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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: God in the Machines (Part 4)

"God in the Machines" Part 4

Battlestar Galactica: Cylon War #4 (Dynamite)
Writers: Joshua Ortega and Eric Nylund
Pencils: Nigel Raynor
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover A: Stephen Segovia, Cover B: Nigel Raynor


In the past and present, two Cylon wars come to an end.


Notes from the BSG chronology


This issue in the final year of the first Cylon War, year 12, within Admiral Tanner's flashback (begun in "God in the Machines" Part 1) to 40 years earlier during the battle of Caprica in the Fall of the Twelve Colonies.


Didja Know?


Battlestar Galactica: Cylon War is a 4-issue mini-series published by Dynamite Entertainment. Though the mini-series itself is titled Cylon War, the bonus script pages included in each issue show that the story was titled "God in the Machines" Parts 1-4, a better title in the first place, so I have used those titles in PopApostle's studies of the mini-series.


This series tells the story of the build-up to the first Cylon War 40 years before the events of BSG2000. It was published the year before the premiere of the Caprica TV series on Syfy, so it unfortunately contradicts a lot of the canon information about the origin of the Cylons depicted therein. To make this mini-series fit into the continuity at all, one must imagine that the Tanner corporation here has merely taken a role in helping to improve the Cylon robotic designs already introduced by Graystone Industries in the aforementioned TV series. 


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Admiral Tanner

Vice Prime Thomas Nagala

General Franklin Barrat

Director Talara Samson

Admiral Lito Shaw

President-Elect Lance Banuta

Clan Leader Fellona Zarell

Henry Keikeya

War Leader Niran Kel Dar

Director Alexia Plunkett

Number Six (possibly a human who became the body template for the model)

Ensign Tigh

Captain Susan Hamilton

Colonel ? (same colonel from "God in the Machines" Part 1)



Didja Notice?


On page 1, we meet ten of the twelve representatives to the War Council of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol (the Gemenon and Leonis representatives seem to be missing). The Virgon representative, Vice Prime Thomas Nagala shares a name with the unseen Fleet Admiral Nagala at the time of the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, presumed dead with the destruction of the battlestar Atlantia in "Serve and Protect"; is Thomas Nagala the same person? The Tauron representative is Admiral Lito Shaw; is he any relation to Kendra Shaw, who becomes Admiral Cain's aide on the Pegasus about 40 years later (though Kendra is said to be Caprican)? The Picon representative is Henry Keikeya; with such an unusual last name, it seems likely he is related to Billy Keikeya, who becomes Laura Roslin's aide in "Humanity's Children".


In panel 4 of page 1, Niran Kel Dar's dialog incorrectly says "greed" instead of "agreed".


On page 4, Admiral Tanner tells of the newly commissioned battlestar class, Galactica, armored, radiation-hardened, and with no networked computers and the Galactica herself is the flagship of the fleet and his new command. But this conflicts with statements in both Blood and Chrome and "Humanity's Children" that Commander Silas Nash was the first commander of Galactica.


A battlestar called Pegasus is seen on page 5. It is an earlier class than the one seen 40 years later in episodes of the BSG2000 TV series.


Tanner states that the Colonies first and last decisive victory against the Cylons was the battle at Maximus-Delta. This doesn't conform with statements in The Cylons' Secret that each side came close to victory several times, never quite achieving it.


On page 6, Tanner states that the Colonial military has had reports that the Cylons have colonized distant worlds where no human could survive and stripped them bare of resources in constructing ever-growing numbers of additional forces.


In panels 4 and 5 of page 6, a blond woman who looks like she is probably a Number Six model humanoid Cylon is pulled from a line-up of humans about to be executed in front of a Cylon firing squad. Is it meant to imply that this was a human woman who was the original body template for the Number Six model? It seems too soon in the timeline for her to be an already existing Six. (According to the bonus script pages at the end of this issue, this woman is the template for Number Six.)


On page 8, panel 5, in Tanner's quarters aboard the Galactica, notice that he has a model of his previous ship, Eos. Also sitting on a shelf in his quarters is a globe, presumably of Caprica.


On page 9, Tanner receives a call from Captain Hamilton aboard the battlestar Mercury. Hamilton (first name Susan revealed here) was previously one of his lieutenants during his command of Eos. This is the first mention of the battlestar Mercury; a battlestar that looks similar to the Pegasus is seen during the battle on pages 10-11, probably the Mercury as, 40 years later, the battlestars Pegasus and Therion are said to be Mercury-class ships.


Pages 9 and 15 subtly imply a past romance--or at least an attraction--between Tanner and Hamilton.


A ship that looks similar to a Cylon resurrection ship is seen during the battle on pages 10-11. This would be the first chronological appearance of a resurrection ship, if that is what it is.


On page 13, Isak is seen as leader of the Cylons inside a basestar, perched upon a throne similar those used by the Imperious Leader and Baltar in BSG70. There are also a couple of Cylons that look essentially identical to IL-series Cylons (such as Lucifer and Spectre) from BSG70.



On page 14, the War Council of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol examines the information they have on the Cylon basestars, noting they carry a mega-pulsar weapon capable of bypassing battlestar-class armor and penetrating planetary atmospheric effects. This may be a nod to the Ravashol Pulsar on the planet Arcta seen in the BSG70 episodes "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" Parts 1 and 2.


Articles 13 and 14 of the armistice document between the humans and Cylons is seen on page 16. The official name, Cimtar Armistice (as seen in the armistice officer's documents in "Humanity's Children"), is misspelled as "Citimar Armistice".

Cimtar Armistice


Page 18 opens in "Whisper" Room 49B at Prometheus Military Facility, Tauron orbital stable point 3. This is the first mention of the Prometheus Military Facility. A whisper room is presumably a room isolated from allowing sounds in or out.


An image from the best telescopic probe on the edge of the Colonial armistice line shows the Cylons have built something that looks similar to a super-basestar, as seen in the BSG70 stories "The Law of Volahd" Part 2 and "The Death of Apollo" Part 2.


The top secret Stealthstar mission into Cylon space depicted on pages 18-19 is also related later in "Endings and Beginnings" and "Hero". The Stealthstar Viper itself looks a bit different in each version! Bulldog's dialog when the Stealthstar is irreparably damaged on the mission is a bit different as well. Page 19 depicts Bulldog getting sliced by a Number Six after his capture, indicating her model (and, presumably, models One-Five, possibly others) are already being produced, explaining the existence of a resurrection ship on pages 10-11.


The Stealthstar mission is shown to have provided at least part of the impetus for the Cylons to break the armistice and launch the assault that leads to the Fall of the Twelve Colonies.


On the last page, notice that the Cylons take the stained glass window from the Caprican church, the same window that inspired Isak in "God in the Machines" Part 2.


Isak's narrative on the last page of the story is a paraphrasing of words found in the Bible: "God's will is, as it is in Heaven." Isak also ends his soliloquy with "Amen" rather than the more familiar phrase with a similar meaning in the Twelve Colonies, "So say we all."

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