The Cylon Confusion

David Eick- I think the audience has to start by asking the question, “What really defines a Cylon?” That’s part of what Season 4 is really going to be dedicated to. And the tip of that iceberg will be introduced in the season finale. (source: TV Guide)

The Final Cylon Solution can be misinterpreted for stating that the Final Five aren’t in fact cylons. This site is partly to blame for this misunderstanding, since it tries to avoid defining exactly what they really are. So here I will explain three different interpretations of how they can be cylon, and none of them require that they were created by the cylons!

The Final Five are reincarnated mortal forms of Lords of Kobol.

RDM – 3/26/2007 …The conceptual framework in which these guys are Cylons, it all sort of works once we laid down their individual back stories… [They are all full Cylons] but they are different fundamentally. (Source)

  • If the skinjobs and raiders can resurrect and the Lords of Kobol are ancient immortal entities that can reincarnate and take mortal form, then they are both cylon within the conceptual framework of immortality.
  • The modern cylons, including skinjobs and raiders were created by the Lords of Kobol, who incidently gave them resurrection technology. Therefore, if we are calling the skinjobs cylon then we can loosely name their creators cylon as well.

Perhaps the best definition comes from the possible origin of the Lords of Kobol themselves…

  • The Lords of Kobol are the original cylons, created by humans thousands of years ago on Earth.

I suspect though that we will never know this for sure, but it would make alot of sense. Personally I try to avoid making assumptions about their origins, since there are many possibilities and none of them can be fully justified from what we know about the show and it also makes sense that certain things just won’t be explained in full since doing so will bring early closure to the shows status in the minds of the fans.

For those sci-fi fans that remember Blade Runner, the true nature of Deckard was never fully satisfied and this fueled speculation and debate for many years greatly helping the film achieve legendary status. We know Ronald D. Moore is a big fan of Blade Runner and it would make sense that he wants to achieve the same legendary status with his own creation.

It comes down to this, do you want the LOK to be supernatural immortal beings similiar to Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, or do you want them to be original super AI that have somehow transcended mortal existance and now reside in the space between life and death. Is the entire show even a Matrix scenario!

The interpretation may well rest with you.


6 Responses to The Cylon Confusion

  1. Chris says:

    We are all AI. One thing is missing is the fact that the author failed to mention was the fact that prior to colonisation humanity lived on Kobol. Under the yolk of the Lords of Kobol; humanity was considered barbaric. It was humanity that rebelled against the Lords on Kobol. Similarly to what the Cylons did to humanity on at the colonies

    So what happened first, the old ‘egg or the chicken’ argument. Is humanity a product of the Cylon or is Cylon created by man as is suggested in the opening credits. There are a lot of discrepancies that need to be put to rest. If the Lords of Kobol are the Gods of humanity and the colonists their creation; it is humanity that are the orignial Cylons, well kind of.

    The production of the cylon is the perpetuation of an endless cycle of evolution and destruction. Humanity, Cylons and the Lords of Kobol are in fact product of each other. The cycle continues until each race reaches its zentih a begins the creation of the other by which themselves become Gods ultimately leading to their destruction. The children of the Cylons are in fact the Lords of Kobol, underwhich as the Cylon – Gods produce to become Kobol Gods to create humanity et al..

    Well its a cute theory anyway

  2. swozzie says:

    Its not clear that the humans rebelled against the LOK on Kobol. Certainly back in Season2 that would seem the obvious conclusion, but now it seems more likely that the humans belief in many Gods led to them impiety and human sacrifice and possibly war between themselves, which is good enough reason for the LOK to abandon humanity and kick them off Kobol – just like Zeus did in Greek mythology. The fact that Head.Six (one of the LOK) now preaches the one true God lends support to this idea.

  3. Jack says:

    How can these Lords of Kobal have been created on Earth by man thousands of years before the show if they find Earth in ruins in the 22 century? That’s what I keep seeing. The Earth is a post apocaclyptic 22nd century Earth.

    Then we add to it that the rumors are that they end up with hardly anything. At least that’s what Edward James Olmos reportedly said. We hear that he and Aaron Douglas wept or allegedly cried after reading the script. Why so sad guys? No one really dies. There are the claims that Starbuck finds her own dead body in her crashed Viper.

    Yeah, I personally don’t buy it. It’s a cop out. To have the final five cylons turn out to not be cylons sounds like something Star Trek would do. They never killed anyone off either. I mean they did, but you always knew that that character could always come back. And this show is darker and–in my opinion–this makes this show better than coming up with a corny gods or lords storyline. If they go this way I will have to scratch my head and ask, “they made it a big deal that this show was different. There would not be aliens. There would not be any good guys in white hats or bad guys in black. What the heck? Aliens are a no no but gods are a okey?”

    Besides, if this is the story line they go with, why should I bother watching Caprica? It would be meaningless. Daniel Graystone made the first Cylon. No wait it was the gods. The Gods must be Crazy. And what, pray tell, do these immortals need with a spaceship?

