Ok so now that you’ve read the original Cylon concept let’s take a look at the reimagined universe of Battlestar Galactica and what the history of Cylons says over there. I’ll have to say this, there’s somethings about the reimagined universe that I don’t fully agree with or possible even understand and it took me some reading of online material and I’m currently rewatching the series (mid way through season 2 at this moment) to really grasp it.
So in the rebooted or reimagined BSG, humanity started life on a planet called Kobol, a planet where the “gods & man lived together”. Once mankind achieved technological advancements, they created robots known as Cylons to serve them. Later Humanoid Cylons came into existence; it is not clear as to whether the robots created these humanoids or if humans themselves helped in the creation. The humanoid cylons also developed resurrection technology, since they couldn’t reproduce each cylon would not die but his/her memories & psyche were store and integrated into a copy or a new body. After a long time, Kobol became a wasted planet after a great conflict and the humans left Kobol in a great exodus and settled on 12 planets; upon settling the colonies they discarded all their technology and started afresh.
However a 13th tribe, which were all humanoid Cylons, also left Kobol albeit in the opposite direction and eventually settled on a planet called Earth (the original one and not our Earth). This happens between 3,000 and 4,000 years prior to the events of the Miniseries. On Earth the humanoid cylons created their own robot cylons just like humans on Kobol did. Eventually, these Cylons developed the ability to sexually reproduce and resurrection technology fell into disuse and was lost. 2,000 years prior to the miniseries, the “Final Five” began work to redevelop resurrection, having been warned by mysterious “angels” that a disaster possibly similar to the one on Kobol was coming. When life on Earth was destroyed in a nuclear war between the thirteenth tribe of humanoid Cylons and their mechanical Cylon creations (caused by maltreatment of the mechanical Cylons at the hands of the humanoids), the Final Five managed to download into a vessel they had in orbit.
Some 4000 to 5000 years after the 12 colonies were settled and humanity, humans created the robots called Cylons to be used as soldiers and later to be servants etc and there was an uprising which caused the first Cylon war. At this point the Final Five arrives at the Colonies in order to warn the humans about to treat their Cylon workers well in order to prevent another catastrophe and alarmed at the war going on. The Final Five also learned that the Centurions were trying to develop organic bodies through experiments on humans, resulting in the first Hybrid. So the Final Five reveal themselves to the Cylons and in order to end the war against the humans, they agreed to assist the Centurions to produce humanoid cylons, model numbers One to Seven, and also provide them with resurrection technology. Then the Cylons disappeared after an armistice was declared and for 40 years no one in the Colonies saw them. During these 40 years the cylons have improved their technology, perfected creating humanoid cylons and numerous copies of them and slowly intregrated some of them in the 12 colonies. Some humanoid cylons had their memories erased and had no clue that they were infact Cylons. The original 5 also had their memories erased and planted into the colonie – masterminded by the first model aka Brother Cavill. So 40 years later the Cylons attack and almost destroy the humans.
But in Caprica the first humanoid Cylon (of the Colonies) was created by Daniel Graystone, for his daughter Zoe, which we see at the end of Caprica! Right?