contentgrrl

I am conTENT. My work is CONtent.

all of this has happened before and all of it will happen again

Posted by contentgrrl on November 26, 2007


Yesterday, I happened to watch both Disney’s Peter Pan with my preschoolers and SciFi’s Battlestar Galactica Razor with my husband. And I realized that the films are oddly related.

At the beginning of the Peter Pan movie, the narrator states, “All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again.”

It’s a line that comes up in Battlestar Galactica again and again. In the Razor movie, a Cylon hybrid (possibly a god?) said it to Kendra Shaw before she blew them up. And other characters (Leoben, Six, and Roslin) have said it or paraphrased it, according to one fansite, Sacred Scrolls – Battlestar Wiki.

And the Peter Pan Wikipedia entry has this note:

Ronald D. Moore, one of the executive producers and developer of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, has cited this film as the inspiration for one of the recurring themes of the T.V. series concerning the cyclical nature of time. The first line of the film, “All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again,” has been featured prominently in the Battlestar Galactica series as a piece of scripture often repeated by characters.

In J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan The Original Story, the prose opening is “All children, except one, grow up.” All children who live, that is; every family I know has lost a child in the last few generations. And all children who are not autistic or otherwise developmentally retarded. And all who are not Cylons, born and resurrected fully grown.

I like the film opening line better. And I like the way it manifests in Battlestar Galactica. It signifies how most of us go through the same stages, finding and losing a sense of magic, dreaming the same archetypes from our collective unconscious, working our way through a spiraling cycle of time throughout history.

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9 Responses to “all of this has happened before and all of it will happen again”

  1. You correlating Peter Pan with Galactica just gave me sppok 🙂 I really like those movies. For another time killer, I recommend AllFun.com, a FREE social game space where anyone can join & play favorite games with friends and other players on the net.

  2. Autistic children DO grow up. Im not trying to be one of those moms who takes offense at everything written about autists, but most have minds exactly like the rest of us. Even more brilliant. They are merely trapped. Id love to think my son is blissfully unaware of his autism, but then I read about an autistic girl very much like him.

    She began to type on her alphasmart around age 14…the first thing she ever wrote: “I love my mom”. The second: “I know I am autistic and I hate it”. Heartwrenching. One can only wish they didn’t mentally grow up. =[

    I love Peter Pan and Battlestar. Excellent Blog!

    • Charlotte Antal said

      KilaMOMjaro: well put.

      Contentgrrl: Neat connection…my little one is just watching Peter Pan as I read your post…it’s one of his faves. I never picked up on the BG “Panesque” overtones. It would be interesting to re-watch the series to see other ways the two shows overlap outside of just the overall philosophy. I am also not taking offense, but want to be sure you know that the r-word is not congruous with autism, nor should it be used as a label anymore – in part because of the way folks use the term so casually and cruelly nowadays, but also because, in many cases, most people applying the label even in intellectual conversation (like this) apply it incorrectly. There is a movement:http://www.r-word.org/
      Check it out! Help pass it on!

  3. contentgrrl said

    I sincerely didn’t intend for the blanket statement mentioning autism to be offensive. My blissfully child-like sister, now 32, has developmental disorders that prevented her from gaining the ability to speak or communicate beyond the level of a two year old, if that; she currently has no vocabulary.

    I probably shouldn’t have even mentioned autism, since that spectrum is a beam of an entirely different rainbow.

    Thank you for your comments, KilaMOMjaro.

  4. I’d love to talk to you! I worry about my other kids and how they perceive their brother. (and I wasn’t offended at all) =] E-mail me if you can.

    I’m assuming you can see my e-mail =P I’ll check back in case.

  5. Lael said

    I agree Autistic kids do grow up, and experience hormones (almost a synthesized growing up) and yet they are still children. (like that movie “Big”). My brother very much is grown up-i.e. he wants to watch the big guy stuff on T.V. and wants to do what most hormonally managed dudes want to do, and yet when he is sad/scared/or mad he acts like a 5 year old.

  6. […] Extend the IDIC theory to its logical infinity and the infinite monkey shows up. Take it further (yeah, try!) and realize that if the monkey really has infinite time, he will probably produce Shakespearean plays not just one or twice, but an infinite number of times. (To compound the nerdery of this post, that relates to the Battlestar Galactica maxim: “All this has happened before and all this will happen again.” Which itself comes, interestingly enough, from Disney’s Peter Pan.) […]

  7. Stepto.com said

    Social Media sites, like the BBSs of old….

    My first honest to god computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000. ……

  8. Phaedrus said

    For the record, both Peter Pan and Battlestar Galactica are referring to the concept of Eternal Recurrence, which is one of the key tenets of the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Wikipedia has a good article on it.

    The Nietzschean version is a little darker than your interpretation, and a little deeper, as it considers the psychological and philosophical implications of eternal recurrence. If everything is to repeat itself over and over again, what does that mean for us as human beings? We’ll repeat the same mistakes endlessly throughout time, never correcting ourselves. We’ll suffer the same hurts again and again. But we’ll also experience the same joys over and over again. Nietzsche asks, is this desirable? And he claims that if one answers yes, then one is affirming life completely, as one wants everything in life to be repeated eternally.

    Quite a beautiful idea, I’d say.

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