(The reimagined series; Caprica and Blood & Chrome)
Galactica (BSG-75) was a battlestar in service in the Colonial Fleet for almost its entire existence. It entered service during the Cylon War and was instrumental in the survival of humanity following the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, the Battle of New Caprica and the Battle of the Colony. It was ultimately left damaged beyond repair due to its four-year period of combat without resources or time for extended refit, and was remotely piloted into a star.
Pre-Fall military career
Galactica's origins lie with the Cylon War, a genocidal conflict between the United Colonies of Kobol, representing all of humanity, and a sentient mechanical labour force known as the Cylons which rebelled against their enslavement. As the Cylons possessed expert skill in remote hacking of networked computers, the Colonial Fleet's warships were at risk of being turned on one another. The battlestars solved this problem by relying more on dedicated computers crewed by individually trained crewmen. These vessels would serve multiple roles within the Colonial Fleet, able to provide considerable firepower as well as launching fighter craft, and by the end of the war new classes of battlestar were manufactured. Galactica was one of an original order of twelve battlestars, though there may have been others of its class constructed after. Galactica itself represented Caprica in propaganda, the number of ships in the order deliberately equating to the number of member planets. Of this original order of twelve, nine were lost in the war.
Not much is known of Galactica's history in this conflict, though it is known that Commander Silas Nash was its CO for the entire war. It did however endure considerable punishment, losing a number of armoured panels as well as its glossy white paint over the duration of the war. In the tenth year of the war, around 1958, Galactica is known to have taken part in an operation dubbed Operation: Clean Sweep, where it served as a stationary platform for Raptor crews to disarm Cylon missile batteries built on asteroids. This operation left Galactica with a shortage of Raptor pilots, to the extent Cmdr. Nash would state that Raptor pilots were needed more than Viper pilots. Ahead of the Ghost Fleet Offensive, Galactica was the way-station for orders to be sent from the Admiralty via courier, as the flotilla was under strict radio blackout orders.
In the final day of the war, now at its twelfth year, Galactica, Columbia and one other battlestar jumped out of the Cyrannus star system to an ice world as part of Operation: Raptor Talon. The three ships confronted basestars in orbit ahead of a planned ground attack to destroy a rumoured experimental weapons facility. The ships were damaged in the battle, with Columbia destroyed. The operation was called-off soon after when news of the Armistice was received.
Wary of a resumption of hostilities, the Colonial Fleet maintained a strong presence patrolling the colonies' border with the treaty-designated Cylon space. This continued for twenty years, approximately 1980, when Galactica was superseded by newer battlestars. Though its two sister ships were retired and scrapped, Galactica was selected to remain in service exclusively for operations within the Cyrannus star system, as it was believed keeping such an historically significant ship in service would be good PR. Galactica was kept in this role for another eighteen years, but its age became a burden to maintain, and the Adar administration gave the order for Galactica's retirement around 1998, intending for it to be refurbished as a war museum state-funded by the Ministry of Education over the next two years.
In the lead-up to decommissioning, however, Galactica continued to operate as normal. Experienced crew were replaced over this period, with some transfers taking place for reasons of office politics. Cmdr. William Adama, Col. Saul Tigh and possibly Lt. Felix Gaeta were transferred from Valkyrie following a disastrous recon mission. Spc. Galen Tyrol was transferred from Columbia following a flight accident blamed on poor maintenance, and would replace Galactica's deck chief over time. Another was that of Lt. Sharon Valerii, a Raptor pilot from Troy, a mining colony that suffered a recent catastrophe. Rather than wash her out due to poor marks at flight school, fears of a PR embarrassment convinced the Admiralty to assign her to Galactica where it was believed she would serve out her tour quietly.
Fall of the Twelve Colonies
In the weeks leading up to Galactica's decommissioning, the ship was modified on behalf of the Ministry of Education. The starboard flight pod had its launch tubes cannibalised to provide space for a gift shop, while the landing pad was pressurised behind two glass windows so museum exhibits could be placed within, including a complement of Mark II Vipers. In spite of these changes, the ship continued to be used for military purposes throughout this period, and received the updated Command Navigation Program sent to all battlestars. CNP was, however, left unused due to a ship tradition of disallowing computer networking.
