Before StarWarsGate, before ComicsGate, before GamersGate, before Ghostbusters 2016, indeed before any “gate” at all, and before the term SJW was coined, all of this happened to Battlestar Galactica roughly 15 years ago. But to understand how, we must first go back to 1977.
In 1977 Star Wars was a massive success. That success had studios scrambling to catch the wave in the newly invigorated science fiction genre in film, and cash in. One of the better efforts was the Battlestar Galactica TV series, airing on network television in 1978.
The show was very successful initially, though not without its critics. Some criticized the show for mimicking the Diesel Punk styles of Star Wars too closely. Though this was a product of two things. First, it was likely a mandate from the network which wanted to cash in on the Star Wars craze of the late 70s. Second, the same artists worked on both productions. Ralph McQuarrie did concept designs and John Dykstra worked on special effects.
But the target audience mostly enjoyed this show immensely. For them, it wasn’t a knock-off. For them, it was just another piece of science fiction to enjoy in addition to Star Wars. There wasn’t competition between the two, or animosity between the two fanbases, Lucasfilm’s notorious lawsuits aside. Most fans liked both.
Whereas Star Wars is based primarily on the Hero’s Journey taken from Greek mythology and the Arthurian Legends, Battlestar Galactica was a retelling of the Exodus tale from the Bible, with an aged wise man leading his people out of bondage in search of a promised land. It even had a symbolic parting of the Red Sea, where star fighters traversed a red nebula and shot down enemy mines to make the way safe for the Battlestar. It also incorporated shades of the Von Daniken Ancient Astronaut theories that were popular at the time.
It was an ambitious production for 1978. They produced Star Wars level special effects on a weekly basis at an unheard of $1 Million per episode in 1978 money. Nothing like it had ever been attempted on network television before, and the initial premiere episode had gangbuster Nielson ratings. It was such a success, that it had its own line of merchandising:
It even had its own tour at Universal Studios:
They even played the pilot episode in theaters.
But all good things come to an end.
Originally intended as a series of occasional tele-movies, the network forced the production into weekly episodes instead. As a result, the one and only 1st season was an uneven one, with half the episodes being quite excellent and the other half not being so good. So the show was canceled after only one season due to diminishing ratings, which were still respectable by network standards at the end of the run, but not what the CEOs wanted to see in Battlestar Galactica.
But the fans remained. Reruns of the show did so well, that the network ordered a sequel series. Unfortunately it was done on the cheap, with only a couple of the original cast members showing up. The Battlestar had reached Earth, had flying motorcycles, and would help out local youth softball teams or fight the local motorcycle gang in those requisite 70s-era episode templates. The core fanbase would be destined to eschew Galactica 1980, and it too would be canceled.
But the fanbase still remained, and remained very loyal. Though many attempts to restart the series were made, a real effort wasn’t completed until the late 1990s, when Bryan Singer developed a sequel series with the original cast. This sequel series would ignore Galactica 1980, and continue the story from the original show with the Apollo character taking on the Adama mantle. Actors were ready to reprise their roles and sets had even been partially completed.
But then 9/11 happened, and the Bryan Singer production was put on ice.
In came Ronald D. Moore, who convinced SyFy to reboot the franchise instead. They called it, a “re-imagining.”
Long time Battlestar Galactica fans were not happy, but many were willing to give this new production the benefit of the doubt, that it might somewhat resemble the original show in some way.
Then the news hit that the Starbuck character, the favorite character of most Battlestar Galactic fans, would be changed into a woman. Fans were outraged. They weren’t outraged by the presence of a woman, or even a female fighter pilot. The original series had both. Rather, they were outraged by the fundamental transformation of an established character instead.
Ron Moore and his crew said that they wanted to see a woman in that kind of military role, that they had never seen it done before. It had been done multiple times throughout decades, but the younger naive fans who were eager for the new show bought his reasoning hook, line, and sinker. So it was apparent to older and wiser fans that Ron was being disingenuous, and that this was really an effort to enrage the fans thereby manufacturing a faux controversy, bringing publicity to the rebooted show.
