ATT: JMS: Inconsistencies in the Canon -- SPOILERS FOR "IN THE

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sat Dec 6 06:19:57 EST 1997

From: "Laura M. Appelbaum" <l-appelbaum at>
Date: 5 Dec 1997 13:02:47 -0700
Lines: 106

This post is chockful of spoilers for the novelization of "In the
Beginning" so if you don't want to know about the upcoming movie, "be
somewhere else!"  

Hi jms!

Finished reading Peter David's novelization the other day, and I
couldn't help but notice a few inconsistencies between the book and the
show, some of which seem rather significant.  I'm not talking about ISN
being "INN" or Sinclair being "Captain" (tho' how *that* one got by I
don't know!) but items of real importance on which only you can tell us
which is "right":

1. When DID the War actually start?  Lurker's guide and "Clark's Law"
both have Dukat being killed in 2242 and the Battle of the Line as
2248.  That would be 6 years. In this book, however, the war seems to
take barely over 2 years.

2. In "To Dream in the City of Sorrows," we are told quite explicitly
that there are absolutely NO records of what Valen looked like -- which
makes sense, since Sinclair wouldn't have wanted to risk tipping someone
-- including himself -- off early, and since he would have been trying
to keep the inevitable cult of personality from building up around him
once he WAS Valen (even tho' he knew it would happen anyway).  Yet in
"In the Beginning" we are told that Delenn and the Council identify him
as having Valen's soul because THEY SEE HIM AND RECOGNIZE HIM AS VALEN. 
That's a WHOPPER as far as I'm concerned!  This was a point I was
particularly interested in learning about in the movie/book, btw, since
we never were told exactly what the Triluminary "did" or "allowed" the
Council to see/know at the Line.  Then too, there's been a lot of debate
here about whether or not the Triluminary actually DOES something
"mystical" or if it was simply detecting Sinclair/Valen's Human DNA. 
The answer given in this book anyway, not only doesn't clarify this, but
as I said, is totally inconsistent with Book 9, which you previously
told us was canon.  Can you please help clarify this?

3. In "Point of No Return," when Lennier tells Sheridan what happened at
the Line, he also says that once they determined Sinclair had a Minbari
soul, the Council brought other pilots on board and tested them too,
finding that they also "in whole or in part" had Minbari souls.  (This
is part of why the DNA "theory" has never seemed wholly satisfying to me
-- the other pilots couldn't have all been related to Sinclair!)  In "In
the Beginning," there is absolutely no indication that this took place. 
Which is correct?

4. I found it quite incredible that in the wake of "our" miraculous
redemption from certain death at the hands of the Minbari, Earth Gov
would actually have scanned Sinclair as part of their inquiry.  I'm sure
they'd WANT to, but when only 200 people from 20,000 survived, what
government would be stupid enough to violate the civil rights of one of
those very, very few War Heroes?  I mean, can you imagine the scandal if
Sinclair had then gone to the press (as he probably would, being so
un-politically correct and outspoken a person as he was) and had told
them that no sooner does he come back from facing certain death on the
Line than Psi Corps is poking around in his mind? Even if *Earth Gov*
would be stupid enough to do it, but I really don't think the folks at
Psi Corps are that naive -- or would have been willing to lose their
precarious public standing over this.  Wouldn't THEIR reaction have been
"who cares -- the War's over, that's all that counts?"  An additional
fact that would seem to contradict against such a happening is the fact
that ten years after the War all these people come out of the woodwork,
obsessed with finding out what Sinclair knows/did.  If a P12 had poked
around and said "he honestly doesn't recall a thing," I doubt that would
have incited the conspiracy theorists as much as being told that Earth
Gov did a routine VERBAL investigation of him, studied all the records
on his Star Fury and found it all consistent. You only have to look to
Roswell to know that somehow, actually HAVING ALL THE FACTS seems to
make certain people even more crazy about proving things that never took
place!  Finally, if he HAD been scanned, as it states in the book,
wouldn't Sinclair have brought that up when he was in the cybernet with
Knight One?  Why bother to cite the data from his ship if HE could say
"a PsiCop has tried to do this before and found nothing"?  So what

5. Lastly, in "To Dream" we are told that "Entil'Zha" and "Isil'Zha" are
Vorlon words that the Minbari don't even have translations of.  But in
"In the Beginning" we're told the latter is a Minbari term meaning "the
future." Can you clear up this linguistic problem for us?

Lest you think all I DO is find inconsistencies, ;) I **really** enjoyed
the story and am looking forward to the movie immensely!  :D


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 5 Dec 1997 20:35:53 -0700
Lines: 12

I think that most of the inconsistencies you note are primarily due to the
translation from scrilt to print, prior to Peter seeing any of the actual
footage (it's never stated in the script, for instance, that any of the Grey
Council have seen Valen).

While Entil-zha has a vague translation, which is what is stated in"Dream,"
we've translated isil-zha ever since Marcus appeared in the show...Franklin
asks while they're in medlab, if you recall, and he points to the center stone
and says it's called isil-zha, meaning the future.

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