Battlestar Galactica – 5 Skeptical Solutions for the Finale

By Sam Lowry | March 13, 2009 3:48 pm

Battlestar WomenOne of the best things about the final season of BSG has been that much of the annoying mysticism of previous seasons has now been explained by science.   I’ll admit it was convoluted TV show science, but at least it wasn’t people seeing ghosts or having divine inspirations.

The Chief being mysteriously pulled toward the Temple of Five?  Turns out he was one of the aforementioned five and had been there before (my apologies if that’s a spoiler for you, but really, catch up already).

BSG is best when it revolves around people and politics, as opposed to the god(s) and the lost tribes of whoever.  Desperate people, dirty spaceships and ragtag resistance movements?  Gripping and relevant TV.  President Roslin’s visions and imaginary shamans?  Not so much.

When I saw Galactica’s hull break open and the Six shoot into space, I was reminded of BSG science adviser Kevin Grazier explaining what happens when you fall out of a spaceship.  We’re hoping for a post from Kevin on the potential explanations for artificial gravity, but we appreciate that the show has a solid science adviser and appears to listen to him occasionally (no aliens, no time travel, real constellations).

With all that in mind here are non-supernatural solutions for my five favorite Battlestar mysteries (note that these are suggestions not spoilers):

1)  The Opera House – Roslin and Baltar are both part Cylon.  If everything happening now has happened before, then it makes sense that human-Cylon hybrids happened before.  Roslin and Baltar can project because they are descendants of the ancient human-Cylon combo.

2) Kara Thrace – An old school Cylon who resurrected after arriving on the irradiated Cylon “Earth.”  She’s the “harbinger of Death” because her return means the end of resurrection and the return of natural reproduction for the Cylons.

3) Earth – Earth as we know it exists apart from the nuked Cylon Earth that the refugees landed on, thereby giving the refugees a final destination.

4) The Defeat of Cavil & Co. – One last rousing space battle for the old man and crew, with an assist from Sam Anders as the hybrid controller of Galactica.  It’s going to be awesome.

5) All Along the Watchtower – Bob Dylan is the creator of the ancestral cylons.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Robots, TV

Comments (10)

  1. Michael Hildebrand

    All the characters are Cylon but their memories are faulty. Their programming was done by Microsoft. Kara is Microsoft Vista trying to find a place for herself.

  2. Edward

    Well, having watched the evolution of Kara Thrace since her return from the dead I would have to say that you’ve got one and two just about as reversed as can be, save for the fact that there might be a glimer of hope that Baltar is also a child of Daniel, a la Leia kissing Luke. Look at the hair and makeup of Kara’s father last week and then look at the hair and make up of Daniel Greystone, sure does remind me a lot of the work done on Ewen MrGregor to make him look like the Obi-Wun Kenbobi of Alec G’s time. As for there being no higher power. Well, that might be a good thing. And, it might be a bad thing.

  3. zarg05

    The irritating mythical prphebys etc have not been adequately explained at all. The finale fell flat on its own arse. It was all god between the gaps and he works in mysterious ways. Technology is bad. Its not the tech its peoples motivations that are morally questionable. getting rid of tech at the end in an hostile environment was a recipe for high early mortality rates, disease and probably self induced genocide. I knew this show wasn’t going to make any sense. Ned Flanders would be proud of the last season, especially the ridiculous ending.

    Battlestar Galactica……..the show that started off great but had a stupid ending.

  4. lmao. Kara is Vista. I guess that makes Caprica Six a Mac Air.

  5. Hector

    Oh, it was FRAKIN horrible! I was expecting the BSG crew to land on Earth only to be confronted by a GIANT black obelisk that would give them the final answer of “42” … The whole ending was a poor resolution and dreadful spiritual nonsense. Little was truly explained (well, unless if you are one whom is happy with the stereotypical irrational “spiritual” answer to everything — “How was it created? Oh sweetie, don’t trouble yourself with finding a factual/rational answer for that. Just be happy knowing it was created by the Gods.”

    Also, what the heck were the writers thinking when they clearly implied that Hera would become our infamous archaeological find commonly named “Lucy.” Do they think we are idiots! First of all, are they saying that after a near fatal deep space mega battle at the edge of a black hole (which was a pretty cool battle) that the “humans” went through ALL of that to rescue little Hera just to have her die on our Earth moments later?

    It’s as ridiculous as Ellen Ripley’s freaking treacherous rescue of Newt in “Aliens” only to have Newt die immediately at the beginning of Alien 3 on a prison planet. Then what the @#^&# was the rescue in Aliens for? Just @#*@# SHOOT ME before i have time to think about how I wasted valuable time caring for the characters and their mission!

    The real Lucy was found in 1974 (did not seem to coincide with the technology shown in the BSG scene) and was estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago (give or take a few seasons of 24). She was only about 3-1/2 feet tall and was definitely NOT as developed (with current day cranial capacity) as modern day humans. Also, she looked like a human like chimpanzee … Hera was definitely a cute little girl and never once reminded me of Cheetah.

    If the BSG population were to breed with our ancestors from 3.2 million years (by the way, this is genetically extremely unlikely … there would be no opportunity for cross-breeding) then why was the English language not the first language? Why would rudimentary paleolithic technology, cave paintings, symbols and, eventually, hieroglyphics exist? Also, if BSG’s spiritual history was ruled by a polytheistic base of Roman Gods, then how the hell did OUR History have sooooo many polytheistic precursors? Did our ancient forefathers leave the BSG religion in a “rock-time-capsule” only to break it out 3.2 million years later; or were our Roman Gods and storyline just an uncanny match to BSGs polytheistic religion?

