1978 Colonials

The development of Colonial culture, the ‘back story’ of Colonial history, was inspired by the mythologies of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Asia, with an overlay of modern Mormon theology. The Colonials were a diverse people with ancient traditions and loyalty to their ancestors. Forced eons before to flee their dying homeworld, Kobol, 12 of the Colonial Tribes found homes in a new star system of habitable planets. The 13th Tribe set off for a far-distant world…

The twelve planets that formed the core of the Colonies were named after signs of the Zodiac, hinting at a common history (“There are those who believe that life, here, began out there…”).  Although never fully detailed in the series, the generally accepted names of the Colonies were Caprica, Aries, Sagitara (Sagittarius), Gemon (Gemini), Libra, Taura, Virgon, Leonis, Aquarius, Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpia (Scorpius).

Ancient Kobol was ruled by a succession of “Lords,” who had great power and spiritual insight, and who became objects of worship (much as many of us worship saints), together with a great Council. The current leaders of the Colonies based their Council on that system, and were representatives from each Tribe, each Colony, who wore ancient symbols and wielded minor mystic powers in the name of their people.  They passed their right of rule from father to son, maintaining family tribal communities common on the ancient world.  They were a spiritual people, their “Book of the Word” having a great influence on their society (much as our Bible, Torah, Quaran, and other religious texts influence ours). Yet, the colonials honored prowess in battle above all else, with the warrior class being the most respected of all professions.

At the time we are introduced to them, their planet of origin, the planet Kobol, was a lost world, similar to Atlantis, whose influence reached across time and provided the foundations of their society and beliefs.  Kobol was the symbol permeating all Colonial culture.  The Colonial capitol city on Caprica showed modern pyramid buildings, designs preserved from their ancient beginnings. We get a glimpse of Kobol during the initial stages of their flight, which was actually filmed on the Giza Plateau near Cairo and further south, in the ruins of Thebes in Luxor, Egypt.  The Sphinx was prominently featured but Kobol lacked the huge statues famous throughout ancient Egyptian ruins.  Some of the Colonial symbology was closely modeled from the carvings found in the Valley of the Kings by Howard Carter. 

The Colonials in Battlestar Galactica used their own, unique terminology and measurements.  Some of the phrases included undefined profanity that briefly became popular in young American culture but soon faded away. 

The central theme of the original series was that the 12 known Colonies of Man were incomplete.  The last, 13th Colony, a lost tribe similar to the lost tribe of Israel, was a group of star travelers that escaped Kobol to eventually settle a far-off planet, thought to be mostly myth, but known to the Colonials as “Earth.”  After the destruction of their homeworlds, the surviving Colonials were driven across the stars to find their lost brothers.