G'Kar explained

G'Kar is a fictional character in the universe of the science fiction television series Babylon 5, played by the late Andreas Katsulas.

Character history

Career

G'Kar was Narn ambassador to Babylon 5, and member of the third circle of the Kha'Ri, the heart and the ruling body of Narn Regime. During his time as ambassador, he was notorious for his hatred of Londo Mollari, and of the Centauri Republic Mollari represented. His hatred led G'Kar in 2258 to be a party to various underhanded schemes intended to further the goals of his government whether they be sheltering the notorious Dilgar war criminal, Deathwalker, to attempting to incite riots on the station.

Early life

G'Kar was but a pouchling during the first Centauri occupation of his homeworld. His family served as servants in a Centauri household. This was during the time when the Narn resistance movement was gaining in strength and their increased aggression was slowly driving the Centauri out of Narn.

After G'Kar's mother became very ill, only he and his father remained fit enough to serve in their Centauri master's household. One day his father accidentally spilled a bowl of hot jala upon the mistress of the house. As punishment, his father was beaten to a pulp and was hung up on their family prayer tree. He lasted for three days before he finally died. G'Kar was with him, and his father told him just before he died to "honor my name."

In rage, G'Kar ran away and killed his first Centauri that very day. He later on joined the resistance movement. After the Centauri were driven off, he worked in the military, participating in at least one invasion during the expansion of the Narn Regime (the Tuchanq). By his own admission later on, during this invasion he participated in atrocities. In addition, G'Kar dealt with the Earth Alliance during the Earth-Minbari War to secretly sell desperately needed weapons that could be effective against the seemingly invincible Minbari. To G'Kar, the fact that this profitable exchange could also falsely implicate the Centauri Republic (since Narn weapon designs are derivative on Centauri ones) was worth the risk of incurring the wrath of the Minbari themselves.

In mid-2259, the dying Centauri Emperor Turhan visited Babylon 5 so as he could "stand with a Narn in neutral territory and apologize" for all the evil and suffering the Centauri have inflicted upon the Narn. G'kar was prepared to assassinate the Emperor before he learned of this. After the Emperor's intentions were relayed to him, he sought Mollari and offered him a drink in celebration of a new understanding between their two peoples.

By a sad irony, at that point Mollari had already arranged for the Shadows to attack the Narn base on Quadrant 14 to ensure that Refa and his allies could consolidate their power at the eve of the Centauri Emperor's death. After learning of the attack on Quadrant 14 "by the Centauri", G'Kar attempted to attack Mollari but was stopped by Sheridan. Sheridan gave G'Kar a choice--if he attacked Mollari, he might very well end up dead and would be of no use to his people. But if he restrained himself, he would stay alive and be able to help his people greatly (this proved true, as G'Kar became instrumental in the war against the Shadows and the later liberation of Narn). In a feat of tremendous self-restraint, G'Kar held in hand. Instead he sat on the ground, weeping.

The Narn-Centauri War

During the six months or so that the Narn-Centauri war raged, G'Kar had offered much assistance to the underground resistance back on Narn. In exchange for G'Kar's cooperation for toning down these activities, Sheridan was able to pressure the Centauri into releasing the Narn colonists on Quadrant 14. He maintained control of the Narn aboard Babylon 5 to ensure that the others would be more sympathetic to their plight. He also helped expose a plot to use Babylon 5 as a Centauri munitions drop point. Also, with help from Michael Garibaldi, he was able to establish a safe location for smuggling weapons into Narn and its colonies.

After the second Narn-Centauri war, and the subsequent surrender of the Narn Regime, G'Kar was the only member of the Kha'Ri not captured. Mollari returned to Babylon 5 (after having watched the bombardment of Narn by the Centauri using mass-drivers) to announce to the Babylon 5 Council the defeat of Narn and its being turned into a "Protectorate" of the Centauri. Mollari proceeded to deliver the terms of the Narn surrender, including the arrest of all members of the Kha'Ri. However, because he has asked for sanctuary, G'Kar had already been placed under the protection both of Babylon 5 and of the Minbari Federation (who co-sponsored the construction of the station) for as long as G'Kar remained IN the station. Nevertheless, Londo has G'Kar removed from the Council as he was no longer the official representative of Narn.

