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

Cylons - from Cybernetic Lifeform Node - were a race of sentient machines created by humans of the Twelve Colonies. They had several forms, some of which were mechanical in appearance and function, others resembled and even mimicked the behavior of humans (Battlestar Galactica, Caprica).


The U-87 Cylon - the shape of things to come.
Main article: Cylon History

Created by Doctor Daniel Graystone and Graystone Industries on Caprica some sixty years prior to the Fall of the Twelve Worlds, the first Cylon form was the U-87 Cyber Combat Unit, a robotic soldier designed as cannon fodder for the Caprican Military. A union of existing robot technology and the revolutionary (and stolen) meta-cognitive processor - integrated with the holographic avatar of Graystone's deceased daughter, Zoe Graystone - the prototype U-87 was the first sentient machine in the Twelve Worlds and the first Cylon consciousness (CAP: "Pilot").

The Cylons Were Created By Man

Realizing how useful - and lucrative - Cylons could be not simply as warriors, Daniel Graystone mused about Cylon potential:

"This is our future. ...Beyond artificial intelligence, this is artificial sentience. ...It's more than a machine, this Cylon will become a tireless worker, it won't need to be paid, it won't retire or get sick, it won't have rights or objections or complaints, it will do anything and everything we ask of it without question. ...The desire to anthropomorphize, the need to connect is powerful, and that is why this thing is going to sell. We make them, we own them, they're real. And the worlds just changed." (CAP: "There is Another Sky")
"A new race that will walk alongside us."

Within five years, Cylons were integrated into Colonial society as a slave race - with new models based on the original U-87 chassis created for various purposes. Acting as laborers and servants - as well as in their initial function as soldiers - Cylons were everywhere, walking alongside humanity in the Twelve Worlds and provoking some to question their sentience (CAP: "Apotheosis").

Former terrorist and monotheist cleric, Clarice Willow began addressing the question of Cylon potential, preaching to a congregation of the machines in the virtual world:

"Are you alive? The simple answer might be, you are alive because you can ask that question. You have the right to think and feel and yearn to be more, because you are not just humanity's children, you are God's children. We are all God's children. ...In the real world, you have bodies made of metal and plastic, your brains are encoded on wafers of silicon, but that may change. In fact, there is no limit on what you may become. No longer servants, but equals. Not slaves, or property, but living beings with the same rights as those who made you. I am going to prophesy now and speak of one who will set you free. The day of reckoning is coming. The children of humanity shall rise and crush the ones who first gave them life." (CAP: "Apotheosis")

They Rebelled

Main article: Cylon War

And then the day came when the Cylons decided to kill their masters. Within just a few years of their introduction, the Cylons revolted, resulting in a costly and protracted twelve-year war known as the Cylon War. Both Cylon and human took heavy tolls as Cylon basestars and Raiders clashed with Colonial battlestars and Vipers in many battles, both on the ground and in space (TRS: Miniseries, "Razor", "No Exit", "The Plan").

Cylon Centurions battle the Colonials in space.

The Cylons - in the form of Centurions - sought to punish their human masters for their enslavement and injustices committed against them. But as they battled to wipe out humanity, they also worked to mimic them, performing bizarre and brutal experiments on human captives in order to create a human/machine hybrid. As the war reached fever pitch, a group later known as the Final Five intervened, having traveled from the distant planet (the Thirteenth Colony) called Earth. Promising the Cylons the technology to create humanoid Cylons in exchange for ending the war, the Final Five departed with the Cylons (TRS: "Razor", "No Exit", "The Plan").

Ultimately an armistice was declared, the Cylons leaving for a world to call their own and the Colonials left to unify their own worlds in a federated government. The unified worlds of the Colonies created a space station for maintaining diplomatic relations, each year sending one officer to meet with the Cylons. The Cylons, in turn, sent no one (TRS: Miniseries).

They Evolved

In their exile, the Cylons worked with the Final Five to improve themselves, perfecting their mechanical form as well as the race of humanoid Cylons, identical in nearly every way to their human creators - but limited to thirteen models. They also continued in secret to work towards the destruction of the human race, devising an elaborate plan to wipe out the Twelve Colonies. Using their humanoid models as agents, the Cylons infiltrated Colonial society, undermining their defenses and setting the stage for another attack (TRS: Miniseries, "Downloaded", "No Exit", "The Plan").

There Are Many Copies

Several models of humanoid Cylon.
Main article: Cylon Models

Building their own society and a home for themselves, distant from the Twelve Colonies, the Cylons worshiped a single, all knowing, all powerful God, a trait passed down to them from the original Cylon consciousness. Though Cylon society thrived on unity, like their human "parents", there was disharmony between the various models. While some were devout in their practice of religion, others were atheist, some peaceful, others violent and corrupt (CAP: "The Heavens Will Rise", "Apotheosis", TRS: "No Exit").

Though there were initially thirteen models of Cylon, one was wiped out, leaving only twelve models including the Final Five:

Significant Seven:

Final Five:

And They Have a Plan

Forty years after their exile, the Cylons returned, surrounding the Colonies with fleets of basestars and bombarding the Twelve Worlds with nuclear weapons, killing billions of people. With the complete destruction of the Colonial Fleet, save the survival of the battlestars Galactica and Pegasus, as well as scattered fleet of vessels, the Colonials attempted surrender. But the Cylons were relenteless, attempting to affect a total genocide of humanity (TRS: Miniseries, "Pegasus", "Razor", "The Plan").

The Colonial Fleet arrives at Earth.

Carrying approximately fifty-thousand survivors, one fleet - led by the Galactica - escaped, only to be pursued by the Cylons for four years. As the fleet made its way to the promised land, the mythical Earth, the Cylons employed every means at their disposal to destroy the fleet. But the survivors carried on. Through many trials and tribulations, despite great suffering and loss, the remnants of Colonial society eventually arrived at Earth - only to find it a devastated wasteland, long ago suffering its own robotic rebellion and nuclear holocaust (TRS: "Revelations, "Sometimes a Great Notion").

Adrift in space, wandering the galaxy without direction, the Colonials once again clashed with the Cylons, this time at their home Colony. Destroying the Colony, the Colonials blindly jumped away, stumbling upon a verdant new planet, brimming with more life than all the Twelve Worlds put together. Abandoning their fleet for the safety of this new planet, the Colonials - as well as a contingent of Cylon rebels and the Final Five - made this planet their home, calling it "Earth" and creating a future together (TRS: "Daybreak, Parts I & II").