A Recurring Theme

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If there’s one thing that makes Ron D. Moore’s space-beard stand on end it’s the juxtaposition of science and religion. When you boil it down to space-ics this is the central theme of every show he’s ever run. He often broaches the topic in such s way that really gets you thinking about the wider implications of the argument. “If a planet of space-jews tell me I’m the messiah and treat me like the messiah no matter what I do or say, AM I the messiah? Is that all it takes? Is that what happened to Jesus?”

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But once the idea is presented from at least a dozen different angles it tends to wear thin. Why? Because in none of these shows does he ever actually come close to answering the question. Again, why? Because you can’t. It’s a universal unknown. And I think that’s his point. No matter how advanced we get as a species, spirituality and faith will always be open to personal interpretation and will typically go against the commonly accepted scientific theories of the day. That’s just human nature for better or worse. Robots, lasers, FTL’s and wormholes aren’t going to change us that drastically.

In each of the series mentioned in today’s comic Moore also gives plenty of evidence that both sides (science and religion) are probably believing the same exact truths, just with different perspectives. For instance, the wormhole aliens in DS9 ARE NOT GODS. They don’t claim to be. They are just super powerful, all knowing, non-linear aliens. The Bajorans view them as gods because… well they can do everything people expect a god can do. Then you ask the same question I asked about Captain Sisko/The Emissary in the first paragraph: if it walks like a god and bends reality to its will like a god, is it a god? I think Moore’s answer, again, is “it doesn’t matter.” DS9 never comes out and says the Bajorans are wrong in their beliefs or that they are the Alpa quadrant equivalent of an ant worshipping a human, but it also never affirms their deifying of their planet’s upstairs space-neighbors is really a great idea.

Ron Moore has always told SLOOOOOOOOW stories with a ton of gray area. Nothing is fixed, everything is open to interpretation. As I said earlier, this can wear thin. Those of you that shared my opinions on the conclusion of Battelstar Galactica (micro spoilers ahead) know what I’m talking about. In any situation where you’ve spent countless hours postulating and pontificating on the true causes behind a chain of emotional, intense and seemingly connected events “oh, what? oh, it was probably God that did it all” is not a satisfying resolution. It reeks of lazy story telling. But when you realize that is the ONLY way Ron Moore has ever told a story, you can begin to set your expectations appropriately.

Which brings us to Caprica. I pored my mostly negative feelings about the first few episodes of Caprica all over the LoFijiNKS Podcast and there they remain for your listening pleasure. Since then the show has taken a bit of an upward turn and really started to explore some of its untapped potential. The concept of V-World (the online, holographic, no consequences, virtual reality-scape all the kids are into) could be a show in itself. In fact, I won’t be surprised if Caprica begins to focus on the more “Matrixy” aspects of its reality as the season progresses. There’s a lot of meat on them scifi bones and it could make for excellent TV. The “I’m a dead girl stuck in a robot/am I really dead if my memories are in tact?/what are we if not the sum total of our experiences?/am I the robot messiah?” on the other hand is already more Moore than I bargained for. This space has been thoroughly explored to death by scifi since its inception as a genre and I doubt Caprica will uncover anything new in that arena.

I can say that I have changed my early opinion on Caprica from “PASS” to “PROCEDE WITH CAUTION.” You really have to understand Ron D. Moore’s M.O as a story teller in order to get into this series. He isn’t afraid to have ZERO sympathetic characters, incredibly slow pacing when the story calls for it and to borrow heavily from the themes of his previous work. He also just had an invincible virtual dead girl debug a few “agents” with her mind, and take out an entire online crime syndicate with virtual machine guns in a holographic version of Grand Theft Auto. So there’s that.

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66 Comments

  1. What's going on in panel 3 with the beams?

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      • 3, not 4. At least on my computer it looks off-set. Hopefully it's just my fuxxed up monitor.

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        • something happened during the final resize/export. its fixed now

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          • Outstanding. It looked kick ass even with that flaw.

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  2. This is now my favorite comic. You have truly outdone yourself with this one.

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  3. comic looks awesome, really great job!

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  4. Space Jesus==Ulysses31

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  5. sweet space zombie jesus

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    • No this is second coming Jesus….thats why he's GHOST in the shell

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  6. I could see Edward J O with a grizzled beard playing the role of Space J

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  7. Incredible. This is a Jesus I can believe in.

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  8. What's going on in panel 3 with the beams?

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  9. Does he do battle with the Darth Pilate?

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    • Actually its the Space Devil. I thought that was obvious.

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  10. Christ on crack, this strip is awesome and almighty!
    (Though my #1 Jesus is still the Internet one.)

    -D

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      • Yep, that'd be Warren Ellis.

        http://www.warrenellis.com for your daily disturbance! (He's also in twitter, spreading his brainjuice and calling everyone sex criminals. Lovely fellow.)

        -D

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  11. Who would win, Space Jesus or Mecha Shiva?

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    • Mecha Shiva for the fucking WIN – that was a genuine rolf my friend thanks!

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  12. Damn… I wanted him to have a lightsaber.

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    • had to leave out the flaming sword in order to make the laser stigmata work.

