Be sure to also read my other Battlestar Galactica posts.

I’m just now posting my thoughts on the last couple Battlestar Galactica episodes, specifically “No Exit,” because I’ve still been processing the new information and what it means. In the past I’ve combined my BSG posts with my Thursday Thirteen posts, but since the Thursday Thirteen site seems to be gone for good I’m switching my list posts to a “Tuesday Ten” format. Beware of spoilers in this article.


We now know who all of the thirteen (yes, THIRTEEN) Cylons are:
1- John Cavil
2- Leoben Conoy
3- D’Anna Biers
4- Simon
5- Aaron Doral
6- Caprica/Natalie/Shelly/Gina
7- Daniel the Artist
8- Sharon Valerii Agathon Boomer/Athena
9-13 Galen Tyrol, Samuel Anders, Ellen Tigh, Saul Tigh, and Tory Foster

Lingering questions: Who is Daniel? Was he modeled after Daniel Graystone? Why is it important that we know he was an artist? Is it significant that Starbuck has been painting in secret her whole life? Also, what is Starbuck’s true nature? When Sam started talking about the eighth model, Daniel, everyone standing around his bed — which included the rest of the Five AND Starbuck — began to glow and the music queued up. Interestingly, BSG musical composer Bear McCreary ditched his usual episode musical analysis because “the unusual amount of fast-paced and essential dialog in these two shows left little room for big musical statements.” It would have been interesting to see what he might have said about this musical cue.


Due to aphasia brought on by his head injury, Sam often spoke in gibberish in this episode. Because this injury opened the flood gates into his hidden memories, I wonder if this gibberish might be valuable because it sounds so similar to hybrid-speak. Here are a few choice lines from Sam:

Among bright stars I’m lost.

There is a new tide, and all the forgotten faces, all the forgotten children; we seek the great forgotten language.

[inaudible] but the colony never forgets.

The mind is its own place [inaudible] the hell of heaven.

He whose guile (screen shows Cavil) stirred with revenge. . .conceived [inaudible] under mankind.

And all the forgotten faces we seek—we’ve been to that beach too. Yes, we’ve been to that beach. [clips of beach on “Earth”] Sometimes Ellen would be there too because she loved the water. She loved the water.

UPDATE: It turns out that some of what Sam says comes from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”:

Th’ infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile
Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv’d [ 35 ]
The Mother of Mankind…

The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.

Many thanks to Daniel who noted this on Brad Templeton’s No Exit Notes post.

UPDATE: Some of Ander’s word salad come from Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel:

“A stone, a leaf, an unfound door; of a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces. Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother’s face; from the prison of her flesh we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father’s heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.”

The last bit about a “lost lane-end into heaven…an unfound door” makes me think of Starbuck’s trip to Earth via the maelstrom and back via the Ionian Nebula. That combined with the 13th Tribe finding the way to Earth from the Temple of Hopes/Eye of Jupiter still makes me think that maybe there’s a wormhole or some sort of jump-gate somewhere.

Source: SciFi Forums

Beaches are so far seeming to be important — the Five’s memories started to return on a beach on the cinder planet, that same beach sent Dualla over the edge, there were photos of a beach in Dualla’s locker, John Cavil and Ellen used to walk on a beach with Daniel…


We still don’t know what the Kobolians were/are. Numerous episodes have made reference to “angels” and TOS series had the Beings of Light who were also called Seraphs in scripts. These beings were aliens, but Ron Moore has said that there will be no aliens in the re-imagined series. What if the head characters are these “angels” — headSix did refer to herself as an “angel of God” — and both are synonymous with either the Kobolians or The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken. In keeping with the theme of “All this has happened before and will happen again,” it seems likely that the Kobolians are in fact some version of Cylon who either created humans or who were trying to stop the cycle that keeps repeating by living in peace with humans. At some point, someone, possibly The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken, violated the taboo against creating new lifeforms and the peace was broken. The humans formed the 12 Colonies and the “13th Tribe” comprised of these new Cylon lifeforms left to find “Earth” since they were unwelcome anywhere else.


John Cavil says: “I don’t want to be human. I want to see gamma rays. I want hear x-rays. I want to smell dark matter. . . I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws and feel the solar wind flowing over me.”


