So I’ve been watching Battlestar Galactica recently and the nerd inside of me couldn’t help but compare the Cylon armada vs. other SciFi universes…
I’m not that far into the series yet, but the main strengths of the Cylons I’m considering are:
1. Super hackers: The entire colonial system gets decimated because of one infiltrator programming backdoors into a networked defense grid.
2. Infiltration: Cylons can look like people, for all intents and purposes. They are also really hard to differentiate without laboratory tests.
3. Propensity for use of nuclear weapons: Cylons love nukes…they also don’t value their individual lives and are happy to blow themselves up.
4. Space faring race: The Cylons are seemingly able to jump vast distances quickly using FTL drives.
5. Advanced weaponry/ high resilience: Cylons are pretty killy and fairly durable, though nothing compared to the Terminator or other more notorious bots.
1) Cylons < Imperium of Man (40k)
No networked computers (often wet wired systems), billions upon billions of souls spread out throughout the universe, and space marines seem like they would own Cylon warriors. The Imperium has many, many immense naval fleets who may not be as fast/reliable as the Cylons but are definitely more numerous and killy. Also, they have void shields.
2) Cylons < Imperium of Man (Dune)
This was as tough one… no networked computers or hackable thinking machines (except maybe deep in Richese/ Ix), but the ‘Duniverse’ was never really about space combat…planetary combat vs. Cylons is mostly nukes which kind of steam roll any elite ground troops. However, the people in the ‘Duniverse’ have already defeated sentient robots of their own design (Butlerian Jihad) so they get the win. Also, spice is amazing.
3) Cylons > Weyland Yutani Corporation (ALIEN)
This is so lop-sided it’s a joke. Cylons hack the networked computers/ androids and trash some Colonial Marines. I mean come on, really? Similarly, xenoforms (Aliens for sure, Predators don’t really have enough info…) would get thrashed.
4) Cylons > Dudes in ‘Firefly’ (Firefly)
This is for the same reasons as the Weyland Yutani Coporation. The Reavers would probably stand the best chance, since they’re insane and have no idea what a wireless router is, but really I think this would be over pretty fast.
5) Cylons > 01 (AI race from ‘The Matrix)
This is definitely the worst match up. While the entire artificial race is not only fixed to a single hive mind, they are also only on one planet, to our knowledge. The only upside is that maybe the humans in Zion would be too pathetic for the Cylons to even think about, so maybe they could survive the orbital bombardment (the ‘Real’ world is already pretty much a radioactive wasteland).
6) Cylons = Peacekeepers (Farscape)
I can’t really remember whether the Peacekeepers used networked systems, but since they are pretty high tech I image they would. This would probably be fairly similar to the actual Battlestar Galactica show.
7) Cylons ? The Citadel Council (Mass Effect)
I guess it matters what decisions you made in the game! (hur hur). But no, really. Reapers seem way worse than Cylons and the Geth (another AI race) weren’t too hard to handle. Granted, I imagine infiltration and hacking would be a lot more effective in the ME universe, but then again I somehow doubt that the ****SPOILERS**** Reaper would allow their derivative tech to get hacked by some upstart sentient robots.
8) Cylons < Empire/Jedi/Sith/whatever (Star Wars)
Ya midichlorians or something…. I don’t really care. Star Wars doesn’t make a lot of sense since it’s mostly ‘space magic’ so I guess they would just use the force and kill the Cylons, or something. Also, there is never any mention of networked computers in Star Wars (there are flight/targeting computers, but who uses those anyway?!) so have fun hacking…at worst the Cylons would be as effective as R2D2 opening a hangar door or stopping a trash compactor. I won’t lie though, I would love to see nukes used against the Mon Calamari or Wookies.
9) Cylons < The Federation (Star Trek)
The Borg are way harder to kill than Cylons, not to mention they constantly adapt and assimilate new Borg from their prey. Somehow, the Federation is holding up, so I imagine they would probably fare pretty well. If anything, I feel like the Cylons would be a two-parter episode before Data or Picard figured out a way to shut them down. However, I do imagine the initial conflicts with Cylons to be pretty bloody since they like to ‘come out of nowhere.’ Similarly, the Federation is notoriously easy to infiltrate. In the end, I think the fleets and tech of the Federation would outshine the Cylons, though.
I’m sure there are many scifi universes I left out, so if you are reading this and think, “hey what about ____?!,” then feel free to leave a comment with your own analysis. Similarly, if you think my assessments are hogwash, ill-informed, idiotic, or otherwise wrong, I’d love to hear that too.