After all, Ron could have just as easily wrote analogs to original female fighter pilot characters Athena and Sheba into his show, but chose not to. This was all very deliberate and calculated of course.
No one saw it coming at the time, but the actress who would play the penisless version of Starbuck in the rebooted series, would become the Damsel In Distress as defined in the Phases of a Geeker Gate. Fans who criticized the transformation of this character, were maligned by cast and crew, and the media, as sexists and misogynists. Katee Sackhoff, was granted the coveted victim status by the media, as they continued to lavishly praise her character and performance for the fact that the mere presence of her vagina angered all those sexist and misogynist fanboys, or so they put it. The media criticized the original series, calling it outdated and a crappy Star Wars knock-off that needed rebooting anyway.
Long time fans would shortly realize that the entire point of this reboot was not to tell the story of Battlestar Galactica, but to use the brand name of Battlestar Galactica as a vehicle to push deeply moronic political and social agendas instead.
False accusations of racism did arise, but they weren’t nearly as pedestrian and commonplace as they are today. This may be due to the fact the Colonel Tigh in the newly rebooted show was white rather than black. Another change which also angered the long time fans.
This created heated infighting within the pre-existing online fanbase. Younger fans were encouraged by cast, crew, and the media, to malign long time fans of the franchise as sexist and/or misogynist. Heated battles arose on pre-social media bulletin boards, where trolls created multiple clone accounts, and used them to bully and mislead long time fans. SyFy Channel mercilessly banned long times fans who were vocal critics from their online bulletin boards. Bonnie Hammer was the Kathleen Kennedy of 2004.
The rebooted show would premiere on SyFy Channel in 2004 with moderate success, but the ratings would slide significantly over the course of its subsequent seasons. What was once a show that was about hope and aspirations, devolved into a show about base human behavior and slimy sleaziness.
Eventually, the pre-existing online fanbase was left shattered, with many long time friends no longer able to speak to one another. Many long time fans simply threw their hands up on the Battlestar Galactica franchise altogether, having been frustrated after engaging in multiple letter writing campaigns for years and decades to bring back the show with the original cast, only to be given a pale facsimile. Some long time fans were so disgusted that they sold their collections; collections that they had been building since childhood. Only a handful of hard core fans remained. The new fans, mostly jumped ship for the next big thing after the cancellation of the rebooted series.
Currently online searches for Battlestar Galactica mainly turn up results for the rebooted show, rather than the original series. The Original Series is now mostly forgotten, except by a few rag tag fans. Hence the remaining 4 steps of the Geeker Gate:
17. CUSTOMER BASE OBLITERATION – The customer base is utterly destroyed, leaving behind only the small handful of SJWs who don’t make any purchases.
18. THE END – The new incarnation of the IP comes to an end. Since the majority of the customer base has abandoned it, there’s no more controversy or discussion about it. It’s over. The best case scenario is that the original IP is largely forgotten with the exception of a few die-hards who still carry the torch. The worst case scenario is that the new incarnation of the IP overwrites the original, and the original IP is forgotten altogether and overshadowed by the new incarnation in all future shill media mentions.
19. MIGRATION – The SJW is primarily interested in popular IPs that have a large audience, which can serve as a vehicle to spread their political message as widely as possible. Therefore, the remaining SJWs jump ship from the decimated IP, to devour a new IP that is popular and undergoing a transitional phase that they can barnacle themselves to through entryism.
20. REBIRTH – The process begins again, in the newly targeted IP.
Today there are occasional rumblings that a Battlestar Galactica movie will be made. But it’s likely that it won’t have much to do with the Original Series, or indeed even the rebooted series, if the current trend in Hollywood is any indication.
I present this as a cautionary tale to those who wish to protect their interests and hobbies.
