Don't keep secrets when "It's the Characters, Stupid"

Moore famously declared, when composing the end of the BSG story, that “It’s the Characters, Stupid.” He wanted to focus on what happened to the characters and their story, and the plot and mysteries took second place.

I can understand that philosophy in writing. However, I do believe that if this was truly the case, the right thing to do is not create giant mysteries for the audience.

Some of the best stories out there have revealed their ending early on. (Some are even non-fiction so you know the ending in advance anyway.) With the ending known, the story becomes about how we got there, rather than wondering where we are going. As such the story moves its focus to characters and away from big mysteries.

If this story was to be about how Hera became mitochondrial Eve (and in the end, that was the root of all the elements of the closing) then the best thing to do would have been to reveal that right up front. Play out that scene in New York with Ron Moore getting the inspiration for the story early on. Show the ancient Earth as being out there. (They did show us Earth at the end of season 3, but it was modern Earth due to poor communication with the graphics dept.)

Or, if you want to have the shock of finding ruined 13th colony Earth, reveal the truth after that.

The show had lots of big mysteries. Many people enjoyed it for these mysteries, but if the show is really about the characters, the mysteries were a mistake. And we still would have puzzled over them. Fans would have spent hours discussing just how they get to Earth, and just why there is no record of them, and how they could possibly have interbred and other things. While watching the characters have their journey.

It becomes clear that the whole ending is just there for the Eve plot. All the controversial parts of the ending, the ones that make no sense, are driven by it.

  • We currently date Mitochondrial Eve at 150,000 years ago. So that is when they arrive. 50,000 years ago (Great Leap Forward) makes far more sense otherwise.
  • For this to be true, they have to have been able to interbreed with the natives. And so the ridiculous ability to do so, explained as a miracle from god.
  • To have no record of their arrival they have to have discarded all their technology and ships. I haven’t read any critic who thinks this story was credible.
  • To have no record of their culture, it also had to vanish, which means they mostly got wiped out.

All these things that we fans have complained about are driven by this one cute little trick, “Hera is a sort of Eve.” Sadly, alien Eve is one of the more clichéd story lines of golden age SF. Editors even got tired of it. Moore gave it a twist, the synthetic (God and Kobolians together) Eve arriving and breeding with the natives, but it’s still a pretty poor, and unoriginal plot twist. It doesn’t justify having to tear apart so much that was good in the show.

A lot of fans are not understanding mitochondrial Eve very well either. Here is an article about her, and here is a later post on this blog about Mitochondrial Eve.

Mitochondrial Eve

Brad: I posted this before on your other strand regarding Grazier's comments and the Tomb of Athena.
Sorry for posting it again here to you and readers who saw it already: it just seemed relevant to what you wrote about Mitochondrial Eve and I thought it fit here too, and thought readers might be moving into the new topics very quickly:

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I believe the bogus science (or non-science) explaining modern human origins derives from a literary failing as well as it just being wrong science. So to those who are saying "well, it's science fiction so it doesn't have to be true to science", I'm going to argue that it's not only not true to science - it's not true to the whole storyline of BSG as a whole, as it preceded the finale.

I can't read Ronald Moore's mind, but I am speculating (why not?) that he became wedded, for whatever reason, to making the point that Hera is not just the mother of a future humanity, but the mother of present humanity. My view is that his insistence on maintaining this in the plot blocked what the story itself was calling for. By doing that, one ends up with inconsistencies in the story - like how did the Earth visible constellations get to the tomb of Athena - and the contrived divine interventions at the end, just to be able make the final point about Hera being our "mother". It forces the non-scientific presentation of human origins into the story: that we (modern humans) are the descendants of human aliens from Kobol, Cylons, and primitive humans.

It forces the colonials to dump all of their technology, so as to "fit" the BSG story of human origins into what we know today. The ending says, well, we integrated human and machine in a positive way (Hera) at incredible cost, but the best thing to do now is to just forget about all that and then, hopefully, everything will turn out OK. I think BSG has been a much better show than that: the whole BSG story is a story of redemption based on the union of human and machine, as symbolized by the Hera story (or at least the possibility of redemption). That's powerful stuff that just gets ejected in the ending, by having the major characters essentially say, let's forget the "true" history (true from the perspective of the story as told; false from the perspective of what we know about human evolution) of human origins, and let later humans figure it out all over again, maybe. What good redemption story does that? It fails scientifically, but also from a literary point of view, because the ending thematically undermines the story up to that point.

The plotline where the Earth constellations are seen from the tomb of Athena clearly indicate the story is saying, someone from Earth - our Earth, our future - came to Kobol and created this. The fact that the science advisor to the show, Grazier, acknowledges a problem with it given how the story developed, is relevant.

If you read things that writers say about their creative process, it's not uncommon for them to say that, as the writing unfolds, their characters' true natures inform the author of where the story should go. This is often different from what the initial conception might have been. And a good writer will listen to what his or her characters are saying. Even Moore has spoken of this sort of process multiple times. I believe that the Earth constellations at the tomb of Athena is an example of a story so well conceived, that even if Moore didn't have the ending worked out at the time this was written, the story itself was pointing in the direction that the Kobolian humans had origins on our Earth, in our Earth future.

By forcing Hera to be the "mother" of present humanity, the structural bounds and consistency of the story that enable its aesthetic meaning are therefore broken. This was not necessary from the story itself unless you really feel that the meaning of the story is bound up in Hera being our "mother"

So in contrast to what Moore himself has said - that the ending was all about characters and not plot - I think it's possible he messed up the ending for what was basically a plot point: that Hera is the mother of present humanity. Maybe he didn't view it as a plot point; maybe he thought the message and meaning of his creation are all contained in that ending. But I don't agree with that. I pointed out earlier the structural inconsistencies in the ending that derive from the story itself, to indicate that this ending doesn't really make sense based on the story alone.

I think a story where Hera is the mother of a future humanity, where human and technology are integrated and reconciled in a spiritual-religious context, is pretty powerful, more powerful than Hera as the "mother" of us, in the present. The future can still be left open, maybe the integrated humans and machines are susceptible to more cycles of war; but at least redemption is a possibility, and this is absolutely consistent with the symbolism of Hera.

Excellent Comment

A very insightful analysis I think :)

However, "Future BSG" has one serious problem-

Inherent in the setup. If they are in our future, how do you plausibly explain their following ancient pagan religion? I say this acknowledging that Moore didn't solve this with his past scenario either, since it's inconceivable that their names and beliefs would have survived 140,000 years of the Old Stone Age then just pop up in Greece.

I can think of some scenario involving something like: our Earth has a giant nuclear war leading survivors to abandon it and colonise Kobol. Maybe it was between major world religions and the survivors rejected them and latched onto paganism. But that's kinda cheesy. The problem is trying to come up with a story that wouldn't have made us all groan :)

Pagan religious roots on Kobol

I think it's conceivable that the specific history and holy books of the Earth religion(s) never make it to Kobol, but the vestiges of the culture which reference them do, in various form - various books, rituals, and images, etc. This kind of thing happened in the western monotheistic religions as we know them in our world. Christianity, as an example, has absorbed pre-Christian, non-Judeo-Christian holidays into it. Dec. 25th as the birth of Jesus, for example, came by absorbing winter solstice festivals into the religion and giving them a new meaning in the context of the Christian religion.

