Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore told SCI FI Wire that he was "very satisfied" with the series finale, which aired Friday night on SCI FI Channel. (Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen the finale!)
Moore added that he makes no apologies for the surprising and controversial revelation about Kara Thrace (Katee Sackhoff), who, after a "mortal death," turned out to be an "angel, demon or some other form of life" that "fulfilled her destiny" by leading the Galactica crew back to Earth.
And Moore promised that there will be some extended scenes on an eventual DVD version of the finale, including backstory that had to be cut for time.
SCI FI Wire caught up with Moore in New York last week, following the one and only preview screening of the Battlestar Galactica series finale, "Daybreak, Part 2." Following are edited excerpts from our exclusive interview.
How pleased were you with the finale and the reaction you saw from the audience that just watched it with you?
Moore: I'm very pleased with the finale. It pretty much is exactly what I wanted it to be, and I'm very satisfied with it. That's how I wanted to end Galactica. And in the room I felt happy. I felt that people weren't fidgeting, and they seemed riveted and into what they were watching. They weren't texting and checking their cell phones. There were a few tears here and there. The feeling I got from the room was that they were there and invested in the story, and I hope they found it satisfying.
Some characters lived, others died. Some characters proved heroic and others took another way out. What was the hardest decision to make creatively?
Moore: I don't know that those were tough choices. A lot of it had to do with just dealing with the characters and making sure that we focused the finale on the characters, that it didn't all just become about the plot about how to rescue Hera. That was where we started. We started these discussions in the [writers'] room about how we were going to rescue Hera and what the twists and turns would be, and we got really bogged down in that for a while. It was very frustrating.
And then I just said, at some point, "Screw that. It's really not about that. Let's just assume we'll have a good plot. We'll figure that out. What are the characters' stories?" And I said, "The first image I had was, OK, somewhere there's a man trying to chase a bird out of his house with a broom. I don't know who that is, and I don't know what it means, but that's an image. Put it up on the board." And then we just started [embellishing] on these ideas and characters and what could be the characters' stories. Then, once we cracked that, everything else kind of flowed.
Speaking of that bird, you just know the fans are going to have a field day debating the fate of Kara, who seemed to have become an angel. People will ask why, for example, if an angel saw its dead body, it would react as strongly as Kara did when she came across her corpse in the Viper. How will you explain that away to fans who didn't see it coming or might take issue with it?
Moore: I don't know that I will. We made a conscious decision to say, "We're going to leave this opaque." You can certainly say that she's an angel or a demon or some other form of life. We know from the show that she died a mortal death, she was brought back to life in some way, and then she fulfilled a certain destiny and guided them all to Earth. What does that mean? And who is she really? It was a conscious creative decision to say, "This is as much as we're going to tell you, and she's connected to some greater truth." The more we try to answer what that greater truth is, the less interesting it becomes, and we just decided to leave it more of a mystery. I am sure that there will be a cadre of people who are angry that they never got a more definitive answer, but we just decided not to do that.
How much fun did you have with your cameo appearance?
Moore: It was actually a lot of fun. I was wearing a Jimi Hendrix shirt that you can't see. For rights issues and all of that, you couldn't see Jimi, but that's actually a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt that I'm wearing. I got a big kick out of that.
What got cut? What had to go to keep the running time at two hours and 11 minutes?
Moore: Well, there was a series of flashbacks that had to do with Boomer [Grace Park] and Helo [Tahmoh Penikett] and Tyrol [Aaron Douglas] back on Galactica when she was a rookie pilot. It was the first time she kissed Tyrol, the beginnings of that relationship, the beginning of Helo having his longing for her, and sort of establishing where that triangle was way back in the beginning. We cut that, just for time. It will be on the extended DVD version.
What else will be on that extended DVD?
Moore: Longer versions of the same scenes. There's another scene where, after Tyrol says, "We have to hook Anders into CIC," we're in Adama's [Edward James Olmos] quarters, and he's adamently opposed to it. It's a really hot, angry scene between him and Tyrol and Starbuck. Eventually he decides to do it. That was a great scene that was hard to cut, but we finally cut it. I don't remember what else. Oh, there are more scenes, flashbacks in the strip club, sort of fleshing out the Tigh [Michael Hogan] and Ellen [Kate Vernon] story a little bit more, things like that.