the Machines" Part 1
Battlestar Galactica: Cylon War #1 (Dynamite)
Writers: Joshua Ortega and Eric Nylund
Pencils: Nigel Raynor
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover A: Stephen Segovia, Cover B: Nigel Raynor
During the battle of Caprica, Admiral
Ben Tanner sees something that makes him reflect on his time
during the first Cylon war.
Notes from the BSG
This issue opens during the Cylon attack on
Caprica seen in "Humanity's
Children", then flashes back 40 years to show events leading
up to the events of the first Cylon War.
Battlestar Galactica: Cylon War is a
4-issue mini-series published by Dynamite Entertainment. Though
the mini-series itself is titled
Cylon War, the bonus script pages
included in each issue show that the story was titled
"God in the Machines" Parts 1-4, a better title in
the first place, so I have used those titles in
PopApostle's studies of the mini-series.
This series tells the story of the build-up to the first Cylon
War 40 years before the events of BSG2000. It was published the
year before the premiere of the
Caprica TV series on Syfy, so it unfortunately
contradicts a lot of the canon information about the origin of
the Cylons depicted therein. To make this mini-series fit into
the continuity at all, one must imagine that the Tanner
corporation here has merely taken a role in helping to improve
the Cylon robotic designs already introduced by Graystone
Industries in the aforementioned TV series.
Characters appearing or mentioned in this story
Admiral Ben Tanner
Colonel Gerard (he is named in the script pages at the end of
John Tanner (Ben's father, name revealed
in the script pages at the end of the issue)
Eliza Tanner (Ben's mother,
name revealed in the script pages at the end of the issue)
Tim Tanner (name revealed in the script
pages at the end of the issue)
Melissa Tanner (name revealed in the
script pages at the end of the issue)
Clive Madras (politician of the Sagittaron Freedom Party,
name revealed in the
script pages at the end of the issue)
Admiral Jennings (mentioned only)
On page 2, Admiral Tanner notices an old model Cylon Centurion
seemingly leading the newer model centurions during the ground
battle on Caprica.
On the last panel of page 3, notice that one of the fallen men
has a tattoo of the Caprica planetary symbol on his arm. On the
next page, as the flashback to 40 years ago begins, notice that
a fallen Caprican soldier in a similar position has the same
Caprican symbol on his uniform sleeve during a violent encounter
between a Caprican trade delegation and
Sagittaron that ensues on Benedict Trade Station.
Most likely the writers borrowed the last name of BSG70 actor
Dirk Benedict (Starbuck) for the name of
Benedict Trade Station.
script pages at the end of the issue reveal that the scenes of
the desecration of robots and the gathering of Caprican bodies
on page 5 is taking place at Port Centaura on Sagittaron. The
script also reveals that the hardliner Sagittaron politician
speaking on the telecast is Clive Madras of the Freedom Party.
Page 6 reveals that the Tanner estate was located in the town of
Oasis on Caprica. Oasis was also mentioned as the false hometown
of the Number Five human model Cylon called Aaron Doral in
"Enemies Among Us".
This issue (and the rest of the mini-series) features a number
of civilian Cylon models not seen elsewhere.
Ben's Cylon bodyguard is called Isak. This is likely a nod by
the writers to Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), known for his series of
robot stories and novels which have robots programmed with the
Three Laws of Robotics:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction,
allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings
except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such
protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
It is revealed here that the Cylon robots built up to this point
have something similar to Asimov's three laws built into their
basic programming, for they are unable to intentionally kill or
injure a human being.
On page 5, Ben remarks that he read that some chicks dig robots in
Playmayte is an obvious play on
magazine and their famous Playmate of the Month in each issue.
Page 10 reveals that Sagittaron has a moon called Abraxus.
During the battle of Abraxus, Admiral Jennings sends orders to
the ship Tanner is on. Presumably, this is the same Admiral
Jennings who orders the Galactica to hunt down the rogue Cylon
group called the Annihilators after the armistice signing over
12 years later in
On page 10, Tanner seems to be a crewmember
on a Caprican ship called the
Zephyrus, but it has the same design as the
Sagittaron ship seen on page 6. Do both colonies mix and match
the types of battleships used at this point in Colonial history?
Or is it an artistic mistake?
In Greek mythology, Zephyrus was the god of
the west wind.
On page 15, the
Zephyrus destroys a
Sagittaron ship called the Oceania (along with two
other Sagittaron ships). "Oceania" is also seen later in the issue
to be the name of a city or outpost near where there is a Tanner
Robogenics Production Facility at Cameronis. Most likely,
Cameronis was named for the director of the first two
Terminator films, James Cameron.
On page 18, Tanner reads a report on progress on the robots'
tactical autonomy routines at the Delphi plant.
Delphi is a city on Caprica.