Saturday, June 14, 2008

Shining The Light: Battlestar Galactica In the Middle of the Final Season

I really don't think that I'm spoiling things by saying that even though you've found Earth it doesn't mean that you can live there.

In the final scene of the mid-season finale we see the main characters, the Humans and their children the Cylons, standing together in the nuked out ruins of a temple. In the far background across a river we see the shattered wreckage of a major city. The Thirteenth Tribe is nowhere in sight. Only the remains of their works which are crumbling into radiologically contaminated dust.

Most of the main characters are stunned into silence by scene of desolation with only the remaining Number Three, the most hardcore of the remaining Cylons, showing an open expression of horror at the apparent fate of the People of Earth.

So they've found Earth, it sucks, now what?

The series isn't over. The questions that remains to be answered are who guided the Humans and their children the Cylons to this world? And why?

My personal theory is that Higher Beings, possibly the remaining Lords of Kobol, have been actively guiding events from the beginning of the series with the ultimate goal of bringing humanity into a higher state of being.

The story of Starbuck, with her apparent death and her miraculous return to the fleet are an obvious clue. At one point I basically suspected that she was an incarnation of one the Lords of Kobol, or perhaps a child of one of the Lords.

Of course an obvious clue in plain sight in the opening credits of every episode is the verse from the Gayatri Mantra: "Om bhūr bhuvah svah tat savitur varēnyam bhargō dēvasya dhīmahi dhiyō yō nah pracōdayāt".

Which translates as: "Oh all-protecting lord, please guide our intellects, so that we may proceed in the right direction towards enlightenment".

Battlestar Galactica is not merely a physical trek with lots of really cool battles with nukes being tossed about like confetti. Battlestar Galactica is a spiritual journey.

The characters in the series, both Human and Cylon, are confronted with a series of moral decisions. And not everyone gets it right. With Brother Cavil and Admiral Cain as obvious examples.

Then there's Gaius Baltar. He appears to be a living, breathing, exemplar of what not to do. His latest folly being the adoption and preaching of a California, which is to say a narcissistic, style of Monotheism.

"It doesn't matter how utterly fouled up I am or will be, I'm perfect and God loves me!" (And I can get you a great deal on the radioactive ruins of the Brooklyn Bridge.)

This doesn't necessarily mean that Colonial Polytheism is the right way either.

In the first part of the initial miniseries William Adama raised the question of whether not Humanity was fit to survive. The real question in my mind is whether or not Humanity is ready to take the next evolutionary step, to an angelic state of being or outright godhood. We should see the answer to that question in the final episode of the series.

(And I don't think Baltar is going to get it.)


HTRN said...

To be honest, after watching that, I thought the "cursed earth" was kinda a copout.

A far better ending would be an earth with a psuedo W40K culture, where monotheistic aggressors declaring the Colonials AND the Cylons Heretics, and launching a massive attack against them.

It's one thing to find out Earth is not what you think it is, it's another for their supposed "brothers" to reject them utterly and attempt to finish what the Cylons started.

Leslie Bates said...

But that would be bad for the business.

HTRN said...

Yeah, but I think it would go down in TV history, for jawdropping endings. Instead, they go for a bad planet of the apes ripoff.

Macker said...

Hopefully, the Colonials and Cylons will find what's left of Humanity deep underground...

Whoops! That's from POTA too!

CyanSnowHawk said...

Does this turn the human origin line from the original series on its head? What if Moore is playing it where humanity originated on Earth, colonized Kobol, and then expanded to the 12 colonies. I can't see him taking us into some post-apocalyptic cliche for the final episodes. Something is happening that is not typical of TV sci-fi, and I think he had this in mind right from the start.

Leslie Bates said...

I now believe that the planet the fleet arrived at is not the real Earth. We didn't see our moon and we didn't see any familiar landmarks or continental outlines.

I think we will see the actual Earth in a later episode along with one or more of the Lords of Kobol and an explanation for how humans came to Kobol.

Also I think the reimaged BSG takes place in a far future. The song "All Along The Watchtower" has to be a remnant of ancient Terran culture in the Kobol/Colonial/Cylon era. Either that or Bob Dylan is a Cylon.

Leslie Bates said...

February 23, 2010:

I was wrong. BSG takes place in the distant past and Humanity (including the rebel Cylons) does not achieve godhood.