Mysticism in Battlestar Galactica

In reading the various BG:TNS boards that I do, I’ve found there are generally two camps of thought surrounding the new drive towards mysticism on BG: 1) There is no place for prophecy and such on a show as “realistic” as battlestar galactica 2) Bring on the prophecy! The president is going to lead the Colonists to Earth! Yay!

What naysayers seem to forget is in that BG is about holding up a mirror to our society, there will inevitably be a discussion of religion’s place in government. The Colonies do not have Jesus, they do not have god (yes, the Cylons do). They have the twelve lords of Kobol and the prophecies, the scrolls etc.. What appear to us to be inklings of bizarre magic and such are no more mystical than our own president’s religious zeal.

We live in a time when religious leaders are actively discussing the possibility of armageddon, the place certain countries have in fulfilling the prophecies of the bible, and a president whom many have claimed believes he is in power due to the “hand of god” (bad pun, intended). If we step back and look at Christianity itself, it is absolutely no more bizarre and superstitious than the religion of the colonists.

Granted, there is a lot of weirdness going on with the president’s seemingly precient visions, but I believe that these are very much the kinds of coincidences people see to justify things. Like Six may only be the cracked mind of Gaius Balter dealing with the horror of his life, telling him nothing he doesn’t already know (until episode 12 anyway?), what Roslin is seeing could very well be nothing more than fractured images residing in her subconscious that she is now interpreting as prophecy. Nothing she has seen so far is necessarily anything she hasn’t experienced in her life in some way.

Ronald Moore is setting up a president who believes she walks the path laid out to her by the gods. Sound familiar? Religion, mysticism and superstition are on Galactica because they are a huge part of our culture.

One thought on “Mysticism in Battlestar Galactica”

  1. I’ve been reading this and meaning to comment for a freaking week and alas I am lazy.

    Though I don’t watch BG much, I have to say I took an awesome Science Fiction Film/TV class a year or so ago, and you are dead on. Almost all sci-fi stuff reflects in some way the religious and political events and personalities of their time. Why would anyone believe that even in the future, when more of these science fictions become real, that religion, mysticism and superstition will just cease to be factors? If anything, they’ll be even more influential, since the more we tread out into the unknown, the more reliant many people will become on exploring some higher knowledge…and claiming to have control because of it.

    Good post, ljf! 🙂

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