Battlestar Wiki:Real point of view

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The Real Point of View, from the perspective and purpose of Battlestar Wiki, is an encyclopedic description or detailing of events, cast, crew and production information on either Original Series or Re-imagined Series.

Most articles on Battlestar Wiki are written with an "in-universe" voice. Aside from documenting cast and crew, articles with a real-world perspective are relatively rare.

Differences in the Real-World Perspective

The real-world point of view speaks in an "out-of-universe" voice, where a contributor matter-of-factly documents the show and its events and objects as a fictional work, never attempting to write information as if the characters, situations and events were "real."

Out-of-universe information generally discusses the "reality" of the objects, places and events used in the production of Battlestar Galactica. For instance, the Small arms article is a totally real-world perspective on the weapons and props used in the Re-imagined Series.

In contrast, articles like Algae planet are completely in-universe, documenting the subject matter from the perspective of an omniscient "reporter" who "lives" in the Battlestar universe. The reporter is able to chronicle what occurs to the characters of Battlestar Galactica without channelling their knowledge of out-of-universe history as part of their reporting.

Many articles on Battlestar Wiki mix (appropriately and inappropriately) in-universe and out-of-universe data in articles. Below are excerpts designed to help you "hear" the difference in articles in the two voice perspectives.

In-universe voicing (article excerpt)

An unnamed, habitable, algae-bearing planet is the Fleet's destination after its main food stores are contaminated and its population left in a starvation state.

After almost all of the ships manage to get across the almost-unnavigable and deadly star cluster cloud, harvesting and processing of the algae begins in order to resupply the Fleet (The Passage).

Out-of-universe voicing (article excerpts)

*Original Series fans may remember the Straits of Madagon, a star cluster filled with Cylon mines and blinding light that the original Fleet must traverse in the series premiere, "Saga of a Star World."

*The dark, dank, extremely dirty interior of Ragnar Anchorage was filmed in the Roger's Sugar Mill in Vancouver, according to the Miniseries DVD commentary.

The How-To of Real-World voicing

Some articles suffer when descriptions of production or cast and crew notes are mixed with an episode or character article's chronicling of events in Battlestar's fictional world, leaving the perspective and message of the overall article harder to understand. Contributors can handle this problem in several ways.

  1. Remove the out-of-universe information.
  2. Move the out-of-universe information into the Notes section of an article.
  3. Use footnotes to reference the out-of-universe information.
  4. Create a new article with the out-of-universe information.

Removing the out-of-universe information

Removing the out-of-universe information should not be done except where the out-of-universe reference is not germane to Battlestar itself.

A common type of references such as these involve contributor's notes that contrast or compare Battlestar events, characters or situations to unrelated films or television shows. For instance, one contributor noted that the term "Boomer" was used in the manga anime Bubblegum Crisis to describe the androids in that show, and attempted to relate it to the character of Sharon "Boomer" Valerii and her Cylon heritage. This note is not germane because this character was named after the Original Series character of Boomer, which existed years before Bubblegum Crisis existed.

Compartmentalize the out-of-universe information in the article

Many articles that mix in-universe and out-of-universe perspectives have the out-of-universe information as bulleted items in a Notes section of the article. Generally, this is an acceptable way to quickly add such information in an article without creating distracting out-of-universe information in the in-universe article body.

Such notes, however, have some disadvantages. One problem is that they don't allow for a reader to connect the reference to specific sections of the article, nor do they alert the reader of these special notes unless the reader actually reads the Notes section. Another problem is that the Notes section is a general location for trivia, related articles and other minutiae. Too many notes in the section will make it hard to read.

If the out-of-universe reference has photos for contrast or comparison, you might be able to combine the use of italics to "set off" the out-of-universe text, and frame the italicized text adjacent to the photos. A good example of this is in the Case orange article, where a photo from the real world (U.S. President Johnson's swearing-in) is compared to a screenshot of a scene that was posed to reflect the mood of the out-of-universe picture. Keep in mind that too much italicized text can be distracting, which means it is probable that other means of breaking out the text is needed.

Use footnotes to reference the out-of-universe information

A creative and more encyclopedic way to reference real-world information for an episode, event, character article is to use footnotes. Like notes, footnotes appear at the end of the article.

Unlike notes, footnotes are embedded within the article with the <ref> and </ref> tags after the specific in-universe datum. When the article is complete, a special footnote link appears, which allows a reader to be aware of more information on the subject.

Articles can use both Notes and footnotes. Footnotes, however, can lend itself to powerful citations that embed themselves to allow any contributor to follow sources or other minutae throughout an article.

The History of the Twelve Colonies and Humanoid Cylon articles use heavy footnotes to document in-universe data with real-world references.

To use footnotes:

  1. Create a section named ==References== at the end of the article body, after the Notes section (if any).
  2. Below the new References section, add <div style="font-size:85%"><references/></div>.
  3. Within the article text, place any footnotes between <ref> and </ref> tags immediately after the relevant topic. Make sure that your citations are written in a suitable form, like a MLA-style citation, or in complete sentences with proper punctuation and diction. Out-of-universe notes should use normal voice, not present voicing as used for episode chronicling.
  4. Use the page previewing feature when editing to check that your references appear properly in the References section. The footnotes will automatically number and renumber themselves as you enter or remove citations.
  5. Save the article and enjoy the results.

Create a new article with the out-of-universe information

In rare instances, the volume of real-world information is such that notes or footnotes would make the article too complex to manage. In these cases, a real-world article can be created. Articles that discuss props, production notes, failed series continuations and the like may need an article that stands on its own, linking to in-universe and out-of-universe articles to help document and cite. The Small arms article on Re-imagined Series weaponry is an excellent example of a fully real-world point-of-view article.