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How The Final Line of Battlestar Galactica’s Series Finale Was Changed
Dissecting the tiny tweak to the final lines that close out the iconic science fiction series.
The series finale of SYFY’s iconic Battlestar Galactica was a mind-bender, dabbling in massive concepts, spirituality and a final scene that brought the faraway saga in line with our own reality.
But it turns out, the series’ original closing moment was scripted to play out a little bit differently than what we saw on the screen.
A refresher, in case you’re a bit fuzzy on the details first: The series ended in 2009 with the Battlestar Galactica crew and the last remaining bits of humanity finally making their way to Earth — which is actually our Earth but in the far away past. The survivors decide to embrace this new life on a primitive planet, and seem to start up the civilization that eventually evolves into our world today.
We flash forward into the far-flung future — our present — to find the “head” ghost/vision versions of Gaius and Six walking the modern day streets taking in the sights and having a chat about humanity and how it's evolved yet again.
The aired version plays out essentially like this:
Six: “That, too, is in God's plan.”
Gaius: “You know it doesn’t like that name.”
Gaius: “Silly me. Silly, silly me.”
But the original scripted version, as seen in a video of the script read-thru around the time the series wrapped, the conversation goes a bit differently.
The original scripted version plays out as below:
Gaius: "You know it doesn't like that name. In any case, it would require mankind, in all its flaws, to learn from its mistakes."
Six: "Stranger things have happened."
Gaius: "I think I'll take that bet. What are the stakes? Silly me…"
Similar quotes, yes, but a few key differences. Most notably, the scripted version played into the theme of “All this has happened before, and will happen again,” a concept that runs through the DNA of the series. In this case, Six and Gaius seem to be referring to humanity’s technological evolution, implying we could be on the same path once again to building a technology like the Cylons and starting this cycle all over again. In the aired version, the larger conversation plays into the theme, it just isn't reflected in that last, final line.
Most likely, it was a minor tweak during filming, but the point remains: can we break the cycle this time around? Gaius is at least willing to take the bet.
Are Gaius and Six ghosts? Or gods?
During a Q&A reacting to the finale back in 2009, Moore had this to say about the show's final moments, and what the deal was with Baltar and Six: "I think they're both [angels and demons] ... We never tried to name exactly what the head characters were, we never looked at them as angels or demons. They seemed to periodically say good things or evil things, to save people or to damn people. There was a sense that they worked in the service of something else... that was guiding and helping, sometimes obstructing, sometimes tempting. The idea at the end was that whatever they're in service of is eternal and continues, and whatever they are, they too are still around, with all of us who are the children of Hera. They continue to walk among us and watch."
Battlestar Galactica ran from 2004-2009 on SYFY, becoming one of the most acclaimed and decorated science fiction series of the modern era.