- Epsilon III
Infobox fictional planet
caption=Babylon 5 orbitting Epsilon III
J. Michael Straczynski
Epsilon III is a planet in the science fiction television series
Epsilon III is the third planet of the Epsilon Eridani system, which the eponymous space station of the series "Babylon 5" orbits. Formerly the home of an advanced alien race, it is now abandoned but still contains the remarkable
Great Machine, which guards the planet against interference. Epsilon III has been the home to Varn, Draal, and Zathras.
Epsilon Eridanisystem, situated 10.5 light yearsfrom Sol, is located in a fairly central position between the galactic powers. The position made it a perfect, albeit second, choice for the Babylon 5 space station. The original location was abandoned after Babylon 4disappeared in the region without a trace.
The central, and neutral, location kept Babylon 5 close to the other powers without placing it in harm in the event of a war between them. Even so, alien wars managed to find their ways to
Babylon 5. This occurred numerous times during the Narn/Centauri war, firstly when a Centauri battle cruiser was engaged by a Narn heavy cruiser, resulting in minor damage to the station. Later, another Centauri warship heavily damaged Babylon 5 when it fired on the station, before it was destroyed by station defences.
Its location also made it a hub for trade and commerce, with thousands of visitors passing through the system each day, and staying at
Babylon 5. This was more than once a source of trouble, given the immense scope of keeping the peace on a 5 mile long space station, with people coming and going constantly.
The Great Machine
Epsilon III served as home not only to Babylon 5, but also to an enigmatic race of ancients, whose name is still unknown. They departed the planet long before
Babylon 5was built, but they left their machines behind, a recurring theme in Babylon 5. The " Great Machine" is the name for a subterranean mechanism which has enormous power. This machine has been observed not only defending the planet with powerful energy weapons, but also allowing users to remotely view far away locations such as star systems, as well as creating and controlling time fields. The machine was thought to be able to destroy the entire planet if it destabilized. Additionally, the machine is controlled by a single individual, who is bonded to it both physically and mentally.
Battle of Epsilon III
A Voice in the Wilderness", during the first contact with the Great Machine's controller, an unknown alien vessel engaged Babylon 5 defences, and the Earth Alliancewarship Hyperion, claiming that they were descendants of the race who originally inhabited the planet. The fight lasted for quite some time before the ship made a suicidal run at the planet, only to be shot down by Draal, who had taken control of the machine’s defences.
Epsilon III is seen in the episodes "
A Voice in the Wilderness", " The Long, Twilight Struggle", " Voices of Authority" and " War Without End".
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