Such great heights…Posted: July 15, 2009
Does Battlestar Galactica have the worst ending in the history of Science Fiction? This is quite possible though I wouldn’t go that far (though the linked piece makes a pretty awesome case that it is). That is not to say it wasn’t terrible but there had to be worst ending BSG’s – mean all of the Stargate shows had endings right?
As anyone who spoke to me in the hours after the finale can attest, I found the whole thing deeply upsetting.
My biggest problem with the ending is two fold: the whole thing ended up being a theistic claptrap and the whole anti-technology message.
Theism: The idea that entire show was some plan from god is so frustrating because it completely ruins the entire religious conflict of the show. The of the great things about Battlestar was its treatment of religion and religious conflict. It was interesting and different than any TV show I’ve seen before. Religion was a fundamentally human (or Cylon) creation in much of the show (particularly early). People (and Cylons) – even those on share the same ‘beliefs’ in the abstract – are driven by their faiths in different directions. Again, it was a very compelling and “realistic” treatment of faith.
But all of this is undone by making “god” a concrete entity with its own terribly stupid plan. The multiplicity of faith in the series gone there is only one true god and this prattling head-angels. And you know, I wouldn’t have a huge problem with this if god’s plan even made sense in retrospect – but nope, it doesn’t in the least. Here “god” is a stand-in for everytime Ron Moore and his writers were sitting in the writer’s room drinking a few beers and said to one another “Wouldn’t it be cool if we did this crazy improbable thing?”
Anti-technology: I just can not buy that a space traveling species would be so willing – and so easily – give up their technology to sit around and hang out with cavemen. I mean the whole thing is very sudden, Lee is like “Technology sux” and everyone else is like “Dude, you’re right!” It is so hamfisted that it is clear that Moore is hitting you over the head with the message stick. Moore is saying – to me at least – that technology is the fundamental cause of everyone’s problems not their own actions. This is just wrong and like making everything “god’s plan” is a cop-out. Human agency – for good and ill – gone here and replaced with a basically good human nature corrupted by technology. If man could only run free we’ll all be ok! *yawn*
Basically, its clear to me that Battlestar and Ron Moore dropped the ball in BSG’s finale. It did a lot of damage to how the show will be remember. Personally, my love for the show has not disappeared but I do think a lot less of the show than I did before season 4.5.