The symbols of the Earth sky - the constellations from home - would be a key symbol space-bound humans would want to hold onto when they leave Earth, either as an important cultural memory, or because they might see them as a way back home for them, or future generations. It is then conceivable that those symbols, along with various vestiges of Earth culture, could be transformed into a new "religion of the gods" on Kobol. Note that the religion of the gods on Kobol is not the same religion as that of the ancient Greeks - they just share some similarities.

Following on from that...

...you could construct a scenario in which a colonising expedition is sent from Earth in 12 ships, or as 12 organisational groups. The space agency named the ships after the zodiacal constellations- not at all unlikely, think of the Ares launch system etc for instance. We love naming things to do with space mythologically.

12 initial "seed" settlements were started on Kobol, taking the names of the ships/ship groups and their identifying symbols, which again out of cuteness were patterned after the zodiacal constellations. (i.e. a crewman/colonist from colony ship/group Aquarius had a mission patch with the main stars of Aquarius as a symbol).

Then we have your usual fall from technology darkish age blah de blah, and the 12 colony groups become 12 tribes/nations named after the Earth zodiac, but not realising it.

That doesn't explain the use of mythological God names as well, but I'm sure that could be worked in somehow. Codenames for command structures or ships? "Colony Ship Pisces calling Command Ship Jupiter..."

I quite like this idea actually. Wish I'd thought of it a few years ago. Heh.

Where would this put "our" Battlestar Galactica? Perhaps 6000 years or so in the future (4000 years since the exodus of the 13th Tribe, so maybe 2000 years breathing room on Kobol before that for colonisation, fall, return to advanced society and development of AI).

That one is easy

These Kobolian gods, or whoever set up Kobol society, were super-powerful AIs (Cylons) who set themselves up as gods. They redesigned the “humans” and told them that they were their gods. They borrowed from mythology to give themselves names and roles.

A bit of megalomania, to be sure.

The idea that the Greek gods came from colonials is, as you say, the one that’s silly, because our historians have traced the history of the greek gods. They started off as simpler gods with older names, and eventually “evolved” into the Greek and later Roman pantheon.

They did not “spring fully formed” from the head of the last remants of colonial legends.

The truth is that without writing (and they had no writing) they could never have retained their legends of the lords of Kobol intact. If our legends came from theirs, they would be completely distorted and changed by the time they made it to Greece. It is only in the other way, in a society with writing, where you can have the same legends be re-used.

Super powerful beings set

Super powerful beings set themselves up as gods? Gee, never heard that one before. You criticize Moore for going the cliche "Alien Eve" route, and here you are ripping off aspects of Stargate.

This idea is hardly original

This idea is hardly original to "Stargate."

NAAAAAA, Really? It was an

NAAAAAA, Really? It was an example.

RDM said in his podcast that

RDM said in his podcast that what wasn't passed down to us in the literal sense was passed down in the collective unconscious, or racial memory, as I thought of it. When I realized the show is set in the past- which I did a long time ago.

Hera's Cylon DNA and the projection ability may be the reason behind it, if you want to find one.

Time cycle

I feel like there is more to the story here and this was by no means "the end". Please consider the following.

Maybe the coordinates that Starbuck input sent them back in time, to repeat a cycle. Each time the cycle is reset, the mix is a bit different. This time it's human/cylon. The cycle will repeat perpetually until a civilization develops which will not self destruct. The 'angels' or Gaius/Six somehow oversee this process.

Just a thought.

No

No

East.

Much as I appreciate your ideas on where the show should have gone, and much as I have concerns about the ending -- a global Morgenthau Plan, really? --, I think you underestimate how Eastern this show is. (As evidenced in the music ... Gayatri!)

But if this is an Eastern show, then the eschatology will be about eternal recurrence and the necessity to break it, and maybe about destinies people have in the world, and so on. An end of history in the sense you imagine it (along the lines of Walter Benjamin, say) is just not in the cards ...

I think it fails on many levels

I can't help but feel that Hera/mtEve is a damp squib, because there's no indication of what adding her DNA into the human gene pool achieved. If we accept that the natives aren't quite human yet, it's still hard to see why they couldn't have evolved the last .1% on their own. What did adding Hera's DNA into the mix actually do?

If they'd arrived at the Great Leap Forward, or at the dawn of civilsation/agriculture, that would have left a different unpleasant taste IMV, as then you're left with humans having evolved all the way then needing "outside help"- the Von Daniken thing of the natives being too stupid to do it on their own.

But anyway, on the main point I don't think a non-mystery BSG would have worked. Let's be honest here, most of us were watching by the end to see how it all turned out and to get answers (which ended up disappointingly as GOD DID IT). Character is important in a story, but if a story is only about characters it tends to be soap or melodrama. It's hard to make an entire series-as-prequel work (though this can work in an individual episode) as people won't maintain interest. We tend to want to find out what happened at the end, at the end of a story, which is why people hate spoilers.

And I think ultimately, if somebody wants to tell a story without a mystery ending, well, BSG with its implicit "finding Earth" hook, isn't the right story with which to do it.

Finally, back with Hera, I got quite the opposite vibe from the one I think the writers expected me to get. That her bones were of a "young woman" only confirmed that her life was indeed "nasty, brutish and short".

It was there

What did adding Hera's DNA into the mix actually do?

HAHA! The one thing Michael Hall got right. It was a throwaway line that had the answer from the beginning. Hera has a blood type that isn't strange on our Earth, but Colonial humans had never seen it. It is why they were going to abort her at first. The threat was the blood type that creates us. So what did she give us? Our blood.

Can I kill the italics with a tag?

WOW!

Just wanted to add that there is some great analysis on this page.

Best I've read, actually about the finale.

I agree with all of it btw.

I can forgive a lot of things with respects to how a series plays out but it needs to be consistent. It needs to at least make some
sort of sense with what happened before. The finale threw all that in the air. "God did it" isn't an answer. It's a non answer. Just like
"because" or "I say so". Throwing away technology, Bill living out the rest of his life isolated when he still has a son and best friend, Kara going "poof" and being a tangible "angel". yada yada.

Yes. And also:

Don't keep secrets when "It's the Characters, Stupid"

And, don't let slavish adherence to a specific plot destination destroy the plausibility of your story when "It's the Characters, Stupid."

Saw This Coming

After the Gaeta mutiny, this show was in a tailspin. So many said, "don't judge it until you see the rest of the show," while many of us were screaming, "this is filler" and "where are the answers?!"

The bottom line was, they thought they were done due to the writer's strike and would end in the bombed out "earth." They got a second chance at the ending and blew it. What a disappointment.

Passing Judgement

and now that i've seen it, I judge it a disappointment. I stand by my decision to reserve judgement, and will always take this position when I can in any aspect of my life. It is the only logical path to follow. Had the ending been good, the shoe would be on the other foot.

Hera as our "mother" was a gimmick

My guess is that RDM threw in the Hera connection to "us" as a sop to the fans who, all along, were clamoring and searching and trying to discern whether the fictional BSG universe was part of "our" history, past or possibly in the future.

The whole "Hera is important" notion that suffuses the last half season was quite arbitrary in my view. They never say why. None of the characters (other than her parents) ever explore the "why" part. Turning Hera into mitochondrial Eve while, at the same time, giving a concrete answer about theorized tie-ins with our present situation was probably seen as the lesser of 2 evils. Or 3. Or more. RDM didn't ever have a good grasp of how he wanted to wrap the whole thing up.

I enjoyed the scenes of Adama and Roslin smoking weed. I think we have that activity to thank for the clusterfrak and mishmash storylines at the end.

