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Who were the previous incarnations of the Final Five?

As I've often discussed, many clues show the Final Five to be over 4,000 years old. We see them in hooded robes in the 2,000 year old Kobol Opera House in visions, and they are almost surely the 5 priests who built the "Temple of Five" 4,000 years ago on the way from Earth.

But we also see that 4 copies of the Final Five have been present in the Colonies for a long time. Tigh is 60 years old, the others look to be in their 30s. And they have aged and gotten sick and been totally human. Indeed, until recently they had no idea they weren't. As yet there are still few clues as to why the Final Five might be living with the colonials as sleepers.

But here's the interesting question: What have then been doing the last 4,000 years? They had some role in the creation of the new generation of Cylons, who got programmed to know of the Final Five but to avoid thinking about them. Perhaps they've been living out in space until this set of 5 sleepers was introduced into colonial life, destined to be among the fleet that flees the coming human/Cylon war (the third such war, at least, if I read things correctly.)

But more likely they have been living in the colonies for the past 2,000 years. If so, have they been living in the same bodies, perhaps growing old and then downloading into a new young body when done with the old? This could be pulled off -- "Boy, you sure look a lot like your dad!" -- especially if you moved around from colony to colony, though I can certainly see some risks in a society with thousands of years of photography and computers. Of course the Final Five would have no problem manipulating colonial computers.

Another option might include taking different bodies with each incarnation. And quite possibly starting each new incarnation as a baby, as a sleeper, then growing up and learning of your nature when some trigger happens.

This has led to speculation in my thread about Joesph Adama that he could have been another member of the final Five (presumably the missing one) and also be a current character. A different current character. Perhaps his grandson, Lee. Or perhaps Romo Lampkin, the lawyer who says he knew Joseph well. For those in the "it's somebody not in the Last Supper photo" camp, this makes some sense and provides the needed "oh shit" moment when all is revealed.

This also allows other members of the Final Five to have had earlier incarnations with roles in colonial history. In particular, one wonders if members of the Final Five, in other bodies, may be some of the characters in Caprica the new Prequel series being made. That includes Joseph Adama, but also the mysterious monotheist preist, Sister Clarice who we are told plays such a pivotal role in the creation of the Cylons.

And of course, who were the final Five at the fall of Kobol? Where they Lords of Kobol, or their enemies? And did they look like Tigh, Foster, Anders and Tyrol?

Update: Now that it's clear that #3 recognized the current bodies of the Final Five in the Temple, this either means they have had the same bodies since they built that temple, or (less likely) they reprogram the temple every time they change bodies. Mostly I would have to say this discounts the idea they change form, though. This does mean they had better not get too famous, as in history book famous, over the generations.


The question I have is why the four of the Final Five we have seen haven't speculated on any of the questions you ask about them? Tigh remembers a time before the Cylons and when they were created I presume. Why don’t the newly revealed models wonder about other copies of themselves? I can see them thinking they are regular Cylons but why wouldn’t they wonder if there are more copies like themselves? It could be explained by “to much confusion” or are they programmed not to think about the final five either? Tory said stuff like “I don’t know but like it” and the others seem depressed and confused but the question about other copies some place (maybe they wouldn’t consider some time in the past) seems pretty obvious to me.

A good question, whether they have other copies or not. Tigh has been shown to ask about his memories, in the revelation scene, he talks about the two wars, but not about the question of how he was born before Cylons were made. Indeed he should be asking, I presume they don't want to push this question on the audience too hard, we don't see all they say.

Or it could be conditioning, as you say. We remain entirely uninformed as to why the 5 are sleepers. I am guessing it is part of some plan the 5 have to bring them closer to their human side by regularly making copies who live as human.

It's less clear, by the way, why Boomer was programmed as she was. The Cylons seem to be good enough actors. Gina, Caprica Six, D'Anna, Doral and the rest all lived among humans undetected, though Baltar sussed out Doral but he may have access to extra info. So it doesn't make a lot of sense but may just have been a plot device.

There is a suggestion that the essence or spirit of Cylons and humans is the same. Indeed, in Buddhist thought one might consider conciousness a product of the universe and the level or quality of conciousness is coloured by its projection through the form it takes. This is orthogonal to your topic but something to consider in light of the Caprica prequel, the First Hybrid's comments, and the emerging end-game.

I can't make my mind up whether the Final Five are ancient or modern, or decide how much it matters. It's possible to speculate and spoilers suggest it may have some weight that Starbuck died and was remade in an artifical body, would be human in spirit and intent but Cylon in physical form, no be neither one nor the other. Again, it's huge speculation but the Final Five might have this type of quality about them.

The end game seems to be that neither human or Cylon can make that final step on the evolution ladder on their own but can do it if they work together. I'm not entirely convinced this was in Ron's original vision but his plan and audience comment seem to be creating something that squares the circle for both. I guess, in a funny sort of way that's a Final Irony to match the Final Cylon. Kinda neat, that.

