Babylon 5 Reboot Will Change The Show’s Story For The CW

Series creator J. Michael Straczynski says the Babylon 5 reboot won't have the same story as the original.

By Michileen Martin | Published

babylon 5
  • Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski responds to fan questions about the reboot of the beloved sci-fi series, and reveals that story elements that have already been revealed in the previous series will be told in very different ways for this new version of the property. Straczynski also hints at another Babylon 5 project that includes original cast members from the first series.

Last September it was confirmed that Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski was working on a reboot series set to appear on The CW. Now, the creator of both series has confirmed something diehard fans may not have great reactions to; the story of the eponymous station is going to be a lot different in the reboot.

Over the weekend J. Michael Straczynski was particularly busy on Twitter responding to fan questions about the Babylon 5 reboot as well as other projects. One fan in particular implied there was no real point to a reboot because “we all know the secrets of the Shadows and the Vorlons.” The B5 creator responded, “That’s only if we tell the story in the same way. We’re not. Because what would be the point?” You can see the exchange below.

As far as what will be different between the original series and the reboot, we don’t know much but we know at least one important detail; according to Deadline‘s October report about the new series, unlike in the original Babylon 5, the eponymous station will start off being commanded by Captain John Sheridan who was originally played by Bruce Boxleitner. In first series, it was Michael O’Hare playing Commander Jeffrey Sinclair in the first season. O’Hare was forced to leave the show because of mental health issues, and Sheridan was created to replace him.

Eight minutes before confirming that the new series would change the story, Straczynski had tweeted that the Babylon 5 reboot was waiting “a production order.” He also said that another Babylon 5 project was already completed, would include the surviving main cast members of the first series, and was due for release in 2023. However, he said he was “sworn to secrecy” about the project; including what medium it’s in. For all we know, it could be a podcast, an animated series, a live-action film, or something we haven’t even thought of. You can see that series of tweets below.

With Straczynski’s mention of the Babylon 5 reboot “awaiting a production order,” it’s difficult to not feel pessimistic about its chances of seeing the light of day. The CW has undergone seismic shifts over the past few months. Popular series like The Flash and Riverdale have been confirmed to have their final seasons on the way. A long list of series was outright canceled; including In the Dark, Batwoman, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Charmed, Roswell, New Mexico, Naomi, Dynasty, and The 4400. After Nexstar Media purchased a controlling interest in The CW, reports surfaced that the network’s focus would shift to unscripted programs, sitcoms, and police procedurals. Something like Babylon 5 would seem to fly in the opposite direction.

Hopefully whatever happens with the Babylon 5 reboot won’t once again put Straczynski at odds with a major studio. Speaking to the Archive of American Television, the Babylon 5 creator claimed he pitched the series to Paramount Studios and that the studio stole the idea and used it for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The writer declined to sue Paramount, he said, only because Warner Bros told him not to.