A massive metal ring with engraved cover stones is discovered in the sands of Giza, Egypt in 1928, by an archaeologist named Langford and his young daughter, Catherine. Many years later, the elderly Catherine Langford offers Egyptologist and linguist Daniel Jackson the chance to translate the Egyptian hieroglyphs on the cover stones. Jackson accepts and travels to a US Air Force installation where he examines the stones. Special Operations Colonel Jack O'Neil arrives to take command of the project and he declares it "classified" before Jackson can begin his research.
In the 23rd century, Earth has become a space-faring federation. While colonizing new planets, humans have encountered an insectoid species known as Arachnids or "Bugs", with their home being the distant world Klendathu. The bugs appear to be little more than killing machines, though there are suggestions that they were provoked by the intrusion of humans into their habitats.
The opening scenes of The Plan occur just prior to the destruction of the Twelve Colonies in the televised miniseries, Battlestar Galactica. Humanoid Cylon John Cavil (played by Dean Stockwell) is shown leading the planning for the genocidal attack on the human race. All of the seven "known" humanoid Cylons (Cavil, Leoben Conoy, D'Anna Biers, Simon, Aaron Doral, Six, and Sharon Valerii) are present in the control room of the main Cylon base. Two versions of Cavil are shown in a Resurrection Ship, with the "Final Five" Cylons in stasis in resurrection chambers. The two versions of Cavil briefly discuss their plans for "teaching a lesson" to the Final Five (who were their creators), and one version of Cavil announces his intention to witness the destruction of humanity on the ground. This version of Cavil travels to the planet Picon, where he encounters Ellen Tigh (one of the Final Five, played by Kate Vernon) in a strip club. Other characters from the series are also depicted: Gaius Baltar (James Callis) has a final meeting with Caprica Six; Samuel Anders (Michael Trucco) is shown at his Pyramid team's training camp along with the team doctor, who is Number Four/Simon (Rick Worthy); and Tory Foster (Rekha Sharma) is shown driving to an airport in a SAAB 900.
Set in March UC 0093, the film features the return of main antagonist Char Aznable, who has emerged after five years in hiding to lead the Neo-Zeon once more in the fight for supremacy over the Earth Federation. Still determined to make humankind fully colonize in space, he mobilizes the Neo-Zeon to drop the asteroid 5th Luna on the Federation headquarters in Lhasa, Tibet. Under the guise of surrendering all Neo-Zeon military forces, he plans to drop the Axis asteroid base on Earth as well.