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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Battlestar Galactica... so yeah. (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Battlestar Galactica... so yeah.
neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by aeolusdallas:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Some god anyways, I don't think we're supposed to assume that either the god or his agents/angels are necessarily the Christian god or any god we're familiar with.

Considering the very final thing the Six "Angel" says tot he Baltar "angel" I don't think it's a god at all.
Very true. The possibility is deliberately left open that the "God" in BSG is simply a very advanced alien/other intelligence that has chosen to use its vastly superior insights and seemingly mystical powers to guide humanity and its cylon creations. But of course, who's to say that that doesn't describe the Christian God as well?
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BryanP
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I don't see how you can even argue that it's a possibility that it's not supposed to be some form of God. That exchange with Head Six/Baltar at the end is bizarre, and it just seems like an unfunny joke about how God doesn't like to be called God. But there is absolutely no indication throughout the show that it is an advanced intelligence, or that it is anything other than supernatural. For it to be otherwise would defeat the whole bloody point of the series.
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Raymond Arnold
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Simple. By being the sort of person who assumes that when somebody in a science fiction show tells you they're a God, they're usually lying and/or exaggerating. Real Baltar goes out of his way to say that it doesn't matter WHAT exactly God is, but that he exists. And then Head Six/Baltar make the exchange that you can only describe as "bizarre and unfunny." You can interpret it as a bad joke or you can interpret it as a deliberate clue.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
For it to be otherwise would defeat the whole bloody point of the series.
I don't think there really was a point to the series.
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Mucus
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Yeah, I gotta agree. While there were small points in certain episodes and a few larger ones scatter among the arcs, BSG does a pretty good job of avoiding and subverting any hints of an overriding point to the whole thing.
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aeolusdallas
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quote:
Originally posted by BryanP:
I don't see how you can even argue that it's a possibility that it's not supposed to be some form of God. That exchange with Head Six/Baltar at the end is bizarre, and it just seems like an unfunny joke about how God doesn't like to be called God. But there is absolutely no indication throughout the show that it is an advanced intelligence, or that it is anything other than supernatural. For it to be otherwise would defeat the whole bloody point of the series.

The Lords of Kobol are never explained. It is entirely possible that they and the Cylon god are post singularity transhuman AI's or Humans.
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Dobbie
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Generally, the point of a show is to entertain. So, yeah, Battlestar Galactica has no point.

[ February 12, 2010, 09:33 AM: Message edited by: Dobbie ]

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by BryanP:
I don't see how you can even argue that it's a possibility that it's not supposed to be some form of God. That exchange with Head Six/Baltar at the end is bizarre, and it just seems like an unfunny joke about how God doesn't like to be called God. But there is absolutely no indication throughout the show that it is an advanced intelligence, or that it is anything other than supernatural. For it to be otherwise would defeat the whole bloody point of the series.

To quote Arthur C. Clarke: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".

This is a common theme in sci-fi. Often advanced races are mistaken for gods by far more primitive races. Sometimes humans are the advanced race (eg. that episode of TNG where the vulcan-like race start worshiping "The Picard"). Sometimes humans are in the middle, where there's a more primitive society worshiping aliens but the humans see what's really going on (eg. Stargate). There's no reason why BSG can't be an example where humans are the primitive race caught up in the machinations of a greatly more advanced intelligence. I mean, why not? Because it seems mystical and supernatural? That's the whole point of Clarke's third law stated above! From the perspectives of the humans and cylons (which are the only perspectives that we see except for the brief Baltar-Six exchange in the final scene) the actions of "God" and his agents would appear mystical.

I'm not saying that this has to be the case, but there's certainly nothing to disprove it, and it makes the final conversation less bizarre, as you say.

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BryanP
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Obviously you are all entitled to your opinions on the show and I can't change them, nor do I care to try. But I think it's a stretch to ascribe these other sci-fi ideas to a show which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with them. Yes, I am aware of Clarke's law, and yes it is impossible to prove my opinion of what the show is about, short of a quote from Ron Moore, but I think, in a way, that it cheapens the show to say the explanation of some key events is not religious.

