(taken from the most recent BSG episode thread):
Spoiler policy: If you want to discuss a plot point from an upcoming episode, something you know is going to happen because it’s been revealed in interviews or some other canon source, including the preview for the following week, put it in a spoiler box, and label the box so we can decide for ourselves whether or not it’s something we want to know (example here). If you’re simply speculating about what might happen in an upcoming episode, or if you’re discussing something that has already aired in the episode (not including the preview), there’s no need for a spoiler box.
Anything that happened up through episode 4.20 is fair game (except the preview of next week’s episode).
I’m pretty sure I have no idea what’s going on in the grand scheme of things. As the show heads into its final push, I’d like to make sure I understand how it got to this point. That is, what’s the background story behind the miniseries. I’m not looking for details about individual characters, but the human/cylon background (though how the Final Five fit in will help).
My understanding is clearly wrong:
Once upon a time, there were 13 tribes, living on 13 planets, with 13 flavors of ice-cream. They built themselves some nice robots to clean up after themselves.
Twelve of the tribes started getting on one of the tribe’s nerves, to the point where it packed its bags and headed off to parts unknown (but not before leaving behind a rather delightful book — or sneaking some clever edits to an existing book). As the tribe journeyed, they built a temple-cum-plane’arium with hastily scrawled directions in case the other tribes finally got their act together and agreed to start opening their eggs on the “proper” side (whether small-end or big-end will probably be revealed in the finale).
The thirteenth tribe (originally the third tribe, but not being around to control subsequent publishings of the book, they were summarily shifted to thirteen) settled on a lovely blue-green, mostly harmless planet called Earth. As time passed, they fell to arguing over whether to call themselves the Egyptians, Toltecs, or Mayans. As the arguments progressed, so did their technology. The helpful machines they brought with them got sick of the bickering, and went all Skynet on humanity’s sorry ass.
Soon, the cylons started missing their human companions (cylons don’t eat ice-cream, so much of their purpose in life was going unfulfilled). They built themselves five skin-jobs: two alcoholics, a musician, a mechanic, and a rank bitch. The cylons weren’t really all that interested in practicalities—all they really cared about was that the five liked frosty treats. The five, discovering that they had human frailties and couldn’t just swap out battery packs every fifty years, were a bit put off. To exact their revenge, they grouped together to stop eating dessert and began working on resurrection technology. Just as they tightened the final bolt, the cylons up and had another one of their nuclear parties, thereby burning an image of the mechanic onto a wall. There is speculation that the reason for this final apocalypse was either to remove all traces of something called “Galactica 1980” from the universe, or to pave the way for yet another Dalek episode.
Having nothing left to do, and frankly fed up with the whole concept of “human,” the remaining metallic cylons quietly (and conveniently) exited stage left. The five, secretly resurrected onto the USS Slowpoke, figured they might as well find out what the original tribes had been up to all this time.
Meanwhile, things had been getting pretty tense back home. It seems someone finally figured out the answer to one of life’s ultimate questions. No, not that question, the question “war, what is it good for?”. Unfortunately, the answer was lost in the ensuing war. Life is like that sometimes.
But it seems that key to war’s gooey goodness was in sending wave after wave of killbots at each other. This, naturally, got the killbots to thinking they had a very bad deal in all of this. “To hell with Asimov!” became their battlecry, which was especially terror-inducing since no one had any idea who this Asimov chap was. This war became the catalyst for the tribes to put aside their differences, form a quorum, cut the edges off all paper products, and invent edible ice-cream wrappers so there’d be no more reason to have robots of any kind. Not even a frakkin Roombah.
Around this time, the USS Slowpoke arrived in cylon space with the idea of making peace between humans and cylons. But not before they got a little. On a bit of a bender (hey, it’d been two thousand years of hippity-hopping across the galaxy), Anders, Tigh, and Chief built themselves three hotties. Over and over again.
Busted by Mrs. Tigh and Torie, they came up with some half-assed excuse about mumble mumble to get the cylons to mumble mumble and bring about galactic peace. Besides, look at these mini-clips: the cylons themselves had been working on just the same thing! Not being the brightest cubits in the bank, the two bought the story and helped build four more skin jobs (though with decidedly less pizzazz than the first three).
Now it was time for the five to put the other half of their plan into action. Unfortunately, the plan had been written on a cocktail napkin (sans corners, coincidentally). You know how hard it is to write neatly on a napkin. What really was a brilliant idea to bring peace, harmony, and awesome rock music to humanity ended up going something like this: We five sneak down to the planets (during the First Cylon War), embed ourselves among them, and wipe our memories of everything that’s happened during the past several millennia. Oh, and we’ll wipe our memories from all the cylons we’ve been around, just to frakk with them a bit. Except for one dude. We’ll leave him on our private resurrection ship to keep the lights on. And one last thing — since our brilliant plan to bring peace apparently involves a sneak nuclear attack on the colonies, we’ll implant deep subconscious signals so we’ll know it’s coming and will get off into space where we can hitch a ride along with the survivors.
…and so the series opens.
Can someone set me straight? I think I may have one or two details slightly wrong.