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Well, here we are, once again, having to wait and see what Universal and the powers that be will do with our beloved Battlestar. I donít know why itís so painful, but it seems that like every story, novel, movie, etc. we have ever grown to love in this world, we CARE what happens to our favorite characters and the underlying themes that support and motivate them.

I have always said that there are many viable ways to explore the basic premise of "Battlestar Galactica" and itís endearing characters. And that can be attested to by the many wonderful stories written by fans around the world for the past 25 years. The fact is: Everyone has their own idea about what should happen in the story and how the characters should develop -- and theyíre all equally valid.

The problem is: No one is going to satisfy everyone. Iím sure we would all agree that our deepest hope is whomever ends up creating a new "Battlestar Galactica" series will at least honor the original story and characters that we all fell in love with many yahren ago. Where the story picks up and where the characters are now is of *prime importance* to the vast majority of the fans who want to see what has happened for the past 25 years. The risks with re-imagining a classic like "Battlestar Galactica" are that the producers are essentially saying (to the now-three generations of fans who have bonded to the story and actors) that they and the original story and characters donít count. I know in the producers' minds they truly believe that they are still paying homage to the original show. They are trying to stay true to the underlying original theme of "Battlestar Galactica." Unfortunately, on a physiological and metaphorical level, they are still (by all accounts) throwing away the very elements the fans of all ages fell in love with -- and deem most important to the integrity of the show.

Itís difficult for any television show to become successful these days. No matter how well produced, it is due to the fact that programs rarely have the time to build an audience before they are yanked from the schedule and replaced by yet another unknown entity desperate for instant success. Itís even more difficult when you take a classic like "Battlestar Galactica" with a well-established story and characters that is still very much alive in the fans hearts... and just throw it away for no apparent reason other than to seemingly put one's own stamp on it. Now you are running the risk of alienating the very fan base that you need to keep you alive while you try to build a new audience and bond them to your show and unknown characters.

One of the arguments Iíve heard over and over from the studios is that they want to appeal to a new and younger audience for their programs. I understand the commercial agenda, but in the case of a classic sci-fi show like "Battlestar Galactica," the bulk of the audience they supposedly want to discover is already defined, established and crosses all cultural ethnic, age and genre demographics. Three generations of fans, ranging from the teens to the thirties, forties and fifties are waiting to see the show they fell in love with over the past 25 years.

"Battlestar Galactica" has always been about family and when you replace known characters and actors with people youíve never met youíve than lost that sense of family and continuity that is so hard to establish and than have to start all over again. The question is why? What is the reason that they want to start over again and how does it limit the risk and serve their financial and commercial agenda?

It seems to me that the larger risk for the studio is, in fact, starting over. Instead, they could so easily bridge the past with the future by simply evolving the characters and storyline than by adding new characters and a new generation of our children born in space carry us into the future. Would this not equally serve both the commercial, financial and artistic agenda, and at the same time, honor the fans of the show that will in the end ultimately determine the success or failure of the new series?

The fastest way I know to bond new characters to the fans is to have the characters they love and respect... and introduce them and be related to them. Studios these days are trying to minimize their risks by mining the past for successful shows and titles that they can remake because they feel they have a better chance of succeeding with a format that worked before. What they have difficulty understanding is that "Battlestar Galactica," like "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" has developed a vast and continually growing loyal fan base reaching into all generations. These fans are emotionally involved in the stories and characters and will feel slapped in the face if the studios just take the title and re-imagine the story to their own liking. I and many of the fans all over the world have done our best to convey this message but the powers that be seem determined to go against the polls and overwhelming fan support for the original show and do their own thing. My quandary is what do we do at this point? We donít want to see the show fail but how do we support their efforts when they seemingly care little about our feelings and continually disregard our feedback and ideas. In spite of all this, I still truly want the new "Battlestar Galactica" series to succeed.

I have talked to the producers of the new show recently. They appear to be talented and caring people who believe in "Battlestar Galactica" and want to create a quality series. But itís very hard for the fans and I to understand how they can love the original series and still want to re-imagine it instead of updating it. Someone at the top obviously doesnít love this show or understand it as so often happens with sci-fi classics. I do understand that opinions are personal and everyone is entitled to them.

Regardless of what I feel about the direction the new "Battlestar Galactica" series is taking, I believe "Battlestar Galactica" deserves a real second chance to do what it could have accomplished so very long ago when they ripped the show's heart out by replacing the one and only original "Battlestar Galactica" with "Galactica 1980." Stay tuned and please continue to make your voices heard. Everyone of you count more than you know. And believe me when I say to you that no matter what they, the powers that be, pretend to say or do in the future, YOU are getting through to them. Sooner or later, they will be forced to pay attention if they want to succeed.

You are the ones with the power and when you speak as one they have to listen. This is not about me but what you feel and believe. "Battlestar Galactica" belongs to you; I sincerely hope that they have the foresight to bring you the show that you deserve and can believe in.

In regards to my new "Battlestar Galactica" novels, including the newly released "Battlestar Galactica - Rebellion": I want to thank the many fans of the series for their positive support and feedback. Unfortunately, you canít please everyone, but we have done our best under extremely difficult circumstances to bring you the most entertaining and meaningful story possible. For those of you who may be disappointed or donít agree with the direction we are taking, I can only say: I honor your feelings and feedback, but as in all cases with a story like this, if you try to please one faction, you end up displeasing others. There are many fans out there with extremely different points of view and ideas concerning "Battlestar Galactica." Eventually you have to follow your own heart and run the risk of criticism.

I can only say that everyone who has their own ideas of where they would like to see "Battlestar Galactica" go should write their own stories and post them on the web. Thereís room for all of us out there, so go to it and let's see what you can come up with. My only agenda is that we continue to explore the original characters and themes while a new generation of their children joins them on their epic journey to find Earth and the mythical Thirteenth Tribe. May your endeavors be blessed and I wish you all the best.

As to "The Great War Of Magellan" project, we are finally completing the trailer. It has been one of the most challenging, fulfilling undertakings in my life. I thought making the "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming" trailer was difficult, but this has been one epic adventure into the unknown. The first version of the trailer will finally debut at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of August 2002. (We will be playing the behind-the-scenes/"Making Of 'The Great War of Magellan'" trailer at Comicon in San Diego, California the first weekend of August 2002.) We hope to see you all there.

Itís so nice to be able to work on something you own -- and donít have to beg permission for. I will always love, support and believe in "Battlestar Galactica." I must say I love the journey of creating my very own heart-felt story. Itís been extremely painful and frustrating sometimes, but the joy of waking up in the morning to devote my energy and resources to what I truly believe in is the most exhilarating adventure of my life -- and I wouldnít exchange this opportunity for all the money in the world -- and I also wouldnít change working together with fans and artists from all over the world to create the "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming" trailer.

Every dollar I spent and all the time and energy we all committed to bringing back this beloved story was well worth it. I still hope in my heart one day that maybe there will be a way to help bring back the original series intact. I pray for that! Just remember, your dream is not just a dream. Itís your life. Thatís what I have discovered! Go for it!

May the Lords of Kobol guide and support you. All the best,

Richard Hatch


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