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Battle with the Black Star

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The Battle with the Black Star occurred in an asteroid field, after days of the EAS Lexington and its Earthforce task group enduring hit and run attacks.

The Black Star (known as the Drala Fi in at least one form of Minbari) ambushed the task group by luring them into an asteroid field with a Minbari flyer pretending to be damaged, and opening a jump point in the middle of the fleet. The Lexington was severely damaged in the opening barrage and was left for dead, while the Drala Fi pursued the retreating Earth ships. First officer Commander John Sheridan took command as Captain Roger Sterns had been killed when a support strut collapsed into his command chair.

Knowing that the Minbari would accept no surrender and would even pursue and destroy a crippled ship, Sheridan ordered several of the nearby asteroids to be mined with thermonuclear warheads. With the trap set, the Lexington broadcast a distress signal, knowing full well it would attract the attention of Minbari. The Drala Fi took two proximity blasts from the warheads before being completely destroyed, giving Earth a much-needed victory and propaganda coup. [1]


Though the Minbari considered the destruction of the Drala Fi a despicable act of cowardice, and labeled Sheridan the "Starkiller," Earth justified the desperate tactic by pointing out that the Minbari were attempting to murder the crew of a crippled and helpless ship. Even a decade later, Sheridan refused to apologize for the incident, citing it as Earth's only victory in the war. [2][3][4][5]


  • A continuity issue may exist regarding the destruction of the Drala Fi: when Captain Sheridan explains the incident to Susan Ivanova upon taking command of Babylon 5 in 2259, he states that the nuclear warheads destroyed the Drala Fi and three of its heavy cruisers. However, when the engagement is depicted in In the Beginning, only the Drala Fi is seen to be destroyed. However, this does not discount the possibility of the enemy cruisers arriving shortly after the events depicted in In The Beginning and being destroyed by the third and final nuclear warhead that was out of range of the Drala Fi.


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