Mister, I don't care if you had a personal message from God complete with stone tablets!
~ Sinclair, dressing down the Psi Cop Bester

Jeffrey Sinclair, later known as Valen was a protagonist during the first season of the TV series Babylon 5 television series.

Sinclair was played by the late Michael O'Hare.

Early life

Born on Mars Sinclair was the son of David and Gemma Gildea Sinclair. Coming from a long line of fighter pilots, Sinclair learned how to fly from his grandfather. After the death of his father Sinclair entered a Jesuit school where he learned how to appreciate mornings.

Sinclair attended Earthforce Academy, where he encountered John Sheridan, who would one day succeed him as Babylon 5 commander.

During the Earth-Minbari war Sinclair flew as a pilot during the Battle of the Line. Over 10,000 Earthforce people fought in the battle, and fewer than 200 survived. Sinclair was one of the survivors. Taken on board the Grey Council flagship during the battle, the council scanned Sinclair with a triluminary. To their horror they realized that not only did Sinclair have a Minbari soul, but the device said he was the reincarnation of their great religious leader Valen. The Minbari stopped their assault and surrendered to the humans. A Minbari telepath blocked out Sinclair's memories of his time on the Minbari ship, and 24 hours later he was put out on his fighter. When found he was shocked to learn that the war was over, and humanity had "won."

In 2253 Sinclair rode on a shuttle piloted by Michael Garibaldi on a tour of the Martian surface. Their shuttle crashed and the passengers were forced to make their way back to civilization, it was during this time that the two men became friends.


Sinclair after his transformation into Valen

During this time he also became friends with the Minbari Ambassador Delenn, who was keeping an eye on him following the realization that he was carrying Valen's soul.

Babylon 5

In the 2250s Earth was finally able to bring the final Babylon station - Babylon 5 - online with assistance from the Minbari government, who made their assistance conditional on being able to name the station commander. The Minbari rejected every candidate until they came to Sinclair, who they finally accepted as station commander. Sinclair accepted, askeing Garibaldi to join him as his chief of security.

There is a hole in your mind.
~ A rogue Minbari taunting Sinclair

Soon after taking command, Sinclair was framed by rogue members of the Minbari warrior cast for the attempted assassination of the newly arrived Vorlon Ambassador Kosh Naranek. He was able to prove his innocence to the Vorlons who had arrived to take him back to their homeworld for a trial.

He would go on to command the station for the next two years, dealing with the various Ambassadors and station residents. Sinclair would often find himself wondering what happened to him during the Battle of the Line, and why Delenn - a member of the Grey Council - was on the station as a lowly Ambassador.

During the last days of 2258 Delenn offered to tell him the truth of what happened, but as Garibaldi was missing he wasn't able to meet with her before she went into the chrysalis device to undergo a change into a human-Minbari hybrid.

Ranger One

Hello, old friend. It’s been awhile. I'm entrusting this message to an associate of mine who has sworn to bring it to you at any cost, including his own life. My job on the Minbari Homeworld is more than just representing Earth. The President doesn’t know about that part yet and I don’t think it would be wise for you to tell him. There is a great darkness coming, Michael. Some of the Minbari have been waiting for it for a long time. The bearer of this message is one of my Rangers. Some are Minbari, most are Human. They’ve been drawn here, to learn to work together and prepare for the fight ahead. Their job, for now, is to patrol the frontier. To listen, to watch, and return with reports too sensitive to entrust to regular channels. They are my eyes and ears. Where you see them, you see me. In the name of our friendship, I ask that you give them every courtesy and cooperation. I wish I could tell you more, that I could warn you. But the others don’t think it’s time yet. Stay close to the Vorlon and watch out for Shadows. They move when you’re not looking at them.
~ Sinclair's message to Garibaldi.

Sinclair retained command of B5 until early 2259, when he was recalled to Earth and then named Ambassador to the Minbari. John Sheridan was appointed the new commander of B5 by President Morgan Clark. Sheridan had been the first choice of the late President Santiago in the event something happened to Sinclair. Sheridan took command on January 8, 2259. For his part, Sinclair was pleased to learn that Sheridan had been placed in command, that even though Sheridan's reputation painted him as a jar head of sorts he would not be the puppet the new President Morgan Clark was obviously hoping for.

Sinclair did the best he could given that he was given no support staff or funding. Delenn asked her friend and fellow Grey Council member Rathenn to work with Sinclair, he was the first to become friends with Sinclair after Sinclair arrived.

While on Minbar he became aware of the Anla'shok, or Rangers, and soon became their leader. He would become the first Entil'za of the Rangers in 1,000 years. As EarthGov paid little attention to him, Sinclair was able to lead the Rangers under the noses of President Clark and other Earth officials.

Babylon 4

I welcome you and present this place to you as a gift. I am called Valen, and we have much work ahead of us.
~ Sinclair as Valen, introducing himself to 13th century Minbari
Sinclair went back in time 1,000 years with the Babylon 4 station to the Earth year 1260 in order to provide a new base to replace the space station the Shadows had destroyed. Using the chrysalis device Sinclair transformed himself into a Minbari. Jeffrey Sinclair took on the new name Valen. He united the castes and with the help of the Vorlons and a few other races the Minbari drove the Shadows back to their homeworld.

After the war Valen formed the Grey Council, the governing body of the Minbari. Made up of nine Minbari with three individuals from each Minbari caste, the Grey Council endured for 1,000 years until it was broken then reformed in the 23rd century.

His fiancé Catherine Sakai, who had disappeared from the 23rd century eventually joined Valen in the distant past. The two left Minbar due to the persecution they were facing. Valen was last seen around 1360 AD, when he disappeared. His body was never found. Valen's children returned to Minbar, adding human genes to the Minbari gene pool. Over the next 1,000 years the descendants of Valen became too numerous to count, and included his friend Delenn.

Using his knowledge of what had been his past, Valen left behind a series of prophecies intended to guide the Minbari when the Shadows returned in the 23rd century. In addition to his propehecies Valen left a series of letters behind for Sinclair and Delenn explaining what had happened.

Over the years records from the time period were lost, to the point that not even a photo of Valen survived.

Back in the 23rd century Delenn took charge of the few possessions Sinclair had, intending to make sure that his possessions be returned to his family. Delenn was named the next Entil'zha of the Rangers in Sinclair's place.


  • Michael O'Hare left the series at the end of the first season. Series creator J. Michael Stracynski gave no reason for the change at the time but said it was a mutual and friendly parting, and that he hoped O'Hare could return to wrap up Sinclair's part in the story. It was only after O'Hare's death that Stracynski revealed the real reason why O'Hare had left the series - that O'Hare's mental illness made it impossible for him to continue working on the series. O'Hare had confided in Stracynski that he was mentally ill. Stracynski had promised to keep the secret until his grave, but O'Hare told Stracynski that he could reveal the secret in the event O'Hare died. About eight months after O'Hare's October 2012 death Stracynski revealed the secret.
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