Don’t Dismiss ‘Babylon 5’ As “Just Another Reboot”

Babylon 5 Cast

People are quite tired of reboots nowadays, but the recent news about Babylon 5 getting revived shouldn’t be dismissed as a lazy rehash.

I’m going to be real here.  When I saw the first headline yesterday about Babylon 5 getting rebooted, I had a brief wave of terror.  The original was perfectly crafted, with compelling characters and a five season arc with an incredibly satisfying conclusion.  Why would anyone want to touch that?  You can’t do it better than J Michael Straczynski did. 

Then, approximately five seconds after reading the headline I opened up the article and was instantly relieved.  Nobody can do it better than JMS, and nobody ever will, because he’s going to be the head writer of the reboot.  Reboot critics, stand down!  This sounds promising!

JMS has taken to twitter to not only confirm that the reboot is happening and that he’s taking part, but to assure fans that it’s not going to just be the same story lifted from the original and done with modern effects.  No, he likes to be challenged, and he’s going to do new and exciting things with the series.  All that said, however, he will likely have a much better budget this time around, so if you add his brilliant writing on top of this huge pile of cash, and we’re likely in for quite a treat.

He has also confirmed that whatever was holding back more Babylon 5 content at the network for so many years has apparently been resolved.  This has been an ongoing issue for decades, and has prevented any official spinoff material, let alone a reboot.  Babylon 5 is J Michael Straczynski’s baby, and he now has some level of control over it once more.  Whatever happened to give him that power, I am incredibly grateful.

Since the original series aired, JMS has been quite a busy person.  He has, quite simply, never stopped writing.  And he doesn’t just write in one format, either.  He’s done comics, books, and, most notably around here, Netflix’s Sense8.  This means his fanbase is scattered among several communities, but all seem to be in agreement that he’s incredibly innovative and unique.  If anyone can reboot something and make it good, he can.  Even if this was a reboot of something else that wasn’t his own project, I’d give it a fair chance.

Setting aside the brilliance of JMS, not all reboots are garbage, anyway.  The Battlestar Galactica reboot in the mid ’00s was absolutely brilliant.  But I get the kneejerk reaction to the concept.  Most reboots are not good.  Most feel pointless. The originals are either so classic that touching them feels like a crime, or so recent that it feels like a cash crab without coming up with any new ideas.  The most egregious to me are reboots into English simply to appeal to an audience that doesn’t like subtitles (though, granted, that doesn’t apply in this case).  This one is different, though.  And I’m pretty excited.


Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.


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