Yellow moons, flashing triples and Cylon Christs oh my

Starbuck comes back from Earth and declares it has a “yellow moon and star” which “matches the description in Pythia.” And we also see a a photo of Earth she took where we see a slightly yellowish moon over a gray Earth. Even more curiously, if you have an astronomical background, you will notice that the image of the moon comes from a partial lunar eclipse, which would make the moon yellow-orange but would only be temporary.

Of course, this makes no sense. Why would Pythia (who wrote the mythologized story of Earth) have described the moon as yellow? Some suggest this is just a flub of a line, and Starbuck or Sackhoff meant to say “yellow star and moon.” Our star is not really yellow to the naked or neutrally filtered eye, that is its colour in the stellar spectrum. And why the eclipse? These happen from time to time but are very short. It would be no accident to encounter one.

Starbuck then recounts a “ringed gas giant, a flashing triple star and a comet.” From Earth her naked eye would not see the rings of Saturn, though a hypothetical viper telescope could. Nothing would see a “flashing triple star.” While Alpha Centauri is a triple, it is not flashing, and the 3rd component is so dim that even people living near the primary would not see it naked eye. These read to me as “signposts” she was shown by the beings who took her on her Earth junket. I suspect the fleet will eventually see this flashing triple and take it as a sign they are on Starbuck’s course. Whether they trust that course is another matter.

However the ringed planet and comet are not good signs. Those will be found everywhere. And the photos she took of the Zodiac are far better tools and finding Earth. They would tell you that you were near to Earth ages before you could get close enough to see Saturn. In fact, since we were shown they are within about 10,000 light years of Earth, they actually should be getting a handle on the Zodiac by now, given they also know the location of the Lagoon Nebula within it. The writers may be missing their astronomy on this one, or will have to explain why they don’t already have enough info.

My suspicion that Baltar represents a Cylon Christ also is given a very overt boost in “He that believeth in me” though the signals are confusing. Can he be a Cylon Christ (ie. limited incarnation of Cylon God) and the last of the Final Five at the same time? The six drapes in the vision of the final 5, with one drape empty, always suggested to me that there is a sixth figure (representing the cylon God or Christ) distinct from the last Cylon.

Interesting line of the episode: Caprica-6 says “we’re programmed not to think of them.” This is a further confirmation that the 7 Cylons are pawns in some way of the Final 5. The fact that they back off their attack after identifying Anders adds to this. Oddly (and this is probably a retcon) Cylons have shot at Anders several times before, even injuring him, and #3 beat the crap out of him in a Caprica parking garage. While this will be explained as relating to their wake-up call, truth is Anders wasn’t chosen by the writers as a Cylon back then. It’s odd that the F5 would take the risk that they would be killed by Cylons before their activation, since they are obviously placed in the colonies as part of “a plan.”

One thing I found surprising — the Cylons attacked the colonial fleet. While it’s perhaps not obvious to the casual viewer, the Cylons have not attacked civilians since the 2nd season. When they found them on New Caprica they declared they no longer wanted to wipe out humanity. And since then there were only military skirmishes, though admittedly jump capability can make it hard to tell. So there’s a sudden change of heart, and then a sudden reversal on signal from Anders’ eye. Also worth noting is that the ship that was destroyed was destroyed not by a missle, but an out of control raider that was shot by colonials.

We’re in for a long ride this final season. We probably won’t learn the answers to big mysteries until the last few episodes, which will air in 2009. And new information about the background to the Caprica prequel series has just come out that ads major new elements. I’ll discuss this in another post as some might view them as big spoilers about BSG, even though they are things presumably revealed in the 1st episode of Caprica.

I've wondered about the

I've wondered about the Lords of Kobol, the 13 tribes, and whether there was a missing Cylon. At a guess, would the jealous god be anything to do with the 13th tribe and the Cylons, and Baltar is one of two final Cylons? Could the block on the 7 Cylons be put there by the jealous god?

Back in the early days Ron said the fleet was just being hounded by the Cylons. It was only when the audience started taking an interest did he develop their characters and world. The pit-stop at New Caprica probably came about because of that, so the last series probably shapes up differently to what it would've been.

