We’ve been watching Battle Star Galactica recently (mostly because we’ve been watching Jane Espenson’s Caprica on Hulu) and even though I can’t take more than 3 hours at once, it’s been really interesting. It’s one of those shows that make you think. If you’re lucky, sometimes you’ll find a few episodes in a series that really stick out and get you thinking, like Glee’s “Madonna” episode this week. For some reason though, BSG has this tendency to leave me thinking – maybe it’s because we only get a disc at a time so I end up dreaming about it, or maybe because in a weird way, I can connect to some part of it.
Maybe it has something to do with seeing the Cylons’ struggle to make the human’s understand their personhood as similar to my own struggle to define myself. Or really, any teenager trying to prove to themselves and others that they’re a person now, they have an identity, a mind, a personality, and a soul.
The Cylons take on this role of proving what they can do – showing the humans that they aren’t who they thought they were. They differ from humans theologically, technologically, and in just about every other way – except, in some cases, appearances.
The humans can’t get past the fact that the Cylons have a mind of their own – that they aren’t just robots. They haven’t come to the conclusion that the Cylons are their own race, not so different than themselves. Even the robotic looking Cylons have blood and guts on the inside – we have “Starbuck” to thank for that revelation.
It’s those kinds of similarities that leave me thinking; and feeling like it’s not so very different in my own life. I am a different person than most people expect me to be. I’m not the same 15 year old who had a really popular blog dedicated to politics and right-wing theology. I’m not the same home-schooled graduate who stays home and cares for babies. Quite frankly, I’m not made out of metal anymore.
In fact, what I am now, is figuring out who I’m supposed to be. I’ve become apathetic politically, and while I still have a pretty deep working knowledge of the system, I don’t have the same drive to go campaign for the republican ticket this year. To anyone who’s known me over the last 6 years, this is sure to come as some kind of shock – Kierstyn, not a political nut? is the world ending? – What’s simply happening is…I’m growing up. In growing up I’m changing, struggling to prove my adulthood to myself and the world around me while still, well, trying to figure out where I begin and end, who I am and who I want to become.
I think maybe, this is why BSG leaves me thinking. While it’s about a war between humans and Cylons and saving the human race – I see so many similarities between the struggle of parents and young adults – older (wiser) and younger (inexperienced). Sometimes it feels like an all out war, that you know, could be avoided if we came to the conclusion that, oh, you’re a person too?
Obviously I don’t see this happening in BSG, (unless maybe that’s what happens at the end, which would be weird) it would save so much pain and heartache in relationships if we stopped trying to make clones/robots and accepted people as individuals.