The cycle of violence ends with the abandonment of antibiotics and electricity?

I just caught up on the Battlestar Galactica finale, and wow... I was expecting it to be a letdown given all the loose ends that had built up, but I had no idea Ron Moore is a Luddite.

For a series that tried to show parallels from our world in the future, this was a major disappointment. Over the seasons, there has been a constant focus on the division of power between the government and the military, the rights of the accused, the nature of representative government, and the role of torture in a time of war. Despite the speculative setting, there was always an element of realism and consistency that allowed viewers to identify with the ongoing process of civilization-building happening on the fleet.

Yet in a span of five minutes, after the battle was won and their destiny was in hand, they decided to abandon technology in order to "end the cycle of violence." How this made sense to any of the characters I don't know. They forced an age of darkness in order to have peace--ironic since hunter-gatherers were in a constant state of war of all against all.

In the original mini-series, Admiral Adama gave an inspired speech in which he said humanity would have to confront the sins of its past. The reason cylons decided to bomb the 12 colonies is because they believed humanity didn't deserve to live. Humanity's moral standing became one of the central questions of the show. In time, a few cylons broke rank and decided that humans are, despite their flaws, worthy of existence, leading to a cylon civil war. But Moore's final sendoff message is that human nature isn't what's under investigation. Rather, it's technology that's at fault.

But what is technology if not a reflection of the minds that create it? To what purpose is a new design inspired that does not serve its architect? We see modern Earth 150,000 after the events of the finale on the brink of creating more evil robots. The only thing the colonists left behind was genetic traces of their DNA. Why not also spread their culture and craft, learn from their mistakes, and be vigilant of not repeating them? The first step to truly ending the cycle of violence is learning from the past.

Since the time of Hera, has war been avoided? Did slavery not exist for all of history? What possible purpose did sending the fleet into the sun serve?

Isn't the question really one of human nature? It's a shame Ron Moore abandoned it at the time it counted most.

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Indeed

The thing I found most irritating was the assumption that they would all live an easy, carefree existence without the distraction of technology. Famine? Infant mortality? Nah, primitivism is lovely.

The preachy tone at the end - "Does it all have to happen again?" - also made me feel very stabby.

Indeed

For a show that always at least gave a nod towards realism when dealing with issues of survival, the end of BSG was a giant joke. Honestly, I thought the show had lost its way after the first few episodes of season 3, but I really enjoyed the last half season until the finale. Seriously guys, you've had well over a year to plan it all out and this is what you come up with?

Forget all the squishy moralizing (awful as it may be) and deal with the facts. Somehow, I'm supposed to believe that 35,000 people who have been living on frakin' spaceships for the last four years, and in a highly advanced techno-culture for their enitre lives before that are going to be able to last even a month in a raw, unadulterated wilderness? Then to make survival even more difficult they separate into small groups. Is the gene pool even big enough here? What about the shortage of doctors? Does even a single person have any of the survival skills necessary? Hell, they're going to need to make thier own frakin' clothes

And then there's Adama and Roslin watching the pretty gazelles (without any weapons, 'cause before technology lions didn't eat people), and he's gonna build a log cabin. With what tools? Lumber? Knowhow? And he's gonna put a window in it? Please. Tyrol will go off to his fortress of solitude and die, Apollo is right behind him about to fall of a mountain, and Hera will learn to hunt and gather from two people who have never done either.

Honestly, after all the trouble they went through to save the human race they finally get to the finish line and decide not to.

Could Never Stand It

"ironic since hunter-gatherers were in a constant state of war of all against all."

Yes, and with a rate of homicide an order of magnitude higher than 20th and 21st century societies even if you include WWII and all the other wars.

I never did like this series. I can't place my finger on everything I dislike. I've always disliked the "weak willed traitor in our midst" theme going all the way back to Doctor Smith of "Lost in Space". It diminishes all the characters that the problems are due to such a buffoon. The moral being what? That somehow others should put up with such behavior? Or is it that the other characters are too stupid themselves to detect it.

At least in the Lost in Space movie they made Dr. Smith somewhat more formitable.

I watched three episodes maybe five of the current Battlestar Galactica before getting irritated with, I think, Baldar. He was too much like Dr. Smith.

My main feeling while watching the show is "... and I'm supposed to care about any of these people because?" You'd think that wouldn't be a problem with all of humanity hanging in the balance.

BSG S01E02

Where it is implied that a spaceship's water is handled like a stock and not a flux. Stopped watching. My suspension of disbelief only goes so far. I don't understand all the fuss about this show, Babylon V was much better for example.

Babylon 5

One key difference between BSG and Babylon 5 - and in fact a difference between most series and Babylon 5 - is that Babylon 5 was planned out ahead of time by the creator (JMS). There was no question that he was going to paint himself into a corner because he had already planned out the series. Or, at any rate, it is so well constructed as a whole (this despite a telescoped end due to the cancellation) that this must have been the case.

However, I find Battlestar Galactica much more watchable episode-to-episode.

Hard to remember

A high proportion of the initial comments are I-hated-it-all-along. Well, I loved it for most of the series. The last episode was a disappointment, but I think it was a combination of (a) painting themselves into a corner, and (b) wanting them to reach Earth (our Earth) and tie in the series to our real existence - to place it in our universe.

A lot of artists don't know how to end things. A lot of pop songs don't end but fade. I can imagine some good reasons for this but I also think one common reason is that it's hard to end it once it's started.

And the hardest part of flying an airplane is landing it. Or so I (a) hear, and (b) know from experience with flight simulators. Sullenberger managed the first water landing of an airliner, or so I understand. He's world famous because he knows how to end something. Just goes to show how hard it is.

They decided to tie BSG into our distant past, and they could have gone the "Atlantis" route, but ending it that way would have essentially implied an Atlantean spin-off ending on a real downer along with stepping on the toes of another Sci Fi property. They also needed to give Hera significance, and they did this by allowing the human/cylon hybrid to be the ancestor of us all - thus explaining what was so significant about her that she was worth the final battle. This required placing them at the time of Mitochondrial Eve, and left open the question of what happened to the technology. They only had a few minutes tops to deal with that particular question.

Given what they needed to do, I don't know that they could have done it much better - other than starting earlier, way earlier, and shaping the series with the end in mind rather than painting themselves into a corner. It was a disappointment to me that made it hard for me to remember what it was that I liked about the series. But I did like the series, a lot.

I liked the first 2-3

I liked the first 2-3 seasons, when they explored interesting issues of human nature and society. Then it turned into pointless drama and mystical crap. I'm glad I gave up early in the last season - I wish I'd given up early in the 4th season.

I thought seasons 1 and 2 were the best

Actually, more like 1 and 1.5. After that, it was a good show, but never lived up to its initial glory days. Season 3 introduced the standalone episodes which didn't really fit with the arc-based nature of the first two seasons.

Early on, the mysticism was seen as a product of a belief, i.e., everyone acknowledge it wasn't "real". Adama and Roslin used it to keep morale up. But by the finale, mysticism was "real".

human nature has not changed

There is no evidence that human nature has improved since writing has been invented. We have become more sanitary and more efficient at killing. Thank God Hitler didn't have tree chippers as Saddam did.

I love sci-fi, but this

I love sci-fi, but this series never got me excited.

Whenever they said 'frak' or whatever I thought how f**king stupid to think that the only language mutation would be a curse word; I would imagine curse words would have some of the highest pronunciation fidelity.

Thank goodness I didn't get involved.