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Thoughts on the Battlestar Galactica Finale

March 23, 2009

I spent some time this afternoon looking around the web for discussion of the Friday evening’s Battlestar Galactica finale and the best I came across is Tim Goodman’s (including the comments!).

A few of my own thoughts that I have not seen elsewhere:

First, to me one of the most interesting aspects of the show has been Gaius Baltar’s theology and its many incarnations. It was nice to see it play such a prominent part in the conclusion of the show. If someone else doesn’t beat me to it, I’d like to trace that evolution.

Second, I read many complaints that the story could have been wrapped up more neatly had the show had a set arc that was followed from the inception of the series through its conclusion. That may be the case, but we would have missed out on many of the great intermediate developments that people have really liked. I have really enjoyed listening to Ron Moore’s podcasts after watching each episode. Among other things, they relate how much of the show has been modified on the fly, usually to make the story better. Those sorts of modifications have enhanced the series as a whole and would not have been possible in a series with a more defined arc.

Third, Ron Moore’s podcasts have made me more more willing to forgive things that seem “unrealistic” because often there will be an acknowledgment of such aspects of the show with an explanation of why they were necessary because of a limitation of the medium, or because they enhanced the story telling, e.g. the helmets have lights on the so you can see the actors’ faces.

Fourth, to me the fact that the story ended 150,000 years ago on Earth makes the ending somewhat bittersweet, despite being ostensibly upbeat. The Star Wars stories took place a long long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but you could imagine the stories continuing and progress being made, legacies being carried on etc. In contrast With the Battlestar Galactica ending we now know that all the individuals we grew to care about over the life of the series are gone, and have been gone for 150,000 years. Their only legacy is an impersonal one: that they were instrumental in seeding the earth. That’s not nothing, but it is still a little sad.


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