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Sci-Fi Entertainment

Battlestar Galactica Comes To an End 852

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-say-we-all dept.
On Friday evening, Battlestar Galactica ended its four-season run as one of the most popular science fiction shows in recent history. 2.4 million people tuned in for the finale, and reactions to the ending — positive, negative, and often a mix of both — are springing up all over the internet, as are tributes and retrospectives. Producers Ron Moore and David Eick held a Q&A session after the finale to discuss certain aspects of the story and spell out the final status of several plot lines. Fans of the show will have a chance to see the Cylon side of the story this fall in a two-hour TV movie titled "The Plan," and we've previously discussed the spin-off prequel series, Caprica, the pilot for which will come out on April 21st. Be warned: these links and the following discussion will contain spoilers.
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Battlestar Galactica Comes To an End

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  • by NormalVisual (565491) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @12:14PM (#27288341)
    The finale was reasonably good, but I would have preferred the last scene to have been Adama on top of the hill next to Laura's grave. What follows after that, although necessary to explain the existence of the "imaginary" Gaius/Six characters, seemed awfully cheesy to me. I'm talking "Galactica 1980" cheesy. I also didn't find the universal acceptance of the "hey, let's discard every scrap of technology and be cavemen!" idea to be realistic or practical in the least.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BigBuckHunter (722855)

      The finale was reasonably good, but I would have preferred the last scene to have been Adama on top of the hill next to Laura's grave.

      Agreed. I wish that they would have kept the suspended disbelief unexplained, much like the force was before metacloriates (blame firefox for not having a star-wars enabled spell checker). The god thing was a major cop-out for those of us that don't believe in magic.

      BBH

      • by node 3 (115640) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @02:34PM (#27289451)

        Agreed. I wish that they would have kept the suspended disbelief unexplained, much like the force was before metacloriates (blame firefox for not having a star-wars enabled spell checker). The god thing was a major cop-out for those of us that don't believe in magic.

        Wait, you're pissed that they scientifically explained away the 'magic' in Star Wars, but didn't scientifically explain away the 'magic' in BSG?

        The thing that annoys me more is when they are not self-consistent. That's the problem with Star Wars. The Force is a mystical thing, then it's suddenly just some funky magic germs. BSG always had this gods/one true god thing going, which at the very end isn't really 'God' god, but more of an Arthur C. Clarke sufficiently advanced technology god.

    • by StandardCell (589682) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @12:36PM (#27288465)
      1. Less talk and more subtlety. This means very little or no explicit dialog, no in-your-face pictures of dancing robots (but maybe Baltar and Six in front of an electronics store), and Jimi Hendrix's version of All Along The Watchtower playing on some radio in the background of some guy on the street. As it stands, it was too overt and tried too hard to make its point for viewers already accustomed to needing to think a bit more.

      2. What probably would've happened after Lee recommended all technology go away is a split between those who still wanted it and those who didn't. The two sides would create a pact to keep separate from each other, the small minority of technology-loving people going to live on a small continent off the west coast of Africa... Said continent, of course, to have been destroyed at some future point in time by natural disaster and essentially all technology along with it. This would solve what would be an obvious dilemma and split in viewpoints of the remaining people while reasonably explaining what would've happened to their technology.
      • subtlety schmutlety (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CarpetShark (865376) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:12PM (#27288717)

        1. Less talk and more subtlety. This means very little or no explicit dialog, no in-your-face pictures of dancing robots (but maybe Baltar and Six in front of an electronics store),

        Serious question: what the hell for? What do you gain from subtlety? A bit of smugness that you "worked out" the oh-so-subtle meaning? The right to ignore the show's message, and still claim to enjoy the show because you "didn't see it that way"?

        It's popular lately for all messages in media to be subtle, but that's just a cop-out so it can be mass-sold to everyone, and the many will buy it. It doesn't actually add value. If anything, it dilutes it.

        • by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @03:16PM (#27289897)

          Serious question: what the hell for? What do you gain from subtlety?

          The world around us is subtle, shades of grey, not black and white. Lack of subtlety implies lack of understanding or, worse, wilful ignorance. Never good when you're trying to suspend disbelief as a viewer.

          It's popular lately for all messages in media to be subtle, but that's just a cop-out so it can be mass-sold to everyone

          Please, I'd like an example so that we know what you're talking about, because this sounds like bullshit demagogy otherwise - 'a cop-out so it can be mass-sold', WTF? Since when has subtlety made things more mainstream? How is it more prevalent than the manichaeism so popular over the last decade in 'the civilised world' as our politicians like to call it?

