- This article is about the original movie; for other versions, see Battlestar Galactica (disambiguation).
Template:Infobox Movie (2) Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction film, produced in 1978 by Glen Larson and starring Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict. It was the pilot for the television series that was cancelled after one season. It was reimagined in 2003 by the Sci-Fi Channel with Edward James Olmos stepping into Lorne Greene's role of Commander Adama. A weekly series on Sci-Fi followed in January 2005. (See Battlestar Galactica (2003) for more.)
The series title is sometimes formatted with a colon, as Battlestar: Galactica, however it is more commonly formatted without.
Template:Spoiler Battlestar Galactica is set in a distant part of the galaxy in an age described as "the seventh millennium of time." Twelve colonies (planets) of humans have been fighting a thousand-year war against the android race of Cylons, who seek to exterminate all of humanity.
The Cylons unexpectedly sue for peace, through the diplomatic channel of human councilor Count Baltar. The human leaders and commanders of the military fleets are lulled into complacency by the Cylon's offer of peace. All of the human military vessels, including the twelve carrier vessels called "battlestars", are supposed to meet at the armistice talks for the final actions sealing the peace. This is a trick: Baltar has betrayed humanity for personal power and glory, and the Cylons have no true plans for peace.
Adama, commander of the Battlestar Galactica, had been suspicious of the Cylons' motives. He ordered a regular patrol consisting of his two best pilots; Adama's eldest son, Apollo, and another pilot. Adama's son Zac convinced the second pilot to let him go in his stead. This patrol discovers many squadrons of Cylon fighter craft in hiding just as they are discovered by the Cylons. The Cylons jam communications of the patrol most of the way back to the Galactica. Zac's fighter is hit, reducing his speed, forcing Apollo to leave him behind so that the fleet can be warned. Zac is killed by the Cylons just short of the fleet before Apollo can return to help him.
Despite the orders of the President for restraint, Adama is able to prepare the Galactica before the Cylon fighter fleet attacks, but all of the remaining battlestars are unprepared. The result is that almost the entire fleet is caught off guard and annihilated. During the battle, Apollo tells Adama that the fighter fleet was found with tankers. Adama realized that they had done this to extend the range of the fighters from the Cylon carrier ships, basestars. He orders the Galactica to withdraw in order to protect its home planet, Caprica, but he is too late; upon arriving home he finds the devastation that the basestars have left. Adama soon learns that all twelve colonies have met the same fate. And after devastating the colonies of man, the basestars were sent to finish off the battlestars at the "armistice talks".
With the colonial civilization in ruins, and the Cylons likely to continue their extermination of humanity, Adama sends out a call for every craft that can make it to space to flee the Cylons. The hope is that the Galactica can protect this fleet long enough to find a legendary thirteenth human colony, known only as Earth which could have sufficient technology to be able to defeat the Cylons. Legends and myths say that this colony is known only to the last lord of Kobol, the planet abandoned thousands of years earlier during humanity's mass exodus to explore the galaxy.
Helping Adama in the quest for Earth are Colonel Tigh, the second in command of the Galactica, as well as a squadron of viper (fighter) pilots led by Apollo (Adama's remaining son), Starbuck, and Boomer. The Cylon Imperious Leader, disdainful of harboring even a temporarily useful traitor, orders Baltar's execution. In the movie, Baltar was beheaded. But in the television series, the execution is halted just short of Baltar's neck so that he could be executed in a public ceremony; later, he is spared in order to help the Cylons hunt down the remaining humans.
The Galactica and her "ragtag fleet of fugitive vessels" find brief respite on the resort planet of Carillon. But the Ovions, Carillon's indigenous, insectoid inhabitants, are to delay the human fleet while the Cylons gather forces to destroy them. The Ovions take advantage of the situation and have been kidnapping and consuming crew and passengers of the refugee fleet. Apollo and Starbuck are investigating the disappearance of some of their comrades when they discover the conspiracy. After rescuing some of their imprisoned comrades, Apollo and Starbuck, in a firefight with Cylons, set fire to the subterranean tylium mined on the planet.
