"Respect is irrelevant."
- – Ulkesh
History[edit | edit source]
Creating the Future[edit | edit source]
In 2245, Ulkesh and Kosh became the first two Vorlons to make official, if covert, contact with the Minbari since the end of the First Shadow War. Meeting Dukhat in secret, they were provided with specially adapted quarters aboard the Valen'Tha and their presence was known only to Dukhat himself and Anla'Shok Na Lenonn, who told them both of the coming return of the Shadows and the importance of Humans in the coming war. After Dukhat's death following the disastrous first contact with the Earth Alliance, the two Vorlons remained in secret though they revealed themselves to Delenn and passed on to her a recording that was left in trust with them from Dukhat. By the end of the Earth-Minbari War in 2248, they were still aboard and present during the Battle of the Line. When Delenn asked them both for advice, Ulkesh appeared reticent though Kosh told her: "The truth points to itself". When Delenn said that she didn't understand, Ulkesh told her that she would and to go.
By 2259, Ulkesh was on Minbar acting as the Vorlon Ambassador, while Kosh filled a similar role on Babylon 5. When Commander Jeffrey Sinclair was assigned as the Earth Alliance Ambassador, he was instantly struck with how different Ulkesh was to Kosh, came to distrust Ulkesh, and wondered to himself, which of them represented a "typical" Vorlon. While on Minbar, Ulkesh worked with Rathenn and Chosen One, Jenimer, to develop the White Star class warships for the Anla'Shok, and started first with a set of three Prototype Hybrid Fighters. Later that year, after Ranger Catherine Sakai was lost in the temporal rift in Sector 14, an enraged Sinclair asked Ulkesh how much he really knew about what had happened to her and when in time that she had ended up. Ulkesh's responded simply: "It is irrelevant." In 2260, when Entil'Zha Sinclair departed for Babylon 5, Ulkesh told Rathenn: "He is the closed circle. He is returning to the beginning."
We Are All Kosh...[edit | edit source]
After the death of Kosh in 2260, the Vorlon Empire sent Ulkesh to replace him as ambassador to Babylon 5. Despite their different Encounter suits, the Vorlons intended Ulkesh, for all intents and purposes, to impersonate Kosh, and even went so far as to insist that the new ambassador be addressed as Kosh in public. Ulkesh even refused to tell Captain John Sheridan his name, and cryptically remarked that: "We are all Kosh." Ulkesh saw the silhouetted image of two Shadows and Morden on the wall of Kosh’s quarters, that was presumably “burned” there by Kosh’s death. Ulkesh questioned Lyta Alexander as to whether a piece of Kosh might still be alive, but she informed him that she was not present at his death and did not carry such a piece. Ulkesh later attended Sheridan’s strategy session in the War Room on using Telepaths as weapons against the Shadows.
An Unexpected Door[edit | edit source]
Lyta subsequently carried pieces of Ulkesh within her, although the experience was more painful than when she carried Kosh. After Sheridan’s attack on Z'ha'dum, Lyta began to suspect that Ulkesh was hiding things from her. In early 2261, Ulkesh stopped attending meetings and failed to return Delenn’s repeated calls. When Delenn approached Ulkesh for his help in mounting a rescue mission to search for Sheridan at Z’ha’dum, he refused. Ulkesh cared nothing about Delenn’s resulting lack of respect for him.
Ulkesh responded condescendingly to Lyta’s demands for answers about the Vorlons’ plans when she grew weary of Ulkesh’s abusive use of her. When Lyta attempted to telepathically scan Ulkesh, he telekinetically slammed her against a wall and apparently caused her great pain telepathically.
Ulkesh refused Security Chief Michael Garibaldi’s demand that he leave the station because of the Vorlon Empire’s destruction of planets that were influenced by the Shadows. Ulkesh used a forcefield to deflect the security team’s PPG fire and a hypersonic pulse to shatter their oxygen masks, which forced them to exit his quarters. When Lyta later informed Ulkesh that a piece of Kosh was indeed still alive--inside a human--he demanded that she show him who imprisoned Kosh. Garibaldi’s and Lyta’s actions were actually part of Sheridan’s plan to kill Ulkesh so that he could no longer relay information about the plans of the Younger Races to the Vorlon Homeworld. However, while Lyta led him through a Central Corridor in Blue 24, Ulkesh became suspicious, and almost evaded the Trap--an electrical field that caused the head of his Encounter suit to explode. The enraged Ulkesh exited his Encounter suit and attacked Sheridan. However, the piece of Kosh that was inside Sheridan revealed itself and engaged Ulkesh in a fierce battle. The two combatants exited the station and entered Ulkesh’s ship, which caused it to explode and apparently killed both Vorlons.
Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]
Ulkesh’s Encounter suit featured high, pointed shoulders; a swept-back, dual-pointed head; and a darker, red-purple color. Ulkesh's eyepiece exhibited a single red point that flared when he was angered or when he exerted his telepathic or telekinetic abilities.
When Ulkesh emerged from his Encounter suit, he appeared as a non-humanoid diaphanous creature with tapering tendrils that ran the length of his elongated body, which had a slightly purplish/white coloration.
Name[edit | edit source]
Ulkesh is never referred to by its own name in the show, and the actors are credited as "Kosh". The name "Ulkesh" for the character comes from conversations with and posts made by J. Michael Straczynski, and from the canon novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows. When pressed for its own name on screen, it replied simply "We are all Kosh." .
Notes[edit | edit source]
- In his newsgroup postings, J. Michael Straczynski provided some insight into Ulkesh's character and his relationship with Kosh:
- Ulkesh was the second Vorlon who died in the Shadow War, and the last known confirmed.
- "I wouldn't call them friends. They had a certain respect for one another, but Ulkesh always thought Kosh was soft, and Kosh always worried that Ulkesh was dangerous. In their own ways, both were right." 
- "...It wasn't so much a case of Ulkesh turning against the effort, but finally hitting the end of his patience with the humans, and his predecessor's decision to let the 'natives' get out of control." 
- "...Ulkesh was the more military of the two, very isolationist, while Kosh was the curious one, interested in the younger races, and more willing to extend himself (with sometimes unfortunate results). Kosh always worried what Ulkesh would do without his moderating presence...and ultimately had to be the one to take him down to allow the younger races to step forward." 
- "The design [of Ulkesh’s encounter suit] is a matter of form following function." 
- "[Kosh and Ulkesh] are not that far apart in age, but yes, Kosh would be a bit older..." 
Appearances[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- The Official Babylon 5 Magazine: Volume 2, Issue #2 (August 1998) - "In The Beginning" Supplement Log: Page 33 (The Man In The Fibreglass Mask)
- To Dream in the City of Sorrows
- JMS post on CIS - 6/19/1997 2:21:00 PM
- JMS post on CIS - 1/11/1998 11:14:00 AM
- In the Beginning
- War Without End, Part I
- The Hour of the Wolf
- The Summoning
- Falling Toward Apotheosis
- JMS post on CIS 1/7/1998 4:26:00 AM
- JMS post on rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated - 1/9/1998 12:35:00 AM
- JMS post on CIS - 1/6/1998 1:23:00 PM
- JMS post on CIS - 8/18/1996 2:15:00 PM
- JMS post on CIS - 8/20/1996 6:52:00 AM