Warren Keffer

Warren Keffer

Babylon5 character

name=Warren Keffer
affiliation=Babylon 5's Zeta Squadron, Earth Alliance
start=Points of Departure
finish=The Fall of Night
portrayer=Robert Rusler

Warren Keffer, played by Robert Rusler, is a fictional character from the television science fiction drama "Babylon 5". He appeared in the opening credits in the of the show.

Keffer was a outstanding Starfury fighter pilot in Babylon 5's Zeta squadron and a minor character in the early parts of the series. He was important enough for intermittent appearances and a small sub-story, but not very significant in the general plot. He has not appeared or been referenced outside of season two.

Zeta squadron was the station's elite fighter squadron during the time of President Luis Santiago's visit and were given the new Starfuries he brought with him. (The event took place during "Survivors" but mentioned in "Points of Departure".) Like the rest of Zeta squad, Keffer was given one of the new Starfuries.

Keffer was one of the pilots ordered to hold position against advancing Minbari fighters during the incident with the Minbari warcruiser Trigati. The rogue Minbari were trying to start a conflict by provoking Capt. John Sheridan, known to them as "Star Killer", into attacking. Keffer and the other pilots let the advancing fighters pass without incident.

Keffer later participated in the rescue of an Explorer class starship lost in hyperspace. The Explorer-class vessel, the EAS "Cortez", was commanded by a close friend of Captain Sheridan; and he sent Keffer and seveal other Starfury pilots to find and lead the "Cortez" to safety ("A Distant Star"). The fighters formed themselves into a chain, relaying hyperspace beacon information through the chain and pressing deep into hyperspace. The chain was broken when a hitherto unknown Shadow battlecrab jumped into hyperspace. The Shadow ship unintentionally destroyed the Zeta Squadron leader by ramming into him, and left Keffer spinning out of control in hyperspace. After he got his Starfury back under control he used his pulse cannons and fired in the direction of the chain of starfuries. By doing so he pointed the way back to the Hyperspace beacon for the "Cortez", which was able to return to Babylon 5. Keffer was thought lost, until he saw the flight path of a second Shadow ship, using it's path to determine the direction of the B5 hyperspace beacon. He worked from the premise that the Shadow vessels must be following their own form of Hyperspace Beacons intersecting with the ones the younger races use. After the rescue and his return to Babylon 5 Keffer was promoted to Zeta Squadron leader, but he also developed an obsession with the Shadow vessels he'd seen and became determined to film one of the mysterious ships.

Keffer continued to search for the vessel in hyperspace, taking out his Starfury when off duty.

Later Keffer was forced to share his quarters with two "gropos" (ground-pounders) who were using Babylon 5 as a base for an attack mission ("Gropos"). Keffer became friends with the gropos, including the massive veteran PFC Large. After the gropo mission, a report told Keffer that all the soldiers he'd met, friends and enemies, had been killed in the attack.

Keffer continued to search for the Shadow vessel, now called "the ghost" by other pilots, until Captain Sheridan learned of his unauthorized flights and ordered them stopped. Though he obeyed, Keffer later confirmed the ghost vessel's existence after talking to a pilot from Delta Squadron. The pilot had also seen the ghost, a ship with a black shimmering hull "A shade of black so deep your eyes just slide off it", and decribed is look as "A spider big as death and twice as ugly", that screams in your mind when it passes. According to the Delta squad pilot, he detected a unique neutrino trail when he saw the ghost ship. Keffer then set his Starfury sensors to detect this trail.

After the surrender of Narn to the Centauri, a Narn warship appeared in Babylon 5 space ("The Fall of Night") and Zeta Squadron was ordered to escort the vessel through the jumpgate. As they moved through hyperspace, Keffer detected the neutrino trail and broke off to investigate. Finding the Shadow ship, he filmed the ship with his gun camera. The Shadow vessel suddenly turned on his Starfury. Keffer loaded the recording into a buoy and launched it into space just before the Shadows fired their beam weapon, killing Keffer and destroying his Starfury.

The buoy was later discovered and the information given to ISN. They broadcast the images, revealing the Shadows' existence publicly for the first time. The images become a point of controversy on Earth, leading to a Ministry of Peace investigation and eventually their use to cause public fear of an alien threat to the planet.

J Michael Straczynski has said that the character of Keffer was introduced solely because the television network wanted a "hotshot Top Gun kind of pilot" character to attract more viewers, and he never intended for Keffer to survive. [cite video
people = J. Michael Straczynski
title = The Fall of Night
medium = DVD commentary
publisher = Warner Home Video
location = 00:09
date = April 29, 2003


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