    There were just so many other reasons why I detested this ending. With all the promotion and hoopla about “All will be answered” I was really expecting for clear concrete and rational answers at the ending. Alas, in the end, the writers left most answers to “Faith” — And, faith, my friend, has no business in being a definitive “answer” to anything in science fiction.

  6. Elizabeth

    I can think of a thousand ways this show could have ended, with extremely cool explanations for all of the twists and turns presented throughout the series, but not in my wildest dreams could I have manufactured such dribble as the writers created for the finale. Faith! Not that I don’t have my own brand of faith, but come on…let’s be real here. The series interjected such interesting concepts regarding the Roman Gods and the Temple of Five, and I liked the whole concept of ancient scripture and prophesy, but it didn’t go anywhere. All of these things should have been better incorporated into the last season, and the time line for their history should have better matched that of the history of earth.

    Sharing a history of Roman Gods would seem to indicate that both Kobol and Earth were visited by some other race of people that identified themselves by these titles. Why would there be clues left behind on how to find earth if there wasn’t some connection between Kobol and Earth – and I don’t mean in a faith sense – the physical similarities between people from Kobol and Earth should not have been any kind of coincidence. The Cylons created on Kobol could very well have been the next stage in the evolutionary process; however, I still have a hard time with entities that look like fully functional human beings actually being machines. First, I don’t think it is possible, second – what’s the point?

    Another thing that really didn’t make sense to me is when they initially found earth and it had completely been destroyed, yet the final five had been there before. How, when, and for what purpose? Could that have made the entire Earth population the Cylon humans?

    The angel theory for Kara was about as far fetched as it could get. If Kara was an angel, she would not have been human before becoming an angel, nor would she have crashed on earth only to come back with a brand new ship like nothing had ever happened. Angels, I suspect, would have greater knowledge/power than mere mortals, which implies that she would have full memory or knowledge of her purpose, not be completely in the dark living among the humans without a clue.

    And, how can 6 be an angel when she is also a Cylon? I just knew that the writers were going to turn Baltar into Jesus, but that didn’t happen either. I really figured that when they arrived on Earth that it would have been during that period of human history and he would have integrated into middle eastern society and began preaching his message of one God, altering the human Earth race.

    The whole Hera story line was equally stupid for so many reason. I wish that the writers of BSG would listen to all of its fans and completely redo season 4 incorporating more plausible endings for all of the loose ends, or at least creating a decent mystical theory.

    I completely agree with the previous post – faith is not a good answer for anything in science fiction.

  7. Jazon

    I know the final ending of Battlestar Galactica was not perfect, and that there are still loose ends, but it was still phenomenal, and easily makes for one of the greatest television series ever produced.

    @Hector:
    The implication was not for Lucy, which would indeed have been absurd given the time difference, but was instead a reference to Mitochondrial Eve (human being’s most recent common ancestor, estimated to live 120,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa, they indicated “150,000 Years Later” when they showed the future at the end of the final episode) in which Hera could conceivably be. If you research it, try the wikipedia article, it’s a stretch, but not impossible and a pretty neat tie in all and all considering.

  8. Lucy

    Having just finished watching the entire series over the last two months, the finale was a huge letdown in many ways.

    My God(‘s) there should have been some sort of celebration for finding a home!!!!!

    After watching everyone struggle over the years in space it was depressing to imagine that their new life was going to be even harder. Not to mention that every last human and cylon were OK with leaving their creature comforts and technology behind. Those people fought about everything and at the end they are all going to agree?

    And what about the Kara Thrace storyline. Not even in the final podcast was there explanation for Kara and her ending other than to say they didn’t know what else to do other than to just make her go away.

    I really loved the show: the stories, the characters, the acting, the attention to detail, the foreshadowing that was so subtle it created “Aha” moments and even the mystical elements, but the ending missed the mark.

  9. James

    I just want to say that I was a bit disappointed with the ending as well,but I have to answer to some people who obviously misunderstood important aspects of it.
    @Elizabeth First of all,we are not talking about Roman gods,but Greek gods.
    Secondly there was a connection between a Kobol and the FIRST Earth,not our Earth and yes clues were left and there were similarities between the people of Kobol and the people of the first Earth,because the people of the first Earth,or the 13th tribe were actually Cylons that have started to procreate naturally and have come from Kobol.Only when they created their own AI and it rebelled against them have they worked on recreating organic memory transferr ,as they put it..or ressurrection..in order to survive the impending nuclear holocaust,go back to the rest of the tribes and stop the cycle of war and violence.They were too late,because they hadn’t developed FTL yet and the rest is known.
    Kara thrace found that first Earth and died there,but her shape was taken by higher intelligence with all of her memories..an intelligence that you can call Angels.That’s why she was so confused.
    In the end all of them.Humans and the Cylons alike come to another planet..our planet that has human beings already evolved independently..in the early stages of evolution and they decide to start a new,with the clean slate in order to stop the cycle of violence and death.
    And 6 is just a Cylon.She’s not also an Angel as you’ve understood.An Angel,or those other aliens were just showing themselves to Baltar in the shape of 6,just as they were showing themselves to 6 in the form of Baltar.
    The planet they all end up in the end is not Earth,but they decide to name it that way,so that would be the second Earth,our Earth..where we’re destined,all of us to live as descendents of a human-cylon hybrid that was Hera.And it is implyed that she is the scientific Eve,which means formother of us all today..all other branches of humans have exstincted,including the old Humans from the Colonies.
    That can be interprreted with faith as all of us being the new gods children,with Hera being the first,but it doesn’t have to be..it can be left to a complete scientific explanation,with edition of another more evolved aliens in the mix of it all,having their influence on shaping things to come.
    I don’t see the problem..logicaly.
    Now.would I have preffered for an end to have gone a diferrent way..absolutely yes..but none of the complaints that I’ve read here do not have any logical merrit.

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