Instead of leaping across the room to snap Mollari's neck, G'Kar calmly rose and addressed the council in one of his most memorable lines in the history of the series.

"Enlightenment"

G'kar spent the later part of the year 2259 as well as early 2260 being obsessed with avenging his people against the Centauri in general, and Mollari in particular. He maintained the steady flow of smuggled weapons onto Narn. As the last of the Kha'Ri still free, G'Kar inspired those on his homeworld to rise up and resist their would-be invaders. His authority was challenged, at one point, by a fellow Narn, Na'Far, who was appointed by the Centauri as the new official ambassador of the Regime to Babylon 5. However, Na'Far did not only fail, but his personal bodyguard, Ta'Lon (whom Sheridan had saved on a Streib ship), became G'Kar's most avid follower and confidante.

A few months later, G'Kar obtained a highly-illegal Earth drug known as "Dust", which gives the user temporary but incredibly powerful telepathic abilities. G'Kar intended to use this weapon to fight the Centauri, but the effects on Narn physiology were unknown; the Narns had no surviving heritage of telepaths. He opted to use himself as a test subject, with great success - he was able to abduct and telepathically mutilate Mollari (severely beating both him and his assistant, Vir Cotto, in an amazing display of superior Narn strength), and learn many of his secrets, including his role in instigating the second Narn-Centauri war, as well as the "embarrassing" circumstances that led to his assignment on Babylon 5.

However, as the drug wore off, he experienced what he believed to be a religious revelation from his "father figures", namely the Narn holy figure G'Quan, his own biological father, and the angelic being called G'Lan (This was actually Vorlon Ambassador Kosh Naranek, who also used a "father figure" when he appeared to Sheridan months later). In his vision, G'Kar was told to let go of his hatred and serve a higher cause - the survival of his race and of everyone. To achieve this, he, and the Narns, had to become willing to sacrifice themselves. As the G'Quan apparition puts it:

G'Kar was arrested for this attack and pleaded guilty. He allowed himself to be placed in Babylon 5's brig, where he dedicated himself to meditating on his revelation, eventually writing down his thoughts and observations. He was released early, due to the fighting between Earth forces and Babylon 5. He promised to assist the humans - and delivered, providing Babylon 5 with a Narn security force to replace those soldiers who remained loyal to Earth.

Liberation of Narn

When Michael Garibaldi was kidnapped, G'Kar went searching for him, only to be captured by Centauri forces and taken to Centauri Prime. There he was presented as a gift to Londo Mollari by Emperor Cartagia. However, Cartagia first decided to torture G'Kar. G'Kar endured much and even Cartagia personally tortured him. G'Kar still didn't give him the satisfaction of hearing him cry out in pain. He revealed this to Londo and Vir adding that if he would not scream soon G'Kar would most definitely die. This refusal to scream under torture has been shown previously during Season 1 when G'kar was being tortured with paingivers by a Narn assassin. This shows G'Kar's refusal to give his torturers the satisfaction of hearing him scream because that is a sign of both weakness and submission and exemplifies G'Kar's great pride. After hearing this Londo and Vir decided to act fast as they knew they would need G'Kar's help to kill Cartagia. Mollari approached G'Kar in secret and explained that Cartagia was sadistic and insane, and that the fate of both the Narn and Centauri people depended on his removal from the throne. Mollari offered a deal - if G'Kar would assist by providing a distraction at the proper moment, Mollari himself would assassinate the mad emperor, and then use his influence to free him. Assuming G'Kar would agree, Mollari turned to leave. G'Kar replied by saying that Mollari didn't ask the price, and that he would only agree to it if Mollari would use his influence to free Narn. Mollari pointed out that G'Kar was in no position to make demands. G'Kar's response was, "Neither are you." Soon after this conversation Cartagia held one last torture session with G'Kar that Londo and Vir witnessed. He ordered a soldier to whip him with a energy whip that would kill any Narn with forty strokes and stated that the whipping would not stop until he heard the scream he so much wanted. G'Kar held until the last whip stroke, and only screamed as it was necessary to save his people. Soon after this Londo convinced Cartagia to travel Narn homeworld to judge G'Kar there. But before they left Cartagia ordered a guard to gouge one of G'Kar's eyes out, as he didn't like how he looked at him.

