A Theory On Battlestar Galactica

26 08 2013

I re-watched all 4 seasons of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, and a question posed or implied at the end got me thinking. I have a theory as what the answer is.  WARNING: I discuss information that will give away spoilers or important plot points, so continue at your own risk.

The Question

One of the last scenes in the last episode has Imaginary Baltar and Imaginary Caprica 6 discussing the news about the “mitochrondial Eve”, which is presumably Hera. Hera was the first Cylon/Human hybrid, the result of Athena and Helo doing the nasty back on Caprica in the months after the attack. The scene drove home the point that the events in the TV series occurred 150,000 years before we Terran humans really got going.

But the question: will the events that seem to repeat happen again? An important theological element in the Galactica universe is that “all this has happened before, and all this will happen again”. The discovery of the Final 5 at the end of Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4 lead to a startling discovery: Cylons have been invented before, and repeatedly. The original humans, who settled first on Kobol before scattering into two groups, had invented their own Cylons. There was some conflict, as well as the issue of Kobol being “haunted” or something. So, the humans went one way, forming the 12 Colonies, and their Cylons went another way, moving to “Earth”. Those Cylons apparently created their own Cylons, which caused a massive war which wiped both sides, except for 5 Original Cylons (Cylon Classic?). Those survivors “resurrected” and made their way back toward the other 12 colonies, but not before stopping off with the descendants of the Daniel Graystone Cylons and giving them the secret of resurrection sometime before the First Cylon War.

So the question was asked. Will these new “humans”of this new Earth, which really are a hybrid of some original humanoid species and a mechanized race that developed a set of biomechanical models, treat their “Cylons” better? Can the avoid (again) a devastating war between “man” and “machine”?

A Different Path

I could answer the question with a question: why presume we’re going to build Cylons? Why do we want to create a slave race that serves us, primarily in a military or other dangerous capacity?

But I have a different idea, and a different theory. The difference is because that, instead of building this:

Cylon Centurion

We actually now want to build this:

R2-D2

We can thank George Lucas for causing humanity to drift from a vision of the world originally crafted by Glen Larson and Ronald Moore, and one done after Star Wars came out. We don’t really want to build efficient and ruthless autonomous and sentient killing machines. What we want to build are smart-ass droids which act as little blue-and-white deus ex machinas. I’d rather have R2. He’d be more fun to hang around, and slightly less likely to nuke my planet.

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