All This Has Happened Before

[[image:bsgs4_00.jpg:Bill and Saul:left:0]]This is it.

This is the home stretch.

For the humans on the brink of extinction and traveling across the stars looking for a new home in Battlestar Galactica, the end is near. As viewers, we have arrived at the fourth and final season’s mid-season break. 10 more episodes before it’s all over.

Will it be a happy end? Will they finally find the 13th tribe on the lost colony of Earth? Will the Cylons annihilate the last forty thousand human beings of the Twelve Colonies before they arrive at their destination?[[image:bsgs4_01.jpg:Viper Mark II:right:0]]

Trying to formulate a good theory on what will be revealed in the series finale next year is probably a futile effort, but I’m going to attempt it anyway. I have a theory that’s been percolating in my mind since the 3rd season of the show.

This discussion will have SPOILERS. So stay away if you’ve not seen up to “Revelations”. However the conclusion at the end of this entry is conjecture and speculation and not any sort of a spoiler.

If I get it right, yay me.

Else, oh well.

Factors Being Ruminated Upon

  • [[image:bsgs4_02.jpg:Cylon Baseship launches missiles:right:0]]All this has happened before, and will happen again. It’s been 4000 years since the exodus, from Earth to the Twelve Colonies according to official history. There is a cycle, which happened at least once before and it will happen again.
  • To the viewer, why do the Colonials have a culture and religion that is an amalgamation of a dozen different real religions on our Earth, like references to Greek and Roman pantheon, references to the 12 zodiac symbols and names, references to Valkyrie?
  • Why do exotic names like Adama, Thrace, Valerii, Agathon, Baltar, Tyrol, Quartararo and Seelix exist alongside mundane real-world names like Roslin, McManus, Lampkin, Costanza, Foster, Anders and Kelly? Similarly, why do interstellar spacecraft exist alongside current Earth technology, firearms and land vehicles? How can Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower exist at all in this universe?
  • The Colonials believe that they created the Cylons. If this is true, why do the Cylons remember more about the Colonials own history that the Colonials themselves? How can this be if they’ve only existed after the First Cylon War and revealed themselves during the Holocaust?[[image:bsgs4_03.jpg:A fallen Raptor:center:0]]
  • Although they know that there are 12 models of skinjobs, why don’t the Significant Seven (The Ones through Sixs, then Eights) not know who and where the Final Five are? Is the skipped number Seven between Six and Eight significant somehow?
  • Who are the hallucinatory characters that exist in Baltar’s, Caprica Six’s and Starbuck’s heads? How can humans and a Cylons receive images of these characters without any transmitter or receiver implanted within them? Why do they act as guides to their hosts (Starbuck’s Leoben hallucination even led her on the path to Earth)?
  • Is the fact that the known skinjob Cylons can project a hallucinatory environment within their own minds something significant? Why can Baltar do the same in the first two seasons?[[image:bsgs4_04.jpg:A Centurion:center:0]]
  • Why are some Colonials able to see visions? Are these some sort of projections from an external source as well? Or are they just normal hallucinations?
  • Why do four of the Final Five are revealed? Where is the last Cylon skinjob model? Why are they separated from each other and memories of their real identities erased? Will the Final Five ultimately have the same agenda? Is it the same as the Significant Seven? Did Saul Tigh actually serve in the First Cylon War? Was he planted after with false records and memories, just before he met Bill Adama on the merchant ship?[[image:bsgs4_05.jpg:Real Baltar meets Head Baltar:right:0]]
  • How did Starbuck survive the explosion of her Viper at the unnamed gas giant planet? How did she return? Why doesn’t she remember any details except she’s been to Earth? Who or what faithfully recreated her Viper?
  • What are the Cylon Hybrids that act as the central nervous system for each Cylon baseship? Why do some Cylons list to her insane ramblings with reverence and why do some regard her with disdain? Why did the Hybrid tell Starbuck that she is “the harbinger of death” and “will lead them all to their end” despite every gamble she took brought them closer to Earth?

Conclusion

I think they BSG universe is a simulated reality. This is the reason why we have a mashup between current and historic Earth styles, technologies and naming conventions.

