It is currently Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:46 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:30 pm 
Offline
Hera's Fiance
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:55 pm
Posts: 716
I was reviewing the Pegasus story arc while trying to plot out the scene where Cain threatens to open fire on the Galactica if Adama executes Boomer*, when a completely unrelated thought occurred to me.

What if the Sharons (Boomer and Athena) are really the same person. Bear with me now, please. I know that we fans see Lt. Agathon and Miss. Valerii** as separate, individual 3-dimensional characters with their own personalities and paths. But characters in fiction are not always intended by the writer to be thought of as "people." Sometimes the writer uses them carelessly as a plot device or to set the mood. Even when the writer puts great care into a character it may not be because he wants that character to be thought of as a person herself, but rather as a symbol for something else, like the personification of an ideal. Characters can even be meant to be taken as reflections of another character or symbolic of a part of another character's life.

The best examples of the above I can think of are in Star Trek. Of course you have the "mirror Universe" characters who are evil reflections of the story's main characters. There was also the episode where a transporter accident :sigh: split Kirk into a "good Kirk" and an "evil Kirk" who was each obviously meant to be taken as a half of Kirk's character instead of being treated as a full person themselves. But the one I want to highligh most is a more interesting example. From the very beginning of the TV show the characters of Spock and Dr. McCoy were not intended to be separate, individual 3-dimensional characters with their own personalities! Rather they were each supposed to represent half of Capt. Kirk's own personality. You see, a lot of the conflict in an episode could be taking place inside Capt. Kirk's own head as he weighs the pros and cons of important decisions. In order for the audience to appreciate this, however, there has to be some way to explain the choices Kirk is faced with. If it were a book, then the writers could just give Kirk an "inner monologue" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_monologue). Since this was a TV, show, however, they had to invent something else. So Spock was created to give a voice to Kirk's rational side and Dr. McCoy was created to give a voice to Kirk's emotional side. Spock and McCoy's arguing of the merits of a course of action are the writer's way to tell the viewers what choices Kirk is struggling with. Spock and McCoy were not planned to be full people, they were each a half of Kirk. Now, thanks to great acting by Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelly those characters evolved into full 3-dimensional characters of their own right and the audience thinks of them that way today.

Similarly Mrs. Park's amazing acting allows us to see Athena and Boomer (and Eighthena and Sweet Eight and Pilot Eight and...) as not just copies of the same character but as individuals with their own distinct personalities and mannerisms in their own right. When I (and the rest of us, I suspect) look at Athena and Boomer we see separate individuals. But is that what the writers intended?

Well, now before we can delve into what the writers intent was we have to ask which writer and which episode. Obviously there were episodes where they were just plot devices or window dressing. In the beginning the only Sharon Valerii is Boomer and I think she is clearly a full fledged character (and a heroic one at that). They hadn't even planned for Athena in the miniseries. Then Athena does show up, and eventually introduces herself as "I am Sharon." but that "I am a different Sharon." WTF does that mean? Does it mean more than that her name also just happens to be Sharon? That she and Boomer are parts of each other, but different parts. A single soul occupying two bodies. The Schrodinger's cat who is both alive and dead... both with the Colonials and with the Cylons at the same time but which must eventually coalesce into one fate or the other?

