Synopsis: Set in an unknown galaxy, in an unknown star system, human beings live on what they call the “Twelve Colonies”. These are twelve planets in the star system, all with human life. Where as we use countries for our place of origin, the Battlestar series uses colonies. One could be of a higher class and reside from Caprica. A lower class citizen would be from Aralon.
The Twelve Colonies were established by tribes who left their home world, Kobol, the birthplace of humanity. There were at one time thirteen tribes, but one that was separated from the others instead went to a distant planet called Earth.
Cylons, as they are called, are a creation of humanity. The machines we designed to help us with daily life and protect us, became self-aware. Humanity tried to stop them, but they rebelled. This was the beginning of the Cylon war (Battlestar Galactica, 1978).
After humanities defeat, the Cylons left the twelve colonies in hopes of finding a life for themselves where they could prosper.
Ever since the Cylons departed the solar system, mankind has sent an ambassador to the neutral zone. Every year, a diplomat arrives to discuss continuing peace between the two races. The Cylons, send no one …
It has been 40 years since the first Cylon war. Having evolved, the Cylons make a decision to return to the twelve colonies, and cleanse the human race once and for all.
In an all out assault, the Cylons launch a simultaneous nuclear raid on all colonies.
50,000 humans survive.
WARNING: This post contains no spoilers from me, but I cannot be responsible for anything mentioned in the comments.
Outlook: Personally, I have watched this series 6 times. The first few times I always picked up on something new, something that made me second guess myself on a plot line. BSG (Battlestar Galactica) in my opinion is the best Science Fiction to hit the television screen. This was before big blockbuster sites like Netflix existed, and HBO was still pushing dramas such as The Sopranos. BSG was released on the SyFy network, filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a modest budget.
To my knowledge, BSG is one of the first shows to take the viewer beyond what they see. The show makes you think for yourself, to come to your own conclusions, or discuss things with friends. The depth of the show was unmatched for many years. Comparable only to something as complex as 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The Terminator for example. A brilliant movie. The viewer is presented with an AI from the future, who comes to destroy the past, preventing a one ‘John Connor’ from leading a human resistance. But with those two facts, is where the movie turns to more action than science fiction drama. We have our protagonist, our antagonist, and away we go.
BSG leaves us with a sense of wonderment. Humans created a machine, that evolved on its own, and adapted. This could potentially be 100 years after the first machine we create passes the Turing test. We have developed AI so advanced, we doomed ourselves.
With only 50,000 humans surviving the Cylon holocaust, writer Ronald Moore shows us humanities true nature. Both the good, and bad. Moore shows the audience a true reality of “what would we actually do if this happened today?“
Religion plays a large role in the BSG universe, and a necessary one. Remember, when all hope for humanities survival is lost, what do most of us do, even ones who are undecided on religion? They turn to God. Whether that be a single entity or many, every individual is different and of course has the right to choose.
Hope is a powerful thing.
Most of us in desperate times, look to God, or speak to the sky, asking for answers. However, those same people never look to God when things are going well. A religious person may argue that reason is alone, is why things are going bad for you.
Religion is always challenged, and it is no different in BSG. The military has a plan, while the people have one too. Who is right? Who makes the call when only 50,000 humans exist? One bad call could wipe out the species.
There is so much I would like to give an opinion on, but the last thing I want to do for someone who perhaps clicks on this post without actually seeing the series, is ruin it for them. I would love to discuss my thoughts on certain episodes or even the premise as a whole, but I don’t want to take that chance.
With a show such as this, a show I believe to be so perfectly executed, I can’t leave anything to chance. For any true science fiction fan, this show may change the way you perceive humanities future. That may sound extreme, but it is true.
AI is a rising hot topic in today’s world. As it should be, as technology increases at an alarming rate, it is easy to see how we could falter. Some believe we are far away from a sentient machines, others not so much. I don’t mean people like you and I, but the top 1% of our world. DeepMind has already beat the best Go players in the world, with ease, and is now embed into Google’s architecture.
For now, sentient AI is true science fiction. But hot damn! It sure is interesting.
To this day, the BSG official forums are a buzz with activity, and the subreddit of /r/BSG is no different.
BSG is the type of show that can ignite a discussion for hours. If you are a die-hard fan, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the series. Whether it be on the comments below, or if you want to send me some mail.
Featured image courtesy of “SyFy”