Jeffrey Sinclair Character Profile
Jeffrey Sinclair was the commander of the Babylon 5 station during the show's first season. Michael O'Hare played the role.
Sinclair was a serious man with a subtle sense of humor. He had an obsessive personality and a tendancy to put himself in danger. He was haunted by his experience at the end of the Earth-Minbari War.
Note: This is a complete biography of Commander Jeffrey Sinclair. Therefore, it contains spoilers for Seasons One and part of Season Three of Babylon 5. The biography is written in chronological order, so if you are watching Babylon 5 for the first time you can safely read the early parts of this article and stop before you reach the sections that would reveal events that you haven't seen on the show yet.
Jeffrey Sinclair was born on Mars Colony on 3 May 2218. He was raised Catholic and trained as a Jesuit for three years. He joined EarthForce in 2237 and earned his pilot's wings three years later. This continued a tradition of pilots in the Sinclair family that traced back to the Battle of Britain. His father was a pilot in the Dilgar War. Jeffrey Sinclair became the leader of a Starfury squadron in 2241.
In 2243 Sinclair began an on-again off-again relationship with Catherine Sakai. They rekindled their relationship for a short time whenever they met after a separation of two or three years.
In 2247 Sinclair led the 361st Tactical Fighter Squadron at the Battle of the Line at the end of the Earth-Minbari War. The entire squadron except for Sinclair was wiped out in less than a minute. Sinclair blacked out while trying to ram a Minbari cruiser and awoke 24 hours later to find that the Minbari had surrendered. His inability to account for his missing 24 hours damaged his credibility and haunted him for years to come.
Sinclair was assigned to the EarthForce base on Mars in 2248. He was there during the food riots in early 2251. He met John Sheridan during this crisis. In 2253 Sinclair hired Michael Garibaldi as a private shuttle pilot to investigate possible covert activities on Mars. Their shuttle crashed, and their subsequent fight for survival on Mars made fast friends of Sinclair and Garibaldi. They witnessed a Shadow ship rescuing another that was buried on Mars, but did not know what it was at the time.
Sinclair met Laurel Takashima and promised to get her a promotion if she starts working within the rules. After speaking his mind in an ISN interview, Sinclair was transferred to a deep-range outpost.
Following his most recent breakup with Catherine Sakai, Sinclair began a relationship with an independent pilot and trader named Carolyn Sykes. Their relationship ended in 2257 when he refused to leave EarthForce and join her as a trader.
Commander Jeffrey Sinclair was appointed Babylon 5's first commander on 9 March 2256. His name was very far down on a very long list, but the Minbari helped to fund the fifth station, and his was the only name they accepted. This position was actually three jobs in one. First, he was the commander of a military installation and final authority over the sector in which it was located. Second, he served as governor to the civilian population of 250,000. Finally, he was the Earth Alliance ambassador to the Babylon 5 Advisory Council.
Sinclair brought Laurel Takashima and Michael Garibaldi to work for him on Babylon 5. Over the years 2256 and 2257, Sinclair developed a friendship with Minbari Ambassador Delenn. He also acquired many enemies back on Earth, notably those who were distrustful of his missing 24 hours. Sinclair was placed on trial when an attempt was made on the life on Vorlon Ambassador Kosh on 4 January 2257. Sinclair survived the incident and earned another piece of the puzzle of his missing 24 hours. Later Sinclair learned that he was captured by the Minbari during his missing 24 hours, but this only left him with more questions.
He solved the many challenges he faced primarily with direct action or creative solutions. Sinclairs relationships with his staff ranged from clashing with Dr. Stephen Franklin over his treatment of an alien child against the parents' religious beliefs to sitting Shiva with Lieutenant Commander Susan Ivanova for her father. Sinclair also investigated the brief reappearance of Babylon 4 in July 2258 and rescued its refugees.
During his time on Babylon 5, Sinclair reinitiated his relationship with Catherine Sakai. At the end of 2258, he asked her to marry him.
But then everything changed...
On 3 January 2259 - two days after the assassination of President Luis Santiago - Sinclair was recalled to Earthdome. There, a member of the Minbari Grey Council named Rathenn revealed what happened to him at the Battle of the Line. He was captured by the Minbari flagship and interrogated. Through the use of a Triluminary his captors determined that he had a Minbari soul. Believing that Minbari were being reborn as Humans, the Religious Caste halted the war to avoid harming themselves. However, Rathenn did not reveal that Sinclair not only had a Minbari soul, but he had the soul of Valen, the great Minbari leader who formed the Grey Council 1000 years earlier.
Sinclair was assigned as the Earth Ambassador to Minbar. He assumed his position on 12 January 2259. While on Minbar, he became the leader of the Rangers, or Anla'shok in Minbari, a group of warriors who gathered information and watched for the return of the Shadows. His title was Ranger One, or Anla'shok Na in Minbari. He also took on the title of Entil'Zha, a term not used by any Ranger One since Valen. Sinclair began accepting human candidates into the ranks of the Rangers.
Two of the human Ranger candidates were Marcus Cole and Catherine Sakai. In November 2259, Sinclair led these two Rangers on a mission to prevent the Shadows from exploiting the time rift in Sector 14. Catherine's fighter was lost in the time rift and disappeared into the past.
In August 2260, Sinclair received a letter from Valen written over 900 years earlier. Following its instructions, he recruited help from Babylon 5 and Epsilon 3 to travel back in time to 2254 and steal the Babylon 4 station 24 hours after it became operational. After returning the crew of Babylon 5 to the proper time, he and Zathras took Babylon 4 back in time 1000 years to serve as a Minbari base of operations in the previous Shadow War.
While traveling through time, Sinclair used the chrysalis device brought by Zathras to transform himself into a Minbari. When he reached the distant past (Earth year 1260) the Vorlons joined him to present Babylon 4 to the Minbari, who were losing the war against the Shadows. Sinclair called himself Valen and became known as the "Minbari not born of Minbari." The Minbari at the Battle of the Line had it backwards: Sinclair did not have Valen's soul; Valen had Sinclair's soul!
With Valen's leadership, the Minbari forced the Shadows to retreat. When the castes refused to put their squables aside, Valen shamed them by forming the Anla'shok. It's members gave up their allegiances to their former castes in order to fight for Minbar as a whole. Valen formed the Grey Council and established many of the practices that persisted in Minbari culture for centuries. After the war the Rangers took on the task of watching for the eventual return of the Shadows. Valen made many prophecies to ensure that the Minbari would help his future self follow the same path.
It is believed that Valen found Catherine Sakai, who journeyed to the same time in the past.
Valen married and had several children. From this time forward, human and Minbari DNA and souls began to mix. Ambassador Delenn was a descendent of Valen. Valen's children left Minbar to escape persecution.
In 1360, Valen wrote letters addressed to Jeffrey Sinclair and Ambassador Delenn. They were sealed in boxes on Minbar with orders not to be opened for 900 years.
Valen's death was shrouded in mystery. His body was never found. After his death, his descendents returned to Minbar.
Neroon once told Sinclair that he sounds like a Minbari. With so much of Minbari thought and speech influenced by Valen, the irony is that the Minbari sound like Sinclair.