'Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome' Blu-ray Review: Prequel Mocks Pre-9/11 Mindset
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome chronicles the first mission of a young Ensign Bill Adama, his co-pilot “Coker” and their enigmatic civilian passenger Dr. Becca Kelly as they embark on what is supposed to be a “milk run” that turns into a clandestine mission that will allegedly bring the 10-year war between the 12 Colonies and the Cylons to an end.
If you’re a fan of the updated Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) series that featured Edward James Olmos (Admiral Adama), Katee Sackoff (Lt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace) and Jamie Bamber (Captain Lee “Apollo” Adama), then this is a must-see movie for you.
In the opening of that series, the Battlestar Galactica is about to be decommissioned and turned into a museum. She is very low-tech and many of her battle systems have been removed. It is this very lack of advanced technology that makes her the only battlestar to survive the Cylon’s sneak attack.
But in Blood & Chrome, available Feb. 19 on Blu-ray and DVD, we see a new and pristine Galactica, fully manned by her complement of personnel and loaded with brand new Vipers and Raptors. Young Ensign Adama (Luke Pasqualino) is awestruck by the sight of her when he looks out the window of the transport carrying him to his new assignment.
The special effects in Blood & Chrome are everything we’ve come to expect from the Galactica franchise. The action and storytelling are likewise up to par. And just as in the series there is an examination of the costs of war.
The truth is the main focus for the film's writing team. There are several instances where the truthfulness of certain events has been suppressed or altered to make particular soldiers, pilots and marines into heroes for public consumption.
The commander of Galactica tells Adama that the public pays for the war and that since it isn’t going as well as advertised the lies are necessary to maintain public support. But the more interesting theme was that of people that questioned fighting the Cylons, even though the machines were hell bent on wiping out humanity. There were those that felt that machines had a legitimate grievance with their human creators. Others felt the war simply had to end because what was being lost – the lives and the truth – were more important than victory over the enemy. There were even those that thought that if only they would stop fighting the war would simply end.
This questioning the validity of fighting the war, and the naivety that would allow someone to believe if our side simply stopped fighting the war would end closely parallels the feelings of some liberals with regard to the U.S. war against radical Islam.
Recently MSNBC’s Chris Hayes suggested that, “We could be a nation that declares its war over, that declares itself at peace, and goes about rigorously and energetically intelligence and diplomacy and well-resourced police work to protect us from future attacks." As though we don’t have to actively and aggressively pursue and kill Al-Qaeda.
This is the same kind of pre-9/11 thinking that allowed Al-Qaeda to murder roughly 3,000 people in New York, Shanksville, PA and Washington, DC.
In Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome this sort of thinking leads Dr. Becca Kelly (Lili Bordan) to attempt to betray humanity by providing the Cylons with tactical information about a task force that is planning a strategic assault.
She tells Adama that the Cylons “are only defending themselves” and that “they value life more than we do ... the war will end when we realize we can’t win it and that we have to negotiate with the Cylons.”
The Cylon that finds a wounded Dr. Kelly left behind by Adama asks her, “Even though you’re more ‘enlightened’ than the rest of your species, do you think we hate you any less?” Whether in fiction or reality, useful idiots are always among the first to die at the hands of a ruthless enemy.
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome is a thoughtful, action-packed tale that is a worthy addition to the Galactica saga. If you haven’t seen the series, I’d recommend you rent or purchase it before watching Blood & Chrome.
The Blu-ray extras include deleted scenes and a featurette on the special effects behind the project.