The BattleStar Galactica Files (Ep 9) – The Hand of God

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: Spoilers! This is my attempt to sum up, review, and quantify BSG in layman’s terms]

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The Hand of God

“Sometimes you have to roll the hard six…” – Bill Adama

Craps isn’t cards. In cards, typically a player strategically bases their bets on the power of the cards in their hand, as well as on the assumed power of an opponents’ hand. In craps on the other hand, everything is based on the roll of the die. While the odds are slightly higher in the player’s favor as far as bets go, there’s no bluffing the dice. Sometimes you just have to toss ’em and pray.

As season one of Battlestar Galactica draws to a conclusion, the outlook for humanity is grim. Having nearly been erased from the galaxy during the attack on the Colonies by their Cylon creations, the few remaining survivors are on the run- desperately searching for an ancient home called “Earth.”

One of the show’s greatest strengths is its ability to convey such stark realism in a completely fantastical situation. The universe of Battlestar is dark, violent, and brutal, all depicted through the eyes of the characters it follows. As military fiction it rivals classic naval dramas such as Das Boot or Run Silent, Run Deep in the sense that it basically focuses on the inhabitants of space-faring submarines. There aren’t any windows on the Galactica.

I’m not sure exactly what makes this kind of military drama so enthralling, maybe it’s the close quarters, or the constant threat of death- even from the environment around them. Maybe it has something to do with the never-ending pursuit or the fact that at any moment an enemy ship could appear and sink our heroes (or in this case send them hurling into space), but the writers do an excellent job of translating that submerged, submarine-like claustrophobia into a science fiction setting. There’s grainy camera filters, shadow-filled sets, blood, sweat, and tears in the world of our battered human survivors. The ever-lowering number on President Laura Roslin‘s whiteboard is a brutal reminder of the fact that it’s never been so vital to just stay alive.

Technology in the world of Battlestar Galactica is based on a type of fuel called tylium ore. Tylium is a volatile substance that is mined from asteroids and then converted into an inert yellow powder which every ship in the show uses to power their Faster-Than-Light jump drives. FTL drives are their only means of staying on the run from their Cylon pursuers, otherwise they’d be stuck puttering along through space.

As episode 13 opens, the 50,000 or so humans that remain aboard the ships of the fleet have found themselves stranded with only enough fuel reserves for approximately two more jumps. Commander Adama has pilots out in droves scanning for a source of tylium (luckily one of the civilian ships is a refinery, but that’ll come in later). Aboard Colonial One, President Roslin is still reeling from her encounter with the Cylon infiltrator, Leoben, who planted the seed of doubt in her mind when he whispered “Adama is a Cylon” in her ear. With flash bulbs snapping before her at a press conference, the Prez has a vision of a dozen snakes slithering across her podium… All the while struggling to keep her cool in front of the reporters from the fleet, who are hungry for information regarding the status of the fuel reserves.

The fleet is afraid. The truth of the Cylons is out: they look like humans now… and anyone could be an imposter. What’s worse is the damage they’ve done already: sabotage, blowing up improvised explosive devices, manufacturing fear and distrust in the fleet… the usual insurgency kind of stuff. Now remember that when Battlestar aired in 2004, America- in fact the world- was caught in the grip of fear by a mysterious enemy that no one really took the time to understand. The label “Terrorist” was slapped on everything that walked, talked, or breathed wrong, and people were flooding to supermarkets to buy duct tape, bottled water, and gas masks… don’t forget the gas masks. An enemy driven by blind faith in a god that is different than the norm, who uses brutal tactics to kill civilian populations and who hides in plain sight. An enemy that we see as so different from us that we treat them like animals, like things that only think they are human, to be lined up, humiliated, beaten, and tortured. An enemy who sees the continuation of our species, and our very way of life, as a deadly threat to their own. You picking up what I’m putting down here?

After the press conference, when Roslin tells her spiritual adviser, Elosha, that she’s succumbing to hallucinations about snakes, the priestess thinks she is pulling her leg. When Elosha figures out that Roslin isn’t, she becomes very serious. She tells her of a 4,000 year old text written by a woman named Pythia about a “dying leader who had a vision of snakes numbering 10 and 2… and who lead the survivors of humanity to the promise land… Earth.”

“The next thing you’ll tell me is you’re dying right?” Elosha jokes, but Laura isn’t laughing… in fact she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer before the attack on the colonies and has been fighting it all season long. She’d originally chalked her hallucination up to side effects of the medicine she’d been taking, but suddenly President Laura Roslin realizes she is the prophesied savior of mankind. That’s gotta be heavy.

