The geometry of the Colony

Note: Most of this article was written before Daybreak, and new information outdates it. See updates

Cavil’s Cylon base, which Boomer flies to, is the “Colony” which was the place the final five’s gear was stored. It was moved by Cavil several months ago from the location Ellen had for it.

Comments in a prior thread got a bit too heated, and have been moved to this new thread, but it is worth exploring various interpretations of what we see as Boomer comes to the Colony.

I have uploaded an HD clip (x264) of the very brief scene of the colony and its surroundings. You can download it here.

The shot, all computer antimated of course, has the virtual camera move, and first turning and then later zooming into the portal as Boomer jumps in and flies through the tunnel. The image consists of 4 rough regions:

  1. The organic, hollow rocky structure into which Boomer flies, that is in the foreground. (The Portal)
  2. The fuzzy purple zones in the lower part of the picture.
  3. A large, thin, irregular horizontal rocky structure, which goes from edge to edge, lower on the right, behind the Portal. 5 giant Cylon spires are mounted on top of it, or possibly between it and the Portal. Two other sets of giant spires appear above this mass on the left and right.
  4. The purple “sky” zone at the top, which is diffuse but contains blurred-out points, possibly stars.

A Cylon base ship is flying on the right side of the Portal. This ship could easily fit into the tunnel showing just how immense all of this is, and the spires are truly immense.

A few interpretations of this image have arise. Watching the video, particularly in show motion, shows that there is considerable depth to the image. The Portal is sharp and in focus, the rest is more blurred. Due to depth and perspective, the Portal is clearly well in front of both the spires and the horizontal structure. Both are well in front of the upper purple background (sky.) Curiously, the lower purple background moves differently from the upper, suggesting it is between the Portal and the horizontal structure.

Whatever the interpretation, however, the main thing to consider is that this base is huge. Much too large to destroy by crashing a Battlestar into it, or even firing a few nukes. There is thus some question about whether this whole thing is the Colony (in which case it was rather immense) or whether the Colony is just a part of it that has recently been moved in, and so this is the Cylon home.

Interpretation One: Giant space base

In this interpretation, we are in space, and the background is glowing purple nebulousity. The horizontal structure is of unclear purpose. The light area on the bottom of the structure is in fact its flat bottom.

Arguments in favour:

  • If one of these large structures is the Colony ship, it would not make sense to land it on a planet. These things are all huge.
  • After Boomer enters the portal, the view back shows objects floating in the purple background, which may be rocks or ships. While no floating rocks are visible in the scene from outside, if they are floating this is not on a planet.
  • The lower purple section is similar to the upper one. If it is a reflection, there is no reflection of the hills and shore.

Interpretation One-A: Spar-based space base

One commenter suggests that what we are seing is a 5 sided “starfish” of rock with Cylon spire complexes on each leg of the star. The Portal is the entrance to one of the legs. The commenter has a diagram here.

It is also possible to consider that there are only 4 spars, or 3, to this structure.

  • On the right and left spars, the spires are not in the center. If it is symmetrical, then the Portal’s spires are also somewhere between the Portal and the center.
  • Once inside, there seem to be tunnels from elsewhere, but no other opening is shown in the Portal. However, the tunnel she enters is rather short, far too short to reach the center of such a vast structure, and the other tunnels seem to be parallel to it, not radiating in all directions.

Interpretation Two: This sits on a planet (Upate: Invalidated by Daybreak)

In this interpretation, the horizontal structure is hills. The light area underneath it is the shore of a still or frozen sea. The lower purple area is the reflection of the sky above. The purple sky is a local nebula, or perhaps an aurora. (In reality, no nebula would be this bright, but BSG normally shows them this way.)

Here is a frame capture diagramming this interpretation. Note the image is 1920x1080. Expand your browser window (the picture grows with it) or click on it to see it fully. It has been enhanced and sharpened.

  • The lower purple region moves in perspective as though it is between the Portal and the hills. If it were space below the horizontal structure, it would spin in perfect sync with it.
  • The lower purple region is much more diffuse, and looks quite different from the upper one.
  • The horizontal structure looks natural and eroded, not artificial or space-formed. It appears to even have trees. It looks nothing like the Portal structure which is Cylon organic-artifice, and is that way all the way through.
  • If the horizontal structure is in space, and we’re seeing it’s flat underside, we are underneath it, which does not make sense in the starfish layout, unless it curves in unusual ways.

Conclusions

For full understanding, watch the video in a player that will late you do slow-motion or frame advance. The rocks point to a space interpretation. The way the lower purple section (particularly on the right) moves differently from the upper sky section strongly points to a planetary interpretation. (This can also be confirmed by taking two frames from before and after the virtual camera move, rotating and adjusting them so the Portal structure matches, and then subtracting. When you do this, the lower purple region turns mostly black, while the sky region shows lots of movement.) As such no interpretation is certain, but I am leaning towards the planetary one.

This is too large a structure for the fleet to take on militarily. They may never do so. One interesting, and highly ironic way for them to defeat it, would be for Caprica Six to generate a computer virus which infects Cavil’s systems, and puts them under her control or disables them. An interesting variant would be for that virus to disable the inhibitors on the Centurions, so they would be freed to defeat Cavil, and even kill all the Cavils. You could add to the irony if Baltar assisted her, and this would also provide some redemption for Baltar. Then the Simons and Dorals could join the other Cylons as predicted in the prophecy.

