The Technomages (Babylon 5)

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We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ, and we know many things.”  –Elric

6571dbf0930ef69404389451c4def227Technopagans and technoshamans don’t often appear in popular culture, thanks to the cliche that religion and science are forever at odds. One notable exception to this are the “Technomages” from TV’s Babylon 5 science fiction series.

Quoting from the Babylon 5 wiki:

“Techno-mages employ techno-magic, the use of advanced technology in such a way that it resembles magic. They effect this by utilizing their abilities such that an outside observer cannot comprehend how they were able to, similar to stage magic or illusions…

“The technology the techno-mages use consists of bio-technological implants. The process of installing the implants and adjusting to them is excruciatingly painful. The presence of these implants means that techno-mages are effectively cyborgs…

“Technomages are shown to have many different powers over the course of both Babylon 5 and Crusade. Such powers include being able to cast a shield around their bodies to absorb damage or contain atmosphere in hostile environments, hurl fireballs, generate holograms, cloak themselves in invisibility, and establish real-time communication with another Technomage regardless of distance.”

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Technomages are the embodiment of Arthur C. Clarke’s statement that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” They were only briefly touched on during the main Babylon 5 series. They were further developed in the (sadly canceled) spin-off series Crusade and also in the trilogy of graphic novels The Technomage Trilogy.

While not strictly religious (or even necessarily spiritual), the Technomages nevertheless may be classified as technopagans/technoshamans by their emphasis on showmanship, mystic, and awe throughout their culture. Whereas all other races depicted simply use their technology as tools, the Technomages maintain an aura of mystique that presents their technology as both tools and an experience–preserving a connection between science and the spiritual.

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