One of the primary themes of the show is religion, they deal with it from the very beginning. So, alright, maybe an incredibly advanced civilization is playing with them, using their religious beliefs to steer them in a particular direction. If that were the case, though, the aliens would need to know the future, because there are multiple times throughout the show where Six tells Baltar things he could not possibly know, or guess, about the future. Likewise Starbuck's resurrection and disappearance in the finale: while it could have been orchestrated by an advanced race, it complicates what is otherwise a simple explanation. And most significantly, they find Earth with a population of intelligent beings with whom they are sexually compatible. As one of the characters asks, what are the odds? Yes, again, this could have been done by the advanced race, I won't deny it. But I truly think that explanation cheapens what is otherwise a very poignant story in which fate and God play key roles in the lives of a group of people who are struggling to survive. They ultimately reach Earth in part because of a desire to fulfill and/or simply understand their destinies, and because a loving God wants them to survive and ultimately learn from their mistakes. That to me is far more meaningful than "random alien intelligence we never know decides to save the lowly humans and cylons", but like I said you're more than entitled to your own opinion.

Sorry this isn't better written but sadly I don't have time for an essay on the subject, though I wanted to expand on my previous post.

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Raymond Arnold
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My original point was that the ending is such that people who find the religious answer more poignant can believe that, and people who find the purely religious answer not poignant at all (like me) have another option. I realize the only actual evidence we have is the one line at the end, but that's a pretty significant line. It doesn't prove anything one way or another but it's certainly enough to leave both options open.
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IanO
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Quote from Ron Moore regarding the entire series and the finale in particular (source)

quote:

MR: There has been some one or some thing orchestrating these events. And you purposely chose to leave that ambiguous.

RDM: It just felt like, you know, by its nature, the eternal, the divine, sort of defies concrete terminology. The more you attempt to state exactly what it is definitively, the less mysterious, the less supernatural, the less mysterious it becomes. And I thought, you can only go so far. You can kind of acknowledge a presence, you can acknowledge the hand of something else, and that was about as far as I thought that the show could comfortable show.

It was embedded in the mythology of the show since the miniseries, so that definitely had to be part of it, and it had to have a satisfying ending on that note, but I didnít want to come right out and have a bearded guy in the heavens or something or sort of give voice to it. I just wanted to leave it mysterious. And as with so many things, the questions are more interesting than the answers are.

It's almost inherently something we can know. It seems like it's a continuing theme in mythology, that you can't really know the divine. You can experience it, you can encounter it, things can be revealed to you, but you can never really understand the mysteries at the heart of it. And the more you try to put definitions on it, the less satisfying it becomes. Once you get to the place where you imagine God as a bearded guy in a cloud, it becomes less satisfying.

Baltar's speech in CIC is pivotal -- "There's another presence here, we've all felt it, we've all seen its impact, we know it's around us, we know it's around us right now, and we have to have a leap of faith and trust that it's there and believe that it exists, even if you can't understand what it is and what its motivations are, if it has motivations."


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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
My original point was that the ending is such that people who find the religious answer more poignant can believe that, and people who find the purely religious answer not poignant at all (like me) have another option. I realize the only actual evidence we have is the one line at the end, but that's a pretty significant line. It doesn't prove anything one way or another but it's certainly enough to leave both options open.

That's basically what I'm saying. I'm not disagreeing with BryanP, I'm just trying to make the point that the nature of "God" in BSG is intentionally vague. Each viewer should embrace the interpretation that works for them. They're both valid, and personally I'm okay with both possibilities.
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aeolusdallas
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I like RDM's answer in that interview.
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Lalo
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Lyrhawn's completely right, the soundtracks are INCREDIBLE. Season 4 was kinda blah, but the first three have been on heavy rotation since I could get my hands on them. "Passacaglia" and (strangely) "Something Dark Is Coming" are my favorites.

That said, if you're watching the series now, stop before you start season 4.5. The ending of 4.0 was exactly how the series should have ended. Season 4.5 was just the worst thing I've seen in a while, in terms of acting, writing, execution, even simple directorial rules like show-don't-tell. The finale was agonizingly bad, particularly after I'd invested such enthusiasm in the first three seasons.

Don't. Stop at 4.5 and keep your good memories of the series.

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Lyrhawn
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Lalo, you might be interested to know that the soundtrack to "The Plan/Razor" is being released I think tomorrow, or later this week. I expect it will be the last music release from the series.
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Raymond Arnold
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I actually preferred the 4.5 ending to 4.0, so long as I knew it advance that it was going to be contrived and not really answer any mysteries.
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Dobbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Season 4.5 was just the worst thing I've seen in a while, in terms of acting, writing, execution, even simple directorial rules like show-don't-tell.


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Geraine
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The creator of BSG, Glenn Larson, is a member of the LDS church, and you there are a LOT of things in the show that directly reference the LDS church's structure and beliefs.

I found a pretty good list here, with the exception of the one about young wives [Razz] :

http://home.comcast.net/~billotto/Mormon_N_BSG.html

Enjoy [Smile]

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