Now, since I’ve taken the time to summarize this forgotten story, it will make the rounds on the internet. Eventually it will fall into the hands of SJW writers in the garbage tier media, who recently graduated from college in the last few years or so and are completely unaware of it. They will use this story to seek out Ron Moore and Katee Sackhoff, and interview them in an attempt to get them to confirm that the bogus Kelly Marie Tran Instagram Incident and the purely imaginary black stormtrooper controversy are old problems that have precedents, and that the fanbase has always been “toxic.” Just as they attempted to concoct their own version of the Geeker Gate shortly after I published that. They’ll then lionize Katee Sackhoff as the Godmother of Damseling, and her career may even enjoy a boost as a result. We may even see Kelly Marie Tran and Katee Sackhoff interviewed together on the topic. Rian Johnson is probably placing a call to Ronald D. Moore as we speak.
Be prepared for all of that, and for all of the accompanying SJW nonsense that will inevitably follow. Watch for it.
An interesting post from a user named Brian Hague was posted on the Byrne Robotics forum. He writes:
In fact there’s nothing off-base about it at all. Brian uses the term “off-base” incorrectly here, it simply just doesn’t apply. One sided? Perhaps. But was I supposed to write about the other side rather than my side?
At this point, I don’t know if you can unplug from the outrage and counter-outrage involved and just enjoy Ron Moore’s reboot for what it has to offer, but it remains worth the attempt, should you choose to make it.
No. It isn’t.
I agree that there was manipulation of fan expectations in making Starbuck female and Boomer Asian (and also female.) Public perception was apparently a factor in not making the new Colonel Tigh black, since the writers intended to make that character seriously flawed and alcoholic.
What public perception would Brian be talking about here?
In fact it’s not warped at all. It’s simply what happened. This shouldn’t be surprising, given that we’re now seeing it happen repeatedly in multiple IPs.
In fact, we had seen a female lead like that repeatedly throughout the decades, as I explained above, and which Brian would know were he to read the blog post before arbitrarily calling it warped and off-base.
It would have been equally as provocative to tease the possibility of Apollo and Sheba, Cassiopeia, and/or Athena as a couple as well.
Maybe the original fans were just a “tiny vocal minority.” But since Brian doesn’t provide any hard numbers as to their actual size, the fact that Ron Moore’s show received lackluster Nielson ratings for the bulk of the run suggests that the original fanbase may have been far larger in number than Brian gives them credit for.
Over in the “Shazam” thread I mention that the new guard at DC may have changed the character’s name in part to razz the fans who’ve stuck around too long (like myself,) and I believe they did, but even in that case those fans are not the primary audience. Offending them gets you some controversy and press, but to say that is the only reason to do so is absurd.
So it’s absurd and has a precedent all at the same time. Fascinating. Of course it was the only reason. Otherwise equally as effective choices that wouldn’t have deliberately angered the original fan base would have been made.
The political agenda Brian may be referring to was hardly in its nascent form.
Why not? Would the show have been as mildly successful as it was with a different title? The source material is the primary reason that anyone gave a damn to bother with it at all.
Except for Star Wars before Disney, and Star Trek which continued on for decades until JJ Abrams came around.
No one sets out to do this new thing exactly like the original thing, with no changes because, damn it, change is wrong and bad, and “we want no credit for any contribution we might have, but elected not to make.”
Here Brian boldly argues against a point that no one has ever made. No one expected Battlestar to be exactly like the original show, or expressed that they wanted it to be. Certainly Bryan Singer’s version would have been different as well, and accounts of his show’s premise demonstrate that. All fans wanted, was a continuation with the original cast taking on the elder mantles. Everything else was open to change.
What on Earth is Brian talking about? Hollywood is primarily populated by stenographers. The poor quality of the all too common content in reboots alone is evidence of that fact.
Ron Moore and company looked at the material they had and tried to make it as relevant and edgy as they could. The central theme they conceived was the question of whether or not humanity deserved to survive the Cylon attack, and they explored the question in an often brutal and ugly fashion. Terrorism, suicide bombings, genocide, murder, lying, torture, and political corruption are not Social Justice issues. They’re actual issues. The writer of that blog apparently cannot see beyond his exceedingly narrow P.O.V. to discern them as such.
