant to be exactly as bad as Vorlons) and manipulated the minbari to make an army of ‘Rangers’ to fight them.

The Vorlons are behind the scenes with their spiritual leaders – that Dukhat guy who led the grey council from that ‘In The Beginning’ film was instructed ‘spiritually’ by Vorlons.

The white star ships are enhanced with Vorlon technology which is somehow ‘good’ but ships enhanced with Shadow tech are ‘bad’.

The Vorlons are shits in the show, genetically altering races to have telepaths, making themselves appear as angels to make people trust them, and using the minbari as their puppet race for 1000 years.

The first shadow war was the vorlons using lots of other races to help fight the shadows – Dont use the other races as a shield to fight your fights!

And the rangers still use this vorlon tech, because JMS seemed to forget his own plot that the vorlons and shadows were equally bad, and the vorlons became the defacto goodies who ‘shared’ their technology to be used by the alliance and the Shadows were just bad and their technology is left behind to be abused by the drakh.

Plus Delenn still worshiping Valen after he was just one of her buddies is so beyond retarded I don't know when to begin.

In Valens Name!!!!!1111 Fucktards…
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 10:44PM, March 30, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Okay. To be fair to the Membari… the Centari have one guy running the whole show. The Membari have an oligarchy. Not all that far fetched.

The Drakh/Membari comparison is a good one. I like it.

The Vorlons were generally manipulative asses, though their intentions were more directly “good”. Then again, the Shadows thought that they were doing everyone a favour too… just in a less likable and more roundabout way.

And the Vorlons didn't necessarily tell Sinclair, “Valen” what to do. He would have learned all about the Membari system while on their world. In addition, he literally wrote a letter to himself from the past. He was telling himself what to do!

But the Vorlons and Shadows. Hmm. Kosh wasn't such a bad fellow really… he was actually less controlling than the freak that took over later. Still, I sense undercurrents in the Vorlon government, and once Kosh went Kaput, so did the more lenient faction.

As for white star ships being enhanced by Vorlon tech… hell, that's fine! If I was a small country fighting the Nazis, and the Soviets offered me stuff, I'd take it! Or, well, the Soviets took aid from their arch enemies… capitalist Americans! Also, remember what was necessary to get Shadow style tech to work… I don't think that, apart from sacrificing people to make it work, Shadow tech was inherently evil, just that the humans using it were obvious bastards. ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ are relatively simplistic terms here.

Vorlons are autocratic, Shadows are the ultimate in decentralization (they also get to do whatever the hell they want though)! Extremes of Order and Chaos. Both are “shits” in their own way. Shadows kill and do whatever they please, Vorlons are like an overbearing parent (Amy Chua looks like a wimp in comparison to these guys, forcing your child to play only a violin or a piano? Peanuts). Still, killing whoever you want vs. overbearing parent? No matter how extreme the overbearing parent… the crazy dude who knifes peoples in the back for no reason is pretty damn scary too.

Why not use other people to fight your own fights? It's what the USA and USSR did throughout the Cold War? Its a valid thing, particularly if you view the people you are making do the fighting as benefiting from it.

I'm not sure that the Vorlons are responsible for the Rangers. We have Sinclair to thank for that, and it might be his own fault! If they use Vorlon tech, then that's fine. Let them. I'd use it too. Sometimes dumping practicality for ideology is plain stupid. As Hark has shown.

Also, Delenn is apparently related to Valen. Makes the sexual tension a little more creepy, yes? Oh, and yes, there was some sexual tension there. Remember that Membari ritual that was supposed to be a demonstration of their culture? It was an ‘imitation’ of a marriage ceremony. And there was a “serious exchange of looks” between… Sinclair and Delenn… well, and Londo and G'kar, but that's completely different!

I'm not entirely a fan of the Membari though, I've gotta say, far too ritualized for me. Plus… religious caste… mostly calling the shots… No. I hate theocracies at least as much as absolute dictatorships, probably more!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 4:25AM, March 31, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
The shadow and vorlons are just as bad as each other, that was kind of the ultimate point of the show.
Both sides had their vision of how things should be and if you disagreed or would not be manipulated, they would kill you using their superior weapons.

