Friday February 17th the Experience Music Project threw a party to celebrate the end of the Battlestar Galactica exhibit. It was as much sci-fi convention as party. There was a Q&A panel with several writers, episode directors, composer Bear McCreary and Tahmoh Penikett (Helo from the series). The exhibit was open to the public, with its 30 foot spaceships, models, and memorabilia. There were lots of souvenirs, a raffle, and of course, cocktails.
Seattle has no shortage of geeks, and many of them were in attendance, myself included. The line outside the EMP stretched back at least a city block before they opened the doors. There was cosplay-a-plenty with lots of red dresses a-la Cylon model 6, lots of President Rosylins, a smattering of Gaius Baltars, and deck hands in their orange jumpsuits. It was fun.
The main event took place in the EMP’s Sky Church. The gigantic video screen was showing scenes from the series while a DJ spun chill out tracks during the beginning of the party. On the left side of the screen there was a scrolling twitter feed showing people’s tweets with the hash tag #Galactibash. That was a really cool idea. It was a great way to get free publicity, and it gave the participants a sense of being involved. It’s not clear if they were censoring the feed at all, but if not, I’m impressed with people’s restraint. It never went blue, or mean, or any of the bad places the internet is wont to travel.
The panel Q&A was the centerpiece of the event. The crowd pushed toward the stage moments before it was set to begin, and on the scrolling twitter feed on the screen someone tweeted a sighting of Helo. The panelists took their seats and the crowd cheered as they introduced themselves. The star of the panel was unquestionably the composer of Battlestar’s music, Bear McCreary. This surprised me a little, but then it occurred to me how iconic the score from the series was. It was also McCreary’s birthday. The audience sang Happy Birthday to him, and he obliged them by conducting.
The overwhelming sentiment from the panelists was one of gratitude. Gratitude for the fans at the event, and gratitude for having been involved in the series. One of the first questions was about when they knew that they were involved with something special. McCreary said â€œI knew watching the first five minutes of 33 [Episode one] it was going to be extraordinary.â€ One of the writers commented about how freeing it was to be able to use flashbacks within flashbacks and stream of consciousness. This was a show made by fans, and the panel agreed that lifelong friendships were forged in the making of BSG. They were all a bit wistful, and it was pointed out that it was pretty incredible to get such a turnout for a show that’s been off the air for many years now. Such is the nature of sci-fi fandom.
There was discussion of a possibility of a feature film. Brian Singer’s name was mentioned. There was also some cagey discussion of Blood & Chrome, but no specifics were mentioned beyond McCreary’s admission of having done a score. That was the sasquach for this evening’s event. Lot’s of fuzzy speculation, not many specifics. The one time Caprica was mentioned it got maybe five claps. That was kind of telling. Hopefully this next prequel fares better.
The Battlestar Galactica exhibit will be at the EMP until March 4th. It’s worth a visit. So say we all.