Folks, I must repeat the rules for this blog, as the other thread got surprisingly bitter on the part of some posters. Write about the topic at hand, not about the people you are discussing with. Posts that contain insults rather than (or even in addition to) useful contributions will be deleted. Do not respond to those posts, because when they are deleted, the entire comment tree beneath them is also deleted. Keep it civil. Do not write about the competence, skills, intelligence or ancestry of other members. Instead, keep to the topic at hand, which is the show. If you expect people to respond to you please enter a name other than “Anonymous.” Consider creating a userid on the blog, which will assure nobody else can post with your name. (Non-user names are marked “not verified.”)

Another question: Who are the “playmates” that Cavil wants Hera to meet? Even without resurrection, is it possible he has duplication equipment, so he can generate a whole bunch of Hera models and copy her mind into them? That seems like it would be very similar to the resurrection equipment but who knows? Or are the playmates just Simons and Dorals and the like?

Update: Daybreak reveals that it in space, near a black hole, so the on-planet interpretation I was favouring was incorrect. One jump away with the new drives. The configuration, which is shown here, is somewhat like the proposed starfish but quite a bit different. In fact, it’s hard to actually reconcile the two pictures easily, I would be interested in arrangements which can. Now the colony is completely surrounded by floating debris, where before it showed only a bit of debris looking back. And the background is bright green, not purple. It has 9-10 legs, not 3 to 5, What appears to be the underside in the new picture doesn’t look much like the apparent underside of the old. The Cylon spires are in the center, but we don’t see the ones at the edges.

For scale, check out the tiny base ships visible between the two legs on the right! And another one in the lower section. Sharper than the background spires, so not in the distant background.

The Colony

"For some reason the Colony which is a movable ship, is on a frozen sea under a purple sky on some planet. Not sure why. There are two other Cylon base ship type structures behind the mountains too. This may be the Cylon homeworld."

There is a also a clearly visible small Cylon basestar on the right, above the SciFi HD logo, which makes the Colony a humongous structure.
But the "mountain range in the distance" doesn't really look like mountains to me - more like parts of a huge ship. I am not convinced the Colony is on a planet, although it may be. It is hard to tell from all that purple haze.

Huge

You’re right about the base ship, I didn’t see it. The colony is huge, and those Cylon spires sticking out of it and the mountains are hundreds of times the size of a base ship.

I watched it in slow motion, and it really does seem like a lake reflecting the sky, and a planet with mountains. The colony’s mountain is artificial but the lakeshore and mountains behind it look natural.

In any event, it seems that Galactica could fly into the middle of that thing and set off all its nukes and not damage the Cylon infrastructure too much.

So that makes it most likely that Galactica is crashed, as in the foreshadowing, into a base ship, presumably Cavil’s, and then the Simons and Dorals, learning the truth about their origins, rebel against Cavil, possibly boxing him, and join the other 3 and the humans at the promised land. Other ways to defeat Cavil would be a centurion revolt — there would be a nice irony if Six is able to create a virus that infects Cavil’s systems and disables the inhibitors on all his Centurions, taking things full circle.

The facilities at the colony are so large this has to be a base of the exiled Cylons from the 40 years, perhaps their new home planet. In which case the others know where it is.

"The facilities at the

"The facilities at the colony are so large this has to be a base of the exiled Cylons from the 40 years, perhaps their new home planet. In which case the others know where it is."

That would be impossible since the colony was moved.

The colony was moved

But as you can see there are more of those giant Cylon spires off behind the mountains. We don’t quite know what the Colony is, whether it is that whole artificial mountain with the giant entry hole and all the spires, or if it’s just the spires, or something inside the mountain, but I doubt it includes all the spires beyond the mountains.

So I think the colony may be that artificial mountain and spires, or something much smaller. So that was moved, and since there is so much other stuff on this planet, it makes me wonder if it isn’t the Cylon’s main base/home planet, and now the colony has landed there.

The Colony is a big space

The Colony is a big space station. I dunno what show you saw, but that hing is in space. No mountains. No landing. Space. But hey, no one believed me when I said the "You will know the truth" screengrab of Tigh was a view through a broken window, with a woman underneath him.

I thought that at first, but

First you can check out Michael Halls’s screen capture of it

But it’s best that you look at it in motion if you still have a recording, where you see all the elements — mountains, sky, lake, colony, base ship, moving relative to one another as the POV moves.

Suddenly it will click into you like an optical illusion sometimes does. You will see the lake, the mountains etc. What looks at first like giant wings sticking out left and right from the top of the Colony is a mountain range behind it.

Looking at it some more, it’s clear the organic asteroid Boomer flys into is in sharp focus, and the spires that appear to be on top of it are blurry like the mountains, which implies those spires are on the mountains (like the other spires) and not coming out of the asteroid-like object. So they are huge.

Believe what you want. It

Believe what you want. It is in space and you will see that in the finale. I wouldn't trust Michael Hall with my kid's 4th grade science project. The guy sees what he wants to see and dismisses facts, not to mention he is a total jerk as based on his posts on the scifi forums.

Yeah it is in space, you can

Yeah it is in space, you can clearly see that in the motion shots with especially if you fixate on the baseship in the bottom right.