          Art and entertainment are not solely there to 'add value' (whatever that means), they are a mode of communication, and a method of provoking emotions and thoughts in the viewer. Adding subtlety makes characters and situations portrayed more convincing, engaging and involving.

          Battlestar Galactica had some promising starting assumptions and some poetic and moving moments, but having watched the first few series, it rarely rose above the level of soap opera (set in space), precisely because the script-writers felt it necessary to telegraph lots of the plot again and again, to introduce meaningless sub-plots (note needless complication is not subtlety) that were never tied up, and generally to beat the viewer around the head with what was happening, rather than leaving some things mysterious, and allowing ideas and characters room to breathe.

          It was best when really pushing conflicts inherent in our society like freedom vs rights, the religious vs the secular in public life and military force vs political force. Sometimes that was let down by poor scripting, and sometimes by slightly hammy plot-lines. The best thing about it in my opinion was the oh-so-camp Gaius Baltar, who knew what the score was and played up to the hammy scripts he was handed. At times it did deal with genuinely interesting ideas in a genuinely challenging manner (terrorism for one), and yet that was betrayed by the insistence on cheap emotional shots (But you're a beautiful woman! But you're a cylon! But you're my father!), torture and sex, just to spice it up a little.

          It had the feel of being written by huge teams of writers (i.e. more than two), and that was a shame, as some material was really promising, and I love thoughtful sci-fi.

      • by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:22PM (#27288809)

        1. Less talk and more subtlety. This means very little or no explicit dialog, no in-your-face pictures of dancing robots

        The extreme spoon feeding of the plot was annoying and insulting. It was also beneath the show.

        When Starbuck was dialing the jump address, we really did not need all the flashes. I would have been fine with one flash to remind some where the music notes came from, but not a minutes worth.

        Also, the Boomer flashback was even more unnecessary.

        • by PyroMosh (287149) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @03:52PM (#27290331) Homepage

          I agree 100% that spoon feeding is beneath the show and insulting. Like when they showed Earth at the end of Season 3, when Starbuck returns.

          But I didn't see this as that kind of spoon feeding. I *did* think that the fast forward scene was sloppy though. The robots didn't really move anything forward, and being mostly cutesy, were badly out of place at the end of this show.

          Starbuck's jump coordinates flashbacks could have been trimmed down a bit, and I don't think we'd have missed much.

          But Boomer's flashback was important. Not for it's content, but for it's context. Boomer has been painted alternatingly (as many characters have) as the villain, and a victim of her circumstances / someone who made some bad choices. In the lead-up to her returning Hera to the Colonials, they paint her almost entirely as a villain. A redeemed villain with her last actions, but a villain none the less. You're probably thinking mostly of her sins - shooting Adama, kidnapping Hera, etc.

          Her real feelings for the Chief, her horror at waking up soaking wet in the arms locker before the water tank explodes, those feelings are so long ago, and so far forgotten in the evolution of the character, that the flashback brings you down immediately from the "bitch deserved it" reaction of Athena finally getting her revenge.

      • by lordofthechia (598872) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:28PM (#27288837)

        . What probably would've happened after Lee recommended all technology go away is a split between those who still wanted it and those who didn't.

        I know, that was the moment I could no longer suspend disbelief. The writers worked so hard to make the 40-50 thousand refugees believable (with conflicts, indecision, even mutiny and greed). But on what would have been the most shocking decision to date they all suddenly agreed?

        I agree with you on the split, but the dissenters could have lived on an island, away from the rest, along with all their culture and tech. Wasn't there a battlestar called Atlantia? So they could have explained the dissenters as one of the lost civilizations of myth by having them don the name of one of the lost battlestars of the fleet.

      • by aeryn_sunn (243533) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:47PM (#27288999)

        I hated the ending. The unilateral decision to get rid of all technology for everybody was both absurd, short-sighted, and just plain stupid. Why not give people a choice at least? And why the hell would the humans decide to live like cavemen on a strange planet without at least medical technology? There are probably viruses, bacteria, and parasites that would wipe out the colonials. So are we to believe that simple non-life threatening infections now all of a sudden become deadly because of the basic lack of antibiotics?

        And what about food? With farming and all what happens during a drought? Hell, what about simple things like books to read, pencils and pens to write with? The whole premise that the colonials all, all off a sudden decide to become essentially Amish after living with technology all their lives is just catastrophically asinine. Fuck, why not at least not destroy the ships in orbit, leave one Raptor on Earth so that the different settlements can be checked in on from time-to-time. Hell, what happened to the sense of wonder and awe of the colonials in that why wouldn't they at least search for other inhabitable planets just in case Earth like gets hit by a comet or asteroid or some other natural disaster befalls Earth and the Colonials need to get the hell outta there.

