Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Centauri Prime in Babylon 5


Centauri Prime is the homeworld of the Centauri Republic, and the birthplace of the Centauri species. It is the third planet of the Zeta Tucanae star system (about 75 light years from Babylon 5 in Sector 130). The planet has two major continents, as well as islands, but its total land area is significantly less than Earth. Centauri Prime has at least one moon.

Centauri Prime was previously home to one other intelligent race, the Xon, whom the Centauri exterminated in ancient times. The Centauri population on the planet was about 3 billion in 2261 AD. There may still be Narn on Centauri Prime as well, retained against their will as servants or slaves. With the exception of Narn, who may be used in some areas for labor activities including agriculture and mining, most non-Centauri will probably be restricted to the Capital City, where they will be engaged in diplomatic or trade missions.

Industry on Centauri Prime is restricted to a few urban areas, including the Capital City, in order to preserve the homeworld's environment for the enjoyment of the upper classes. This should not be mistaken for a ethical commitment to environmentalism; the Centauri are quite willing to despoil the environments of other worlds they occupy or settle. They have even used nuclear weapons on their own world.

For aesthetic reasons, the Centauri have restricted urban development on the homeworld. Neverthless,  it should be noted that the Capital City has a ring of slums called Ghehana. Life is not easy for the lower classes in the Centauri Republic.

While industry and urban development on Centauri Prime are fairly regulated (and the subject of lucrative backdoor deals among government officials, the nobles, and offworld traders), the homeworld is the financial center of the Centauri Republic, as well as a manufacturer of numerous luxury goods destined for consumers throughout (and even beyond) the Republic. Centauri Prime also produces an agricultural surplus which can be exported to offworld colonies.

Finally, one should underscore that Centauri Republic is a republic in name only. It is in fact a constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and a Senate with two houses: the Centaurum, whose Legators represent interests of the great noble families, and the Populum, which represents the interests of the so-called Great and Lesser Houses (the middle and lower strata of Centauri society, respectively).

This description and the stats below reflect the state of affairs at the beginning of the Bablyon 5 series. Some elements of the post are necessarily speculative.


System Type: Major Power Homeworld

Technology: T+2 ~ The Major Powers
  • Artificial gravity, build and maintain tachyon communications networks, manufacture jumpdrives, manufacture jumpgates
Environment: E+1 ~ One garden world and several hostile environments in the system

Resources: R+3 ~ Multiple Exports

  • A Republic in name only
  • All games played for keeps
  • Everyone contender relies on "associates"

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