On the weekend of July 31st through August 2nd, 2015, Seattle Washington and the rest of the science fiction convention world saw first hand what the Battlestar Galactica Community is all about as the once proud flagship convention pertaining to the now 37 year old Battlestar Galactica franchise, known as Galacticon, rose from the ashes of potential failure to a level of mitigated success.
The fact of the matter is that Galacticon 4’s promoters dropped the ball in a major way, with the real losers standing to be not the uninvited celebrities, nor the vendors (although they were admittedly caught in the middle and did suffer financial loss); but rather the true losers were the very special community of Battlestar Galactica fans, who are legion in both their number and love for Glenn Larson’s opus.
Galacticon’s issues began to publicly become apparent on social media about a week or so before the convention was to begin, as one by one; many Battlestar Galactica and related science fiction celebrities confirmed they would not appear at Galacticon. And with each cancelation, more air seemed to escape from the bated breath of the very large community of BG fans all over the country and indeed the world, as the fans had been patiently waiting to come together and celebrate their favorite space opera Battlestar Galactica for two years since the last Galacticon in Houston Texas in 2013.
Now no one can really blame the Battlestar Galactica celebrities both past and present, who made their decisions not to attend the bi-annual Colonial celebration in this year, as each and every one of these personalities did what they thought best in order to support each other and indeed to protest the potentially questionable business practices of Galacticon’s management.
And to be fair, there were still a good number of Battlestar Galactica celebrities from both the new and old series who still chose to attend the show such as Michael Trucco, Leah Cairns, Terry Carter, Jack Stauffer, Anne Lockhart, Sarah Rush, Luciana Carro, along with both Lee Stringer, Eric Chu. By the same token, while both Nicki Clyne and Aaron Douglas did choose to boycott the show, both actors still decided to make free appearances in the Seattle area so as to specifically benefit their fans. And to be sure, the Battlestar Galactica community shall not forget the dedication and commitment of the BG celebrities who made the effort to honor the spirit of Battlestar Galactica and its most precious resource, the fans.
Likewise, it would be inexcusable to forget the contributions of the Galacticon administrative and support staff along with all of the convention’s volunteers, security and related personal including all of the shows much appreciated vendors and exhibitors, as well as the other non Battlestar Galactica celebrities who still attended the convention. Credit must be given and these contributions acknowledged as all of these individuals rose to the occasion, smiled when they must have felt like screaming and for doing all they could to make Galacticon as special as possible for all of those fans who still came out to celebrate in Colonial fashion all things Battlestar Galactica.
What now remains however in the wake of this convention are the tattered remnants of Galacticon along with any future Battlestar Galactica conventions remaining in an unknown limbo. The question now becomes; who among the convention or fan community will step up to help lead this rag-tag community of friends and fans of Battlestar Galactica? It may be that the answer to this question has at least in part, been staring the BG community right in the face.
From the very beginning of Galacticon’s implosion and continuing through out all of the confusion and convention drama, one voice above all of the others seemed to remain steady, optimistic and conciliatory. This would be Richard Hatch (who played Captain Apollo in the original series, as well as Tom Zarreck in the reimagined series), as time and time again Richard addressed the Battlestar Galactica fans and community via social media throughout the week leading up to the show, while working tirelessly behind the scenes to do all that could be done so as to ensure that there would at the very least be one more Galacticon.
Richard Hatch for instance said the following via social media on July 29, “Well, everyone, I don’t have a clue about the current state of the convention as of yet but I have my ticket and will be heading up to Seattle tomorrow morning. So, I’m going. Not sure who else might be brought back but one way or the other lets all find a way to have fun and enjoy the weekend. The truth is a convention, when you get down to it is all about the people and we are the people, so do what we do best and that’s have fun!!!”
Richard then went on to also say, “I know this has been a crazy up and down process leading up to the event and I understand how frustrating this has been believe me, but lets all put our judgment aside for the time being, pull together and give this event a chance to succeed. Once the dust has settled down the road we can assess what went right and what needs to be improved who we need to address our concerns to. Look forward to seeing all of you still attending up in Seattle!“
By all accounts Richard Hatch did all that he could both publically as indicated above as well as behind the scenes, to in fact save Galacticon. And he did this it would seem for one compelling reason and one alone; because he sees the beauty inherent within the Battlestar Galactica fan’s heart and above all else, because Richard Hatch loves the fans back just as much as we love him.
