J. Michael Straczynski Explains Why Babylon 5 Had to Be Rebooted

Yesterday's shocking news was that the 90s sci-fi cult favorite Babylon 5 would be back on screens with a new reboot on The CW. J. Michael Straczynski, the original creator of Babylon 5, tried to calm down fans who were initially concerned. He explained why more Babylon 5 was needed, and, more importantly, why the new series had to be a different version than the previous one.


Straczynski took to Twitter shortly after the news broke. He stressed that the reboot, which is a first for Babylon 5 (which already has several spinoff series) was a crucial decision he had to make. The reason for the decision was simple. A lot has happened in the media world and in Straczynskis professional life since Babylon 5 aired. Straczynski enjoyed the challenge of bringing those changes and his personal growth to the beloved series.

Heraclitus said, "You cannot walk in the same river twice," and I have added a lot of TV shows and movies to my toolbox. What would Babylon 5 look like if I was to create it today? What would the use of all the technological and storytelling tools available in 2021?

The writer also found another reason to tell a new Babylon 5 story for the 21st Century. This was to continue the legacy of the original show. Babylon 5's five year overarching storyline, which was laid out right from the start, was a first in long-form television storytelling. It is now normal in an age of TV franchises that dominate, perhaps inspired by Babylon 5's original approach. Straczynski said that the dark sci-fi storytelling that comment on the current state of the world in mid-90s must evolve. A new Babylon 5 should not only be relevant to the present time but also allow viewers to envision a future. Straczynski said, "How can it be used in a way that reflects the world we live in and the questions that we ask and face every day?" It is often pointed out by fans how prescient the show is in our current world. It would be fun to look further down the road.

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Combining this with the fact that many of Babylon 5's beloved original cast members are still stubbornly on the opposite side of the Rim (as Straczynski stated), it makes perfect sense to make the new Babylon 5 a complete relaunch. The continuation would need to consider who remains from the original series, the limitations of its storytelling from decades past, and Straczynski's desire to make Babylon 5 more relevant to the present moment than it was in the past. The writer seems excited about the challenge.


Straczynski said, "Let me end by saying how supportive and enthusiastic everybody at the CW has being and will continue to be with this project." They are aware of the unique position Babylon 5 holds in television, as well as with its legions, and they are doing all they can to ensure maximum creative freedom and a new story that will attract new viewers, while respecting the legacy. Moving on!

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