Daybreak, Part II/Notes
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The fate of the Colonials and Rebel Cylons
- This episode marks the deaths of Sharon "Boomer" Valerii, John Cavil, Margaret "Racetrack" Edmondson, Hamish "Skulls" McCall, Tory Foster, Samuel Anders, Laura Roslin, and all the Cylons at the Colony. Kara Thrace, having fulfilled her purpose, vanishes without a trace and is taken to a place unknown. In detail:
- Boomer was killed by Athena in revenge for taking Hera, sleeping with Helo and beating her in the lavatory. Also she was a security threat and there was no way to take her along and watch her effectively. Despite her redeeming act of giving back Hera, she couldn't be trusted.
- Cavil takes his own life in Galactica's CIC when the resurrection designs are irrevocably lost with the death of Tory Foster.
- It is unknown what happens to the other members of the Cavil/Number One line. The death of only a single Cavil is depicted, but any other Number Ones would face eventual extinction like all other humanoid Cylons.
- Racetrack and Skulls's Raptor is struck by an asteroid fragment, puncturing their canopy and killing them on impact (as well as at least three marines on board). When another asteroid hits the Raptor, Racetrack's limp hand hits the launch button that fires the nuclear missiles.
- Tory is killed by Galen Tyrol upon his learning Tory murdered his wife Cally during the Final Five's mutual and involuntary sharing memories while downloading the Resurrection designs to the Colony.
- This is ironic considering that in their previous lives on the original Earth the pair were madly in love and planned on marriage.
- Anders pilots Galactica and guided the Fleet into the Sun.
- A possible CG error occurs here; look closely and you can see either the Hitei Kan or the Daru Mozu being flown backwards into the sun.
Backwards flying Refinery Ship.
- Roslin dies peacefully as Adama gives her a bird's eye view of their new home in a Raptor. She is the first Colonial human to die on Earth. During the Raptor flight she passed away exactly one minute and thirty seconds from being shown the spot Bill Adama wanted to build his-their-cabin.
- Since they have neither female Cylons nor Resurrection technology, the Cavils, Simons and Dorals on the various Cylon baseships will presumably die out. The Cylons among the Humans on Earth have already accepted that fate, and pledged to live out the remainder of their lives contributing to humanity's survival on the new Earth.
- Kara is presumably taken by the same force, stated to be God by Virtual Six, that resurrected her.
- The fates of numerous supporting characters are not shown.
- Hot Dog is last seen flying his Viper back to Galactica after the initial cease fire. He likely survives since there is no mention of him being killed, and he is alive when the truce is called and the remaining Vipers and Raptors safely land on Galactica.
- Since she isn't seen volunteering in the hanger deck or depicted in the attack, it is very likely that Diana Seelix didn't volunteer.
- Ishay is not seen after Roslin leaves sickbay.
- The episode also never touches on what becomes of Baltar's cult, including Jeanne, Paulla and Tracey Anne. Founding member Jeanne is absent from the finale but it is perfectly safe to assume that she and her fellow Cultists are with the people on the planet. Paulla and Tracey Anne were last seen on the last Raptor trying to get Baltar to come with them to the Baseship where many of the civilians including Baltar's flock were taken. They were unsuccessful and Paulla and Tracey Anne went to the baseship without incident. Jeanne was almost certainly there and with the settlement on Earth.
- Captain Kelly, last seen in Blood on the Scales does not appear in the finale at all.
- The recurring subplot about the Sons of Ares and its growing conflict with the Cult of Baltar is unresolved.
- The Raiders are seen using missiles for the first time since the Fall of the Twelve Colonies.
- Racetrack's Raptor, and possibly the other ones in its flight group destroyed in the assault on the Colony, was carrying the last nukes from Galactica and Pegasus, marking the end of humanity's use of these weapons (which were used to destroy the Twelve Colonies at the start of the series) for another 150,000 years. Presumably the baseship's store of nukes remains intact and some weren't "borrowed" by the humans for the attack.
- It is very likely that Saul Tigh, Galen Tyrol and definitely Tory Foster never recovered their first hand memories of life before and after Old Earth and before Cavil killed them and blocked their true memories when they resurrected. Tory Foster will certainly never have that chance since she was killed by Tyrol in a fit of rage over Tory's murder of Cally.