Regardless of how they started, I suspect that at the end Boomer was not written as a separate character, but as Cylon Sharon. Similarly, Athena was written as Colonial Sharon. Why is this important? Because it explains their scene in Daybreak without seeming like the writers were just hacks going for shock value. If you view them as two separate characters then the conclusion in Daybreak leaves the Sharons stories with unsatisfactory endings. Boomer is redeemed as the hero for rescuing Hera from her fellow Cylons, but she is murdered in the process. Athena survives with her family intact but is unredeemed, having murdered her sister in vengeance without any trace of repentance or even remorse about the act. Some of us fans tried to find a "fig leaf" excuse to cover Athena's crime: it was a tactical necessity; Boomer knew too much. Taken as two separate people Athena and Boomer's final interaction doesn't work well. But, if you consider them to be the same person then it does "work." Sharon gets a satisfactory ending if you see Boomer and Athena as symbolic of the Cylon Sharon and Colonial Sharon quantum states that cannot forever coexist. That makes Athena's murder of Boomer a noble act instead of a vulgar crime, because she is not killing someone else but is making a difficult choice about her life in a way that is visually symbolized by killing the last of her Cylon self. Once Boomer decided to return Hera to the Colonials she had to die because Sharon had decided that she could no longer have any loyalty to the Cylons and that her daughter's (Boomer cared for Hera when she was with the Cylons, Athena when she was with the Colonials but either way it was always Sharon) future must be with the humans. Once Sharon made that choice there could be no more Cylon Sharon, but only the Colonial Sharon. The quantum state had coalesced and only one could remain. That is why Sharon*** seems so happy at the end, unburdened by guilt. She is not a murderer; she is a person who had two choices that has finally decided who she wants to be and has no regrets about it. It is also why Boomer seems to accept her fate serenely; Sharon is willingly giving up on any future with the Cylons. Athena and Boomer were symbolic of Sharon's two possible paths the way that Spock and McCoy were symbolic of Kirk's inner thoughts. Boomer's death then is not a murder but merely a visual representation of Sharon's decision to commit herself to being a Colonial, the same way that Spock and McCoy's arguments weren't animosity between two people but the visual representation of the Kirk's struggles with difficult command decisions.

I think that may be what was in the writer's minds when they wrote the final scene in Daybreak. If it sounds a bit too artsy, keep in mind that the writers are probably liberal arts majors. After struggling with how to tie up all the loose ends late into the night and a few doses of medicinal marijuana perhaps it seemed like a brilliant, beautiful solution. Or, maybe they were hacks going for shock value... :shrug:

* Just kidding.****
** Is she still Lt. Valerii? She hasn't been court martialed, but she did die. Is that enough to get her out of the obligations of her commission?
*** previously "Sharon" refers to the combination of both Athena and Boomer but at this point Sharon has committed herself to one course and is only Athena.
**** maybe :twisted:

_________________
Avatar by my unknown Kindreds Secret Santa


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:59 pm 
Offline
Up The Riverworld Without A Paddle

Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:48 pm
Posts: 1100
Wow. There is a lot of thoughts here. Must read again. Quantum physics, eh?
Sadly, I'm not so sure the writers had gone so far when they created the scripts... but I see what you try to do, my fellow Praetorian...
btw, Sharon Agathon said "I'm not a copy, I'm Sharon", in Scattered.

hmmm, you could also say that Sweet-Eight (the "bad" Eight ?) killed Pilot-Eight (the "good" Eight? - heh, maybe she did the same, too, on New-Caprica) to draw Felix's attention & because she felt guilty (?). Anyway, it wasn't that surprising when Gaeta killed her. Did this "complete" her character? No, it was only sad, and seen as necessary by the writers to explain Felix's following behavior.

More tomorrow, certainly.

_________________
Captain of the Praetorian Guard of Her Majesty Empress Boomer


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:26 pm 
Offline
Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:51 am
Posts: 1206
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
I'm with Pierre and want to chew on this for a while. However, I DO take exception to the "liberal-arts major" bit, thankyouverymuch :scowl: . Some of us are quite logical and not the stoners you take us to be. If I were on the BSG writing staff, while the writing wouldn't have been as good, it sure as hell would have made more sense.


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:19 pm 
Offline
Constable
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:37 pm
Posts: 608
I'm not sure medicinal marijuana would be strong enough. For this theory to make sense, the aid of powerful pharmaceuticals would be required. :dizzy: :biggrin:

Why stop at just Spock and McCoy being mere representations of Kirk's inner conflict. Maybe all the characters were just different faces of Kirk's schizoid personality. For that matter, maybe we're all just characters in some weired Shatneresque dream. Scary, huh? :grin:

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:23 pm 
Offline
Hera's Fiance
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:55 pm
Posts: 716
rebelliousrose wrote:
"liberal-arts major" bit, thankyouverymuch :scowl:


