Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy: Mission Accomplished Or Mission Frakked Up?

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Josef Steiff, Tristan D. Tamplin
Open Court Publishing, 2008 - Performing Arts - 423 pages
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In attempting to retain her "human" side, does Sharon really have free will? Is killing a Cylon murder or garbage disposal? These are some of the questions addressed in this thoughtful collection of writings on the philosophical underpinnings of Battlestar, Galactica. The book includes a brief analysis of the original 1970s and 80s series but concentrates primarily on the episodes, characters, and issues from the entirely reimagined current series (including its fourth and final season, scheduled for airing in early 2008) as well as the two-hour TV movie and direct-to-DVD release Razor.
  

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Contents

Origin of a Species
What Part of the Truth Dont You Like?
Sixes and Eights or Designated Others
The Final Five
The Two Sharons
Disruption
SelfFulfilling Prophecy
Not a Uniquely Cylon Problem
Brothers and Sisters under the Skin
Fire Without Burn
Battlestar Iraqtica
The Bible of Decolonization
Stop the Machines Win Freedom
Holy Violence
Terrified Made Terrifying
The Violent Mirror

Retelling Our Stories
Fraktured Self
Fraktured Narrative
Fraktured Identity
Fraktured Finality
A Match Made in Freudian Heaven
The Malleable Ego
Man Or Cylon Up
The Limits of Freedom
Unparalleled Opportunities?
Head Games
One Thing at a Time
Six of One
Becoming One
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here
Theres Too Much Confusion
I Cant Get No Relief
No Reason to Get Excited
Humans + Cylons Ambivalence in the Colonial Family Romance
This Has All Happened Before and It Will All Happen Again
Its All in the Familyor Genus or Species
The Trouble with HeraMiscegenation
The Shape of Things to Come
This Has All Happened Before and It Will All Happen Again
Rewriting the Person
The Body in the Age of Toasters
You Are What You Sleep With
Who They Are or Who They Want to Be
Its a Cyborg World After All
Well Isnt that Just a Little Bit Queer?
Im in Love with a Woman I Know Isnt a Woman
The Secret Plot of Baby Boomers
Body Boundaries
Gooey Insides
Machine Parts
Cyborgs
Stable Bodies
Made Humans Born Cylons
The Limits of Biology
Clones and Cyclones
Resurrection
Resurrection
Reincarnation
Ironing Out the Wrinkles and the Scars
Into the Future
Blood Guts and Software
Lions and Tigers and Cylons? Oh My
Resident Evil
The Prayers of Toasters
Hedging Our Bets
Why It Seemed Like Such a Good Idea to Steal the Election
The Greek Chorus
What We Dont KnowCanHurt Us
Fool Me Once Cant Get Fooled Again
Choosing to Frak Up Every Now and Again
Learning from Our Mistakes
Strict Father Cain
Nurturing Adama
The Montagues Meet the Capulets
Dealing with Enemy Combatants Good Cop or Bad Cop?
Kendras Choice
The Next Generation
History Will Judge
Cylons Evolve This Way Not by Shouting
On the Upgrade of Species
The WarBroken Centurions Voice Melted Away
A Baseship Babbling in the Night
Its the Disappointing Stories that Sound True to Life
The Physics of Morals
They Look and Feel Human
Theres More than One Way to Skin a Cylon
Seeing Ourselves Reflected Back
As You Sow So Shall You Reap
Exploiting the SciFi Smokescreen
Crossing the Line
Do We Create our own Evil?
The Wretched Liberated
The Future
We Are What We Make of Ourselves
Choosing Sides
Living with Our Choices
The Blind Squirrel Theory
But but but were at WAR
They Look Like Us Now
And We Thought Abortion Was a Hot Topic in Our Universe
Keeping the Secret Courts Secret
Walking the Tightrope
The Old Man in the CIC
Humanity Party of Twelve?
Sins of the Father?
Hail to the Chief
By His Command
If the Crucifix Fits
Turn or Burn
Damned If You Do and Damned If You Dont
Brothers of Man
Malaise Days
In Space All Warriors Are Cold Warriors
Dominos in Space
Be Prepared
The Battlestar Manifesto
Stay the Course
Interrupted Time
The Bare Life of Eschatology
The Messianic Hope of the FTL Jumps
Speed and Destination
Making up Signs as You Go Along
They Have a Plan
Using All the Signs
To Avoid Becoming Lost Cylons Need their God
Finding Our Way
Compatibilism and Character
Programming Character
Do Cylons Dream of Electric Sheep?
The Strange Case of Kara Thrace
Free to Be You and Me
The Selfannihilating Force
The Death Instinct and Starbuck
Taking in the View from the Paranoid Position
Conditions for a Meaningful Life
The Importance of a Successful Death for the Meaning of Life
The Humanoid Cylons and Death
Embracing Death
But Wait What are Epistemology and Ontology?
LaterGalacticas
To the Third Power
Reimagining the Dialogic
What Has Happened Before Will Happen Again
The Cylon Delusion
Expanding the Conversation
So Say We All
Absolutism and Relativism
War of the Gods
Whatever Floats Your Battlestar
The Cosmic Divide
Starbuck as Feminist Role Model
Starbuck and Feminism
The End of Starbuck
With or Without Starbuck
Boomer Sharons Depiction of Eve
A Chance at Redemption
An Introduction to the Historical Lilith and Number Sixs Depiction of Lilith
Sharons Depiction of Lilith
Human Machine or Something Inbetween
Opening the Channels
Doing the Hard Work
A Model Solution
Case in Point
Novels
Comic BooksOriginal Series
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Josef Steiff is the assistant chair and director of film development in the Department of Film and Video at Columbia College Chicago. An independent filmmaker, he has worked as a director, producer, cinematographer, and editor with budgets ranging from $100 to $100,000+. Steiff is also a staff writer for "Film Monthly" and has served as assistant editor of "Wide Angle Film Quarterly,

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