Ha! Narrow point of view indeed. Here Brian fails to understand the distinction between concept and execution. Are terrorism, suicide bombings, genocide, murder, lying, torture, and political corruption, actual issues? Sure. But the problem isn’t the mere existence of actual issues. The problem was Ron Moore’s poor execution in how he dealt with those actual issues.
Women on the new Galactica were not Mary Sues. Minorities were not righteously held above criticism (although they did veer sharply in that direction initially by changing Tigh.) Stories were not sanitized so that only the designated targets of social criticism suffered while all others were praised and empowered. The new Galactica told an ugly, harsh, and often surprising story of humanity doing its level best to outrun a murderous force looking to end its existence. That it managed humor and insight at the same time was one of its biggest surprises.
To suggest there was insight is being unduly generous. For there to be real insight, it has to be somehow applicable in the real world. But the reality is that leftist perspectives just never are.
And yes, they did run out of ideas, and the conclusion of the series was either disappointing or claw-your-own-face-off-god-awful depending upon your level of investment, but not for any reason having to do with Social Justice. They made themselves a comfy rabbit hole with their notion of a “Final Five” and buried themselves inside it, taking the show down with them. Hard.
That’s the second time that Brian references the pure snake oil ideology of social justice. Interestingly, looking above at what I previously wrote, I don’t see that I made any reference to social justice in this blog post at all. Who is it that has an agenda here?
Oh come on now, Brian, you’re over reacting here. I’m hardly frothing at the mouth in the same way you are in this paragraph that you’ve written.
Any point he may have once had in opposing Political Correctness is now lost in his rhetoric, media conspiracies, and bile. His agenda seems far more reactionary and nonsensical than any his despised SJW conspiracies may have conjured. His agenda seems far more reactionary and nonsensical than any his despised SJW conspiracies may have conjured.
Brian seems to have a political chip on his shoulder. But maybe if he types out the word “conspiracy” five more times, it might discredit my opinion for him, without him having to do the hard work of actually addressing the points I’ve made.
But the fact that we’re all watching all of this happen in real time to multiple IPs makes it very difficult to take Brian’s admonishments here with any degree of seriousness, no matter how flowery his deeply ignorant prose may be.
I also have to wonder, was Brian around when any of this happened? Or was he 5 years old 15 years ago? Because if he didn’t experience any of this, then he would have no way of knowing if this account is one-sided or off-base or anything else.
I’d recommend remodeling your bathroom instead, Greg. At least then you’ll be in the company of a clean toilet, rather than having to spend time with a filthy one.
Apparently the user Michael Roberts on the Byrne Robotics forums didn’t care for me responding to Brian Hagues initial criticisms about my blog post. He amusingly referred to my response as an “attack.”
Well Michael, it would seem that the toxicity lies primarily with yourself and Brian. So look to yourself for the answer to that question.
Does that mean you hope to have your own post regarding the “toxicity” of others to be deleted then?
Now, let’s go ahead and examine some of Michael’s previous comments in response to Greg’s comments. Greg wrote:
The difference between then and now is that Roddenberry and Serling respected the intelligence and opinions of their audience, and didn’t call them names when people disagreed or were critical. They also knew that they were producing escapist entertainment for the masses, and didn’t force ideologies down the audience’s throats. Or deflect legitimately terrible writing by generating an “Us vs. Them” atmosphere.
Indeed Greg. What I’m also discovering in my research, is that personalities such as Roddenbury, Serling, and even George Lucas and James Cameron, were under adult supervision while working under the studio during their early careers. This was the period when the filthy hippie generation, was still under supervision by the Greatest Generation. So their ideas were tempered by those above to make them more consumable by a greater audience and less overtly preachy. The basic concepts could then apply to just about anyone in any socio-economic status. It’s why Twilight Zone is vastly superior to Night Gallery, which Serling undoubtedly had more control over later in his career.
But the Greatest Generation is mostly retired and gone now. So the filthy hippie generation and their idiot SJW spawn are now in charge. That’s why so much of what you see to today is so awful and thoughtless. There’s no one to keep the hippie silliness in check.
