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March 02, 2009

Is Battlestar galactica a retelling of the Aeneid?

Battlestar Galactica revealed as the new Virgil's Aeneid | Culture | guardian.co.uk

Let's think about the humans for a moment. A leader leaves the destroyed wreck of his former civilisation (Troy/Caprica), which has been blasted into smithereens by an invading force (Greeks/Cylons). You might even see Gaius Baltar as a sort of Trojan horse. That leader is accompanied by his son: it's Adama as Aeneas, and Apollo as Ascanius, if you follow me.

On they forge, guided by prophecies that the leader is initially unwilling to accept, towards their fated new home (Adama, like Aeneas in Aeneid book two, needs some persuasion that the various portents pointing the way are of any value.)

Need I remind you that we're constantly getting heavy hints as to the classical origins of our story via the theology of the humans of Battlestar Galactica, who worship the Olympian pantheon of Zeus, Hera et al?

Tentatively, I'd suggest Starbuck's return to Caprica to collect the arrow of Apollo as akin to the visit to the Underworld in Aeneid book six. The arrow of Apollo as the golden bough?

Dave Gibbons on the Watchmen movie

Artist Dave Gibbons' Gut Feelings on the 'Watchmen' Movie
...the thing that's always annoyed me in comics is where characters will be talking in a room and it will suddenly become apparent that one of them has to walk out through a door. So, all of a sudden the artist will draw a door where none had existed before. It just breaks the spell. It's like seeing a magic trick done badly. You know, comics is all about making it believable and helping people to get completely lost in a fictional world. All those things are really all in service of doing that. Wired: Well, do you think that that plays out on screen in what Zack Snyder is doing? Is there a relationship between the believability of the world or the concreteness of the world and being able to make a movie out of it? Being able to move it to another medium? Gibbons: I think so. I have seen a rough cut of the complete thing, and I've been on sets, and I've seen lots of set photos. Everything is done exactly like the comic book. I mean I guess in some ways by having such a comprehensively drawn comic book, they had a really good basis to build everything on. But certainly the amount of detail and the consistency of the characters aging or the way the action takes place in a given setting does have that ring of absolute believability. Obviously it goes beyond that, because there is motion and there's sound. But I think that the film does have the same richness as the comic book.