Out in space, pilots Crashdown and Boomer (who is a Cylon sleeper agent secretly fighting her true “programming”) manage to find a nearby planetoid that is rich with tylium ore… however it is crawling with Cylons, who also use tylium to power their vehicles. When they get back, the decision has to be made whether to keep looking or to attack the secluded Cylon mining operation. You already know what Adama has to say about it.

What comes next is a brilliant re-creation of the Death Star attack in Star Wars. While Starbuck is stuck in the CIC with a bum leg (plus actor Katie Sackoff’s detesting of scenes filmed in the hot, cramped quarters of the Viper starfighters), it falls on Adama’s remaining son Lee to lead the charge. Most everyone in the fleet, including Lee, wishes Starbuck was flying lead, but Adama grounds her in a brilliant “Yes, but can you use your leg while pulling 10+ gees in a Viper?” scene. Probably one of the better scenes filmed in a weight-room.

The Hand of God, or so the episode is named, refers to not just Roslin’s revelation, but to the events that are so dramatically culminating toward the end of the season… oh, and to Gaius Baltar. Dr Baltar has been enlisted by Adama to create a gene-seeking “Cylon detector,” and is also haunted by the ghost of his Cylon ex-lover, the beautiful blonde femme fatale “6.” At first he thought she was a manifestation of his own guilt for letting the Cylons into the Colonial Defense networks, however he has started to suspect that 6 is more than just a projection of his own subconscious. He spends hours talking (amongst other things) to her while working in his lab, wandering the halls, or even in mission briefings.

Gaius gets pulled into the planning of the raid when he speaks up about the volatility of tylium before it is processed into fuel, telling Apollo that their strike should concentrate on the stores of raw ore- thus blowing up the facility and not the entire rock. Standing before a projected picture of the Cylon mining plant, blindly points a finger at a random structure, “There.” At this point in the story, Gaius has asked for forgiveness from 6’s “one-God,” and now asks for his guidance… all at the prompting of his imaginary girlfriend, who is most definitely not a figment of his imagination. Whether he likes it or not, Gaius Baltar has become the instrument of god.

Back on the irradiated capital planet of Caprica, Boomer’s old co-pilot Helo was left behind after he gave up his seat for Gaius Baltar. 36 days later as the fleet battles for fuel, Helo believes the Sharon (Boomer) that’s traveling with him is the same Sharon from Galactica… but she isn’t. She is a Cylon, and while she may have all of Boomer’s memories and experiences, she is a different clone. They’ve been on the run planetside for weeks trying to avoid Cylon patrols, taking anti-radiation medicine, and fraking down by the fire. In fact, Sharon is pregnant with Helo’s child, the first human-cylon hybrid, and the Cylons are aware of their position at all times… But there’s a problem. Sharon and Helo are in love. She knows what the Cylons want with her baby, and she’s not too happy about it, so they really go on the run.

The cylons chasing them are led by what passes for a celebrity in the communal, hive-like minds of the Cylons- the one they’ve dubbed Caprica 6. She is the 6 who went undercover with Gaius Baltar and gained access to the Colonial Defenses, allowing the Cylons to kill roughly 50 billion humans in the attack. When Caprica 6 died in the nuclear holocaust she woke up on the Resurrection Ship a hero to the Cylons, but she harbors a deep secret that she must hide from her Cylon brothers and sisters.

It is this dark secret that makes her an individual in a collective society. Cylons exist in only a few different forms, however it is unknown how many copies of each there are. To them individuality is dangerous. They see it as a fault of their human creators, one that breeds hatred, violence, and death. Only a handful of Cylons- Caprica 6, Sharon (Athena), and Boomer, know the secret which their brothers and sisters do not… They know what it is to love… And this knowledge will dramatically change the path of both  species.

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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:

The Planet of the Gods


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The BattleStar Galactica Files (Ep 6) – Presidential Edition

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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“President Adar o­nce said that the interesting thing about being a president is that you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone” – President Laura Roslin


President Laura Roslin

The universe of Battlestar Galactica has many similarities to ours, the fact that it is a such a close mirror to our own, is what makes it such a brilliant show. The technology and the setting aside, it is easy to see ourselves in the characters of Galactica- even the nasty ones. From the foot-ball like game of Pyramid to the kinds of entertainment and music, even hard-drinking, fighting, and sexing-it-up, the humans of Battlestar Galactica are most definitely human… even when they’re not.

