In 1978, screenwriter Glen A. Larson came up with an idea of a science fiction franchise following a runaway fleet of starships, the last of their kind, trying to find a new home after their entire race was killed by the bloodthirsty robots known as Cylons. Now, 34 years later, comics’ premiere space-faring duo Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are taking this concept in a new and startling direction.
Announced last week in the buzz surrounding New York Comic Con, New Jersey-based comic publisher Dynamite Entertainment has recruited the veteran writing duo of Abnett and Lanning to take on its Battlestar Galactica comics franchise to a new era. Based on the continuity of the original series and picking up where screenwriter Marc Guggenheim left off a few years back, Abnett and Lanning will continue Galactica’s journey in a new series set for release in 2013, the 35-year anniversary of the franchise. The “DnA” duo are long-time fans of Battlestar Galactica.“We've been trying to find a project to work with Nick and the guys at Dynamite for a few years now but either schedule conflicts or time constraints had prevented us up until recently, when Nick met with us at the San Diego con this year,” said Abnett and Lanning, answering collectively. “He threw a few things at us and the one that stood out was to do something in the Battlestar Galactica universe. It goes without saying that we're suckers for space opera on an epic cosmic scale, so we jumped at the chance. We're planning on writing a new ongoing series set in the continuity of the original Battlestar Galactica series, specifically the Galactica 1980 series.” Galactica 1980 showed the makeshift fleet arriving at Earth and finding it quite different than what they imagined. In 2009, Guggenheim wrote an updated comic rendition of the crew’s fateful first steps on Earth, and now DnA will explore what’s next. “We're firmly set in the continuity established in Dynamite's previous Galactica 1980 miniseries by Marc Guggenheim,” the duo revealed. “That 're-imagined' the premise of the original series by continuing the story of Battlestar Galactica once the colonists had finally found the fabled planet Earth, only Marc established a very real world feel to the book by setting the events against the stark realities of the 1980s when the world was still in the grip of the Cold War, nuclear proliferation and the various world conflicts that were brewing in Afghanistan and the Middle East. “We'll be picking up the story in the present day, 33 years after the events at the end of the series, when the colonists had revealed themselves to the Earth governments, Galactica was destroyed and Adama had sacrificed himself to destroy the Cylon invasion fleet. This is an alternate 'now', one shaped and informed by 33 years of technological development based on the scientific advancements of a race of humans from space. If you look at how far removed our world is today technologically from 1980, just imagine the changes 33 years of super science will have wrought. That's the hook that started our story rolling, the opportunity to develop and build a new 'now' with all the fun tools we've seen in the Battlestar Galactica universe.” Although the series takes place 33 years away from when we last saw them, many of the fan favorite characters from the original series will be a part of this new series. “We'll be using he cast of characters who were left at the end of Marc's series, specifically Troy (the grown up Boxey), Boomer, Dr Mortinson and Jamie Hamilton, the reporter introduced in from the TV show.” the writers told Newsarama. “We’ll also be introducing some new characters and some that didn't see much limelight in the previous series.”
Since it’s creation some 34 years ago, Battlestar Galactica has gone through several permutations be it television, novels and even comics. But as ardent fans of the original 1978 series, Abnett and Lanning see a simple through line that defines the concept and makes it stand out from other space concepts.
“We both grew up watching the original Battlestar Galactica series,” DnA said. “In the wake of Star Wars and on the crest of the ‘70s fascination with all things sci-fi, Battlestar Galactica stood out because it presented TV viewers with Hollywood style SFX and developed an epic space opera with a compelling and memorable cast of characters and truly scary villains that have stood the test of time.”Although they’re ardent fans, it took more than that to bring Abnett and Lanning to Battlestar Galactica. This new comic series with Dynamite offers them the unique opportunity to take on the series, and take it in their own unique direction.
“As we said we've got fond memories for the original BSG series and being given the opportunity to add and develop the ideas and continuity of that universe is really exciting.” said the duo. “What was very appealing was picking up from where the last series left off because of the decades that have past. It means that everything has changed, the characters, the world, the entire human race. This is fascinating and creatively full of possibilities.“This sort of world building and alternated reality setting are like cat-nip for us. We are in Battlestar Galactica heaven right now and hope that readers will join us for some exciting and unexpected stories that hopefully will expand the Battlestar Galactica legacy.” Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!