Can ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Defeat ‘Star Wars’ In A Theatrical War?

Battlestar Galactica is the series that just won’t die. Glen A. Larson started the ball rolling when he introduced the first incarnation of Battlestar Galactica in 1978. That series lasted only one season, producing only 21 episodes before it was cancelled, and it seemed the short-lived series would fade away into obscurity. On the contrary, those 21 episodes drew in a large enough following that a second series, Galactica 1980 debuted in 1980 with the crew using their resources to protect the unaware people of Earth from Cylon attacks. This second series, which starred many of the same actors, fared slightly worse, only making it through 10 episodes of the first season.

Proving its resilience, Battlestar Galactica was rebooted again in 2004 by the Syfy channel and this time, the series proved far more alluring. The series maintained ratings high enough to keep it on the air for four seasons, before it was cancelled. Syfy produced a cluster of Battlestar Galactica films as well, but they just weren’t as big of a draw.

It seemed Battlestar Galactica had seen its final days — until now.

Can A Battlestar Galactica Feature Film Give Star Wars A Run For Its Money?

In truth, Battlestar Galactica has spent years on the drawing board, but it now seems a feature film has been given the green light by Universal, who sees the film (and possible sequels?) as competition to the Star Wars film franchise. Dylan Clark of Bluegrass Films will join the production team, which also consists of Michael De Luca (American History X) and Scott Stuber (Ted, Role Models).

Originally, Bryan Singer (X-Men: Apocalypse, The Taking of Deborah Logan) had been linked to the Battlestar Galactica feature film, going back to 2009, but he departed the project in 2014, when it seemed Universal still had no set plans to move forward. Singer’s idea for the feature film was to tie the original Glen Larson series to the updated Syfy channel reboot, but that may be lost now. So, what would a Battlestar Galactica feature film look like?

Can Universal Explore The Possibilities Of A Battlestar Galactica Feature Film Franchise Without Ruining It?

Fans of the 2004 Battlestar Galactica are already protesting the idea of a reboot, even in film form, because the Syfy series was such a great success. It seems unlikely that Universal, or anyone, could top what has already been done, especially since it’s unlikely that the new franchise would enlist the same actors to fill the roles. Can anyone make a better Commander/Admiral Adama than Edward James Olmos?

Battlestar Galactica may have more success as a stand-alone science fiction film instead of setting it up as a long running saga, especially as success at box offices would determine future films. The last thing fans want is to be left hanging with an open-ended film, in the case that Universal isn’t satisfied in their return on investment. The studio should take their cue from the original Star Trek films and only set up an open-ended film if it’s warranted by the story.

The success of a Battlestar Galactica franchise would also greatly rely on keeping it gritty and tense in both aesthetics and story. These are refugees fleeing their homeworld, following the devastating attack launched by the Cylons, so fans don’t want to see them cruising through space on a state of the art vessel. Instead, they should be fleeing aboard a clunker, unable to hide or escape from the indomitable Cylon brigade.

We will have to see what the producers and writers (who have yet to be hired) decide, as far as plot and actors, but it seems unlikely that they can outdo the 2004 Battlestar Galactica series.

[Image by Syfy]

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