on BattleStar Galactica After Season One.
By Bob Hubbard
NOTE: This contains possible spoilers for the first
season. If you have not seen it, and wish to be surprised, you may want
to watch it first.
on BattleStar Galactica After Season One.
By Bob Hubbard
When this “Reimagining” was announced, and
the ‘vision’ described, many fans including myself were
shocked. We ranted, boycotted and in general did all the things fans
do when they love something dearly and aren’t going to get it.
We screamed about the changes, especially the sex changes.
The uniforms weren’t the ones we’d come to love. The insignia
was different, so were the ships, the technology, everything.
We swore we didn’t want it. Sci Fi did it anyway.
And we watched it.
I must admit, I wasn’t that impressed with the
“Mini”. It was slow, dragging at times. But, it was enough
to get 13 episodes done.
In the original, it was hard to tell just how much time
had passed between episodes, or even how long a single episode lasted.
The Ron Moore version solved that, with regular flashbacks
to Caprica, and stranded pilot Helo. While many people don’t care
for that story arc, it does help answer, in part, the question of what
happened to the home worlds after the attack. There are many story arcs
that can be written from that point. Sure, most humans are dead, killed
by radiation. But, certainly there are some survivors. Military left
behind, survivalist nuts in their stocked bomb shelters. We have these
today in our own world. With how similar the two are designed, there
must certainly have been some in their world too.
Another complaint has been the clothing. The original
Galactica toyed with Egyptian, Roman and Greek clothing. While this
makes for a nice “fantasy” world, the reality is that the
average person has not worn a toga or robe as daily outer wear in centuries.
Why would they in the future? This has always been a point of “disbelief”
when watching other “universes” like Star Wars as well.
RM Galactica takes our current “wardrobe”, nudges it just
a bit, and “brings it home”. These aren’t aliens,
these are our cousins. Sure, the Headress helmets were cool, but, they
simply weren’t practical., especially in the revamped technology
of this series.
The tech is another complaint. No lasers here. They
use “bullets”. That phrase got a lot of flack when it was
used in the mini. But, why? The bullet as we know it today has been
under development for over 300 years. Todays combat soldier is not shooting
the same gun or ammunition as his ancestors did. The old “powder
and shot” has given way to todays “caseless” ammunition.
It’s entirely possible that while they use the term “bullet”,
it’s meaning is far removed from our concept. Caseless, powderless,
is it propelled by magnetism, high velocity gas, etc? Sure laser swords
and blaster bolts are “cool”. But, so can be the alternatives.
Ok, so I will digress here. The old Galactica just looked
cooler. This one lacks the grace of the old. I do understand the changes,
but, it’ll take some time for it to grow on me. I would love to
have seen the newer battlestars to compare against. This brings me to
the next point…
Some fans are very vocal over their dislike of the newer
Mark VII type vipers. Some hate the minor restyling of the originals
into the Mark II’s. Personally, I like them both. In the original
series it was hinted that there were other types of fighters, but we
really didn’t see it. Here, we can look at several years of evolution
and thinking. There are few Mark VII’s left, the majority of the
Galacticas squadrons are currently the restored Mark II’s. What
they do as they continue to lose ships will be interesting. While the
Mark VII’s are the “state of the art”, the premise
seems to be that they are an “ace pilots” ship, requiring
one to be the very best. The older Mark II’s are a simpler and
possibly easier to build design, lacking the “high tech”
of the newer Mark VII’s.
This brings me to a look at the characters.
It is inevitable that we fans will compare these new
portrayals to the characters we grew up with. We must not. It is too
easy to look at things and say “Well, StarBuck wouldn’t
do that.” That’s right, Dirks StarBuck wouldn’t, but
Katie’s is a totally different character.
Here is a short look at both the old and the new.
In the original, Adama was the commander of the flagship. He was a leading
member of the ruling body, a religious man with a close family, all
seasoned warriors, except for Zac who was fresh out of the academy.
A very fatherly figure, he was Ben Cartright in space.