The 13th Tribe settled on what is now the “cinder planet” and called it “Earth.” Since we’ve seen no evidence that this planet is in fact the planet we currently live on, I’m still not convinced it’s the real Earth. While living there they began to procreate and forgot or eschewed resurrection. The Final Five, with some kind of intuitive leap by Ellen Tigh, re-invented resurrection technology after being warned of the impending apocalypse by head characters: Sam saw a woman, Tory saw a man, and Galen thought there was a chip in his head. I think these head characters, including headSix and headBaltar, are Kobolian messengers warning them of the actions of The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken, a figure who may be synonymous with the Centurions’ One True God. Also, what happened to the Cylons who destroyed the the 13th Colony? Did all of them perish on the planet?

When John Cavil tells Ellen that the resurrection technology has been destroyed and that he fears their extinction, Ellen doesn’t seem particularly frightened. Does she know that there is still the original resurrection facility on the ship the Final Five traveled on from the 13th Colony? Also, John Cavil says that the humans “destroyed the hub, but they don’t even know about the colony. All of your equipment is still there.”

I assume this “colony” Cavil refers to is the “13th Colony” on the cinder planet (but I’m not ruling out some other colony somewhere else) as this part of the story occurs some months before the humans find the cinder planet.

UPDATE: If John Cavil is indeed referring to some lab of Ellen’s on the cinder planet, it now makes sense that her old Viper and previous body would be found there in that it’s likely this facility is where Starbuck resurrected.


If John Cavil is so unhappy with being in a humanoid body and has the ability to hack his subroutines even, why can’t he refuse to download into a new body and exist only as an AI, or perhaps download into a Centurion or Raider? Why is he stuck in this one humanoid form?


What if Daniel or The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken figured out a way to procreate and simultaneously preserve resurrection? What if this is how Starbuck was born and/or resurrected? We know that Kara is something fundamentally different.


How did the Colonials and the 13th Colony create nearly identical Centurion model Cylons more than 2,000 years apart and with no communication between the two groups? Before “No Exit,” I figured the Five must have had some part in the development of Centurions, but now we know they did not arrive until after they were created. Did The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken communicate with the 13th Tribe and also Daniel Graystone? Did Centurion monotheism come from Daniel recreating his daughter Zoe who was involved with a monotheistic group?


In “Sometimes A Great Notion” Sam says that he played “Along the Watchtower” for the woman he loved and looks at Tory as he says this implying that she was the woman that he loved. In “No Exit” we learn that Tory and Galen were an item and were in fact planning to marry. This doesn’t mean that Tory and Sam weren’t involved, but it does seem odd to me that the Five are comprised of two couples and an odd person out. Was Tory indeed the woman Sam loved and who he played “Watchtower” for, or was that another woman? If it does refer to another woman then who is she and why was she not included in their resurrection plans? Sam has a steadfast loyalty to Kara despite her not deserving it on a number of occasions. In the Bear McCreary interview, Michael Trucco has said that:

The Cylon reveal changed almost everything in terms of my approach to the character. I say ‘almost everything’. Sam’s love for Kara is unwavering. That hasn’t changed. There are certain truths in the humanity (or cylonity in this case) of your character that help ground you as the actor portraying that character. For me, when it comes to playing Anders, it is that love and loyalty to Kara that drives his intentions and passions.

Does this loyalty come from Trucco’s portrayal of Sam or was it purposely included by the writers? If it’s on purpose, why is Sam so loyal? Like the thousands of years long relationships of Ellen-Saul and Tory-Galen, is there also a Kara-Sam pairing? If so, what does this mean for Kara and Lee?


In “No Exit,” Ellen turns to Boomer and asks: “What about the swirl? Has he [John Cavil] told you about the swirl?” The exchange seems so random and nonsensical, so I have to wonder if it means something or why include it?

16 Responses to “Among Bright Stars I'm Lost”

  1. Thanks! It seems weird to me that there might be something of Ellen’s lab left on the cinder planet, but no mention whatsoever of the ship they used to initially download to. Also, the 13th Tribe did at one point have resurrection hubs — what happened to them? And the swirl…I totally missed that! Wow.

  2. Good comments; you caught a lot of the things I noticed too (esp. Cavil’s mention of “The Colony,” which I thought might be a reference to cinder Earth as well, and Sam’s remark about Galen thinking he had a chip in his head…where have we heard THAT before?).

    One follow-up note: curious about “the swirl?” Have a read…or just re-watch Precipice.

  3. Why would “organic memory transfer” limited only to Cylons? Granted, she wouldn’t have a previous user account or anything, but…

  4. UPDATE: If John Cavil is indeed referring to some lab of Ellen’s on the cinder planet, it now makes sense that her old Viper and previous body would be found there in that it’s likely this facility is where Starbuck resurrected.