I have came to this conclusion and believe this to be the case for two main reasons; in the first instance, I was privileged to attend a small dinner celebration Sunday evening after the show with convention staffers and dear friends such as Steven ‘The Voice’ Elliot (convention MC) and Michael Devault (D.O. for Galacticon), among others at Seattle’s downtown Benihanna Japanese Steak House. This post-Con dinner had in fact become a traditional Galacticon after convention dinner, and this year both the lovely Sarah Rush and Captain Apollo himself, Richard Hatch attended this dinner, eating alongside the fans and convention staffers along with Alec Peters from Star Trek:Axanar.
Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to hear Richard speak knows what a great orator and persuasive speaker he can in fact be, but this last Galacticon dinner seemed to mean something special to him and the speech he gave I found to be not just moving, but inspirational. Richard spoke to all of those in attendance of all those things which were good, vital and important about Battlestar Galactica. He spoke not just about the fans however, but about the need to move on from this experience in a positive light and with an eye towards the future.
And more than anything, as I listened to Richard that night in Seattle I understood and felt that he was speaking to more than just the room of collected staff, supporters and fans, but rather he seemed to be empathically tapping into the very consciousness of the Battlestar Galactica community itself. While I cannot speak for the others at the dinner, he made me at the very least believe that there was indeed a future for Battlestar Galactica, as well as for fandom in general.
Richard also spoke about the fans being vocal and showing the powers that be that the fans can now decide what they want to watch and can indeed participate in and create the very things they desire. And as Richard continued to speak, I absolutely not only believed what Richard was saying, but I also agreed with him and took solace in his words after a less than stellar convention experience.
Listening to Richard speak I wanted to agree with him that everything would be better where Battlestar galactica was concerned specifically because Richard told us that it would be and by the gods, I believed him! And as Richard finished speaking to those he was breaking bread with, I recalled smiling as I looked up at him and responded along with everyone else to his inspirational words with a resounding and heartfelt, “So Say We All!”
In the second instance, I found myself later having drinks with both new and old friends as well as alongside the very beautiful, charming and funny story teller Anne Lockhart, who thankfully informed me of the condition of Galacticon organizer and long time friend Shawn ODonnel (whom I sincerely wish a speedy recovery to). Just as importantly however, Anne Lockhart helped me clearly see and understand, that at least in her mind, it was Richard Hatch who rallied what was left of the show along with his fellow celebrities to make a go of the convention because it was the fans that it was owed to more than anything else. And while I am paraphrasing, Ms. Lockhart indicated that if it was not for Richard Hatch, there would have been no Galacticon!
Now, to be clear; the Galacticon show was in fact saved because the Battlestar Galactica community as well as the hard working Galacticon staff and volunteers at the Seattle Center came together, with everyone pitching in and doing what ever needed to be done in order to keep the show afloat. And without the concerted and sincere effort of every single one of those beautiful frakking colonials, fans, supporters and friends, Galacticon would never have been pulled off. So any success that was in fact realized by Galacticon that weekend in Seattle must in fact be attributed to the heart and soul of the Battlestar Galactica fan and community to be sure!
But let us all take a moment and acknowledge the fact that Battlestar Galactica has since the very beginning in fact had one true and noble Patriarch who loves us all without exception and to the very end. One individual who above all others has never doubted our strengths and passions and has always believed in us even when we did not know we needed to be believed in.
Even before the new imagined series this vision worked tirelessly to see Battlestar Galactica revived and in the end, even took part in a vision he did not have a part in creating, but came to love it regardless as well. Throughout all the long yaron since the original show was cancelled and through all of the yaron during and after the reimagined series, our firm colonial bedrock and unflinching support has always been from the inspirational leader and Colonial Father of us all, Richard Hatch.
So it seems to me that it is high time that we all acknowledge Richard Hatch as both our official and unofficial leader of the Twelve Colonies and we may all take solace knowing that our dreams and love of all things Galactica are in very good hands so long as Richard’s vision, guidance and love is standing watch on Galactica’s bridge.
And while it may in fact be lonely there at times for Richard Hatch, like the rest of us; he will never truly be alone as he can always be sure that in all of the very same deep and special ways that he loves us, we do indeed love Richard Hatch for watching over all that we hold near and dear where Battlestar Galactica is concerned.
Thank you for being there for us after all of this time Richard and as you lead us sir, please know that we have always loved you, we believe in you and shall always answer your call!
So Say We All!!!