If you buy enough copies of Battlestar Galactica: "The Plan," coming out tomorrow, Edward James Olmos is determined to make more BSG direct-to-DVD epics. We asked Olmos what those films would be about, and he explained what happened to Starbuck.
Oh, and this one-on-one interview with Olmos contains some spoilers for "The Plan," because we talked specifics with him. So go buy the DVD, watch it and come back to read this, if you're concerned about spoilers.
So Olmos has been very vocal about saying that he'd like to make more BSG movies like "The Plan." But what would they be about? He explains:
Simple questions, like what happened to the [final] five during this period of time? Where were they coming from 2,000 years ago? How could they be around for 2,000 years, and yet the understanding of Caprica is that the robotic trend on Caprica was started 57 years ago? How did that work? That question comes into play, and I would love to see how they answered it. That, to me, would be explosively unbelievable. I would love to have that question answered. I would also love to know what is going to happen to the people on the Earth. What is going to happen to Adama and all the different people? What happened to the Raptor that got them to the point of finding their dream space? That, to me, is just two simple ones I can think of off the top of my head.... To me, there's still a lot of beautiful story that's waiting to be unleashed in this world.
Don't download "The Plan!"
Actually, when we asked Olmos about forthcoming DVD movies, he first paused to express his displeasure with everyone who downloaded "The Plan" from the Internet before its release date. Seriously, if you're planning on grabbing this DVD from a file-sharing service, imagine Admiral Adama getting pissed at you — because he is. In a nice way. "People don't understand that if they want to see this universe again, they have to participate by voting, by casting their dollars. If they don't cast their dollars, they won't see any more of these."
So what's the deal with Starbuck?
So speaking of unanswered questions, we had to ask Olmos what was going on with Starbuck at the end of the final episode. He says "I would love to know that," and he would imagine that question being answered along with "the full story of what happened to Lee" after the show ends. Adds Olmos:
I talked with Starbuck about this. She felt that she went with Anders, that she transported herself like an angel, and she went into the sun with Anders on the Galactica. So she went back with Anders. That's her idea.
Love is the key to "The Plan"
Olmos says "The Plan" not only explains what the Cylons' goals were, but also why they weren't very successful in achieving those goals. The reason for the Cylons' failure? It has to do with encountering a human emotion they weren't prepared for: Love. That's why you see the version of Cavil who's living on the surface Caprica finding himself unable to kill Starbuck, when he has a clean shot, towards the end.
Rick Worthy is the catalyst
As we've mentioned, the TV show's most underused Cylon becomes the most memorable character in "The Plan": Cylon Number Four, aka Simon (Rick Worthy), gets a great arc involving one of his model marrying a human and adopting her daughter in the fleet, while another of his model is on Caprica with the resistance. Olmos says Simon's story is "the catalyst" that helps us understand what happened to the Cylons. It illustrates the theme of love, since Simon's love for his wife and child changes him, but it also shows how the Cylons are unexpectedly having huge divergences between different copies of the same model.
Humor is part of "The Plan":
Olmos says he enjoyed bringing out the humor in Jane Espenson's script (which has some incredibly funny moments, especially the ones involving Aron Doral and his teal jacket.) Like much of BSG, the DVD is incredibly dark, but with some moments of strange levity. Olmos says it's important that the humor comes out of the irony and the situation, and that way the comedy doesn't seem forced. Olmos says he was probably chosen to direct this because he had already made humor happen when he directed the episode "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down":
Like when Baltar is making love with Six, and then Starbuck comes walking in and sees him with his pants down and all his privates being exposed, and he's humping away on Six, but you can't see Six. All you can do is just see the doctor there humping. It's hysterical. Because we the viewer understand it, but the situation is one where by now Starbuck thinks the doctor is just out there where the buses don't run.
What you won't see in "The Plan":
Olmos is a huge fan of Dean Stockwell, who plays Cavill, and he says people don't appreciate what a great performer Stockwell is — Olmos has been a fan of Stockwell's since he saw the 1948 anti-war movie The Boy With Green Hair, starring a young Stockwell as a boy with the power to stop war. In "The Plan," Cavill befriends a young quasi-orphan boy, and the boy's costume is an exact replica of Stockwell's costume from Green Hair. Olmos had the costume hand-stitched to match.
But Olmos wanted to go further with the reference: He wanted the boy in "The Plan" to have green hair, and both the studio and writer Jane Espenson refused to let him.
People would have just been in shock, like 'What the hell is that about? And in essence, it would have been a statement that would have reverberated throughout the entire planet for centuries to come. And would have augmented something that needs to be understood, but in turn, the studio and the writer were afraid of it, they just thought "That's crazy." They didn't want it, they thought it was a stupid thing to do. It would be all about, "What? Why did the boy have green hair?" And it would be about the boy with the green hair. It should be about that. It should be that deep and in the context. So may be they'll let me paint CGI green hair and put it on him. From the time he raises his head to the time he dies, he has green hair, and nobody says anything about it. And the audience just has to deal with it. Let them deal with it.
Want to meet Olmos yourself so he can explain more of the ideas behind BSG? Enter the "Dinner With The Admiral" contest over at UGO.
Top image from Gateworld.