Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the Cylords of Kobol?

How can we try to fit together a likely scenario for Zak?

Well, we need to understand the new BSG universe.
So let's start with Ron Moore's last universe, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9).

It had some elements that we see in BSG:
* religion plays an important role
* One is Chosen (the Emissary)
* prophecy is true (connected to hard-ish science by the fact that the ability to see the future comes from the wormhole aliens, who exist outside of time)
* interpersonal relationships are important
* "gods" are real (the Bajorans worship the wormhole aliens)

BSG is harder SF than DS9, but one fantasy element does remain:
* prophecy is true, and accessible to all persons (humans, cylons, human-cylon hybrids, and cylon ship Hybrids)

BSG also draws very heavily on Classic Greek and Roman mythology.

So a likely scenario is something like this:

Humans on Kobol built humanoid robots (call them Kobol Cylons) with some godlike characteristics (immortality), but human characteristics (much as the Classic gods like Zeus had supernatural powers but very natural appetites).

The Book tells us that humans and their gods lived together for a time on Kobol.
Then one guesses that something like most of the humans left to form the 12 colonies, and most of the Kobol Cylons left to form the 13th colony (Earth). There may have been some mixing (humans going to Earth, Kobol Cylons going to the 12 colonies - perhaps particularly as priests).

Now, say 40-50 years ago (or maybe longer), some catastrophe befalls Earth, maybe a war between various Kobol-Earth Cylons, or a war between K-E Cylons and K-E humans.

The Kobol-Earth Cylons decide to bring about a reunification of the Cylon and human races, in a sustainable peace. They locate the New Cylons (the 12 colonies Cylons) who have already developed Hybrids, and add the technology of resurrection, more bioengineering, and humanoid Cylons. As with the Kobol Cylons before, the humanoids are given human characteristics and failings:

* Brother Cavil as the New Cylon Zeus?
* Six as Aphrodite?
* Athena as... Athena?
(remember Athena is a huntress, as well as being wise)

Rather than teaching their New humanoid Cylons that they are gods, they teach them that there is a higher God, a God of love.

They send Kobol-Earth Cylon emissaries to watch and learn from the 12 colonies humans.

Perhaps one emissary is Kara Thrace's father? (Making her a Kobol-Earth Cylon - 12 colonies human hybrid.)

Then, by mistake? intentionally? 12 colonies humanity is wiped out.

And then we have the Great Experiment - can the New Cylons and the remaining 12 colonies humans learn to come to peace? Can they learn to love, because otherwise the humans will die, and the Cylons will be immortal but childless.

(Remember the Cylons Have a Plan - which may be the Great Experiment Plan, without the 7 known models even knowing about it.)

So Sam, President's Aide, the Chief and Tigh are all Kobol-Earth Cylons programmed with Deep Cover. As is/was Zak Adama. All placed in ideal positions to observe 12 colonies humanity.

Once they work their way towards peace, they will rejoin with Kobol-Earth Cylons (and any remaining Kobol-Earth humans, if there's any difference, and All Live Happily Ever After).

This addresses most of the mysteries of the show:

* Who are the Final Five Cylons and why are they different from the other 7?
- We know (from the ship Hybrid) that they come from Earth.
- Sam, President's Aide, the Chief (Galen Tyrol) and (Colonel Saul) Tigh are all Kobol-Earth humanoid Cylons programmed with deep cover who came to the 12 colonies starting 40-50 years ago
- Zak Adama is a Kobol-Earth Cylon programmed with deep cover who was ?replaced at birth? ?implanted in the womb? ?never actually seen born - Adama's wife knew?

* What's the deal with Kara Thrace and her rebirth and special destiny?
- Kara is probably a Kobol-Earth Cylon + 12 colonies Human hybrid
- she was probably resurrected by the Kobol-Earth Cylons, and her ship repaired / rebuilt as well by them (this means of course that at a minimum all Cylon-Human hybrids can also be immortal if they choose)
- she, along with Galen, were chosen/created to be key parts of guiding humanity & New Cylons back to Earth

* what's the deal with Roslin's visions, Kara's visions, shared visions with Roslin-Hera-Six, Hybrid vision, 12 colonies priest/prophet visions
- as I said before, in BSG prophecy is real, and any person (Cylon or human) can have prophetic visions

* What's the deal with Baltar/Jebus, particularly his visions of Six, and what's the deal with Caprica Six's visions of Baltar (which we only saw a few times)
- This is the only part that is not really clear. There are a few possible scenarios:

S1. Most likely: In the nuclear explosion that killed Caprica Six as she was holding Baltar, her upload got mixed in and crossed over with his brainwaves
S2. Baltar vision Six is an implant or some other technology used by the Kobol-Earth Cylons to guide Baltar, as part of their Plan (putting him roughly in the same class as Kara and Galen)
S3. Angel sent by God / Demon sent by Forces of Evil
S4. I think fairly unlikely: Angel / vision sent by Glowing Ship Gods (see original Battlestar)

(If it does end up being some Ship of Light literal deus ex machina I will be disappointed.)