    This only if Starbuck is a Cylon.

  5. Organic memory transfer is only half the battle; there’d need to be a body for her to download into. Now, granted, we could maybe assume that her memories were held “in state” while a clone was grown…but if so, who grew the clone? Also, we don’t know the exact mechanism for memory transfer, but given the opening sequence in No Exit, one could probably be forgiven for presuming that it in some way involves certain data pathways that Cylons possess (hence their ability to interface with computers).

    Mind you, we don’t even know the answer to the question of how Starbuck a) got to Earth after exploding in Maelstrom in the first place, and b) how that much was left of the Viper that, in Maelstrom, visibly exploded into tiny fragments.

    There was a rumour floating around, which I’ll see if I can’t track down, that we can expect to see original Centurions (“Guardians,” perhaps?) in the series. Given the rather brutal experimentation we saw in association with them in Razor, we may be able to infer a connection between them and Starbuck, especially given Olmos’ statements concerning the brutality of the mechanism of Kara’s return.

    As to something you asked previously: there’s no telling what became of the Thirteenth Tribe’s resurrection hubs; they may have been land-based facilities rather than orbital/interstellar craft, and thus would have been destroyed in the holocaust (presumably).

  6. The specific spoiler has since been deleted from the article in which it appeared, but for what it’s worth, here was the basic thrust of it: the Guardians featured at the end of Razor were a plot point that “could be expected to carry over into the fourth season.”

    And I don’t believe we’ve seen them yet.

  7. Norman: Because I didn’t know about it. Thanks for the info. I’m headed over there right now.

  8. I can definitely see why you thought of it. Here’s Wikipedia’s summary of it.

    BTW, your own post on “No Exit” was fantastic and I’m still processing my response.

  9. Here’s a transcript of “No Exit.”

  10. I had those same ideas when I read the Wikipedia summary, but figured you’d already arrived at them and didn’t want to steal your thunder. 🙂

    Do you think the 13th Tribe traveled to “Earth” via jumpdrive or at sub-luminal speeds? That would really mess with the timeline. I can kind of see the 13th Tribe eschewing resurrection technology if they’d figured out how to procreate, but I can’t see them forgetting jumpdrive technology.

  11. I thought it was time to revisit what the First Hybrid said:

    At last, they have come for me. I feel their lives, their destinies spilling out before me. The denial of the one true path, played out on a world not their own, will end soon enough.

    Unless this is a deliberate misdirection, the “they” in the first sentence refers to the “their” in the second sentence. It refers to a group refusing the “one true path,” which I take to mean belief in the One True God of the Centurions. This would mean he’s referring to the 13th Tribe who we now know were polytheistic like the Colonials. It makes more sense that the First Hybrid would have some connection to the 13th Tribe of Cylons rather than to Colonial humans.

    Soon there will be four, glorious in awakening, struggling with the knowledge of their true selves. The pain of revelation bringing new clarity. And in the midst of confusion, he will find her. Enemies brought together by impossible longing. Enemies now joined as one. The way forward at once unthinkable, yet inevitable. And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering.

    This obviously refers to the Fab Four discovering their true natures. The “he will find her” bit I initially thought referred to Tigh finding Ellen, but now I think it refers to Tigh, Six, and their son. Their son represents the once unthinkable way forward in the joining of the 13th Tribe Cylons and the skinjobs. Hera is the product of a skinjob and a human, so that’s different, but we do have the potential for a kind of Adam and Eve.

    I can see them all. The seven, now six, self-described machines who believe themselves without sin. But in time, it is sin that will consume them. They will know enmity, bitterness, the wrenching agony of one splintering into many.

    The “seven now six” bugs me since we know that there are indeed eight. Not only have the skinjobs not lost one, they’ve gained one, but the rest of that seems to refer to the skinjobs splitting apart once they learn what John Cavil has done.

    And then, they will join the promised land, gathered on the wings of an angel. Not an end, but a beginning.

    I really do think that Starbuck is this angel. With the Galactica on its last legs as well as other Fleet ships that must surely be in the same situation, I think they’ll settle a blue planet nearby that we will recognize as Earth, but that they will name “Earth” just like the 13th Tribe did on the cinder planet.

    What if part of the problem in this universe is that the 13th Tribe did not worship their creator, The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken/One True God? Instead they worshiped the Lords of Kobol, who are the gods and creators of the Colonial humans? This relates back to “[T]he denial of the one true path, played out on a world not their own, will end soon enough.”

