Battlestar Galactica's time has passed. One of the most critically acclaimed SF shows of all time ends with Daybreak Pt.2, tying up (hopefully) all of its dangling plot threads and blowing our godsdamn socks off at the same time. The show will no doubt influence television shows to come (I'm looking at you Stargate Universe), and is influencing real-world debate too (at the United Nations!
), but what of the fine movies that influenced it? In honor of the bucket's final flight we here at Movie Moron have picked out the movies to dig out of your DVD collection and watch on repeat until you can get your hands on The Plan. So dry your eyes, swig some ambrosia and take a gander at this list.2001: A Space Odyssey
The obvious choice. Right from the first few frames of the miniseries 2001's influence is apparent; the approach to space travel (almost sans sound!) as Boxey's dad approaches the Cylon rendezvous point brings to mind Kubrick's masterpiece. The psychadelic ending has a stark white starship interior with ornate old furniture inside, which is the first thing Baltar encounters when he's taken aboard a Basestar. The flight-suits are similar in style too, quite unlike the Egyptian inspired get-up of the original series. Somewhat more tenuously, the show's ubiquitous and foreboding phrase 'all of his has happened before and it will happen again' mirrors the cyclical nature of 2001's plot - Cylon wars are Galactica's recurring alien monolith...
And of course, they share a theme: rebellious robots. Star Wars
Oddly enough, despite basically owing it's entire existence to it, this is the film that the new Galactica bears the least resemblance too. It was 1978 when some NBC bigwig ordered the original Galactica, presumably having seen Star Wars the previous year and deciding 'I need me one of those'. The result? Luke and Han became Apollo and Starbuck, X-Wings became Vipers and Stormtroopers became...Silver! And robotic. And called Cylons. All things which the new Galactica retained, albeit with a change in gender and a skinjob or two (which sounds weird when you put it that way...) Lest we forget, ships that are a hunk of junk like the Galactica didn't really exist in Sci-Fi prior to the Millennium Falcon and the other ships in Star Wars, which popularised the 'used future' aesthetic. Beforehand it was shiny shiny shiny C57D and the like.
Star Wars is way more fantasy than the military SF that Galactica is, but there is still a similar attachment to hokey old religions.Blade Runner
Now we're talking. Seeing as how Galactica rarely takes place on a grungy planet's surface, and the clothes are (thankfully) without ginormous shoulder pads, the aesthetic of Blade Runner would be hard to emulate. What isn't hard to emulate are its themes and its treatment of them, taking something inhuman and humanising it, allowing the story to critique how we dehumanise our fellow man.
Cylons are replicants. Indistinguishable from humans in almost every way, until a part of their body starts glowing by accident. The whole tears in the rain speech at the end of Blade Runner is strikingly similar to Cavill's in No Exit, and the parallels between man and machine, the use of the device to ask the questions 'what makes us human?' and 'are we really so different from our enemies?', are prevalent throughout the entire series. Galactica even borrows the term 'skinjob', if that's not an homage I don't know what is!
And of course, they share a theme: rebellious robots.The Matrix
The most recent influence, and rightly so. The Matrix influenced Galactica in subtle ways: the red code running along Basestar walls, Cylon Resurrection gooey bathtubs looking like the Human Growing Fields. But those influences are significant, there really hasn't been a Sci-Fi film in the entire decade since The Matrix came out to eqaul, or even remotely rival, its cultural impact, it only makes sense that a show like Galactica tips it hat.
And of course, they share a theme: rebellious robots.