An interview by Maureen Ryan of Ron Moore and others is available on the Chicago Tribune site.
It contains a lot of important information, and some that dashes a number of my hopes.
- Yes, you can take it as fact that the 13th tribe were Cylons, though not 12-model Cylons of course
- Yes, they colonized the planet and “christened it Earth.”
- No the timelines aren’t wrong (timing this war at the same time as Kobol exodus and presumably 1,600 years after Pythia and 2,000 after Temple of Five) and we’re going to see more which makes the timelines all make sense.
- Dee is just a suicide, nothing more (or less.)
This is so out of odds with other clues, including the Tomb of Athena, and of course the real Earth. The real Earth wasn’t colonized by cylons. We evolved here, and Moore acknowledged in the past that this is a scientific fact that he was not going to ignore.
The simplest explanation may be he just changed his mind, which I would find disappointing.
I can think of some convoluted explanations:
- We are programmed to think we are human, so we imagine fossils in the ground and all the history of evolution
- When he says “christened it Earth” he doesn’t mean in English. That Earth is a translation for the viewers of the name this Cylon colony gave to the planet they “discovered.”
- We now have to draw a plot that has Kobol colonized long ago by humans or Cylons from Earth, Earth falls, Kobol forgets where they came from, Kobol sends out a colony of cylons which rediscovers Earth. Later there is a war which nukes Earth.
But I can’t say that any of these explanations make a lot of sense, or that I like any of them.
A possibly nicer plot is a plot of many more cycles of war and exodus, which involve both Earth and Kobol, and regular repopulation of the one planet from the other, so that eventually it is forgotten which planet is the original. When we learn these extra timeline details which explain how the Temple of Five is 4,000 years old and the Pythian story of the exile, rebirth and the colonization of Earth is 3,600 years old, and the exodus of the 12 tribes is also 2,000 years old (too close to be coincidence) we might see something along these lines.
These cylons who lived on Earth are a different class again. There are not the 12 models, and in fact what we see is absolutely identical to a modern Earth situation, including identical clothing and other styles, a possibly Christian poster, and a perfectly typical 20th century post office, with mail slot and wall of P.O. boxes and faded posters without the corners cut off. I mean the set designers and costume designers didn’t change anything from normal, which doesn’t feel right with a supposed 1,600 year advanced civilization.
And these cylons don’t seem to download, or if they did, there is no sign of them. But the final 5 are set to download. And Ellen tells Saul that “All is in place” for them to be reborn again. If everybody downloads this is not something he needs to be told. She says it in a way that makes it sound like she’s informing him of this for the first time. This could be because it is the first time (unlikely — there is that 4,000 year old temple with them in it) or because Saul does not have all his memories.
We also learn in the interview that Moore was thinking exactly as I predicted in his reasoning for choosing Ellen. So I’m glad to get a few things right… I came to the conclusion in a very similar way to how Moore did. Looking at the candidates, I asked, “What story would make Ellen interesting as final Cylon” and concluded the really long term relationship with Saul had to be it. They could have done the same with Cally, or even the newly revealed Tory-Anders potential relationship, but Ellen made the most sense, and Saul was the most important character.
Overall I felt (and still feel) it made a lot more sense to not have a 13th tribe that is real, though it was always possible to write the multi-cycle plot where it was. So I’m disappointed, but hope that there is something to please me in what’s coming up.
From the Battlestar Galactica Analysis Blog