        Ug, what an unbelievably crappy ass implausible ending to an otherwise awesome series... Am I the only one that feels like this???

        • by lordofthechia (598872) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @02:00PM (#27289125)

          There are probably viruses, bacteria, and parasites that would wipe out the colonials.

          Totally agree, moving beyond the silliness of the colonials abandoning the technology that kept them alive for all those years... This was a perfect opportunity for the writers to let us know this is why settling on earth without Hera would have ended in disaster. It's like they forgot the episode where her blood cured cancer? It could have been subtle too:

          Whoever:"Will we adapt to this planets diseases?"
          (Pan to Hera on the field)
          The Doctor:"I think we'll be allright"

          Ok, I suck at writing, but you get my drift.

          • by witherstaff (713820) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @02:59PM (#27289689) Homepage

            Ok, I suck at writing, but you get my drift.

            That's alright, so do the BSG writers.

            After some of the major plotholes left and advertising that 'everything will be answered' they didn't live up to the promise. I didn't want everything gift wrapped and handed to me. I'm alright with Starbuck being an angel / ascended being/ whichever. While overall I think BSG was probably the best sci fi show I've seen there were enough plotlines hanging that I wasn't satisfied. Here's some of them, major and minor.

            • What happened to all the other 'bad cylons'? They won't know what happened at Cavil's base so they'll still be out there hunting down humanity. When I saw Hera look up at the end I was expecting a basestar to appear.
            • What about the other remnants of humanity on the 12 planets? Was sam's resistance the last group left?
            • No one got left behind on New Caprica?
            • No more human babies were being made? So you ditch technology and also give up sex? I just can't buy that.
            • Without technology at all that means Hera was furthering the population by the traditional method? There's some near bestiality in her future.
            • I'm actually surprised they didn't all land on the island of atlantis or mu. Those who wanted to leave tech behind could leave, those who wanted some staple of life would stay. Let the audience chuckle imagining what mishap caused the island to explode.

            Then again I'm also the type to wonder why the idiots stranded on the island in Lost didn't put up a wooden palisade around their camp the first time a boar ran through it or someone was abducted. Advancing the plot is one thing, being stupid is another.

        • I agree with you though I might have been able to accept them going to "Amish-Tech" -- Even metal plows, wood cutting tools, leather tanning, etc. etc. were all high tech of a certain age or other. But to drop down to sticks and stones is just ridiculous. After working so hard to survive for years, they're now going to ensure that at least 95% of the survivors die in the next two years from simple things, like lack of food, or lack of gear to analyze berries and roots aside from the "what happens when I eat this" test. They should have just pulled a Cavil -- at least they'd have avoided the suffering.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I agree completely. While the whole "man vs. technology" message was kind of obviously implied throughout the whole show, I was able to overlook that message and enjoy a show that was about humanity's struggle for survival. The show was amazing in that regard.

          Yet in one foul sweep, the ending actually managed to sour the entire series for me :(

          Exaggerated ? I tried to convince myself that it is, and that I should relax and realize that the message was implied throughout. But the more I think about it the mo

        • by Arterion (941661) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @03:18PM (#27289909)

          I totally agree. I actually felt like the ending ruined the entire series.

          The BS that "it's about the characters" even falls apart under any sort of scrutiny, because I feel like it's very out of character for a number of main players and a good portion of the 38k survivors to decide to throw all their technology into the sun.

          A lot of plot holes were left. We can only assume that the destruction of the colony didn't mean the destruction of every single cylon. They made it clear there were basestars jumping in and out -- those basestars are still out there somewhere, probably searching for the humans to wipe them out, because they are crazy Cavil's aboard.

          And what about all the quirks about living on a new planet? What about the water? Unknown diseases? Something weird about the food sources. I would guess a good 50% of the colonists that settled wouldn't survive the first couple years because of mundane things. I mean, if Hera is so important, why throw the only sick bay capable of providing her with pediatric care into the sun? It's retarded.

          And to me, the absolute worst part is at the very end: We see the 150k-years-late cylon/human hybrids on our earth making proto-cylons. THE WHOLE CYCLE WILL REPEAT AGAIN!

          Does it even MATTER that the inhabitants of earth are "half cylon" like Hera? It won't matter one damn bit when they start making toasters.

          I guess the point is, we had SO MUCH effort on the part of the characters to save their civilization, and then at the very last episode, after they'd FINALLY WON they decide to just throw it all into the sun.