Just look at the underbelly

Just look at the underbelly of your so-called mountain in the moving shot. What's that? Mountains don't have an underbelly?

It appears to be a lake

“Under” the mountain range you can see a shore, sort of a beach, and this is a lake or frozen lake (perhaps even a lake of something other that water or ice) and it is reflecting the purple light from the sky. As the view turns, the reflections in the lake move differently from the light in the sky. The light in the sky seems to be a nebula, though it could also be an aurora. I think nebula because boomer flies by a purple nebula on her last scene before she jumps in.

I know it’s hard to see, but once you see it, it’s quite clear.

I just pointed to his screen cap

I am not trusting his intuitions. It’s like one of those optical illusions. Once you see what to look for you go, “Oh, now I see it.” You just have not seen that yet. It is really clearest watching the video, though, because you can see, especially in slow motion, that they have animated it to show a small but clear difference in motion, due to perspective, of the mountain range and the big spires in the top middle, and the hollow organic rocky blob that Boomer flies into. They are not connected. Trust me.

So if this is in space, there is a mountain range floating in space with giant Cylon spires on it about 10 miles behind the colony. Really. Play it back. You’ll see, and then you’ll post a comment saying, “Damn, sorry, I didn’t see that at first.” Because I didn’t see it either until it was pointed out.

If you still can’t see after playing it back in slow-motion, ask again and I will upload a diagram of it. I guess I could upload the video but that’s big.

This time I noticed clearly that the big spires in the top middle are moving independently from the colony. (Not moving, but showing a different speed of motion as our virtual camera moves, as is common for 3-D computer animations.) They are the background, the rocky-hollow thing is the foreground. I think the rocky-hollow thing is the Colony, but it might be something inside it. I don’t think the mountain range in the background and the giant cylon spires on it are the colony.

LOL! That is the dumbest

LOL! That is the dumbest thing I have heard. Oh well. It will look dumber when it is in space and your optical illusion theory is exactly what you are doing.

By the way, those "mountains" will end up being like wings. But hey, you stick to your silly optical illusion theory. ROFL.

It is not an illusion

I am just comparing it to the feeling you get when you look at some optical illusions, how they look like one thing and suddenly you see the hidden thing and wonder how you could not have seen it. And now I feel like the guy who has seen the hidden thing talking to the people who can’t see it and saying, “trust me, it’s there.”

I have a 6pm deadline on something, but after that I will outline a diagram. Based on the animation — you can clearly see the spires moving differently from the hollow rock as the camera moves — there is no question that the spires and “wings” are some distance behind the hollow rock. I guess you can’t say for sure they are not connected as you can’t see behind the rock, maybe it stretches back for 10 miles to the spires.

I agree it makes more sense that it would be in space. But if it’s in space there’s a mountain range with spires floating miles behind the rock in space.

The spires never move.

The spires never move. There is no lake. It is in space and as rude as the other guy is being, they are still right it is you who is seeing an optical illusion of some kind, but it is pointless to argue it. Yes and no back and forth won't get us anywhere. We will know in a couple days or a week and a half.

I'm watching in high-def

Are you? Pay close attention to the edges as you replay the scene, especially in frame advance. Look at the edges of the hollow-rock (colony) near the shore of the lake, and near the spires. You will see them moving relative to one another. Perhaps it is only clear in high-def?

Do you have depth perception

Do you have depth perception problems? I am not trying to be a dick, I am being serious because it is so obvious they aren't moving independently, they are just objects at different distances with a camera zoom, not push. There is a difference because it affects the way the foreground and background move. That is in space. You are not the only person in the world with a high def television.

You're not reading what I am saying

I am not saying they are “moving” independently. I am saying they are both on a planet, so obviously not actually moving with respect to one another. If they were in space they might be moving with respect to one another.

What I am seeing is just what you say — that they appear to move relative to one another because of perspective, that the mountains and spires are background, and the hollow rocky thing is foreground.

One you understand that, you realize the spires are on the mountain range (or “wing” if you think that is what it is) and not on the rock. So you can interpret it to think there is a giant horizontal mountain range with spires on top of it floating in space far behind the rock, which was my first thought, but then it snaps and you realize that it makes much more sense as sitting on or next to a lake on a planet.

If you can see all that than

If you can see all that than how the hell can you not tell that the purple background on both the top and bottom of the WINGS is all connected on both sides with an obvious light source on the bottom left? You keep trying to convince people though, you will just look dumber when it is in space next week.

Actually, the difference

It was the large difference between the illumination on the bottom left and the sky above that made me start wondering if it wasn’t a lake, actually. Why do those “wings” look so much like a mountain range, to the point of even appearing to have trees? I don’t think they have trees, but it looks just like mountains on the shore of a lake, and does not look like any sort of artificial object or even grown object. Back when I thought they were wings, I definitely thought “but those sure are very strange looking wings” or whatever they are supposed to be. Neither of us will look dumb next week no matter which way it is revealed. It is obviously subtle. The only thing I am sure of is that there is a foreground (rocky hollow colony), a middle ground (lower purple zone) a near background (mountains and spires) and a deep background (upper purple zone.)