In the RM version, we find a man who is career military.
A decorated veteran about to retire. His son Apolo blames him for Zac’s
death, he is divorced, probably over the long separation and the family
tragedy. While a respected commander, he appears past his prime. Only
as the series progresses do we begin to see the leader he was, and the
depth of his love for his family show through.
In the original, Tigh was a well respected, stern, man. An able tactician,
he held the respect of the crew.
In the RM version, Tigh is a broken man. His wife’s
cheating and scheming drove him to the bottle, which sucked him down.
He most likely only still has a career due to the influence of his friend
Adama. We see glimmers of the able man he was, but the fall he took
was long, and it will take time to regain the respect and trust his
In the original, Apollo is the Strike Commander. A seasoned veteran,
he is the senior pilot on Galactica. He enjoys a warm relationship with
his family. Mostly a “by the book” person he occasionally
lets go, but strives to be a good officer.
Reimagined, Apollo has few of the qualities we remember.
He is an able pilot, but holds a hatred for his father who he blames
for his brothers death. He was on Galactica by chance during the attack,
and only survived because he was flying his fathers old Mark II. He
becomes head pilot not due to his abilities, but because he is the most
senior surviving pilot on Galactica. As the season progresses, he begins
to finally come to terms with his brothers death, and discovers the
true depth of his fathers love and concern.
Fans of the original fondly recall the womanizing, carefree portrayal
of Dirk’s. A girl in every port, as long as the port had a card
game or a bar. Starbuck was the crazy one, willing to take great chances
and able to pull it off because he’s one of the best pilots in
the fleet. Adama looks on Starbuck as a son, though one he worries a
bit more about at times.
Reimagined, Starbuck changed a lot. Now female, StarBuck
still a hot pilot who loves a cigar and a card game. This Starbuck however
is darker, more disturbed. Haunted by the past, and her own need to
prove herself, she has been repeatedly passed up for promotion. In all
likelihood, she should be CAG, but lacks the rank from constantly butting
heads with Tigh. Looked upon as a daughter by Adama, this is probably
a large reason why she is still in the military.
Similar comparisons can be made of others. Boomer, Baltar,
etc. We can lament the missing Athena and Cassiopia, and applaud the
thankfully short Boxey segments, but the fact remains. This is a different
The premise that the Cylons were mad by man, lost a
war, left and came back has been bitched about loudly. But, in the end,
is it any less believably than an ancient race of lizards who were destroyed
by their robots?
There are many plot possibilities to be considered here.
- Why are there only 12 models of Cylon?
- Why does their technology seem just a bit more advanced than the humans?
- What is the foundation of Cylon religion?
- Do Cylons really transport their conscience elsewhere when their bodies
- Why do their backs glow while having sex? (And why did Helo, Tyrol
and Baltar never notice?)
- Are the Cylons clones, a hive mind, cyborgs, “homo Superioe”,
- Where is their homeworld?
There are many questions still to be answered.
- What happens to Boomer now that she’s been exposed
as a Cylon?
- Will Helo and Boomer2 (who is pregnant) return to Galactica with StarBuck?
- Will she even return now that her whole world has been shattered?
- Will Adama die?
- What will happen with the growing sexual tension between Apollo and
- What happens to the government now that the president is in the brig,
and the vp missing on Kobol?
We have now seen 13 episodes, which only cover a 2 month
time line. We are only in the first few chapters of a huge novel. Time
will tell if the reimagining was truly a good thing, but for now, I,
and many others are excitedly waiting for season two.
also known on various on-line forums as "Silent" Bob, and
just "Kaith", is a long time sci-fi fan. Currently head of
the I.K.V. Devisior,
an independant science fiction, anime and fantasy fan club, he has held
positions with numerous other groups. He has organized activities at
Media Play and Barnes & Nobel, worked con security, participated
in club challenges for charities, and participated in masquerades, art
shows and model shows at several Toronto conventions.
You can reach Bob at his website, http://rustaz.com
posted on: Rustaz.com | Toronto
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