- The tracing of the human blood line through Mitochondrial DNA to the furthest maternal common ancestor and dubbing her Mitochondrial Eve is a real theory. Mitochondrial Eve was the matrilineal most recent common ancestor, the most recent person in the female line that all of humanity can be said to be from. In other words, Hera is everybody's mother's mother's ... mother's mother. This does NOT imply that she is the only ancestor of modern humans. In fact, it implies that each female alive at the time either has no surviving descendants, or is ALSO a common ancestor (though not a purely maternal one). This also means that we as a species are related to Athena, Hera's mother.
- In the series, Hera is Mitochondrial Eve, meaning that all of modern humanity is a combination of Colonial humanity and Cylon, although there maybe ancestors of native New Earth in the current population from the male line of descendants.
- The fossilized remains are said to be of a young woman, indicating Hera does not live to see a middle age, though she has children before she dies. Specifically, she must have had daughters to pass on her mitochondrial DNA. Note that in real life the remains of Mitochondrial Eve have not been found.
- Since mitochondrial DNA is inherited from the mother only, and Hera has a Cylon mother, her mitochondrial DNA and that of all her descendants is pure Cylon making us all direct descendants of Athena.
- Also in the podcast, RDM is happy to confirm that Tyrol did find some natives in Scotland and ended up being the 'King of the Scots', apparently since Aaron Douglas loved the idea of Scottish civilization (with its tradition of great engineers) being descended from Tyrol. This may suggest that Galen Tyrol, a male Cylon, had successfully mated and produced children with a New Earth native human female to produce at least one other hybrid.
- Gaius Baltar, with deliberate forethought, gave Caprica Six the back door to the Colonial defenses. He still did not know Caprica Six was a Cylon, but he did commit willful corporate espionage knowing he would be punished for it if caught. Previously Baltar's giving of Caprica Six the secrets was implied - or at least suggested - to be from naive vanity to impress his girlfriend Caprica Six. The Colonists still don't know this.
- The Colonials never did find out that Gaius Baltar gave Gina Inviere a nuclear device on the space liner Cloud 9 destroying that liner and all on board near what would be called New Caprica. That same explosion would bring the Cylons to New Caprica a year later due to them being a light year away at the time they saw it, making him responsible for the occupation.
- Humanity, along with the Cylons, finally reaches its new homeworld, names it Earth, and the humans of today are the distant descendants of Hera.
- Before deciding that Galactica should reach Earth in prehistoric times, Moore toyed with the idea of having the Fleet arrive during the Hellenistic period and formed the basis of the ancient Greek religion and society. However, this idea was rejected as it suggested that the Colonials blessed only Western civilization with their knowledge rather than all of humanity, and it did not acknowledge Hera's importance. Moore read an article on the idea of a common human ancestor which he decided should be Hera. This also explains why the Fleet personnel landed in Africa (the network had been suggesting it should be North America, presumably to match the final shot of Season 3).
- According to the podcast for the episode, the destruction of the Fleet and the spreading out of the surviving Colonials over the planet's surface was supposed to be a sign of humanity's committal to their new world, not necessarily promoting a Luddite agenda. The comparison that is drawn is Cortes burning his ships on the shores of central America so his men would not have a way of retreating if things got difficult. However, RDM later mentions that one of the last shots was to have been of the Colonials destroying their last Raptors, which suggests that the Luddite approach was more what they were aiming for.
- There was no final population count given after the engagement with the Cavil forces. However, there were no reported deaths by accident or violence before the engagement so the population count is most likely the same as it was in "Daybreak, Part I" before the attack on the Cylon Colony, 39,516.
- A new population count post-engagement is given in the separate iTunes release of Daybreak, Part III. The count is 39,406, putting Colonial casualties from the battle at 110. Then shortly after their arrival on New Earth former President of the 12 Colonies of Kobol Laura Roslin dies, and Kara Thrace vanishes without a trace. From this we can derive that the number of people settled on New Earth is 39,404. This does not include the unknown number of humanoid Cylons from the baseship (which probably was never stated) and possibly Athena and the remaining three of the Final Five who aren't considered human survivors.
- The Centurions are granted full independence and subsequently depart in the rebel Baseship to pursue their own destiny. Their status 150,000 years later remains a mystery. The Colonials and humanoid Cylons believe it is unlikely they will be a threat, as they have no reason to bear a grudge this time around.
