Minbari are humanoid sapients distinguishable by bony crests on their heads. Minbari have low tolerance for heat due to the cold climate of their homeworld. They can endure an astonishing amount of blood loss without suffering permanent damage. Alcohol, however, drives them into uncontrolled rages.
Based on an incident in which Lennier picked up Marcus Cole with one hand, arguments have been made that Minbari have superhuman strength. The incident occured on Babylon 5, however, where the simulated gravity is known to be well below 1G.
What, if any, government structure exists on Minbar for the Minbari Federation is unknown. Up until 2261, a group of nine officials known as the Grey Council ruled the Federation from a fleet of warships that wandered through their territory. These individuals never revealed their identities in public, but a separate individual with a public identity appeared to lead the council and speak for them. Whether the council leader has any independent political authority isn’t clear, but it’s possible the leader’s only real power is his or her ability to influence the Council. In 2243 and for an unspecified time before, the leader of the council was Dukhat. Dukhat died in 2243 when the EAS Prometheus opened fire on the Grey Council’s ship in the most catastrophic first contact event in Earth history. The Grey Council continued to rule without a leader until 2261.
Minbari society consists of three castes: the Warrior Caste, the Religious Caste, and the Worker Caste. Although the Worker Caste outnumbers the other two by far, each caste had equal representation on the Grey Council (three representatives each) until 2260, when Delenn dissolved the Grey Council and effectively took control of the Federation with the consent of the Worker Caste and Religious Caste representatives.
Although the Warrior Caste study the military arts extensively and provide leadership in times of conflict, each caste maintains its own fleet of warships. This arrangement prevents the Warrior Caste from dominating Minbari society by controlling all of the Federation’s military assets. Because of this division of military resources, Delenn was able to control two thirds of the Minbari fleet when she dissolved the council in 2260; the Warrior Caste’s forces refused to participate in the Shadow War.
Following an attempted coup by the Warrior Caste in 2261, Delenn formed a new Grey Council which resumed control of the Federation. The new council consists of five Worker Caste representatives and two representatives each from the Warrior and Religious Castes. Delenn took the separate position of Council leader that had been vacant since Dukhat’s death. Whether the Council now rules from Minbar or continues to roam Minbari space is unknown.
The extent of Minbari territory has never been defined, and no worlds under their control other than Minbar itself have ever been named.
The Minbari are undoubtedly the most feared of the Young Races of Babylon 5. While a small empire by the standards of Star Wars, they are arguably large and powerful enough to threaten the Federation if sufficiently motivated.
Minbari of Note
- Minbari Federation at BabTech on the Net