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The great questions of Babylon 5, which would you ask?

Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:52 pm
by lastbesthope
I was sitting talking with a friend about the different questions used in Babylon 5 by the Vorlons and Shadows. It occurred to me as I was discussing it that in the late Season 2 episode "Comes The Inquisitor" that although Sebastian/"Jack" keeps asking "Who are you?" that this is not really the question that the Vorlons want answered, the Vorlons want to know if Delenn (and John as it turns out) are the right people in the right place at the right time. They judge this to be true when they discover that they are willing to sacrifice themselves for each other with complete anonymity for the act.

Not that it is uncommon in psychology, psychiatry, torture or indeed politics to try and get an answer by indirect means, I was just wondering what people thought about the questions used by the Vorlons, Shadows and Galen (in Crusade). I have listed Galen's "Who do you serve and who do you trust?" as 2 different questions to make the number a magic 5. Although if anyone has any other suggestions for ultimate questions please post them.

So which one would you ask others, and what would your answer to it be?

LBH
(This is what I get like when I'm up too late at night watching sci-fi)

Posted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 12:10 am
by Eryx
I voted for #2 "what do you want?"

I think that once you know someone's motivation you can pretty much work out everything you need to to about a person.

The Vorlon question "Who are you?" doesn't really help you. Assuming you get a decent answer, it hasn't helped you really in any way because you don't understand why someone does what they do or why they believe that thats who they are.

And Galen's questions are not really in the same league as either the Shadow or Vorlon questions, as they are much less personal I think.

Interesting poll though. :)

Posted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 1:01 am
by Jal
none of the above.

"why do i bother?" would be my choice.

as soon as i find the answer, i`ll let you know. :wink:

Posted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 6:03 am
by CARTMAG
I personaly picked what do you want by the shadows because in truth... what do any of us realy want... and do we even know untill it is officaly apon us... yes we all say that we want certin things in our lives but is that realy what we want..... we say corporial things like .... Money, Love, Family, Friends.. etc..... but if we look deeper what is it that we realy want... that is what i think the shadows ment.... what exactly do you want down deep in the darkest recesses of ones soul.... in a place that we dare not look and to most of us is completely locked away......

in the show itself Londo gets what he suposedly wants.. but if you remember in the end when he gets it... its Hollow because was it in truth what he realy wanted.... as we see by how he died with G'kars hands around his neck and vice versa....

ok I know that was deeper then needed but its 2:03 am and im half asleep right now.. so i dont know what im typing LOL....

Posted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:19 am
by Dag'Nabbit
I believe my absolute favorite question was posed by Mr. Garibaldi to Sinclair in Season 1.

"So...fasten-zip, or zip then fasten?"

followed closely by

"You wanna talk socks?"

:lol:

Posted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 1:42 pm
by lastbesthope
I chose the Shadows question in the end, What do you want? I think Cartmag's take on it is right, but I think that the Shadows knew that when we were askedit we wouldn't look deep enough to give the true answer. Just what we wanted now in the short term. Which is why Londo got picked and G'Kar saved himself at the last minute by not knowing what he wanted once the Centauri were destroyed.

No need to apologise for getting too deep, B5 kind of does that to you sometimes. It may not be real (My father keeps reminding me of that, I just reply that it's not real yet!) but the questions it provokes are.

I should have also put Lorien's unique question "Do you have anything worth living for?". I think everyone does, they just can't always see it or it get's lost amongst other things.

When you get down to it, no one question can say it all.

To go down Dag'Nabbit's road (nice on there BTW), I liked G'Kar's question to Cartagia when captured and brought before him:
"Do you by any chance, happen to know where Mr. Garibaldi might be?"

Right, that's deep enough for now. I bought 6 seasons of SG-1 on DVD a month ago and I'm only just starting Season 5 now. Back to the grindstone!

LBH

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:50 am
by Dan 055
Ah, but the first two questions are not just different questions, but different types of questions. The important thing about the Shadows question is what your answer is, while the important thing about the Vorlons question is how you answer it.

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 4:41 pm
by redlaco
Absolutely, Dan055.

That's why I voted for the Vorlons question.

Someone who have never sought to define him/herself will have a hard time answering it. In fact he/she will probably describe obvious evidences like : "Well I'm a human blue collar worker from Io, age 33... err, what else you want to know?". While someone who really thought about the meaning of his life might sound like : "I'm an humble seeker of knowledge and truth".

Yes, cheesy but still some food for thought.
Thanks Lastbesthope for this interesting poll.

Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:36 am
by Mongoose Si
I voted for "Who are you". I think you need to know the answer to this before you really know what you want!

Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:34 pm
by Dag'Nabbit
I put down "who do you serve" because this question reveals a great deal about what a person believes in and what they are willing to do about it.

Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:18 pm
by CARTMAG
you know something B5 seems to be the first show that probes deep into the human Psyche. all thoes questions are very much psychological questions they make one think and look into thoes deep dark places where few a brave enough to tread. because if you think about it how many people realy know the true answer NOT many... if any..... as i said in an earlier post and others have pointed out.... look @ Londo... what was it that he realy truly wanted... and what was it that he actualy got... where two totaly different things..... scary how a scence fiction show can make one think... no wonder Sci-Fi is a very nich market.. on the whole it makes you think and wonder.... which is something most people dont want to do...

and heres a question on the same vegn.... what would your answer be to thoes same questions...... ???? :?:

Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:25 pm
by lastbesthope
CARTMAG wrote:you know something B5 seems to be the first show that probes deep into the human Psyche. all thoes questions are very much psychological questions they make one think and look into thoes deep dark places where few a brave enough to tread. because if you think about it how many people realy know the true answer NOT many... if any..... as i said in an earlier post and others have pointed out.... look @ Londo... what was it that he realy truly wanted... and what was it that he actualy got... where two totaly different things..... scary how a scence fiction show can make one think... no wonder Sci-Fi is a very nich market.. on the whole it makes you think and wonder.... which is something most people dont want to do...

and heres a question on the same vegn.... what would your answer be to thoes same questions...... ???? :?:
As you say Cartmag, they are very probing questions. My mother completed her psychology degree while I was of an age to take an interest (and be a test subject, that's my defense your honour and I'm sticking to it :D ) There is a school of Psychology that deals with problems by asking the subject probing questions until they come to the solution themselves, I can't remember the name of it just now though.

Glad you're all liking the poll.

My answers

Who are you? Me.
What do you want? A motorcycle, a lightsaber, a Starfury, A Thunderbolt, A Denn'bok and a White Star to start with :P
Where are you going? Wherever the fancy takes me.
Who do you serve? Noone that I don't choose to.
Who do you trust? Those that deserve it.

LBH

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:15 pm
by CARTMAG
lol last best hope....... but if you think about it thoes would be the normal answers... but as you said they are psychological questions..... and thes aer only surface answers.. thats the whole problem we think on the surface thoes arent your real answers. ok i just confused myself here lol

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:22 pm
by lastbesthope
CARTMAG wrote:lol last best hope....... but if you think about it thoes would be the normal answers... but as you said they are psychological questions..... and thes aer only surface answers.. thats the whole problem we think on the surface thoes arent your real answers. ok i just confused myself here lol

Well I'm not going to share the deep dark recesses of what I have left for a soul with the entire population. I'd scare the horses :shock:

LBH

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:29 pm
by Black Campbell
What do you want..?

Funnily enough, I always thought the Shadows were onto something...just crappy execution.

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:19 pm
by Kizarvexis
Ok, I have a few nits.

You forgot "Why are you here?" (Lorien)

I believe we first see Lorien use "Where are you going?"


I think these jms quotes sum up "Who are you?" and "Want do you want?" for me.

"The episode underlines that there are two fundamental questions in B5: who are you, and what do you want? The order in which you answer those two questions can either make you great...or destroy you."

"The key to the questions is that you generally have to first be able to answer "who are you?" before you can intelligently determine "what do you want?" To deal right with "what do you want" before you know who you are is destructive in almost any situation. "

Kizarvexis

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 5:43 pm
by lastbesthope
Kizarvexis wrote:Ok, I have a few nits.

You forgot "Why are you here?" (Lorien)

.....(snip)....

Kizarvexis
More serious than that I forgot

"Fasten then zip or zip then fasten?" (Garibaldi)

A way more important question!

LBH
You wanna talk socks?

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 5:51 pm
by Dag'Nabbit
To me, it's the little details of life that tell me a great deal about a person. :wink:

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:50 pm
by lastbesthope
Dag'Nabbit wrote:To me, it's the little details of life that tell me a great deal about a person. :wink:
Did you ever see that episode of Spaced when Mike is being assessed for being let back in the TA and they give him the inkblot test?

Goes something along the lines of

(New inkblot)"Guts!"
(New inkblot)"Guns!"
(New inkblot)"Guts and Guns!"
(New inkblot)"A butterfly"
(Evaluating officer pauses and gives him a strange look)
(Mike corrects himself)"A butterfly with a bomb!"

:D

LBH

Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 5:47 am
by Dag'Nabbit
I think my favorite inkblot story is from "The Right Stuff." It has the astronaught candidates being shown a completely blank piece of paper. The answers tend to abound from snowy fields to cloudy skies until one candidate looks at if for a second then looks straight into the eyes of the evaluator and says, "You're kidding right, it's upside down." The evaluator then gets up and reaches for the paper to turn it right side up before he realizes that indeed it is just a blank piece of paper.

As for the Spaced episode, nope, missed that one.