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      CommentAuthorMardoek
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.1)
    Hmm, I loved both this ending and Spielbergs AI, so what does that say about me? :)
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      CommentAuthorWordWill
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009 edited
     (4756.2)
    Lots to chew on and say and discuss and argue about in the finale, from the parts that were understated or classy to the parts that were hokey and cheesy. To my mind, that's some form of a successful ending.

    Spoilers below.

    To those who debate that the Colonials spread themselves too thin and let their own culture die off, the meta-message in the show, of course, is that our history and mythology is evidence that it didn't. To people attempting to swat at the fictional story of prehistoric astronauts and their robot lovers with cudgels of contemporary science... that's, uh, not how fiction works.

    The reading of the ending as "Bob Dylan is God" seems intentionally obtuse, though I imagine it's actually sass. If that were the case, anyway, Dylan's version should predate the version that drove the Final Five nutty, not post-dated it. Yes, I've actually made this argument, so you can imagine my shame.

    They ditched the majority of their fancy future tech into the sun — an act of anti-space-porn that bothers so many sci-fi fans, I think, because "hey, frak, if you don't want them, I'll take them!" — but not Roslin's corpse-harvested transhuman Cylon space-wig? WTF?!? That is utter nonsense!!! This show and its leaps of logic, which I endured before because I thought it might lead to bigger space battles and more robot tits, has completely ruined any value it ever had and rendered all previous episodes moot and stupid by making a dumb choice like this in its final minutes!!! It was probably based on Luddite anti-scientific fundamentalist extremism, which offends me because I took chemistry in high school!!! You're only allowed to use religious themes and allusions in sci-fi if you disprove them all with string theory at the end! Everyone knows that!! I'll never say frak again!!! Frak!

    The original BSG theme, by the way, appeared in the new series' original miniseries as the Colonial Anthem — it had been cast into a cameo as an in-setting piece of music. It turned up again in the documentary-making episode that introduced Lucy Lawless, and that version appears in a wonderful arrangement on the newer series' second-season soundtrack. It's appeared once or twice since, including the finale, where we also hear bits of the "Exploration" theme, also from the original series. Those original themes were composed by Stu Phillips. I like music. And pie.

    Anyway, I'll write more about the finale here and there, I'm sure, but for real I want to say thanks for keeping this thread open and playful and engaging even when it seemed inevitably bound for unbearable shenanigans. I enjoyed these last few episodes more because I got to see them through more eyes than mine. So, cheers.
    • CommentAuthorChristianW
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.3)
    They turned into mormons and decided dying when the first winter hits would probably best fullfill god's will. I didn't have much hope for the finale, but they managed to go way below that. One of these days people in the US need to get over their godcomplex and maybe decide to join the grownups.
  1.  (4756.4)
    The reading of the ending as "Bob Dylan is God" seems intentionally obtuse, though I imagine it's actually sass.

    Another joke wasted.

    One of these days people in the US need to get over their godcomplex and maybe decide to join the grownups.

    There you go.
  2.  (4756.5)
    i was quite pleased with the ending. A sense of clarity with some resolutions, a sense of mystery veiled over others. As it should be from my perspective. I don't think the show chose to take a religious stance over a scientific one. Nor do i think it chose an unfairly labeled "Luddite" position in the face of technology. It took a very human stance and recommended a cautious hand, although that phrase probably doesn't make any sense (need more coffee). Religion and science have always been constructs of humanity, lenses through which they choose to perceive and make sense of the world around them. The tools employed for us to engage with ourselves and our world. Neither one is better than the other in my opinion because both have been used by humanity, either hand-in-hand or apart from the other, and their results have varied from wonderful to horrifying. That's the amazing thing about the human mind...some of us are wired to engage the world from one direction while others approach it from another place entirely. Sometimes the two directions clash and sometimes they manage to walk side by side and human nature will never allow for one to dominate the other for very long.

