Tonight starts the final season of Battlestar Galactica, the greatest sci-fi show of all time and one of the greatest dramas of the last decade. Variety is running a special issue today in which several people with different professions weigh in on Battlestar; a comedy writer, a scientist, a Rabbi, a defense analyst, a marine, an archaeologist, a political blogger, and several members of the military. Here’s some of my favorite snippets:
Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana:
In “BSG,” humans and Cylons struggle with their beliefs, just as many of us do. The fact that the God-fearing monotheists are the bad guys only makes the experience more stimulating. Does the dogmatic faith in one controlling entity risk a blind certainty that justifies genocide? Does a belief in many gods (or no gods at all) allow a moral relativism that justifies torture? Stay tuned.
Science fiction, I pray, will continue to explore these religious values and conflicts as an essential aspect of what it means to be human.
Daily Show writer Rob Kutner:
As thorny topics like national security vs. liberty, terrorism, bioethics, and religious horndogs with great hair have filled the airwaves, Ron Moore & Co. have repeatedly found ways to attack them in a sidelong fashion — the same way we try to do so. Granted, we’re a bit more direct, but ultimately, our common goal is not to preach or teach but to entertain — with the real world as the throbbing veins beneath. And I do mean “throbbing.”
Archaeologist Dr. Edwin Barnhart:
“BSG” highlights one of my favorite themes within anthropology: the human compulsion to divide our world into “us” and “them” and dehumanize our enemies. What better choice then the Cylons for a dehumanized enemy? The Cylons begin as ruthless, unfeeling beings, but as the story evolves, they engage in heartfelt relationships with humans, show human frailties, and even embrace the notion of religion.
I have to tape the premiere tonight because it’s our 6 month anniversary party! I started this blog as a way to avoid doing real “work” at my real “job” and it’s turned into something bigger than I ever thought. I can’t thank our readers enough and I also can’t thank the awesome people I’ve gotten to interview enough. Everyone has been so amazing. Let’s keep it strong in ’09 and let’s keep on landing safely in the Hudson!
XOXO – Oh Mars and the entire RBM family