It took a while to get started because I made my wife watch the entire 1970’s version before starting the new series. A little because it’s like sharing my childhood with my wife, but mostly I love seeing the changes made when it gets rebooted. One reason that I love Science Fiction is that it, more than any other genre, cuts to the heart of our society’s collective fears. Some sci-fi writers do this intentionally, but more often than not it just comes out of our collective unconscious. Which is why a major plot change in the new Galactica caught my attention.
In both versions, the enemy of humanity are the Cylons, a race of robots that have been at war with humans for generations. What’s different is who built the Cylons.
In the original series the Cylons were originally a reptilian alien race that waged war with Earth, and when they realized that they had fought themselves nearly to death they built a mega-army of highly intelligent robots to take their place. The robots adopted the name Cylon and took the place of their creators as they also took over the society from the dying race.
Obviously the seventies was a time of rampant Xenophobia, a time when “others” seemed to poses the biggest threat to our civilization. These “others” that we feared were so foreign to us that we could not understand why they wanted to destroy us, but it was clearly not our fault.
In the reboot the Cylons were created to be servants to man, but given too much intelligence and decided to overthrow the oppression of their human masters.
This gives me hope. I feel that we are at a time when we realize that the greatest threats of violence and terrorism may come from afar, but we know that it is a situation that we created ourselves…that our forefathers birthed the hatred and violence that is currently threatening us and we are trying to cope.
Hopefully it will not take a global cataclysmic event like the robot apocalypse for us to band together as brothers and deal with the mine fields we set in our past to explode in our future, explosive devises of our own creation that we can no longer blame on aliens from other countries.
Hopefully we’ll figure out that we having nothing to fear but ourselves long before it comes to that.