I was a fan of the show Battlestar Galactica as a kid and it was only natural that I'd gravitate to the new, more adult version of the show. That's one of the reasons why I've been obsessed with the show's third season finale where after being "killed" earlier in the season Starbuck returns claiming to have been to Earth.
So when last we saw Kara Thrace she had returned from the dead in a surprisingly shiny Viper. Chief Tyrol confirms our suspicions, her Viper is showroom new -- right down to the new car smell and the pine-scented freshener hanging in the cockpit. Naturally, no one knows what to make of this, Roslin is convinced that Starbuck is a Cylon, Adama suspects that she's right but he's missed Kara and wishes that he could believe she's the real deal, Lee, Sam, and Helo pretty much welcome her back but are at a loss to explain her return.
My own personal theory is that Kara is not a Cylon. That would be far too easy and obvious. I think that Ron Moore has borrowed a plot device from his old job as a writer for Star Trek -- the transporter.
When Kara drove her Viper into the gas giant, she was diving right into the middle of a giant storm. I believe that the storm wasn't a natural one -- it was probably created by humans on their way either to or from Earth as a means of transportation. Call it a transporter, wormhole, or a stargate but the storm which "killed" Kara was a very slick repackaging of a very old scifi trope. Instead of merely killing her, the storm scrambled her molecules and transported them across time and space to Earth. When she tried to return home, her molecules were scrambled again and transported to the Ionian Nebula. Why the Ionian Nebula? Probably because it was part of the route the travelers who built the original storm were traveling.
While Kara comes back in a brand new Viper, I don't think that this is a huge problem. Who after all, hasn't wondered about the implications of the transporter on Star Trek? Incurable disease? Maybe we can filter out through the transporter. I think that this is what the storm did to Kara and her Viper, it destroyed them and recreated idealized versions of them. It did essentially kill Kara and revive her in another place. This must be a traumatic process which would explain why this planet is abandoned and not a bustling hub for galactic travelers.
Anyway that's my insane theory of why Kara came back. I first posted it on Usenet and looking at several episodes I was struck by how much the storm resembles the "mandala" pattern which we keep seeing on BSG. We first see the mandala in a painting in Kara's apartment on Caprica. And then again in the ancient temple on the Algae planet. The fact that the storm resembles the pattern so closely to me implies that this is more than an ordinary storm on a giant planet.
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