The Battlestar Galactica image that purports to give clues to the identity of the last Cylon has spread around the Internet with religious fervor. Galactica Sitrep and SpaceWesterns.com put their heads together in analyzing the image. — ed, N.E. Lilly
The Battlestar Galactica Code: The Last Cylon
by N.E. Lilly & Logan Gawain ©2008
“You already know the answer to these questions. It’s all right there. Just examine every episode closely and the truth will emerge. Or break out a magnifying glass and go over that Last Supper photo one more time. Ron Moore laid it all out for you.” — David Weddle, Interview with SyFy Portal
*Please note: We are spoiler sensitive! In the interest of keeping these spoilers from being set loose upon an unsuspecting public, please do not post the images below in other locations.
The Revelation by N.E. Lilly
I’ve only become recently bound up in the knotty problem of the Battlestar Galactica “Last Supper” image. As a designer, the image seemed staged. People weren’t just standing there, acting their parts — they were placed; from the positions of the groupings to the unnatural positions that they were holding. Not just the people, but certain items on the table as well. The image reminded me, on a sub-conscious level, of a Highlight Magazine picture search, a MAD Magazine fold-in, and a Da Vinci Code style hidden image all rolled into one.
MAD Magazine Fold-in
Here is a sample MAD Magazine fold in. It’s a very popular feature for the magazine...
...because, by folding points A and B together, you come up with a new image, with an altogether different meaning:
Da Vinci’s The Last Supper
Here is Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, which is also reported to contain hidden images:
Something that caused quite a stir is the discovery that if you flip the image, and make one image transparent over the other (and align the two images to have the same single point of perspective) then you see what looks like a woman holding a child standing near Christ.
Another interesting feature is the figure, next to Christ, leaning away from him. By moving that person to the right of Christ to his left, you can see that it seems that the figure was intended to be there, almost as a part of a loving couple.
One final interesting feature of the image is something that’s missing from Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Despite the fact that this is a painting of the last supper, the Holy Grail (the vessel that contained the blood of Christ) is missing. It was speculated (using the aforementioned irregularities in the painting) that the vessel of Christ’s blood was in fact, his child, whom he had with Mary Magdalene. Whether or not you believe this is true, these are the elements that lead us to the hidden clues in the Battlestar Galactica image, which I’ve begun to call The Last Cylon.
Battlestar Galactica: The Last Cylon
Someone is indeed absent from the table, admits Moore: “We have not yet revealed the final [unknown] Cylon.” Does that mean the people already at the table aren’t the final cylon? Moore laughs. “You ferreted that out pretty slyly. I didn’t really want to give that away.” — Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly did an excellent job of highlighting the different elements in the image, and what significance they hold in the series.
First I approached the image from the aspect of a MAD Magazine fold-in. Dividing the image into quarters, and folding along those lines produces a striking image — but it felt incomplete.
That’s when I turned to analyzing it in a similar fashion to Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. As mentioned before, the configuration of the figures troubled me. What also troubled me was the fact that the two glasses were exactly on the same line. It seemed too unusual — especially when you take into consideration the two glasses of water on the table, which, all too conveniently could form registration points for a fold-in image. The rest follows from artist intuition. The two glasses were the same shape, on the same line, and transparent. I proceeded to lay one glass over the other and set the one layer to roughly the same percentage as one glass is less than the other. And my heart jumped at the image that was produced. The majority of the image was a jumble of imformation, but the center of the image produced a clear result:
The relation between Kara and Lee and between Tyrol and Baltar is too good of a fit to be coincidental. It places Kara squarely in front of the grail. The image still felt incomplete, however. I then struck upon the idea of trying to merge the two images. That produced a much more complete composition.
At the end of what I felt that I could conceivably accomplish. It seemed that if there were secrets buried deeper in the image than I could divine. I stumbled across a major revelation, but not having watched the show as religiously as I could have, I contacted the good people at Galactica Sitrep. ProgGrrl didn’t want to be potentially exposed to spoilers, so her counterpart Logan Gawain stepped in.
After doing some research and reading in the Entertainment Weekly article the very coy answer about the grail (note that Moore doesn’t simply say “no”), I felt that Kara should be the last Cylon. I’m sure that there are still more mysteries waiting to be uncovered, but this, I believe is the primary one.