I discuss some of that here.
Michael responded to Greg’s thoughtful post by saying:
Well, sure, because there was no internet back then. And sorry, the “Us vs Them” environment is not being generated by creators alone. I mean, take a look in the mirror. You’ve been inserting complaints about social agendas in every discussion lately, even when no one’s been discussing it.
This may be difficult for Michael to understand, but communication existed before the internet. Creators and other celebrities routinely received what was referred to as fan mail. Those celebrities also routinely did interviews on popular programs and with popular publications, and had every opportunity to call their critics names and have it be heard. They didn’t, because SJW ideology wasn’t as widespread back then as it is today, and thus they were civilized.
In fact the “us vs. them” environment is in fact being generated by creators alone, when those creators misuse the terms racist, sexist, misogynist, xenophobic, etc. to paint their critics in a bad light, particularly when those far too often parroted terms are simply inapplicable.
Greg also made the following observation:
The broad appeal of both STAR TREK and THE TWILIGHT ZONE comes down to the fact that they had aspects which appealed to a very broad variety of people, across the entire sociopolitical spectrum. These were stories about people and ideas, not preaching. And about asking questions, not pushing particular answers.
To which Michael responded:
Really? Because both STAR TREK and TWILIGHT ZONE could be pretty damn preachy. I think their success was being able to hide their messages in allegory so that the people they were preaching against could overlook them. Watching Twilight Zone, Serling’s antiwar and racial equality stances are pretty clear to me. If the internet were around back then, there would be people breaking down certain episodes, complaining how Serling was shoving his pinko commie agenda down everyone’s throats.
Yes, Michael. Really. The notion that the original Star Trek and Twilight Zone series were overtly preachy or propagandist is revisionist nonsense. It’s silly to make these claims since all anyone has to do is stream the shows and see for themselves that the claim is pure bunk. Allegory was certainly part of it, but also presenting the issue in a manner in which anyone from any walk of life could gain some intellectual value from it. This of course is opposed to the hacks of today who essentially write “grrrrrrr, Trump evil” as the transparent foundation of every television show and movie.
Well Michael, I present to you a thought experiment. Go to YouTube and watch the series of animated Soviet propaganda that is available there. Compare the rhetoric therein to both the messaging in Star Trek and Twilight Zone, and with the modern political rhetoric that you’ve been programmed in. Ponder the results quietly to yourself.
In the same thread Matt Reed types out the following statement:
Note how I correctly explained this uneducated and predictable sentiment above.
Matt then admonishes Greg for using the term SJW as a pejorative:
I say this as a friend, Greg, but where I used to enjoy your views and reviews on pop culture I’ve increasingly found them tinged with political elements heretofore avoided. And they’re brought up even when the discussion has absolutely nothing to do with politics at all. Your go-to recently has been SJW for damn near everything without considering that, in this specific discussion, BSG premiered over a decade ago. You’re using the pejorative SJW that was considered coined in 2011. That’s a recent internet creation dismissively born of a particular political bent that you toss around here willy-nilly. Prior to 2011, SJW was used as a primarily positive term. To say that using it has no ties to politics and is neither an attack nor a admonishment is absolutely absurd. It’s very nature and use is political. SJW is not verbiage commonly used by anyone other than those of a particular political affiliation. It’s just not. Neither is the phrase “virtue-signaling”. You can’t honestly stand aghast that someone would call you on those phrases, Greg, if you’re being completely honest with yourself.
Matt is right, in that SJW is what social justice warriors called themselves. But you see Greg, you’re not supposed to say anything bad about SJWs. You’re only supposed to say “positive” things about SJWs. That’s what the Collective demands.
Honestly though Matt, if SJWs are going to call themselves SJWs, then that’s how we refer to them in language when talking about them. It’s not the fault of any “particular political bent” that SJWs are monumentally stupid, and have themselves turned the term into a pejorative through their own moronic misbehavioral antics and idiotic “activism.” Don’t blame others for simply pointing out the obvious and using a label that SJWs themselves dreamt up to do so.