Meanwhile, the new ruling council, believing that the Cylons have fallen far behind insist that the humans take time to celebrate. The ruling council have arranged a party and award banquet that is mandatory for all fighter pilots in which an outspoken councilor would call for a unilateral disarmament despite the threat of the Cylons. The Cylons, believing that all of the fighter pilots are at the award banquet on Carillon, launch a fighter attack against the Galactica in orbit. But Adama and Tigh had suspected a trap and had arranged for support crew to impersonate most of the fighter pilots. The actual pilots were standing by for trouble and soundly defeated the Cylon fighters.
Again, Apollo knows that the Cylon fighters couldn't have gone far without support ships. Apollo and Starbuck go hunting for these additional vessels and find a Cylon basestar on the far side of Carillon. In defiance of Commander Adama's recall order, Apollo and Starbuck decide to attempt to destroy the ship to enable the refugee fleet to elude pursuit. They fool the Cylon base star into thinking that it was going to be attacked by multiple viper squadrons. The base star descends into Carillon's atmosphere to avoid detection, and is destroyed when the planet explodes due to the spreading fire.
Despite their victory, the humans realize that the Cylons will still be pursuing them, and thus they begin their "lonely quest: a shining planet known as Earth."
- Richard Hatch as Captain Apollo
- Dirk Benedict as Lieutenant Starbuck
- Lorne Greene as Commander Adama
(also starring, listed alphabetically)
- Terry Carter as Colonel Tigh
- John Colicos as Count Baltar
- Noah Hathaway as Boxey
- Herbert Jefferson, Jr. as Lieutenant Boomer
- Maren Jensen as Lieutenant Athena
- Anne Lockhart as Lieutenant Sheba
- Laurette Spang as Cassiopeia
- Tony Swartz as Flight Sergeant Jolly
(guest stars of movie, listed alphabetically)
(guest stars of television series, listed alphabetically)
- Ana Alicia as Aurora
- Melody Anderson as Brenda
- Fred Astaire as Chameleon/Captain Dmitri
- Ina Balin as Siress Tinia
- Ed Begley, Jr. as Greenbean
- Ray Bolger as Vector
- Lloyd Bridges as Commander Cain
- John de Lancie as Officer
- John Dullaghan as Doctor Wilker
- Britt Ekland as Tenna
- John Fink as Doctor Paye
- Jonathan Harris as Lucifer (voice)
- Audrey Landers as Miri
- Patrick Macnee as Count Iblis, and as voice of Imperious Leader
- Edward Mulhare as John
- George Murdock as Doctor Salik
- Dan O'Herlihy as Doctor Ravishol
- Brock Peters as Solon
- Jane Seymour as Serina
- Brett Somers as Siress Belloby
- Bobby Van as Hector
- Glen A. Larson: creator, producer, writer, co-composer of theme
- Donald P. Bellisario: producer
- Leslie Stevens: producer
- Stu Phillips music score, co-composer of theme
- L.A. Philharmonic: music performers
Humans in this series had their own units for measuring time. Colonial time units do not appear to have exact equivalents in Earth usage, but have rough analogues – a "micron", for example, is roughly equivalent to a second, in the sense that a character might say "Wait a micron!" The time units themselves may not be the same. Other analogous time units include the centon (minute), centar (hour), secton (week), sectar (month), and yahren (year). These units appear to have a decimal arrangement – one centar equals one hundred centons, for example (revealed in the episode "Take the Celestra", among others).
Some fanon materials assume that there is one battlestar per colony. This was never actually mentioned in canon in the original series; only in the 2003 remake was it ever said that each colony had a battlestar assigned to it. In the original series, only eight battlestars ever actually appeared or were mentioned: Acropolis, Atlantia, Columbia, Galactica, Pacifica, Pegasus, Rycon and Triton.
Dogs, in the human society of Battlestar Galactica, are known as "daggits." Boxey's robot daggit, Muffitt, is a mechanical replacement for the one he lost during the destruction of Caprica.
