Tuesday, February 28, 2023

10 Mind-Blowing Battlestar Galactica Facts I Didn't Know

The reimagined Battlestar Galactica mini-series and television series produced by Ronald D. Moore was a mind-blowing experience for audiences back in 2004. The series was a reboot of the original 1970s series of the same name and it was spectacular in its execution, with a fresh take on the storyline and characters that captivated audiences for years to come.

One of the most striking aspects of the new Battlestar Galactica was the portrayal of the Cylons. In the original series, the Cylons were little more than robots bent on destroying humanity. However, in the reimagined series, the Cylons were far more complex, with their own motives, desires, and even religious beliefs. This added depth to the show, making it far more engaging than its predecessor.

The Judeo-Christian themes that were central to the show were another aspect that made the series stand out. The story of the human survivors searching for the fabled planet Earth could be seen as a metaphor for the journey of the Israelites in the Old Testament, searching for the Promised Land. The show also explored themes such as faith, redemption, and the nature of God, which added a layer of depth to the story that made it more than just a sci-fi action-adventure.

Along with the Judeo-Christian themes, the show also incorporated elements from the Roman and Nordic mythology. The character of "Gaius" Baltar was an example of this, as he struggled with visions of the Cylon god. Meanwhile, the Cylon Leoben invoked Nordic mythology, describing his relationship with the human character Starbuck as a “Valkyrie” leading him to his destiny in the afterlife.

These mythological elements added another layer of depth to the show, making it more than just a sci-fi series. They also helped to create a world that felt fully realized and believable, despite its fantastical elements.

 It was a fresh take on a classic franchise, and its success helped to usher in a new era of quality sci-fi television.

Further readings:

Sunday, February 26, 2023

The similarities between Heavy Metal & Fifth Element | A comparison


Have you ever stumbled upon a video essay that compares two movies, and suddenly you realize that they're eerily similar? That's exactly what happened to me when I watched the video above comparing the 1981 animated classic "Heavy Metal" and Luc Besson's 1997 sci-fi masterpiece "The Fifth Element".

The similarities between the two films are downright uncanny, and it took me by surprise.

At first glance, the two movies seem like they have nothing in common. One is a gritty, R-rated animated movie that's basically an extended music video for some of the biggest names in heavy metal, while the other is a bright, colorful sci-fi adventure that features Bruce Willis in a tank top. But when you look a little closer, you start to see the similarities.

First of all, both movies feature a powerful, otherworldly artifact that could spell doom for the entire universe. In "Heavy Metal", it's the Loc-Nar, a glowing green sphere that corrupts anyone who comes into contact with it. In "The Fifth Element", it's the four elemental stones that are needed to stop a giant ball of pure evil from destroying the Earth. I mean, come on, it's practically the same thing!

Both movies also feature a ragtag group of misfits who are tasked with saving the universe from said artifact. In "Heavy Metal", it's a bunch of stoned-out space pilots and warrior babes. In "The Fifth Element", it's Bruce Willis, a flamboyant alien opera singer, and a robot with a Brooklyn accent. But hey, different strokes for different folks, right?

And let's not forget the most obvious similarity between the two movies: they're both absolutely bonkers. "Heavy Metal" is a fever dream of sex, violence, and heavy metal music, while "The Fifth Element" is a non-stop barrage of insane action scenes, bizarre aliens, and Gary Oldman chewing the scenery like it's made of taffy.

But there's one more connection that ties these two movies together, and that's the work of legendary French artist Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius. He was the inspiration for two stories in "Heavy Metal" ("Harry Canyon" based on The Long Tomorrow and "Taarna" based on Arzach) and also contributed to the design of "The Fifth Element". In both films, you can see his signature blend of sleek, futuristic design and organic, almost hallucinogenic imagery. It's a testament to his unique vision that his work can unite two movies that seem so different on the surface.

I was surprised to discover the similarities between "Heavy Metal" and "The Fifth Element", and it's even more surprising to realize that these similarities go beyond just the plot and characters. They're united by the work of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. So if you're a fan of either movie, take a moment to appreciate the genius of Moebius, and the legacy he left behind.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Eager for Foundation Season 2

 As a fan of Isaac Asimov's original trilogy, I was initially hesitant about the Foundation series adaptation to the small screen. However, the show's creators have done an exceptional job of bringing this epic tale to life, and I am eagerly looking forward to the second season on AppleTV+.

The show's visuals are breathtaking, with sprawling Trantor, towering spaceships, and intricate technology all brought to life in stunning detail. At the same time, the show balances that grandiosity with an intimate focus on the characters and their relationships. The storytelling is engaging and clever, and the central themes of the trilogy, such as the struggle between free will and determinism and the search for meaning in an apparently meaningless universe, are all present in the show.

One of the things that I appreciate most about the show is the way that it has fleshed out some of the characters from the books. In particular, the portrayal of Salvor Hardin is particularly compelling. Her arc, has been one of the show's most satisfying through-lines. This expansion of the character allows us to see her transformation in much greater detail than the books, providing a strong counterpoint to the more mystical and philosophical elements of the story.

One of the smartest twists on the source material in TV’s “Foundation” is the literal cloning of Emperor Cleon into three versions of himself, known as "Brother Dawn," "Brother Day," and "Brother Dusk." These Cleon clones have been ruling much of the universe for 400 years at the point when we drop into the story. The use of the three clones adds a fascinating dynamic to the story, as they are all essentially the same person but at different stages of life, with different perspectives and motivations. This clever deviation from the books provides a fresh take on Asimov's world and sets the show apart from other sci-fi adaptations.

Of course, one of the central ideas of Asimov's work is psychohistory, and the show hints at this concept in intriguing ways. The idea that the future may not be entirely predetermined is a tantalizing one, and I am curious to see how the show explores this idea in greater depth in the second season.

Overall, the Foundation series on AppleTV+ is a stunning adaptation of Isaac Asimov's classic trilogy. Despite important differences from the original books, the central themes and some of the most memorable moments are all present. The expansion of certain characters, such as Salvor Hardin, has added depth to the story, while the use of the three Cleon clones provides a fresh take on the world of Foundation.

I, for one, am eagerly anticipating the second season of this amazing show.