In 2009, the final episodes of the popular TV reboot of Battlestar Galactica were airing on Syfy. It was the end of a four-year run that was the height of science fiction on television at the time (sorry Lost, but I think BSG got the better of you). While the first half of season four was a bit shaky, the series finale was received with an equally mixed reaction from fans and television critics alike. The finale, entitled “Daybreak,” left some questions unanswered, while some of the questions that were answered were seen as lackluster and unsatisfying. Chief among these was the fate of of Kara “Starbuck” Thrace. How controversial was it? People are still asking the show’s creators about it, even all these years later.
SPOILERS FOR THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA SERIES FINALE BELOW (IF THERE’S ANYBODY WHO STILL HASN’T WATCHED IT)
According to Entertainment Weekly, during the Battlestar Galactica 35th anniversary of panel at San Diego Comic-Con this week, the biggest revelation was in response to a fan question put to the BSG panel. A fan simply asked the question, “What happened to Starbuck?” Which, in turn, received deafening applause from the assembled fans. The response from the BSG panel members was nearly as ambiguous as Starbuck’s final scene in the show.
“What would you like to have happened to her?” asked BSG producer Michael Taylor. The fan answered, “It’s like she was a ghost or something. I would have just wanted to know where she came from and what she was.” Michael Taylor then responded, “Well, she was either an angel, or she ducked down really low beneath the tall grass. You just couldn’t see her, you know?” It’s kind of a ho-hum non-answer if you ask me.
BSG producer Paul Leonard answered with, “I’m pretty sure Starbuck died near the end of Season 3.” Leonard added that actress Katee Sackhoff didn’t know what the deal was with Starbuck either. The uncertainty about her character made Sackhoff go insane going into season four of the series. “Walking Dead Starbuck was what all her dialogue was under after that,” laughed Michael Taylor.
Joining BSG producers Michael Taylor and Paul Lenoard on the 35th anniversary BSG panel were Richard Hatch (Capt. Apollo in original BSG, Tom Zarek in the reboot), Edward James Olmos (Admiral William Adama), Michael Nankin (director), Dr. Kevin Grazier (consultant), Michael Angeli (producer/writer), Kevin Murphy (producer/writer), and Lili Bordán (Dr. Becca Kelly). There was no footage screened during the panel, but fans were welcomed with a series of retrospectives, which largely consisted of the BSG 30th Anniversary special.
While it remains unclear if Starbuck was a Cylon, an angel, or something else entirely, many BSG fans agree that the evolution of the series was great until its final moments. I remain a huge fan of the series as a whole, despite its flaws and the ambiguous ending. Even a fumbled finale shouldn’t diminish four great seasons, a mini-series, and two made-for-TV movies of science fiction.
Hey, at least BSG‘s finale was better than Lost’s series finale. Right?