Rather significantly, the number of whiplashes G'Kar received was 39 - the same number that Pilate ordered Jesus to be given.

When they arrived at Narn they made preparations for the assassination and it succeeded, albeit with Mollari's aide Vir Cotto somewhat inadvertently killing Cartagia. Mollari kept his word and freed both G'Kar and the Narn people. The Narn then offered G'Kar the chance to rule the planet, which he flatly refused in favor of a new Kha'Ri that he insisted must be formed, and citing the fact that he did not endure so much pain and personal suffering to remove one tyrant from his planet, only to become one himself.

Declaration of Principles

Upon his return to Babylon 5, he resumed his role as Narn Ambassador, and was instrumental in the founding of the Interstellar Alliance. G'Kar was a member of that organization's advisory council, and wrote the Declaration of Principles. A later draft of these principles read as follows:

Immediately after this draft was approved by all members of the ISA, G'Kar insisted that it be recalled, as he had written a better version. While ISA President John Sheridan did agree that this version was better, the text of that version is unknown, and no record exists whether this improved version was also approved.

Londo's bodyguard and rise to "holiness"

Later, when Mollari returned to Centauri Prime to investigate potential corruption in the Centauri Court, Minbari Ambassador Delenn requested that G'Kar return with Mollari as his bodyguard. G'Kar accepted, if only to see the looks on the faces of the Centauri court. Upon his return to Babylon 5, he discovered that the book of religious observations he had been writing had been "liberated" by a friend who believed him dead, and published as "The Book of G'Kar." It was received well, and its popularity was approaching that of the Book of G'Quan. G'Kar had, quite unwittingly-and unwillingly-become a holy figure.

G'Kar found his new holy status very frustrating; While many Narn were coming to him for guidance, they were more interested in applying their own interpretation of his words, or focusing on some things he had said while ignoring others - even when he himself was insisting otherwise. His sermons, however, were often quite inspired. For example, when asked "What is truth, and what is God?" he explained:

His popularity was creating political pressure on the restored Kha'Ri as well, who finally insisted that he either come home to rule or publicly give them his blessing. The last straw was when he was forced to bluntly rebuke a particularly obnoxious would-be worshipper and that offended admirer attempted to assassinate him in retaliation, but ended up severely wounding Garibaldi's fiancée instead. G'Kar decided to leave Babylon 5 and explore the galaxy, knowing that he could do no more for his people there and that to stay would only cause more unrest. He appointed Ta'Lon as his successor.

As in depicted in the TV movie, Legend of the Rangers, G'Kar plays a role in reforming the Rangers when he defended Ranger David Martel from dismissal for withdrawing from battle when his ship is severely damaged to the point where it lost all practical fighting ability. Ambassador G'Kar convinces the Rangers ruling council that they were being unreasonable for seeking to punish a ranger for merely exercising appropriate prudence for the sake of his crew. When Martel and his crew became the heroes of the hour by saving an ambassadorial party, which included G'Kar himself, from The Hand, the Narn's argument was vindicated.

G'Kar would later return to Babylon 5 at least once more for a diplomatic conference.

Death

G'Kar died in 2278 while locked in combat with the Drakh Keeper controlling Londo Mollari's body. The sacrifice of G'Kar and Londo allowed Sheridan, Delenn, and their son David to escape from Centauri Prime.

Aftermath

After the death of G'Kar on Centauri Prime, Emperor Vir Cotto honored G'Kar and Londo's sacrifice by building a gigantic statue of them at the main gates to the Centauri capital city. These statues were built so that the two men were standing guard over the city, and watching each other's backs.

The Book of G'Kar continued to gain popularity following his death, and along with G'Quan he became one of the most widely read authors amongst the Narn.

Shortly before he died in 2281, John Sheridan had one last meal with his friends. During the toast for all those who had died, Michael Garibaldi eulogized G'Kar.

Andreas Katsulas died on February 13, 2006 due to lung cancer. As a result, except for archival footage, the character of G'Kar will not make any future appearances in Babylon 5 related television or movie productions.[1] In the anthology, it is explained that both G'Kar and Stephen Franklin - who was played by the late Richard Biggs - had left to explore space beyond the galactic rim.

Notes and References

  1. Web site: JMSNews: The J. Michael Straczynski Message Archive.