Who Baltar might really be

There is rekindled speculation about who the fifth cylon might be in Battlestar Galactica now that the series has finally returned for its fourth and final season. The season premiere gave me new reasons to believe that the hunch I had a long time ago might actually be right: that Baltar may very well be the last cylon.

The secret I think lies among the many religious allegories woven into the fabric of the story. These have existed from the beginning, and there has been one in particular that is only now becoming apparent: that Baltar is a parallel for Christ. The season premiere makes this comparison virtually unavoidable be it from the iconic beard and robes he adorns, to his belief in "The One True God," all the way to the miracles performed upon the sick and meek. Looking back however you see another very interesting parallel throughout the entire series: the constant testing of his faith in God.

Baltar Jesus

Avoiding the retrospective of Baltar's faith for the moment, let's just assume that Baltar is an allegory for Christ. That would make him by some measure the Son of God, and by another measure God himself.

That sounds a little odd, except when you place it within the context of one possible story line. Suppose that Baltar, a brilliant scientist, was so obsessed with his own immortality that he sought a way to clone himself. Cloning of course is "easy" - the challenge is in the transference of consciousness. But this is exactly what Baltar discovered how to do, and what ultimately was the genesis of a new breed of cylons. In this way, Baltar became the Cylon's Creator, or God.

The first cylon he developed was modeled in his own image: meant to be the vessel for his own consciousness when the time came. However, while it would hold its consciousness, it would lack the knowledge of his true identity. Why? Because Baltar had a plan. In that plan, or destiny if you will, Baltar knew he would be tested in unimaginable ways. To help him along the way he programmed into himself a guide, an angel of sorts to instill in him a faith in himself (God) and is so doing help him survive and fulfill his destiny. This theory even helps to explain how an image of Baltar, a.k.a. "Head Baltar" appears to Six.

Naturally, I could be wrong in all of this. But I stand by my conviction that Baltar is not the last cylon, but the first.

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13 Comments

Of all the theories i've heard/read, I love this theory the most!

Baltar may very well be the "One True God" in this story, but I highly doubt that he's the final cylon. My bet is on the president. Everything fits and, for me, the most recent episode with starbuck sealed it. She didn't miss Starbuck; she shot the photo of herself that was directly behind Starbuck. Her "heard the music" incident was her shared dream incident with Six. She's realized she's a cylon and is trying to figure out how to deal with it.

Interesting. We know the person revealed has to be someone incredibly central to the story. It has to be someone shocking. The president would certainly fit that bill.

The most compelling argument I have heard against Baltar is that his character is more interesting and complex if he is human - because it more flawed that way. And we all know how Moore like flawed and complex characters.

In the end, I think the series will lead us all to the same conclusion - that the lines between cylons and humans have been so blurred over time, even from previous generations of cylons, that the difference is virtually all but gone. In other words, at the end of the day, it is not about who is monotheistic or polytheistic, or who believes X and who believes Y. That at the end of the day we are all just human.

That is the allegory that needs to be told today.

I think that Baltar still more closely parallels the life of a messianic figure than that of a Proffet. Especially when there seems to be a strong theme of redemption in this story line. The scene where Baltar storms into a religious ceremony and denounces the followers there parallels the biblical accounts of the J. Christ vs. Temple Mount. Jesus stormed into the Temple, beat and denounced the priests and worshipers there.

BSG's storyline is awful blurry though in terms of the Proffet vs. Messiah path. It could go either way, though. Very interesting either way, and also leaves room for the old version where Baltar turns out to be a Cylon vessel for his own consciousness, or that of a master cylon designer.

I do think that the ultimate theme is that we are what we make of ourselves, or how we choose to conduct ourselves - therefore, the Cylons do have choices and are ultimately responsible for their own actions (Free will). They do seem to have the same emotional capicities as humans, therefore they really are 'human', and that ultimately we are all 'God's Children' - both Human and Cylon races alike. Both races are intended to co-exist and merge into one hybrid race.

The question of who or what Baltar represents is an interesting one. I wouldn't exactly say he is an analouge to Jesus. He seems to be modeled on any number of religious leaders who have some sort of "awakening." I don't buy the idea that he is modeled on Joseph Smith either. Honestly, I see a closer parallel to Mohamed than any one else. "Six" could be his Gabriel, and they are leading the fight against the old "pagan idols." Even then it is hard to make all the pieces fit exactly. As for Baltar being the scientist who created the Cylons, it is possible but keep in mind the new series Caprica, which is supposed to deal with the creation of the Cylons by Joseph Adama, and a rival of his. Anyways I like the post, and please keep the ideas coming.

@Badger - you are absolutely right. I don't think Ron Moore believes in strict parallels like this. I think he prefers to draw a number of parallels in an attempt to allow the story to resonate with more people, to trigger greater and broader discussions, and because it makes for a better, more unpredictable story.