Shaggy's picture

revelation

i had a revelation about FTL jumping.
Because we are dealing with "reality" sci fi, all coordinates and mapping would be relativistic.
So kara(and Galactica) had to be in the spot they were in to make those numbers that were punched in to take them to Fake Earth. Pumping them in anywhere dramatically different would of taken them to a different spot in the galaxy. And i think without the cylon FTL they would never of made it.

Bandwidth Overload

We're so deep into suckage I really don't care anymore.

BTW. Anyone noice Tyrol giving it the AC123 whatever bandwidth overload comment? If I'm supposed to be laughing myself silly at the "nod" towards "geekdoom" I'm not very impressed.

I have this theory their FTL drive was powered by Disco Lee twirling his coat and Adama wall sliding.

I thought it was powered by

I thought it was powered by stupid comments on message boards.

wow

Owned himself and the previous poster all at once? Is that the suicide bombing of insults?

The ending failed

I was disappointed with the ending. It failed on many levels. Notably as pointed out, how does Greek mythology make it 149000 years? What no predators on the Tanzanian plain? Herds of animals that large ALWAYS have predators hanging out so how the heck do the colonials just wander about without ending up a tasty snack. 150000 years ago? Weren't we in an ice age or something around that time?
Wasn't the Sahara green? Hell it would have worked better if they landed on some island in the atlantic, laid the foundation for a city and called it Atlantis! It just seems to me the writers got lazy in the end.

actually if they wanted them

actually if they wanted them introduced when hominids started looking like us, but early enough to integrate their blood into the pool to progress past neanderthals, the timeline works. Of course, why bring facts to the argument?

RDM's podcast finale is up

In it he says he never considered having the show in the future.

All of this has happened before

Yes, I know that Ron Moore promised no time travel - but time travel effected by a singularity and FTL technology is just as reasonable a "science" based answer to what happened as anything else proposed here. Indeed, if all of this has happened before, and all will happen again, perhaps what we have here is a circle of time where the ending is the beginning is the ending. Kobolians did come from Earth, in our future, and the Galactica returned to Earth in our past. And it all happens again.

And while all of the questions weren't answered, I propose that BSG's initial question - does humanity deserve to survive - was answered and that answer is us.

I say this, having really enjoyed Brad's Ideas for quite some time, but knew he was setting himself up for disappointment with his overwhelming desire that this be "hard" sci-fi. No, it was "naturalistic" - no bumpy-forehead aliens, no laser beams, an attempt at a consideration of physics - sci-fi which he always acknowledged was a story about people - about us, figuratively - and just happened to be set in space. I'm fine with that.

Just remember people. It's not a documentary.

Okay

If Galactica "\time-traveled because they used their FTL by a singularity, how do you explain the rest of the fleet joining up with them later? Thanks for the effort, scooter.

how about the podcast

how about the podcast clearly explains everything and there was no time travel

Not time travel

Not time travel so much as a circle of time. Why not? The story is about the characters and about humanity (as is all good sci-fi). Getting hung up on this technology or that plot point misses the point. Was humanity worthy of survival?

No idea. Pass the salt,

No idea. Pass the salt, please.

Lost Opportunity

I'll throw myself in with the other 'disappointed'. What bothered me the most was the stunning lack of imagination. In the same amount of time and budget, committed back-story and possible future-story the whole episode could have resolved some of the central mysteries, held on to the Hera plot hook and set up a follow-on on story in the future perhaps uniting the human and cylon elements in a quest to understand their origins - answer the big questions. But no.

Instead we get an ending where the human/cylon group just gives up and commits racial suicide in slow motion. The will to live apparently drained from them so they live out their last days which would have been Hobbsian as they are fully ill-equipped to survive on a wild world such as earth 150,000 years ago.

The Hera/Eve hook falls short as well. Who today would think that passing on a few genes would be satisfactory if all the collective value of your civilization would soon be lost? Especially if those genes that had cost oh-so-much to deliver turn out to be no better than our current lot. This led me to the idea that the genes themselves other than providing perhaps vessel for basic intelligence are nothing special; that it is the civilization i.e the 'programming' that is the essential value, and that after fighting so hard to improve the core of their civilization, the hard fought for enlightenment of the survivors - that which was truly valuable - was given up, they role over and die. Are these characters we can or even want to get behind?

So why is the 'cycle reset' the genocide or suicide of the race? Is this some punishment for sins? Even after learning the hard lessons, no forgiveness? This group isn't allowed a 'pass' to develop as a peaceable civilization that can perhaps move onto the next level? Rather this version of the 'experiment' is terminated like bacteria in a Petri dish? Kind of a 'HitchHikers' view of things, just keep running the experiment to see what happens. One of these times they don't 'play god' or they get the singularity right and win a pass to the next round. Oh please.

The idea that 'god did it' is also a bit ludicrous. This shows a level of contempt of the characters and the viewers. This is where I think the ending especially let the viewers and the characters down. Certainly some more could have been revealed to the characters to give them meaning - this is why you went through what you just went through, these are the consequences of certain decisions you've made, here's a bit of reality you didn't understand before. And, more could have been given to the viewers. Here's at least a hint of who we (god) are and our origins, and oh by the way, here's what's behind curtain number 3 for the rag tag group of survivors. I mean dudes, didn't you study Greek theater? Don't you understand the essential concept of deus ex machina? Lost opportunity.

BSG finale

Looking for others out here just as unhappy with the entire mess that was season 4.0 and 4.5, as well as the finale, I stumbled across this blog. On reading the comments, I see that I am not alone. One thought, perhaps the Earth constellations appear in the Temple of Athena because dog, er., god put them there...ok, I jest...

In the temple, when the arrow is put on the statue, the entire temple interior changed into a grassy field where the 12 constellations were easily visible. One burning question, where was that holographic kind of technology on Galactica or anywhere in the fleet??? And, if that kind of technology, after thousands of years was still on the planet, why not start knocking down some walls and see what else is there?

Maybe what Hera brought to the "human" gene pool was a genetic trait obviously missing from the "humans" of the 12 colonies - the ability to be curious about life.

PS - the fight scenes were great, the flashbacks with Laura in a nighty, Adama taking a polygraph, etc., were useless. Give me Asimov any day. Oh, and after 150,000 years, where is Adama's gold ring he put on Laura - since gold does not rust or degrade? Or their bullets, or axes, or any glass they brought down? It would have been much more interesting for Moore's paper headline to read "African settlement had glass beakers 150,000 years ago" or maybe "Unknown metals and structures found on African grave site, bones appear to have been made of some unknown metal" or something equally dramatic...

Or not...

People taking words out of context makes me laugh. Have fun listening to the podcast where you find out Hera was M-Eve since her character was conceived and even in season 1 our Earth was the future. Can't wait to see your reaction to what, "It's the characters stupid," was actually about, and how it had nothing to do with the plot, but the flashbacks and how the final episode was "structured".

And the truth about assumptions rings true again.

Thanks for these blogs

Brad I just wanted to say I stumbled across your blog analyzing the BSG series and I'm glad I found it. I share most if not all of the frustrations you have with the series and you've made all of your points very well. I'd never thought I'd see a *literal* Deus Ex Machina plot device used in a TV show. And you're right, if it was just about the characters, there should not have been any mysteries to mislead us into thinking the plots were of any importance. I don't buy that excuse, and it sounds like Ron Moore was simply rationalizing to himself for not knowing how to get out of the corner he wrote himself into.

it sounds like Ron Moore was

it sounds like Ron Moore was simply rationalizing to himself for not knowing how to get out of the corner he wrote himself into.

