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Old October 4th, 2005, 07:37 PM   #11
rjandron
FX Supervisor 14th Colony
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 139

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There is, and will always be, a fair amount of speculation on the nature of the war, and the Colonial military at the time of the fall of the 12 Colonies. I don't believe that this aspect of BSG was ever considered by the original series writers in anything but the most cursory terms. The destruction of the Colonial Fleet at Cimtar is little more than a macguffin to get the story going.

That having been said, there is a great deal of room for speculation left for fans who want a deeper explanation. But a lot of it rests on assumptions.

The biggest assumption is that Saga of a Star World does, in fact, show the entire fleet at Cimtar. We see five Battlestars in the show--does this mean that only five were there, or that there were no smaller picket ships preceding the fleet? Canon is canon, but remember that the source of the canonical material was likely driven by financial or artistic, rather than teleological, motives.

Why show five battlestars? Because that way, you only have to do five travelling matte passes on the Dykstraflex rather than six, which means you come in on budget for the shot.

The next biggest assumption is that warfighting in the BSG universe in any way resembles that on Earth. In BSG, we have energy weapons systems, complex starships which tend to ignore our laws of physics, emotional AIs, and a genocidal interstellar war that has raged for a millennia. None of these have any parallel on our world.

WM, you touched on this point in your comment on the difference between Warriors and Soldiers. Warriors are shown in some episodes as being a special class. They are quite different and apart from the Galactica crew and certainly higher in status than the "blackshirt" Council Security troops. Warriors are almost a separate caste from the rest of the Fleet personnel. One imperfect anaology is that the Warriors were like the Samurai class of Tokugawa Japan.

If you have a military predicated upon a special class, that class has to more than carry its weight in combat, or you have to have a lot of cheap cannon fodder to feed the war machine without using up the special class. If the Warriors are just that good, then the rest of the military structure will orient itself towards the support of the Warriors. This means that the fleet's purpose is not to fight, but to deliver Warriors to the battle area and provide support for them while they do the fighting. So, why have ships other than battlestars, Vipers, and the odd replenishment vessel?

The third biggest assumption is that the Colonies were at the pinnacle of their technology at the time of the battle of Cimtar. If we accept the notion that the Galactica is 500 yahrens old--and even with life extension upgrades, that still makes her a very old starship--how long does it take to build a new battlestar given that it is apparently cost-effective to try to keep a half-millennia-old starship as part of the core fleet? Could the Colonies have lost the capacity to build new Battlestars as a result of the pressures of fighting a war for Millennia? Could it take so long and so many resources to build a battlestar that building new ones would starve a Colonial world?

Just how nasty was that 1000 yahren war anyhow?
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