Watch carefully on the right and you will see as they twist the camera the set of spires on the right moves quite a lot with respect to the upper purple sky zone. however, the mountains and colony move only slightly wrt the details in the lower right purple zone. If both purple zones were background space this would not be right.

You are smoking crack, son.

You are smoking crack, son.

Jumping the Shark

That's very Zen, Brad.

I've taken a look at the footage and can see what you're saying about the movement but it looks more like an optical illusion to me. That's a severe case of seeing what you want to see like Elvis Presley's face in the clouds, or something.

I'm not going to leak any details but I made a cringingly bad judgement call the other day. I'm going to have to live with that but I figured shit or bust, and it works out fine whichever way it goes. You might have a massive case of Jumping the Shark but there's another topic in there somewhere.

That's Zen as well.

Spires in the Background

Someone on the SciFi Forums has outlined the spires in the background.

I don't think there are spires in space

But there are 3 sets of spires on the mountain range. Or possibly just outliers of the main set.

Here is an annotated copy of the screen cap, with a levels adjustment done in gimp to bring things out a bit more clearly. It becomes much clearer that the spires and mountains are in the background and blurry while the hollow rocky object is foreground. You need motion to see that the upper purple and lower purple areas are not connected, suggesting the lower purple zone is a reflection or pool.

Click here for the annotated, levels adjusted screen cap.

Bling

The "mountains" and "reflected mountains" don't match. I'd also hazard a guess that if it was a landscape scene the thing would be shot differently. If you were going to shove all that bling in there you'd want to show it off. The way they're shooting it is to make a cheaply done virtual set look dramatic and still have some surprise value when they reuse it later.

I agree

We don’t see a reflection of the mountains in the lake, which would indicate we are up fairly high, or that it’s not a lake, or that they didn’t ray trace the lake. There are a lot of ways to interpret this, but I am having a hard time seeing that wing/mountain-range as either an artificial or organic structure, or even a natural structure in space (ie. asteroid.) It looks most like hills.

The main thing I am confident of is that there are 4 layers here, colony, lower purple, horizontal thing with spires, and upper purple. For the rest, we see it so briefly that of course there are many interpretations.

Starfish

Looking at the mountainous area in the linked image you'll see the top is dark and the bottom is light. If you zoom in you can see more clearly that the "beach" doesn't fit well with a proper shoreline and there's artifacts on both sides that are problematic on the edge of the "water". The other clue to what people are seeing is the light colour of the background, lower half of the mountainous looking area, and the bottom background.

I zoomed in and your perspective did snap into place so, yeah, I can see what you're getting at but it's an optical illusion. The question is whether it's one optical illusion or the other optical illusion that people are seeing. Also, I'd note the cut and past work with the mountainous looking area. There's some reuse going on there and possibly some mismatched scaling. My wild guess is the Colony is a huge starfish shape.

could be

I see what you mean.
The part closest to the viewer could be a tip of another starfish wing, not a separate asteroid-like-thingy.

Edit: Or not. It seems the perspective is wrong.

starfish2

Even in iTunes, I can notice the perspective issue. My brain _wants_ to view the spaceship though. I really like the starfish idea though. Each 'hive' contains 5 spires. We can see 3 hives in the shot, maybe representing 3 points of a pentagram. Cylon numerology is indisputably concerned with the number 5.

I'm going to double down on the starfish/pentagram colony ship.

Starfish-shaped Spacebound Colony (with sketch)

I also thought the colony was in space from my first viewing and then the spacebound starfish idea came to me as I read all the arguments back and forth about mountains and lakes and such. Seeing that "Anonymous" had a similar "wild guess" about the shape of the colony, I decided to to make a (very, very quick) little sketch. Things then became clear to me.

I've posted the sketch on my website and made some notes as to which of the starfish "arms" are visible in the shot from the episode and which are just out of view.
The spires behind the "mountains" are, in my sketch, the spires from arms 3 and 4. Maybe the spires represent each of the Final Five (times five)...only five are visible in that shot --there maye be more than five spires on each arm (maybe six, as marked by the red triangles (but why six?); or even eight, to represent the eight new Cylon models)...we'll see.

http://www.kebapi.com/colony.htm

Enjoy, discuss,
Milé

Interesting approach

Not quite sure why we would have hills with a flat underside, but I see where you are going.

The confusing thing to me is that while the view spins, and the sky/stars at the top spin relative to the other objects, the lower purple zone, particularly on the right hand side, is spinning with the hills, spires and colony, not with the sky above it. Now that doesn’t make sense either way. If it is all space background it would all spin the same, top and bottom. But so would reflections, would they not? I will have to work out the geometry, but it remains difficult to interpret.

However, in space or on a planet, this thing is huge, and would not be hurt by Galactica crashing into it. Getting nukes inside would hurt it.

But since the prophecy has the Cylons reuniting, I think in the end this is resolved by at least Simon and Doral coming to the rebel fold.

Hills/wings

"Not quite sure why we would have hills with a flat underside"

Brad, maybe they are not hills (many of us don't see them as hills or mountains) - the whole thing could be a starfish shaped structure carved out of an asteroid (thus the appearance of rocks and mountains).
The pentagonal starfish shape actually makes a lot of sense.

And besides, in that case everybody would be right: you'd have your mountains, and we'd have our "wings". :)

The Generic

I've taken another look at the footage and can see the spinning thing. I'd have to edit a sample to look at it properly but can see how the purple turns but the lower right purple looks static. Maybe it's a centre of axis thing?

