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Talk:Battlestar Galactica: The Final Five 1/Archive 1

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One of the questions regarding this comic book, which was written in collaboration with one of the show's writers after they had finished writing 4.5 (and will thus try to expand on certain things that were introduced), is whether or not it should be considered canonical or as "separate continuity" (as it is right now) like the other comic books (which clearly diverged in many cases).

It's also been referred to by Jane Espenson as showing the backstory of the Final Five in greater depth (meaning at least she also considers it canonical):

Jane: "The dates and sequence of the events surrounded Pythia and Kobol are going to be explored, I understand, in a comic book being written by Seamus Kevin Fahey [who is a "Battlestar" writer] and David Reed." [1]

Recently I also looked into another interview, where the following was said:

"Of course, if ever a show has proven that story can stretch far beyond the actual series screentime, it’s “Battlestar Galactica.” Aside from a raft of webisodes, a planned prequel series, the “Razor” movie, dozens of comics have been published over the last five years, and March’s “The Final Five” miniseries will serve as an official piece of the show’s canon." [2]

This wasn't shown to be said by someone from the show, and it could just be the article writer's own choice of words but that is only the least bit of backup, when considering the rest.

Although it will be separate from the television series I think the writers of the show consider this comic to have the details of certain things they only delved into recently. I think it makes sense that they'd use a medium like this to further some things that weren't explained in great detail and the fact that one writer from the show is making it and at least a second one considers it canonical (and "uses" it to answer questions) means it's very different from all the other comics made before.

This is why I believe we should consider the comic series within the television show's canon, seeing as how it comes from the writers and is considered by some (if not all) of them to be canonical and an official explanation/depiction of some of the show's backstory.--Sauron18 21:53, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I happen to agree with the above assessment -- this comic series is the first one to ever be seemingly 100 percent canonical and TV series writer-endorsed and -referenced (unlike the other ones published to date). Add this to the fact that this entire backstory is not likely to ever be referred to again on-screen in the future (and thus refuted/contradicted), and you now have a very compelling argument for moving this comic series out of the "alternate Dynamite continuity" realm, and right up alongside the actual filmed TV episodes and movies.
If it's good enough for Jane Espenson (and presumably RDM), isn't it good enough for a spot in the primary continuity at the very least?--The Bandsaw Vigilante 05:29, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
It's entirely possible "The Plan" could contradict some of the info, and there is some questionable stuff in it (Anders being a homeless guy rather than a resurrection scientist comes to mind - why would they need the homeless guinea pig to help restore resurrection to the Cylons in Daybreak?). While it appears that Battlestar Wiki:Canon is a guideline, rather than a policy, this isn't aired content, and I personally don't know if it merits an exception. However, if anything does merit an exception, it's probably this comic series. I suppose I could go either way. JubalHarshaw 20:17, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
There are several contradictions in The Final Five vs. the aired content. Its canonical nature is, at best, dubious. Its support by Espenson is worth noting, however until RDM comments that "yes, The Final Five comic series is canon," then it should remain in the separate continuity. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Battlestar Pegasus 21:34, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Although, the seeming contradictions aren't really continuity-breaking by any means -- in "Deadlock," Anders says that the Final Five were instrumental in "re-creating" Resurrection technology, but it isn't stated outright that he was actually a scientist of any sort, either, IIRC. Basically, he got "drafted" (as a volunteer) by Tyrol and Ellen, and was the first successful test subject they which he played own personal role in "developing" Resurrection, contributing to it in another fashion. It doesn't truly contradict anything at the end of the day, and frankly is slightly more interesting in a sense than him simply being another white lab-coat in the room.
(That, plus his resulting lament aboard the sub-FTL Resurrection ship about "better" people other than him deserving to survive, due to his homelessness, was moving, and added some much-needed depth and texture to Sam's character.)
As for The Plan potentially contradicting this historical series -- I highly doubt it, personally, since it's mainly going to be focusing upon Cavil's control over the skinjobs immediately leading up to the war, and showing the first season's events from his POV. There probably won't be much, if any, room there to work in references to the comic series, supportive or contradictory, other than to the airlock-scenes in the final issue. Caprica, though, could be another story, but that all depends, too.
There are several big examples in recent genre SF of certain non-filmic works being the definitive "canonical" statement on a particular continuity issue or other (Babylon 5 and Highlander having canonical novels and comics both spring immediately to mind), and given the seeming lack of storyline-opportunity for works like The Plan to take a stance on this ancient history one way or another, I think we'll be seeing this comic series being fairly well-regarded in the years to come. --The Bandsaw Vigilante 23:59, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
B5 is unique in that JMS has virtually total creative control of the series. The only B5 canonical novels are the Centauri, Technomage, and Telepath trilogies published years back. That, and the comics and short-stories that JMS wrote. In those cases, everything was based off of JMS's own works (story notes, plot outlines, etc.), and he authorized them since he has final say over things in the B5 universe. So, yes, these are examples... but they are only examples, and it's not the evidence we should be seeking. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Battlestar Pegasus 19:09, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

I wasn't using the B5 novels and comics as a relativist argument for supporting the canonicity of any BSG projects -- far from it, actually. I was simply using them to illustrate that such things do exist. Additionally, Ronald Moore has the exact same power of canonical approval/oversight that JMS possesses, but Universal still owns BSG as an intellectual property, and can take it out of his hands if they wish (like WB attempted to do several years back with Mongoose's aborted B5/Crusade continuation project, sans JMS's personal involvement).
For our purposes, though, perhaps a more analogous example would be the recent Highlander comics, wherein TV producer David Abramowitz oversees the writing, rendering them canonical, but he doesn't have final creative/ownership rights over the series, either. --The Bandsaw Vigilante 03:39, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Canonicy reinforcement?