          The last episode turned the entire series into a single political statement about not creating subservient AI. That's it. That's all BSG was about.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ucblockhead (63650)

          Except that they did not, in fact, get rid of all technology. They got rid of space ships. They kept "supplies", which presumably included things like antibiotics, books, pens, etc. What antibiotics they had. Bear in mind that the fleet likely had no way to manufacture antibiotics. That's what a lot of people here seem to miss...without the technological infrastructure to create supplies, those supplies will inevitably not last.

          Hell, the most valuable bit of technology in their situation is not an unma

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mcelrath (8027)
          Did you somehow get the idea that somewhere in the fleet they had a pencil, book, or antibiotic manufacturing facility?

          I think they hit the end of their rope. They have no resources, no fuel, no food. They have no choice but to abandon their ships and live on the surface. On top of that, they're all emotionally devastated.

          That's what I got out of the ending. That most characters were so emotionally devastated by the last four years that they wanted to crawl in a hole and die. If I could go live in

        • by raju1kabir (251972) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @04:23PM (#27290681) Homepage

          I hated the ending. The unilateral decision to get rid of all technology for everybody was both absurd, short-sighted, and just plain stupid.

          Not so. By starting over, humanity shed the cultural baggage that for so many cycles had them pointlessly cutting the corners off all their sheets of paper. It was the Final Perfection: In our current Cycle, we at last use rectangular paper, just as the Gods intended. Once we get our dancing robots working to their satisfaction, we will Ascend into the heavens and sitteth at the right hand of our Creators where we will join them in meddling capriciously in the petty affairs of less enlightened species for all eternity.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shrubbman (3807)

      The finale was reasonably good, but I would have preferred the last scene to have been Adama on top of the hill next to Laura's grave.

      I would have stopped it at Kara kissing Anders goodbye and the fleet flying off into the sun, butthat's just me.

    • by Wintermute2_0 (166842) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @12:55PM (#27288587) Homepage

      Agreed. The scene with Adama on the hill was such a lovely coda to a series that had been playing with concepts of death, rebirth, and change for all four of its seasons. But then came those tacky five minutes which were made even worse with the inclusion of stock footage of those oh-so-threatening Japanese robots.

      So, the moral of BSG is that I'm supposed to be afraid of my Roomba?

      The hokey spiritualism also irritated me, but it seems like said hokey spiritualism is now a prerequisite for most televised SF (cf. Lost, Heroes). The networks seem to think the masses need a healthy serving of God with their spaceships and time travel or else they might change the channel.

      Still, the first hour of the was as good as anything the series has ever done. And I liked how the original series' theme music was incorporated into the scene of the fleet heading for the sun. And Olmos should get an Emmy nod for breathing life into a character that could easily have turned into self-parody in the hands of a lesser actor.

  • Unsatisfied (Score:5, Interesting)

    by merky1 (83978) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @12:27PM (#27288421) Journal

    The finale was a decent episode. But I think that ever since the destruction of the HUB, the show was rudderless.

    I think that this is one of the problems when the central premise of a show is a "mystery." It always ends up that the big reveal is a huge disappointment.

    Also, what happened to all of the basestars that Cavil had under control? Not to mention, the "millions" of cylons on the colonies. Wouldn't they lay out to search for the final five to rebuild resurrection?

    I think the finale needed a 20-30 year jump forward to show aging skinjobs scanning earth, and not detecting technology, continue searching for the final five. It would have given closure to the show's overall theme. Instead we just get a "spiritual" explanation. The reason I feel this way is back when they found the temple of jupiter, Cavil advocated nuking the planet and spending an infinite amount of time searching for earth. Even without resurrection, I think that the remaining cylons would have the same sentiment.

    The other thing that had not been really discussed, and will hopefully come out in the next few entries, is what happened to the artificial intelligence that was the original cylon race? Maybe "the plan" will give us more insight to cylon society.

  • by Faizdog (243703) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @12:27PM (#27288425)

    Honestly,
    I thought it was weak. If you watched "BSG The Last Frakkin Special" that aired last Monday, there was a key comment in there. Ron Moore said that they were at a loss on how to end the series, and then they walked in and decided that it's about the characters.

    That told me that they didn't know how to end everything, and decided to fumble through it and fill up time with these character things.

    There were so many big stories that needed more elaboration, what was Starbuck, how does the one true god fit in? There was mention that he was a jealous god of the other Lords of Kobol. No mention of them? Starbuck, the one who believed in the polytheistic Lords of Kobol so much that she went back against orders for Athena's Arrow was instead an agent of the monotheistic Cylon God? That's it, head six and baltar, their story just ends so quickly? Things didn't really jive, and that disappointed me. After the whole Tigh and Caprica-6 love each other so much that they had a baby, and Ellen was jealous, that just ended? All of a sudden, we find out Baltar, the womanizer, loved Caprica-6?

