The essence of “Battlestar Galactica” during its run was how it mirrored the practicality of what was being seen in the world into a space opera. Many critics praised it as being the smartest show on television in that it took real world scenarios and placed it in science fiction base but gave it a gravitas that might not go away so suddenly. From examinations of torture, trials of penance where the verdict had already been set and genocide on a mass scale, the creative team slyly masked the true subjects they were tackling.
Back in March, “Battlestar Galactica” was highlighted and lauded by the UN in New York in an unprecedented move where it was lauded for breaching popular culture and world issues. It acknowledged the social issues that it brought to a mass audience. Now three months later as Emmy elements mount up, a similar roundtable-type panel was held at the Mann Chinese 6 in Hollywood with representatives from the UN as well as Show Creators Ron Moore and David Eick as well as stars Edward James Olmos (who played Admiral Adama) and Mary McDonnell (who played President Laura Roslin).
One of the UN representatives on the panel was quick to point upon questioning from the LA Times Moderator that they could write many boring memos without the slightest inkling of how to get the word out to young people. They made this move to create the connection. Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos were very moved by this because it showed the intensity of what the show portrays. The reality for the UN is that the creative sector offers the ability to motivate the young to act in ways policy can never do. In a world where President Obama is talking about watching the new “Star Trek” movie at the White House and living up to his “Spock with sex appeal” image, popular culture is now more than ever a predilection to social change.
The aspect to the actors was also to make sure to show that people in places of leadership are still human. Olmos at first wasn’t quite sure in seeing exactly where Adama would go. He said one of the most poignant moments for him in the series is when he turns to his 2nd: Colonel Tigh in one of the last episodes of the series and gives the order to abandon ship. He has given up. He had spent suffering moments on the floor over loss from his son to his new love Roslin. Olmos said that it spoke very much to military commanders who could never reveal the emotional upheaval going on behind their stoic personas. He said he received a lot of response in regards to this.
When asked about her perception as a role model especially during the campaign of Hillary Clinton, McDonnell says of her potrayal of Roslin that she was quite flattered by this comparison but that Roslyn has all the flaws of all. She can be vicious and vindicative but decisive while still being very afraid inside.
The tragedy is that the two souls of Adama and Roslin finally find each other but their time together never truly happens. Such is the way of life. It is that practicality and honesty that speaks to the social issues that the UN was honoring with this evening.
Olmos was also able to premiere with pride, a trailer for the upcoming “Galactica” special two hour film “The Plan” which is still being edited. It mirrors the different tactical strategies that the Cylons, led by Dean Stockwell, took to stay one step ahead of the humans from before the attack on Caprica and beyond. Olmos says that when Starbuck said she was going the wrong way, she wasn’t kidding. The movie premieres in the fall on Sci-Fi. He offers the tidbit that the TV cut is 88 minutes but the DVD cut is 126 which has been the case on alot of the series. There is always more to digest. Olmos can definitely be the showman when we wants.
Creator Ron Moore also made a concerted effort to point out someone in the audience who he says often doesn’t get the credit for his contributions to the series. He says that he and his associate David Eick get alot of the praise but this man was the third person with which it wouldn’t be possible. That person was Michael Rhymer, a director of the bulk of the series. The entire theater stood up and gave a standing ovation to this man who made alot of what was onscreen possible.
This series means alot of things to many people. The communal nature of its impact might not be as of yet realized. However in a year of Emmy voting, this series definitely deserves its due for doing what many aspects of popular culture never get to do: make a difference and grow beyond its genre holdings to become something bigger than life.