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|One thing that really allowed Battlestar
Galactica to stand out in 1978 when the show debuted was
its incredible special effects. In the theators people
had just saw Star Wars and there was demand for even more
Sci-fi. Battlestar Galactica utilized special effects
miniatures, full size mockups, vapor trails, and a
dazzling array of explosions and space based combat. The
battles in space betwen Cylon and Colonial ships were
flawless in execution. The explosions when certain ships
were destroyed were utilized again and again to save on
cost but even still the effects were perfect. With a
small flash of a laser beam a ship was vaporized into a
cloud of fire and gas. Again and again this happens but
somehow the visual effect is something one marvels at a
bit each time.
Again and again the same effects were used and some thought perhaps abused but why mess with perfection. Coupled with battles in space and the captivating images of hope from a last mammoth Battlestar traveling in space the saga brought a passion for the stars to the world. With new words and places to explore the crew of the Galactica would go on foot many times and battle reptile like Ovion aliens, and the machine like cylons. Always present were familiar laser blast sounds and effects and the effects of Cylon Centurians marching, shining, and falling.
Some of the effects and spaceships of Galactica were even reused in parts of the Buck Rogers saga which was to follow. When effects and models from one tv show can be reused in another is a testatment to just how good the effects really were. While Battlestar had illogical and unscientific plot elements at time it always had top notch effects. When a single lone Cylon craft crashes into the Galactica in one episode and creates a fire a poor show was made but the crash sure was a beauty to watch.
The Cylons, while a low tech effect are perhaps the greatest effect of the Battlestar saga by far. Defined by a single moving red flash for their vision they defined the struggle of man versus machines with this simple effect and their simple glowing chrome and metal. In many ways the Cylon Centurian is Hollywood's earliest Terminator style creation which was to be further defined by good old Arnold in the Terminator.
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