"Who Are You?"

The Vorlon Question

The Vorlons are one of the oldest sentient races in the galaxy. Along with other races that developed about the same time, they are known as the First Ones. The Vorlon Empire covers many worlds and is strictly off limits to outsiders. The name of the Vorlon homeworld is unknown.

The Vorlons attempted to guide the younger races, pushing them toward order.


Kosh appearing as Dro'shalla in 2259

Vorlons wear encounter suits when in the presence of other races, so, until the assassination attempt on John Sheridan in late 2259, few had ever seen what a Vorlon really looked like. Since Vorlons are capable of surviving in an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, the suits are used entirely to hide their appearance.

Kosh appearing as Valeria in 2259

Vorlon encounter suits are equipped with a language translation device that transforms their unique language into a more common tongue. The Vorlon speech sounds like a sequence of overlapping musical tones, chirps and chimes. The physiological mechanism they have to make this sound is unknown.

Kosh appearing as G'Lan in 2259

A Vorlon's true appearance is that of a luminous, partly translucent, radially symmetrical multiped. Though it may appear insubstantial, it is in fact a very physical and entierly biological life-forms.[1]

Due to tampering with younger species' development, Vorlons appear as a winged angel from each species' own history and mythology. This mass, yet individualized, hallucination is accomplished by way of actively projecting a telepathic image, which when used on a great number of people requires a significant effort for a Vorlon and can be a great strain.[2] To most beings, this image takes the form of a being of light from their own cultural mythology. Some examples include the "Angels" and "Shalako spirits" of Earth cultures; Dro'shalla from the Drazi Kri Maru faith; G'Lan for Narns and Valeria from Minbari mythology.[3]

Kosh appearing as a Human "Being of light" in 2259

The interpersonal sociology of the Vorlons seems to be dependent on their telepathy. All Vorlons appear to be connected telepathically, though to what extent their thoughts are shared or hidden remains a mystery. Vorlons who have their own ships also have a telepathic connection with those vessels. Very soon after the death of Kosh Naranek, the Vorlon High Command was aware of the tragedy.[4] It is unknown whether they were made aware because of some telepathic bond or whether they were contacted by Kosh's ship who would have known immediately of its master's demise. The true extent of a Vorlon's telepathic abilities are unknown, however it has been known to have a strong influence when a person's mind is in an altered state, such as sleeping, dreaming, exhausted or in a heightened state of awareness. It is for this reason that their presence is often associated with visions and dream imagery.[5]

Vorlons are known to have lived incredibly long lives, if not effectively immortal and have demonstrated telekinetic abilities, including self propelled flight in a 1 standard gravity environment.[3][6][4]


"The Vorlons have been to Earth. The Vorlons have been everywhere. The Vorlons are."


Distant Past

The Vorlons build their jumpgate.

In the distant past, the Vorlons attempted a grand experiment into reaching a higher plane of existence where the soul existed. To accomplish this, they poured all their knowledge into creating a gateway to this dimension. After activating the gate, the vortex into Thirdspace was formed and the aliens within that realm came pouring out, intent on destroying all other forms of life. After much hardship, the Vorlons finally managed to push the enemy back, but one of the gateways was lost in Hyperspace where it was hidden from the Vorlons. They would encode some of their servants with an automated message to warn the younger races of the threat from the inhabitants of Thirdspace.[7]

Over 10,000 years ago

A Sample of the Vorlon script

The Vorlons were among the first races in the galaxy to attain sentience and become space-faring creatures. Over the millennia that followed, many of the First Ones moved out beyond the Galactic Rim to explore and to allow the younger species to evolve on their own. The Vorlons were one of a few races to stay behind to guide the young races. The other main race to stay behind was the Shadows. These two races had opposing philosophies of how species should grow and evolve. The Shadows believed that strength and growth came through conflict, and so they would start wars throughout the galaxy with the notion that those who survived would be stronger and better. The Vorlons believed in strength and growth through order and discipline, not chaos. Though they tried to work together for a time, this philosophical difference led to bitterness between the two races and eventually to all-out war.

Both the Vorlons and the Shadows began enlisting younger races to fight on their side. Eventually, the Vorlons and Shadows had so many servants that they would rarely have to face each other in open combat, preferring rather to use younger races as pawns. After seeing the weakness the Shadows had against Telepaths, the Vorlons began seeding the ability among the younger races in order to use them as weapons in the coming Shadow Wars.

