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I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike, as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I want to look up into your lifeless eyes and wave like this.
~ Vir, telling Mr. Morden what he wants

Vir Cotto was a protagonist of the Babylon 5 television series. A lowly diplomatic aide in 2258 who was little more than an embarrassment, he would rise to later become Emperor of the Centauri by 2278.

Vir was portrayed by the late Stephan Furst, who most famously played Flounder in Animal House.

Growing up in a family of minor nobles, Vir was considered as little more than an embarrassment to his family. In order to get him away from them they arranged for Vir to be assigned as aide to Londo Mollari on Babylon 5. Mollari was none too thrilled at first. However Vir did an excellent job as his aide, and Mollari began to respect the younger man and saw him as a friend.

Vir was briefly assigned to be the diplomatic representative to the Minbari homeworld. Londo officially maintained that he wanted Vir to get some hands on experience as a diplomat, but in truth Londo wanted him to be away to avoid being touched by the same darkness he was.

In 2260 Londo was able to talk the late Emperor Turhan's wife Morella into giving him a prophecy. She told Londo that one day he would be Emperor of the Centauri. Morella then told Vir that he also would be Emperor. Vir started laughing but Morella cut him off, telling Vir she was quite serious. When Londo said that he and Vir could not both be Emperor, Morella responded that one of the two men would be Emperor after the other had died.

Using his position as a diplomatic representative Vir had managed to save about 2,000 Narns from death by getting them travel papers issued by a Centauri named Abrahamo Linconi - an alias Vir set up. When it was revealed what Vir had done Londo had Vir's appointment cancelled and had him reassigned back to Babylon 5.

Vir would serve as Londo's aide for the next two years, during the last war with the Shadows, the Earth Civil War, and the starting of the Interstellar Alliance. When the regent of the Centauri Republic died, the government named Londo as Emperor. One of Emperor Mollari II's first acts was to appoint Vir as the next Ambassador to Babylon 5.

During the Drakh occupation of Centauri Prime, Vir led a resistance movement that in 2278 was able to expose the Drakh presence on the Centauri homeworld and forced them to leave. In order to free David Sheridan Vir killed the Drakh Shiv'kala. After Emperor Mollari's death Vir was named the next Emperor of the Centauri by the surviving nobles.

It's funny. After everything we had been through, all he did, I miss him.
~ Vir, remembering Londo in 2281.

In 2281 Vir traveled to Minbari to join John Sheridan for one last dinner before Sheridan was taken beyond the rim by Lorien. Soon after Sheridan disappeared, Vir travelled to Babylon 5 for the decommissioning ceremony, and was there when the station was scuttled to keep it from becoming a navigational hazard. He then returned home, with Zack Allan coming along as his new assistant.

Emperor Cotto had a long and just reign over the Centauri.


  • Stephen Furst lost a great deal of weight between the third and fourth seasons of Babylon 5 after nearly losing a foot due to complications from diabetes. When he returned to start filming season 4 all of the existing Vir costumes were much too large for him. No in-universe explanation was provided for the large amount of weight loss on Vir's part in what would have only been a couple weeks.
  • In a possible future presented by the technomage Galen to Sheridan, Vir was succeeded by Dius Vintari in 2291.
  • Vir would be the only person to get exactly what he wanted from Mr. Morden when asked him what he wanted.