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Babylon 5 introduces the Shadow, one of the most mysterious and sinister villains in the genre, together with their deadly warcraft.
Have we ever seen inside one of these terrifying vessels?


An in canon description will suffice if there was none.

Black spider-like Shadow ships enter image description here

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Kinda yes, kinda no. It's important to understand that while the vessels used by the Vorlons and the Shadows extrude into realspace, the two races are in fact perfectly capable of assuming a non-corporeal aspect. It would appear likely that within the confines of their own ships, they don't take on physical form and it's certainly possible the the ships themselves aren't hollow.

We do see inside a Shadow vessel (kinda) on at least one occasion, when Michael Garibaldi's ship is captured. As you can see, it's simply embedded into the ship itself which has flowed around him.

enter image description here

  • Wait. The ships are sentient? – Athena Widget Dec 12 '15 at 17:55
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    Vorlon ships certainly are, I'm not sure about Shadow vessels. – Valorum Dec 12 '15 at 17:58
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    From Jeanne Cavelos on the Midwinter site...- "Do Shadows fly their own ships? I don't know. I kind of thought that at least one Shadow was aboard every Shadow vessel. I didn't think of the telepaths as pilots, but as part of the ship. – Valorum Dec 12 '15 at 18:09
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    And from JMS speaks - "A personal transport is assigned to one vorlon for life, changing and evolving over time. Little fighters have a more primitive system. It's not the same thing as a shadow-vessel merge. A big Vorlon cruiser has a full crew" – Valorum Dec 12 '15 at 18:19
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    I thought the show made it fairly clear that the ships were run by brainwashed organic pilots integrated into the ship, but now that you mention it, I suppose it's possible that there are also Shadows on board. – DCShannon Jun 13 '16 at 20:58
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If you're willing to look outside the TV show, yes.

The inside of a Shadow ship is described in The Passing of the Techno-Mages trilogy. Honestly, there's not much to it. It is a more biological construct even though it's engineered, and the inside "skin" is the same appearance as the outside of the ship. There is only an outer dock/airlock area and an inner cabin. The cabin space is only one room and exists solely to house a vat of liquid that functions as the pilots chair. That liquid is what the cyborg pilots (like Anna) are lowered into, and it serves the dual purpose of connecting their wetware and thoughts to the rest of the ship systems and cushioning them against high-impact maneuvers. While acting as a shuttle (something that is resented, by the way), ships can push out their internal skin to create chairs, benches, minor accomodations like that.

Presumably there's more to it, as even a massive biological construct would not consist entirely of black goop, but they don't get into how it's built or grown. In response to the comment discussion about whether actual Shadows ride-along, it's possible with the small cabin area, but seemingly not necessary. There is also the matter of acting as a cargo transport, both ferrying Anna's smaller transport and Garibaldi's fighter at different points. The entry to the inner cabin seems to be a kind of airlock system, one outer door, and one inner door, and that outer area in between is large enough for small ships to enter.

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