The Babylon Project

"Only one human captain has ever survived battle with a Minbari fleet."


The Battle with the Black Star took place within the Sol System asteroid belt, after days of the EAS Lexington and its Earthforce task group enduring hit and run attacks.

The Black Star (known as the Drala Fi in at least one form of Minbari) ambushed the task force Battle group ''Independence'' in the Dakota system. They were investigating at the rumors of a Minbari ''ace cruiser'' attacking and taking out EA patrols on it. The rumors were true, and the Black Star surprise attack, after luring them into an asteroid field with a Minbari flyer pretending to be damaged, and opening a jump point in the middle of the fleet. The Minbari fleet slaughtered the Battle group, leaving only the Lexington, severely damaged in the opening barrage and was left for dead, while the Drala Fi pursued the retreating Earth ships. First officer Commander John Sheridan took command as Captain Roger Sterns had been killed when a support strut collapsed into his command chair.

Knowing that the Minbari would accept no surrender and would even pursue and destroy a crippled ship, Sheridan ordered several of the nearby asteroids to be mined with thermonuclear warheads. With the trap set, the Lexington broadcast a distress signal, knowing full well it would attract the attention of Minbari. The Drala Fi took two proximity blasts from the warheads before being completely destroyed, giving Earth a much-needed victory and propaganda coup.

Anyway, two weeks later, the Minbari returned to Dakota searching revenge and finally took the system before continuing their unstoppable advance. [1]


Though the Minbari considered the destruction of the Drala Fi a despicable act of cowardice, and labeled Sheridan the "Starkiller," Earth justified the desperate tactic by pointing out that the Minbari were attempting to murder the crew of a crippled and helpless ship. Even a decade later, Sheridan refused to apologize for the incident, citing it as Earth's only victory in the war.[2][3][4][5]

By his actions, Sheridan was target of special hatred from some Minbari, which made him target of two attacks, years later.

While defending Babylon 5 from an Earthforce fleet loyal to President Morgan Clark at the start of the Earth Alliance Civil War, Delenn reminded loyalist Captain Drake that Sheridan, now the station's commanding officer, was the only human captain to ever defeat a Minbari fleet in battle. Realizing that the mission was now folly, Drake immediately ordered his ships to retreat.[6]


  • A continuity issue may exist regarding the destruction of the Drala Fi: when Captain Sheridan explains the incident to Susan Ivanova upon taking command of Babylon 5 in 2259, he states that the nuclear warheads destroyed the Drala Fi and three of its heavy cruisers. However, when the engagement is depicted in In the Beginning, only the Drala Fi is seen to be destroyed. However, this does not discount the possibility of the enemy cruisers arriving shortly after the events depicted in In The Beginning and being destroyed by the third and final nuclear warhead that was out of range of the Drala Fi.