- When Galactica and the Fleet fly into the Sun, only 15 ships can be seen when at least 35 ships were still in the Fleet during the Mutiny, and upwards of 90 after the events of the mini-series. However, establishing shots of the Fleet rarely show more than a dozen ships in one shot regardless, and the implication is that the entire Fleet was destroyed.
- The fate of the planets of the Twelve Colonies after 150,000 years is unknown. Presumably their climates and surfaces degraded, the beginning stages of which were shown on Caprica in the months following the Cylon attack. It can also be assumed that radiation levels eventually dropped and permitted the flourishing of life once again, as seen on Kobol and to a limited extent on the first Earth.
Aftermath of the War
- There is a poetic ring to the nature of the conflict of the Second Cylon War:
- It began with the Cylon attack on Colonies nearly wiping out humankind. It ended with the Colonial attack on the Cylon Colony very likely wiping out the Cylons who didn't join with the humans.
- Shortly after the Cylon attack on Caprica, Baltar - having unintentionally brought about the near-annihilation of the human species - flees Caprica when Karl Agathon gives him his place on a Raptor, feeling that his own life is less important to save than a famed scientist's. But at the end of the series, it is Baltar who puts his own life at risk for the sake of saving Agathon's daughter Hera and expresses concern for her future well being to the very end of the series (both ends of this parallel occur in wide open fields).
- Agathon and Cylon Sharon Valerii are seen together near the very beginning of the series and near the very end.
- The earliest known detail we see of Gaius Baltar's life is his effort to break away from his family history as farmers, and his shame over his heritage. The last event we see in his embrace of a new beginning as a farmer.
- Baltar and Number Six are seen together near the very beginning of the series and near the very end.
- The earliest event we see from Laura Roslin's life (retroactively) is the death of her sisters, killed during transit. The last event of her life that we see is her own death, which occurs during transport.
- The series starts and finishes with two "endings" for Galactica: its scheduled decommissioning in the mini-series, and its destruction by setting course into the sun in the finale.
- The series begins with a selfish decision Baltar makes (to give Caprica Six access to military mainframes) that nearly destroys Colonial humanity. It ends with a selfless decision Baltar makes (to fulfill his destiny in saving Hera, along with Caprica-Six) that gives Colonial humanity a new start in the form of Hera.
- At the beginning of the series, William Adama divorces his wife soon after returning to Colonial military service. At the end of the series, Adama abandons all trappings of the military to be with his unofficial wife Laura Roslin, upon whose finger he puts his wedding ring just after she dies.
- This poetic ring is also in line with Romo Lampkin's observation of him being President of it being "Poetic justice" and Lee Adama's "What goes around, comes around" since Lampkin originally pushed him to be a politician.
- The Cylons started the war with the attack on the 12 Colonies by being able to use a backdoor program to shutdown the Colonial defenses including those of the more advanced Vipers and Battlestars. They were able to only use the less advance Mark IV Vipers and Battlestar Galactica. At the end of the war the Colonials at the Battle of the Colony was able to shutdown the Colony's defenses by using Sam Anders as a Hybrid to talk remotely to the Colony's Hybrids who recognized him and stop firing. The Cavil Faction Cylons could only use lobotomized Raiders to attack the Galactica. Indeed, the Cylons were revisited by the destruction they wrought on the human Colonies using nuclear weapons by the Colonials using nuclear weapons to send the Colony into the singularity.
- Ronald D. Moore has a walk-on appearance as the browser of the National Geographic magazine in New York City.
- The shelters erected by the Colonials on Earth resemble Quonset huts, World War II-era temporary structures.
- The title of the episode coincides with German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's book of the same title, and fits with numerous references to Nietzsche's philosophy throughout the episode. Most obviously, Baltar, in his speech to Cavil in the CIC, states that "God is a force of nature … beyond good and evil." Beyond Good and Evil is another of Nietzsche's works. Baltar goes on to say "Good and evil—we created those," echoing Nietzsche's claim in the First Treatise of On the Genealogy of Morality that morality, including the concepts of "good" and "evil," are human constructs whose utility must be examined. Baltar also asks Cavil if he wants to "break the cycle of birth, death, rebirth…" which recalls the Pythian prophecy that "All this has happened before. All this will happen again." This is also a reference to Nietzsche's concept of eternal recurrence, that living one's life exactly the same, over and over for eternity, can be the worst of punishments (for those who live trivial lives) but also the greatest of gifts (for those who live great lives).
