Feeds

Battlestar Galactica eyes 'technology run amok'

Remind you of anything?

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Freewill Triumphant

We see the role of freewill shaping the story's outcome repeatedly. Boomer, a particularly torn version of the Number Eight Cylon model, forsakes her ringleader Cavil by returning Hera to Galactica. The blow is too much for even Cavil, by far the most calculating of the Cylon models, who soon decides to exercise his own free will by putting a gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger. Even Baltar, whose collaboration with the Cylons touched off the genocide in the first place, plays a role, when he decides to stay on Galactica for the final confrontation with the rebel Cylons.

And yet at the same time, the series always acknowledged that events are irrevocably shaped by random occurrences too. Sometimes, they came in the form of chance happenings, such as an asteroid that whacks a nuclear-armed Colonial Raptor, which leads to the accidental destruction on the Cylon colony.

Other times, the series was purposely ambivalent about whether outcomes were the result of statistical anomalies, destiny and free will or some combination of them. Such was the case with Kara Thrace's mysterious childhood song, which leads her to punch coordinates into Galactica's faster-than-light transporter that just happens to lead her nomadic civilization on the brink of collapse to its new home.

And that's what has made Battlestar Galactica such a satisfying journey. There were no clear answers, just a series of worthwhile questions that involved the intersection of human kind, technology, God, and society.

Sometimes the dystopian story was almost too dark to take. But even then, the series knew when to pull back and offer the possibility that things on this new Earth - even with its decadence and dancing robots - could turn out differently this time. For the first time, it suggested, mankind could decide to do things differently. Hence, mankind set the surviving Centurion Cylons free so the robots could plot their own course. And it flew Galactica and the rest of the fleet into the sun so it could truly start again.

Then again, maybe all the dark series of events will happen again, as they already have occurred so many times before. Or if they don't, maybe it's only "mathematics" and the "law of averages" that will make things different this time around. As the Number Six points out to Baltar at the end of the series: "Let a complex system repeat itself long enough [and] eventually something surprising might occur."

But even that is too much certainty. So the Number Six adds: "That, too, is in God's plan." ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1
Beijing fears it could beam secrets back to America
Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!
How many As? Reg hack's writing cops a shoeing
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.