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Sunday, March 29, 2009
BSG: The Problem of the Cylon Empire, and Anders
Ok, so one tech civilization (mostly) fell, the 12 colonies.
And another fell entirely, the 13th colony, except for 5 people, resurrection tech, and a slower-than-light (but near-light-speed) ship.
And Kobol fell long ago.
That leaves one minor dangling detail: THE ENTIRE CYLON EMPIRE.
We know the Cylons were built by man and rebelled.
We know there was a first war with the Cylons.
We know The Five encountered the Colonial Cylons sometime around the end of the first war, 40 years ago. We know they built The Colony.
We know since then the Cylons have gone from "By Your Command" and a basic first Hybrid, to an interstellar empire that can produce baseships, fighters,
We know that Cavil knew everything that was going on. The other models, apparently nothing. We know that Cavil knew of the Colony, it's not clear if the others did. We know that their baseships were run by a consensus leadship team of models 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8. (It's not clear why none of them asked about model 7, presumably they thought model 7 was one of the final Five. It's also possible that Cavil jiggered with absolutely all of their programming.)
It also seems fairly likely that the Cylons knew exactly where the fleet was at all times (witness the ability of Gina to arrive at the fleet, or D'anna to leave the fleet and report on what she had seen).
Ok so we have an entire Cylon empire.
The Resurrection Hub has been destroyed, rendering individual resurrection ships useless. One mining base has been destroyed. Somehow (undefined) through civil war ships were sorted into two groups: Cavil #1, Simon #4 and Aaron #5 versus Leoben #2, Six, and Sharon/Boomer #8, with D'anna #3 mostly out of commission due to being boxed.
Most, indeed all but one? of the 2/6/8 basestars, it is implied, were destroyed in a giant Cylon battle.
So that leaves the 1/4/5s with the Colony, a fleet of baseships, and oh the Entire Cylon Empire? Unless you want to define the Entire Empire as just the Colony - that's where all the ships are built? Where all the tech comes from? Where all the food comes from?
This is a long thread to get at the "Lee might as well have abandoned technology, since without all the infrastructure, things were going to fall apart anyway" argument.
There are only a few scenarios:
1) Absolutely everything in the Cylon Empire is at the Colony, in which case, one has to ask
1a) did the other models know about the Colony? Did they never ask questions about it? How is their creation mysterious when they know about their starting point?
1b) if they didn't know about the Colony, how did they think their Empire was running, lacking any facilities to build ships etc.
2) There is a vast Cylon Empire beyond the Colony, full of factories, assembly lines, farms, mines, etc. - all the infrastructure of a peak-technology civilization.
In which case, first of all, if killing Cavil means "peace", then why don't the Colonials go use all that tech? Otherwise, aren't all those very angry Cylons going to come and nuke Earth, very soon?
Unless you assume that somehow "the Cylons can't find Earth" which seems unlikely, unless of course, "God did it" and is protecting Earth.
3) There is a small Cylon Empire, as we know that baseships were jumping in and out of the area near the Colony, in which case again - either they're at peace and the Colonials could use all their tech, or they're not, in which case they'll come nuke the Colonials soon.
4) Even IF the entire Cylon Empire is somehow gone, that means there are two scenarios for the robotic Cylons who were freed
4a) Either they will all soon die, lacking the necessary supporting technology infrastructure, in which case it's Yet Another happy ending suicide or
4b) Since they're from a peak-tech civ and have an entire baseship and the entire knowledge of the Empire, they go rebuild the Empire. Which would seem to be pretty risky for the humans AND the robotic Cylons, what with "all this has happened before".
Given what seem to be a huge number of risks at least in the short term - what if another very angry model 1 shows up with nukes? It would have made sense to at least fly a Sol system cap made up of Anders and the robotic Cylons on the baseship with their fighters and raiders, for at least the 40 years we know elapsed between the first and second wars.
It's also not clear why Anders agrees to fly into the sun, or for that matter to spend the rest of his short life in a bath of goo. The way they treat Anders is bizarre. Kara "loves" him and he was a key member of the Final Five, so shouldn't the other 4 at least like him? Plus which, he's a Cylon Creator, a cylon god. And yet with all that, after four seasons of learning to respect one another, both the humans and Cylons of all types alike treat Anders like a soul-less machine with no free will. Hera, oh she's a precious girl whose humanity and right to exist must be elevated above all others. Anders? Oh yeah we can plug him and unplug him whenever we want, despite the fact he's clearly aware and trying to reconstruct himself (they literally unplug him as he's saying "begin reintegration of right hemisphere subcommand routines"). There's no discussion whatsoever of him staying on Earth with Kara. Instead he's sent to "pilot" the fleet into the sun, which has got to be the easiest "piloting" job anyone ever got, an autopilot job if ever there was one. He is, in short, the only one in the show who ends up literally being treated like a toaster.
Labels: battlestar galactica