Far Across the Universe

“There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens…” – Battlestar Galactica (1978 TV series)

What a complete mind frack! I had to re-watch the ending twice to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. It’s hard to believe that this series was actually on television – an invention of which I have so much contempt. How could something so sublime come from something so vulgar? I was blown away. The writers allowed something so intense, non-linear, and incomplete into the finale that your imagination is allowed to run wild. A book could be written just to explain the last 15 minutes of the show.

One of Battlestar’s themes throughout the series has been the concept of a collective unconscious – a collective mythology. This collective is shared not just by humans but by Cylons as well. Shared visions, dreams, hopes, and fears bind the two races together. Which race gave rise to the other is posed as an infinite regress, a möbius strip of which the answer becomes, in the end, irrelevant. In fact, so many questions raised during the 5 year run become irrelevant when compared to the real unknown that runs throughout the entire story … the question of God. Is there a bigger question? Do angels walk among us? Are we merely pawns in a game that belongs to beings born billions of years before us? Now, I will have to re-watch the series with the end in mind to figure out exactly what happened. I’ll write more once my brain stops spinning.

4 comments On Far Across the Universe

  • http://home.comcast.net/~billotto/Mormon_N_BSG.html

    Were you aware of the Mormon connection to Battlestar Galactica?

  • Yep, it’s one of the great undercurrents of the show. The whole Kobol thing is a giveaway to anyone that knows anything about LDS. I think it’s a great summary of the Mormon point of view of our place in the universe. It’s also makes a great recruitment video for Christians that have been disenchanted with a 2,000 year old view of the universe. LSD has always has a special place in my heart because of their non Earth-bound theology. Very similar to Hinduism in that way…

  • Yeah, I don’t know if you knew, but I joined the LDS faith shortly after befriending the Maycocks who lived next door to you on Kemp rd. Though I left the faith a few years ago, I still have a special place in my heart for other LDS who’ve managed to make that relgion work for them. I was told about the Battlestar Galactica connection while serving my mission in Spain. It is funny how few LDS even know about this.

  • I do remember. I’m sure you learned a lot about yourself along the way. It’s always hard to fit into someone else’s vision of the universe if you don’t see things the same way. Most people don’t really understand Mormons and only see them as conservative Christians. Under the politics is a real departure from Christianity as understood by most people. In a way, the LDS faith invigorated a very dated religion with a pretty radical theology that also incorporated a much larger universe and also the unique “American” experience.

    I agree, if you can make it work that is a real blessing. For those of us that are just a little bit too independent in our thinking … well, we have to take a different path. I’m glad you’ve found yours.

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