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Chris Higgins
Battlestar Galactica at the U.N.: So Say We All
by Chris Higgins - July 21, 2010 - 8:31 AM

So this actually happened: on March 17, 2009, the United Nations sponsored a panel discussion that “explored some of the themes that are of importance to both the United Nations and the critically acclaimed television show: human rights; terrorism; children and armed conflict; and reconciliation and dialogue among civilizations and faiths.” Yes, that’s right, a sci-fi show generated high-level dialog within the U.N. The panel was moderated by Whoopi Goldberg, and the panel members included Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, and executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick (in addition to various dignitaries, and a hundred high school students in the audience). Oh, and they taped the whole thing. You know you want to watch this.

Battlestar Galactica is one of my favorite TV shows. It actually has a lot to say about terrorism, torture, reproductive rights, race, and of course blowing stuff up. Edward James Olmos kinda ripped up the joint with his opening speech about race. Check this out, and be prepared to yell “So say we all” at your computer screen:

After the jump, you can check out the whole thing, two hours of BSG analysis and retrospective. It’s geek heaven, people.

For more coverage, check out this NPR story, this first-hand account from io9, or this summary from EW.com.

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Comments (8)
  1. A few thoughts…

    What the heck is Whoopie doing there? I know she’s the “moderator”, but nothing in her resume qualifies her in either the “UN” or “Galactica” categories.

    Though I don’t disagree with anything Mr. Olmos says, his demeanor comes across as just a bit… is “crazy” too strong a term?

  2. @TBV I think her role as Guinan from ST:TNG qualifies her to be there. Even though it’s a seperate series, they also explored similar concepts (especially in the episodes she was in).

  3. That was epic. And perfect because I could basically listen to the whole thing at work. Thanks so much for that video!

  4. Also, Whoopie is a UN Ambassador which is likely why she was chosen to moderate something at the UN involving entertainment. Plus it’s pretty evident from the 2 hr video that she loves BSG.

  5. Goosebumps… Check

    Great speech by EJO, he is 110% correct and I love that he did that in front of the UN, a group of people that really could stand to hear this.

    @TBV if you have seen him speak in other venues that is just how he is, a very passionate man. And I would catergorize this not as “crazy,” more like “Adama ca. Season 3.”

    So say we all

  6. I get what he’s going for, but there’s some historical revisionism going on. Nobody used race until 600 years ago? He’s off by a few thousand years – ever heard of Israel? Palestine?
    Let’s look at the Inuit tribe. Their word for themselves translates as “people” meaning they initially regarded everyone else as less than human. They’ve been around longer than 600 years.

  7. This is the best two hours I have spent in a long time.

  8. PartiallyDeflected: Pretty much every group’s word for themselves translates to “People”. Of the top of my head, there’s the Ainu, the Lakota, the Dine (Navajo), the Khoi….

    It doesn’t mean they regard everyone else as less than human. I don’t see how you reached that conclusion.

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