Except it isn't true. God, Kara the agent of the diving and Hera as M-Eve will be revealed as the end of the series since they began talking about it late in season 3. Moore says so in the podcast for Daybreak and he has said he plans on releasing the writer's retreat tapes (which will prove it), so he isn't lying, or rationalizing, you just never got it.

yeah and i love how the

yeah and i love how the opera house visions were built up so heavily since season 1 just to have it be them grabbing hera in a hallway in a spaceship to bring her into cic for her to play a non-pivotal role as hostage who didn't affect the outcome in anyway whatsoever.

Never got what? I know

Never got what? I know perfectly well Kara was supposed to be an Angel, but that is the weakest explanation I think one can possibly imagine. Let's look at the 'rationalization' of Kara's character:

1) She says she has a destiny, because she has visions of what she originally didn't understand was a gas giant, she flies into this gas giant and commits suicide.

2) She appears again after dying with an identical raptor.

3) She knows the way to Earth. The raptor points the way to Earth (turns out it's a nuked out Earth)

4) She finds her body on Cylon-Earth and damaged raptor, presumably this corpse and wrecked ship was from the gas giant. But no way to explain how it got there or why God would intend for it to be there and for her and Leoben to discover it.

5)She has a song in her consciousness that is code for jump coordinates to the second Earth.

6) After been resurrected, she then disappears into thin air.

Now does that not all sound completely ridiculous to you? Considering so many other events in the show had a rational explanation (The origin of the final five, how they got to the colonies etc.) injecting at whim these non-sensical mysterious god explanations cheapens the whole experience. I get that she's an angel, but it's absolutely ridiculous. The series of events that took place did not have any coherence to them, the end goal could have been accomplished by an omnipotent god in an infinite amount of combination of events. Why not have Kara not think she has a destiny and not kill herself? Have one of the final five figure out All Along the Watchtower is code for jump coordinates to Earth 2? This explanation is just as meaningless as the one that was actually used, why? Because god is a lazy, unthinking explanation for what is seemingly bizarre, inexplicable behavior. God is never a rational explanation because it begets more questions, who is god and why is he doing these bizarre things? Once you bring the Deus Ex Machina explanation for a series of plot threads, it shows the whole meaning for these events were just completely arbitrary and meaningless. For it to have meaning, we'd have to understand why God chose this particular course of action over another. It implies that choices don't matter to the characters, and that the characters are just thoughtless animals leaving themselves to be herded around by an unknown, unseen "god".

The whole "God" thing can be

The whole "God" thing can be a mechanism to get peoples attention and keep them distracted while you suck them dry of loot. In what way is Battlescam Galactica any different from some talk big no delivery priest living in a big house and driving around in a flash motor? People may not intend that but ability and reality can produce a disappointing outcome.

Technology, time, and place are merely distractions. One can have an armful of Phd's and ride high in the ratings but it doesn't mean anything. It's just so many claims and posturings: people can get confused by their own cleverness and popularity, lose the plot, and wind up in a bad place or raped in the ass. In that respect it's ironic that BSG has found itself skewered on its own message.

Self-enlightenment is a big thing in Zen.

A Deus ex Machina ending is

A Deus ex Machina ending is a Deus ex Machina ending, regardless of how far in advance it was planned.

I think there's a way for this all to come together sensibly!

I hate the idea that "God did it' - but I think there's a way out that can rescue (almost) all of the plot's scientific mistakes and be consistent with a more SCI-FI than religious interpretation.

The clue we can use for this purpose is the 'Angel' Gaius' comment in the last scene that 'It hates being called God'. Let's take this to mean that the 'God' of the story is not an omniscient being but an advanced intelligence, be it biological or mechanical. Perhaps It is the culmination of the work of an ancient race; in any case, It's not 'God' but It merely allows the characters in the story to call it God for the sake of convenience.

Let's imagine that this Being has an interest in the development of civilisation in the universe. We can imagine that it has fostered many races in many galaxies. Some four million years ago it noticed the emergence of intelligent hominids on Earth (OUR Earth) and decided to 'abduct' a small group (with mixed racial characteristics) for ‘foster care’ on several other worlds throughout the galaxy. That way the Being could learn about the nature of humans and figure out how to guide us in the best way to becoming an advanced, peaceful civilisation – It needs to work this out, because every intelligent race in the universe would be likely to be vastly different from each other, so the same rules would not apply for assisting in the development of all civilisations. The Being also wants to limit Its own interference to the role of a Guide - for it is morally wrong to subject an intelligent race to Its own will. That's why It doesn't directly interfere on Earth itself. Take note that It also 'abducts' a small selection of animals observed to be useful to humanity or for domestication - cats, dogs, pigeons, insects etc.

So the Being teaches and instructs the first 'abducted' groups of humans - and uncovers our creativity and passions, as well as our cruelties and faults. It also discovers that inevitably, at some technologically advanced point in our civilisation, humanity discovers the secrets of AI and - in our dumb human way - our first thought is to enslave our creations to our own purposes. Not only is this tendency an intergalactic no-no (you don't enslave anything intelligent), it also inevitably gives rise to bloody revolution on the part of the AI - the Cylons - and war between man and machine. Nuclear holocaust is therefore inevitable too - and the Being must have seen this cycle happen time and time again in the course of its project. A few million years into Its program and It theorises that the only way forward is to interbreed humanity - resourceful, bad-tempered, headstrong human beings - with humanity's cool, calculating and emotionally naive creations, the Cylons.

This is after the Kobol colony - with which it intervened directly (where Gods and Man lived alongside each other) failed spectacularly despite being a short-lived settlement (no widespread ruins of cities; in fact Kobol seems to have been colonised very lightly and is therefore certainly not a candidate for an evolutionary starting point for a branch of the human race).

So the Being intervenes on Kobol before the planet’s complete nuclear destruction by sending out the 12 colonies (under the Zodiac banners of their original homeworld, our prehistoric Earth) and sending the Cylons in turn to a 13th planet which would be called Earth (the first planet to actually bear this name). This forced separation also gives the Being the chance to see if the Cylons will do OK on their own when allowed to flourish as an independent civilisation without their human creators. Sadly, no - the Cylons repeat the cycle and make their own AI slaves, resulting in holocaust.

Resurrection technology is able to save the Final Five, but the downside is that within range of resurrection devices, Cylon males are rendered sterile. This is something not immediately obvious to the Cylons. When the Final Five reach the colonies, just in time for the first Cylon war, they help the Colonial Cylons develop humanoid bodies and resurrection at the same time - and when these 7 Cylon models of our story discover they too are sterile, they incorrectly presume it is because they are unable to experience true human 'love'. Only interbreeding with a male human (unable to resurrect and therefore devoid of the harmful chemical substances necessary to allow resurrection in Cylons) can result in pregnancy. Simon's interbreeding experiments on Caprica were unsuccessful because he was trying to impregnate human females with sterile Cylon male sperm. Incidentally, Tigh manages to father a child with Caprica Six as a result of spending some time on Galactica when it was out of range of the resurrection ship, thus restoring his potency. The foetus's death was a result of stress brought on by the return of Ellen.

