Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And so Battlestar Galactica is over

And so Battlestar Galactica is over.

I'm left feeling meditative. About the events of the last few episodes. About how all the details of the plot hang together. About the characters, their bittersweet lives and awakenings. And most of all about the many desperate journeys: the mythic flight from Kobol to Caprica, Earth and the other colonies; the doomed story of the Pegasus; the tragic peace-keeping mission of Earth's Final Five; the fraught escape of the ramshackle fleet from the 12 colonies to Kobol, to New Caprica, to Earth, and to New Earth; the inexorable journey of Cylons from mechanoid to Centurion to god-fearing sentient; and the long journey of “humans” from Hera to us.

A most unusual sci-fi experience. Not the huge emphasis on technology, strange new worlds, aliens and space battles that one normally expects. These elements are there, for sure, just enough to pique curiosity, but not enough to detract from the subtle meditations on themes such as identity, mortality, politics, religion and destiny. It is a truly amazing achievement to have succeeded in incorporating these themes in an entertaining, action-packed TV show for a mainstream audience.

It's entirely possible that some subtleties are entirely in the mind of the viewer rather than in the intentions of the creators of BSG. But that's irrelevant. BSG was made in such a way that it renders such meditations quite normal.

I'm left with many questions. And that's also as it should be. Perhaps some will be answered by my thinking harder, or by internet forums. Perhaps others might be answered by any new series, although there is a sense of completeness to BSG that leaves me wanting to avoid more complications. But the show's aesthetic fits with there being mysteries that might never be resolved.

And these questions keep me there, in that universe, where Adama holds it all together seemingly by sheer will-power; where both Cavil and Starbuck battle inner demons to self-destruction; where Baltar cannot help himself; where machines console themselves by projecting imaginative realms; where virtual beings tweak history; and where everyone is on a journey they don't understand.