  12. How come you don’t submit your Galactica posts to the Galactica blog carnival?

    Check it out here:

    Submit here:

  13. This:

    Beaches are so far seeming to be important — the Five’s memories started to return on a beach on the cinder planet, that same beach sent Dualla over the edge, there were photos of a beach in Dualla’s locker, John Cavil and Ellen used to walk on a beach with Daniel…

    made me think of this. Notice the number and sexes of people on the book cover.

  14. There are some loose parallels that I think I may remark on in an upcoming post. For example, central to “On the Beach” is the story of a journey in pursuit of a Morse Code signal coming from somewhere in the U.S., which turns out to be meaningless; the U.S. is found to be a dead wasteland, the signal originating from an errant pop bottle tapping a telegraph key as it rolls back and forth in the wind through a shattered window.

    One also notes that toward the end of the novel, the captain of the submarine which makes that voyage, rather than see his ship rot in a harbour after he dies, opts to scuttle his boat in international waters. Ron Moore, in the podcasts, keeps noting that the damage to Galactica will have wider implications later on in the show; one wonders if perhaps there is not some hint to be derived here as to what the ship’s ultimate fate may be?

  15. Do you think the 13th Tribe traveled to “Earth” via jumpdrive or at sub-luminal speeds? That would really mess with the timeline. I can kind of see the 13th Tribe eschewing resurrection technology if they’d figured out how to procreate, but I can’t see them forgetting jumpdrive technology.

    There was an interesting point made on BSG Wiki about this:

    It makes logical sense that, after a cataclysmic event and exodus the technology of a given people would take a significant step backwards, since the ships would eventually run out of power, and it would be a long time before they would be able to re-create the same technology. And given the challenge of surviving in the early years after such an event, it also makes sense that, after the original travelers died out, much of their knowledge and memory would be lost, save in written texts, which, to their less technologically advanced descendants, would mean little. It also makes sense that, when the technology of that people advanced to the point were they could create artificial intelligence that they would use it to ease their own burdens, thus creating an intelligent slave race that would eventually rebel if treated badly. That would probably happen even if all technology hadn’t been lost, as seen from the miniseries, Baltar is questioning why they aren’t allowed to make artificial intelligences and the newer battlestars have networked computers. People would always eventually come back to the thought that they could create a race of slave machines.

    It’s that first (bolded) point that’s really key, I think, and in a sense we kind of see hints of it emerging again in the series. Tyrol just told Adama not to jump Galactica for “a while,” until he has time to repair the ship. We can probably assume that the other ships are also suffering degradation, especially those ones that have sustained combat damage as well. There’s also the matter of tylium; what if there’s no deposits thereof anywhere within range of whatever planet the Colonials end up arriving at?

    Those various factors would spell an effective end to FTL technology, potentially for a few centuries; technology which is not used, and is not immediately useful to the survival of any established colony is technology which will be discarded.

    The same could be said of the Thirteenth Tribe; they may have used FTL to get to cinder-Earth, but who is to say that they were able — or willing — to preserve the technology once they arrived there? Deliberately forgetting technology seems unreasonable…but what if cinder-Earth was a bitch to get settled on in the first place? Perhaps the forgetfulness was involuntary?

    The only potential snag there is the implied back-and-forthing that went on between Earth and Kobol; if the Thirteenth Tribe did have FTL, they obviously hadn’t forgotten about it some 400 years after their landing (the forgetfulness came later still)…and if they didn’t, Kobol has to be really darn close (relatively speaking) to cinder-Earth.

  16. I’d thought about looking at that prophecy again as well; I have to think a bit more about your analysis and what my own would have been before I say too much about it though.

    That first part could, I think, still refer to the Colonials, for example; one notes that none of the Final Five were present (I don’t think) at the battle that saw the First Hybrid destroyed. Moreover, the First Hybrid was identified with the experimentations of the Colonian Centurions in the “Razor Flashbacks.”

    Applying that “world not their own” bit to the Colonials could make for some interesting speculation…although they very notion of a colony implies a people settling that which is not their native land/world.

    As to the last remark you make…that’s a good hypothesis. I’ll have to give it more thought.

    I’m an engineer by major, and a theologian by hobby/interest/minor (if I had been allowed to declare a minor, that is). It’s rare for me to find a show that gives the theological parts of my mind such a workout, but BSG has been consistently surprising in this way.

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