- Galactica ramming the Colony is foretold in the imagery of Hera's play with tactical models at the beginning of "Islanded in a Stream of Stars". She is shown on top of Galactica's tactical light table with models of Galactica, three Baseships and three Cylon Raiders, sliding Galactica against the side of a baseship.
- Shortly after recovering from being shot by Boomer, Admiral Adama visits her corpse in Galactica's morgue in "The Farm" and asks, "Why?" There is no indication that in the weeks Boomer was held on Galactica during the events between "Deadlock" and "Someone to Watch Over Me" that he ever visited her to find out why she shot him, but he was clearly still bitter about it in "Someone to Watch Over Me". He knows she was programmed to do it, but he never resolves the emotional aspect of it, and with her death Adama never learns the answer to that question. His not visiting her might indicate he didn't care anymore.
- Saul Tigh offers a similar deal to the one the Final Five offered to the Centurions during the First Cylon War: An end to the attacks on humanity in exchange for resurrection. During the first war, it was in exchange for resurrection and the creation of humanoid Cylons.
- According to the podcast, the Galactica was originally going to jump right inside the Colony for the attack, but RDM changed it because he wanted the ship to have open space around it for the final Viper/Raider dogfight.
- Galactica is shown executing a jump without retracting her flight pods, which was earlier said to be required (Miniseries, Night 2). However, it is possible that the resulting stresses from jumping with the pods extended contribute to Galactica's structural failure.
- There may be a clue in the nature of the damage incurred following the jump. A wave-like motion appears to run the length of the ship; perhaps FTL jumps always inflict similar stresses, but under normal conditions the nesting of the flight pods into their recessed 'valleys' (and their support arms into the presumably void spaces between them) lends structural reinforcement to counter said forces.
- Galactica has also been upgraded with Cylon jump technology, so it's possible that it no longer needs to retract the pods, like Pegasus.
- If you take a close look at the flight pods right after the FTL jump, you will see vipers being thrown forward, almost out of the pod.
- According to the podcast, when Laura asks "Where have you taken us, Kara?" Starbuck was supposed to reply, "Somewhere along the watchtower." Director Michael Rymer did not like this idea and simply didn't shoot the line. Moore later agreed that it was better not to have Kara speak.
- The shot of Galactica flying over the Moon and reaching Earth was inspired by real-life shots from the Apollo space program, specifically Apollo 8's shot of coming around the dark side of the Moon and the Apollo 17 shot of the Earth itself.
- A portion of this episode was being filmed in Kamloops, BC during the week of June 16, 2008. Local extras of all ages were utilized for this scene (or scenes) and were required to have an athletic build and a clean-cut look, or to be slim with long hair or dreadlocks. Extras were auditioned at Best Western room 137 (in Kamloops) on June 12th . The rural area surrounding Kamloops was previously utilized to depict the algae planet in "The Eye of Jupiter" and "Rapture".
- According to the episode podcast, the sequences on Earth at the end were the ones filmed at Kamloops. Some CGI was used to remove distinctive Canadian evergreen trees from the background and replace them with more African-looking foilage, but otherwise the landscape was actually a decent match for Africa.
- The Kodiak, the command ship of the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) faction from the computer game Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun is seen among the fleet in one establishing shot.
- The final scene, like most of the rest of the series, was filmed in Vancouver, BC, and not in New York City at all. In the final scene with Angel Baltar and Six, "Bread Garden Bakery and Cafe", W Pender St, and Dunsmuir St are visible, all of which are within a couple blocks of each other along Granville St in downtown Vancouver.  Furthermore, a bus passes by just before the credit, sporting the colors of the Coast Mountain Bus Company.
- According to the podcast, Ronald D. Moore was wearing a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt in the final shot, but they chose not to show this. The shot of the realistic Japanese female robot was found by Terry Moore online and was referred to as the 'next' Number Six by RDM.
- Also according to the podcast, Baltar saying "It doesn't like that name," is significant, and is indeed meant to confirm that whatever 'God' is in the series, it isn't necessarily what the name implies.
- The Centurion Model 0005 in the museum case is a retcon. In the Miniseries, it was an Original Series costume, with the black skirt and non-exposed joints. In this episode, it is a CGI First War Centurion 0005 with exposed joints and no black skirt.
