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.