    It was not thought out, and by the end, they had no idea what to do. I'm really disapointed in BSG. And this ending makes me appreciate Babylon 5 even more. The value of a well thought out, planned and executed story arc where all the pieces fit together because they've been planned that way is AWESOME.

    For about 4 and a half years, BSG was the best show I'd ever seen. However, ever since they came back with this last batch of 10 episodes, it's been weak. The big issues, the analysis of humanity in dire straits, the realistic depiction of events, I felt that all fell apart. BSG was still a good show, and the ending sentimental and did provide closure. It wasn't bad, but I had so much more high expectations of the ending, for it all to tie in rather than what we got. I mean that's why us SciFi fans are such continuity freaks, we want it all to fit, that's what makes it more real for us.

    • "about the characters"

      I found it rather frustrating sitting through all the backstory stuff, like the drunk driving accident and boy toy one nighter causing Laura to join a campaign -- rather dull and not really that important at this stage of the game.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:23PM (#27288813) Homepage

      Yeah, what I found kind of disappointing was that, even knowing it was coming to an end, they seemed to falter. If the last episode had seemed cobbled together last-minute because they were informed a couple months before that the series was being cancelled, it would have been more understandable. But they knew for years, and basically had a whole extra year to prepare after the writer's strike.

      I enjoyed the plot of the mutiny and some of the other things that happened near the end, but given that those plots didn't go very far, it seems like a bit of a waste when they could have spent that time wrapping things up.

      To me, probably the most disappointing thing was how they wrapped up the opera house dream. What? All those dreams and all that worry about them, and it was just that Caprica and Baltar were supposed to carry Hera 20 feet down a hall? That's retarded. At the very least, I think they should have killed of Helo and Athena and had Baltar and Caprica end up rescuing and then raising Hera. It would have explained them ending up with Hera at the end of the dream, as well as the Head-Caprica telling Baltar that Hera was their daughter.

      In general, I've been impressed with the writing on BSG, but the finale is yet more evidence that writers should have an endgame roughly planned from the beginning. The ending wasn't bad so much as it felt unplanned and inelegant, tacked on and not fitting to the rest of the series. Worse yet, the message of the finale seemed to be that God has a very elegant plan for us all, so having that message come in an inelegant and unplanned form makes for a bad kind of irony.

      • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Sunday March 22, 2009 @02:04PM (#27289155) Homepage

        Oh, and also, the role that Hera plays that makes her so important is a little bit strange to me. To have her be the genetic Eve of our race kind of puts a strange importance on her. What does it mean-- being half cylon gives her the superpower of having lots of sex with various different men, having diverse offspring, I guess.

        I guess I'm really asking, what does her being half-cylon half-human have to do with anything? Couldn't you make the argument that Athena is the actual genetic Eve? Is Hera actually important?

  • by orkybash (1013349) <tim,bocek&gmail,com> on Sunday March 22, 2009 @12:38PM (#27288477)
    Originally posted this over on Bear McCreary's blog, but I think I'll use it here too...

    I think most people who complain about the finale not meeting their expectations are the people whose expectations included a cereberal explanation for everything that happened on the show. And I'll admit, I was hoping for a little more in that arena. But in terms of emotional wrap-up and as a fitting send-off to the show, I thought it couldn't have done better.

    To people who wanted every mystery tied up nice and neat, I hate to break it to you but it was never that kind of show. Moore has said from the beginning that certain supernatural aspects wouldn't be explained.

