Battlestar Galactica, the gone but not forgotten sci-fi series that still lives on in the reruns of our hearts and the cable network Syfy, is getting the film adaptation that fans have been demanding since its end in 2009. But while many may have thought a movie would continue the adventures of the inhabitants of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol in a new journey, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, according to Variety, the movie will be a reimagining of the story as told by Transcendence writer Jack Paglen (also the man attached to write Prometheus 2) and produced by original series creator Glen Larson.
Of course, reimagining is flowery code for a term we’ve come all too familiar with hearing lately: reboot. For a television series that has already gone through three series, including a brief but mentionable run called Galactica 1980, it’s questionable if this move is altogether necessary. But for fans of the highly popular military space drama, maybe anything is worth some more screen time for another chance at seeing their beloved BSG again.
After all, some fans have stuck with the show since the late 1970s. The original series centered upon the end of a war between mankind, existing in colonies on planets far, far away from Earth, and a sinister robot race called Cylons. When the Cylons strike in a deadly and sudden sneak attack, the inhabitants of the colonies are forced to flee and abandon their homes, taking to space in a fleet of starships (see where I’m headed?), the last of which is the battlestar called Galactica. Aboard Galactica is where the juicy drama of the series unfolds, as well as the military prowess.
The short-lived, little-mentioned Galactica 1980 aired with little aplomb. But it was Ronald D. Moore‘s 2003 miniseries for the Sci-Fi Channel (today’s SyFy — seriously, that still doesn’t seem necessary) that led to the show’s current fame and success. That then turned into a full-fledged series that ran for five years. The show kept the same tenants of the original — take the colony dwellers and force them into the starfleet — but added new liberties that morphed the series into something spectacular. In the current incarnation of Galactica, the Cylons became less robotic and were instead humanoids. Giving the enemy a “human” face made their battle somehow a little more terrifying, knowing that what they were fighting wasn’t human at all.
The crew was also actively searching for Earth, that distant planet where they believed they could start their community anew, away from the Cylons. With the Twelve Colonies wiped out, the series focused on the survivors’ struggle to regroup and maintain their sense of identity — and ability to just survive — while on the run from their predators.
While it’s understandable and inevitable that a Galactica movie was going to happen, it seems risky and a little bit foolish to tamper with a concept that worked as well as the Moore series. Why not make a film continuing that beloved vision instead of giving another stab at trying to find a Galactica that works on the big screen? There’s already a Galactica that works just fine. The inclusion of Larson as producer is a draw, at least in the sense that he will have first-hand knowledge of what the story and the characters are about — and where it should go.
But let’s be honest. If it can’t be exactly what you’re looking for, at least dream about something promising: what Galactica is going to look like on the big screen. She’ll be a beaut, won’t she?