I'm going to throw some dice here and suggest the original plan would've been a straight chase. The Final Five are, perhaps, ancient Cylons who are pulling a Foundation style psychohistory nudging of humanity towards transcendance but the 13th Cylon has a few control issues. Now, the humanising of the 7 Cylons created a new dynamic that's been folded in and the Hera plotline is symbolic of a shared transcendence.

Now, I reckon, Baltar might be revealed as the Final Cylon but not the Final Final Cylon. Instead of a fake death like Starbuck got dealt with we'll get a fake ascension. I'm starting to handwave like a helicopter here so I'll back off and just see if it survives a shakedown as plausable theory.

13th tribe

I am not sure there is a real 13th “tribe,” but there is certainly a 13th group of humans, on Earth. And one would have to presume elsewhere too, though I doubt we will see them.

As to who put in the block on the 7 Cylons, we have no idea, but I presume it’s the F5 themselves, or the Cylon God.

But they could have 2 Cylons to go instead of the “1 will be revealed” by using the Cylon Christ motif or other incarnations of the Cylon God. And in fact, there are really more Cylons than that. There’s Hera, and the hybrids, and the first hybrid whose “life will begain anew in ways uncertain.” And Nikolas Tyrol, too. Lots o’ Cylon models now.

It's certainly getting quite

It's certainly getting quite crowded. I understand next episode may be showing a little thinning of the population. I'm looking forward to that because it may be dramatic and I like the character played by Dean Stockwell. He's been quite funny in a dry sort of way. His line on Cylon meetings, an "Oh" of suprise, and whining about cutting his own jugular stand out for me. People think being clowns and villains is easy but it's hard work.

There's also the Cylon Centurians and Raiders, and a couple of the old tin can models floating around. They look like they may have a bigger role to play as the conflict between the humans and Cylons starts building. I don't know how Dean Stockwell will play things in the next episode but I'm thinking he might have a "Why me? Why now? Why today?" sort of attitude. Mind you, if a Cylon Centurion starts playing ball with Romo Lampkin's cat it will probably be stretching it.

That's an interesting question about the human and Cylon elites, and how Tyrol stood up for the workers and how the Cylon Centurians and Raiders might start getting twitchy when people start yanking their limiters. There might be something in that mess of stuff about the human and Cylon conflict and how the different sides may split, and where the Baltar and Hera plotlines go. Ron says Baltar isn't the mainline and I'm guessing that sort of coincides with the Final Cylon emerging from the shadows.

I know that's more spaghetti but Ron's wall of tease kinda encourages it.

the final cylon can only be ...

... Hera

That's my theory. This is more gut than factually supported. I think this season is going to explain why it's her so we only have a small fraction of the clues needed right now. It fits the BSG myth of repeating cycles, explains the child's importance, explains why the Cylons felt they had to try to breed with a species they were trying to destroy, etc.

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Also Brad have you ever written about the possible relationship between the F5 and the Gods, that this whole saga is just a scripted game played between the Gods and the one God? I have to say it's increasingly going in that direction, feeling like it's an event scripted by godlike beings with knowledge of the future.

Flashing Triple Star

I believe the elements Kara remembers are more vision guideposts than actual, physical navigation objects. We know the hybrid is aware of the future in advance, due to the cylon god's incluence, so certainly Kara could have a vision of future events that will guide her to Earth. Specifically, the triple star that Kara painted looks a lot like three cylon baseships. Maybe they are "flashing" because they've been damaged. I suspect Kara will see the "rebel" cylon baseships, recognize that the damaged ships are part of her vision, and then ask for their help in finding Earth. Just a thought!

Knowing the future

Purist that I am, I have always read the concept of destiny in this show as not based on knowledge of the future, nor on actual destiny, but rather due to the actions of powerful unseen beings, such as the Cylon God and Lords of Kobol, and the Final 5.

So they are not destined to repeat the cycle here, I think the lords want them to, and make things happen to assure that they do.

Which is to say “they have a plan” and the Cylon God and First Hybrid know the plan, and thus know what is going to happen because they are going to make it happen.

I admit that it’s possible this is a totally wrong view, that there is just some mystical cycle of destiny in the show, but I would be disappointed.

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