While die hard sci-fi fans may love Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek alike, it turns out not everyone feels they both have lovable merits to them. In fact, one legendary star from the Ron Moore Battlestar Galactica reboot, Edward James Olmos, was offered a role in Star Trek but turned it down thinking head done his fair share of science fiction work. The Blade Runner star then accepted the role of William Adama in Battlestar Galactica and Olmos has now explained why he had a chance of heart.
In a recent interview, Edward James Olmos says that what changed his mind about taking on another sci-fi role in Battlestar Galactica was Ron Moore’s storytelling. Olmos felt that the script was very well thought out, so much so that he really wanted to be a part of it. Here it is in his own words:
The writing. The storytelling. The originality of the story itself compelled me to be part of it. It was just amazingly well written by Ron Moore. If you see the pilot, it’s just like, ‘Whoa, what a movie.’ It’s like a movie. It was a television show, but it was just really thought through, which made me want to be part of it. But at the very first meeting I had with the producers, including Ron Moore, I said, ‘Listen, I’ll do this with you. But I must ask you to be very understanding of what I’m about to say. I don’t want to see any four-eyed people, or weird jellyfish people, or weird outer-space people. Creature From The Black Lagoon-ish type of people. I don’t want things that are out in outer space; you get to this world and all the sudden they have these creatures, giant creatures.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to see any of that.’
You really can’t fault Edward James Olmos' comments to the A.V Club about going back on his “no more sci-fi” rule for Ron Moore, because the man really is an excellent storyteller. In fact, both men have very impressive resumes under their belts, which is probably one reason Olmos’ hilarious request for no “weird jellyfish people” and the like was respected.
Edward James Olmos’ particularness when it comes to unnatural space creatures certainly sheds light into why he turned down the role for Star Trek, as the show certainly has its fair share of interesting species. In fact, in the same interview, Olmos says he had such an aversion to potential sci-fi beasties that he told the people behind the Battlestar Galactica reboot that they’d have to write him off if he saw any of them. In his own words:
I will be very honest with you, on my contract I put down that if I see someone that is like that, like some kind of science fiction-type idea of some weirdness out in space, I am going to look at whatever it is that I’m looking at on camera, and I’m going to faint. And I said, ‘You’re going to have to write, ‘Adama died of a heart attack.’ You’re going to have to write me out. Because I’m out.’ [Laughs.] And so they chuckled and said, ‘No, we’re more to the understanding of Blade Runner.’ I said, ‘Now, that’s really good. There was no monsters in that, they were all human beings.’ Well, it was replicants and Cylons, but you know.
While hilarious, it’s quite a peculiar requirement, especially from someone who made a name for himself in science fiction productions - so much so that he could have played Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: TNG! Everything works out for a reason, though, and Edward James Olmos played a great role in Battlestar Galactica, and was even free from any space monsters!