The Great Machine plays a pivotal role in Babylon 5 especially as it relates to Babylon 4. There's a small amount of back story in earlier seasons when Draal takes over the machine. In S3E16, they mention that the Great Machine is over 500 years old.

I'm curious as to the origin of the Great Machine. Who was the architect? It is over 500 years old - do we assume it is less than 1,000 years old and did not play a role in the earlier Shadow war?

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


It has never been revealed. Implicitly one would think some ally of the Vorlons given the great machine's role in the time anomaly and the Vorlon's use of Babylon 4 cheating to win the war *. The technology itself doesn't look particularly Vorlon though the abilities are what one would expect from First ones or something close to their abilities.

A reveal was apparently considered. (* I imagine Vorlon Bill saying to Vorlon Ted "Dude we are losing this bogus war with the Shadows. But we can win still - we just need to remember after we win the shadow war to send a new replacement space station back in time." )


Into the Fire Posted on 2/9/1997 by J. Michael Straczynski [email protected] to CIS You may not find out who built the Great Machine in the series, but that will be one of the features of one of the planned TNT movies. And there will be more on the Valen/Sinclair transformation as well. jms

  • 2
    Thanks - this is just what I was looking for. I know JMS was very active on Compuserve - I miss that forum. I hope he has written all of this background somewhere for posterity.
    – FontFamily
    Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 2:21

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.