At the time of the attack, Secretary of Education Laura Roslin had just been told her breast cancer was inoperable, and that she only had a few months to live. Stunned, Roslin and her staff leave Caprica and travel to Galactica for its decommissioning ceremonies. It is on the way back that they learn of the Cylon attack, and Secretary Roslin (through the line of succession), the 43rd person in line for the office of President, is the only surviving member of the Colonial Government. Despite her hidden cancer and the news that she is going to die, Laura Roslin becomes the de-facto President of the 12 Colonies in the moments after the Cylon attack.

Swearing In

President Laura Roslin, originally a school teacher, holds a tenuous position in the office of the President, and continuously confronts opposition head-on and with nerves of steel. All the while trying to hide her secret diagnosis and seeking alternative medicines for her terminal cancer. Soon after the departure of the remaining survivors in what’s known as “the fleet,” and after Adama’s “Earth Speech,” President Roslin begins to have hallucinations she believes might be predictions.

A Kiss 4 Seasons in the Making

Prophecies written 4000 years before tell of a dying leader who will guide the survivors of humanity, a “caravan of the stars,” to the promised land. President Roslin’s disclosure of her cancer and her visions, makes her not only the symbol of leadership and hope for humanity, but a spiritual leader as well. As the Cylons and the quest for Earth drive them further and further into the unknown universe, President Roslin, Commander Adama, and their respective crews have to make decisions, enforce law, and judge actions according to the old laws of the Colonies, and the newer, more practical laws being written in the stars.

Roslin Teaching

Haunted by her past and unsure of the future, President Laura Roslin is one of the most compelling characters in contemporary fiction. Forced to deal with decisions that could very well mean the end of humanity, she has more conviction, heart, and where-with-all than most of the people that serve under her. Even in the most dire times, she has been a beacon of hope for the survival of the human species. Her series-long “romance’ with Bill Adama proves to be one of the best-written and carefully acted partnerships since Mulder and Scully. In all seriousness, Mary McDonnell’s portrayal of humanity’s last best hope for survival is reason enough to watch this show. It is also one of the few characters that I won’t trace until the end of the show, simply because I don’t want to spoil it. If you’re dying to know the rest right away, check this out. Until then, good hunting.

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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:

Lost in Space, and ADAMA

Battlestar Galactica Open Beta Goes Online- Join The Fight!

Those of us Battlestar Galactica nuts who can’t get enough of BSG since it left the air are getting a chance to join the fight against the Cylons in an epic Space Battle MMOG. Taking place right after the Battle of the Resurrection Ship in season 2, the Galactica and Pegasus are under attack from a massive Cylon fleet looking for retaliation. During the battle a strange energy signature is discovered from a nearby ancient (and destroyed) space station and before the Cylons can move in for the kill, Adama orders a red-line jump to safety. The strange energy is triggered by the FTL drives of the fleet, and causes a massive FTL overload that sends the fleet (and the pursuing Cylons) across the Universe to a strange and uncharted galaxy.

The galaxy, in fact the game, resembles X3: Universe games, with a few dozen “systems” that ships can jump to and from in order to finish the ultimate goal of the game: find enough resources to repair the fleet’s FTL drives and jump away from the Cylons, which are on the other side of the galaxy. The story is identical for those who wish to play as Cylons, however characters, ships, etc are all different. In this new galaxy, remnants of an ancient race are found with a few different kinds of ships (which are able for purchase throughout the game). Starting out in a Viper, you must complete missions, mine minerals, defeat Cylon patrols, engage in PVP combat, etc. in order to rank up. A “cubit system” is available for those who wish to purchase in-game money to use for things (apparently frowned on by the gaming community for some reason).

The craziest thing about this game, is you play it in your web-browser via UNITY Game Engine, the gameplay flows nicely, space combat is fluid and fun, and the graphics are beautifully rendered. If you’re a fan of the X3 games or any other space combat games, Battlestar Online is the game for you. Whether you feel like going head-to-head with NPC Cylon Raiders, or PVP fleet battles, or even planting a mining ship on a huge planetoid and guarding it with your life from Cylon attackers, this game (while in it’s infancy) is the most fun I’ve had outside of a PS3. It seamlessly combines the facets of a Massive Multiplayer Online Game, with the ability to head out on your own and complete individual missions for the good of the fleet.

While I’ve only made it to a “Level 11” (I’ve seen guys flying around that are level 60+ !), so far I haven’t had a chance to get bored with the game. I’ve managed to hook up with a large Flight Wing and every time I play I hook up with a squad to all share whatever resources are reaped from mining, NPC capping, or Cylon OP Popping (when a fleet jumps into a Cylon system to attack their base and destroy it). I can always tell how good a game is by how much flak I get for playing it too much, for BSG Online I’m getting level 7 (out of 10) flak from my honey… possibly level 8. 🙂

If you’re in the mood for some BSG action, space combat, or just want to see what the future of browser-based gaming looks like, Battlestar Galactica Online is the game for you! Good hunting nugget!

