One of the nicer touches to JMS's worldbuilding of the Babylon 5 universe is the fact that many of the alien species, and even different characters within the same species, speak with different accents (unlike in a lot of English-language sci-fi where pretty much everyone has a British or American accent no matter which galaxy they're from). We've got Delenn with her Croatian-influenced accent, Londo with his part-Czech, part-Irish accent, but not all Centauri speak in the same way, as you can see in this scene:

Lord Refa always reminded me slightly of an Italian mafioso, but I'm not sure if that's an accurate description of his accent. What accent is William Forward (the actor) using for Lord Refa?

  • 2
    "Actually, Lord Refa has an accent almost identical to Londo's, and Emperor Turhan had quite an accent as well, so we'e done a lot of this already (also Londo's friend in Knives)." - JMS
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 17:12
  • 1
    "No, we've just always assumed that not everyone on any given planet is going to speak with the same accent as everybody else from that planet. Seems more realistic. Certainly, among Centauri, a certain accent is more associated with the "old school" of court nobility and the like." - JMS
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 17:15
  • 3
    I'm pretty sure that Bill Forward was just copying Peter Jurasik's fake accent.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 17:24
  • 1
    Maybe even elaborating on it a bit. Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 23:38
  • I'm fairly sure there's a line in the Centauri trilogy novels or maybe the novelization of B5: In the Beginning that mentions Londo's accent is looked down on by the high Court snobs as it is from a distant region relative to the Palace. But that's a 20 year old memory. Commented Jun 6, 2021 at 4:42

1 Answer 1


According to the Babylon 5 Fandom page:

Refa's accent (and by extension Londo Mollari's, and Urza Jaddo's) is characteristic of Centauri Prime's northern province and is generally indicative of the "old school" of court nobility.[1] [2]

[1] The Long Night of Centauri Prime - (p.117)
[2] JMS post on CIS - 4/21/1996 5:09:00 PM

So the accent being different isn't necessarily intentional, or based on any real-world accents, it's just how the actor portrayed the character. It should be similar to Londo's.

  • 2
    What's the original source for this claim? Fandom/Wikia sites are generally unreliable sources since anyone can edit random stuff into them.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 4:33
  • @Randal'Thor They had sources on their page, I've included them in my answer now.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 14:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.