    Believe me, All Along the Watchtower is a bigger clue to the end. It’s a Dylan song that tells a clear story. It justs starts from the end and tells it backwards–like Memento.

    And for the record, most of the fans of Blade Runner I know were not fans because of the issue of is Decker a skin job or not. It was because it was dark and gritty and showed such a dirty, dark, destroyed future. We–my friends and myself–were shocked when we heard that there was issue as to what Decker was. It was clear as day he was a human who really didn’t have much to live for, whose job was to retire replicants…..who ironically only wanted to live longer because they loved life. When Scott made his comment that Decker is a Replicant, it was clear that he came make a beautiful movie but he is a piss poor writer. It just takes all of the irony out of the mix. It cheapens the story.

  4. todd says:

    Anything that requires one to stretch one’s imagination, maybe have to actually entertain possibilities never considered before, is “something Star Trek would do”?…….This is the problem when attempting to appeal to non-science fiction fans….with an extemely well written and portrayed t.v. show, they simply do not have the ability to grasp the concepts involved…perhaps they would prefer “The Road Warrior”, with a destroyed world, humanity at its worst, and an extremely simplistic story, guaranteed NOT to challenge you to think.

  5. JACK says:

    I am back. Late, but back.

    I feel that I should point out a few things:

    1. I’m a huge Sci Fi fan. I love Star Wars, Blade Runner, The Original Star Trek, etc. When I say it sounds like something Star Trek would do, I meant the pro communistic far fetched next generation program. I learn nothing from a “Utopian society,” for it does not take human nature into consideration. The Next Generation shows that technology is always key, a robot is equal to human life–a dangerous concept, if you ask me. When there is a fire and people are saving their robot over their neighbor, that’s the end, man. There is no poverty or money for there is no want. The vast majority who have read Marx knows what this is. And while it sounds great on paper, it doesn’t ever work. If we all get the same pay no matter what, or no pay at all, there would be far fewer doctors, what would be the point? Many go into medicine for the money first. I know it’s wrong morally, but it’s true. Teachers? Why teach? If you get everything free, why work at all? Why even bother with trying to have a real life? Why not just go into the holodeck a make people up. We are actually seeing this sort of thing happen in society today with on line group video games.

    Distopian storylines, however are far more interesting and thought provoking in that they warn us about our terrible nature. Even Ronald Moore stated that The Next Generation never allowed the writers to go dark which he seems to have wanted to do. He said he was allowed to do this more on Deep Space Nine. Also, if there are these gods and there is no real death then there is no point in watching Caprica. They (the writers) have said Caprica will be more like a drama. There will be little or no space travel. They said they did not want Aliens or beings in their version too in the early interviews for the first season. I doubt any of this is what will happen.

    2. What’s wrong with Mad Max? A post apocolyptic world torn apart from a world war over oil. Yes, the world is left a mess with violence and humanity at it’s worst–which is usually the case. I know, I know…it’s an “overly simplistic story.” What’s wrong with simple? 1984 was a simple story too. A great story that has more truth to it than some had ever thought. It’s a shame that more people didn’t read this simple story. If Mad Max didn’t make you think then it was probably because you weren’t into that type of movie. I’m not going to insult you as you did me. I don’t even know you.

    I will also say that these theories are fine. They don’t appeal to me, personally. But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter because I have a good feeling it isn’t right anyways.And as a fan of Phillip K. Dick, I have read Do Androids Draem of Electirc Sheep. Dick made it clear that the point was that the human was indeed human and he was killing replicants because it was his job. He hated his bleak world, sad wife, and there was a flase jesus christ figure who turned out to be some bloke. The Replicants loved life and would do anything to extend their short life spans. Simple, dark, and great. And oh, yeah, the writers of BSG all said that the book and movie are big influences on them. That and All Along the Watchtower is a song that starts at the end and ends at the beginning. I said that before. And I will again, and again, and again and again and again.

  6. I think we can now start making a few speculations about the creation of all this on Earth. In particular, while not yet highly justified, I suggested after Crossroads that the final five began as a team of 5 programmers who created the first AI beings by uploading themselves. And then, I suspect, they created an even more advanced being who became as a god.

    (This could take place in the other order though, god first, upload second.)

    However, this nicely explains something. These 5 programmers, alive in 21st century Earth, were Dylan fans. So they picked a favourite song as their wakeup signal if the time came when one of their mortal incarnations needed to be aware of who he or she was.

    Your theory has some similarities to mine, but in my theory, there is a closer connection between the immortal AI beings and their mortal incarnations. This show is about, as the Hybrid says, the conflict between man and machine. The Final Five, though no longer human, wish to retain their humanity. Thus they create mortal incarnations who live out mortal lives — most of the time — and then re-merge those minds and memories into the whole being to keep that being closer to human.

    However, this time, big events transpired, and the mortal forms are going to wake up a little sooner, thanks to the return trip to the homeworld.

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