The other visual clues to the scene are two cuts with views from inside the interior. They both show hanging rocks in space. I can buy some freaky Cylon planet thing but the hanging rocks thing is too bizarro even for that. Once you see the mountainous beach perspective it's very compelling. I found zooming in to the left "beach" made that perspective snap in and difficult to shake off but looking from the detail clues and other shots suggests something more conventional and in line with audience expectations.

I commented earlier that I'd made a bad judgement call the other way. I knew it when I made it but it didn't matter because one way there would be a big payoff, and the other way there would be more indirect but no less important payoffs. I see Brad following a similar pattern in this analysis. I expect my pitch and Brad's analysis to turn up a big fat zero but there's some important lessons about presentation and context in there. That may be the bigger personal win over the long haul.

Peter F Drucker advocated that people look for the generic, and Zen Buddhism teaches this simplicity at its core. Zen often uses poetry and paradoxes in the form of koan to teach but everyday observations can be repurposed to reveal clues about the world and ourselves. Right and wrong are perspectives that can often depend on what you're looking for. Brands analysis may be "wrong" in one way but "right" in other ways. Exploring the "right" may be profitable.

Purple area

"I'd have to edit a sample to look at it properly but can see how the purple turns but the lower right purple looks static."

Or your eyes are not working so well. It moves in relation to the rest of the purple background.

Power... point.

That sketch is a really good effort. It helps summarise a lot of what's been discussed.

* I don't know if it's an American peculiarity but I've noticed American's tend to make a more positive effort to understand things and create diagrams to explain things than the British. The British can spend too much time arguing and winding each other up which is a bit pathetic and one of the things that irritates me about my own country.

* I last saw someone make this sort of effort years ago when discussing games and keyboard mappings. Someone came up with a colour coded keymap and matching explanation. I was really impressed with that. It condensed a very tricky discussion into something instantly understandable. I haven't seen anyone British spring to something like this.

Canadian

Thanks.
I'm Canadian, by the way.

Milé

You said you were leaving 3

You said you were leaving 3 days ago. Leaving doesn't mean continue posting.

As usual the American can't

As usual the American can't comprehend the true nature of the duality in words on the screen. It is but another facet of the ever evolving saga of Ron Moore's legacy. He wrote this all into the show and knew how it would all play out. Ron Moore understand the Cycle of Samsara and therefore if you just relax and let everything fall into place you will see the truth too.

Mistaken identity

This comment has been moved here.

Your shore is clearly the

Your shore is clearly the underbelly of wings.

I understand what you're seeing

I told you, my first impression as the same as yours — this is in space, and the horizontal object is some strange sort of wing or other structure. I can see that view just fine. While this is not an optical illusion, it’s one of those things you can see two ways as you map it from 2D to 3D in your head. I can see both. For those who can only see one, we’ll just have to wait.

underbelly or shore

It looks like the underbelly of "wings" (or whatever it is) to me too.

I understand what you mean, Brad, but for the life of me I can't see it as mountains and a lake reflecting the purple sky.
Mind you, I am not watching it in HD.

Not sure

but if means anything, the dude up there is right... the 'reflection' does not match the 'mountains.'

Either way, I think it's not worth our time scrutinizing because 1) it's too vague and close-up to discern anything with any degree of certainty and 2) we'll find out 4 days.

The colony is in space

If you watch as boomers Raptor enters the colony, the scene behind the entering rapture has rocks or asteroids floating in space.

Hidden Layers

This is an important less about perspective. Brad may be wrong about the "mountains" and some people may be "wrong" about the wings but they're both perspectives that say something. However, taking a step back and looking around can help us let go and pick on other clues we may be missing. What's more important, being "right" or seeing and allowing ourselves to see things how they are, explain things, and negotiate agreement?

There's a lot of hidden layers to this topic once people get digging. None of them have anything to do directly with the subject but they're all important in helping raise the quality of outcome and how we get there. Discussing things is important but people often don't get things until they experience them. For instance, people may talk about the Zen core of BSG but can completely miss what it means and how it relates to them.

Huge Starfish

Brad,

Thanks for including my little sketch in the discussion. We'll probably see on Friday night what's really going on.

But about its size and blowing it up: There was much made of Sam's likelihood of jumping Galactica (which recently had its FTL drives updated with Cylon tech) at his whim --and much made of Boomer's damage to Galactica after her jump (to remind viewers how violent FTL travel is, and of course, to further weaken the bucket)...which creates the possibility of jumping Galactica *into* the colony to severely disable it, if not destroy it.

Another possibility is that Hera's foreshadowing was metaphorical in that the humans and Cylons with "come together" and be saved.

Ponder.

Milé

JUMP

Sam's likelihood of jumping Galactica (which recently had its FTL drives updated with Cylon tech) at his whim --and much made of Boomer's damage to Galactica after her jump (to remind viewers how violent FTL travel is, and of course, to further weaken the bucket)...which creates the possibility of jumping Galactica *into* the colony to severely disable it, if not destroy it.

Oh, I think it is safe to say they are jumping that bad boy into The Colony. I think the plan will be to jump Galactica in and try and jump out on Raptors immediately as they jump in as well as maybe trying to jump Galactica out, but that will probably be more as a final explosion rather than saving anybody who tried it. I think the goal is maximum destruction in a vital spot.