I didn't mean that liberal arts majors cannot write coherent fiction. I meant if my theory seems overly "artsy" of a concept, that it might not seem "too artsy" for a professional writer who's education is steeped in literary symbolism and clever interpretation. To someone who is trained to read that Jay Gadsby goes swimming and immediately see that it is a symbolic baptism with great meaning for his character's trajectory where I would just think "Oh, I like swimming" for example, the idea that Athena and Boomer are symbolic of the two paths that Sharon must choose between might seem to be just run of the mill writing. A little more clever than Everybody Loves Raymond, but hardly obtuse. Similarly I have chapters in OTS that are heavy "geek porn" descriptions of Cylon technology and society, because I am the kind of guy who enjoys that sort of thing. Some readers might consider it overly techno-thriller, but when you consider my background... it makes sense why *I* don't think it is overdone. I was offering that as evidence that perhaps my theory should not be dismissed as "too artsy" since the story may well have been written by people used to a much higher level of "artsyiness" in their reading than the average SciFi^H^H^H^H^HyFy viewer.

Or, maybe they are hacks... :shrug:

_________________
Avatar by my unknown Kindreds Secret Santa


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:29 pm 
Offline
Hera's Fiance
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:55 pm
Posts: 716
terribleted wrote:
Why stop at just Spock and McCoy being mere representations of Kirk's inner conflict. Maybe all the characters were just different faces of Kirk's schizoid personality. For that matter, maybe we're all just characters in some weired Shatneresque dream. Scary, huh? :grin:


Terrifying. :) But I didn't get the Spock and McCoy theory out of a dark spot on my anatomy. I believe that bit came from The World of Star Trek which was a history of the original Trek series written by David Gerrold, one of the episode writers for the show who is now a professor. He explained that Kirk was based on Horatio Hornblower (great books, good movie, wonderful A&E series). In the Hornblower novels there is no equivalent to Spock and McCoy because the author could just tell the reader what Hornblower was thinking. Since Kirk was a TV character they couldn't do that so Gerrold claimed Spock and McCoy were invented specifically to vocalize that internal dialog. I'm just trusting what David Gerrold reported.

_________________
Avatar by my unknown Kindreds Secret Santa


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:19 am 
Offline
Constable
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:08 am
Posts: 619
Very interesting write-up. It delves into some of the issues between the two that the show should have. Alas, I think you're more imaginative and thoughtful on this issue than the writers were. :clap:

I have read that about Spock and McCoy as well. That's one of the reasons the original Star Trek was so good in its day. Not only were Spock and McCoy intriguing characters in their own right, but they did externalize, and thus dramatize, Kirk's inner conflicts.


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:55 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:42 am
Posts: 464
Location: Namur,Belgium
Kind of a lateral thinking approach that gives some credit to the writers. I like very much the idea of two characters fleshing out the duality of human (or non-human in this particular case) mind. And even more because there is only one actress playing the two characters actually. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide in some way and only one of the two can survive.

But do the writers really deserve it? If they'd had that brilliant kind of thinking why didn't they proudly explain it when the show was over? They surely read the rant and rave about Daybreak. So what?

Nevertheless YOU deserve a big thanks for giving us a means of watching the show with a different and fresh look.


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:30 pm 
Offline
Cylon Bible Thumper
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 545
Location: Northern NJ
I honestly do not think the writers gave it that much thought.

_________________
Sharon, Helo and Hera Always


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:48 pm 
Offline
Cylon
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:07 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Chris Taylor wrote:
From the very beginning of the TV show the characters of Spock and Dr. McCoy were not intended to be separate, individual 3-dimensional characters with their own personalities! Rather they were each supposed to represent half of Capt. Kirk's own personality.
I think that maybe they adopted that function rather than having been created for it. Spock was in the Kirkless pilot The Cage and didn't have his "logical" persona; it was actually Majel Barrett's character Number One who fulfilled that role at the time. However, broadly speaking it may be that the Captain (Pike) was to have inner thoughts externalised in that way.

Chris Taylor wrote:
When I (and the rest of us, I suspect) look at Athena and Boomer we see separate individuals. But is that what the writers intended?
It seems to me that this approach (where they ceased to be written as separate individuals per se) manifested some time after New Caprica.

