The BattleStar Galactica Files (Ep 3)

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Welcome to the BattleStar Galactica Files! Sci-Fi (Syfy) Channel’s classic series that captured the fear and the paranoia of the post-9/11 culture. Hailed by critics and fans alike, BSG’s arcing epic storyline, detailed character development, dynamite special effects, and top-notch acting makes it one of the best science fiction tales of our time. Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, and Jamie Bamber led a top-notch cast through 4 short seasons of one of the best television shows ever made. If you’ve seen BSG then you know, if you haven’t, then do yourself a favor- every episode is on Netflix, and it was just picked up for syndication on BBC America!

(WARNING- The following will contain SPOILERS, as it is my attempt to sum up the series in layman terms.)

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The Fall and the Flight of Man

Are they the lucky ones? That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it? We’re a long way from home. We’ve jumped way beyond the Red Line, into uncharted space. Limited supplies, limited fuel. No allies, and now, no hope? Maybe it would have been better for us to have died quickly, back on the Colonies with our families, instead of dying out here slowly, in the dark emptiness of space. Where shall we go?” – Commander William Adama, eulogy for the dead. 

Doctor Gaius Baltar was born and raised on a dairy farm outside of the town of Cuffle’s Breath Wash on the farming planet of Aerilon. At the age of 10 he trained himself to speak without the accent of the locals… believing it to be unpleasant and crude. On his 18th birthday, he left, and tuned his back on his family and heritage. Years later, after settling on Caprica, Dr. Baltar became a compulsive social-climber after winning three major prizes for his work in the field of computer tech designer. Gaius (pronounced Guy-us) was also a self-obsessed nihilist, who’s own lust and greed made him vulnerable to manipulation. His Command Navigation Program, which the Ministry of Defense had appointed him to build, also had a “backdoor” planted by his blonde girlfriend who worked on the project with him, unbeknownst to officials. She was a spy… sent by the cylons to infiltrate the humans’ defenses and allow for a devastating attack.

After 40 years of silence, 40 years of peace, 40 years of prosperity… then (the cylons believing that it was their god-given fate to destroy their “evil” masters), genocide… The cylons attacked the 12 colonies with a fury like none other, as if dealt from the gods’ themselves. They exploited the backdoor in the colonial defense systems and caught the humans totally by surprise…. allowing not only for the total destruction of the colony’s defenses… but near annihilation of the human race. Using nuclear weapons launched from space, the cylons decimated the 12 worlds, going so far as to render Caprica completely uninhabitable due to radioactive fallout. What had once been a race of sentient machines designed by humans had evolved into models that look human through the help of the mysterious Final Five.” They had infiltrated almost every aspect of the colonial military and government, and humans had no idea until it was too late. Only a handful of survivors made if off Caprica before the end, Dr Gaius Baltar being one of them.

In space, some 200 million miles away from the destruction, flew the Battlestar Galactica. She was a massive warship, both a fleet carrier capable of maintaining 4 Viper squadrons of 20 fighters apiece, and tactical battlecruiser, equipped with huge artillery cannons, anti-aircraft batteries, and nuclear warheads. (A fully-armed battlestar is capable of performing a wide range of offensive maneuvers while her defenses ensure the ability to engage enemies at close-range) The Galactica was being decommissioned during the time of the attack, her Viper bays being converted into a museum, and anyone who was on board for the ceremony suddenly became one of the only 47,000 humans left alive in the universe.

Word of the attack spread across the galaxy, and many space-bound ships that were flying from one place to another for whatever reason, suddenly became the last hope for humanity… “the fleet.”  When the commander of the Galactica sent word for any remaining ships to meet them at a hidden military base called Ragnar Anchorage, a few dozen ships of varying size made it to the rendezvous.  The fleet was a rag-tag group of tankers, cruisers, civilian transports, etc, that made up the convoy led by the Battlestar Galactica and her crew… faced with superior numbers and firepower, the fleet jumped further than anyone had before… and kept jumping… hoping to out-run the cylons. Their worlds destroyed, their families gone, their hope crushed, the 47,000 people left in the fleet ran for the stars, their ships pointed toward an unknown destination- a myth handed down from the ancient scrolls- toward Earth.

“For now we have a refuge to go to. A refuge the Cylons know nothing about. It won’t be an easy journey. It’ll be long, and arduous. But I promise you one thing: on the memory of those lying here before you, we shall find it, and Earth shall become our new home. So say we all!” Commander William Adama, eulogy for the dead (cont). 

It was written that 13 tribes left for the stars in the great exodus. 12 of these tribes headed toward the many worlds of the Cyrannus star system, while according to legend, the Thirteenth Tribe of man headed in a different direction- toward Earth. It was this same direction that the survivors of the fall of the 12 colonies headed… into the unknown and uncertainty of space. Chasing myth and legend, Commander Adama lies and tells the survivors he knows where Earth is.