Note the starfish geometry is not as you drew it

Because the portal we see must be below the horizontal hills to see their bottom like that.

The Galactica’s jump effect is not enough to destroy this Colony. The galactica happily jumps in the middle of the fleet frequently and the ships are not at risk. At most it perhaps causes a wave of distortion 2-3 Galactica diameters. Based on the size of the base ship in the graphic, that would only dent this colony.

They need a virus attack and admit it, it would be a perfect Irony if Cap-6 were the one to write it, perhaps with Baltar’s help. A great little redemptive move for Baltar too.

The Colony and the Opera House

All that does sound like a cool idea, but you'd think they'd be asking themselves: Where do we go from here? We can't go to "Earth." We can't got to Kobol because of the blood price. We can't go to the nuked Colonies.

Galactica is dying and many of the ships in the fleet are failing (case in point, the ships that want Galactica's scrubbers and FTLs). I suppose they could go back to New Caprica, but I would think one option on the table would be to eliminate Cavil and use his resources. So I think it's more likely they'll ram the Galactica into Cavil's basestar and possibly incite a Centurion revolt in order to take over the Colony.

It seems too coincidental that Hera is at the Colony and the Opera House visions have started up again. I've been wondering if the Opera House is a projection by Hera and since she's prescient (like Pythia) it could be that the Opera House = The Colony. There was a literal Opera House on Kobol that's in ruins, but I think the Opera House vision is figurative and relates to when humans and Cylons/Kobolians lived there in peace. It represents that peaceful coexistence both in the past (on Kobol) and in the future (in the Colony).

Opera house in colony?

Doesn’t matter if the Colony is on a planet or in space, it doesn’t look like a home for humanity.

But if they make peace with all the Cylons, and wipe out the Cavils, they can settle on Kobol or new Caprica or even the non-nuked sections of the 12 Colonies.

Or of course real Earth if we get it. For those who want it to be in the present, they could land in Vancouver and fly their motorcycles to the Orpheum there, which looks remarkably like the Opera House. :-)

Divine Intervention

I have said this from the beginning and I am going to continue to say it. This show has more in common with religion than it does science. Starbuck is the shape of things to come. There is another existence, but it will come with death. You ever wonder why the symbol for the Colonies is the phoenix? That is what the logo is on Galactica. It is a phoenix. They are going to die and be reborn. That is why dead characters are slated to return. They were reborn. Starbuck is the Harbinger of Death. And the Angel of Death will lead them to the promised land (rebirth). They have to die, maybe they have to enter the Eye of Jupiter to get where they are going. Just saying this show is going to have unexplained phenomena that will appear more religious than explainable.

You may be right

Good point about the Phoenix and other clues - I think you are on to something. The ending of the most recent episode might be a direct set-up for exactly that kind of finale. It will take a deft bit of storytelling to pull off an ending like this without being horribly cheesy, but if anyone can do it, the BSG people can. If we do get this kind of ending, it will probably be something that could be interpreted a couple of ways, one more mystical/miraculous and one more technological (a la some variant of resurrection).

Phoenix

Definitely great catch on the phoenix logo. I'd forgotten all about that.

Flight of the Phoenix

There was also the episode "Flight of the Phoenix" when Tryol built the Blackbird stealth fighter...which we never saw again. You'd think they would have named the episode after the ship, but I wonder if they named it after the pilot who flew it, Starbuck.

Dead Characters

While I like the notion, and the phoenix insignia is a good catch, I think you're being a bit too literal about their resurrection. I think the human race will be reborn as a hybrid human/cylon race as has already been intimated. I don't think anyone is coming back from the dead. They'll be seen in flashbacks.

I wonder

You know, I wonder if the phoenix is the Colonial insignia because, while they may not know it, the Colonials themselves are a race reborn from an even old one. Like us? Hmm.

Under your nose

My guess is it probably just looked cool so they used it, but the Phoenix thing is significant in Buddhism. Actually, people go looking for it as some big thing out there but it's embedded in everything from moment to moment. Plus, the mythology is far older than Buddhism and pops up all over the place in many different forms.

You can run from Zen but you can't hide from Zen. Heh.

Buddha

Actually there is no Buddha. RDM wrote it out of universe in Sin Que Nom. He even commented about it in the podcast. He said something about the duality no longer being congruent with proper path to Nirvana.

Oops

Sorry, wrong me. Haha!

Anonymous posting

Can people PRETTY PLEASE come up with a name to post under, so that we know who we're talking to? To give us SOME kind of continuity? It doesn't have to be your real name. Alvin is not my real name. I am not registered, and initially started posting anonymously, but found it difficult to have a conversation that way.

It's easy: just type in your 'handle' when you post. It takes 2 seconds.

People arguing anonymously is incredibly tedious to read, and often times incredibly ironic.

Decision Time

I'm about 90% of the anonymous posts in here. I'm happy with that and just riding out BSG to the end. What I don't like is when someone else just rolls up and abuses anonymous posting. I don't want to compromise that because I normally post under my real name and don't want to use it right now or here. I'm a bit hardass with that so if Brad nukes anonymous posting I won't post.

