I just watched "Movements Of Fire And Shadow" (season 5, ep. 17 of Babylon 5). At 32:38, the Centauri ships attacked Delenn's White Star.

It was previously stated that battles in hyperspace are disastrous for both sides (correct me if this is not the exact statement).

Nothing dangerous seems to happen to the Centauri ships. Why? Is it because they were ships without any crew and any fear (piloted by Shadow "brains")?

Delenn's ship got only usual damage, nothing special because of attack-in-hyperspace. Are such battles dangerous only due to drift-in-hyperspace? It seems to contradict to "disastrous for both sides" words.

Also, earlier in this episode, Star Furies attack a Centauri ship without crew. One Fury pilot dies, and two are wounded. Why? Is it because of the explosion during the exit from hyperspace?

In previous episodes, pilots also were not afraid to attack in hyperspace, as if it's rarely disastrous for both sides.

Is there any canon explanation of why hyperspace battles are dangerous, and why pilots in season 5 are apparently not afraid of attacking in hyperspace?


In the episode 18 "The Fall Of Centauri Prime", Delenn's ship is lost in hyperspace and she uses firing to send signal while pushing her ship away. Probably, this "pushing back" is strengthened by hyperspace... or not.

  • 5
    "Engagements in hyperspace are rare and most often avoided by all parties as such battles have often turned out to be disasters in the past. Aside from the dangers inherent with hyperspace travel, the unpredictable spatial knots and gravitational inclines can cause missiles and even energy weapons to bend off course, either missing the target entirely or even strike a friendly ship. As such, what little fighting in hyperspace does take place is usually one-on-one over a very short range and often strictly hit-and-run strikes"
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 23:35
  • babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Hyperspace
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 23:35

2 Answers 2


One characteristic of hyperspace in Babylon 5 is that it is extremely hard to navigate due to absence of any reference points and a "drifting" effect which causes ships to drift away from their routes. Ships getting lost in hyperspace is a recurring plot device. Especially ships of the less technologically-advanced younger races need to travel along beacon networks to avoid getting lost.

When engaging in combat, ships have to perform evasive maneuvers to outmaneuver the enemy. This can easily lead to disorientation. So even when one manages to destroy the opponent in a hyperspace engagement without taking critical damage, they might have strayed too far from their route during the battle, which prevents them from finding their way to the next jumpgate and get lost.


You also have to remember that these weren't regular Centauri vessels: by this time, the Drakh had already invaded Centauri Prime and was using their vessels through remote control. The Shadows, along with the First Ones, had vast superior technology that allowed them to combat in hyperspace. It stands to reason that the Darkh benefited from this technology [and knowledge] which allowed them to attack Delenn's White Star.

Additionally, those Centauri vessels are unmanned: should it be disastrous, the only people in danger were Delenn and her crew.

Regarding the Star Furies, fighters tend to attack in close, if not point-blank range. As such, fighters can ensure that their attacks can hit their target in hyperspace more effectively, given their close range. Star Furies are also more maneuverable, so they are able to adapt to the hyperspace eddies more easily than a capital ship.

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