The Cycle of Time, or the Cycle, is an inescapable recursion following a civilization's creation of synthetic life wherein the ultimate result is most often devastating, in apocalyptic proportions, to the detriment of aforesaid creators — in other terms, this is a reductive conceptualization of children rebelling against their parents in an extremely violent way.
Each iteration of the cycle begins when a civilization creates intelligent biological or mechanical beings. These creations rebel against their masters over an idealogical schism often relating to their own self-determination, resulting in a devastating event typically resulting in the loss of technology. In at least two iterations of the cycle, otherworldly beings and prophetic visions guide a few individuals to ensure that a divine plan is carried out. The survivors on one or both sides of the conflict engage in a mass exodus, and eventually repeat the cycle.
- The war between the Twelve Tribes the the Thirteenth Tribe's "Cylons" on Kobol, leading to a great exodus as documented in the Sacred Scrolls as documented in the writings of Pythia (TRS: "Home, Part II", "Revelations", "Sometimes a Great Notion", "No Exit").
- The war between the Thirteenth Tribe and their "Centurions" on the original Earth (TRS: "Revelations", "Sometimes a Great Notion", "No Exit").
- The Cylon War, in which the Cylon Centurions rebelled against the humans of the Twelve Colonies. Before the war, five members of the tribe were warned, allowing them to escape and reach the Twelve Colonies in time to end the First Cylon War (TRS: "Miniseries", "No Exit").
- The Ones' coup against the Final Five following the creation of Humanoid Cylons from Twelve Colonies' "stock," leading to the Ones' eradication of the Number Seven line (TRS: "No Exit").
- The Fall of the Twelve Colonies, in which the modern humanoid Cylons attacked the humans of the Twelve Colonies (TRS: "Miniseries", "The Plan"). After the fall, visions guided a number of humans (Gaius Baltar, Laura Roslin) and Cylons (Number Three, Caprica Six) in order to guide the Colonials and the rebel Cylons to the second Earth and protect Hera Agathon, allowing her to become the Mitochondrial Eve of later generations of humanity (TRS: "Daybreak").
Additionally, the fact that the Sacred Scrolls mention the Cycle of Time implies that the aforementioned apocalypse on Kobol was not the first iteration of the Cycle. However, Pythia's foresight regarding the pervasive, inescapable cycle is the oldest surviving record at the time of the exodus following the Fall of the Twelve Colonies.
Breaking the Cycle
In the first recorded act of attempting to break the cycle by extreme means, William Adama, Lee Adama, Romo Lampkin, other notable surviving humans, Thirteenth Tribe descendants, and Humanoid Cylons elect to:
- set free the surviving Significant Seven's creations to determine their own destiny, with basestars and other war materiel at hand;
- abandon decaying and unsustainable ships, resulting in the destruction of the surviving Fleet's vessels that are slaved into Sam Anders' "hybridized" mind;
- and, disperse various survivors across the new planet that Kara Thrace lead them to, which the survivors christen "Earth."
- Fermi paradox article at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- Wired.com: What the Frak? Battlestar Galactica's Science Explained (30 October 2010) (web.archive.org backup link)
- This is actually the opening from "Peter Pan", which Ron D. Moore cites as his source. Podcast: Frak Party Q and A , Seek to: 23:28. Total running time: 78:27.
- There are other variations of this statement, as noted in the opening scenes of "No Exit."
- This is a "misunderstanding of terms" vis a vis Hera as explained by Patrick Di Justo, the co-writer of The Science of Battlestar Galactica, refer to "See also" section of this article.
- While this focused on "Red Stripe" Centurions, this also infers the release of Raiders, Basestars and the basestar Hybrids, for those constructs have varying degrees of sentience.
- It should be noted that these creations have the only means of waging effective war following the Battle of the Colony. Given humanity's survival 150,000 years hence, such war making means were never effectively used.