The Five That Remain
Versions of the Messianic in Battlestar Galactica
Keywords:Battlestar Galactica, messianism, Benjamin, Agamben
The re-imagined television series Battlestar Galactica engages issues of contemporary significance throughout its four-season run. This paper, drawing upon Benjamin, Derrida, Agamben and other theorists, explores a number of significant messianic motifs and messiah figures (or groups of figures) in the series. Although each instance of the messianic moves Battlestar Galactica’s narrative forward, the consistency with which the series undermines any and all messianic pretensions provides an intriguing critical opportunity to reflect upon the theo-political. The series clearly seems to take issue with the messianic discourse of the Bush years. But reading the insufficiency of its messianic moments in theoretical terms may also allow for a nuanced critique of theory’s recent fascination with the idea of the messianic itself.
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