Dynamite's 'BSG: Cylon War' Starts in Jan - First Look

As reported earlier, Battlestar Galactica will begin showing its final ten episodes on Sci Fi in January.

Joining the debut of the final part of the series that month will be the long-anticipated Battlestar Galactics: Cylon War from Dynamite Entertainment. The four issue miniseries written by Joshua Ortega and Eric Nylund, with art by Nigel Raynor will tell the story of the first war against the Cylons, which lays much of the foundation for the current Battlestar Galactica series.

The story has been on Dynamite’s books for a while (we brought you the first word of it two years ago), and is fully authorized by Sci Fi and the producers of BSG. The miniseries will add the most detail to date about the war, which was the first time Vipers and Battlestars were used against the robotic creations.

Back in April we spoke with Ortega and Nylund again about the series, and we’re re-presenting that interview here.

Newsarama: Guys, it's been more than a year since we last spoke about this BSG comic book project of yours and I'm sure we're all eagerly anticipating the fourth and final season of the TV series. Before we get to the specifics of your Cylon War comic, let's discuss about the explosive third season finale, shall we? Did you see any of those revelations coming?

Eric Nylund: Not really. Kudos to Ron Moore and crew for pulling off some huge surprises!

Joshua Ortega: Yeah, I don’t think anyone really saw it coming. It’s definitely got people talking, which is always a good thing.

NRAMA: As sci-fi writers yourselves, how do you view the theories, science and religion or as Ron Moore calls it, "naturalistic science fiction"?

JO: The blending of “soft SF” and “hard SF” is a great idea, though to be fair, a lot of the good SF labeled “hard” or “soft” really has elements of both, just like “naturalistic SF”. Ron has definitely pulled off the proper blend though with the new Galactica, that’s for sure.

NRAMA: What brought about your fascination with the Battlestar Galactica lore first envisioned by Glen A. Larson in the late 70s?

EN: It was my introduction to a science fiction dystopia. Before that I thought everything dealing with science fiction was rocket ships, dudes/babes in spandex, and the good guys always winning. Here was something where the good guys started with a defeat. That instantly got my attention.

JO: Cylons. For me as a kid, it was all about the Cylons.

NRAMA: In your opinion, what set BSG apart from George Lucas' Star Wars and Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek and other sci-fi works?

EN: It’s gritty and bloody and in your face. I love Star Wars and Star Trek, but the violence and realism is a little (or a lot in the case of Star Trek) softened. BSG starts with the nuking of a planet! And you see that at ground level. It’s brutal and unrelenting and very hard to not be fascinated with.

JO: It’s a different type of space drama, and it’s aesthetic is very modern and “of the times.” Galactica is accessible in ways that Trek or Star Wars can’t be.

NRAMA: What're some of your favorite episodes?

EN: The mini-series (!), of course.

Season 1 – “33”

Season 2 – “Resurrection Ship” (parts 1 & 2)

Season 3 – Part 2 of “Exodus” (my favorite episode so far in the entire series)

JO: The mini, probably always. It’s a great piece of work.

NRAMA: Whether it's the sultry and seductive Six, the traitor Baltar, the prodigal son (Lee) or the no-nonsense Bill Adama, every character is a fan-favorite. Who do you like best?

EN: It’s hard to look too far past Caprica-Six, but I also like Saul Tigh

JO: Adama, Olmos is great in the role.

NRAMA: Why does this particular character appeal to you? And if you've written him/her, do you think that you did the character justice?

EN: Six is damn sexy and has a dark side to her (even for a Cylon) and who doesn’t like that? You can tell she’s trying to figure everything out and play both sides against the middle. Tigh is cantankerous, takes no crap. We put him in the Cylon War series in a minor role—and he has a shadowy past that would be cool to follow up on.

JO: Adama is practical, no-nonsense, and he uses his humanity as his greatest strength.