Anyway, Cavill rebels, gains control of the resurrection technology and the Final Five, and manages to reprogram the other Cylons, raiders and centurions. He orchestrates a holocaust on the colonies. Fortunately the Being has anticipated this possibility and has already arranged things so that a single hybrid - Hera - will be able to escape along with a smattering of humanity and humanoid Cylons. Along the way as we follow their journey, we certainly note that humanity is rash and petty even in small numbers, that political scheming is rife even while on the run from an enemy, that pure humans have unbelievably short memories and act in thoroughly illogical ways. The Cylons, by contrast, are emotionally like children: observe Galen's petty short fuse, Tigh’s alcohol dependency, Six's lasciviousness and Eight's covetousness and teenage-like manipulative behaviour to charm what she wants. It's just further proof that in order for either race to become a fine civilisation, the Cylons and the Humans have to merge.

Why doesn't the Being just prevent all the wars and killing? Well, that’s not part of what the Being is there for. It's not a benevolent God, Its only interest is in the flourishing of our species. This is certainly not a new concept in Science Fiction. It has already concluded that humanity's inevitable destiny is self-destruction by war with AI Cylon creations. Our best shot at survival is interbreeding. It's time at last for the Being to return Its attention to Earth, and deliver the result of its project with the abducted humans - Hera, along with an assortment of cohabiting Humans and Cylons dispersed across the Earth to ensure a good genetic melting pot.

Just remember that Gaius's assertion that the Colonial humans' ability to interbreed with the native humans of Earth (who have not changed much in these 4,000,000 years) is the divine will of God is JUST HIS OPINION - and he is now a religious leader after all. The Scientist in him - and in us - should be enough to inform him (and us) that Earth is obviously the origin of all humans, and that the Being has been involved in Human affairs for a long, long time.

So what happens next? It's not necessary to assert that the Colonial settlements around the world all fail just because we have no record of them in human history. They probably do interbreed with the natives, and over the generations the traces of Colonial life disappears, probably with the help of the Being, whose whole project has been to assist with the natural development of humanity, not to equip it with cultural advances. To allow modern civilisation to be unleashed on the origin planet, Earth, would be against Its principles.

After the life spans of the fleet personnel, the Being would gradually discourage the passing down of the cultural technologies of the Colonies, originally bestowed by Itself to the abducted groups anyway. It wants humanity to make its own cultural discoveries, and the result of its project has been the introduction to the human gene pool of Cylon DNA, which serves to improve the rationality and cultural stability of the human species. It's important that Cylons have been invented by humans and not by Itself, further allowing humanity to be responsible for its own destiny despite the influence of the Being.

Humans are naturally religious – the natives that the Colonials discover on Earth already practice burial of the dead. The Being doesn’t approve (It hates being called God) but recognises this is a useful and admirable natural tendency in humans: to look for greater truth and deeper meanings. Not on the Being’s agenda to argue with religiosity.

One of the overriding moral points of the show is that it's wrong to enslave other intelligent creatures or bend other intelligences to your own will, even when you are the creator and master of that species. This moral point is thoroughly consistent with my proposed 'Being' solution to all the problems brought on by the show's seemingly religious ending.

One final point - Starbuck. An Angel - a servant of the Being and of a similar nature - necessarily inserted into the action in order to safeguard the Being's interests just in case things didn't go according to plan (and when Cavill rebelled, they certainly didn't, requiring the 'activation' of the role of Starbuck). For reasons of non-intervention, Starbuck has to become human, or at least experience humanity as thoroughly as possible. At the right time, Starbuck's physical body has to die, so that she can be reassembled and play a more explicit role, and be withdrawn at the end of her journey.

As an Angel who has lived as a human, Starbuck probably has a great fondness for the Caprican culture she was brought up in. Even though it was the insistence of the Being that the writing, language and technology of the Colonial civilisation had to die out after their reinsertion amongst the human race on Earth, we can imagine that Starbuck ensured that the religion and written script of the Colonies be allowed to re-emerge in Classical Greece and Rome, and that the language of the colonies be allowed to re-emerge in Mediaeval England. Perhaps for sentimental reasons, if nothing more. She may have appeared on Earth at various points in history to teach these stories, but certainly only at times appropriate in humanity’s own cultural evolution and no earlier. That way the insertions of long-lost Colonial culture cannot pre-empt natural human cultural development on Earth.

Admittedly, this solution doesn't resolve the problem of the time-discrepancy with the exodus of the colonies from Kobol and the destruction of the Cylon civilisation on the 13th Tribe's Earth - I don't think anything can (maybe, at a stretch, time dilation caused by sublight drives of the Kobol Cylons?) and otherwise has to be left as a mistake. Everything else can be made to fit without contradicting the events of the show!

Let me know what you think.

I like your theory!

I’ve been thinking along the same lines as you describe and I prefer it. I doubt RDM and Co ever intended this to be the story though. They left it all pretty open for interpretation so I say your ideas are as good as anyone’s.

Great minds think alike

Very clever. I like it.

[Posted in reply to Mishen's "I think there's a way for this all to come together sensibly!" above, but I forgot to nest it]

Just had time for a cursory read, but this is very creative, especially the idea of a recurrently interventionist, sentimental Starbuck-angel responsible for the eventual re-creation of Colonial culture. Though fantastical, at least that idea doesn't fly in the face of everything we actually know about DNA, as the irredeemably goofy "seeds of culture handed down in the collective unconscious" idea does.

And at first glance, I find the narrative rather satisfying, too. Of course it involves lots of machinations behind the scenes, but why the heck not? The show's "God did it" ending of necessity explains nothing, which opens the door to all kinds of things. Might as well be something along the lines of what you propose.

BTW, Brad and others proposed an abduction theory as a possible solution in previous post-finale posts, although your outline is certainly the most robust attempt to find -- to quote Watchtower -- "some way out of here."

Mishen is obviously a very

Mishen is obviously a very creative and talened fan of the show. (At least, I assume he or she is a fan and not someone who ever worked on this or any other TV show. Maybe I'm wrong! But I digress...)

The problem here is that the show left so much room for interpretation that explanations like Mishen's are not only possible, but necessary for making sense of the show. It's quite telling when fans -- who aren't making any money -- come up with better resloutions for the plot than the professional writers and producers who are getting paid good money to come up with this stuff.

People have career ladders

People have career ladders to climb and can get too close to things. I just think the show runners, production, and actors got too obsessed and lost touch. It happens.

Watchtower

One issue I didn't mention, but which fits into the outline of my 'Being solution' is the Watchtower song. I have proposed that Starbuck is an Angel who is nostalgic about her brief existence as a Caprican who is then free to watch the development of human society over the millennia. She is likely to want to commemorate Caprica by introducing elements of its culture at opportune moments in history.

The Watchtower song was perhaps originally written by Starbuck's father, when she was incarnate as a human child. Recognising the song's usefulness as a signal, the Being surreptitiously hid the FTL co-ordinates for our Earth in the music, in a way that Starbuck could memorise without realising her true nature (remember she has to grow up experiencing life as a human) and have the information available for use at the right moment. The Being then appropriated the music as a signal to interfere with Cavill's reprogramming and allow the Final Five to regain consciousness of themselves as Cylons. This would also give them a connection with Starbuck that might become useful later.

Starbuck would not be allowed to insert any cultural influence into the developing human society before it occurred naturally. When rock music developed in the late 20th century, the Angel Starbuck would have been very much excited and seen an opportunity to once again commemorate the past by finding a way to inspire Bob Dylan to write 'All Along the Watchtower' - perhaps using his motorcycle accident as an opportunity to appear to him as an Angel, inspiring his music and conversion to religion?

Far-fetched, but the weaving of this modern song into the Galactica story is already highly suspect and leaves open the question of what is the connection between our culture and the fictional culture of Galactica. This proposal gives an explanation that avoids time travel and having the song written by God.

