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Battlestar Galactica Series Finale: What on Earth ... ?

Friday’s Battlestar Galactica finale didn’t satisfactorily resolve all the series’s long-running mysteries, but the two-hour episode succeeded as an emotionally overpowering experience, and it was a fitting summation for a grandly ambitious show — some of the plot logistics were a little wonky, but our beloved characters compensated for shortfalls elsewhere.

But about those revelations: We have composed a question-and-answer session.

What’s the deal with Starbuck being dead?
Several episodes ago, Kara Thrace was freaked out to find her burnt-to-a-crisp remains in a crashed Viper. In the finale, she discovers that she has become an angel sent back to Galactica to uncover the location of New Earth based on the notes to “All Along the Watchtower.” With that mission accomplished, her farewell to Lee on New Earth is among the episode’s best grab-a-hankie moments.

Is there one God or many gods?

The humans prayed to many gods, while the Cylons prayed to a single deity — one of the many philosophical differences between the two groups. Turns out “God” is simply an unexplainable force of nature, like Prince or ice-cream headaches.

What was God’s plan for Baltar?
Since arriving on Galactica, Baltar has been haunted by a vision of Number Six, who has repeatedly insisted that God had a plan for him. Baltar hadn't simply gone mad; we learn that this statuesque vision is actually an angel. (Caprica Six is also being guided by an angel, except hers looks like Baltar.) Apparently, “God” wanted Baltar to deliver the big speech that convinces Cavil not to kill the human-Cylon hybrid Hera. A nice scene, but after seasons of buildup, a little underwhelming.

Wasn’t there a prophecy that Starbuck was going to lead humanity to destruction?
Yeah, well, uh … Ben Kenobi told Luke that Darth Vader murdered his father, too. You can’t believe everything you hear.

What about that Opera House vision?
Different characters had different visions involving an opera house and a child. This dream cleverly played out during the final showdown between Cavil and the fleet on the bridge of Galactica, with all participants present. The child is Hera, who is the future of humanity because … the writers told us she was.

Did Roslin’s destiny come true?
President Laura Roslin learned early in the show’s run that ancient scripture had predicted she would be the dying leader who guides humanity to Earth but doesn’t live to see it herself. In reality, Roslin didn’t have much to do with the discovery of New Earth and she didn’t die before they got there, but you could argue that her “promised land” was actually the cabin she and Adama had long talked about living in together. She dies as he’s flying them to the spot of their future home, a bittersweet conclusion to the show’s most moving love story. After five-and-a-half years of expectations, the finale couldn’t tie up every loose end perfectly, but the one that mattered most, they got completely right.

Photo: Courtesy of SciFi