    The show is evidence of that i think as the characters, cylon or human, have embraced faith or technology, rejected one or the other or both at times. Both creations improving our lives in some ways and damaging it in others. Tapping into the forces of nature to survive and destroy. Primitive man learns to create fire...to use it for warmth, for cooking, for a light in the dark....to burn, to maim, to ruin. Fire attains a mystical quality, a magical presence held over others, a religious significance, a symbol of power. Millennia later, we're still tapping into the forces of nature for our technology with the same results, and we always will. And the show posits, will the cycle ever end? Should it ever end? Perhaps not. Even when Six at the end suggests the cycle may finally be over, Baltar gives her a doubtful look. The cycle, for all of its pain and death and hardship, is the thing we need to challenge us. It enables us to be better and worse at the same time. We need the optimism of faith and science as much as we need the cruel brutality both breed upon us and the world around us.

    There is no attainable utopia. It's simply the never-ending search that defines us, not the perfect find and never a nicely packaged little world. The humans and cylons were searching for many things, neither of them really getting what they expected, wanted, or believed they deserved. (It's amusing to read very human reactions here and there, fist-shakes to the heavens/writers for not getting what they wanted.) And along the way, the mysteries of the universe, the forces of nature they only partially grasp, may have nudged them here or there for reasons left to speculation, but ultimately it's up to them to make their decision. Baltar, the most flawed...the most human of all of the characters, suggested as much in his speech to Cavil, possibly the most human of all of the cylons, and it was very fitting for that dialogue to occur between those two...the most contentious and self-serving of both races.

    Religion and spirituality will never be expunged from humanity. Neither will our desire to build and create new things in an effort to announce our presence and define our place in existence. We will never, as a collective, entirely embrace one over the other. Good stories recognize how both things affect our culture and civilizations, making us generous or fickle, noble or nasty, ingenious or ignorant.

    Battlestar Galactica is certainly not the greatest story ever told but it had many good moments and I enjoyed the ride...despite the abundant crying...capped off by drunken vomit! Yuck. :)
    • CommentAuthorBMTMTC
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.6)
    Somehow, somewhere I know there must have been a Sagitarian Pvt. Erich von Däniken lurking around in the background.
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      CommentAuthorWordWill
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.7)
    Another joke wasted.

    Wasted for a reason. I'm so meta.
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.8)
    Moral of the story: Technology screw humanity 3 times. The 4th? FRAKING TERMINATORS ARE COMING!!!!!
    (sorry but I had to do this kind of joke. proceed)
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      CommentAuthorhowyadoin
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.9)
    And yet they never use his version on the show, instead going for the Hendrix cover.
    Dylan himself has said that Hendrix's version is the definitive one.
  3.  (4756.10)
    Dylan himself has said that Hendrix's version is the definitive one.


    Nothing against it. It's just that it's REALLY overused in film and television as piece of sting music. Dylan's version always gives me a cold chill. Like he's describing something truly dreadful in the ordinary.
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      CommentAuthorhowyadoin
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.11)
    Oh, absolutely. Dylan's is definitely more apocalyptic.

    And yeah, it's overused. But that's not really a reflection of the actual music.

    Either way, I'm glad we didn't have to hear Bear McCreary sing it again.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.12)
    A college friend has refused to watch the new series, because it's an insult to the original. (Eeeeewwww, Starbuck's a GIRL!) However, he was interested in how it ended.

    I obliged:

    My Version

    Captain Adama was visited in a dream by his ancient ancestor, the "real" Adama played by Lorne Greene. They used a combination of old clips and animation to do it . . . pretty amazing. This Adama told him to select twelve wives, one from each colony, and fly in a shuttle to a previously unknown 14th colony.

    Meanwhile, Starbuck finished rescuing the crew and passengers of the Orphanage Ship from the Toymaker Planet, which was revealed to be a Cylon trap. The treacherous dagget which had led them into the trap was converted to Good by the tears of a spunky young orphan.

    Apollo, leading the remainder of the fleet, fought a pitched battle in which the Queen Cylon was killed, but not before wiping out most of the Galactica's "Blue" squadron.