I've seen some newer spoilers that confirm the Final Five are as old as you suggest, and that they went into 'stealth mode' in order to observe the cycle of death and rebirth. The spoilers also confirm the Final Five have been to Earth and it was their closeness to Earth that caused their 'awakening'. There's also another spoiler that a fleet left Kobol to go to Earth and is responsible for Earth's destruction. I suppose, it's possible the Final Five were horrified or made curious by this and decided to blend in with the humans like a Buddha character to understand or bring humanity on to the next level, or something.

It's not strictly canon but the comic books show Cylons copying human minds remotely as part of their R&D programme to create the 7 humanoid models, and there's the reincarnation that is canon of the Final Hybrid being reborn as a baby somewhere in the fleet. This is entirely speculative but the near-death and dream experiences shared by a 6 and Roslin might fit into this general pattern. It doesn't matter if everyone dies or nobody dies, or whether they're human or Cylon, because the thing that makes us what we are is a common property of the universe. Again, that's a bunch of Buddhist stuff that Ron seems to have a fetish with.

I can't make anything of it like you do, Brad, but I thought I'd mention it to bring you up to speed and see if that triggered off another prespective on BSG from you.

Well, I have noticed the rather interesting coincidence that just after the First Hybrid declares his existence will begin again in ways uncertain, we have Hera born in a sudden premature labour.

Hera was so important at the start. Everybody thinks she's the key to everything. Of late her only role was to draw a book full of sixes and inspire mommy to off Natalie. They claim they wrap up all these plotlines so she had better be important.

The state of Earth still confuses me. The ruins look too young to be from the time of Kobol, which is 2,000 years ago, or so we're told. Kobol's ruins look much older than Earth's.

Reading between the lines Ron just specifed it was a baby in the fleet but they cut that from the final shoot. My guess is that it was just random no-name baby. You may be right about the Hera reincarnation but it could go either way, I suppose. I wouldn't lay money on it but wouldn't say it was wrong.

I'll have to watch the scenes again but would Hera's scribbles relate to Virtual 6? I'm just trying to tease out the messenger from God thing and Baltar's resolution and see if they're related. Then there's that recurring opera house vision with Baltar, 6, and Hera and the five staring down at them on the last opera house scene. I'd certainly like to see what the endgame is with that.

I've read other stuff that emerged after we last discussed the ruins that confirmed it was a mess up with production, and that Ron intended the ruins to look way older than they looked originally. They did some work to age the ruins so they looked older than if they'd just been bombed yesterday but they still looked younger than Ron had intended. Beyond that you get into budget and time issues so Ron ran with what production handed back.

We did hear that the first round of ruins looked too young and this is the second round, but I have not heard any confirmation that he thought they were still too young and they needed a re-do.

I guess one problem is, if he had made them as old as the ruins on Kobol, which do indeed look thousands of years old, it would not have been possible to recognize Earth style architecture in them. So we have to wait on this.

As for the baby, if it's a random baby, it's not Hera. I just note the coincidence, in particular that Hera is a sudden emergency birth, and Razor takes place chronologically just before that episode. But if FH is around, he's the same age as Hera.

Yes, I have to believe they do relate to Virtual Six, on the other hand I was surprised to see the latest deleted scene with Baltar and Virtual Six saying goodbye. Since she is such a popular character, I am not sure what they plan to do with her. Helfer of course can play Cap 6 again, who is now free.

I should've keep the link but I remember it said about stuff being aged, moved around, and a few details like metal roods sticking out, or something, was done. It looked too much like Manhatten bombed yesterday when it was first done. I think, that was some cultural cliche popping up in production which we've also seem in comment from viewers. These thing happen. I'm not complaining as apart from that it looked like some good work.

Now you mention Kobol, some of the ruins would've looked less ruined if Ron had the money but there wasn't the finance there or a big enough reason to override that. The outline for the cheesy scene with God (played by Dirk Benedict) says pretty much everything about that. As it turned out, Baltar just had his vision thing with 6 and Hera.

When I first mentioned that Hybrid reincarnation thing I never spotted the time coincidence. That's a good catch by you Brad but I can't see anything that would harden that. I've been wracking my brains to see if there's anything else or a bigger picture thing but can't see anything that will make it stick. Maybe, it's something best not explained just to keep up the mystery. Is it important? Does it matter? What difference would it make? Going back to thinking like a dramatist, the only way I could make something of it is just think of a narrative that's consistent with the canon. What would you come up with if Ron walked in the door and asked you to turn in a script for it?

I didn't know about that goodbye thing but Virtual Baltar makes a return, and he's not so smarmy and predatory this time around. There's also the resolution with the harem, and Baltar and Caprica 6 being involved in a shooting war as trouble breaks out in the fleet. Maybe it's just the romantic in me but it would be nice if Baltar and 6 got over themselves and shacked up. But, with all the disaster Ron's got lined up we might end up with a poignant ending to their relationship like in the novel Tai-Pan. Man, that was sad. It had me floored for days.

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