I love me some space battles. Star Wars, Star Trek, Gundam Wing … they just get my blood pumping, what can I say? A lot of the blame sits on my dad’s shoulders, since he was the one who introduced me to Top Gun and was just as thrilled to watch the dogfighting scenes as I was. And BSG did not run short on these types of scenes, thankfully. I couldn’t just pick one, but I was able to narrow it down to two.
The first one comes from the episode, “The Hand of God,” where the fleet has decided to take the fight to the Cylons so they can gain control of a tylium-rich asteroid that can fuel their jumping for at least two years. Even though Starbuck came up with the plan to outsmart the Cylons, she is forced to stay behind and monitor the attack aboard the Galactica because she has yet to recover from the injury she sustained after crashlanding on a moon back in “Act of Contrition.” Now, it is up to Lee to succeed here, so her concerns are warranted, but he does end up proving himself by asking himself, “What Would Starbuck Do?”
The plan relies on baiting the Raiders guarding the asteroid into attacking Galactica by pretending to use decoy ships loaded with Vipers, and although things do get a little tense, Lee and Company destroy the refinery by using Baltar’s wild stab in the dark (he literally just did a random “point at a spot on the picture” move that ended up being right). Lee’s choice to maneuver through the refinery on a hunch was actually one of my favorite parts, as is the moment where Roslin is like, “Uh, guys, you didn’t let me in on a pretty big aspect of this plan of yours.”
Like a lot of the first season, this successful mission doesn’t have any real bittersweet moments, since pretty much everyone (sigh, poor, poor Chuckles) returns unscathed and they’re all pretty happy with themselves. It is definitely in contrast to my second choice of favorite battles.
I’ve already spoken about this episode back on Day 9, but I will say this again: “Exodus” is the single best episode (technically, episodes, but that’s a minor quibble) of Battlestar Galactica. It’s even more frenetic than the previously discussed battle, with the Galactica jumping in and out of the planet’s atmosphere, Vipers flying everywhere, Three searching for Hera, Baltar almost getting shot by Gaeta, Starbuck looking around for the little girl Leoben told her was her daughter, the Cylons trying to figure out what to do (nuke the planet? okie dokie), and Tyrol, Tigh, and the rest of the resistance evacuating the civilians. It’s intense and beautiful and sad and elating, and everyone’s performance is amazing. And the music? Top fucking notch, of course; I mean, this is Bear McCreary we’re talking about here. But it ends on a rather dour note, with more losses than wins despite humanity’s escape.
And that’s that! I’m going to go ahead and get a nap in before I head to the gym, but rest assured, I already have tomorrow’s post ready to go. Be prepared for awesome Bear McCreary-ness.
Art Credit: Wikipedia