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  13. In the words of Homer J. Simpson "mmmmmmmmm sacrilicious"

    Is it going too far to get a shirt of Space Jesus? I the Godspeed shirt cause a few parental stinks what the hot fudge would THIS one do?

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  14. Wow – did you, like, know it was a) my birthday and b) that I'm a Christian. Want panel 3 as a T-shirt

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  15. The pink cape and boots are what really make this.

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    • art note: the cape and boots are blue but the laser stigmata are reflecting off them.

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      • But he's so faaaaabulous this way!

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  16. The token Catholic Fancy Bastard approves this comic! So if you get any static, just tell them I said it was fine.

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      • Hey if you could get a condemnation from the church you would be set! Any movie they boycott seems to do well :)

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  17. I think the question is does Ron Moore look like Jesus or does Jesus look like Ron Moore?

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    • thats a classic "chicken or the the beard" question.

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      • I regards to your updated post I totally agree, I've been lazily watching usually a week or two behind. I almost wasn't going to bother watching episode 5, the whole show has been a a snooze fest up until they started fleshing out the v-world specifically New Cap City. Put simply, I want to go to there.

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        • IN regards dammit IN.

          Triple proof-reading fail.

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    • Ron Moore IS Jesus…this is just his sneaky way of making people question and think about their faith….god works in mysterious ways….

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  18. This makes me think of the french anime Ulysses 31.

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  19. I have to add another caveat about Caprica: When I sit down to watch the show, I do so in the knowledge that every single person we see will die. Caprica City will be bombed to rubble. In five years we'll have moved from a disparate, populous solar system to a radioactive graveyard. The v-world and the high technologies will all be gone. The Greystone name will have become so black that apparently no one will speak of them in half a century.

    It's incredibly depressing, but I guess that is the whole point.

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  20. *fifty years. Fifty years. Not five.

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    • yeah, theres no where for these people to go because in the end they are all doomed.

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  21. That is just plain fucking awesome!

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  22. Love the Ulysses 31 Space Jesus! If Jesus were real, he'd love to be that guy!

    Also, as a recent devotee of BSG (halfway through S4) I have loved the 'questioning humanity' parts of the show but as an atheist, am slightly fed up of the godiness of it all. The friend that convinced me to watch it assures me that the ending is awesome, but if it just comes down to the old 'God did it. There is no need to look any further.' I'm preparing for disappointment.

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  23. The question of the nature of personhood has come up in his works before.

    He wrote the TNG episode where Tasha's Romulan daughter (a butch short-haired blonde, interestingly) tried to slip through the tachyon net to get supplies to Duras, but Data was the captain who figured out how to figure it out, but his first officer thought of him as a sort of glorified toaster that had to be managed, but then Data used his ACTING!!! to pretend he was angry, and the first officer did his job.

    Yeah. That was a good episode. I saw all sorts of BSG precursors in that episode.

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  24. Morpheus 1616 : And Neo Jesus defeated Agent Satan and all was calm in the earth matrix.

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  25. BTW, for future use, it's "wear thin", unless you were doing something terribly meta that went over my head. "Wares" are things you sell, so "ware" could be a backformation that means "sell", but isn't usually.

    "I cannot help but proof read." (see user name)

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    • fixed. thanks. I wrote that whole thing kind of stream of consciousness so there really isnt any proofreading.

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  26. I couldn't believe the little arrow was gone! I've now officially read the entire comic! I think my eyes are bleeding. Yay.

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    • Your eyes are bleeding because they are so happy…they also accompany violent convulsions in your abdomen.

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    • Congrats on becoming a fully fledged Fancy Bastard!

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  27. While I get what you're saying AND am okay with this, I gotta say…well, put it this way: and you thought your Riker shirt was divisive. :O

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    • Saying beef is better than pork is insulting or divisive to some people…

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    • meh. Its the comic I wanted to make so Im not to worried about people not liking this one. There will be a new one in its place soon enough.

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  28. Ron D Moore is a genius. But without someone to reign him in, like he had on TNG, you wind up with stuff like the BSG ending.

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  29. If that last panel doesn't turn into a poster, I will be disappointed.

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    • its already a desktop. Maybe I could do a print.

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  30. That last panel HAS GOT TO become a poster or a tshirt. Brilliant!

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  31. He also ran Carnivale in the first season, writing 3 of its first 12 episodes.

    And yes, I'm totally insane for writing my senior thesis on his use of religion in his work. And also awesome.

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  32. "The concept of V-World (the online, holographic, no consequences, virtual reality-scape all the kids are into) could be a show in itself."

    My dear fellow, have you ever heard of Second Life?

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  33. So Ron Moore isn't to keen on subtlety, huh?

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  34. Space Jesus of looks and feels like a charcter that Jack Kirby might have originally created. All the design would really need are some Kirby dots in the background and some flecks of color in the otherwise pupilless eyes of the comsic science-messiah.

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  35. I haven't seen any of Caprica yet, but we're making our way through Carnivale. Which is pretty awesome. But every time I see the preacher or there's some mention of "the management", I remember Ron D. Moore, take a few breaths, and force myself not to get annoyed by the repetition. (Note: Carnivale is visually stunning, and worth watching even just for what it looks like.)

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    • hey FYI, I tried to email you your vault password I believe and it was rejected. Can you send your your correct address?

      Reply

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