Manifesto Multilinko
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009
BSG: solving the Ark problem

Brad Templeton has made forceful arguments against the bad science of the "oh these people on a distant planet just happen to be compatible with us on a genetic level" ending of BSG.

I've been thinking about how you can resolve this in-world.
The best I can come up with extends my alternate ending with the following:

Option 1: No aliens

When they arrive at Earth 2, there is a Ship of Light of the 14th tribe awaiting them.
Kara goes over and comes back.

She reports: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is we have a new home. The bad news is we all have to die before we can live there. I am the harbinger of death."

Through a montage and as little as possible technobabble, the following emerges:

For the last 3500 years the 14th tribe has been trying to find a new home for humanity.
After searching the galaxy they found one which was promising. They have made some genetic alterations to the existing primate line on the planet in order to make its outward physical appearance essentially human, with a human-level brain. The internal workings are however completely different, down to a genetic level.

Ellen and the remaining three work closely with the 14th tribe, we hear Ellen say something like "just as Cavil destroyed model 7 by damaging it genetically, we can use resurrection beneficially, with the help of the 14th, to alter us all to be genetically compatible with the life on this planet". (This also helps to avoid this "foreign diseases" issue.)

Of course in order to resurrect in their new, genetically-compatible bodies, the entire fleet must die. Talk about a leap of faith. So offstage, they all die, then we see a few selected shots of them emerging from resurrection tanks (looking outwardly the same). Then my alternate ending story continues on with them landing on Earth 2.

Now I know this is still really weak. This is still way too high a level of physical similarity than should be possible. But it's the only way I can think to do it without aliens.

It does get you a nice Kara leads to death bit though.

Option 2: Aliens

Otherwise, if you're allowed aliens (which Moore said were not permitted in BSG) it's easy: Beings of Light took humans from Earth 2 some x thousands or millions of years ago and seeded them on Kobol.