Friday, October 13

Galactica Wants Us To Think

Source: Sci-Fi Weekly
After reading the recent letters by John Miller ("BSG and SG-1 Show Different Slants") and William Farrand ("Battlestar's Morals Are Misleading"), I am worried that some people are reading too much into the inclusion of suicide bombing and torture in the recent premiere.

I have no doubt that the writers are trying to tell us something, but I don't think they are trying to tell us that Iraqi suicide bombers are morally justified in their actions. That's reading way too much into it. Just because Tigh, a member of the "good guys" faction, is willing to resort to suicide bombing and so forth does not make it right. Was it not clear enough how his co-conspirators were loudly critical of his actions and plans?

My interpretation is that the writers wanted to make us think of what can happen to people in extreme situations. For example, Duck was only willing to blow himself up because Nora had been killed by the Cylons. Wouldn't you want to get revenge? An individual without scruples (Tigh) could easily exploit a person like Duck.

I have no doubt Tigh will have to answer somehow for his actions, whether by descending into a drunken hell of his own creation or in front of Adama and Roslin. The episodes showed how the black-and-white moral landscape we live with in industrialized countries so easily fragments into shades of gray when life is hell.

My father was in WWII. He fought in the Italian resistance. He shot and killed Germans. Those Germans were following orders. Young kids, sent to war. Hardly evil invaders in the classic sense. Does this make my father a bad person? On a more strategic scale, was it right to nuke Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Were those not massacres on civilians? And yet the ends justified the means. From yet another perspective, if the Cylon leadership had been gunned down instead of blown up, would that have killed them more humanely?

My point: Stop reading too much into what the writers are trying to tell us. There is no conspiracy theory. They are trying to tell a good story. They are trying to make us think. The are trying to show us that all issues have two sides and both sides have arguments going for them. I certainly didn't find that the episodes glorified or justified suicide bombings. They showed us what desperate people who see no future will do.

Andreas Rosboch
andreas AT rosboch DOT net

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