Saturday, March 21, 2009

My SYP post is late today because I watched the series finale of Battlestar Galactica. I watched the show from the beginning and almost gave up on it as they got more and more political. At one point the humans found an uncharted planet and decided to settle. The cylons found them and the two Battlestars in orbit jumped away leaving the surviving human race to a cylon occupation. The cylons felt they could help the humans but only hurt them. The humans resisted the occupation through whatever means they could find including suicide bombing. Essentially the story reflects the writers' view of the scenario in the Middle East portraying the terrorists as the good guys.

That really challenged my loyalties because I hate when shows start getting preachy. They won me back with one of the most awesome moments on TV. The liberation of New Caprica involved several plans coming together. The most awesome part was then Galactica hyper jumps into atmosphere on the planet. As the giant battle ship falls through atmosphere converting air to plasma the vipers launch through the burning atmosphere and Galactica jumps out leaving the plasma to dispurse just before it hits the tent city. This is the reason I watched the show, awesome space battles that really seemed to follow physics.

A lot of space programs have ships maneuvering like they are in atmosphere. Watch the Star Wars films. They have the accelerators on constant and the ships banks and turn as if through air instead of using thrust maneuvers. In one of the earliest episodes of Battlestar Starbuck in is a dog fight with several cylon raiders. She has one come up on her tail. In atmosphere you are limited to facing the direction you are flying so this is a really bad position to be in. In space inertia will keep your course so lift doesn't matter. Starbuck hits her front thrusters and flips to face her attacker while continuing on the original path. She unleashes a stream of death on the cylon, taps her front thrusters again to face back into the fray. That is the kind of maneuver that most people don't quite think about for space battles.

The show began to take on more and more drama within the ships with less and less actual space battles. Then it started getting very preachy but kept dancing around this idea of a single God that is interested in us and our destiny so I watched for those random episodes that could only take place in space.

In the lead up to the finale they introduced so much that I thought they would end up with a spin off just to tie up all the loose ends. I was quite wrong. If you watch the show and haven't seen the finale I won't give away any spoilers. I will say that the ending is mostly good and pretty much everything is tied up nice and tidy. There are a few mysteries that aren't answered but they were intentionally not answered. As far as shows go I feel this ended was quite satisfactory.

When the Stargate shows ended it felt like just another episode without any real resolution of the major events of the series. In SG1 they actually setup the movie they released instead of ending the series. I felt like that was another attempt to cash in on the fans instead of ending the series. In Atlantis they took the team out of Atlantis but left the major threat in the Pegasus galaxy in place with no consideration for the potential future hope of that galaxy. It was a major let down.

With Galactica the show actually ended and it felt like it was actually over. That is a nice switch.