[[image:bsgs4_06.jpg:Raptor trip:left:0]]The Colonials are programs with free will, not programmed to know that they are in an artificial reality and not altered as the reality program is running, except for Starbuck for some reason, whose program was terminated, upgrade and reinstalled back into the system during the Battle of the Ionian Nebula.

The Cylons are avatars of the artificial intelligence of this simulated reality. They were programmed to start the ball rolling with the holocaust and herd the Colonials toward Earth for a reason. The humans believe that they created the Cylons who in turn revolted and attempted to destroy their masters 40 years ago, when perhaps their reality only began just before the Holocaust began. Adama only thought he met Saul Tigh decades ago, when their programs were activated just before the holocaust. The Hybrids are constantly receiving direct signals from the A.I. for some reason, some of which are obtuse hints to what is really going on.[[image:bsgs4_07.jpg:Meeting of men and machines:right:0]]

The head entities is the A.I. itself revealing aspects of itself to certain people also to drive the Colonials and the Cylons forward together, directly changing the individual character programs’ thoughts and beliefs (like what Head Six did for Baltar, Head Baltar did for Six, Head Leoben for Starbuck), giving them clues to go on the next level of the simulated reality. Next level, I wrote. Could it be a game somehow, played by actual real characters? Perhaps, but I don’t believe so. My final conclusion will be revealed further down.

The final Cylon will be the last avatar of the artificial intelligence awakened. And he will finally reveal to everyone that they’re not real.

The simulated reality they’re in have been running for a very long time and it has been recycling the exodus from The Twelve Colonies to Earth many times and they have now come to its conclusion in the last episode of the series. Every time the A.I. runs the simulation the variables are altered slightly. There’s no president. The president is a man. The president is a woman. There are aliens. There are no aliens. Glen A. Larson’s Battlestar Galactica series that we saw in 1978 was one of the previous iterations of this simulation.

[[image:bsgs4_08.jpg:YOU’RE FRAKKING FIRED!:left:0]]Why? A game as mentioned earlier is a scant possibility. An alien intelligence trying to figure out humanity by running these simulations, perhaps. I believe the truth revealed to the Colonials and the Cylons by the final Cylon will be darker than what we suspected and more heartbreaking.

The A.I. is looking for a scenario or a specific set of conditions where both the Colonials and the Cylons would work together to find the fabled Earth. It keeps running the simulation, differently each time, until it finally gets the scenario. When they finally do, the A.I. will terminate the artificial reality and the entire simulated universe. Although they finish their quest, all their work, their loves, their hates, their families, their friends, their relationships to one another are all figments of a machine’s calculations and subroutines. Edward James Olmos said in an interview: “The final season is not a way of resolving anything. Happy would be tying things in a nice bow. There are no bows being tied.”

Perhaps that is the “end” the Hybrid was talking about.

Is this the finale? We’ll have to wait til 2009 to find out.

Bonus Alternate Ending

“Are you sure the signal is coming from this area of the planet?” Adama asks. Lee and Kara look at Gaeta for a reply. “It might be just oceans, but the signal is definitely coming from above the surface.”

“There!” Racetrack yells. Adama peers over the control panel and sees an island. He’s never seen this much green since… well, since forever. He gives an order with a single word, “Beach!”[[image:bsgs4_09.jpg:All together now:right:0]]

Racetrack skillfully lands the Raptor yards from the surf. When the door swings open, Adama’s senses were brutally overwhelmed by sights, sounds, smells that has been nothing but slowly-fading memory in his mind for the last 3 years in space. The blue sea. The even bluer sky. The sand. The trees. He’s on the sand walking away from the Raptor. Where is he? he thinks. Where is the final Cylon?

There is a rustle of leaves, heralding something or someone about to come out of the thick underbrush. And then, there he was. A bald man in his sixties wearing clothes that hasn’t been washed in ages. He smiles.

“My name is John Locke. Welcome to the island.”

Drumbeat. Screen goes black. The word “LOST” appears for a couple of seconds, marking the absolute end of Battlestar Galactica.

Posted in Misc Sci-Fi, TV and tagged , .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.

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