I think it's just one guy mucking about but I can't be sure. Only Brad knows for certain and it's up to him to delete this babble, nuke the IP address of the offender, or switch off anonymous posting. I'm going to be really, really ticked off if this carries on or I get shafted as collateral damage but I fear we're heading into decision time territory.

Possible Cross Section

I've added another brief sketch to my earlier on on the same page indicating a possible cross section of the starfish arms. This geometry would explain reflected light and shadows from the purply stuff surrounding the colony.

Boomer peobably only went as far into the tunnel as she need to so she could land in that circle with the raiders. This area may not be all the way to the centre of the starfish hub.

Also, the primitive base star from "Razor" looked a little bit smaller and stockier than the more elegant six-pointed baseships.

Also-also, I only posit that a jump inside the colony by Galactica would severely damage it, if not destroy it; if it jumps into the centre, there may be a massive power source/generator there that would help make a big bang.

But that's if they're gonna blow it up at all, anyway.

Milé

Cliche

Okay, you're milking the fame a bit after you rode to glory on my idea but, hey, that's showbiz.

More seriously, I'm not religious about the exact number of spires the ship might have, nor do I think anyone should bank on them pulling some sort of cheap "let's blow up the Bond villain secret base" knock off. If they do it's too much a repeat run of the ressurection hub and as tiresome a plot device as them sliding up and down walls with a half spilled glass of booze. It's not only cliche but the BSG tires have been retreaded too many times and other people have done it better. "The greatest show on TV" is looking like a classic TV repeat once too many before its ended. I hope they can do better than that but I'm gearing myself up to be disappointed.

Common Idea

Anonymous,
--if that *is* your real name ;)

I noted in my first post that some other people had similar notions about a starfish-shaped colony.
Seeing that I wasn't alone in this, but mostly because Brad saw mountains and a lake, I linked to my sketch to offer an alternative viewpoint with a diagram.

I just put down in pictures what I and, admittedly, others were already thinking about.

Not to be adversarial, but I wasn't seeking, nor have I found, nor do I want, whatever "glory" you speak of.

Also, if *we* are right about this particular geometry, we simply guessed correctly (through a bit of extrapolation) and the actual idea for it was originally the BSG production crew's. Now *that* is actual showbiz.

Milé

Genius

I did it first and Brad got it wrong. Again. Retcon that, buster. ;-)

Actually, the Starfish idea isn't new. You can see shades of it in the resurrection hub design. It's an old trick in design to create a pattern by rotation or transformation. There's a whole bunch of aesthetic reasons for that plus it's very cheap to implement.

Genius is not telling anyone your sources.

Showbiz

No, it's not showbiz... commenting on a message board is most certainly not show business. :)

Zen and showbiz

John Podhoretz, the former presidential speechwriter once said, "Comedians and impressionists used to be two different showbiz animals entirely, but now there's no such thing as a comedian who doesn't do impressions." One cannot help, but see the resemblence to the ancient Buddhist proverb “You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.” One can clearly see the relation between the expression of ideas and the essense of showbiz itself.

That's not a planet, that's a space station.

In any event, it seems that Galactica could fly into the middle of that thing and set off all its nukes and not damage the Cylon infrastructure too much.

I don't know what it is, whether an autonomous space station or an installation on an asteroid, but it is huge. Because of this size is why I've been saying that they'll use the Galactica to destroy Cavil's basestar, but they'll settle, as a blended colony -- on The Colony. The search for Earth will continue from there. Not finding Earth, but with the potential to continue hunting as a blended people, is the dark ending with a new beginning we've been told we're going to get. At first I thought we'd hear Lee repeating what his father has said that "Life here began out there" (with a Big Blue Marble shot like the end of Crossroads), but the voiceover could just as easily be Starbuck -- or even Baltar on another one of his broadcasts.

There are no mountains

If you were to look at the, so called, mountains from the same angle you are looking at where Boomer entered the structure it would look identical to what you are seeing on screen now. Does it look like the structure Boomer entered is a mountain? No? Well, that is your answer, there are no frakin mountains. You seriously need new eyesight if you can't see that.

That's actually the point

The Portal is some sort of Cylon organic artificial structure. The other material doesn’t look organic, or artificial. It looks like eroded hills, which don’t occur anywhere but on planets.

No it looks like it is made

No it looks like it is made from the same stuff as the object in the foreground. I swear your screen is broken if you can't see that.

Playmates

I thought he was talking about creating new life based on Hera's DNA. She is part human and so she can reproduce. They can make a baby factory using Hera. Disturbing, but somehow I don't think Cavil cares.

The question I have is how

The question I have is how likley is it that a basestar is hovering around a earth bound structure like this colonly. Do they have the power
to do that in a gravity bound atmosphere?

Of course

In fact we saw even the most primitive first-war base star lifting off from a planet in “Razor” flashbacks.

http://i48.photobucket.com/al

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f245/gayjedi/09-arrival.jpg

Please explain how the purple is visible outside in the air (it would have to be based on where Boomer entered and the previous shot outside) if it is not in space. Kthxbye.

Whatever the purple is

It’s visible from the camera’s vantage point, so of course it is visible looking back. Makes it more likely it is some fake BSG style nebula.