    Go watch Lost or something.
    • by jdbausch (1419981) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:51PM (#27289057)
      except... if the show constantly begs the question "what is Kara Thrace?" and uses that hook to bring you in, you need to answer it. Even the promos were saying "the truth will be revealed" Sorry, but to not deliver that, once you kept asking the question, is cheap. It is like saying, watch this show because there are these questions you want answered. They answered some, but not all. Ridiculing viewers for not liking this treatment is blaming the victim. I personally thought the whole finale was fine, even with all the plot holes, things that did not make sense, and all the rest. I never really cared about finding Kara's status, or that of the "head characters", or any of the spirituality aspects - I figured they would be written off as spiritual in some way. what really killed it for me was the existence of our "earth" They already showed an "earth" that looked just like our earth. It was destroyed, not habitable. No explainations given as to why this new "earth" has continents that look EXACTLY like the other "earth". At the end of the day, there is only one explaination. The show told us that "cinder earth" was in fact our earth. They did this so that we would not think that finding our earth was an option. But then they did find our earth. They cheated. they tricked us. Without any kind of other explaination given, that is the only conclusion we can draw. and it's bullshit. You can't cheat your viewers and expect them to like it. Those that think it is all good are battered wives, coming back for more. Lost is 10 times the show that BSG is. I might not have said that before this finale, but I have no doubt about it now. At least it has not cheated the audience.
    1. Baltar constructing his intelligence-enhancing monolith on the plains of Africa.
    2. All 12 Cylon models doing their big Bollywood-esque song and dance number in the central chamber of Cavel's Colony. (Great move snagging Josh Whedon to direct this bit!)
    3. The kick-ass Centurians-vs.-Stormtrooper's fight.
    4. After Kara finishes playing "All Along the Watchtower," she goes into an awesome 9-minute extended version of "Freebird."
    5. The Cylons inventing the science of psychohistory, then creating a secret foundation to shape human destiny.
    6. The smoking hot Boomer-on-Athena lesbian sex scene (can't wanted for the unrated DVD version!)
    7. Doc Cottle's tearful reunion with his long lost wife, Eunice.
    8. Chief Tyrol telling Adama why he can't heal one of the wounded Fours: "I'm a engineer, not a doctor!"
    9. Adama punching Baltar in the face for about five minutes straight.
    10. Starbuck becoming the Starchild.
  • by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage@NoSpAm.praecantator.com> on Sunday March 22, 2009 @12:51PM (#27288559) Homepage

    I liked how the end of the new BSG came back around to the opening line of the intro from the old BSG:

    "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..."

  • by EEBaum (520514) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @12:52PM (#27288571) Homepage
    I couldn't help but see the parallels to the "B" Ark. Heck, there was even a bathtub on the bridge!
  • by juanjux (125739) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:01PM (#27288633) Homepage

    2.4 million people tuned in for the finale.

    And probably five times that figure downloaded the torrent outside the USA. I wish a system to pay for the chapters outside USA, at a reasonable price and with good subtitules were in place; I would use it.

  • by gsn (989808) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:12PM (#27288715)

    I dislike using god and a hokey religion as an explanation for anything. I couldn't stand the last few episodes with Baltar babbling on about his angels. The show has always had a religious theme but I held out for a reasonable rational explanation of the head characters (something to do with cylon projection) and Kara.

    Instead pooft she magically disappears into thin air, after magically entering the coordinates of a single magic planet in all of space from a magic song that her magically disappearing dad taught her when she was young and that Hera magically happens to know as well. How? What? Why?

    I disliked the get rid of all our technology and live like the natives bit. Both the god explanation and the luddite attitude seem to me to be a diservice to many science fiction fans who overwhelmingly like science and technology and reject hokey explanations for things like flying spaghetti monsters. Seriously, what happens the next time someone needs to get a tooth pulled now that all their technology is gone.

    I disliked the Cavil suicide bit because it seemed out of character along with actually listening to Baltar's stupid little speech on coexistence and angels. I'd like Boomer's redemption to not have been followed with her getting shot in the gut again. I didn't need to see Adama puking.

    And finally, Tyrol is an idiot for not realizing that killing Cally was the nicest thing Tory or anyone else in the entire fleet did for him.

  • Clarke's Third Law (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nebulious (1241096) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:17PM (#27288745)
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

    The 'higher power' in Battlestar is probably not a divine entity, but a remnant of the ancient society of Kobal that wants to see humanity survive. This chessmaster knew what it was doing though, so it's origin and motives are never explicitly stated.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by anagama (611277)
      I think that is a rationalization. Besides, if the 12 colonies had been so smart as to figure out faster than light travel, I'd imagine they'd have independently come up with Clarke's Third Law, and rather than chuck everything and doom themselves to a grueling existence poking the earth and animals with sharp sticks, would have decided to learn about the higher technologyl
  • No tech? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ardor (673957) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:17PM (#27288761)

    Lee's conclusion made no sense. The situation was already good for another try. I mean, Cylons and Humans were at peace, so rebuilding a Human-Cylon civilization was a possibility. The rebel cylons and the humans were truly allied, and even the Centurions weren't enemies anymore. They had first-hand knowledge of what happens when they don't treat artificial lifeforms as equals AND a chance at rebuilding a hybrid civilization from scratch, therefore breaking the cycle of death. (Honestly, with this shiny advanced Cylon tech and the sturdy, tough Colonial tech, that would have been one hell of a civilization.)