Found another piece of evidence that seems to reinforce this series' canonicity -- the official press-release/solicitation text for issue #1:

While the critically acclaimed series may be coming to an end, Dynamite Entertainment enters 2009 with a series of new and exciting Battlestar Galactica graphic novel events, beginning with The Final Five! The term "Final Five" collectively describes five of the twelve Cylon humanoid models whose identity, knowledge, or existence has been deliberately or accidentally lost to the seven other humanoid Cylon models. Overseen by Seamus Kevin Fahey and David Reed with the complete authorization of SCI-FI and the producers, and joined by Galactica veteran artist Nigel Raynor, this volume features the back story of humanity's current struggle against the Cylons.

Yes, one could make the argument that every single comic series and novel released thus far has technically been "authorized," but to my knowledge, this marks the first time that such information was included in the actual press-release material -- they seem to be making a big point that this particular series is indeed something different and special from what's come before.

That, and it's difficult to believe that the info that's revealed in this series wouldn't have had to have had RDM's personal input at some point or another, given the highly continuity-sensitive nature of the content. They'd know that most folks wouldn't even be interested in buying it -- on this subject-matter, of all BSG subject-matters -- unless it was fully RDM-vetted and endorsed from the top.

Again, it'll still all come down to fandom-reception in the end, but I think this one's pretty safe from too much future contradiction. --The Bandsaw Vigilante 18:55, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Official press releases have been error-prone before. Also, "the producers" is sufficiently vague where I need to play Devil's Advocate and raise the following questions:
  • Who are "the producers" that the press release refers to? Battlestar has several. Hell, Glen Larson is a "consulting producer," although that's to satisfy clauses in contracts written decades ago. (The Hollywood reality is that anyone can be thrown the title of "producer.")
  • SCI-FI / NBC Universal can only authorize the copyright and related trademarks to be used. Just because this authorization occurs does not make something canon. (I suspect you know this, but I'm putting it out there anyway, since it needs to be said.)
Also, you are assuming that it's been vetted from the top. The reverse is likely the case. For all we know, RDM may have seen a few e-mails on the subject, but that doesn't make the piece fully vetted. By contract, RDM's input isn't necessary for any merchandise related to the show. Comic books are merchandise. He's only a show-runner tasked with the creative side of things, and in that he's the one who ultimately decides what is "canon" and what is not. So your assumption is foolhardy.
What needs to be done to settle this debate, because I don't foresee and end to it with the present, insufficient information available:
  1. Dynamite needs to be contacted to clarify their claims. In particular, who were "the producers" that the press release refer to?
  2. Were these books vetted by RDM? If so, to what degree? If not, then that quashes the "canon" claim sufficiently.
As for fandom reception... fandom reception of something is not a litmus test for canon. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Battlestar Pegasus 19:09, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Never said that fandom reception was any type of clear-cut litmus test for canonicity, only pointing out that -- assuming that Caprica or any other future filmed RDM-verse project never touches this particular subject area again -- this series could eventually become the de facto canon statement in this area, by simple default. That's all.
Also, RDM has stated (don't have the exact link handy, but it's out there) that he reviews each detailed comic book outline before it ever sees publication, which seems congruous with the official press release information's assertion that the "producers" have signed off on the project at some creative level or another. Plus, like I said, this specific continuity subject-matter certainly demands special attention, by its very nature, and it seems logical to assume that Moore would step in and at least deliver his two cents, given the circumstances.
And, as we've already seen, if Jane Espenson is aware of the series, it seems reasonable to assume that Moore himself also possesses some nominal awareness of it as well, though he may never have an organic storytelling reason to ever refer to the storyline again onscreen. Likewise, as I pointed out earlier, this miniseries marks the first time that Dynamite (and Universal) have ever made a point to go and include reference to the actual TV series' producers in their press release -- which again seems to indicate (though not with hard evidence, but an indication) that there was some direct showrunner involvement in this one, above and beyond the usual official Universal rubber-stamp flunky. --The Bandsaw Vigilante 03:39, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
The episode you mean in the section above is "No Exit", rather than "Deadlock". "No Exit" is explicit about all five of them working at the same research facility - while Sam and Tory can be considered to have worked there in these comics if you stretch the definition, Saul can't. Both "No Exit" and "Daybreak, Part II" are explicit about each of the five holding knowledge necessary to the rebuilding of resurrection, which would only be true of Ellen and Galen here. So those are definite contradictions.
I've heard that the Final Five comics may have been based on a rough outline developed before the post-writer's strike episodes were written. Not sure if that was just the hypothesis of the person speaking, but that is the timeframe in which the official word about them first appeared. -- Noneofyourbusiness 01:53, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Right, which kind of throws a wrench at the comic after all, because all five were needed to rebuild the resurrection technology. Hence the whole data font thing in "Daybreak, Part II," where Galen finds out that Tory killed Cally and all that unpleasantness reared its hideous head again. ;-)-- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Battlestar Pegasus 02:34, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps the best term would be "semi-canon" or "canon except where it contradicts anything more official", like aired episodes or even the unfilmed Ellen speech from "No Exit" which implies the Thirteenth Tribe evolved from Centurions, not humans. The comics were almost certainly written between "Sometimes a Great Notion" and "A Disquiet Follows My Soul". Best to keep the "separate continuity" label, then.
I must say, I really like the picture of the Five on a platform before an army of Colonial Centurions. -- Noneofyourbusiness 14:01, 17 August 2009 (UTC)