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In the Daybreak, E20/21/22 S4, last episode of the series,

Lee suggests they abandon all technology and start anew on the planet amongst the primitive lifeforms that are implied to be the predecessors of modern-day humans

Why does he suggest this? The following quote attempts to explain the reasoning:

All this has happened before... but maybe it won't happen again. Leave it all behind and start over. We can give them the best part of ourselves, but not the baggage

However, why would

abandoning all technology help break the cycle? At most wouldn't it merely slow down technological progress and make life much more difficult for them? It seems hard to believe such an advanced civilisation would willingly and without protest give up 150,000++ years of technology.

Is there a better explanation for this?

  • 3
    Wow.. a Year 0 policy. That really worked out well for the people of Cambodia. – Andrew Thompson Aug 23 '15 at 5:59
  • Exactly, it's such an unrealistic end that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the space opera. – Huey Aug 23 '15 at 6:00
  • None of season 4 fit with the rest of the space opera. At no point did the population all agree on anything, but this massive decision they all back without dissent? – Cylindric Aug 23 '15 at 8:27
  • He might have watched Star Trek: Insurrection. You can say anything you want about the Ba'Ku, but they do have a very happy, fulfilled life. – Damon Aug 24 '15 at 16:44
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I think you ignore the fact they already gave up a lot during their escape.

Many, if not the majority of people live in slum like encampments spread over all kind of ships. This has been shown during all seasons.

As such, most probably won't really mind a "fresh start". In fact, it might actually improve their life circumstances significantly.

Also don't forget that many developed at least some kind of "fear of technology". It would be odd to give up on things like medicine, but at the same time they were also running low on supplies probably without knowledge or tools to remedy that.

In addition, many episodes repeated "it happened once, it will happen again" in a mantra like fashion. So even if it's inevitable, by giving up technology - and they know and believe in that -, they give themselves at least "some" time to recover and gain numbers once again.

The first exodus happened like 2000 years ago. By starting over they'll likely have more than that before running into the same issues again (which obviously worked).

Overall, is not the best ending, true, but I prefer it over Galactica 79's "blend in" in modern day approach.

  • Their last attempt at colonisation was already pretty village-like even with the benefit of technology. I definitely disagree with the idea giving up tech improved their life circumstances at all, because they're basically exposed themselves to droughts, predators and easily curable diseases. Furthermore, given state, lack of resources, etc. they are already pretty far from developing anything approaching Cylon technology. That being said, it's true this strange choice did appear to have some success so there's that. – Huey Aug 23 '15 at 6:51
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Lee was expecting to give mankind a chance to not make the same mistakes again. The Cylons were a result of technology and their battles just escalated with the use of technology (remember the genocide of the Twelve Colonies and the Final Five's Earth). Start over without technology would be more than just leave the past behind, but a spiritual act. Cylons and humans would need to learn how to live together with basic resources, and build everything up from the ground.

Lee saying "All this has happened before... but maybe it won't happen again. Leave it all behind and start over. We can give them the best part of ourselves, but not the baggage" means that he believes that they can use the experiences they lived on the journey to Earth to create a better world, discarding all bad past behavior and making use of their best lessons learned.

Naturally, none of them could know if this would being succeed in the future (considering that that moment was our prehistorical past, i´m inclined to say that it didn't work...). But that was the question pending unresolved in the future in the final scene, where Gaius Baltar and Caprica Six are talking if it all would happen again. Maybe this will happen again, but it was their last shot for a ultimate peace.

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