Terminators are Cylons

I haven’t actually put to pen my thoughts on the closing of the BSG story, though I have a few healthy drafts awaiting completion. In the meantime, though, in the grand geek tradition of Unification Theory, we can play the game of trying to merge our favorite universes. A while back someone posited that Firefly and BSG were the same universe, starting with a genuine screenshot of Firefly flying over Caprica City (an easter egg by the animators). The TOS-era Enterprise also made an appearance in the ragtag fleet, but tying the Trek continuity to BSG is a stretch even for me (though, with the reboot movies, anything is technically possible…)

Of course, knowing what we know now about how BSG ended, the connection to almost any scifi series can now be made. (spoilers follow)

The BSG series ends about 150,000 years before the present day, with the Colonials setting up shop on (our) Earth. Thus, any scifi series set in (our) future is also in BSG’s future, by definition. So, BSG to Stargate? sure! Farscape? Sure! Futurama? you got it! Green Acres? why not?

But to get a really satisfying connection, there should be some thematic link as well as a temporal one. This is why the Terminator series makes so much sense. Both series are about mankind creating AI which goes astray, sentient, and begins war. In BSG the Cylons fouught for their freedom, whereas in Terminator Skynet is more classically malevolent. You could argue that the Matrix Trilogy is a better analogy, but the AIs in The Matrix never bothered with androids (human analogues) in the mold of skinjob Cylons or the T101 series onwards. The basic concept of the created seeking to emulate their creators – even if only for infiltration purposes – is a powerful symbolism. Plus, Matrix is a mishmash of mythology whereas BSG and Terminator are more focused on the prophetic model – John Connor’s initials are no accident.

Clearly, “all this has happened before and will happen again” is a powerful cycle, but the difference this time around is that AI came first, instead of robots (though the two are close developments). It also is not clear that the AIs in the Terminator future actually have a civilization of their own. The only AIs we see are Skynet itself, and the terminators, which are designed to terminate humans and nothing else. Maybe it’s just too early for them to get a civilization going, especially given that J.C. comes along and wins (not a spoiler, but just a prediction…). It makes sense if the only real node is Skynet because then you have a target to destroy; it implies that the terminators are not truly independent and require Skynet to continue. Though, not having seen the new terminator movie, who can say what direction they will take it?

1 thought on “Terminators are Cylons”

  1. i had the same idea you did. just saw t4 tonite and had to see if anyone else saw the connections. all this has happened before and all this will happen again!

    t4 kicked ass. atleast us earthlings dont go running across the galaxy and fight back instead.

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