Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A "Battlestar Galactica" Film Series?

I found this article online a day or two ago stating that there's a Battlestar Galactica movie in the works. Rather than being tied in with either the original series continuity or the "reimagined" series continuity, it would be a complete reboot.

I posted the article on Facebook with the caveat that the storyline is simply too big for a single film. The 2003 miniseries, which depicted the Galactica surviving the Cylon destruction of the Twelve Colonies (most of which was implied or discussed rather than actually shown), was three hours long and only covered the initial escape of the Galactica and the civilian survivors. The complete saga was four television seasons. Even if they discarded the controversial settlement of New Caprica story arc and kept them searching for Earth continuously, that'd be three.

Fortunately my friend Matt Schafer came up with a good idea. Make it multiple films. Star Wars, after all, took three films to cover the initial Rebel campaign against the Empire (the "first victory" preceding the events of A New Hope to the death of the Emperor in Return of the Jedi) and three films to cover the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker. A trilogy would be a really good way to tell a BSG story.

Here's how I would do it:

First Movie-The destruction of the Twelve Colonies by the Cylons, the flight of the Galactica and the civilians it's protecting, and the beginning of the search for Earth. In terms of the material it covers, it would be very similar to the miniseries or Saga of a Star World, the theatrical adaptation of the early episodes of the original series.

Second Movie-Here there's a choice to be made. Continue the search for Earth, or something else? In both the original series and the new series there was the story arc centered around the thought-lost battlestar Pegasus, whose commander wanted to continue the war against the Cylons. This would be the chance for some awesome space battles, but the disadvantage is that it's been done twice. Some new version of the New Caprica settlement story would also be doable. Either way, this doesn't work and the bloodied Colonial survivors continue their search for Earth. Possibly some major clue to the location of Earth is found as a result of the events of the second film, setting the stage for the third and last film.

Third Movie-The Colonial Fleet is on the way to Earth, but the Cylon fleet hunting them won't give up without a fight. One last big space battle (or campaign) to allow the refugee fleet to permanently break contact with their pursuers. You could also touch on the possibility the Colonials are bringing Earth's doom with them--if the Colonials are coming to modern-day Earth and the Cylons follow them here, we're screwed.

A complete reboot could allow for the saga to be told in another, more interesting way. In an earlier blog post, I'd suggested a way to (relatively) realistically combine the world as we know it with an advanced human civilization elsewhere is to have Kobol (the original world of the Colonials) settled from Earth by a long-dead advanced civilization thousands of years ago. Some conspiracy theory types claim there was a nuclear war in ancient India, which might provide such an explanation. Alternatively, this could be set in the future--Kobol is a lost colony of an advanced Earth.

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