In case anyone didn't get that, I now own and have seen Battlestar Galactica: The Plan and let me tell you, I don't think I've been this excited since the series finale. I'm constantly reminded about my love for this show even though it's gone, and this has revived that love all over again with it's new scenes and new perspective from the CYLON POV because I LOVE THE CYLONS and it's just so fucking glorious and fantastic and just, ugh, so much love.
Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
First off, the beginning 13-15 minutes of the entire movie was perhaps the best opening I could have ever anticipated. It was just so excellently cut and edited, showing us not only Caprica but the other planets of the Twelve Colonies being destroyed, the music flowing beautifully, piecing together all the events happening at the same time, the Hybrid's cryptic voiceover, the amazing special effects for the Cylon baseships as they circle around the planets, waiting to release the nukes. And just, oh my God, everything about it was so amazing. I literally was smiling and holding my breath during this opening scene because it is just so gorgeous and intense and powerful and amazing. I've rewatched it many times since I got the DVD (which was like, only two days ago, I don't know if I should be embarrassed by that fact or not). So yeah, well done. Very well done.
Essentially this is all about the Cylon perspective of the first two seasons of the show, and more specifically it's also a character study of Brother Cavil, his motivations, desperation and determination to get rid of humanity, and the decisions along the way which tells a lot about his character and his relationship with the other Cylons.
The Humanity Within the Cylons
This movie, if anything, details is the understanding of the humanity being sought within certain Cylon models, how being amongst the humans has affected and influenced their behaviors and mindsets by simple infiltrations. We already knew of Caprica-Six and Athena and how they were affected, but this illustrations how other Cylons displayed a sense of humanity of their own. By interacting with other humans, being amongst the colonials for however long they infiltrated the colonies, it would seem very natural for them to progress certain feelings and emotions, even changing their own perspectives on humans and the entire plan in general.
Here, we see a variety of things going on in certain copies and their different experiences as they try, but ultimate don't succeed, in completing their plan of destroying humanity.
Shelley Godfrey starts to understand just a little about why Caprica-Six liked Baltar, which is perhaps why she couldn't go through with the framing of him completely, and I got the sense that maybe she liked living amongst the humans, hence her asking for access to another ship in the fleet with another disguise. Leoben abandons the assignment given by Cavil due to his growing obsession with Kara Thrace, which begins while searching through the wireless feedback. We also have Doral who, while we don't see him expressing much interest with the humans like Shelley or Leoben, much less getting affected by such experiences, it seems that Cavil places a lot of failure on the Fives because of the one that was exposed, and expects this Five to at least accomplish something more greater. He does, but only so minimal that it hardly made much difference anyway. All these models had missions to accomplish, but were shaken on different levels thereby couldn't complete those missions entirely.
But I think the devastating story comes from Simon, the one who was living within the fleet as a civilian. Married to a woman with a daughter. It's the most beautiful and sad story in this movie, I think.
For one thing, we finally have something Simon-centric. He was terribly neglected in the series, that this makes up for it, and I'm happy with how it was done. The fact that another Cylon model other than the Sixes and the Eights to fall in love with a human is so endearing and sweet, and just seeing the conflicting struggle that Simon had with everything, you know and believed he didn't want anything to do with killing his family, which he did consider his family. He loved his wife and the child that, although wasn't his, he still thought of as his own. If there's one thing I've loved about the Cylons that acknowledge and understand the feelings of love and regret and actually show that, is how utterly human they are expressing it. Simon purposefully neglected to show up the Cavil's chapel meeting because he wanted to be with his family, that and he possibly knew what was going to happen. When he did, Cavil was almost as disgusted as ever that one of their own would love a human, their enemy, which I'm assuming to Simon that hurt a lot because to the Cylons...love, pure love, is so foreign that unless one experiences it, it is difficult to understand.
The fact that Simon would rather commit suicide than complete his mission, killing his family in the process, is so heartbreaking that I nearly cried. Seeing him floating out into space, dead and far away from any resurrection ship, you knew his love for his wife and child was real. He would rather kill himself indefinitely with no possible way of downloading than do what was told of him. So, so sad. ;____;
Lastly, but certainly not least, there's the never-before-told Cylon side of Sharon "Boomer" Valerii.
Most are aware of my reaction to Boomer in the latter half of the series which was not of the good, but I still love her character because of how utterly complex she is, and this story being told from the Cylon side we see the "other half" of Boomer during her sleeper agent cover. The other side that was her true, Cylon personality more specifically. It's fascinating to see how all of that went down, how Cavil managed to get her in and out of the sleeper mode by the use of the wooden elephant (which I'm assuming would be a connection to the elephant seen in her apartment on Caprica?) and how the machine side was fighting against the human programming just as we saw Boomer fighting whatever dark urges were within her from before. The fact that she believed the human programming was stronger than anticipated, that she was losing control, that the humanity was seeping into her own machine consciousness, affecting her deeply, making her rethink her actions and allowing those feelings and emotions take control of her....it's incredible to even think about. But can you imagine the clashing of one mentality to another? The feeling of losing your sense of self? My God, it's tragic.