- It is not explained why the museum flight pod is shown to be in nearly pristine condition when, in addition to four years of battles and the atmosphere-drop over New Caprica, a Cylon Heavy Raider crashed through the overhead window and crushed several of the exhibits in Scattered. Repairing the museum and exhibits would have seemed to be a low priority during subsequent events.
- Reference (possibly intentional) is made to Olmos' earlier work: Adama's flushing of flamingos while flying a Raptor is reminiscent of the flamingos flushing during the opening credits of Miami Vice, the TV series in which Edward James Olmos co-starred.
- The news network covering the story "Advances in Robotics" as Angel Baltar and Six pass by is MSNBC, the 24 hour news network arm of the NBC Universal media conglomerate which also owns the SyFy Channel (at the time the SciFi Channel), which produces Battlestar Galactica and airs the series in the United States.
- The last advance in robotics shown was a humanoid "cybernetic robot" named "ACTROID", a Japanese design that was unveiled in 2005..
- The ACTROID's appearance in the final scene bookends the first scene of the mini-series in which several "traditional" robotic Cylons appear, following by the first appearance of the attractive humanoid Cylon, Number Six.
- Although many of the magazines on the newsstand appear familiar, close examination reveals that at least some have made-up names. A magazine that appears at first glance to be Sports Illustrated is actually Sports Limited. Also, although the magazine read by Angel Six and Baltar (and Ronald Moore) closely resembles National Geographic, at no time is the complete title of the magazine or its full logo actually shown on screen; furthermore, the back cover of the magazine is solid yellow whereas actual issues of National Geographic always have advertising on the back cover.
- Initially, Helo and Athena were supposed to die and Hera would be raised by Gaius Baltar and Caprica-Six. This would make sense as in the Opera House vision Baltar and Caprica-Six take Hera into the Opera House and Athena and Roslin don't make it inside. It also lends well for a symbolical structure of the series: Caprica-Six kills a child at the beginning and raises one at the end, they destroyed one civilization and then at the end they nurture the foundation of another one.
- Angel Six makes a reference to the Law of Averages: "Let a complex system repeat itself long enough; eventually something surprising might occur." She is actually referring to the Law of Large Numbers. The Law of Averages is a mistaken belief that the outcome of an event is affected by the outcome of previous iterations of the same event.
- Dialogue was cut from the final scene between Angel Six and Angel Baltar, but can be heard on the cast read-through podcast. The full dialogue of the scene is the same up until Baltar states that "It (God) doesn't like to be called that," but then changes with Baltar discussing having a wager on the matter (humanity's survival this time around) with Six, who looks disgusted at the notion. Baltar then smiles and says "Silly, silly me," and they walk off as in the broadcast version.
- As with Part I, the episode does not include the regular opening credits and theme. It does begin with the standard "Previously on Battlestar Galactica" sequence, and the honor of speaking these words in the final episode is given to Edward James Olmos.
- The revelation that the Colonial "humans" evolved separately from Earth humans means that fundamentally none of the so-called "human" characters of the series were actually human in the sense of what we consider human today. Instead, they were an outwardly indistinguishable from Homo sapiens extraterrestrial species with compatible DNA to Homo sapiens as a result of a parallel evolution. The reimagined Battlestar Galactica was actually the saga of an alien race.
- It must be noted that although Dr. Cottle said the DNA of the early Earth humans is "compatible" to Colonial DNA, he didn't say it was exactly the same. Therefore, it's completely fair to conclude that the Colonials and original Earth-evolved humans were not genetically identical - they simply had compatible genetic traits. Yes, in the Battlestar Galactica universe we modern humans are descended from the Colonials, but they were not us and were are not them. We are a hybridization of Colonials and the native humans. So the characters of Battlestar Galactica were indeed "aliens" and not "human" in the modern sense of the term.
- Simon's line "I think you overestimate their chances" echoes a similar moment from "Star Wars: Episode IV," during which the line was said by Grand Moff Tarkin.
- Although Part I had a runtime of one hour, Part II will run for two hours. On iTunes and Amazon video services, Part II is further subdivided into two one-hour parts. On the iTunes version, Part III includes the original titles.
- An even longer cut of Daybreak was released on the DVD and Blu-ray versions of Season 4.5 in July 2009. The cut includes 12 minutes of additional footage, and is formatted as a single film with several of the hard cuts from the TV-formatted version eliminated in favor of more fluid cuts and fadethroughs. It also features a motion picture-style closing credit scroll.