    Instead, they threw it all away, and opted to become cavemen. This is the equivalent of running away from the problem. The final minutes demonstrated this. With all Colonial and Cylon knowledge lost, WE are now doomed to repeat these mistakes, since the problem still is unresolved. The only true way of breaking the cycle is for society to acknowledge that artificial lifeforms are not of lesser status.

    • Re:No tech? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jjohnson (62583) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @02:55PM (#27289657) Homepage

      They didn't opt to become cavemen, they opted to become pastoralists, akin to Quakers. With their knowledge they could easily recreate a relatively stable and safe pre-industrial civilization--they kept maps and a few raptors, and things like binoculars. They weren't planning on abandoning language, they were planning on teaching the locals to speak.

      Keep in mind that their technological civilization was at its ragged end. The ships were falling apart--they planned to cannibalize Galactica to keep other ships running. And after five years living a cramped, always-near-death-from-technology life, I imagine a quiet, pastoral life seemed a lot more appealing to them than it would to you or I.

      And at bottom was the awareness that their technologically empowered lifestyle kept leading to the same cycle of destructive war that catapulted them back there anyway. The idea was to give themselves another chance at the cycle, to hopefully mature spiritually this time.

  • All those alcoholics gave up liquor? I DON'T THINK SO!!!

    As much as that crew drank. I seriously doubt that "let's live as caveman" would have been seen as a solution. The epic DT's, Adama alone, would have to endure could be a spinoff show.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ucblockhead (63650)

      You don't understand...the true motivation for going native was that they ran out of liquor.

  • by EEBaum (520514) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:25PM (#27288819) Homepage
    Such a lovely idea, integrating with the native peoples. Surely they will welcome the strange newcomers with open arms, rather than with spears through their intestines.
  • by guanxi (216397) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:33PM (#27288883)

    We re-watched the original miniseries recently; what a good, gripping story. At the time, I liked the show because it was more "Fi" than "Sci": Good characters, interesting plot, sophisticated issues (esp. the political issues). They took advantage of the flexibility of 'Sci' not to provide gee-whiz gizmos and superpowers that are no more meaningful than special effects, but to provide a unique setting that was not possible in real-world setting.

    Re-watch the original mini-series yourself and you can't miss how far the show has come, but in a completely different (and in my mind, wrong) direction. The characters and acting have become extreme and overdramatc. The political issues hang around, but in often they are absurd (how about the politics of ditching all your technology? It was handled by one sentence: 'It's surprising there was no dissension' -- it sure is!). And the show is dominated by the Sci -- mysticism, cylon projections, the final 5, etc etc etc. Booooring. Anyone can make that stuff up as they go along; what does it mean?

    And the conclusion was so poorly thought out that the writers are guilty of dereliction of duty. Returning to the decision to abandon all technology: Perhaps they should recall that our ancestors lived short, brutal lives, and they grew up with the skills to survive in that environment; our heroes have no idea how to hunt a buffalo with a spear, clean it, skin it, and preserve the meat for the winter. Just think of this little inconvenience: No salt, no pepper, no spices; no vitamins! When the first drought -- or the locusts, or neighboring tribe or a pack of baboons -- comes and they run out of food, and half of them die off, it won't seem like such a good idea. When people start dying from simple infections because there are no antibiotics, when women start dying in childbirth, when most children don't survive to adulthood, when the leading killer becomes starvation instead of obesity, they may remember the benefits of technology. Sure, we can close our eyes to all these problems, but couldn't the writers have made an effort to tell a story with some plausibility?

    Like many movies and shows, it seems like the writers ran out of time or funding, and just whipped something together to fulfill their obligation to finish the story. Their audience should demand more.

  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:35PM (#27288899)
    Seasons one and two were great, but things rapidly started to go down hill after that. It became rapidly apparent that there was no overall plan (like Straczynski had with Babylon 5). They had set up lots of mysteries without first knowing what the resolution would be. If the mysteries were ever solved at all, they were solved in random ways, and they have pretty much admitted as much. A good example of this was the "final 5". By their own admission they picked them randomly, so what was the point of the audience trying to guess who they might be, based on possible clues?

    I find it difficult to watch a show knowing that the writers have no more idea of how things will be resolved than I do. Mysteries can be very compelling, but the fun of a mystery is trying to unravel it yourself, and you clearly can't unravel it if the writers are going to use a dartboard to resolve it. What's the point of getting caught up in a mystery when you know it's a complete mystery to the writers as well?