I also loved her line where she was starting to believe that mankind was hardly much of a threat, that there were so few of them now, why bother continuing their mission? Also the conversation with Cavil after her failed attempt to kill Adama nearly killed me:
Boomer: I told you, I'm not in control. The only way that I could get this done, was to turn myself into a Centurion. I could feel my skin turning hard, I could feel the bullets moving through the channels of my hard metal skin. I couldn't even feel my heart beat....If there was any part of us that was human in that moment I killed that.She then exclaims that she "lost the best part of myself." This is when the machine and human are colliding against one another, the emotions are spreading between the two making it impossible to think straight, to concentrate and it was amazing seeing her unravel this way. Grace Park mentioned that she found Boomer very challenging and wanted to make her as fucked up as possible, as we saw in 4.5 there was definite fucked up situations with her. But just going back to the beginning, the beginning where everything was starting to confuse her, make her see that not only does she betray her own kind by not completing the tasks she was programmed to do, but also betray those within the Colonial Fleet that she loved and cared about. We see her struggling with that after she resurrected onward.
I found this reveal about how she became a sleeper agent, how it was all operated and how Cavil made contact with her, very intriguing. It certainly answered a lot of questions and filled in those blanks which makes sense when you go back and rewatch the series again.
The Plan gives us a sympathetic look at the Cylons before we understand more about their intentions and motivations from the third and fourth seasons. We're given the understanding that due to exposure of humanity and their own individual journeys and experiences, that they are affected, sometimes in such a fundamental manner, that they abandon and decide for themselves that perhaps the destruction of the Colonies of Man was the wrong thing to do. Even feeling pangs of regret because of it, because they understand their enemy, they start having connections and feelings and things that what Cavil would see as something non-machine like, which would make them more human than machine in which they are. But we also see that despite being machines, they, too, are also flawed and imperfect in their design.
The Brother Cavils: The Fundamentalist and the Evolved
What fascinates me most about this film is how centered it is around the same concept of the different experiences amongst Cylon models, more specifically while we see the stories of the other models The Plan spends more time focusing on the Brother Cavils and how their experiences have changed or not changed their overall perspectives over the months since the attacks on the humans. We have Caprica!Cavil, who spent his time on Caprica and the human resistance with Sam Anders, and we have Galactica!Cavil, the Cavil in which we're familiar with for the duration of the series from season three onward.
In the beginning we see them conversing on the same mindset, setting out the plan perfectly and waiting for the destruction of humanity, then they both go off on their separate missions which lead them to have different experiences. Caprica!Cavil oversees the humans, but suddenly gets an epiphany towards the end about how their plan had ultimately failed. And by coming to that conclusion had no problems when a truce was going to be made. It's because of his time amongst the humans of the resistance, mainly Anders in particular, that had him coming to such a change in perspective. He believed in the end that the destruction of the colonies was an error. I felt a lot of sympathy for this Cavil copy, because he learned and understood their mistakes.
However for the Cavil on Galactica, he is truly stubborn in his fundamentalism and hasn't changed his objective once. His animosity for their human creations is so strong that it only grows stronger when those he sets out to complete certain tasks fails him, over and over again. He feels letdown by such failures he's shut himself off from any kind of evolving of his ideas and from the plan, because he feels that their parents (the Final Five) and humanity in general deserve to die; that they, the Cylons, are more superior than the human pestilence he so greatly despises. The fact that he wants to become a pure machine instead of the image of which they were created from, being a face of that he hates, says a lot about his character.
In truth the neglected kid that kept returning to his chapel, I was half expecting him to at least shed some humanity somewhat. Or understand. Though he doesn't, he mercilessly and coldly murders the boy and shoves him aside like he was just a thing that he gotten in his way. That's when we know that this Cavil will never change, will never evolve and will always be this way. We already knew this, even in the end. But there was that gleaming hope that somehow, something would change his mind like the Cavil on Caprica. But nope.
What's also interesting is that this Cavil tells Ellen back on Picon just before the nukes hit that if people don't change they haven't learned from their mistakes. Shouldn't that apply to him, as well? Or does he seem himself far more superior that he is made of perfection, as being perfectly built machines they are? The irony and contradictory of his words astounds me.
In the end before the two Cavils are thrown out the airlock, Galactica!Cavil tells the other Cavil that he'll have him boxed for thinking against "the plan" they have set out to do. One was ready to accept changes, the other disapproved of such ideas and want to eliminate any potential change to what they originally set out to do, of their entire doctrine. It's quite fascinating to see and it gives a great amount of insight to the Cylon perception.
Other Memorable Moments from The Plan:
++ The destruction of the Twelve Colonies. We only knew from descriptions and what we heard from the miniseries, but actually seeing it plan out in such a dramatic opening scene? Amazing, and visually stunning. I had goosebumps, not gonna lie.