The BattleStar Galactica Files (Ep 4)

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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“My name is Saul Tigh. I’m an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that’s the man I want to be. And if I die today, that’s the man I’ll be.” -Saul Tigh, Executive Officer, Galactica (played by Michael Hogan)

Colonel Saul Tigh is a tall, lanky man in his mid-60s. Married to Ellen Tigh, he has been Commander William Adama‘s right hand man for over a decade. Before serving on the Galactica, he was also the XO (exec officer) of the Valkyrie, under Adama as well. Earlier in his career, during the first cylon war, Tigh served as a gunner aboard a few different Colonial fleet ships. He bore witness to the brutality of Cylon Centurion (the old, clunky robots) warfare, including their tendency toward massive tissue damage, literally plowing their way through human resistance with spinning blade hands… vivisecting as they went. In both instances he lived, only to be severely scarred from the bloody tactics of the cylons. As a result, Col Tigh struggles with alcoholism for many years.

Saul Tigh later scraped by aboard a simple commercial freighter, showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder every time he smelled grease or machine oil. He would almost vomit because it was the same as the “stink” of Centurions. He drowned his troubles in alcohol for years, struggling with his own inner demons. Roughly 20 years after the war he bumped into William Adama, who had not seen as much combat experience as Tigh himself, and they quickly became friends. Tigh and Adama remained in touch after William was recommissioned into the service, and two years later, Tigh was reinstated as a captain.

Col Tigh was standing next to Adama the minute the cylons hit the Colonies, and he’s been there ever since. When Adama was shot and almost killed, he took over the Galactica, reluctantly, and with neardisastrous consequences. Like everyone else, his estranged wife was assumed dead in the cylon attack… however when Ellen Tigh suddenly shows up with amnesia, saying she’d been on a freighter in the weeks since the attack (not knowing who she was), and when suspicion leads to her being tested by Dr. Baltar’s “cylon detector,” she comes back in the clear. Rejoicing, Ellen and Saul reunite the Tigh way… with lots and lots of booze (not to mention belligerence, violence, and all around sluttery). [MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW]

Which side are we on? We’re on the side of the demons, chief. We’re evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction wherever we go.”

Of course, none of this is realnone of this is really Saul Tigh… because not even Saul Tigh knows the extent of his own true history…

Saul, Chief Tyrol, Sam Anders, and Tory Foster all begin hearing singing coming from Galactica’s walls after the escape from New Caprica… coming to them from across the universe, and across the millennium…There must be some kind of way out of here, said the joker to the thief…” The four wander the halls and follow the music until they find each other, standing quietly in a storage locker, the damning revelation of their being the final four cylons. Unbeknownst to them, they are part the original five humanoid cylonsthe only survivors of the lost 13th tribe of Kobol– who had found Earth, only to have it destroyed by their own version of cylons thousands of years later.

The 13th tribe of man had actually been a race of humanoid cylons, created thousands of years before the exodus from Kobol by the humans and “gods” of their pre-history. So when all fled Kobol, they fled to Earth, away from their creators. They eventually fell victim to their own cylon creations, in a great war that ended their Earth… but not before leading scientist Chief Tyrol and Saul’s wife Ellen, created the ability to “respawn.” Through a practice of digital extraction, the final five cylons were beamed to a ship in orbit when their apocalypse happened. They set off across the stars at near the speed of light, in search of their human creators, hoping to warn them of the possibility of a similar catastrophic experience with cybernetic creations and artificial intelligence.

They were too late. When they arrived 2000 years later, the first cylon war was already raging out of control. They decided to contact the cylons, in hopes of convincing them to stop the carnage. They did, by promising them to show them how to make humanoid copies of themselves. Through the digital extraction process, Colonial Cylons were soon able to make 8 different types of completely human-looking models. John, the original (based after Ellen Tigh’s father, John), turned on the “original final five” who had shown them how to finally defeat the humans. John then wiped the memories of both the Tighs, Tyrol, Anders, and Foster, and banished them to live as humans… to see how violent, sick, and twisted humanity had become.