    Another problem with Galactica has been the masses of pointless filler. A good recent example of that is Baltar's religious Harem. They spent absolutely ages on that plot-line, then dumped it at the last minute. What was the point of it all? How exactly did it advance the plot? A lot of fans I know dumped the series somewhere in Season 3, complaining that it had turned into a soap opera. I know exactly what they mean.

    Whereas in Season 1 and 2 you tended to have strong plots in each episode (blowing up a Cylon fuel depot, or Finding a missing pilot etc) in later seasons things started to become very drawn out. Instead there was more and more focus on relationships and peoples petty problems. That sort of thing is fine in an Alan Bennett play, but this show was fundamentally about people fleeing from killer robots in outer space. When you watch science fiction you expect some degree of excitement. It doesn't necessarily have to be low-brow "laser gun battle" excitement, but endless drawn out episodes with nothing happening are a pretty sorry excuse for science fiction (if not fiction in general).
  • Bleah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Second Horseman (121958) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:46PM (#27288993)

    Thought the first 90 minutes were fine.

    And then they dropped the ball. The end was a little to "Restaurant at the End of the Universe", with populating Earth. I guess the fleet was the 'B' Ark. The supernatural bits with Starbuck and the two "observing" versions of Baltar and Caprica were a little too "Touched By an Angel". Leaving the pair as potential projections / hallucinations would have been better without us seeing them WITHOUT Baltar and Caprica. We've only ever seen them with one of the two as the POV. Seeing them without the actual characters there blows it. And WTF with Starbuck? So she was an "angel"? Or somehow wasn't real but could interact with solid objects? What? Seriously, her as a clone, or the daughter of the "Daniel" model that got resurrected on Earth the first due to some left-over equipment would have been better. Having her new Viper provided by some of the Cylons to try to force the outcome would have been better.

    And who gets their faith vindicated like that? You don't really need faith once that happens. The whole point of faith is sustaining / motivating someone to believe in something they can't prove. It doesn't even have to be religion. Simply believing that the feelings you have for loved ones and friends are reciprocated is an act of faith on your part. For the story, it didn't matter if the supernatural agency existed - if the faith in it drove Baltar, Caprica, Roslin, etc. to do something important at the end, then it's THEM doing it. That really says something more profound than having some actual intervention. Even if you believe in God, belief in the absence of doubt is hardly ennobling. Nor is doing good without the knowledge of evil.

    Ugh, and the very end? Besides blowing the whole POV thing, it was a subtle as a brick to the head. Argh! Horn-playing Japanese robots will come to kill you!

  • by TuballoyThunder (534063) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:48PM (#27289009)

    If all the bad Cylons got wiped out on the colony, I am surprised that some of the Colonials did not opt to go back to the Colonies. The indications that we have from the show is that the nuclear attack did not render the planet uninhabitable like the Cylon Earth.

    There should be a good amount workable technology left and inhabitable structures. Supposedly you only need about 1000 to 5000 humans to repopulate.

    The other thought I had was whether anybody went back to pick up the Number Three D'Anna Biers.

  • by lordofthechia (598872) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:53PM (#27289077)

    1. Baltar takes down the Cylon mothership by uploading a virus using his Macbook. "Giving it a cold" indeed! Well played Dr. Baltar!
    2. All the sixes move to what later becomes modern day Sweden.

  • by Prototerm (762512) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @03:04PM (#27289741)

    ... Too bad Ron Moore didn't. And it shows!

  • My ending is better (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @03:24PM (#27289985) Homepage

    I predicted the ending... and I was totally wrong. But mine was better. They totally set it up, they went another direction.

    First of all, Baltar has to be a Cylon. The fact that he is not can be nothing other than the writers making a mistake. That would explain how he:
        - Shared visions with a Cylon
        - Survived the nuclear blast on Caprica
        - Why Caprica 6 told him something like "How can you pretend so well?"
        - Knew intricacies of Cylon technology (Ex: Recognizing Cylon structures in the attack on the cylon base on the Asteroid - season 1 or 2 I think)
        - Was inherently monotheistic

    My ending would have involved time travel. They should have jumped into Earth, of the past, before the 12 colonies separated. I know, time travel is sorely overused, but it would totally have fit:
    - Explains why this has happened before and will happen again
    - How the 12 colonies were able to leave a marker about a Sun going supernova.
    - The "earth" in the end is the same Earth they found, only in the past. That is why Kara's body was found while she was still alive: She time traveled back to Earth of the past
    - The last episode involved a singularity and some magical coordinates - total time travel setup. She should have jumped them straight into the singularity and thus back in time.

    That's how I'll try to remember the series. It ties things up quite well.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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