Other versions of Battlestar Galactica
The Original Series (1978)
- Main article: Battlestar Galactica (original series)
- Main article: Galactica 1980
In this 1980 sequel series, the fleet finds Earth and covertly protects it from the Cylons. This series was a quick failure due to its low budget, widely-panned writing, and ill-placed time slot (Sundays at 7:00 PM, a time slot generally reserved for family-oriented programming and, more specifically, 60 Minutes. The show also included obviously recycled space battle sequences from the original program, to the great dismay of fans. Some syndication packages for Battlestar Galactica incorporate the episodes of this series.
The original show has maintained a cult fandom, which has supported efforts by Glen Larson and Richard Hatch (independent of each other) to revive the premise. Hatch even went so far as to produce a demonstration video in the mid-1990s which featured several actors from the original series combined with state-of-the-art special effects. This video, titled "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming," was displayed at science fiction conventions but did not lead to a new series.
Battlestar Galactica (2003)
- Main article: Battlestar Galactica (2003)
In December 2003, the American Sci Fi channel produced and aired a four-hour miniseries that reimagined Battlestar Galactica. The success of the miniseries led to a new series (October 2004, UK; January 2005, North America). A highly edited version of the miniseries aired on NBC on January 9, 2005, five days before the American debut of the series.
Notable changes from the original series include: some Cylon models that closely resemble human form for infiltration; Starbuck is a female character; Boomer, formerly an African-American man (and genuinely human), is now portrayed by a Korean woman and is covertly a Cylon infiltrator; and Col. Tigh, formerly also portrayed by an African-American actor, is now portrayed by a Caucasian actor. In addition, characters have been given full names (in the original series they were only known by one name). For example, Adama is now William Adama, and Starbuck and Apollo are said to be the callsigns/nicknames of Kara Thrace and Lee Adama, respectively.
Commander Adama is now played by Edward James Olmos. Olmos's Adama is still a paternal figure, but differs from Lorne Greene's characterization. The new incarnation of Adama believes Earth is a myth and only makes it the fleet's destination to keep hope alive. Greene's character was both a military commander and a spiritual leader who had been part of the civilian command structure; Olmos's Adama has a definitively military background. In both series, Adama is a capable and insightful leader.
There are fewer ships in this series than the original, only 70 ships are in the fleet (while the original series had 220), but more human survivors -- fifty thousand people are alive as opposed to the original series figure of only 6,000 (episode Greetings from Earth). Space battles take place using Newtonian physics, first seen in a TV series in the landmark sci-fi series Babylon 5.
Overall, the new series pays a lot more attention to the logistics of survival than the original series. It aims for a darker and more serious tone than the original. There is heavily suggested sexual content and the violence is more realistic. There is also a more socially conscious approach to character development and plot lines, addressing addiction, divided loyalties, and coping with personal and community grief. Much of the early criticism from original series fans cooled down once the mini-series proved to be generally better than most people expected. The new series has earned all-time record high ratings on the Sci-Fi Channel.
A number of BattleStar novels based upon the series have been published over the years, including a mixture of novelizations based upon televised episodes (including the pilot episodes of both the original series and Galactica 1980) and original stories. In the 1990s, original series star Richard Hatch co-wrote several new novels based upon the series as part of his efforts to spark a revival.
- Battlestar Galactica units
- Battlestar Galactica (film), the 1978 U.S. science fiction movie
- Battlestar Galactica (original series), the 1978 television series
- Galactica 1980, the 1980 short-lived sequel series
- Battlestar Galactica (mini-series), the 2003 miniseries
- Battlestar Galactica (new series), the television series started in 2004
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- Battlestar Galactica - Official Sci Fi Channel website
- battlestargalactica.com - Fansite for both the old and new series
- Battlestar Galactica Forum - A Friendly Forum for enjoying both the old and new series
- Battlestar Galactica wiki
- Galactica Station.com - Fansite for the new, re-imagined Galactica series
- Battlestar Galactica -Online.com - French Galactica news and information site
- Colonial Fan Force - Fan support for a Continuation Theatrical Film based on the original 1978 series
- Battlestar Zone - Site containing a great deal of research information on the original series
- The Cylon Alliance - Discussion Boards and Info
- Battlestar Galactica Club - Discussion Boards and Info