I think that covers most of the mysteries.
* As in the First Hybrid and later Hybrid prophecy, Kara did lead the fleet to "the end of humanity" (in this case, both the literal end at destroyed Earth, as well as the figurative end, as the future of humanity is hybridizing with Cylons)
* The final five are from Earth as the Hybrid said, and the One Who Will Be Revealed (Zak) is not on the fleet, as Deanna said
* (Zak) Adama is a Cylon, as prophecised by Leoben
* The final five are different from the other 7 because they are Kobol-Earth Cylons, not New Cylons
* The Final Five Cylon that Deanna recognized and was sorry about was probably Tigh, and she felt sorry because #1 he'd spent 40 years fighting the Cylons and #2 they ripped out his eye and (maybe) #3 he killed his Cylon-collaborator wife

Anything I've missed?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

the current situation

SPOILERS if you haven't watched all of Season 4 Part 1.

Known Cylon models

# 1 Number One (aka Brother Cavil)
# 2 Number Two (aka Leoben Conoy)
# 3 Number Three (aka D'Anna Biers)
# 4 Number Four (aka Simon)
# 5 Number Five (aka Aaron Doral)
# 6 Number Six (aka Caprica Six / Head Six / Shelley Godfrey /Gina Inviere/ Natalie)

# 8 Number Eight (aka Lt. Sharon "Boomer" Valerii/Lt. Sharon "Athena" Agathon)

Known "other kind of Cylon" - Cylons in the Final Five

* Sam Anders
* Galen Tyrol
* Tory (President's Aide)
* Colonel Tigh

One Will Be Revealed - the Final Cylon - (in my opinion)

* Zak Adama

(D'Anna says the final Cylon is "not in the fleet".)

Others with Special Powers

* Starbuck (visions) - and apparently back from the dead, along with her ship
* President Roslin (visions, shared dreams)
* Hera (probably shared dreams)
* Cylon ship Hybrids (prophecies)

* (possibly) various human priests and oracles (prophecies)

Battlestar Galactica will return in Canada on Space channel January 16, 2009 (Season 4.5 / Season 4 Part 2). These are the final episodes.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the store of the blog

Show everyone you've figured it out with one of these stylish, yet comfortable tshirts.


Monday, April 28, 2008

who is the puppet master?

"...and they have a plan"

So there are three main mystery threads to wrap up:
* what the hell is up with Starbuck and her perfect ship and special destiny
* what's the deal with Baltar/Jebus
* what's the story with the final five, particularly the Chief

and a minor thread
- how was Roslin able to have visions of the future? how was she able to have shared visions with Six and Eight?

Known Cylon models
# 1 Number One (aka Brother Cavil)
# 2 Number Two (aka Leoben Conoy)
# 3 Number Three (aka D'Anna Biers)
# 4 Number Four (aka Simon)
# 5 Number Five (aka Aaron Doral)
# 6 Number Six (aka Caprica-Six/Head Six/Shelley Godfrey/Gina Inviere/Natalie)

# 8 Number Eight (aka Lt. Sharon "Boomer" Valerii/Lt. Sharon "Athena" Agathon)

Unknown Cylons
# 7 [Sam Anders, for sake of argument]
# 9
# 10
# 11 [Galen Tyrol, for sake of argument]
# 12 [presumably the One who will Be Revealed - Zak Adama]

I think Sam Anders is definely a Cylon, what with the barcoded eye, so slot him in at #7.

So who is doing all this? What is the Plan?

I can think of a few possible scenarios:

  • The First Hybrid / the Hybrids collectively

  • The Architect (i.e. some Mysterious Cylon Creator / Puppetmaster)

  • The thirteenth tribe (Earth)

  • monothestic religious splinter group (possible 13th tribe leftbehinds) hidden for thousands of years within normal society

  • the Final Five themselves (who would actually turn out to be the First Five)

  • Lords of Kobol / glowing god ship people

What are they doing?
I can see either:
- building a more perfect union, i.e. a better society
- building a more godly union, i.e. a monothestism-only society

The monotheism theory goes something like this: cult of "the one whose name must not be spoken" (or whatever it was Roslin read from the book) secretly program the Cylons to follow their beliefs, nuke all the unbelievers, give the remaining humans a chance to discover the true path before the arrive at Earth to be tested.

