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antono'mastically

Antono Refa

Lord Antono Refa is a fictional character from the universe of the science fiction television series Babylon 5, played by William Forward. He is a regular guest character in the second and third seasons.

Character history

Personality

A Centauri politician and a member of the nobility, Lord Refa is dedicated to restoring the power of the Centauri Republic through distinctly Machiavellian methods. His house is one of the most powerful in the Centarum, the Centauri Republic's ruling legislature, and he is apparently a man of great wealth and influence. As the series progresses he emerges as a sinister character. He is extremely power-hungry and ambitious, and he is revealed to be extremely ruthless in his attempts to acquire ever-greater power and influence. He has few morals, and he is quite willing to commit murder and assassination to achieve his goals. It is obvious that he desires the position of Centauri Emperor for himself and his house, and there is nothing that he will not do to get it. Initially Refa and Londo Mollari, the Centauri Ambassador to Babylon 5 and another member of the nobility, are portrayed as allies in their mutual desire to restore the Centauri Republic to its former power, prestige, and glory. However, their alliance becomes increasingly uneasy as the series progresses, and they eventually become bitter rivals and enemies who will stop at nothing to destroy one another. Even so, Londo - however misguided - does appear to have a genuine love for the Centauri Republic and people as the basis for his actions, while Refa appears motivated solely by the desire for personal gain and glory.

Babylon 5

Lord Refa appears on Babylon 5 shortly after the only son of Emperor Turhan dies, leaving a gap in the line of succession for the Centauri throne. On his first visit, Refa makes it clear to Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari that he speaks for a group of Centauri politicians who are interested in making a move for the throne after the death of Turhan. Given Londo's newfound prestige in the royal court, which he gained following military successes brought about by his clandestine dealings with Mr. Morden, Refa comes to Londo to ask for his support in the group's plans. Londo gives his consent, a decision that would set him on a course with the destiny he always foresaw.

The Imperial Coup

Later, this group stages a coup when the ailing Turhan pays a visit to Babylon 5. The purpose of this visit, as Turhan sees it, is to ask for forgiveness and peace from the Narn ambassador, G'Kar, for the great abuses the Centauri had done to the Narn. Unfortunately, Turhan collapses before he can make this offer in person to G'Kar, though his message is relayed to G'Kar through Dr. Franklin. With Turhan now dying and his message of peace not delivered in public view of the Centauri and Narn, Refa's men take this opportunity to strike, ordering the assassination of Turhan's prime minister on Centauri Prime, while Refa and Londo, on Babylon 5, are present at the death of the Emperor.

The Narn-Centauri Conflict

With his political enemies out of the way, Refa and his associates install the mad Emperor Cartagia to power, and begin a protracted war against the Narn. Utilizing Londo's agreement with the Shadows and Centauri forces, Refa personally oversees the war. In the end, learning of the news that the Narn plan to use virtually their entire fleet to attack a Centauri supply post, he decides to launch an assault on the Narn homeworld.

Refa cannot do so without Londo's help, however, and though Londo reluctantly agrees, he asserts that this is the last time he will bring his associates into the situation. Soon after, the Shadows are unleashed on the Narn fleet, obliterating it, while the Centauri fleet, making use of banned planetary bombardment weapons called mass drivers, attacks and subjugates Narn, under the observation of Refa, Londo, and their Centauri allies.

The Shadow War

After this victory, Londo informs Morden that he will no longer be in need of assistance from his associates, which prompts Morden to begin contact with Lord Refa. When Morden informs Londo of this, Londo becomes quite concerned. In an effort to prevent Lord Refa from continuing his relationship with the Shadows, Londo "poisons" Refa's drink during a meeting on Babylon 5. Telling him that it is a two-stage poison that will not kill him until the second part is introduced, Londo assures Refa that this second part will not be introduced NOW if contact with Morden is ended, but it still may happen in the future should Refa betray him. An angry Refa realizes that Londo has him, and breaks off the contact with Morden.

Again, Morden comes to Londo, this time quite angry that Londo would interfere in his associates' activities in this way. However, Londo really wants nothing more to do with Morden, so when Londo gives him the brush off, Morden arranges for Londo to care again, by setting up the murder of Londo's true love, Adira. However, Morden takes this further, by poisoning her with a poison of Centauri origin, allowing Morden to convince Londo to place the blame on Lord Refa, whom Londo already knows is still upset about being "poisoned." This, again, places Londo in association with Morden. Finally, though, Londo resolves to do something about Lord Refa, who has himself been inciting a feud between their two houses on Centauri Prime.

Fate

In an elaborate plot staged to maximize Londo's political gain, Refa is lured to the Narn homeworld in expectations of capturing G'Kar, who is on Narn ostensibly looking for his old assistant, Na'Toth. However, the actual plan is to capture Refa, who was responsible for the decision to use mass drivers on Narn, and turn him over to G'Kar and his Narn associates who were allowed by Londo to kill this Centauri without retaliation. Two of the reasons Londo has for having Refa killed are personal: the death of Adira (which, in fact, Refa was not involved with) and the death of Urza Jaddo (which Refa brought about). In the end Lord Refa is surrounded by G'Kar's Narn associates and beaten to death. On Babylon 5, Londo presents evidence of Refa's "betrayal" of the Centauri to the visiting Centauri minister, gaining prestige in the royal court and ridding himself of Lord Refa.

Quotes

"It has just the right hint of desperation." (In response to Londo's worry that the intercepted Narn attack plan is a ruse.) "Ink on a page!" (In response to Londo's concerns that use of mass drivers is banned by treaties the Centauri have signed.)

Trivia

William Forward asked J. Michael Straczynski "Why me?" Why was his character being killed off? Straczynski told him "If he hadn't done such a good job, this wouldn't have happened, because no one would've cared about the character."

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