Chris Taylor wrote:
Then Athena does show up, and eventually introduces herself as "I am Sharon." but that "I am a different Sharon." WTF does that mean? Does it mean more than that her name also just happens to be Sharon?
:lol: I sometimes wonder whether Athena had access to Boomer's fake memories or just the real ones. It seems to me, factoring in The Plan, that "cylon Boomer" probably created a copy of her memories and transferred them (perhaps by touch, to another cylon). But did Athena have a prior existence? And does she recall thinking herself to be human? I'm not sure. Would "cylon Boomer" have taken the mission to seduce Helo?

Chris Taylor wrote:
Regardless of how they started, I suspect that at the end Boomer was not written as a separate character, but as Cylon Sharon. Similarly, Athena was written as Colonial Sharon.
I tend to agree. Maybe the gist was that at any one time there's a cylon Sharon and a colonial one. It would seem that the year that was skipped in Lay Down Your Burdens Part 2 was the juncture where a kind of transmigration of the soul happened, in that case. Boomer becomes more cylonised - even apparently becoming a monotheist - and Athena becomes a staunch colonial pilot, as Boomer probably would have been if the "Boomer's a cylon!" plot had never arisen.

Chris Taylor wrote:
Athena survives with her family intact but is unredeemed, having murdered her sister in vengeance without any trace of repentance or even remorse about the act.
In my opinion, there's really no escape from this conclusion if you take those scenes literally; only if taken as a metaphor, as seemingly intended, do they seem to allow for some sympathy for Athena. My problem with this approach is that it reduces the characters to ciphers, and since when was BSG not about credible three-dimensional characters? Boomer herself is a case study in divided loyalties, without the need for any external personification.

Chris Taylor wrote:
Boomer's death then is not a murder but merely a visual representation of Sharon's decision to commit herself to being a Colonial
I find it strange that people see Boomer as being representative of the cylon antagonists. I would say that the principal distinction between Athena and Boomer is that Boomer wants to build bridges between the two peoples while Athena wants to burn 'em. The original projected ending , with Athena dying, would seem to be the one that makes more sense in that case.

Chris Taylor wrote:
After struggling with how to tie up all the loose ends late into the night and a few doses of medicinal marijuana perhaps it seemed like a brilliant, beautiful solution. Or, maybe they were hacks going for shock value... :shrug:
I think that the former scenario is the one closer to the truth. :wink:

:thx: for an interesting and thought-provoking post.


Last edited by Scrawny71 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:17 am, edited 6 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:52 pm 
Offline
Constable
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:37 pm
Posts: 608
Seriously, I think you're giving waaay too much credit to the writers. I think they wrote the min-series...believing it was quite possibly a one shot deal...and when the series was picked up they really had no clear idea of where the story was going. They really did make it up as they went along. That worked fine for a while...in fact I think they did a great job for three seasons...but when it came time to wrap everything up, they found they had written themselves into a corner. Several corners, actually. They did what they could to tie up the loose ends...but didn't fully succeed, imho.


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:24 am 
Offline
Constable
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:08 am
Posts: 619
Scrawny71 wrote:
...and since when was BSG not about credible three-dimensional characters?


Since several episodes into Season 4?

Yes, yes, that's evil :evil: , I know it. I just couldn't resist. :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:39 am 
Offline
Cylon
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:07 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Dublin, Ireland
NT2 wrote:
Scrawny71 wrote:
...and since when was BSG not about credible three-dimensional characters?


Since several episodes into Season 4?

Yes, yes, that's evil :evil: , I know it. I just couldn't resist. :lol:

That's harsh but fair. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:47 pm 
Offline
Cylon Bible Thumper
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 545
Location: Northern NJ
I actually think that after the first several epsiodes of season 4, they just winged it! No plan, No Direction just dart board writing..

_________________
Sharon, Helo and Hera Always


Top
 Profile  
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: What if Athena and Boomer are the same person?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:26 am 
Offline
Second Seat
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:54 am
Posts: 17
Don't really have much to add. But this was interesting. Wish the show thoiught as much as this.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron

Style by HighDefGeek
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group