The more perfect union theory is something like: the first five Cylons have a plan to rebuild an integrated, peaceful society from the ashes of the split societies, unifying man and machine. They possibly went ahead to Earth, just in the last 50 years or so, stopping at the Temple of Jupiter along the way to rejigger it to reveal the Final Five, taking advantage of the existing mythology.

Galen is definitely one of them, since he was summoned to the temple, perhaps with memories of one of his model-brothers.

The Final Five, including Zak Adama, await on Earth, to examine whether their Cylon models and human families have learned the necessary lessons.

Or there could be two competing factions, the Kobol-Earthlings, sending Kara her destiny and Baltar his angel visions, and the Final Five, with their separate Plan.

My predictions:
* Sam Anders is a Cylon, model 7
* Tory (President's Aide) is not
* Tigh is not
* Chief is, maybe model 11
* Baltar is just nuts
* Starbuck is not a Cylon, but maybe has some lord-of-kobol-earth thing going on
* Earth fixed up Starbuck and her ship
* [Possibly: Earth is full of monotheistic human fanatics and is going to nuke almost everyone remaining in the human fleet]
* The Final Five, led by Zak Adama, model 12, will bring about a final peace between Earth, the remaining humans, and the Cylons, and will have completed their Plan of Peaceful Union
* Roslin either a Cylon, or she's whatever Starbuck is, special Kobol destiny vision woman

Note: Final Five as First Five aspect of this theory from Steve.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

you might be a Cylon if

I hope the writers can keep the show reasonably consistent, and not resort to "the final five are Cylons but not like the other 7 so the rules don't apply".

* spine glows red during sex (although Steve remarked that essentially this could just be a casemod for Six)
* Baltar's Cylon detector goes all green
* the (unshielded?) radiation in the nebula slowly kills them
* some kinda plastic fibres?
* can plug a fibre optic cable directly into their arm (!)
* can control the Cylon ship and get data through the Pool of Knowledge (it wasn't clear whether this would work for humans). Number Eight said something about "reading data from contact points" when Galacticans went onto a Basestar.
* the disease from the satellite kills them
* the raiders and centurions have some programming to detect Cylon models
* they can read machine code directly, just by looking at pages of printouts
* there is something "different" about their blood, at least Hera's hybrid blood

Any others?

So if the writers are going to be consistent, the Final Five should at least:
* not have been exposed for long periods unshielded to the nebula radiation
(which is a bit of a dodgy proposition for the Chief - wasn't he on the station almost continuously?)
* not have had ANY possible exposure to the satellite disease

Otherwise if it's just "some of these Cylons are not like the others" then that's pretty weak SF. How can you have a mystery when the writer keeps changing the clues?

The above would seem to exclude Helo, since he went and shot up a room full of Cylons dying from satellite disease.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


These are the key elements to the Zak Adama theory:

* Leoben said "Adama is a Cylon"
* Lee said something to his father about what would he do if he found out someone close to him was a Cylon

[exact quotes and episodes to come]

Zak as a Cylon would bring in compelling emotional complexity from Starbuck (since she was engaged to him and felt responsible for his death), Admiral Adama, and Lee Adama.
It would also bring an element of surprise since everyone has been looking at a bunch of Usual Suspects on the ship:
* Baltar
* Starbuck
* Roslin
* etc.

On the element of surprise front, Admiral Cain as a Cylon would be cool too. Or Billy (the President's previous aide). Or Boxey. Well, ok, Billy or Boxey would actually be killer lame.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, Admiral Adama (or "Bill" to his friends) would seem unlikely to be a Cylon, since he survived fine on the station in the radiation that was killing Leoben. Other theories have Joseph Adama as a Cylon, which has timeline issues, or Bill's wife Carolanne - but then both Lee and Zak should be half-Cylon. Surely the final Cylon should also be a "full blooded" one?

I'm not even convinced all of the "four in hiding" that we have seen are Cylons.
Yes on Sam and the Chief, but I don't see how the timeline works for Tigh, and given recent events, it would be a lot more interesting if new President's Aide (whose name according to Battlestar Wiki is Tory Foster) turns out NOT to be a Cylon.

The issue then becomes that we have never seen a juvenile Cylon, and how did Zak become, well... born?

* Zak switched in after birth by ? unknown Cylon overlord council ? (keep in mind Carolanne thought she was having a girl, both times)
* original human Zak replaced by Cylon at some point
* Zak as secret Cylon experiment, created in a tank but implanted into Carolanne

I don't read too many Galactica blog postings because I hate spoilers, but I really liked the detailed examination of the topic in

A “final Cylon” theory - TimeImmortal.net

I liked it so much that I mentioned it on Digg, and it got Diggdotted. You can still see it in Google Cache. (I should also perhaps attach a small disclaimer that the final cylon posting is just about the only one on TimeImmortal that I have any agreement with whatsoever.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008