    During the battle, an explosion killed the marines guarding Baltar's cell; the condemned criminal escaped and -- with the help of Count Diabolico, the Cylon assassin -- made his way to the hanger deck. Outraged at the sight of Apollo being hailed as a hero on his return, Baltar fired Diabolico's Energy Gauntlet at him; Boomer sacrificed himself to save his friend by leaping in the path of the blast.

    With the death of the queen, the Cyclon began crashing into planets and fighting each other. Against everyone's wishes, Apollo saved two baby Cylons from lifepod and vowed to raise them on the side of Good.

    Another lifepod was found to contain a message from Adama, giving the coordinates to the 14th colony, which is revealed in the final scene to be called "Deseret."
  4.  (4756.13)
    as much as I enjoyed the episode and hearing the original theme, I fear an opportunity was wasted in not sneaking in some of the giorgio moroder disco version of the battlestar galactica theme into the lap dance / pole dance / whatever dance place.
    •  
      CommentAuthorhowyadoin
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.14)
    A college friend has refused to watch the new series, because it's an insult to the original. (Eeeeewwww, Starbuck's a GIRL!) However, he was interested in how it ended.

    I obliged:
    Did your friend actually believe all that?
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.15)
    @howyadoin:

    Haven't heard back from him yet. I suspect it's blatant enough to trip his BS detector. God, I hope so.
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      CommentAuthorLokiZero
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.16)
    Speaking as someone who watched 10 total episodes of BSG (the first 7 and the last 3), I think it resolved itself nicely. The only wait, what!? moments I had was when Adama left Apollo for no apparent reason and Starbuck vanished into thin air. I think I might've said aloud, now that's fuckin stupid...

    Other than that, I don't feel like I missed out on anything by not watching straight through. Not bad though.
  5.  (4756.17)
    Haven't heard back from him yet. I suspect it's blatant enough to trip his BS detector. God, I hope so.


    Well how hard did you sell this?
  6.  (4756.18)
    Well, I gotta say, the show was great, always been fun talking about it here and on The Engine before this. Hopefully Caprica will be decent and not over-done on the themes.

    I may try a full review in the blogs if I ever collect my thoughts about the finale.
    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.19)
    Geez - I take a day or so off to digest, and when I come back here, 97 new posts?! I think it took me longer to catch up with the thread than to actually watch the finale.

    Altogether, I'm very happy with it. A few reactions to the episode/conversation:

    Starbuck - I'm cool with her disappearing, because I'm one of the few people who actually likes having some things open to debate. What's particularly interesting is the fact that regardless of how she came back, her special destiny was already in place even in her "old" life. So if she was, just for example, an angel, she was kind of always an angel. In fact, I think it's interesting to consider whether she was supposed to die when she did; were death and resurrection crucial to her journey somehow (and if so, why?), or was that some sort of cosmic wrong turn that needed to be corrected by preserving her as a sort of hard-light construct until her job was finished? We know that the DNA of the Kara found on Old Earth was definitely Kara, but what if they'd tested post-death Kara's DNA? Wouldn't it still have been Kara's DNA? Or would the DNA have faded into nothingness before it could be tested? Very interesting stuff, methinks.

    Science and religion - I'm on close to the same page as Steven here, I think. Just because Adama built a cabin and Baltar became a farmer doesn't mean the entire group forsook technology to the point of drinking dirty water and bathing in the river - there's no way you're going to talk 39 thousand people out of their curling irons and reading lamps and (in particular for this group) distilleries just like that. Honestly, the only reason I can buy the vaping of the fleet going through without mass uprisings is that if there was one type of technology these people would have gladly washed their hands of by this point, it's gorram spaceships. The truth of the ending is that, as Orwell says, human society as they knew it eventually (mostly) disappeared, but that could've taken several thousand years yet, as large sets of bloodlines died out, others merged with the natives (gross, but inevitable given the last scene), and so on. As to the religion thing, let me just add my voice to the group of nonreligious fans who can handle potentially (can't stress that enough) religious themes in fiction without needing to beat them with a stick. Some of the most important things there are to say about humanity can best be said within a supernatural framework, and as someone else said earlier, are often done the most effectively by nonreligious writers.

