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Old November 5th, 2003, 02:17 PM   #1
Muffit
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Default BSG – An American Icon

What is Battlestar Galactica really? Why do so many of its fans resist changes to it so vehemently? Perhaps the reason is more basic and simple than it sounds. For a great many of us, BSG has become an American icon, a unique and beloved symbol of our society’s hopes and fears.

We have many icons, and they come from a wide variety of places. In the arts, film and its tremendous popularity have been instrumental in creating a good many of them. Mickey Mouse is clearly an American icon. Though he has changed slightly over time, there are distinct features about him which have never changed. Entire films have become icons. From drama Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments come to mind, and from Sci Fi, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet. From fantasy we have The Wizard of Oz. When we think of these icons, no one would dare alter them, even though they are dated; they are as much a part of us as our children.

In 1965 the Ford Mustang became a new icon. Oddly enough, it was neither expensive nor rare. And though it has changed slightly over the years, its key characteristics that make it what it is have never changed. The trademark fake side air scoops, the slight rise just behind the door, the front end always much longer than the rear, and the now trademark rear triple lights, have remained incorporated into its styling for nearly 40 years. Why is it still successful? Because its engineers have clearly realized what made it uniquely a Mustang and have never dared to change those elements.

BSG was like a stroke of lightning when it first hit the screens of 60 million Americans. And because it was so short lived, it became the equivalent of a martyr. So much of it struck a chord in us and left an indelible mark: the family bond of Adama’s family, the brotherly tie between Starbuck and Apollo, the zodiacal tribes, the mythological character names, the incredibly unique and memorable jargon, some of the best costumes in Sci Fi, the extremely moving music by Stu Phillips, and most of all, the coolest and most emotionless enemy ever conceived, the Cylons. To update its social aspects is natural and expected. But to alter key characteristics that make it what it is, that is to alienate the fandom as a whole at its most basic level.

There is no harm in adding to an icon, such as the many incarnations of Star Trek. But to reimagine the original is to /replace/ an icon entirely, to forever change the essence of what our love has bonded to. As with anything that is deeply known and loved, to change it fundamentally is to try and rip it from our soul.

While an idea is in your mind, it belongs to you. When you give it to the world, it belongs to the world. Clearly, BSG belongs to the world. Time does not diminish our love for what is dear. Why should man.

Affectionately and respectfully,
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Old November 6th, 2003, 06:44 PM   #2
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Well said Muffit!!!!
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Old November 6th, 2003, 06:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Amberstar!
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