“There’s just too much confusion, I can’t get no relief…”

…And so was born Saul Tigh, third generation Colonial military man, published cylon war historian, and excellent fighter pilot. Never the wiser to his real beginnings, thousands of years away, and a hundred lifetimes ago, on the lost planet of Earth. Best friend to Bill Adama, executive officer of the Battlestar Galactic, and ferocious military leader. From the decks of the Galactica to the cylon prisons on New Caprica, Saul Tigh (also leader of the human resistance, but that’s another post), has fought, worked, sweat, and bled beside humans for as long as he can remember… and yet he has always known there is something different about him. He’s covered it up with alcohol, unable to face the underlying emotional core the new memories had been laid over.

This is where we leave him now, confused, lost in his strange memories… on the run from the cylons… in the coldness of space.

to be continued…

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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:
Galactica

The BattleStar Galactica Files (Ep 3)

BSG Sigul

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:

The BattleStar Galactica Files (Ep 2)

BSG Sigul

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


The BattleStar Galactica Files (Ep 1)

BSG Sigul

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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A History Lesson

All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.”

Pythia, oracle of Kobol

The Known Universe

The universe is very, very old. Einstein theorized that the universe as we know it, is ever-expanding from the point known as “the big bang,” until one day when it will begin to retract on itself. This process is known as “the big bounce,” and is believed to be a result of loop quantum gravity. This is as large-scale as it gets, and when you think about it, if the big bang happened, what caused it? What was here before it? The theory of the big bounce, a cyclic universe, expanding and retracting over and over throughout “time.” Scientists also theorize that the universe’s events over one cycle (cooling, forming, life evolving, humankind, and beyond…) repeat themselves each time it happens… making this the upteenth time I’ve written this post.

“The gods shall lift those who lift each other.”

Commander William Adama

Messengers 'Caprica 6' and 'Gaius Baltar'

In the beginning, there were, the messengers… unknown, sentient, and very powerful beings, the messengers are an ethereal race that have evolved beyond the constraints of the physical form… and quite possibly immortal. Their existence is not known to humans, however they have taken an interest in the plight of humanity in the universe. The messengers are the source of humans’ religion, often appearing as “angels” to people throughout history. They are able to appear directly to either one person, and therefor not visible to others, or, to multiple people at once… therefore have been regarded as agents of “God” or “the Gods.” In truth, they are beings that exist beyond time, beyond our conception of “reality.” It is believed that they are, in fact, agents of a higher power who does not care if it is called “God.”

“Life here, began out there…”

-the first words of the Sacred Scrolls

Human life evolved naturally on the planet Kobol. As on real Earth, on Kobol, the origins of human life, as it is known in BSG, are traced back to this lone planet. Thousands of years ago humans thrived on Kobol, progressing on a timeline much like our modern Earth is today. They developed religion, based on the stars and the constellations, which are identical to the Greek Gods. Known as the Lords of Kobol, the “gods” live amongst the rest of humanity on Kobol in “paradise.” This ancient history is the source of the Sacred Scrolls, the “bible” of BSG. They are a collection of writings that form a polytheistic faith that resembles the Greek gods. The scrolls tell much of the alleged history of humanity, including life on Kobol (before the great exodus) and the legend of Earth.

Kobol

Many different versions of the great exodus from Kobol exist, but they all support the facts that Kobol became uninhabitable to humans for one reason or another. Whether because of natural disaster, or due to the consequences of the humans’ technological advances and exploitation of the planet’s resources, thirteen tribes of humans left the planet and set out for a distant star. 12 of the tribes colonized “The Twelve Colonies of Kobol,” found in the star system Cyrannus, some 2,000 light years from Kobol. Cyrannus is a massive system comprised of four stars (Helios Alpha, Helios Beta, Helios Gamma, and Helios Delta), each star orbited by its own planets and bodies.

“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 Greystone, inventor of the first cylons.

Cylon Garbage Collector

2,000 years later, the 12 Colonies have grown from scattered remnants of a forgotten planet into a united system (population around 20 billion people), with one government called the United Colonies of Kobol. The planets settled have names based on their gods: Caprica, Gemenon(two very close planets that share an orbit), Sagittaron, Aerilon, Aquaria, Canceron, Leonis, Libran, Picon, Scorpia, Tauron, and Virgon.

Caprica City is the capital of the known universe, and the 12 Colonies are a thriving civilization with advances in space travel, robotics, and cloning. Eventually the race for better computers and cybernetics leads to the invention of sentient cybernetic organisms, or cylons. Cylons are large, bulky robots that are quickly adopted into Caprican society, and in the rest of the colonies. They are used as slave labor, and no regard is taken for their wants, desires, or needs- because they are “just machines...”

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Coming Up on the BattleStar Files:

The Cylon Revolution