#BSG and #Religion: The Pilot


The Cylons were created by man.
They were created to make life easier on the Twelve Colonies.
And then the day came when the Cylons decided to kille their masters.
After a long and bloody struggle, an armistice was declared.
The Cylons left for another world to call their own.
A remote space station was built…
…where Cylon and Human could meet and maintain diplomatic relations.
Every year, the Colonials send an officer,
the Cylons send no one.
No one has seen or heard from the Cylons in over forty years.

In the short opening to the pilot episode of Battlestar Galactica, we are provided with a few details that are of profound significance.  First, the Cylons are created.  Second, they rebelled against their masters.  Creation and fall.  This, of course, is a significant theme for Christianity as well.  Creation-God created all there is, including humankind.  Fall-humans rebelled against God and broke God’s command.  (See Genesis 1-3)  In the Christian context, the story of redemption begins with the fall.

But, in BSG, the story of redemption doesn’t begin at this point as the Cylons further rebel with a surprise attack on the Twelve Colonies that all but annihilates the humans.  Although, this too rings of biblical overtones, and calls up images of the flood narrative.  God decided to wipe out humankind for their sin, but found one man and his family to be righteous and spared them.

During his speech, Commander Adama speaks to the human condition and the human propensity to sin in his speech during the decommissioning ceremony aboard the Galactica, and seems to be speaking directly about original sin.

The Cylon War is long over, yet me must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much…in the cause of freedom.  The cost of wearing the uniform can be high…but–  Sometimes it’s too high.  You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction.  But we never answered the question, why?  Why are we as a people worth saving?  We still commit murder because of greed, spite, jealousy.  And we still visit all of our sins upon our children.  We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we’ve done.  Like we did with the Cylons.  We decided to play God, create life.  When that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge…that it really wasn’t our fault, not really.  You cannot play God then wash your hands of the tings that you’ve created.  Sooner or later, the day comes…when you can’t hide from the tings you’ve don anymore.

In the garden, Adam and Eve wanted to be like God and were tempted by the serpent.  They ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and, as a result, were expelled from the Garden.   As we see, a very similar event is unfolding on the Colonies as the Cylons mount a surprise attack.

In the exchange that follows between Baltar and Six, we learn a few interesting things.  The first reference to the Cylon resurrection is made by Six, as well as the fact that there are 12 models of the human form Cylons (skinjobs).  The question then becomes, if there are 12 models, then who is the Christ figure?


About Craig

I'm a former American Baptist turned Agnostic turned Lutheran. I have a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. I write for Simul Iustus et Peccator and Unsettled Christianity. View all posts by Craig

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