You missed the point. If

You missed the point. If the purple is a lake as you contend, based purely on where the opening in placed on The Colony, the Raptor and the Baseship would have to be under the purple water to be able to see purple from THAT angle. It is pointing up. You are looking directly at the sky. Sorry, but you can lean towards the ground all you want, that object is so obviously in space it is painful.

Not looking at lake

It’s purple in all directions — purple sky above, and lake reflecting purple sky below, in the planetary interpretation.

One thing that makes sense in no interpretation is how the tunnel is short, and there are several parallel tunnels shining purple light into the big chamber, all parallel, but there is only one entrance outside. You can see how short the tunnels is from her fly-through and the look-back.

It is clearly not obvious that either interpretation is correct, so please avoid that tone. It’s not welcome here.

I can't wait to see you

I can't wait to see you proved wrong and how obvious it was to those of us who were right. It isn't a tone, it is called being right. It is obvious why you love Michael Hall so much. You both enjoy ignoring what you don't want to see.

Then you will not get much satisfaction

Because I am just explaining the options, and leaning one way. If it turns out to be incorrect, I will say “Oh, I guess I was wrong” and move on. I recommend the same to all. Don’t invest too much energy into this in either direction, I recommend. The main point is how big the place is.

I will get satisfaction

If you didn't really care one way, or the other, you would not argue so much about it. Sorry, pal, but you have essentially argued with everyone here since no one has seen what you see, yet we are all fooled by some optical illusion as you called it. There will be satisfaction and you can pretend it doesn't eat at you, but it does.

Roll with it

Brad's made a good play of presenting all the main theories with this topic. Is he more attached to his perspective as much as I'm attached to being the (anonymous) guy who came up with the starfish theory without getting a credit? Perhaps, but as he says (and I've said myself) life goes on. I'd like to comment more on these things but it's going too far off topic and I'm saving it for when I get my own blog into gear sometime.

now i could be wrong but it

now i could be wrong but it would be cheaper to just take a rock in space hollow it out and make it a base... lot cheaper than building it completely out of metal... sci fi is replete with space ships being made out of asterois... i still don't think Cavil and his bunch built this thing but we will find out who did

Decision Time

If you have cheap energy, mechanical labour, and a relative abundance of resources cost becomes less of an issue. Like the chrome on the bumper or the big bucket of popcorn you stuff your hole with during a show, it's done because you can not because you have to. One can argue the style or necessity until the cows come home but in the fictional and real world someone has to make a decision sometime. The rest is posturing.

Where the ship is

The colour of nebulae

Astrophotographers love to show pictures of the beautiful colours of nebulae. However, these are all not really visible to the naked eye. They are dimly lit gas that if you expose it for a long time starts to show some colour.

But yes, I agree that the colony is probably supposed to be in some purple nebula.

Nebula, schnedubla.

You're one bitch away from sounding like Cavil. As the Chinese saying goes, the gap between a fool and a genius is less than the width of an atom. I suppose, that's why you're retconning your position on the colony. I feel your pain. LOL.

I've said, half jokingly, that irony is the fifth fundamental force. I know science ignores stuff even if there's evidence when there's no proof but I do wonder about irony. Stories (and the lies we tell ourselves) are funny things.

Bah. Nebula, schnedubla.

agree. I'm just saying that

agree. I'm just saying that the picture that they based the purple nebula on is probably the one in the link.

Invisible nebulae?

The myth of the invisible nebula was started by one astronomy blog, which, I apologize, I can't find the link for at the moment. This misconception was then picked up by the guy at http://thescienceofbattlestargalactica.blogspot.com who wrote a blog article about this and published an influential youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us4yzG5g0ZM (He and the Battlestar Galactica's science adviser are coauthors of the upcoming Science of Battlestar Galactica book.)

The astronomy blog author did detailed calculations showing that a nebula would be invisible to the naked eye if viewed from within. The astronomy blog article did not say that *all* nebulae would be invisible from within; it's just that people wrongly *assumed* he meant all nebulae. The author later clarified in his comments that he was speaking about one particular type of nebula, diffuse planetary nebulae, adding that some kinds of nebulae would indeed be visible to the naked eye.

Emissions nebulae can be blindingly bright when viewed from within. The Lagoon Nebula is an emissions nebula with H II regions. It's nasty, bright, and deadly. If you were inside the Lagoon Nebula, at least portions of it would be like in the Passage. You can see the Lagoon Nebula with your naked eye, and it's 4000 light years from Earth(!)

Enough science, now philosophy... People should respect others' viewpoints, even if it's only for the selfish reason that you'll only make yourself look like a moron if the people you are calling morons turn out to be correct.

Brad rarely agrees with me, but he is always respectful, for which I am appreciative.

That's a good reminder about

That's a good reminder about facts and attitude.

I was convinced this was not a lake for one simple reason

The axis of the "sea" on the lower left of the pic lines up exactly with the nebula-like line above and to the right of it, yet they are of substantially different brightnesses, and are very obviously not reflections of each other. This immediately tells me they are the exact same structure, and that what occludes this in the middle is not connected to any transparent/translucent material underneath. Ergo, they're in space.

How can a beach/mountain hypothesis explain the orientation of this nebula structure and the lack of a clear reflection?

Unless, of course, Brad is just trolling all of us for his own amusement, his amusement in the show itself wearing thin. In which case, golf claps all around.

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