Images Explained by Logan Gawain
While I firmly believe Nathan has discovered an important key to understanding the BSG Last Supper image, I am not as prepared to conclude any single meaning from it. Rather, I see multiple interpretations.
But, I do agree that the glasses of water probably are a marker that when lined up reveal something important, perhaps even crucial to understanding any meaning in the photo. And the perfect alignment of the glass of water and other elements proves to me that either this is the way the image has to fit, or it’s one amazing and wild coincidence. Just look at how exactly every element fits rather precisely, as if it’s meant to fit that way. For instance, does Chief Tryol’s position change to now holding the knife at Baltar’s head foreshadow a final confrontation between the two of them? The number Six, known as Natalie who is leading the Cylon rebellion against Cavil’s faction, in this positioning is now pointing directly at Tyrol. Does that convey some special meaning, or deeper understanding?
Do the merging of the two glasses of water themselves represent an important metaphor, or foreshadowing? The glass of water by Anders is full. The glass of water near Baltar is nearly 3/4ths full. It might mean something in of itself, I just don’t know what.
Kara, Lee, Anders: Notice how it now appears that Kara is looking at Lee. In the repositioning Anders sits with his arms around both Lee and Kara almost in a group hug, or family portrait, while he kisses Kara. Is he, in this image, handing off Kara back to Lee, and letting her go? (Kara/Lee ’shippers take note!) Also notice how the book that is in front of Kara, now fits perfectly under the chalice or grail. What’s the meaning of relationship between the book, and the grail?
Yes, Kara sits directly before the grail. But, that doesn’t not have to mean she’s the final Cylon. Instead it may in fact mean that she’s the savior of mankind. Or it may also mean that the 5th Cylon has a unique relationship to Anders, Kara, and Lee. Still, could Kara Thrace be the final Cylon? Maybe she could be. I want to find more clues in the show itself as the episodes play out, before coming to a conclusion. Does the First Hybrid’s prophesy from “Razor” provide any clues?
At last, they’ve come for me. I feel their lives, their destinies spilling out before me. The denial of the one true path, played out on a world not their own, will end soon enough. Soon there will be four, glorious in awakening, struggling with the knowledge of their true selves, the pain of revelation bringing new clarity, and in the midst of confusion, he will find her. Enemies brought together by impossible longing, enemies now joined as one. The way forward at once unthinkable, yet inevitable. And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering. I can see them all. The seven, now six, self-described machines who believe themselves without sin, but in time, it is sin that will consume them. They will know enmity, bitterness, the wrenching agony of the one splintering into the many, and then they will join the promised-land, gathered on the wings of an angel. Not an end, but a beginning. — The Hybrid, Battlestar Galactica: Razor
Clearly, the Hybrid spoke of things we’ve already seen, such as the occupation of New Caprica, the Four discovering their true nature, and the emerging Cylon civil war. Other events prophesied remain shrouded in mystery: What will be the “unthinkable” but “inevitable” way forward? Why is the fifth Cylon still in shadow, “hungering for redemption”? And who, or what, would be considered “wings of an angel” that will gather everyone at the “promised land”? In “Maelstrom” Starbuck gave to Adama the figure of Aurora, the Goddess of the Dawn. Does Kara’s positioning next to the challis reaffirm her role as savior, as Aurora, leading the way to their new home? Or, is she a false prophet, as as the First Hybrid prophesied to Kendra Shaw in Razor, who will “lead the human race to it’s end. She is the herald of the apocalypse. The harbinger of death. They must not follow her.”
I agree that this photographic discovery is an important find, and will add to the lore around the Last Supper image. But, it’s too early to draw any one conclusion to solve all the deep mysteries and mythology involved. I’m sure more is to be discovered before all is revealed. But, this new insight opens up many new avenues to explore.
This is an open article. These might not be the final (or even correct) answers, but hopefully, at the very least, this article will take the analysis of The Last Cylon image to a whole new level. If anyone has further discoveries that may have been missed, then please, feel free to contact me and your contribution will be added.
N.E. Lilly is the editor of SpaceWesterns.com. When he isn’t reading submissions or indulging his love of the Space Western sub-genre, he’s developing websites for Science Fiction professionals and organizations through GreenTentacles.