So, the news is out and it seems to be official, Glen A. Larson will have a chance to produce HIS own “re-imagined” version of the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series.
Now that brings to mind an important question – how much of the 1978-Battlestar Galactica series will remain after the writer wrote down his version of the series, Universal Studios (and per extension Glen Larson) gave it their “okay”, the director has yelled “it’s a wrap!”, the editing process is over and it appears on your (silver?) screens…
Fact of the matter is: probably not that much.
We don’t want to diminish Glen A. Larson’s role as being the soul and creator behind the original Battlestar Galactica series. Without Larson, there would be no Battlestar Galactica – just as much as there wouldn’t be an ongoing Star Wars (Disney) franchise if it weren’t for George Lucas. what we do want to do is put some things into perspective. A lot of time has passed since 1978.
While the fans of the original series often speak highly of the show’s campiness and how much they enjoy the fact that the Cylons aren’t humanoid or aren’t even CGI-created, it is more than likely that the Larson Movie Cylons will not be the same platinum-colored costume-wearing blokes you remember them as in the original series.
By all intents and purposes a reimagining of a campy 70’s-series was attempted when they rebooted the “Star Trek” franchise (by J.J. Abrams). While there is nothing wrong with a reimagining of the Star Trek series, even die-hard fans must admit that there is but little left of the original Star Trek Feel, the series had.
Hours of set-builder craftsmanship have made way for hours of acting in front of green screens and bigger budgets – more relentless marketing strategies (because we all know how important marketing possibilities are in this day and age).
The chances of Apollo being played by Richard Hatch, Starbuck portrayed by Dirk Benedict or any of the original cast coming back for their original roles are (face it-) slim-to-none – unless it’ll be a cameo situation, much like Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek.
Not even a show like Battlestar Galactica, which has followers of both the original series and the re-imagined version of Ron Moore, can withstand the evolution of film-making.
The actors used in this new movie WILL be a recast. Seeing as this is 2014, the movie WILL be less campy than the original series (since that sort of campiness doesn’t go over too well with cinema-going audiences these days) The special effects in this new movie WILL be done by CGI with maybe a handful of references to the original series.
So, again we ask the question… How much of the original series will be left in this movie AND will the new movie look more like the 2003 re-imagined Ron Moore BSG than Glen Larson would want?
All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again
Quite a fitting subtitle, indeed.
While there are many fans of the original series who wanted to have a chance to go back to “their” Starbuck and “their” Boomer – is it really the time to delve back into Galactica so soon after “BSG: The Miniseries”, “BSG seasons 1-4”, “BSG: The Plan”, “BSG: Razor”, “BSG: Blood and Chrome”? – It’s been only two years since B&C was released. Five since the final episode of the series ended.
The film industry these days is jam-packed and over-flown with remakes, reboots, sequels and prequels to movies and series that were at their prime in the seventies and eighties. One can only wonder if a BSG-reboot (even by Glen A. Larson) wouldn’t just disappear into the abyss that is known as the human memory.
With the new Star Trek Series, the unofficial announcement that there will be a Goonies sequel, the filming of the new trilogy of the Star Wars franchise, will people (other than the die-hard fans and bloggers) really go to their local cinemas to ask – nay! DEMAND! that they put the new BSG-movie on their listing?
Battlestar Galactica (the original series) might have a local following and have a lot of fans worldwide but, in all honesty, not THAT many people saw it when it first aired in the seventies. They saw it through a clever merchandising machinery and in reruns, but not when it originally aired.
In fact, many of the (current) fans of the original series became fans when they saw Ron Moore’s re-imagined version and they wanted to know what it was derived from.
News of the new movie also brings out a question of necessity.
We are well aware of the fact that Glen A. Larson (and some of the original show cast members) are…
Oh, let’s just say it like it is: they HATE the re-imagined series by Ron Moore. They hate the way the show was filmed, they hate the fact that some of the lead roles were portrayed by women – they plainly hate everything about it and aren’t too shy to let anyone who dares utter the question, know about it.
But is resentment toward a project really a good motive to torpedo all efforts in bringing the world they helped create to a bigger audience?
In our opinion (and you can disagree with us, for sure!) – what Ron Moore and his team have done is nothing more than broadening the audience view on the possibilities of the Galactica and all the other ships in this (dare we quote?) ragtag fleet.
Ironically enough – while in 2003 the question was whether or not the fans of the original series would accept the fact that Starbuck and Boomer were women. Will the re-imagined fans be willing to accept that Starbuck and Boomer will probably end up being men in this new movie? (a poll we’re currently doing on our website suggests no…or at least hesitance). Seeing as Larson has always spoken out heavily against Starbuck and Boomer’s gender transformation.
The original BSG brought a new way of space-oriented storytelling to the screens of audiences worldwide, the Ron Moore version was clearly more of a militaristically correct, tension driven series which just happened to be taking place in outer space. – people had ranks and followed orders, from the president down to the lowest private in the fleet. It could have taken place in any military setting…but it just happened to be an outer-space setting in which Cylons destroyed the Twelve Colonies.
The differences don’t stop there. We are talking about near-perfect human beings (more specifically, for that time, near-perfect men), swooning ladies and the occasional alien – good prevails! – A show that only ran for a season and therefore hardly had any developing time.
Against the deeply flawed human beings that make you feel part of a tin-boxed fleet of the re-imagination. Humans that don’t always do what’s in their best interest – because human beings do have a tendency to do things which aren’t necessarily in their best interest. A series that was created when the world was in crisis (Afghanistan, Iraq, 9/11) and doesn’t shy away from difficult topics just for the sake of political correctness. It grew during the miniseries, the developed seasons, the spin-off movies and even now – while it’s still fresh in the minds of so many of us.
We guess the most important thing we want to share with you in this opinion piece, is that it doesn’t have to turn into a Larson V. Moore project.
We can find common ground in knowing that this project means that the Battlestar Galactica-story is far from over. When it comes to reasoning – on the “why we love our show”, we all fell in love with something else.
No one just “loves” the original series because “it’s campy”… no one just “loves” the re-imagined series just because Starbuck is a woman… we all love differently and this project should not turn one fan against each other or shouldn’t be the base of an online bashing war against one-or-the-other producer. It should be a sign that there are more than one ways to tell a story. The two CAN BE seen as two individual projects all-together.
Now, let’s see what they make of this new BSG-movie and base our comments on that, rather than basing it on previously released Battlestar Galactica projects – which were all good in their own ways, and all flawed in others.
All of this has happened before…and all of this will happen again
So say we all!
ps: One question from us to you – all participants on this new BSG movie project… can we please have Bear McCreary do the music again? pretty please?
Written by the BSGmuseum-staff [E&DV], for www.battlestargalacticamuseum.com
You can put your opinions on the subject matter in the comments below (which are moderated against any form of bashing either way, BTW)