A lot of pop-culture posts today, but time for just one more.
I’ve been a big fan of the new Battlestar Galactica series since it first launched a few years ago. It’s one of the television highlights for me these days for a lot of reasons, some of which have to do with the quality of the show, and some of which have to do with the propensity for the networks to cancel other shows I like.
I’ve read some coverage of the series in Entertainment Weekly, and it sounds like the show is written in an incredibly open style. Some fiction know the ending of their stories from the beginning, but not necessarily the path. Orson Scott Card writes like that, as does J. K. Rowling. From the press, it sounds like the Battlestar team is incredibly open about where the series will end up. They say they haven’t decided on an ending yet, and are taking the story season-to-season.
To me, however, the ending looks painfully obvious. So, I thought I’d share it here, and see if people agree. I’ve been searching online, and I’ve found just a few posts on the subject, but there are clearly a couple people who see the same thing I do.
Here’s what we know, from the new series:
- 3,000 years ago, humanity split into 13 colonies to settle. 12 that were close together in one system, and one remote planet. This journey was captured in religious text that is part history, part prophecy.
- The one remote planet is Earth
- The 12 colonies have a polytheistic culture that matches Greek mythology exactly. Even the pilots have call signs like “Apollo”.
- The 12 colony locations match the Greek names for common constellations, like Gemini.
- 40 years ago, the Cylons (which are the robots built by the 12 colonies) revolted. There was a war, and they retreated. Now, they have come back and literally obliterated the 12 colonies, to the point where only 41K or so humans survived and are now searching for Earth.
- The Cylons have made themselves in their creator’s image (human), and have developed a powerful monotheistic culture. They are also aspiring to breed the next step in their evolution – a human/cylon hybrid.
So, how does it end?
I see two possibilities:
- The series takes place in modern times, or the near future. It turns out that the original 13th colony ended up founding Atlantis, approximately 1000 BC, which they will posit was the basis for Greek culture, etc. The humans connect with modern humanity on Earth, and somehow the Cylon problem “goes away” – either through victory, or via the Cyclons deciding that humanity deserves their respite on Earth.
- The series actually takes place in the past. When Battlestar Galactica and fleet get to Earth, it is roughly 2000 BC. They discover that the previous colony lost its technology, and has regressed to primitive status. They fight off the Cylons in one final battle, and settle on an island in the Mediterranean called Atlantis. They reach out to their distant brethren in nearby Greece, and start re-educating them in math, philosophy, democracy, and of course, religion with the Olympian gods. Meanwhile, in a teaser/ending, one of the last Cylons lands in the desert across the sea, and speaks to a nomad named Abram, and convinces him that there really is only one true god. There is an implication that the Cyclons are somehow the progenitors of the Judeo-Christian faith, maybe even extending to some concept that they are still around somehow.
In case you think I’m off the deep end here, consider the original speech that Patrick Macnee used to give as part of the opening narration of the original series. I never watched the original series, but it stands to reason that this does integrate into the vision for the end of the new series.
“There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. They may have been the architects of the great pyramids, or the lost civilizations of Lemuria or Atlantis. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens…”
I love ancient mythology and history, so I’m clearly rooting for (2) as the potential ending. Would love to hear what other fans of the show think.
Update (11/14/2006): My blog traffic is up nearly 100% due to this post. It looks like people are discussing this post on the boards. I’m seeing a lot of links to this blog from this thread on the Sci Fi Channel Forums. Thanks for reading!
Update (1/8/2007): A new post is up on the potential spoilers for the fifth and final unknown cylon. Season 4 is almost here.