Watchtower song

Was written by Anders on Earth, not Starbuck. Or so Moore says. Perhaps it is just what Anders believes.

Mishen, I like your theory

[This too is posted in reply to Mishen's "I think there's a way for this all to come together sensibly!" above, but I too forgot to nest it.]

As for the time discrepancy, well... if we go by the physicist David Bohm's theory, the Being you propose might be an entity (or even a part of the living Universe as a whole) who is aware of both implicate and explicate orders of reality. Time would be no problem for such a being, as time is but a function of space and totally relative. To us, time appears sequential, but for that Being everything would be now, and it would be able to see our past, present and future as occuring simultaneously. Thus, its "omniscience" would actually be no more than its ability to see past, present and future events all at once - which would make the cause-and-effect loop very obvious to it.

As Bohm says: 'In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the "explicate" or "unfolded" order, which is a special and distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders (Bohm, 1980, p. xv).'

The "total view" is common

The "total view" is common to both science and religion. It's quite an old one. Nothing special. While "block time" has been a favourite faith of scientists for some time the faith of string theorists is gaining traction with the idea that time and space grow like a fractal. I daresay, they may rewrite the textbooks with that as their gang grows in political stature. Personally, I suspect, both may be true and it doesn't take much of a leap to suggest that the die hard adherents of either theory may be wrong and when they get a clue we'll all realise we know nothing about the universe. Which is about where Tao priests were about 6000 years ago.

The more things change...

Hi Zach, I like Mishen's

Hi Zach, I like Mishen's theory. Its a kind of post modern response to the ending. Due to all the great SF stories and novels over the years its difficult or impossible to come up with a truly original ending, especially a hard SF ending. This is the reason i found Moore's ending while dramatically and character driven enjoyable, excruciatingly bad plot wise.

I like the Bohm quotes, haven't read him for years brings back good memories. The only problem i have with the Bohm take on things is its eastern philosophical interpretation, how would you square his views with chaos theory? You can't predict the future state of things with any certainty because you just don't have all the conditions and variables of the initial conditions. Every moment could be considered to be based on this assumption. also the quantum gravity theories of time. ie that time may be theorised as grainy and gradually built up, meaning it doesn't exist in the future yet? Einstein's view is very classically based and neat and makes for great debate philosophically about destiny and determinism, but taken with these other theories it falls somewhat short. The way i see it the past is rigid as the wave functions have already been collapsed, but there may be an infinite amount of possibilities in the future, so the wave function remains as all these possibilities? so is therefore open. If time and the future are not yet existing doesn't this throw a spanner in the works?
Or if there are an infinite amount of multi verses, we as observers by the act of observation or action or whatever you want to call it have an infinite amount of wave functions which we can collapse and come into being through our choices? (within reason) The past then appears as linear, the future if it exists at all a set of infinite possibilities.

I'll have to go back to Bohm its been a long time maybe i've missed something??

Thanks Mischen

I was trying to get to the notion of what you posted so eloquently in earlier threads about how abduction could have played the key role in colonizing Kobol and creating the 13 tribes...thus ensuring DNA compatibility. You've taken it much farther... Excellent narrative, and it fits very well. Indeed, it's too bad they didn't have you on the writing staff...

Since prequels are all the rage (Caprica), it would be nice if they did just what you described to tie this series together in a neat bow... perhaps pieces of it might appear in Caprica, but frankly, I'd be more interested in a prequel called Kobol, just as you wrote it.

What About Human Genocide

Firstly, I enjoyed the battle portion of the finale, mostly since it is an element that has been missing from the show for some time. The last portion with it's reliance on "angels" and its requirement to suspend analytical thought did not work for me at all.

What I find distracting to remaining immersed in the story, is how the supposed "don't call it god" is very much concerned with the cycle of human\humanoid creating robot, robot rebelling causing war concept, but apparently has no issues with all the human propagated human genocide in our past.

We see both head figures walking in New York, and they are focusing on dancing robots and how the cycle might repeat. Where were they (or the not god) during the Second World War and all the other instances that occurred after the colonials landed on Earth-2. No doubt similar instances occurred on Kobal, Earth and the colonies.

Humans creating robots that try to kill us might not be a problem if the larger issue of humanities constant need to destroy itself was solved...

Many would argue that war

Many would argue that war amongst humans is nothing more than a natural form of population control.

Genocide

I think that the Being is concerned with the extinction of the species but not with any crimes we may commit as a species such as genocide. The blame is on our heads if we kill each other, but as far as 'It' is concerned, it's a great loss to the universe if we are completely obliterated - It's purpose is to protect intelligent species for as long as it takes for that species to develop a super-advanced peaceful intergalactic society. Emerging intelligent species are fragile and worth a helping hand, as long as that help is strictly non-interventionist.
In other words, It's not our mom.

My ultimate, ultimate BSG theory

My theory is that 'god' and the 'angels' are highly evolved cylons, much like the prophets of DS9 were highly evolved Bajorans. They are no longer in need of physical bodies, just as the humanoid cylons no longer needed robotic components. The have the ability to see beyond space and time, and can communicate with the humans through visions (again, like the prophets of DS9).

If this were the case, than 'god' is not necessarily motivated by a desire to save the humans, but to prevent them from creating AI and abusing it. They themselves were victims of a previous, millennia-old cycle and are seeking to prevent yet another.

Cycles

Similarly, I think the Lords of Kobol were the previous cycles "Final Five." This "not-God" entity could be The One Whose Name Cannot Be (Spoken) as well and also a highly evolved cylon from a much older cycle. Along those same lines we have Starbuck, who may have achieved a kind of apotheosis and become a god of the next cycle, which we may or may not be currently living in since we're right now creating robots.

I couldn't agree with you

I couldn't agree with you more.

I had a heated debate on another blog about the pointless abandonment of tech. The in group establishes its identity through comparison/competition/hatred/over resources/territory of what becomes the out group. The out group in simplistic terms finds its own identity in a similar fashion. Conflict usually ensues eventually. It sure as hell doesn't need AI or robots, you can just fight with fists or rocks or knives or just plain abusive words. Its human nature with a dollop of feedback from the environment.

One could say that the same attributes which help us to survive in evolutionary terms are also evident in our violent behavior. Its the same as saying that you can kill to eat but you can also kill for fun or to survive another day. It has 2 opposing uses as does the attribute of our behavior. It is possible for individuals to overcome their genetic/learned programming, but history tells us that its easier for the majority to go with the flow. Its too simplistic an idea to work on a grand scale, as history shows us.

it would seem that it would have been a wiser move for the naive god to "create" laws or conditions in a universe so that violent behavior is not necessary in the first place. Which just highlights the naivity of the theological ending, we are doomed to an endless cycle of violence because of the environment we have to live in. If the god was a product of this environment called the universe surely it would hold the same attributes as we do? (why should it be exempt?)I didn't get the reference to decadence and commercialism either. Sounded like good ol' baptist preachin to me.

Metachlorian-Eve

Brad’s latest blog entry helped me finally understand my own lukewarm enjoyment of the ending. Even worse than the giant mysteries of the show were the many, many hints of deeper meaning to characters or events which turned out to amount to nothing. These teases such as Baltar’s identity as the “chosen one” imbued certain characters or events with a deeper meaning but ultimately were irrelevant to the overall resolution of the plot. The greatest tease was Hera’s “connection” to the cylon god which had nothing to do with her true destiny as Metachlorian-Eve.

