Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Grande Finale

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book - perhaps the most remarkable, certainly the most successful, book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor. The H2G2 tells the story of a man who is the last surviving specimen of his species (or so he thinks, until he meets an old would-be flame - Tricia). In that story, we quickly discover that the whole of Earth was - before being blown up to make way for a hyperspace bypass - a giant organic computer, built specificly to give the ultimate question for the ultimate answer of Life, the Universe and Everything. Which, as we all know, is 42.

In the end of the second book - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - we find our heroes stranded on a planet, after reaching it on the Golgafrincham Ark Fleet Ship B - captained by a man in love with his bath tub - which crash landed on an unremarkable and mostly harmless green blue planet. They ultimately find out, after exploring and seeing Fjords, that they are on pre-historic Earth and that the Golgafrinchams are the real ancestors of current day Humanity.

Battlestar Galactica is a wholly remarkable TV show - perhaps the most remarkable, certainly the most widely audience bridging and genre transcending, show ever to come out of the Sci-Fi (SyFy???) channel and genre. And the grande finale that aired on March 20, 2009 was no exception.

I've seen many conflicted opinions about the way the show ended. Having watched The Last Frakkin' Special, I've had my own doubts. In the special, Ron D. Moore tells of the hardship in writing the finale - the conclusion - to the grande arch that's been created with the twists and turns of the show from day one. And, evidently, he didn't reach some divine inspiration about the plot ending, but he did come to a conclusion - "It's about the characters, stupid!", as he wrote on the whiteboard of the writers' room.
That's where I thought "But what about all the questions? You must answer them."

Now that I've watched the finale, I've not been left wanting. Well, almost.
Battlestar Galactica could not have ended any other way. It was a story about characters, and the characters have all come full circle.
  • A woman driven to extremes by losing everyone she loved, has finally found rest and peace.
    A man trapped by his own self image, his self created myth, rose above and beyond the legend, and came out victorious in spite all odds.

  • The Romeo and Juliet love story between Helo and Athena - and the entire Prophecy of the Opera House is perfectly wrapped up in the daring rescue of Hera Agathon. Everything put perfectly in place; recreating the entire Opera House dream on board the Galactica.
    An allusion to the Space Opera that is Battlestar Galactica.
    A more perfect description in the body of the show itself could not have happened.

  • Even humanity itself, as one character, has grown. As Lee Adama put it, Humanity is no longer just the Thirty Eight Thousand plus people in the Colonial Fleet. It has found a way to evolve elsewhere. This new "Earth", as the new arrivals named it. Humanity itself is no longer in danger of extinction.

Or is it?
I personally loved the Restaurant at the End of the Universe ending.
It is really something that's been on the blogosphere before, in one form or another. There were theories that when the fleet would finally arrive on Earth, they would discover our Earth, in our modern time.
They do, finally, arrive on our Earth - 150,000 years in our past. Creating allusions to the Greek Gods as embodied in the call signs and names of the Battlestar Galactica personel.
They even had their own Captain in a Bath, as Anders is left with one final instruction, to take the entire Colonial Fleet into the Sun.
And, perhaps, just like with the Fjords of Norway that lead to Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect's realization of being on Old Earth, the journey Chief Galen Tyrol undertakes to go to an island in the north, devoid of humans, is a cue to us - the spectators - to further enhance the realization that this is indeed our Earth.

As Ronald D. Moore himself makes an appearance reading a current day newspaper, listening to today's news about advances in Robotics, we see the two Head Jobs - standing right behind the show's creator - talking about how "All this has happened before, and it will happen again.". Harking back to the slogan already repeated several times throughout the last two seasons.
Bringing back the true meaning of Science Fiction and it's place, role and responsibility in our own society as modern philosophy, commentary and watchdog for morality and what just might be.

Battlestar Galactica - We will miss you.
So say we all!

Don't forget, there's still BSG: The Plan - a TV movie retelling the story of Caprica's final days from the Cylon perspective.

The unanswered;
Who are the Head Jobs? Who is this "God" who, according to Six, doesn't like to be called that?
What and Where is Kara Thrace, really?

How will Caprica fit into all this? Will it stay true to the established or create it's own lore completely? I'm hoping for the former.

It would seem there's a Command & Conquer fan on staff of the Battlestar Galactica production. Perhaps apart from both Grace Park and Tricia Helfer who played major roles in Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars!
An homage back to us, C&C fans? It seems so.

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha

    Well, it seems we have our answer. Thanks to the guys on Facebook.
    The Firestorm Kodiak is aptly explained the same way the appearance of the Firefly class ship in the Pilot mini-series is explained: