Three Ideas I Want from the Battlestar Galactica Reboot (And One I Don’t)
We’re apparently getting a Battlestar Galactica reboot on NBC’s new streaming service, Peacock. Since we’re going to do this, I have some hopes and dreams for what the reboot could look like, and one idea that I absolutely do not want to see happen.
According to the new Battlestar Galactica reboot showrunner Sam Esmail, this will “NOT be a remake” but will be “a new story within the mythology.” Whether or not a new story within the same mythology will count as a “reboot” or “sequel/prequel” is left up in the air right now. I guess it comes down to how closely it’ll tie into the canon of Moore’s series. If it’s more of a sequel/prequel, I have some ideas for what could make a good show.
Warning: These suggestions contain spoilers from Battlestar Galactica
Life on Kobol/The Exodus of Kobol
Over 2,000 years before the Fall featured in the 2003 Battlestar Galactica reboot, humanity lived on the planet Kobol. It’s a major part of humanity’s origin story and the root of their polytheistic religion. It’s an important location rich with history that’s only ever explored through religious texts or humanity’s brief time among the ruins when they accidentally stumble across the planet during their search for water.
During our brief time on the planet’s surface, we are introduced to important plot elements that carry over all the way to the show’s conclusion, such as the Opera House. We see glimpses of what the planet was like through prophetic dreams featuring the Opera House, but we don’t know how accurate this depiction is, nor do we actually see any of the residents of the planet. It’s left largely to imagination.
Kobol has such an interesting mythology, and I think it has a lot of potential to expand on what we have in the canon without the risk of major canon contradiction. Nothing makes hardcore fans more upset than canon contradictions, after all. You can bet that if there’s something amiss in the new series, fans will notice. But with just a loose outline of what happened, it would be easy to stick to canon while having a large amount of creative freedom. I want to see this actually play out on screen more than any other possible idea out there right now because of the potential to get creative.
And frankly? I just want to see an older version of this society to begin with. While the Caprica spin-off went back in time a couple of generations (and showed us wee little Admiral Adama), I’m much more interested in a huge time jump that removes us from the modern society that we already know from the main series. Give me people in ancient robes worshiping the Twelve Lords of Kobol in their temples, please! How amazing would that be?
The Thirteenth Tribe
One of the biggest shockers during the final season of the first Battlestar Galactica reboot was that the mythical Thirteenth Tribe wasn’t human, but cylon. Yes, we know that “this has all happened before and it will all happen again,” but learning that cylons existed long before humans created them in the Twelve Colonies was a huge game-changer in the BSG mythology.
Like the Exodus of Kobol idea from above, we can see a completely different society from the one we grew used to in the 2003 series. Their exodus came 2,000 years before humanity’s own, so it’s even more ancient and full of potential to get creative. Since the tribe broke away from humans, we could see them develop in a completely different way and tackle major events that aren’t written about in Scrolls. We could even see them come to the decision to do away with resurrection, for example, which would be an interesting plot to follow.
The only downside I see to this is that if they focus on the search for earth it might feel a bit repetitive. We already followed one group of people looking for earth, so why would we want to watch another? To fix this potential problem, they could focus on something other than the immediate aftermath of their exodus. Show them starting and building their own society, for example. Or show a society already in full swing and focus on some random plot that doesn’t have society-wide impacts. The new show has the power to pick any point in their history to explore. You have 4,000 years to choose from, so get creative!
The First Cylon War
The 2003 Battlestar Galactica reboot takes place 40 years after the First Cylon War and the show Caprica takes place about six years before it starts. We’ve straddled this major event in Twelve Colonies history, but haven’t actually visited the event itself with any significant screen time. For such a major event in Galactica canon, it feels strange it’s mostly just spoken about.
The war lasted twelve years, too, which means there’s a significant amount of space to play in. They don’t necessarily have to start at the beginning, as we see quite a bit of the lead up in Caprica. The war itself is the mystery that may be worth exploring.
Also, just because the story takes place during a war, it doesn’t mean it has to take on a gritty war drama atmosphere. They can explore this event through the lens of practically anybody in the Twelve Colonies. In fact, I’d almost prefer watching it through anything other than someone in the military. We spent the main series on a Battlestar, after all, so let’s look elsewhere for a perspective on this one.
This is probably my least favorite of my three ideas as it has the most potential to feel repetitive. We spent years exploring the second war. We’ve had plenty of the cylon vs human conflict. Do we want more? Perhaps not. It really all comes down to what they choose to focus on.
What I Don’t Want From a Battlestar Galactica Reboot
I don’t want this Battlestar Galactica reboot to take place in the same time frame of the main series, nor do I want it to have any of the same characters. As much as I love them, they had their time and we should move on. Even young Adama in Caprica was a bit too much for me and he was more of a side character than anything there.
I want this show to be different in as many ways as possible while still holding true to the mythology laid out in the series. We have thousands of years and tons of planets and outposts that could be explored. Let’s step away from Caprica and the Fall. Let’s see something else. You have plenty to choose from.
What are your ideas for the reboot? I want to hear them!
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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