NRAMA: Moving on to the BSG comics from Dynamite now, did you get a chance to read any of them?

JO: Yeah, I had a chance to check out Brandon Jerwa’s Zarek series… good stuff. I’m looking forward to checking out more of the book when/if my deadlines ever let up. [laughs]

NRAMA: In your opinion, how true to the concept do you think the comics have been? After all, we've got Robert Napton who's previously written BSG comics when they were published by Maximum Press and is now writing an arc featuring the early days of Bill Adama for Dynamite, and the TV show's staff writer Seamus Kevin Fahey and writer's assistant David Reed on board are doing some other stuff for Dynamite…

JO: I think everyone involved has been doing a great job. Dynamite has assembled a great group of writers for this medium.

NRAMA: So, how many issues is the Cylon War limited series now?

EN: Four. That’s it. Not six or 12—just four. And don’t ask for more. I have a problem with some comics where there’s a brief fight, and then two characters talk about their feelings for 20 pages. I paid four bucks for that?! Josh and I crammed an entire war into four issues, the rise and fall of an two civilizations, and the near destruction of the human race. Our goal is to give reader’s their money’s worth

NRAMA: Who's the artist attached to the series?

JO: Nigel Raynor, who worked on Dynamite’s first Battlestar Galactica series with Greg Pak. He’s got some great stuff, and I think he’ll be able to pull of the massive battle scenes and the human emotion that’s present in The Cylon War.

NRAMA: Joshua, the last time we spoke about this very subject, I asked if you'd be delving into the history of the creation of the humanoid Cylons and you said, "Hmm… now there's an interesting idea…" So, guys, has the idea been developed and turned into a comic already?

JO: More money, please.

NRAMA: [Laughs] What about the First Hybrid and the hybrids? Any plans to go in that direction as well?

EN: Not at this time.

NRAMA: Apparently, fans will learn more about the Cylon home world in Season 4 of the TV series. Will we see it as well in your limited series?

EN: The focus is on the colonies and how they survive the (first) Cylon War. We very briefly touch on Cylon space, but most for now it will have to remain a mystery.

NRAMA: It looks like there is somehow a link or at least an homage to the old TV series with the appearance of the old model of the Cylon Centurions in the Razor TV movie. And these have also made their comic book debut in Greg Pak's 12-issue BSG series. Are you guys further developing the back story with Cylon War?

EN: Absolutely! You’ll see the evolution of the Centurion series throughout the Cylon War series. That was something we really wanted to show.

JO: Yeah, great thing about this series is that it’s the definitive story of the Cylon’s evolution. It’s something I always wanted to know, so it’s an honor to be able to bring the story to life.

NRAMA: Is Cylon War going to be covering the two Cylon Wars (i.e. the First Cylon War between the humans and the machines, and the Armistice Station and the Second War that led to the destruction of the Twelve Colonies)?

EN: We show a little of the “second” Cylon war, but the focus in the comic series is why and how the human-created robotic forces were weaponized, how and why they turned on humanity… and how the heck humanity survived!

NRAMA: Will fans of the TV series and readers of the comics be able to find out more about life in Caprica and Sagittaron pre- and during the War?

EN: Yes.

NRAMA: Thoughts on the 13th Colony? Or Kobol, described as the ancestral homeworld for humanity in the Sacred Scrolls? Are you touching on any of these at all?

JO: That would be spoiling things, wouldn’t it?

NRAMA: In terms of characters, which familiar faces are set to appear?

EN: Very few. We have a few cameos of characters from the BSG television series, but remember, the bulk of the first Cylon War occurs forty years or more previous.

NRAMA: What about new ones that you're introducing to the BSG lore?

EN: Oh my, yes. There will be two legendary characters introduced—one human, one Cylon.

JO: Ben Tanner is the major human character we introduce in the book, and he goes through a pretty amazing character arc through the series. We’ll keep the Cylon a mystery for now, but we can say that he has some very strong ties to Ben.

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