Why Battlestar Galactica Kicks Star Wars' Ass (And How To Win The New BSG DVD)

Categories: Movies, Television
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If there's anything nerds like better than making anonymous douchebags of themselves on the Internet, it's arguing. From Kirk vs. Picard (Kirk), to The Enterprise vs. a star destroyer (star destroyer), to Tom Baker vs. David Tennant (Christopher Eccleston) -- the list of contentious topics is endless.

And a frequent subject of debate is the supposed status of Star Wars as the preeminent sci-fi franchise. Some have been quick to declare the revamped Battlestar Galactica as the heir apparent. And while the recently completed series was mostly impressive, with a new show (Caprica) on the way and a DVD movie (The Plan) coming out this week, I think a little more evidence is needed before reaching a final decision. To add some fuel to the fire, here are some reasons I believe BSG to be superior to Star Wars.

5. Nuclear Fission Exists in the BSG Universe
If the Empire had nukes, they wouldn't have had wait for the Death Star to clear the planet Yavin so it could bring its superlaser to bear on the rebel base, and Luke wouldn't have had time to blow it up. There also wouldn't have been any need to use the cool-looking but mind-bogglingly slow AT-ATs to attack the rebels on Hoth, allowing the bulk of the rebel fleet to escape. And it would've spared Dack an agonizing death.


4. The Colonists Had a Better Democracy
While it often failed miserably, the remaining humans in BSG lived and breathed their democracy (just ask Tom Zarek). The Old Republic, consisting of a messy combination of democratically elected Senators and dictatorial royalty, was outwitted by one measly Sith Lord.


3. BSG's Women Aren't Just Pretty Princesses
In Battlestar Galactica, the President of the Colonies, the fleet's best pilot, and the person most integral to the success of the Cylons' initial attack on mankind are all women, and many more -- of all races -- occupy positions of importance (Boomer/Athena, "Dee" Dualla). In Star Wars, the only females of any significance are petite Caucasian princesses who spend more time getting rescued than they do fighting.


2. There is no Battlestar Galactica Holiday Special
No one should be allowed to complain about BSG's ending, the fate of Starbuck, or "All Along the Watchtower" until they've watched the Star Wars Holiday Special, without fast-forwarding through the Bea Arthur and Jefferson Starship musical numbers. Whatever their other crimes, BSG creators David Eick and Ronald D. Moore won't find themselves in 30 years wishing they could track down and destroy every copy of The Razor, as Lucas has fanatsized about doing to the Holiday Special.


1. Cylons Occasionally Hit What They're Aiming At
And they're robots. Not only were the colonial refugees in actual danger of dying every time they were attacked, the Cylons' armor actually -- you know -- deflected gunfire. Imperial stormtroopers could't hit water if they fell out of a boat, and their armor failed to even prevent diminutive teddy bear creatures from beating them to death with sticks in Return of the Jedi.


(Want to win a copy of the BSG: The Plan DVD? E-mail hairballscontest@houstonpress.com and put that title in the subject line. First three to do it win.)


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