Battlestar Galactica to Groundhog Day

At first look it would seem there could be no more two incongruous films than Battlestar Galactica and Groundhog Day!

One, A Melodramatic Look Into the Future and Past 

A lost, nuked human race, pursued by their own man-made attackers rockets away from the vestiges of their doomed planet, all the while searching endlessly for a new home in the not too friendly outreaches of intergalactic space.

The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but… sometimes it’s too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question “Why?” Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed and spite, jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we’ve done, like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn’t our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you’ve created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can’t hide from the things that you’ve done anymore.

Commander William Adama Battlestar Galactica

The Other, A Comedy of Sorts 

A silly Pennsylvania tradition is frozen in time while a weatherman plays out his existence, returning to the same day after day monotony, until he recognizes, understands and transforms his many character flaws, and his life no longer remains on hold.


Phil: What if there were no tomorrow?

Gus: No tomorrow? That would mean there would be no consequences, there would be no hangovers. We could do whatever we wanted!

Phil: [thinking] That’s true. We could do…whatever we wanted.

Phil: Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.

Groundhog Day

 Lessons and Consequences of Choices

Today, the films combine to reveal abject lessons as our planet struggles badly with its own future:

  • We are constantly driven by huge ever increasing populations
  • Completely dependent on technology for our survival 
  • The unmitigated failure to learn from the mistakes of the past
  • Blinded by the misery that surrounds us
  • Too trapped by fear and the unkown to change our ways 
  • And the chances for survival precariously slip away as each day passes

There is a ruthless naivete and irony by the remaining fifty thousand survivors of the Galactic ship’s crew and supporting flotilla:

  • They curse and blame the dogged enemy
  • They justify and defend themselves against the onslaught of Cylon robots and human hybrids
  • Those Cylons were created to ply the work that the human race decided was either beneath or beyond them

Like the computer HAL in 2001-A Space Odyssey, which was designed to support wider human exploration, and then transcends that purpose to control and dictate to its creators much more than was ever imagined.

Once we finally give our destiny and our very existence to technology alone, the soul and spirit of mankind dwindles into a meaningless darkness, the same darkness from which we have most likely emerged so many times before, either here on this planet or other places in the universe.

Redux Again

Whether one fictional character is entrenched in a 24 hour cycle or it is a race of humans mucking away in another one million year cycle, it is the same mendacity and sense of superiority that prevails and guarantees our downfall.  

So there is a collision of minds between Battlestar and Groundhog. Together, in a most unlikely tandem, they warn us again that as our numbers increase and we are compelled to turn to technology for our very survival, we must also face the consequences of that pact.

Therefore, when the machines of technology once again destroy, replace or drive us from this venerable and endangered environment, and those who survive begin their quest for yet another sanctuary, there is nothing left to blame but ourselves.

No Comments