I’m often asked if I am a fan of the ‘old show’ – what some are calling Battlestar Classic. This has always been a difficult question for me to answer. I recently had the honor of meeting The Eric Chu. Known as The Cylon God, Eric is the concept artist who designed the Cylon Centurions, raiders, and basestar, for the new show. He is a great guy with a wonderful sense of humor.
We got some great pictures of him in Eugene Haggerty’s Cylon Raider
Well leave it to Eric to put it eloquently.
Eric Chu: My first brush with Battlestar Galactica was shortly after the release of Star Wars. All of a sudden science fiction was hot and we couldn’t get enough of it. The theaters were flooded with tons of poorly-made crap just to cash in on Star War’s success. Well, in Canada, Battlestar Galactica was released theatrically and we all thought it was the next big-budget science fiction blockbuster. I remember sitting in the theater sucked into a world of evil robots, beautiful women, bizarre aliens and hotshot pilots. It had that cinematic look, great special effects, and high production values that was missing from the then-current crop of cheapo movies.
When it later showed up as a series, it was probably the best-looking show on TV. In fact, it was quite literally a weekly theatrical movie. I mean, we can all look back at it now and fault it for its cheesiness, but at that time, there was nothing else like it.
However, as time went on, the show became more and more watered down and by the time its run had ended with Galactica 1980, it had become a bit of an embarrassment. My feelings for the show had changed, and when it was cancelled, I really didn’t miss it.
Over the years, Galactica had aged and become this kind of 70’s pop-culture thing from my childhood, and while I remembered it, I didn’t necessarily long for its return. My taste in the genre had evolved and I found myself gravitating less towards the “space opera” and more towards the grim and realistic: Alien, Blade Runner, and the like…
So fast-forward to December of 2002, I received a call from FX Supervisor Gary Hutzel, with whom I had worked with on a previous production. He sent me the script and I read it over in one sitting. This wasn’t the Battlestar Galactica I had grown up with, not by a long shot… this was grim and realistic!
I signed on.
Eric sat down to give RedEye Rogue an exclusive interview for a look inside what drives the cylon centurion.
REDEYE ROGUE: Thank you for doing this interview Eric.
ERIC CHU: My Pleasure.
REDEYE ROGUE: So, do Centurions fart?
ERIC CHU: Yes. It’s how they communicate in fact.
REDEYE ROGUE: Wait – what language would that be…?
ERIC CHU: Methanese
REDEYE ROGUE: Can you submit your answers in Methanese?
ERIC CHU: Yes
REDEYE ROGUE: Thank you for your time.
By your command.