Vir Cotto Character Profile
Vir Cotto was the assistant to Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari. Stephen Furst played the role.
Vir was Londo's often ignored conscience. He reached the highest position in Centauri society despite his defiance of its most basic principles.
Note: This is a complete biography of Vir Cotto. Therefore, it contains spoilers for all five seasons 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.
Vir Cotto was assigned to be Ambassador Londo Mollari's attaché in early 2258. The position was considered a joke, even by Vir's relatives.
Vir was very naive and timid when he arrived on Babylon 5. He did not subscribe to the usual Centauri norms of striving for power, glory, and wealth via subterfuge. Over the years, he gained the courage to voice his opposition to Londo about his association with Mr. Morden and his involvement in the Narn-Centauri War.
Vir met regularly with Lennier, the Minbari Attaché. Their friendship was an outlet for their feelings about the profession that they shared. An aide's position offered little authority but was just as stressful as being an ambassador.
In August 2259, with Londo's power on the rise, Vir's position became more enviable. Vir was recalled to Centauri Prime so that a more important diplomat could acquire his post. Londo threatened to resign his position if Vir was taken away, and Vir was allowed to keep his job.
The Ambassador to Minbar
In January 2260, Londo arranges for Vir to become the Centauri Ambassador to Minbar. The Centauri had not maintained an embassy on Minbar since the last ambassador "went native" several years earlier.
Vir made three trips to Babylon 5 while he was the Centauri Ambassador to Minbar. On his second visit in April 2260 he was present when Lady Morella visited Babylon 5. Lady Morella was a prophetess, and she prophesied that Londo and Vir would both become the Centauri Emperor, one after the other had died.
In May 2260, Vir began to take action to help the Narn who were being mistreated on their conquered homeworld. Vir created a false identity named Abrahamo Lincolni, an official in the Centauri Relocation Bureau. Vir used this identity to send Narn to Centauri Prime for work programs. The Narn were diverted during their transfer to worlds where they received medical aid and then through Babylon 5 to refugee camps elsewhere. Vir altered the Narn's records to indicate that they were dead.
In late June 2260, Vir traveled to Centauri Prime to present his report on Minbar. Emperor Cartagia was pleased. In early July, Vir continued on to Babylon 5 where he was surprised to learn that his family had arranged a marriage for him. His intended bride was Lyndisty, the daughter of a Centauri officer who had perpetrated many atrocities on Narn. Two Narn pouch brothers recognize Lyndisty and attack her for revenge. Vir was horrified by Lyndisty's callous attitude toward the Narn.
Commander Susan Ivanova discovered Vir's Abrahamo Lincolni alter ego. When she learned the truth behind Vir's actions, she enhanced his fake identity file to make his work easier.
A frustrated and disappointed Londo managed to diffuse the situation by arranging for Vir to lose his position on Minbar without any explanations being revealed. He resumed his position as Londo's aide on Babylon 5. When Lyndisty's family learned that Vir was no longer an ambassador, they called Lyndisty home to reconsider the engagement.
The Attaché Again
Vir's duties occasionally required him to interface with Mr. Morden. Vir knew that Londo's association with Morden could only lead to tragedy, and he had no fear of letting Mr. Morden know how he felt. When Mr. Morden asked Vir what he wanted, Vir boldly told him that he wanted to live just long enough to see Morden's head placed on a pike as a warning to future generations that some favors come with too high a price. He promised to smile and make a little wave at his head.
In December 2260, Emperor Cartagia ordered Londo Mollari to return to Centauri Prime to act as his advisor on matters of planetary security. During Londo's many absences from Babylon 5 over the next year and a half, Vir acted as the Centauri Ambassador on Babylon 5.
In January 2261, Vir accompanied Emperor Cartagia and Londo to Narn for G'Kar's execution. Vir had conspired with Londo to assassinate the mad Emperor. Through an unintended mishap, Vir's own hand held the weapon that killed Cartagia. Vir had never killed anyone before, and the event haunted him for years.
