Saturday, March 21, 2009

BSG.. what a beautiful farewell

When my friend lent me her Battlestar Gallactica DVDs, I was skeptical. Are you kidding me? Why would I ever want to watch a show based on a campy 70's sci-fi series with such a goofy name starring some guys and half-naked lady robots. It sounds ridiculous!

The DVDs sat on my coffee table for months collecting dust. Then one day, I got so bored and had so little to do that I had no choice but to see what all the hype was about. The result of that one moment of boredom was completely, unexpectedly wonderful. My friends and I have subsequently been taken for a ride on one of the greatest dramas in history.

One of the most striking things about Battlestar Gallactica was that exactly half of my friends following it were women. The only other science fiction story I know to break through the aversion most women have to science fiction was the book Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. In both cases, the reason was clear. The stories were not about technology but about people and the human condition.

The most precious part of Battlestar Gallactica to me was that it was a high-saturation portrait of how I see humanity's reality. Nothing was conveniently black and white. The villains were heroic, filled with conscience -- they had souls. The heroes were flawed, selfish, sinful, yet pushed to succeed in spite of themselves. Their world was scientific, yet no one could escape their greater purpose, their destiny.

Last night, my friends and I gathered with drinks in hand and trepidation in our hearts and watched the final episode of the series. If I only had one word to describe it I would say it was beautiful. Every character found the end of their journey. At the destination, some found a new beginning, others found completion. All found peace.

"Angels walk among us," is a quote from the show. It's true. There are those like Ron Moore and the cast and crew of Battlestar Gallactica who can bring us a gift like this work. It is a rare thing for any story to remind me that outside the depths of ugliness within humanity, the universe is a beautiful place and it makes me grateful to be a part of it. I'm sad to see Battlestar Gallactica go, but like they say, "all this has happened before, and all this will happen again." The future does bring great things.