    "Dylan is God" - Anders actually wrote the song, so he's God. Dylan's just his prophet.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2009
     (4756.20)
    Regarding all the reference to luddism I've seen here, and more stridently elsewhere: I really don't think luddism is an appropriate descriptor for the motivation these people had for throwing away all their tech.

    Look at what has happened to them: about 50,000 people survived the destruction of a 12 planet civilization, and lived for the past 4 or 5 years in what are essentially commercial airliners. You know how it feels to get off of an airplane after a 12 hour flight. Imagine not being able to breathe anything except your neighbor's recycled farts for 4 or 5 years.

    Plus in that time, about 12,000 more of them died. The population was rapidly shrinking. They were surrounded by nothing but hardship, death and lost hopes.

    All the planets they landed on previously were not habitable long term. Kobol maybe, but they couldn't stay there because the Cylons were still on their backs. Otherwise, New Caprica and the Alge planet had only attenuated habitable zones, and the 13th Tribe's Earth was irradiated. When they got to our Earth, it was observed to be not only habitable, but environmentally richer than even the 12 colonies had been. After 4 years of eating alge and breathing recycled farts on a commercial airliner, I would also walk away from all that if placed on a plain in pre-historic Africa. Clean air, fresh water, meat on the hoof, teeming varieties of edible plant life. It's been nice knowing you, spaceships!

    With regard to abandoning the rest of the tech, well, how much of that could possibly have been sustainable. 38,000 people on a random selection of commercial airliners, military vessels and a single refinery of a now unavailable ore are not a sustainable industrial base for a civilization. Things we know from the show itself: They were eating mainly cultivated algae, they had used up all of many industrially produced perishable products, for example, toothpaste. They couldn't produce more of many things because they didn't have the industrial infrastructure with them. What they did have was fueled by Tillium, which is the thing their single refinery ship could process, but where are they going to get that on Earth? How do they manage to repair the Tillium refinery when that starts breaking down, without the massive civilizational industrial base necessary to produce the million or so things needed to support development of all the equipment you need to keep something like a refinery functioning.

    (Verner Vinge is an author who has tackled the problem of adequate industrial bases to support certain levels of technology in his book Deepness in the Sky - in which some interstellar traders become stranded in orbit around a pre-technological civilization, and have to nurse the world into a technological one in order to grow the industrial base necessary to produce the things they need to get their ships repaired. It's a really good book!)

    We know Roslin was consuming the last of some of those cancer treatment pills. Most likely all the available medications were near or completely depleted, and the medical staff were reduced to mostly doing nothing more complex than first aid. There would be no way to fix or build new medical equipment, as the experts for that kind of thing were unlikely to be thick enough among the 38,000 survivors to mean much, and again the industrial base to produce things like lasers, diamond cutters, and advanced biomedical diagnostic machines is just completely gone.

    Plus, when they set up the colony on New Caprica, they offloaded a lot of physical infrastructure, machines, material, etc., that just got abandoned when they escaped from there, it was just left lying around. They lest that episode with even less of the almost nothing that they had before.

    The point is, there couldn't have been much useful tech left, that wasn't directly related to keeping a spaceship flying, and they weren't going to be able to fix any of that when it broke down. After all those years they could see the writing on the wall. Civilization was dead. It was over. There was no way to revive it. The only chance anyone had of a good life was to just walk away from it and learn how to live with what this new, rich planet has to provide.

    And yes, this was the end of the 12 colonies civilization. It was broken beyond repair, and even the remnant people didn't outlast this last generation. Earth wasn't a new beginning for them, it was a comforting place to lay down and have a little bit of peace before death. Only Hera's bloodline survived, but the civilization, language, knowledge, technology, it was all lost.

    I thought that was a great ending! I think it took some real balls to do that on commercial television.