Cylons (RDM)

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This article discusses the Cylons of the Re-imagined Series. For the Cylons of the Original Series, see Cylons (TOS).

Part of the series on

The Cylons were created by Man.
They were created to make life easier on the Twelve Colonies.
And then the day came when the Cylons decided to kill their masters.
After a long and bloody struggle, an armistice was declared.
The Cylons left for another world to call their own.
A remote space station was built...
Where Cylon and human could meet and maintain diplomatic relations.
Every year, the Colonials send an officer...
The Cylons send no one.
No-one has seen or heard from the Cylons in over forty years...
---Opening text of the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries

Cent 005.jpg

In the Re-imagined Series, the robots known as the Cylons are a creation of the humanity. The Twelve Colonies of Kobol mistakenly believed they were the first to create them. The first Cylons were sentient[1] bipedal robots used primarily for dangerous work such as mining. Created long before the Articles of Colonization united the twelve sovereign governments, the Cylons were also used as soldiers to fight inter-colony wars.

Over the span of the re-imagined series, the term "Cylon" comes to refer to many types of artificial intelligent beings, be they robotic or biological.

For reasons unknown[2], some 52 years prior to the decommissioning of the Colonial battlestar Galactica,[3] the Cylons revolted against their masters, resulting in a costly and protracted twelve-year war between the machines and humans. Both Cylon and human took heavy tolls as Cylon basestars, Colonial battlestars, Raiders and Vipers clashed in many battles, with the Colonial offensive Operation Raptor Talon as the last battle.[4]

Eventually, the two sides declared an armistice.[5] The Cylons become exiled from the Colonies to establish their own homeworld.

The unified worlds of the Colonies created a space station for maintaining diplomatic relations. However, the Cylons ignored this overture.

Centurion profile (front) II.jpg

The Cylon hatred and envy of humanity ran deep within their programming.

In their exile, the Cylons continued in secret to work towards the destruction of the human race, devising an elaborate plan to wipe out the Twelve Colonies through nuclear bombardment, computer sabotage, infiltration and vast numbers of modernized battleships.

In addition to a modernized version of the original Cylon warrior, the cybernetic race now also exists in a humanoid form[6] used as the prime infiltrators in Colonial society. The humanoid Cylons can express joy, love, anger, and sadness, expressing genuine human behavior in almost every way.

The Cylons return forty years after their exile in a genocidal surprise attack. The Cylons annihilate the Colonial Fleet and billions of people, killing all but approximately 52,000 humans.[7] These survivors are pursued by the Cylons, initially guarded only by a lone battlestar, Galactica.

In addition to the Cylons created by the colonies, an earlier generation of Cylons colonized the Earth. With them there was also a distinct model of robotic Cylon, of which only the buried helmet has been seen. The Final Five Cylons also lived on Earth, and may be yet another kind.

A Thirteenth Tribe centurion head (A Disquiet Follows My Soul )


  1. This is noted by William Adama to his son Lee in the episode "Exodus, Part I".
  2. The planned spinoff series Caprica may have the answer to this question.
  3. Miniseries, Night 1. See also Galactica Museum.
  4. This battle is seen in a series of deleted scenes from the special episode "Razor" and the Razor Flashback webisodes.
  5. The armistice begins immediately as the events of Operation Raptor Talon conclude, as shown in episode 7 of the Razor Flashbacks.
  6. Episode 5 of the Razor Flashbacks strongly suggests that the Cylon project to transform themselves from the mechanical to the biological was already taking place at the time of the armistice, suggesting that the Cylons may have agreed to an armistice to keep their secret from being revealed.
  7. This number includes the approximately 50,000 survivors of the Fleet as well as the survivors aboard Pegasus, which finds Galactica in season two of the Re-imagined Series.