10,000 years before the dawn of the Third Age of Mankind, the Vorlons fought the Shadows in the Last Great Shadow War. According to Delenn, that was the last time the First Ones openly walked among the younger races.[8] The Shadows were eventually defeated, but not destroyed. They went into hibernation for thousands of years and patiently awaited another opportunity to strike.

1,000 years ago

Valen and his Vorlon companions on Babylon 4.

Around a thousand years before the founding of Babylon 5, another Shadow War erupted. While the Shadows had slept, though, the Servants of the Light had been watching and waiting. This war was not as destructive as previous ones because the Shadows moved to reestablish themselves too quickly and were recognized and stopped by a coalition of Vorlons, Minbari, and others.

Though they had been discovered early, the Shadow force was still strong and the fighting was ferocious. Both sides endured great losses, leaving many younger races completely wiped out except for a few such as the Minbari. It was during this war that the Vorlons implemented a plan to open a rift in time and bring a base of operations and a leader for the younger races from the future to rally them against their enemy. Through the power of The Great Machine on Epsilon 3, the Vorlons brought Jeffrey Sinclair 1,000 years into the past along with the Babylon 4 station. Through the use of the Chrysalis Device, Sinclair changed his genetic code to become a Minbari. Taking the name Valen, Sinclair led the younger races in pushing back the Shadows.

The Shadows recognized their mistake and, though they lost many ships and soldiers, they had the foresight to retreat and hibernate once more. Before they hid themselves, they buried ships and supplies on hundreds of barren worlds (such as Mars in our own solar system) which they could access quietly when the time was right for another war.

The Final Shadow War

Kosh in his encounter suit

The Shadows began awakening from their hibernation in the late 2250's and started collecting their ships and supplies and gathering allies. In 2258, the conflict between the two sides began anew, though secretly at first. Once they had gathered enough allies, though, the Shadows began to strike openly at seemingly random targets. Whole worlds that had been associated with the Vorlons were being destroyed by the Shadow Planet Killer. Conversely, after the death of the Vorlon Ambassador Kosh Naranek and John Sheridan's trip to Z'ha'dum, the Vorlons became convinced that the only way to stop the war was to destroy all the planets that had been touched by the Shadows. Neither faction would strike directly at the other, however. They were content with destroying one another's support systems, but the Shadows' and Vorlons' fleets rarely engaged one another. The Vorlon High Command also replaced Kosh with a new ambassador, Ulkesh.

Finally, The Army of Light discovered the Shadows' strategy. They were herding the frightened races of the galaxy toward one particular system in space where they would soon strike hard and wipe out all the Vorlons' allies in one grand sweep. Meanwhile, the Vorlons continued to destroy planets where the Shadows had influence and Centauri Prime was quickly falling under their sights. In the nick of time, the Vorlon Planet Killer was called away to the Coriana System. Captain Sheridan and the Army of Light had trapped the Shadows, the Vorlons, and all the remaining First Ones in a crucible where they would be forced to confront one another. The conflict between these giants ended at Coriana VI, when the younger races - led by Captain Sheridan and Delenn - confronted the First Ones with the fact that they were no longer shepherds, but hindrances to the advancement of those they had sought to help. It was from there that the Vorlons, the Shadows, and all the remaining First Ones departed beyond the rim of our galaxy.

The Vorlon Legacy

Though the Vorlons, themselves, had left the galaxy, their technology and their legacy remained. After the end of the final Shadow war, several races tried to send expeditions to the Vorlon homeworld to get their hands on advanced technology. Those expeditions were never heard from again. When the information was mentioned before Lyta Alexander, she replied that the Vorlon homeworld was off limits until we were ready - in a million years.

Elements of Vorlon tech have have been put to use by the Interstellar Alliance. The White Star fleet was built with Vorlon technology interwoven with the Minbari hardware, under the supervision of Ulkesh Naranek. [9] The Alliance continued to use and develop Vorlon technology on the new destroyer class White Star prototypes Excalibur and Victory. The main guns and the energy refracting skin of the ships were both derived from Vorlon tech. [10] Later, by 2271 the alliance had managed to adapt the Vorlon jumpdrive technology on the new Valen class cruiser to allow the ship access to Quantum space travel, even through standard jumpgates. [11]

In the year 1,002,261 the human and Minbari races are finally allowed entry into Vorlon space and the humans themselves relocate to the Vorlon Homworld, renaming it "New Earth", as Earth is destroyed when Sol is induced to go nova by parties unknown. [12]


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.