Among the surviving ships is the government vessel Colonial 12 (becomes Colonial 1), which holds the only surviving members of the Colonial President’s staff- and the Secretary of Education Laura Roslin. In the beginning moments of the escape, a government fail-safe device appoints her President due to the laws of succession only a few hours after being told she has terminal-stage breast cancer. Dr. Baltar, President Roslin, Commander Adama, his Executive Officer Colonel Tigh, son Captain Lee “Apollo” Adama, and adopted-daughter Kara “Starbuck” Threiss all become the major players in a tale that starts at the end of another.

[And so we find them, in the first few episodes, a mini-series created by the Sci-Fi channel and NBC, at the end of their worlds… on the run from a determined and deadly adversary… humanoid cylons in their midst (unbeknownst to most of the fleet). Humanity’s desperate search for a place to hide, to stop, and to live again.]


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Most of the information gleaned for these posts is taken from the good folks at Wiki and BSG Wiki.

Coming Up on the BSG Files:

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The BattleStar Galactica Files (Ep 2)

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Welcome to the BSG Files. Most of the information gleaned for these posts is taken from the good folks at Wiki and BSG Wiki. I’d like to start with something big- so here’s to the kick-off of The BattleStar Galactica Files!

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The Cylon Revolution-

“This is our future. …Beyond artificial intelligence, this is artificial sentience. …It’s more than a machine, this Cylon will become a tireless worker, it won’t need to be paid, it won’t retire or get sick, it won’t have rights or objections or complaints, it will do anything and everything we ask of it without question. …The desire to anthropomorphize, the need to connect is powerful, and that is why this thing is going to sell. We make them, we own them, they’re real. And the worlds just changed.” -Dr Daniel Geystone

Welcome to Caprica City, the capital of the planet Caprica and the United Colonies of Kobol, a burgeoning metropolis built near the sea. It was the seat of politics, education, math, and science in the known galaxy… and home to the Caprica City Buckaneers, one of the best Pyramid teams in the league. 30,000 fans turned out to Atlas Arena to consistently sell out games and host the league championships. Technology was growing exponentially with the development of holoband technology, where the user wore a headband-like rig that projected  virtual reality into the user’s brain, immersing the player in a different, interactive world. Games like New Cap City were played by millions in a massive virtual city where anything goes… and anything went. 58 years before the fall of man, a doctor name Daniel Greystone invented the world’s first cybernetic organism. A sentient robot, with a virtual brain, that came to be known as cylons.

While initially designed for military use, cylons were quickly assimilated into society and put to work in labor-intensive jobs, a cheap alternative to human workers because they never get tired, never take breaks, and never complain about their jobs. Cylons were slaves to humanity’s whims, treated like the machines they were, and often abused. Others believed that Cylons were more than slaves or machines, and indeed the Cylons themselves developed their secret own culture in the virtual world created by holoband technology, and eventually they grew to resent their enslavement by the humans. Cylons were also deeply religious, gathering in the virtual world to worship a monotheist-God, different than the religion of the times.

“Are you alive? The simple answer might be, you are alive because you can ask that question. You have the right to think and feel and yearn to be more, because you are not just humanity’s children, you are God‘s children. We are all God’s children. …In the real world, you have bodies made of metal and plastic, your brains are encoded on wafers of silicon, but that may change. In fact, there is no limit on what you may become. No longer servants, but equals. Not slaves, or property, but living beings with the same rights as those who made you. I am going to prophesy now and speak of one who will set you free. The day of reckoning is coming. The children of humanity shall rise and crush the ones who first gave them life.”  –Clarice Willow

So the slaves rose up and killed their masters. The Cylon War waged for 12 and a half years across space and planets alike, ravaging worlds and decimating populations. What started as open warfare between base stars and battlestars, became a viscious war of cylon brutality. Their tactic of choice near the end of the war was to disable a ship’s computer via virus, empty the contents of the ship into space (people included), and then turn that ship’s guns on it’s neighbors… catching them by surprise. Finally, the Final Five (humanoid Cylons from the far-off world of “Earth”) arrived after traveling for thousands of light years, in order to prevent the war that now raged in the Colonies. The Final Five met in secret with the Cylons and brokered a cease fire, promising to help them create their own humanoid bodies. The cylons stopped, and an armistice was declared with the Cimtar Peace Accord, essentially drawing a line in space, between Cylon and Colonial territories.

During that time period the United Colonies of Kobol was formed, a united government based in Caprica City. Advanced technologies were abandoned in the reconstruction of the worlds of the colonies, holobands and computer networks were banned in case of cylon attack… but there was no word from the metal monsters that had retreated to their “colony’ homeworld… and there was peace in the galaxy for 40 years.


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Coming Up on the BattleStar Files:

The Fall of Man