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Origins of:- Battlestar Galactica's - the Cylons

Member of SFI, 'bridge-crew of U.S.S. Reginald Mitchell, Star trek Region 20. Published author/ regular contributor /column in The Conduit

Origins Of The Cylons.

#. WHO?

The CYLONS are the main nemesis of the human race in the American TV series 'Battlestar Galactica'.

##. WHAT?

These creations are automatons, originally designed to carry out the security needs of their creators.


These robots were originally created by a reptilian race of the same name.

These automatons were originally built to serve the needs of their reptilian creators.In order to carry out these tasks these robots were continuously developed. Some of the more advanced models eventually became self aware, and began to resent their subservient roles. They rebelled, overthrew and defeated the biological masters.

Once free from the restraints of their reptilian creators, these self-aware robots developed a society that was almost exclusively military; primarily because that had been their main function when they were first created. The less advanced models were guided by a superior class of Cylon, the IL-Series, referred to as the Imperious Leader.

Twelve Human Colonies Of Kobol.

When we first encounter them centuries after they became sentient, they are involved in a war between themselves and the humans. This conflict started when the Cylon Empire sought to expand its dominion into the territory that was occupied by the Hasaris and the Twelve Human Colonies of Kobol.

These humans are thought to be the descendants of one single race that occupied the planet Kobol. When the Cylons attack these human colonies in a surprise 'First Strike', billions of people are killed.

The survivors fled aboard a series of interstellar transport ships, accompanied by two Battlestar class spacecraft, the 'Galactica' and the 'Pegasus'. But where were they fleeing to? Once some distance is put between them and their pursuers, the survivors decide to seek the mythological home of the Thirteenth Tribe of humans originally from Kobol; this a world known as Earth!

All the while pursued by the robot Cylons, who were intent upon the total annihilation of the human race.The IL-Series Cylon has a third brain and a body shell resembling that of the original reptilian Cylons. This third brain has been specifically developed to emulate the human mind; and as a result this would enable the Imperious Leader to anticipate the actions of the humans whom they sought to destroy.

This is the basic premise for the original 'Battlestar Galactica' series.


At the end of the 'Battlestar Galactica' series, the fleeing survivors found the home of the Thirteenth Tribe of Kobol; but it was not all that they had hoped it would be.

As the title suggests, this follow-up series, is set in upon Earth in 1980.

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The Battlestar Galactica, and its fleet of over 200 civilian craft, have finally discovered the planet Earth, home of the lost 13th tribe, only to find that its people are not as advanced as they had hoped for. Not only are the people of Earth unable to help the Galactica against the Cylons, but their technology is not sufficiently advanced to enable them to defend themselves from this interstellar threat either. As a consequence Colonial warriors are sent to covertly assist members of the planet’s scientific community in an effort to advance Earth’s technology.

During the course of these ten episodes, the fates of the original members were largely explained. As part of this plot-line, Commander Adama, aboard the Battlestar Galactica, sends a group of children from the Colonial Fleet in order to integrate with the Earth’s population. Due to differences in physiology, these children have super-human powers upon the planet.

In the final episode ‘The Return Of Starbuck’, one of the best loved characters of the original series, has an adventure that explains his fate; effectively tying up loose ends.

A feature film was put together from material produced in a number of episodes, entitled ‘Conquest Of The Earth’. So ended the saga of ‘Galactica’ and its continuous battle with the Cylons; so we thought.

Battlestar Galactica: The Re-Imagining

This premise was given a complete shake-up a few years later when the story-line was re-imagined. There were a number of changes concerning the Cylons, most notably their attempts at hybridization with human females, and the flesh over-lays; known as 'skin-jobs'.

'Battlestar Galactica - The Re-Imagining', similar to the original series, begins about forty years after the armistice the brought the 'First Cylon War' to a close. Following the cessation of hostilities the Cylons disappeared, hiding from the humans, whilst they developed and improved their technology. Part of this development included the creation of a digital consciousness that could be downloaded; thus enabling individual Cylons to be resurrected into new bodies. They also perfected biological models that could integrate within the human population; acting as spies or even sleeper agents.

We encounter the Cylons after some forty years had passed since the armistice, when the Battlestar 'Valkyrie' was dispatched upon a covert mission to gather intelligence on Cylon activity. The mission was a failure and the small stealth ship from the Battlestar was captured by the Cylons. They in turn used a sleeper agent to infiltrate Caprica's defense network. This system was sabotaged and the Cylons then launched series of thermonuclear attacks, killing billions of humans, and beginning the 'Second Cylon War'.

Following this attack the survivors fled in civilian ships, accompanied by two Battlestars, pursued by the Cylons, in much the same way as the original series. In a new twist however, the captured female survivors were then used in experiments as Cylons attempted to create hybrids.


The prequel series 'Caprica'. takes place fifty eight years prior to the First Strike attack, and the outbreak of the 'Second Cylon War'. The main planet of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol is Caprica, and thus the home of the governmental seat. It is also the central hub for art, culture, and the sciences.

The plot of the series evolves, showing the excesses of a decadent society. An act of terrorism by religious fanatics, results in the death of several members of two prevalent families; the Graystones and the Adamas.

The main characters of these two families come into conflict when Joseph Graystone becomes obsessed with the resurrection of his dead daughter and uses the resources of Graystone Industries to pursue this feat. As part of this artificial development program the Cylons were initially developed.

They were created as android soldiers, and following the successfully thwarting of a further terrorist attack these robot soldiers were integrated throughout the Twelve Colonies, for security deployment.

These Cylon androids were fitted with a Meta-Cognitive Processor [MCP]. This processor had eventually enabled these robots to become self-aware, and as a result they became resentful of the subservient role. This would in time stimulate the Cylons to revolt and turn against their human creators.

Thus in both scenarios, the original series and the re-imagined series, the Cylons were robotic automatons created to perform military tasks, who after positronic development became self-aware, this turned to resentment, and they rebelled.

In the former series the creators were an alien reptilian race, in the latter it was humans who were the responsible.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 David Reynolds

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