Charge up the Cylons and jump into that comfy fly suit, Battlestar Galactica is tipped to be taking off again, this time in a major movie reboot. Rumors are circulating that the movie is intended to be a “complete reimagining” of the previous storyline. While specs on the project are just beginning to surface, it is easy to assume the upcoming BSG enterprise will leave the acclaimed 2004 SyFy television series in the intergalactic dust.
Criticisms of the reimagining question whether or not the franchise really needs to go back to ground zero. Some fans contest that there is enough mythology and history in the BSG legacy that the four-year story should not need to start again from the beginning. Also, what is to be done with the investment dedicated viewers have given the old cast of characters, played by Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos, and Mary McDonnell. Will the reboot depict new faces on these highly developed and well-established personas? Or will there be a new cast of desperate star-flung drifters continually finding themselves at the mercy of the insipid Cylon cyber-race? Will there even be Cylons?
Others contend that more work should be pursued with the prequels Blood & Chrome and Caprica. Blood & Chrome was originally released as a web-series which chronicled the beginning years of BSG Captain William Adama. The 10-episode online series aired on Machinima.com and was later released as a televised movie on the SyFy network, but to many fans’ dismay, the series was never picked up. Caprica was a spin-off of the BSG series, which told the story of the threatened society 58 years prior. Main characters, such as Captain William Adama’s father and uncle, helped unfold the mysteries of the cybernetic Cylon race who retaliated against their human creators for their years of enslavement.
It’s been five years since the four-season BSG series aired its last episode, and do to the dissatisfaction many fans had in regards to the show’s conclusion, some are relieved to hear Battlestar Galactica will be “reimagined.” Some argued the show ended a bit wimpily with too many religious connotations, which was a distraction considering the show’s raw and gritty reputation. Others think it would take too much work to unpack the nuanced universe and that there is too much that would need to change to squeeze that multi-layered galaxy into a two and a half hour time frame.
The planned film will be considered the second Battlestar Galactica reboot since the original show aired in 1978. Glen Larson, the man who invented the original BSG and worked on the 1970s series, is producing the film, and Transcendence screenwriter Jack Paglen is slated to pen the new project (as well as Ridley Scott’s Prometheus sequel). No director has yet been attached to the production.
Former director, Bryan Singer, will be too busy as he tackles X-Men: Apocalypse to direct the new BSG reboot. Singer was originally slotted to direct the 2011 BSG movie project, but the production was put on pause after he decided to dedicate his time to the new X-Men series. Considering Singer’s devotion to the X-Men, chances are the reimagining is due in part to the potential of a new directorial vision. As long as spaceships continue to ignite their FTL drives and zap into unchartered galaxies, comrades have cool radar gear, everyone has a secret identity, no one can trust their supposedly loyal wingman or seemingly devoted spouse, and the barracks remain the coolest clubhouse, and there is that sexy, intergalactic, dive bar, fans may not be disappointed.
Or maybe all of that will change. Will genocides and a loss of civil liberties continue to thematically guide the story, and if so, will it matter which characters act out the atrocities, or what century the battles take place in?
It is advised, especially considering the dismissal of the 2011 remake, to take the word from Universal that they are putting the much adored sci-fi cult favorite on the fast-track with a grain of salt. Perhaps a reimagining of Battlestar Galactica is too deft and the project will turn into mist, but hopefully not. BSG aficionados expect the new franchise to take the heart of the old and put it into something new, something cybernetic, and sometime soon.
Opinion by Stacy Feder