In the two weeks leading up to the ceremony, Galactica was infiltrated by a Humanoid Cylon, a Number Five calling himself "Aaron Doral". Having gained employment within the Ministry of Education as a PR officer and allowed unrestricted access to the ship, Doral was able to plant a Cylon transponder on the DRADIS console after entering CIC. This transponder's purpose was to allow the ship to be tracked, likely as a means of getting around the networking problems. Also in this period, the majority of the ship's officers and crew disembarked, leaving behind a skeleton crew.
The decommissioning ceremony itself coincided with a massive Cylon offensive across the Cyrannus system, leaving it without ammunition to defend itself. Most of its Viper Mark VII compliment was destroyed when Cylon raiders used a CNP exploit to remotely shut them down. This program was never installed on Galactica due to Commander Adama's forbidding of networking, and Galactica itself was, therefore, impervious to such exploits. Commander Adama began preparations to assist the Colonial Fleet which was, at that point, preparing a counteroffensive concentrated over Virgon, but Galactica was first required to jump to a depot station in the atmosphere of Ragnar for resupply. Due firstly due to damages sustained by a nuclear detonation on Galactica's hull, and second due to the unpreparedness of jumping, by the time Galactica arrived at Ragnar the battle was lost, with Commander Adama asserting de facto command of the Fleet. Over the next several hours, a number of civilian ships arrived over Ragnar for Galactica's protection, but it was quickly understood only Vipers and Raptors had escaped the Fall, and a continued offensive was now impossible. Commander Adama gave in to pressure by the constitutionally-appointed President Laura Roslin to abandon the goal, and instead, lead the refugee ships out of the Cyrannus system to a new home.
Exodus from the Twelve Colonies (Season 1-2)
In the first days following the abandoning of the colonies, Galactica and its fleet were being tracked by Cylon forces, which were in some way using the civilian liner, Olympic Carrier, and jumping to the fleet's coordinates every thirty-three minutes. Olympic Carrier itself would inexplicably fail to rendezvous with the fleet, only to return seemingly deserted and armed with a nuclear warhead. In the first crisis met by the fleet, Cmdr. Adama ordered a Viper squadron to destroy the ship, leaving it a mystery as to what happened when it was lost.
Following this failure to destroy Galactica and the fleet, a group of Humanoid Cylons which had evacuated with the fleet made contact with one another and formed a guerrilla cell on board Galactica itself, with a Number One - "Galactica Cavil" - posing as a priest to receive a billet. Over the next month the cell took part in a number of operations to destroy the fleet from within. Valerii stole G4 explosives and ruptured Galactica's water tanks, causing a water shortage problem which necessitated the fleet remaining in position over a planet for mining to take place. The cell later heard rumours the government was aware of Humanoid Cylons, that the Number Five model had been exposed, and Dr. Gaius Baltar was developing a promising test for exposing Cylons. To prevent his completion, the cell's surplus Number Five returned to the ship armed with a suicide vest provided by Valerii after killing a Marine guard, and travelled down Causeway C in search of the lab. He was however spotted by both Adama and Tigh, and was forced to detonate prematurely. An attempt to discredit Baltar was led by a Number Six named Shelly Godfrey, posing as a Defense employee with photo-manipulated evidence which implied the Cylon holocaust was successful because Baltar personally set off an explosive within a Department of Defense computer lab. This attempt also failed, and Godfrey was thrown out the airlock by Galactica Cavil after her identity as a Cylon was exposed, allowing her to feed the Cylons the location of Galactica.
Alongside this terror plot, Galactica itself was suffering straining among its crew. Having been running on a skeleton crew at the time of the attacks, surviving military personnel in the fleet were re-activated and assigned to Galactica, with a number of civilian volunteers also coming aboard. Certain departments were, however, still limited. Spotty record keeping became the norm, even with regards to the contents of arms lockers, a shortage of doctors in the fleet meant Galactica's other sickbays remained unused, and there were few qualified pilots to be found. When an accident on the flight deck resulted in thirteen pilots being killed, Flight School washouts were re-activated and sped through training.
A month after the holocaust, Galactica took part in the first assault on Cylon forces, with an attack on a Cylon tylium refinery. Having depleted the fleet's reserves in emergency military procedures, such as searching for a missing pilot, Lt. Kara Thrace, the asteroid was an absolute priority. The engagement, using all available pilots, was ultimately a success in spite of several losses.
