I guess I already knew that, though, since when I showed my airplane entry to a friend, her only response was (in a Seinfeld voice), "Hey, what's UP with airline food? It's so bad! Am I right? And what about coach? WHY are the seats to SMALL?"
The public has spoken. Thus: my views on Battlestar Galactica.
Ok, I admit, I used to watch Battlestar Galactica back in late 70s. I loved it. It was, in my mind, an incredibly gorgeous and thrilling space opera. At the time it had the distinction of being the most expensive show on television, with effects done by the guy who'd just won an Academy Award for his work on Star Wars 4. I have no idea if I'd like it if I saw it nowadays, and frankly I have no interest in finding out.
So, some genius producer thought to himself, Battlestar Galactica was a great show, there's a lot of Generation-Xers who would watch anything with those words in the title (short of "Battlestar '80"), and I've got ideas on how I could make it mature and dark and thrilling. Rather than making a sequel, I'll rewrite the original version and use the same themes (a rag-tag, fugitive fleet, looking for a shining planet, known only as... Earth), but with all the details changed. So he pitched it to the Sci-Fi channel.
The amazing thing is, he's created something that's MORE true to the spirit of the original show than the original show was. It's Battlestar minus the fluff. It's dark, the plotlines are intricate, the characters are flawed and realistic and compelling, the acting is incredible (Edward James Olmos broods; Mary McDonnell is commanding and presidential). The new series is REALLY incredible.
Here's the deal: 40 years ago, the twelve colonies of humans created robot helpers, called cylons. The cylons rebelled. The humans beat 'em back to a single planet, and we haven't heard from them since. Suddenly the robots re-appear and nuke the crap out of the 12 colonies and chase the remaining 49,000 humans (who managed to get into spaceships and get gone) across the galaxy, kicking our butts.
The smartest decision of the new show was to go retro with the technology. There's no banks of computers and crap. The Galactica itself looks and operates more like a 1940s naval carrier than a spaceship.
Believe me, I could go on for hours about this show. I have, in fact, on a date recently. Believe me, the girl was riveted. I can't remember exactly, but I think I would have gotten lucky if she hadn't had an urgent appointment to floss her cat.
Anyways, I post all this because I'm about to bust; I think figured out the incredible twist to the new show: the 'humans' we've been following are actually cylons from a thousand years ago.
A bit of background: in the new war, the cylons have come back with some of the models imitating humans perfectly; they look, feel, and operate like humans, so much so that they can get pregnant. All throughout the season the humans have had this religious text that says things like "everything you are going through has happened before," and the cylons justify their actions because they see themselves as an improvement on mankind, which they feel has become corrupt.
So, recently the humans captured a cylon (and tortured him!) and he prophesied that the humans are going to find Kobol ("the birthplace of the gods") and there find out "the truth," and how to get to Earth. Then, in the second-to-last episode of the season, the humans did indeed find the ruins of the planet Kobol, where "gods and man once lived together in peace."
Throughout the first season, we've seen cylons who look and feel human interacting with humans, and the humans trying to grapple with whether to treat them as soulless machines: Is it OK to torture a machine for information? Can machines feel love or fear? If they are designed exactly like humans, what actually separates them from us?
So, I think the modern-day "humans" are about to discover that the ancient humans on Kobol also created artificial life (their own "cylons") a thousand years ago, and those life forms also rebelled, destroying Kobol. That much seems pretty obvious, since the human bible says the current war has happened before.
My guess is: in the last war, the real humans lost, and fled to Earth. The existing 12 colonies, and thus the entire rag-tag fleet of "humans," are the VICTORS from the previous war; they are the robots who rebelled and won. They are the old cylons, who over the course of a thousand years turned their origin into a creation myth that few of them still really believe. The "humans" that we love killed their gods, just as the cylons are doing now.
I love the symmetry of this. I hope I'm right. It's the season finale tonight, so we'll all see whether I'm an idiot or a prophet.
Update: My Replay didn't record Part 2 tonight, so I'm still in the dark. I did watch the deleted scenes from Part 1, which include this scene which I think helps to build my case: the priestess says, "One god wanted to be elevated above the others," which I take to mean that one human felt he was better than the other humans and betrayed the ancients to the robots, much the way Baltar feels he's better than everyone around him and ended up betraying humanity to the cylons.
Six says "Blasphemy, there was only one God, ever," because the Cylons feel that the betrayer of humanity was the real god, since they're, you know, big on betrayal. It all makes sense. At 3AM.