Other teases included the hint that the Final Five built the Temple of the Five in the scriptures or were servants of the “one whose name cannot be spoken.” That D’anna seemed to have a conversation with one of the F5 during “Rapture” is a joke considering they were only representations of the F5 and not even alive. Also, if “god” was a force of nature and not somehow artificial himself then why would he have a deeper connection with artificial life, like hybrids, than natural life? This implication that god might be related to the cylons was just about the longest running tease of the show. The most ridiculous tease, however, was the hybrid prophecy about Starbuck from Razor which said “they should not follow her.” That deeply ominous warning ultimately meant absolutely nothing, a kind of TV writer’s “bait and switch”.

In the final analysis, the show made so much seem deep and significant which turned out to be nothing more than a hook to keep interest in the plot or characters.

Says it all

"In the final analysis, the show made so much seem deep and significant which turned out to be nothing more than a hook to keep interest in the plot or characters."

I think this one line speaks volumes and pretty much sums up everyone's disappointment pretty well. It's not the ending per se, it's the lack of resolution and attitude of the writer towards what came before. What bothers me is that they very easily could have retconned these 'hooks' to jive with the finale they wanted to tell, they just chose to ignore them because they were lazy.

Yes.

Yes. Thank you.

Loose Ends

I understand what you're saying about the lack of resolution for the Temple of Five and D'Anna. I agree that Moore left too many elements ambiguous. Regarding Baltar possibly being the "chosen one," though, I think a lot of that was part of his character arc and not a fake-out or loose end. He started out as a self-serving playboy high on his own intelligence, which was covering up for lacking self-esteem. Baltar needed to believe he was the chosen one and somehow important to the crisis at hand. His character arc involved him realizing that he's just a normal, average person. That's the journey he made in this story.

I've posted here quite a lot about The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken and am assuming now that this entity is the "not-God" who headBaltar said doesn't like the name "God." I like the idea of this entity being somehow tied to an earlier cycle of Cylons and so taking a particular interest in the well-being of other Cylon generations. This entity may have experienced a kind of apotheosis the way that Starbuck did. I also think that the Lords of Kobol were a previous cycle's "Final Five."

The World's Address

"I agree that Moore left too many elements ambiguous."

The problem is not that they were ambiguous, but that they were non-existent. Too many questions went completely ignored and were never addressed in the final season or finale. That's what I was worried about leading up to it "it'd better be jam packed with answers". It wasn't.

Chosen One As Cotton Candy

You’re implying that Baltar’s “chosen one” status was just an artifact of his self-esteem and personal needs, yet both Virtual Six and the cylon hybrid (in “Eye of Jupiter” I believe) repeatedly stated the importance of the “chosen one.” Baltar’s ability to project like the cylons only added to this mystery. Even Brad thought Baltar could be an incarnation of the cylon god. If Baltar had ended up raising Hera himself, I could accept the legitimacy of him as “chosen” for such a purpose, with his projection as a gift from god to help raise Hera. That nothing like this happened reveals the “chosen one” idea as another cotton candy prop which sweetened the mystery but ended up dissolving with no value to the show’s mythology.

Before the show had ended, I would have agreed with you that god has an affinity for cylons and had possibly been a cylon himself. However, explaining god as a “natural force” removes that possibility unless somehow an evolved cylon can be considered natural which I doubt. In fact, Baltar stated that god was not on anyone's "side" which further conradicts that god cares specifically for the well-being of cylon generations. In the end, it was all just a tease that was revealed to be meaningless.

The One

What would have happened if Baltar had been the one to see the Final Five instead of D'Anna? We know that the 13th Tribe also stopped at the Temple of Hopes/Five. I'm wondering if a similar gaffe kept them from finding our Earth. I need to re-watch "Rapture," but does headSix tell Baltar definitively that he is "The One?" If D'Anna stole "The One" status from Baltar then that development changed everything. It definitely changed D'Anna and Baltar. Whether or not he was meant to actually be "The One," Baltar not having that special status became part of his humbling character arc, which led to the later developments that involved him. So, maybe he was meant to be "The One," but it was just stolen from him.

Moore has said that the Watchtower song is part of a "collective unconscious" or, I'm thinking, some kind of genetic memory. This kind of gaffe could have happened many times and could have been part of what kept them finding our Earth until this cycle. The settlements on Kobol and the 13th Colony "Earth" may have been foiled attempts to find our Earth. I do think the Lords of Kobol are the previous cycle's "Final Five." They just set themselves up as gods whereas the Five refused to do that.

D'Anna's Shake Down of the Temple

Yes, Baltar was definitely told he was the “Chosen One” by Virtual Six. Off the top of my head I recall Virtual Six telling this to Baltar after he was interrogated using hallucinogens in “Taking a Break From All Your Worries.”

If Baltar had seen the Final Five instead of D’Anna, he would have probably died since it killed her to see it. The theory that D’Anna took Baltar’s place is interesting, but she was led to that point by her dreams, the messages from the Oracle on New Caprica, and her visions of the Final Five between life and death which caused her to kill herself repeatedly. Considering that god gave these messages to her, it seems to be part of his plan that D’Anna was the one to see the F5. The fact that Baltar was reminded of his “Chosen One” status in a later episode (“Taking a Break…”) indicated the title transcended simply who saw the F5 in the temple.

I dislike having to theorize about what the Lords of Kobol might have been because we can never get answers now. I personally would have liked the Lords to be genuine gods, maybe younger than the “cylon god”, who despised humanity for creating artificial life because it would lead humanity to the path of godhood for everyone. To prevent this, the Lords sent the cylons away and then “cursed” the humans and cylons with cycles of wars so that they never would procreate together to create godlike beings. (Starbuck could have been the goddess on Kobol who killed herself so she could reincarnate in human form to help the humans when needed.)

WIth this scenario in mind, I would have loved for the “Cavil agreement” to end the war shortly after the midpoint of season four and for the rest of the show to have humans and cylons trust each other enough to join forces and technology to overcome the curse and attack the Lords. Heck, they could have even re-visited Kobol together to salvage the technology used by the Lords. I think all this could have been spectacular. Baltar could have been “chosen” by the cylon god to bridge the gap between cylons and humanity to create the weapons or technology to battle the gods on their terms. What opportunities were wasted by the writers when they refused to consider how all their teasing plot threads could have been woven into a larger and more interesting tapestry. Oh well!

Baltar would not have died

The hybrid said the 5 lights of the apocalypse would only be revealed to the chosen one. I read it that as D’Anna was not the chosen one, she died after seeing the vision. Baltar as chosen one — whatever that means, now — would presumably just have received the wisdom, and it is hard to say what would have happened then. Cavil would be his enemy. The 5 would not yet be activated, perhaps none on the fleet would believe him.

It is written in various

It is written in various scriptures of different religions that if one doesn't drink from the cup it passes to another. Baltar's procrastination is annoying but understandable. If D'Anna hadn't been so pushy, perhaps, things might have come to a clearer and better conclusion. Or not.

I'm interested in how fractal theory impacts on quantum mechanics. While it's interesting to physicists I wouldn't be surprised if it sheds some light on the human condition, and why we are what we are, and so forth. It may not shed light on what "God" is but may answer some questions about why we're so monumentally stupid.

Oh My Gods

seriously brad, get over it LOL its just a show.

There's a point to all this debate...