Some six weeks after the holocaust, Raptor scouts discovered a habitable planet identified to be Kobol, humanity's ancestral planet abandoned two thousand years prior. This kickstarted a series of rapidly-developing events. A Cylon force present on Kobol assaulted a Raptor expedition, leaving a number of critical personnel including Tyrol and Baltar stranded on the planet. A plan to use a captured Raider to plant a nuclear warhead on the orbiting Basestar went awry due to political pressures, when Roslin ordered its test pilot, Thrace, to instead jump to Caprica. In response, Roslin was arrested on Colonial One by a Marine boarding party and sent to Galactica's brig. Using another transponder, a Raptor piloted by Valerii was sent out to complete the task in Thrace's place, but upon reporting in to CIC she shot Adama under orders from Galactica-Cavil.
Immediately following the shooting of Adama, a Cylon force attacked the fleet, forcing an urgent departure, but which sent Galactica to a separate set of coordinates from the civilian ships. For the first time in its history, Galactica's computers were networked to provide the computational speed to determine the correct coordinates, though this forced Galactica to return to its previous position, where it was attacked by a Basestar. Raiders were successful in transmitting a Cylon virus during this period, though it was believed at the time it had failed to break the firewall. A Heavy Raider also crashed in the starboard flight pod, allowing a squad of Centurions to infiltrate the ship. A combined Marine and Viper counterattack was successful in wiping out the party before they could vent the ship's atmosphere and turn its guns on the fleet.
Galactica would remain in orbit over New Caprica for twelve months alongside Pegasus, maintaining vigilance should Cylon aggression recommence.
During an SAR operation to rescue members of the Caprican resistance, a Raptor returned to Galactica with reports of having discovered a habitable planet. With the discovery coinciding with the Presidential election, the planet - dubbed New Caprica - became a major talking point, with the newly elected President Baltar immediately establishing a settlement on the planet. Following the detonation of a stolen nuclear warhead which destroyed several civilian ships, Adama pressed for the abandonment of the effort, but was denied. Over the next year, Galactica and Pegasus remained in orbit keeping watch.
Conditions on the planet were rough, and there was a constant need for military personnel to assist.
Galactica took heavy damage during its raid on New Caprica, and her hull was now clearly darker with burn marks and missile hits, most notably the three large holes on her back where the armor was weakest. When Pegasus was destroyed during the liberation of New Caprica, her nearly intact squadrons were transferred to Galactica, giving the latter a full complement of Vipers.
Continued search for Earth (Season 3-Season 4.5)
The starboard hangar pod had been converted into a museum prior to Galactica's intended decommissioning. The starboard hangar deck was used to house civilian refugees from New Caprica after the evacuation, and earned the nickname "Camp Oilslick". In "A Measure of Salvation", which followed "Torn", Major Lee Adama informs Galactica that their Raptor was on approach to the starboard landing deck, which indicated that the starboard flight pod had started flight operations again. However, this is likely a dialogue error because in the finale it was still shown to be a museum and Oilslick was never moved.
In the episode "The Woman King", 300 additional passengers were shown being moved to the starboard hangar deck, and the area was given the name "Dogsville" by the Galactica crew. Upon arriving, each passenger was checked for medical issues by civilian doctors and medical staff. Also now housed in the starboard hangar deck was a makeshift bar called "Joe's", located behind a storage area. Joe's was equipped with a bumper pool table, Pyramid arcade area, and a heavily damaged Mark II Viper hanging over the bar. The bar was first seen in the episode "Taking a Break from All Your Worries". The bar appeared to have an alcohol still, similar to the one Chief Tyrol built in the port hangar deck, in the center of it. The piano that Kara Thrace plays in the episode "Someone to Watch Over Me" is located in Joe's Bar.
In the episode "The Passage" Galactica was used to house fleet passengers during the trip through a star cluster, leaving the fleet vessels to be flown by skeleton crews with radiation medication. It is unclear if the passengers were returned to their vessels between "The Passage" and "The Eye of Jupiter".