I really, really like learning more about the parallels Baltar has to Joseph Smith, Christ and Mohammed. I don't think any one parallel being drawn here is perfect, but I believe that is by design.

But there are some very interesting commonalities between these Messianic figures. But that my friends is a separate blog post...

Ronald D. Moore has stated that the final Cylon is not in the "last supper" photo, so that rules out both Baltar and Roslin. (To save you a GIS, the photo includes Roslin, Six (two of them), Tigh, Apollo, Baltar, Starbuck, Anders, Tyrol, Athena, Helo, and Adama.)

@Ron Moses - Ron Moore also told us that Starbuck was dead. He looked us all in the eyes and lied. He may be trying to mislead us.

Or to quote Obi Wan, "you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." In other words, it is possible that one of the people in the poster is in fact human, but that maybe there is a cylon version of the same person running around. In which case Ron Moore may be telling us all the truth: the final cylon is not in that picture.

My opinion: Starbuck is dead. The Starbuck that's there is a copy, likely similar to a Human-form Cylon programmed with the directions to earth.

And no, Moore said that the final cylon has not yet been revealed but specifically said that he doesn't want to give that away yet. The final cylon may very well be sitting at the table.

@James - That might explain why the cylons have tried in their way to protect her. I can't shake the episode when Athena tells Starbuck that all the cylons know that Starbuck has a special destiny. And we also know that Starbucks ovaries were removed by the cylons. She may very well be clone who's consciousness was transferred.

Or......!

Leobin has all along been guiding Starbuck to her destiny. He in fact led her to her death, which was her destiny in a way, right? Perhaps the only way for Starbuck to realize her destiny as a cylon was to die so that they could transfer her consciousness to a new vessel?

Damn it James, now you got me thinking Starbuck is a cylon!!!

I think that the shot in which they land on Earth clinched it; they land at around year 0 on the Christian calender. Here is my argument:

The name Jesus Christ was probably not the man's real name, given the fact that Christ is a title and the name Jesus means "God Rescues" which is a little convenient for someone that would turn out to found said religion.

Baltar looks just like Jesus, and acts just like him.

They touch down on earth when Baltar is about 30+, which is when the histories of Jesus' life start.

Jesus was descended from the 'Jews', a group of people who were evicted from their homeland, were part of Twelve colonies, and travelled across the known world to find the Promised Land. That is essentially BSG's storyline wrapped up in one breath.

Jesus had twelve apostles. Furthermore, when Judas dropped, they recruited someone else, indicating that the number twelve was important. While I don'thave parallels for all of them, I couldn't help but notice that a variation of the name Anders is Andrew, as in St. Andrew. "Saul" and "Paul" (St. Paul) are to this day interchangeable. A quick Wikipedia search of St. Peter reveals that his name was Apollos in the original Greek. Now, this last one is a little sketchy, but St. Phillip was called the "Lover of horses". Biblically, you rode a horse into battle, just as Colonials fly Vipers into battle. It's possible that St. Philip is Tyrol. So, I am forced to conclude:

St. Peter = Lee "Apollo" Adama St. Andrew = Samuel Anders St. Philip = Galen Tyrol? St. Paul = Saul Tigh Judas Iscariot = Romo Lampkin? (kinda betrayed Baltar at the hearing, which ended in Baltar's retribution.)

I'm probably totally wrong on all this, but the names really jump out at me.

@Lucas - That's maybe the most intriguing scenario I've heard so far. It may be a total crock, but it's a damn intriguing crock. :) It won't turn out that way (religious groups would lose their frakking minds) but I would love it if it did.

Another theory: if Baltar is "God" of the cylons - he created them... what if his SON is Jesus, or the "Son of God."

If Galactica arrives on earth in biblical times, it would be good timing for the "immaculate conception..."

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  • Another theory: if Baltar is "God" of the cylons - he created them... what if his SON is Jesus, or the "Son of God." If Galactica arrives on earth in biblical times, it would be good timing for the "immaculate concept...

  • @Lucas - That's maybe the most intriguing scenario I've heard so far. It may be a total crock, but it's a damn intriguing crock. :) It won't turn out that way (religious groups would lose their frakking minds) but I wo...

  • I think that the shot in which they land on Earth clinched it; they land at around year 0 on the Christian calender. Here is my argument: The name Jesus Christ was probably not the man's real name, given the fact that C...

  • @James - That might explain why the cylons have tried in their way to protect her. I can't shake the episode when Athena tells Starbuck that all the cylons know that Starbuck has a special destiny. And we also know that ...

  • @Badger - you are absolutely right. I don't think Ron Moore believes in strict parallels like this. I think he prefers to draw a number of parallels in an attempt to allow the story to resonate with more people, to trigg...

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