BSG is just a TV show sure, but it's important for having captured the utter fascination of lots people over the last four years, with much elegant and thoughtful plot articulation over and above the more standard dramatic devices, always leading us onward to some definite place. To have it end in a way that begged a lot of questions (and in many ways didn't make sense) was disappointing on a level that I don't think most of us expected! I for one didn't imagine I'd be so gutted after the final episode, having been led to believe for a very long time that this drama was going to give strong answers to those questions I'd been fascinated with as a viewer. I was glad that we got the 'It hates being called God' line to at least offer an alternative interpretation like mine proposed above in this discussion. Hope that possible solution - along with all the debate here - offers some relief to those who are searching for a way to reconcile the show's weak ending with their 4-year emotional and intellectual investment!

BSG was great in its day but

BSG was great in its day but I'm old enough and have been around the block a few times to see it as just another show. It promised some stuff, delivered a part of that, and I've pretty much forgotten it beyond Brad's topics and conversation in here. It's like some cock tease that screws you for a restaurant bill. You chalk it up to experience and move on. It sounds a bit hard but there will be other shows. Better shows. Maybe even that *tremble* special show.

X and Y

You ready to provide us with some kind of concrete proof as to what you were promised and what you were delivered? Maybe add to the conversation with something worth adding? I see a lot of, "grrr argh me no get stuff" but I still don't know what that stuff was and what these promises were. Keep saying the same thing over and over, but unlike anyone else there is still no actual substance to your contributions. Fine, we get it. You didn't get X which was promised to you in Y. So all I ask for is the answer to this simple question since only you know the answers...

X = ?
Y = ?

I'm not going to reply to

I'm not going to reply to comment like that and Brad doesn't want his blog filling up with bickering. I suggest you post something that stands up on its own or go walk the dog.

I don't see where asking

I don't see where asking people to elaborate on their opinions is against blog rules? X and Y? Wanna actually give us something to discuss.

Dude, seriously, all they

Dude, seriously, all they did was ask what you were talking about. Why don't you just answer? If asking you what you mean is too much to ask and you consider it rude, maybe a discussion forum isn't for you.

Given all the thoughtful

Given all the thoughtful analysis on this blog, summing it up as, "grr argh me no get stuff" sounds reductive and insulting.

Granted, no one promised anything to anyone, but for four years, BSG was arguably the highest quality sci-fi TV show ever produced. It's understandable that the fans would have expected the same level of quality in the finale that they got in the series. This thread in particular and this blog in general are full of examples of plotlines which were resolved in ways that many of us found unsatisfying.

And, yes, it was just a TV show, but the disappointment here is that, with a better ending, it could have been the greatest sci-fi show most of us had ever seen, or ever would see.

You missed the point. This

You missed the point. This person hasn't told us anything. The entire argument is, I didn't get something I was promised so I am mad. Yet, to this day not once have we learned what that something is. So it does amount to caveman speak. Everyone else can express their opinions with actual tangible information to be discussed, so it isn't too much to ask of this person.

Or maybe it is since they have crawled into a cave and hid since being asked.

We're waiting...

We're waiting...

Just a show!

They took the show pretty serious at the UN before the finale. I wonder how that would have gone if it happened after the last episode instead of before it. At no point was it discussed that divine intervention was behind everything. Makes me nervous to think the World Government could be influenced by a show based on divine intervention.

The UN wets its knickers at

The UN wets its knickers at getting *any* exposure in popular media in the same way some dull accountant wets their knickers over a date. It's no big deal. Also, the cynic in me and the New York Times agree that BSG was pulling a publicity stunt by holding a conference at the UN. It's just part of the "best show on television" bullshit that it became. They want attention and some excuse to worm their way under your radar. A little of that's justified but the rest is just the same old gimme your money pitch.

It's gonna change the world! It didn't change the world. You can only change yourself.

Battlestar Galactica Sequel

Brad, we know there are some prequels coming. But it seems to me there is plenty of material for a sequel. With the Cylons (good and bad), other human survivors, and plenty of FTL technology out there, is this really the end for Adama and company? C'mon, we know Lee wants to explore, and he must have one of those Raptors, that sounds like an adventure, and won't he be tempted to go back offworld after a few years. (if he still has the fuel?) After all, they have brought all the major Star Trek characters back to life at least once, haven't they? After all, as long as Hera dies on Earth, otherwise they have thousands of years to play around with and everything still fits, right?

Sequel

I read an interview yesterday, but don't have the URL immediately handy, where Moore says they've torn down the sets after digitizing them. He said he has no plans for a sequel, but left the possibility open.

television without pity

I think Moore was so impressed by the "cleverness" of Mitochondrial Eve as Hera, he twisted the whole story. I think he liked the superficial blend of science ("mitochondrial") with religion ("Eve"). Unfortunately that screws the timeline to connect Galactica to us on modern Earth in any meaningful way because you have to push everyone 150k years in the past, which means they had no impact on us whatsoever, other than some mitochondrial coding.

I liked this posting from the Yahoo TV Blog, from Television Without Pity - it lays out some of the major issues with the finale clearly and concisely: 'Battlestar Galactica': The Series Finale's Unanswered Questions.

Clever? The person writing

Clever?

The person writing the article is like a talking monkey. They totally missed so many things that informed their writing of this article. It is like having an ESL student try and read Shakespeare for their first book. My favourite being the comment about Head Six and Baltar in NYC. They didn't actually look like Six and Baltar. They took that form when speaking to Six and Baltar. Honestly, why should we need two new actors at the end, wearing the clothes of the head characters just so people understand that their appearance in the final scene was predicated on the fact that, that is how the viewer has seen them for the entire series. Whose head were they in? The fact that this has become a major question among BSG fans and critics is a prime example of the retardification of the human race.

I would go on, but it feels like I am having a debate with a 4 year old tearing apart this piece of tripe.

Fair and balanced

The article was a bit dumbed down but covered the main concerns people had in a fair way.

I agree, RDM likes "clever" but his lack a of plan and losing touch with the audience isn't very smart. We've discussed the "Mitochondrial Eve" on this blog before. It's doable in theory but a stretch, and I don't really like it because it's a scientific pooper and doesn't connect with people. Similarly, RDM wanks himself silly over "33" and hates "Black Market" while I'm the other way around. RDM "never considered" BSG being set in the distant future while I can't see how it works in the past. Critical view is tilting in one direction and it's not RDM's.

It may be the show RDM "wanted to make" but not the show people wanted to watch. That's what happens when you over promise and make assumptions about the audience. RDM achieved a lot under difficult circumstances but the issues with quality and losing touch with reality are still there. I suspect, he knows he's been an ass and has been lucky to get away with what he did. If he can take that experience and turn it into something good that's fine but if he ends up excusing his own bullshit he's heading for a bigger disaster. I hope he'll get smart but we'll see.

Making it up as we go along

Making it up as we go along again. The article never mentions the word clever, the poster said that. Did you even read the article, or are we spinning yarns again?

How are we coming with the x and y?

Where is that RDM interview?

...

I think I found the writer's

I think I found the writer's of the interviews you have been reading.

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-%26-entertainment/critics-pay-tr...

mtDNA Eve

Unfortunately that screws the timeline to connect Galactica to us on modern Earth in any meaningful way because you have to push everyone 150k years in the past, which means they had no impact on us whatsoever, other than some mitochondrial coding.

Moore has said that all of the similarities between us and the Colonials in terms of mode of dress, names, etc. are due to both societies pulling from the same "collective unconsciousness." In many ways I'm perfectly OK with Jungian underpinnings for stories, but not for definitive explanations. I'd rather have the similarities due some kind of genetic memory passed down from the Cylons via Hera. Granted, that's bogus science too, but at least it's an extrapolated scientific explanation.

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