Kosh was good, but one good example does not chagne the overall stance of the Vorlon race. As a society, their influence was just as harmful as that of hte Shadows.

I did always find it interesting on the show that using Shadow Tech was always considered bad. When ever anyone is found to be using the stuff it is treated as a really bad thing and the person doing it is ALWAYS a bad guy. Using shadow tech is treated as evidence to prove someone is a villain.
As I recall when the Drakh were realised to be former agents of the shadows, this was evidence enough for Delenn to realise they should not be trusted…which is wierd coming from a woman whoses entire culture was manipulated adn controled by the equally bad vorlons.
Yet Vorlon tech gets a free pass becasue Vorlons are good guys…even though the entire point of the show is that Vorlons are NOT good guys!

The Minbari/ Drakh comparisson is a clever one, well done!
But there is one difference.
The minbari had the good sense to turn against their Vorlon masters.
Meanwhile, the Drakh continue to serve their masters vision for the universe even after the masters have departed, making the Drakh worse. Though had the drakh served the vorlons and continued after the vorlons had gone they would be just as bad. Its the fact they continue with the old ones work that makes them evil, rather than what side they picked.

This should probably go under the Crusade thread…but the drakh were always a pretty underwhelming threat. Their ships were not as good as white stars, and they were clearly horribly out numbered by other races.
Their manipulations and mind control things were pretty cool, but their ships just weren't that good and one race agaisnt the entire interstellar alliance seemed rather uneven.
On Crusade they got their asses kicked in the first episode AND the prequal movie…after that it was hard to see what hte danger was supposed to be.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
RED_NED at 5:57AM, March 31, 2011
posts: 39
joined: 12-12-2008
I don't think I ever watched a full episode of Crusade, and never really saw much of the Drakh except what was in the original show. I did watch the ‘A Call to Arms’ film the other day, man was that bad. Galen is a douche!

It's right that the other races are flawed in comparison to the Minbari, and the Minbari chose their own destiny which makes them good(ish) in the end. But more importantly, the Drakh look ugly like baddies so that makes them evil!

Yeah Kosh was a nice guy, but I got that the ultimate truth was that the two older races were just as bad as each other. I thought it was meant to be the Vorlons manipilating people perceptions of their enemy – we couldn't say their name so we call them shadows – I got the impression the Vorlons told us that name to make people have a negative opinion of them. The opposite of the shadow was light – which the Vorlons claimed to be, whilst whispering lies in peoples ears to control them.

They didn't really go into it, but I was under the Impression not everyone in the Shadow society was complete evil. There was some old duffer called ‘Justin’ on Zha'Dum who wasnt necessarily totally bad, he believed in what the shadows did but worked on the paperwork or something. Sheridan dropped a 2 megaton bomb on his head.

The fact that you think the Vorlons are better than the shadows Canuovea is kinda my point. In the show thats what they became, when I thought the final point was they had both ‘lost their way’ as that tit head lorien said (Man I hate that guy).

I still hate Minbari though. “Minbari don't kill Minbari”. Yeah but killing other races is fine isn't it, you supremicist racist twat… Man I love quoting those numpties.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 8:29AM, March 31, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Man, the minbari really ARE assholes!
I feel like the scales have been lifted from my eyes.

They dont like humans and nearly genocidally exterminated them becuase ONE minbari of importance got killed.

They think its okay to kill other people as long as they dont kill their own kind.

And they hold racist contempt for pakmara, narn and Drazi (and pressumably others).

They are pawns of the vorlons (and their evil vorlon agenda of oppression)

And they have a thirdof their population as a slave caste.

The show always presents them as a great bunch but once you break it down they totally suck!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Genejoke at 3:34PM, April 6, 2011
posts: 3,629
joined: 4-9-2010
I'm never gonna look at B5 the same way again.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 5:04AM, April 15, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Red_Ned may have done more to tear apart B5 than even Legend of the Rangers managed!
Okay…not quite THAT bad.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM

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