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Babylon 5: The 5 Best Character Friendships (& 5 Best Rivalries)

Sci-fi fans have been split on the quality of Babylon 5 since it first aired back in 1993. What's undeniable is that Babylon 5 has inspired a dedicated if small fan base, that is still active to this day. The reason it's still attracting viewers after 23 years off-air isn't its special effects, though that is helped by the remastered release on HBO Max it is still far from the most visually stunning sci-fi series.

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It certainly has more to do with the complex and realistic characters. Not only were the characters intriguing as individuals but so were their interactions with each other. That includes whenever they would become friends or enemies throughout the series.

10 Friends: Commander Sinclair & Michael Garibaldi

Jeffrey Sinclair was the first commander of the titular space station, and even though Michael O'Hare left the show after one season his character had an important role in the story. The character of Sinclair had a significant influence on the station, including making his friend Michael Garibaldi the Chief of Security.

Their friendship is shown to be a healthy and respectable relationship. Sinclair even knew about Garibaldi's history with alcohol, but still trusted his friend to carry out his duties properly. Garibaldi was always a great friend in return, charging into danger to help him.

9 Rivals: Lennier & Captain Sheridan

Lennier is Delenn's aid and bodyguard, and also someone who loves her completely. This is unfortunate as viewers know Delenn marries Sheridan and loves him all her life, as seen in "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars." Despite this, Lennier and Sheridan are friends for most of the series, thanks to Lennier's strong discipline.

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However in "Objects at Rest," Lennier makes a decision that changes this relationship for good. Attempting to save a Minbari worker, Sheridan becomes trapped and Lennier is the only one who can save him. Lennier leaves him for dead and exits the ship in shame, vowing to return someday, a plot point that would never be resolved.

8 Friends: Londo Mollari & Vir Cotto

One of the best characters in the show, Londo Mollari is an arrogant and brash drunkard with plenty of personal ambition. Often he is dismissive and rude to his aid Vir, but Vir is kind and sympathetic to Londo's deep personal pain.

Always loyal and willing to challenge Mollari on bad decisions, Vir is the best kind of friend anyone could have. Throughout the series, Londo becomes a better friend to Vir and shows his platonic love for the kindly Vir.

7 Rivals: Commander Sinclair & Ambassador Kosh

The mysterious Vorlons are seldom seen and speak even less, and the Vorlon Ambassador Kosh is no exception. Captain Sheridan eventually establishes a working friendship with Kosh, who even acted as a wise teacher on occasion. The same can't be said about Kosh's relationship with Commander Jeffrey Sinclair.

Though fans don't see a ton of Kosh in season 1, the relationship between him and the commander is shown to be contentious and suspicious despite them not being full-blown enemies. This can be seen in Kosh's first scene of the series proper in "The Gathering," where Sinclair informs Kosh of an emergency meeting. Sinclair enters Kosh's chamber and begins to ask him about the meeting, but the whole time Sinclair is shown to be suspicious of the reserved ambassador.

6 Friends: Dr. Stephen Franklin & Michael Garibaldi

Stephen Franklin is a young doctor who took a posting as the Chief Medical Officer on Babylon 5 after he spent years hitchhiking through space. He's a hard worker and endlessly dedicated to the well-being of his patients, even at the cost of his health, he develops a stimulant addiction so he can try to help more patients.

Garibaldi has alcoholism and quickly recognizes the signs of dependence coming from his friend. Although Franklin realistically snaps at his friend's offers of help and advice, Garibaldi understands it's not directed at him and continues to offer help to his friend in need. Unfortunately, it takes a near-death experience in "Walkabout" to break his addiction but Garibaldi never gave up trying to help him.

5 Rivals: Mr. Morden & Vir Cotto

An agent of the malevolent and ancient race of Shadows, Mr. Morden was a creepy but strangely persuasive villain. When first seen, he comes aboard Babylon 5 and asks many important figures what they want, and says nothing else, and this is the way he convinces Ambassador Mollari to aid him and his associates.

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Vir is one of the only characters that could see that Morden couldn't be trusted as if he sensed the evil surrounding him. This antagonistic relationship leads to one of the best lines of the show, Vir saying "I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike... I want to look up into your lifeless eyes and wave like this" while twinkling his fingers.

4 Friends: Captain Sheridan & Delenn

Delenn, the Minbari ambassador, had a relationship with Sheridan that developed far beyond friendship into one of TV's best sci-fi romances. Like many of the relationships in the show, theirs was a healthy depiction of a relationship and realistic to their situation.

Going into a relationship with someone from a wildly different culture can be challenging, but Deleen and Sheridan both go out of their way to learn their respective customs. This is especially commendable of Delenn because Minbari culture is highly structured, ceremonial, and strict.

3 Rivals: Alfred Bester & Babylon 5

Star Trek veteran Walter Koenig only appeared in 12 episodes but he perfectly portrayed the telepathic Psi-Corp villain, named after sci-fi author Alfred Bester. Even with the short screen time that Bester has, he has an antagonistic relationship with most of the main characters, as they secretly operate an escape hub for rogue telepaths. Being a high-level 12 Psi-cop Bester's tendency to communicate telepathically is a disturbing intimidation technique.

Though he especially likes to pick on Babylon 5's resident telepaths, Talia Winters and Lyta Alexander, he would ruthlessly use anyone to get his way. In one of his best moments, he rescues Michael Garibaldi only to reprogram him to assassinate the leaders of an anti-telepath conspiracy and changes Garibaldi's life forever. Telepathy is a common trope and its unsettling implications are explored through Bester.

2 Friends: Londo Mollari & G'Kar

G'Kar is the ambassador from the Narn Regime, who recently shed their subjugation by the Centauri Empire, and Londo is the Centauri Ambassador. They are natural born enemies and are the worst of rivals at the beginning of the show, but after Londo saves G'kars life and frees his planet Londo and G'Kar realize not just that they shouldn't be enemies but also best of friends.

Their friendship is under constant cultural pressure but endures despite their fellow countrymen. When Londo returns to Centauri Prime to be crowned emperor, G'Kar goes along as his bodyguard and saves Londo's life. Londo and G'kar even found Na'Toth, G'Kar's former assistant, being held prisoner and Londo helps to smuggle her off the planet. While some think this is a plot point that makes no sense, the events that lead to their friendship developing are clear and realistic.

1 Rivals: Londo Mollari & G'Kar

Before Londo and G'Kar became great friends they were the fiercest of enemies. The Centauri Empire brutally oppressed the Narn people and caused untold death, and the Centauri blame the Narn breakaway for destroying their glorious empire.

Some of the best moments are small instances of bickering, like when they were arguing while waiting for the same elevator and both missed it. But it's thanks to Mr. Morden that audiences learn the true extent of their hatred for one another people, to the point where both desire complete obliteration of the other race.

NEXT: The Myers-Briggs® Types Of Babylon 5 Characters

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