Londo's efforts to erase the Shadow influence from Centauri Prime led him to execute Mr. Morden. As a gift to Vir, Londo had Morden's head placed on a pike in the courtyard. Vir kept his promise and waggled his fingers at the severed head.
The Ambassador to Babylon 5
In July 2262, Londo told Vir that he would become the Centauri Ambassador to Babylon 5, a position that would become official when Londo became Emperor. Londo received an unexpected demonstration of Vir's new strength. When Vir challenged a Drazi merchant who had planted a bug in his purchase, the Drazi laughed in his face, mocking Vir for his well-known meek personality. Vir returned with a sword, demolished the Drazi's stall, and questioned the merchant again at the end of his weapon. Londo was satisfied that Vir was now ready to be the Centauri Ambassador.
In August 2262, with the war between the Centauri Republic and the Interstellar Alliance heating up, Vir became suspicious about the fact that the Drazi were not returning any Centauri bodies from the ships that they destroyed. He convinced Dr. Stephen Franklin and paid Lyta Alexander to investigate. Vir's suspicions led to the discovery that the Centauri ships were being remotely controlled by Shadow technology.
For the next few years Vir found himself in a difficult position. He was the only Ambassador on Babylon 5 from a government that was antagonistic to the Interstellar Alliance. During this time he became involved with a number of techno-mages who had taken it upon themselves to help thwart some of the actions of the Drakh. With their help, Vir stopped an assassination attempt against President John Sheridan.
Vir became romantically involved with Mariel, one of Londo's ex-wives. Her charisma charmed men of all species in Vir's diplomatic circles, and Vir's standing began to rise as a result of his association with her. However, Vir was eventually horrified to discover that only did a faction of the Centauri government at odds with Londo send Mariel a spy but she was also belittling him to the other ambassadors. In a rage, Vir convinced the techno-mage Galen to cast a spell on Mariel to make her love him forever. Almost as soon as Galen had complied, Vir regretted his request.
Mariel was in love with Vir and would do anything for him, so he arranged for her to marry Minister Durla and secretly report to Vir about Durla's actions. Vir was sickened by his own actions, but he had come to realize that his self-respect would be the price of Centauri Prime's salvation.
The Resistance Leader
Vir took more direct action against the Drakh as well. With the techno-mages, he destroyed the Drakh facility responsible for the Shadow death clouds.
Over the next several years, Vir use his ambassadorial position as a cover for his role as the leader of the Legions of Fire, a resistance group that opposed the military buildup of the Centauri Republic. Vir was forced to kill more often and order those under him into situations that might cost them their lives. Vir had come a long way from the bumbling innocent that arrived on Babylon 5 years earlier.
In January 2278, Vir brought his resistance fight to a climax. He destroyed the Tower of Power, a huge edifice that had been constructed in the Centauri capital and served as the secret center of Drakh power. This revealed the presence of the Drakh to both the Centauri people and the Interstellar Alliance. Now everyone knew that the Drakh were using the Centauri.
In the aftermath of Vir's attack and the Drakh's subsequent detonation nuclear bombs across Centauri Prime, Londo met his fate at the hands of G'Kar. With his passing, Vir Cotto became the Centauri Emperor as Lady Morella had predicted.
The techno-mages quickly removed the rest of the Drakh's nuclear bombs, and the Drakh made a show of leaving Centauri Prime. However, the battle was not over yet. David Sheridan had been released by Londo and returned to Centauri Prime, but he still had a Keeper. Dr. Franklin determined that the only way to remove it was to kill its controller. Vir and Michael Garibaldi returned to Centauri Prime, lured Shiv'kala into the open, and ended David Sheridan's captivity.
With help from the Interstellar Alliance, Vir set about rebuilding the devastated Centauri Prime. He imortalized Londo and G'Kar by building giant statues of them on opposite sides of the Centauri capital city, standing guard and watching each other's backs.
In January 2281, Vir traveled to Minbar to visit John Sheridan before his death. Upon returning to Centauri Prime, he gave Zack Allan a job as an advisor.
One must assume that Emperor Vir Cotto ruled the Centauri Republic with justice and integrity.