Sleeping in Light is the final episode of the television series Babylon 5.

There is a series chronology posted on the Wikipedia page for the series, which includes related movies and series. According to this chronology, season 5 (the final season) takes place in 2262, but the final episode (Sleeping in Light) takes place in 2281. In between the next-to-last episode of the last season and Sleeping in Light, there are no less than four films and two spinoff series.

According to the good answer on what order the movies and shows should be watched in, one should watch Sleeping in Light ("The rest of Season 5") between The Legend of the Rangers and A Call to Arms. The first takes place in 2265, the second in 2266. What's the rationale for watching it here? I've left a comment on that answer, but have received no response, and I think it's a topic worthy of its own question.

I've followed that suggested watching order all the way through The Legend of the Rangers, but am stuck trying to decide whether to watch Sleeping in Light now, or after watching everything else.

  • The finale is more of an emotional ending of multiple character's stories, rather than a piece of plot that needs to be scheduled for proper impact or to fit into other stories (although this is probably why there's one best and many other good opinions on how to watch the show). So long as you've watched the series, my belief is you can (and should) watch the finale anytime.
    – Radhil
    Aug 5 '16 at 12:21
  • 1
    The "duplicate", which I've clearly read as I reference it in my question, has a vastly different scope than this question, and does not directly address my issue in the answer. Before asking this question, I attempted to get elaboration from the accepted answer, but did not. Probably because addressing individual episodes in an answer intended to address an entire intellectual property is not a reasonable scope. I would like this reopened.
    – DCShannon
    Aug 5 '16 at 21:17
  • You're correct; the only two answers in that question which specifically mention the episode are not the accepted one, and only one of those (with 2 votes) attempts to gives many arguments for why it should be viewed finally. Mar 16 '17 at 7:41
  • So far as whether your question could receive an answer: I don't think there was ever any explicit recommendation from JMS as to when it was best placed in sequence e.g. for a new viewer or for a rewatch. The choice, as always, is yours. Mar 16 '17 at 7:41

I would move Legend of the Rangers after Sleeping in Light. Other than that, I largely agree with the order.

Legend of the Rangers

This was a failed pilot for a new series in the Babylon 5 universe. While it does take place before Sleeping in Light, it's a new setting and almost entirely new characters - there's only one from the prime series, and he's not one of the main characters. So I'd move either after Sleeping in Light or at the end alongside The Lost Tales: Voices in the Dark.

A Call to Arms

This was a successful pilot for Crusade, so while it and Crusade take place before Sleeping in Light, it's a new setting and mostly consists of new characters. Wherever you put A Call to Arms and Crusade, these are best viewed together. And I suggest after Sleeping in Light, because despite the resulting jump in the timeline, the familiarity you have with the main Babylon 5 characters is then still strong when you watch Sleeping in Light.

River of Souls

Subjective: This one fits best in chronological order, since it takes place in a familiar location with mostly familiar characters. More importantly, to me the plot also has the right feel for an episode, so it fits right in without breaking the flow (except for the length, of course).

The Lost Tales: Voices in the Dark

Subjective: Despite having a familiar location and characters, like River of Souls, it doesn't have the right feel for an episode. It's more like an appendix - some extra stuff to fill in the Babylon 5 universe.

  • So you think it should be watched before the spinoffs because the characters are the same, rather than due to chronological reasons. Fair enough.
    – DCShannon
    Aug 5 '16 at 3:45

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