20091102

Battlestar Galatica: The (Half-assed, made up on the spot) Plan

The newly released Battlestar Galactica movie, directed by Edward James Olmos, has all the disadvantages of the original series, and none of redeeming qualities, but there's nudity!

There appears to be no reason for this movie at all, as it's plot is filling in spaces before the series began and the spaces in between the major plot points.

There are a few interesting points in the film that illustrate more of what was going on the series, how ever it is redundant. While there were some interesting scenes of the human-looking skin jobs acting completely self-righteous while committing genocide, it was an unnecessary detail.

Fans of the series will be very familiar with the sticky morality and unflinching presentation of atrocity as the backdrop for drama, but in adding details to the atrocities of the original series it has a numbing effect. I know they killed a lot of people, but seeing the Cylon pitching countless bodies into a ditch actually didn't resonate with me the way it should have.

It appears as though it's whole purpose is to make the Cylons more villainous after they had spent almost five years making them less evil with interesting story and characterization. I feel the need to say, Adm. Cain made the Cylons look like the goddamned Carebears after about 45 minutes.

Then there's the nudity, which I don't believe is intended to titillate, since by the time we see it we've already seen so much murder and suffering that it barely registers, which may been the point.

I suppose the worst part of the whole series is revisiting all the old story arcs from the show like "My Significant Other is a Cylon," which was explored in depth in the series and doesn't need to be revisited here. Lymari Nadal, the spouse in this version of that arc, is so natural in her line delivery it felt like she was in another a series all together.

BSG is fast falling for the Star Wars fallacy of exploring the same themes, characters and ideas over and over and over, which is fine bringing in new fans, but you loose as many people as you gain from that sort of storytelling.

Finally, this Plan we kept hearing about? The Cylon Plan was "Nuke the Colonies and be smug about it when all the humans are dead," which means that at no point during the history of this culture was there ever a war or a rebellion or anything that would indicate that unless your plan is perfect (which it never is), then people will survive and you won't be able to feel smug.

Seeing the totality in which the Cylons won makes the remainder of humanity seem like nothing even approaching a threat. This is what I'm going to call the Puny Human Fallacy: nearly invincible, all-powerful or super technology beings or cultures are absolutely certain that humans cannot defeat them, so they fuck with humans constantly, not realizing that when you do that, the humans will find a way to defeat you.

It gets even sillier when you apply this to Battlestar, because they Cylons have already won and won hard. The Cylons find themselves, after killing billions of people and having more than enough habitable planets, wasting time trying to hunt down thirty thousand or so remaining humans. In this way we find another failing of these sorts of explorations, because now I, even as a fan of the show, find it stupid.

Not only did this fail as entertainment for me, it actually deconstructed the show to such an extent that I may as well delete all the episodes I have purchased on iTunes. Perhaps Caprica will be better.