Final days (Season 4.5)
Galactica was seen taking multiple hits from Cylon nuclear weapons and though the ship suffered damage, she was still operational. It is unclear exactly how well rated the Cylon nuclear weapons were versus Galactica's armor. Also, as the nukes detonated outside of the vessel, most of the energy would have been directed and attenuated out into the area of least resistance: space. However, the punishment has apparently begun to accumulate. In "Blood on the Scales", after disabling the FTL drive, Chief Tyrol noticed a large crack in an interior wall; in the subsequent episode, "No Exit", a more detailed inspection reveals hairline fractures and more obvious structural damage throughout the ship. The damage is aggravated by the fact that the original builders of the ship 'cut corners' during her construction. Tyrol suggests applying a Cylon organic resin that will bond itself into the hull, both repairing and strengthening the metal as it matures. Admiral Adama initially refuses the idea, but after finding cracks in the bulkheads of his quarters, he gives Tyrol permission to do whatever it takes to repair Galactica. The repairs were not proceeding well, with numerous electrical faults occurring throughout the ship. When Boomer made her escape, she jumped her Raptor close to the port forward section of the bow, causing a spatial distortion which caused massive damage both externally and internally, exacerbating the already heavy structural damage.
By the time of the episode He That Believeth in Me, there were more Vipers available than qualified pilots, and trainees (known as 'nuggets') were pressed into service to defend the fleet. A significant number of pilots participated in the mutiny led by Tom Zarek and Felix Gaeta. The pilots who refused to assist William Adama in retaking the ship were court-martialed and incarcerated aboard the fleet prison vessel. The further reduction in manpower forces Adama to allow Cylon heavy raiders from the renegade basestar to assist in CAP duties alongside Galactica's regular pilots.
Due to the ship's age, battle damage, and subpar materials used in her construction, Galactica eventually begins to show signs of severe metal fatigue. Attempts to seal the ship's multiple stress fractures with the Cylon resin fail, and Adama orders the ship to be abandoned and stripped of weapons and supplies. The discovery of the Cylon colony gives Galactica a brief reprieve, and a skeleton crew embarks on a mission to rescue the Cylon/human child Hera.
The crew of volunteers is supplemented by Cylon centurions from the rebel base ship as well as a small number of civilians including Laura Roslin, Gaius Baltar, and Tory Foster. Samuel Anders, a Cylon left in a vegetative state due to brain damage, is connected to the ship's systems, effectively becoming the battlestar's version of a Cylon hybrid.
Galactica jumps to within point blank firing range of the colony, making it impossible for missiles or nukes to be utilized, and sustains more damage in the exchange of gunfire. Anders successfully disrupts the colony's systems and shuts down their weapons. A squadron of Raptors jumps from Galactica's starboard landing bay, destroying it in the process, and the battlestar is rammed into the colony. Marine and centurion assault teams from the Raptors and from Galactica are successful in rescuing Hera, but a counter-assault by the remaining Cylon forces in the colony results in a standoff. A truce is negotiated, but hostilities resume when the Final Five fail to transmit the plans for Cylon resurrection to the colony. The colony is hit by several nukes accidentally fired from a disabled Raptor, and begins being pulled into a nearby black hole. Kara Thrace jumps Galactica without retracting the landing pods, resulting in severe structure fractures along its length, effectively breaking the ship's back and rendering Galactica incapable of jumping again.
Thrace uses co-ordinates derived from the musical notes of a song that has haunted both her and the Final Five Cylons, resulting in the ship arriving at the planet that will eventually become modern-day Earth A Raptor is sent to rendezvous with the fleet, and the survivors of the Twelve Colonies settle on the planet along with the remaining Cylon rebels. Galactica and the other ships in the fleet are abandoned. Admiral Adama flies the last Viper off the ship, and the battlestar and its fleet are scuttled by Samuel Anders, who pilots them directly into the Sun.
- Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries, episode: "Night 1".
- Season 1 Story Bible.
- Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.
- Battlestar Galactica (2007), episode: "Razor".
- Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries, Night 1 (deleted scene).
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Hero".
- Ron Moore Blog, February 19, 2005: "Season Two and Q & A".
- Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries, episode: "Night 2".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "33".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "The Plan".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Water".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Litmus".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Six Degrees of Separation".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Act of Contrition".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "The Hand of God".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part Ⅰ".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part Ⅱ".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Scattered".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Valley of Darkness".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Torn".
- Battlestar Galactica, episode: "A Measure of Salvation".
- "Blood on the Scales" and Ronald Moore commentary
- Daybreak, parts 1 and 2, reimagined series.