It’s not entirely bad news as I read up on this. B5 will still have J. Michael Straczynski at the helm which is a mixed bag. Sometimes it can backfire as Lucas proved with Star Wars. The prequels weren’t a reboot but a continuation, similar to a reboot since 16 years had passed. Sadly, Lucas didn’t use the time to develop a stronger story or more plausible dialog. He found out the hard way in how two decades of refining special effects cannot cover up a trio of stink burgers. Then Star Wars returns as the bad example of when you hand over the reins to others who don’t know the “essence” of what made the originals great. Especially Abrams the Hack. They’re better than Lucas’ a tad while still suffering from not being as re-watchable as Empire, Star Wars or Rogue One.
I’m confident JMS (as he’s known) has used his time writing comic books for both Marvel and DC, additional novels for B5, screenplays (he chipped in on the first Thor flick), failed spinoff shows/movies and a few TV/Streaming series…constructively. He stated how he wants to apply all those lessons towards making B5 better than its original run. You know, like how we all often pine, “This is what I’d do now, knowing what I know today.” One thing I hope is that he lets other people pen more episodes, including past friends Peter David and Neil Gaiman. JMS’s streak was pretty cool and he’s a great writer yet you need to let others play in your sandbox or else the characters develop the same voice and things get stale. Trust me, if you’ve ever read JLA comics from the Sixties, it’s hard to tell if it’s Green Lantern, Wonder Woman or Aquaman speaking.
Some groaned when the reboot was also announced as a show for the low-rated CW network. Yes, traditional broadcast/cable TV is dying. I remain optimistic. Much of CW’s material receives a huge boost when it’s repeated via Netflix. It helped the Arrowverse immensely. I dare to say it will continue as CW’s shows migrate their way over to HBO Max thanks to the parent company of desiring this. Besides, an actual network is superior to what the first four seasons of syndication B5 had in the Nineties.
Can’t wait! Now I need to add B5 to my bingewatch chore list, you can see all five seasons thanks to HBO Max. I know I will choke up at times, unlike Star Trek: The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine, more than half of B5‘s primary cast has passed away. May JMS have suitable tributes to Mira Furlan (Delenn), Jerry Doyle (Garibaldi), Andreas Katsulas (G’Kar), Richard Biggs (Dr. Franklin), Stephen Furst (Via), Jeff Conaway (Allan) and Michael O’Hare (Commander Sinclair).