Babylon 5 was our last, best hope for science fiction television.  What J. Michael Straczynski did with his storytelling of a planned arc across five seasons with a beginning, middle, and end, the show became something more—a beautiful epic that changed the way we view sci-fi shows. Now, after several failed attempts at restarts and reboots, the storyline will continue with a new animated movie, The Road Home.

‘Babylon 5: The Road Home’ Promotional Image Warner Bros. Animation And Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment

In many ways, Babylon 5 set the stage for modern streaming storytelling where a consistent arc is made across a full season or series. It paved the way for shows like Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, and more to shift focus away from the episodic, remove pointless filler episodes, and craft something that had meaning.

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On television in the 90s, this was something very difficult to accomplish, as one never knew if a show would be canceled even mid-season. Babylon 5 had its share of cancel scares, and barely managed to get its fifth season in with a shift in networks to complete its story.

Since then, J. Michael Straczynski has announced several different Babylon 5 projects which died on the vine. He often blames the corporate structure of Warner Bros., which has kept the property in an endless loop of licensing disputes. For many years, it was difficult to even find a place to stream reruns.

J. Michael Straczynski speaking at the 2013 Phoenix Comicon at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

There have been many attempts at a Babylon 5 feature film which have been announced, greenlit, and died on the vine. These films became much more difficult of a matter to produce as the show had a problem with actors passing away over the years as well, with many of the original cast and fan favorites like Andreas Katsulas, Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, and others no longer with us.

Straczynski even attempted to get a “direct to video” anthology series called The Lost Tales going at one point, in which only one DVD was produced. While this was a beautiful project, it suffered from a low budget and being before its time. If only streaming had been more widespread at this point, the show might have had a future.

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales (2007), Warner Home Video

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Last year, it was announced that there was going to be a full reboot of Babylon 5 with a new cast, a new universe, and a different story. This was met with mixed fan reaction because the actors and characters are much more integral to the fan love than many other shows.

But recently, to fan surprise, Stracyznski announced a Babylon 5 animated movie on Twitter, showing a printed copy of the finished script with the title blacked out. He tweeted, “BABYLON 5 ANIMATED MOVIE coming from Warner Bros. Animation & WB Home Entertainment! Classic B5: raucous, heartfelt, nonstop, a ton of fun through time and space & a love letter to the fans. Movie title, release date, and other details coming one week from today. #B5AnimatedMovie”

J. Michael Straczynski Twitter

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The Hollywood Reporter followed up on the announcement by revealing the title, The Road Home, and that Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, Peter Jurasik, Bill Mumy, Tracy Scoggins, and Patricia Tallman would be returning as cast members.

The characters of G’Kar, Delenn, Garabaldi, Sinclair, Zathras, Franklin, and the Computer will be cast as new voice actors because of the deaths of the original actors. It’s also been confirmed the original scorer, Christopher Franke, will not be doing the music.

J. Michael Straczynski speaking at the 2013 Phoenix Comicon at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The storyline is said to feature Captain Sheridan traveling through space and time across multiple timelines, which has fans speculating that this animated film will help serve as a bridge for the announced reboot show.

Straczynski also assuaged fan fears that this wouldn’t come to fruition by assuring the animated film is already complete. He tweeted, “One of the many great things about the new B5 movie is that the panorama of events will resonate strongly with long-time B5 fans and the 5 year arc, and the story those events are wrapped within is clear enough that you can follow it even if you’ve never seen the show before.”

J. Michael Stracyznski Twitter

Another update will be coming soon, as Straczynski says, “For those who have been waiting for more information on the #B5AnimatedMovie, the final update will come in mid-June not just here but to the public at large.  It will have the release date, plot summary, A TRAILER, how/where to watch/obtain it, and other cool stuff.”

J. Michael Straczynski Twitter

What do you think about the Babylon 5 animated movie announcement? Leave a comment below and let us know!

NEXT: J. Michael Straczynski Confirms Babylon 5 Reboot In Development For The CW

  • About The Author

    Jon Del Arroz is the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction, a #1 bestselling author and an award winning commentator. He is a contributor to the Federalist and his books are available on Amazon.

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