SDCC: Olmos on why The Plan leads to Blade Runner

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan director/star Edward James Olmos said that the franchise is a precursor and companion to the classic sci-fi movie Blade Runner, in which Olmos memorably played a role as Gaff, the multilingual police detective. The 1982 Ridley Scott movie featured a similar theme of artificial humans, called replicants; indeed, Battlestar co-opted one of the film's derisive terms for the humanoids: skinjobs, which Battlestar's Colonials used to refer to Cylons.

"Blade Runner has been known as one of the best, if not the best science fiction film ever created," Olmos told reporters at Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday. "And I think that once we realized that, once the show was open, and I sat down and I realized that the very final moments of what Battlestar was all about, this had all happened before, and it was going to happen again, that led right into Blade Runner, like a glove."

Of course, Olmos said, "Neither Ron [Moore] nor David [Eick] will concede to it," referring to the co-creators of the re-imagined Battlestar, which was based on the 1970s TV series. "You can ask them, ... and they will not understand it. They'll say, 'Well, yeah, you can look at it that way.' They don't get it. They don't get that, when we came on board, that we wanted to walk into that world," Olmos said. "That's exactly what I told them. I want to walk into the world of Blade Runner. ... Nobody ever walked in there. So let's walk in there and understand the humanity for what it was. It was a brilliant piece of work, Blade Runner, and yet it was too intense. Nobody could even come close to it. Nobody even tried. So when we did try, and we succeeded, now you've laid down."

Olmos is no shrinking flower when it comes to expressing his opinion about things, and he is passionate about the show and its mythology. And he says that the upcoming Syfy prequel series Caprica will carry on the themes.

"That's what's great about Caprica," Olmos said. "Because Caprica succeeds it. Eventually, like Harry Potter, like the great writings of, you know, even Shakespeare. How they connect in their own way, ... even though they're distinct plays, and they're all different, ... you can read them all in a row, and you can really start to understand the humanity that he's looking at all the time. This is the same thing. Caprica, even if it lasts just one season or half a season or for seven years or for 10 years, you'll be able to lay it down, watch it and then watch all of Battlestar, and it will lead you right in to the Blade Runner. And you're going to sit there and go, 'Holy mackerel.'"