++ GRATUITOUS NUDITY! Boobies and penises. Yes, actual penis was shown in The Plan. Oh, EJO, you dirty man. ;D Well, hey, if you're going to show female private bits why the hell not the men's? Seems fair. Anyway, this certainly will not make the aired version, that's for sure. Also, sex sex and more sex. It wouldn't be BSG without at least some sex scenes, the more graphic the better it seems. *wishes BSG were somehow an HBO show...*
++ SAMUEL T. ANDERS! MICHAEL TRUCCO, YOU LOOK SO FINE! :D :D :D Loved seeing the Pyramid training camp, loved seeing how he managed to keep everyone together despite being stressed himself (and everyone's reactions to the attacks was so raw and realistic, just omg). Feeling inadequate for the job of being a resistance leader of sorts, because like he mentioned before all the things they were thinking up were things they saw in movies. Still, loved seeing him again. ♥
++ "This has happened before..." loved it being said by Ellen and Sam, them remembering, at least having that glint of it. But why not Tory? She was just...there.
++ HARDCORE!SIX! Not enough of her, to be honest. Tricia was so much awesome in this.
++ The piecing together of new scenes and old scenes, making everything work in the order in which things are shown; the consistency was beautiful. Yes, there are things that you could tell were filmed specifically for the movie, but I thought it matched up perfectly with the timeline of everything.
++ "Let's get this genocide started." I kinda have this new appreciation for Cavil now. I don't know why, he's certainly not a favorite but just seeing this makes me understand him better, both copies of. So dry with his humor, the Galactica copy you could tell he was thinking "how hard is it to kill some measly humans, for frak sakes!" the entire time when one of his own failed to complete a mission. Hee.
++ "I don't care of she plucked a puppy from God's ass!" LMAO AT THIS LINE!
++ So. We killed a kid on BSG. And not just off screen where we know certain children didn't survive whatever travesty occurred, but actually seeing it happen. Cavil sticking the knife into the boy (ironically named "John", which was his name given by Ellen long ago before he called himself Cavil). Ruthless and unashamedly killing a kid. Wow. Gotta love my show for having such guts to do that.
++ I'm gonna say it, I love Sam/Kara. I really, really do, and this was Sam/Kara mainly because it takes place during the timeline of season two and I just LOVE IT. I love them. Although old scenes, you still gotta love them. ♥
++ The beginning and ending of the movie were bookends of each other, showing us precisely what the two Cavils were conversing about, seeing how they got there, and how they ended up. Out the airlock, and one possibly boxed for changing his standpoint from the entire plan they all agreed upon. Also the voiceover with Cavil exclaiming that he didn't want to be human, that entire speech. It really was chilling to hear that as they both flew out into space, holding hands, because again such irony and it was beautiful at the same time. Eerie, but beautiful.
++ BEAR MCCREARY IS A MUSIC GOD AND GENIUS! THAT SONG IN THE END? HOLY FRAKKING CRAP. *___*
++ The BSG Cylons and the SPN angels = two peas in a pod, amirite? Seriously.
Overall: I frakking loved The Plan. Loved, loved, loved it. It explained things we didn't know before and it filled in those blanks, and while some might complain this was just another movie to make money I disagree. This is the story told from the Cylons, and I love the Cylons. I loved seeing the complexities and the changes for different models and copies of a model and how, in spite of everything in their goals of following and offing the last surviving members of the human race, they can be just as affected by emotions and change their views just as we can. We see Cavil and his manipulations, his judgments and his never-changing objectives to squash the entire human race and make it known that the Cylons are more superior in the entire universe than the misfortunes that is humanity and their imperfections. It's not just about the Cylons and their ultimate plan, but seeing the humanity within the machines themselves which alters everything we've known since the beginning. And I loved seeing that. I loved seeing old character, new and old scenes clashing together, making a full picture.
While some will argue it was better off having us guess what happened, having things unknown and left to our imaginations and speculations, having these scenes and knowledge between certain scenes makes for a better understanding of the Cylons themselves and how they function together as an entire race and as individuals and how they treat each other. So yeah, I loved it so fucking much. Gonna go watch it again. And again, and again. :D :D :D
MOAR MOVIES BSG PPLS! WE NEED MORE BSG MOVIES TO KEEP THIS ALIVE FOREVER AND EVER!
Somehow I just want to see Brother Cavil having a conversation with Uriel and Zachariah just for the hell of it, you know? I think he would get a kick out of hearing them referring to human beings as "mud monkeys" and pick up on such terminology.
Did anyone catch the 2009 Scream Awards the other night? The tribute to Battlestar Galactica, presented by the cast of The Big Bang Theory, was amazingly awesome and well deserved too because, damn straight they should be recognized for being one of the best television series ever. Trufax. And our lovely cast looked exquisitely gorgeous, not gonna lie. DAMN TAHMOH IS TALL. And that Cylon Raider they came out of? HOLY SHIT ME WANTS! Also, of course EJO would go "SO SAY WE ALL!" at the end of his speech. Oh, Eddie.
Also, new Supernatural tonight. HOLY SHIT WHUT.