Sunday, April 1

The Women Of Battlestar Galactica

Source: The Clicker

n love with the Sci Fi series ‘Battlestar Galactica’ is the character development. Actually, character development is the reason I fell for ‘BSG.’ The plot also had something to do with it, of course but it is the characters that really drew me into the show. You see, I’m not a sci-fi person. I’ve mentioned that in the past but it needs to be said. I like Star Wars as much as the next guy but I don’t consider myself all that into the genre. The only reason I started watching ‘Battlestar’ is to see what all the hype was about. After quickly becoming a ‘BSG’ addict, I noticed something interesting; the show is full of great female characters.

Some of the best characters in ‘Battlestar Galactica’ are women. Among the humans and the cylons, the women play fairly significant roles in the series. What makes the women in the show so great is the balance of strengths and weaknesses among each of them. Whether human or cylon, each of the female characters have something to offer the show.

Here are my thoughts on the main female characters of ‘Battlestar Galactica’:

Kara “Starbuck” Thrace – A lot of people complained when they learned that Starbuck would be portrayed by a woman in the re-imagined version of the series. In the original series, Starbuck was a man. Having not seen the original series, I wouldn’t be able to compare the two characters but I can say with complete confidence that Starbuck in this version of the series is one fantastic female character. She’s far from perfect. The abuse she received as a child has left her physically and emotionally scarred. She has a tendency to hurt the people she loves the most which can make her difficult to like at times but mistakes aside, she means well. The writers really frakked with our heads this season in the episode titled “Maelstrom,” which ended with Kara’s death. They brought her back to us in the final moments of the season finale, though. It should be very interesting to find out where she went and what all of this has to do with her “special destiny.”

Laura Roslin – I just love the realness of Roslin. She went from being Secretary of Education to President during the miniseries and it’s been quite enjoyable to watch her character develop both as a woman and as president of what remains of the human race. Roslin’s character has many layers. In addition to being responsible for the human race, she is also the potential love interest of Admiral Adama as well as a breast cancer survivor. Though her cancer serves as the device which makes her the “dying leader” that is foretold in the scriptures, it also makes her very real as a woman. She nearly died from the cancer but a miracle cure was found in the nick of time. Since then she was in remission until the last couple of episodes of the third season in which we learned that the cancer had unfortunately returned. I have no doubt that whether or not she’s able to beat the disease once again, she’ll remain strong and dignified. It is her strength and grace that makes her such an admirable female character.

Six – There are many different versions of Six in the show. As a cylon, she has a number of duplicates. The two Sixes we’ve seen the most are Baltar-Six (the one that only Baltar can see, hear and feel) and Caprica-Six (the one responsible for getting defense intel from Baltar and who has been romantically involved with him from the beginning). While Baltar-Six is sort of an all knowing, mysterious character, Caprica Six is much more intriguing to me. Despite being a cylon, she’s actually very human. From the beginning she has always seemed fairly curious about the human race. Wanting to understand our species seems to have drawn her much closer to her own human nature. It is hard to say what her motives are at this point because while she definitely plays for the Team Cylon, she also has loyalty towards Gaius Baltar as well as baby Hera. The show centers on the human side of the story but I really enjoy learning more about this character. She has proven to be much more than just the eye-candy in the show.

Sharon – Athena and Boomer – I’m fascinated by Athena and Boomer. At the beginning of the series, Boomer was a good-guy and Athena was the enemy. The tables have turned since then. After Boomer came to grips with being a cylon, her loyalties have switched. Meanwhile, Athena turned traitor to her own kind for the sake of her child and the man she loves. Athena has proven many times that she is pro-Human. It hasn’t been an easy role to play but that’s what makes it all the more enjoyable for us. We haven’t gotten to see all that much of Boomer since she resurrected. It seemed that at first, she was resistant to accepting that she was a cylon but since then, she’s adjusted. Now she seems angry, understandably so. Baltar-Six once said Sharon’s model was weak but I have to disagree. Based on Athena and Boomer, I’d say model-8 of the cylon race is actually pretty strong.

Anastasia Dualla – I can’t always get a good read on Dee. Or maybe its just that I don’t understand what the writers are trying to get out of her character. I’m going to come out and say it and I know there are going to be people out there who disagree with me but I don’t think I really like Dualla. She strikes me as someone who doesn’t really know what she wants. I think she jumped into the relationship with Billy without really thinking about it. Granted it happened during a time when everyone really just needed someone to be there for them but nevertheless, I thought she was kind of careless with him. She strung him along and then broke it off once she was able to get something going with Lee.

She pursued a relationship with Lee despite the fact that she knew he was hung up on Kara. She put up with him pining over Kara and with his cheating. It wasn’t until Lee defied his father that she called it quits which leads me to believe it’s really the Old Man that she loves. I believe a large part of her attraction to Lee had to do with him being Adama’s son, whether she realized it or not. The second he stepped out of his father’s shadow, she left him. Granted, I could be reading the situation all wrong and perhaps my distaste for this character comes from the fact that most of what we know about her is based on her romantic relationships.

Cally Tyrol – Even before she started spouting Baltar-rhetoric, Cally annoyed me. I think part of the reason I dislike her characters is because I feel sorry for her. I get the sneaking suspicion that Chief (her husband) isn’t really in love with her. This is not to say that he doesn’t love her and its not as though I didn’t see their relationship coming but perhaps its because we didn’t get to see their official “getting together” moment that’s kept me from really appreciating their relationship. It just seems very one-sided. Cally has always seemed to be in love with Chief yet he doesn’t seem to have the passion for her that he did with Boomer. I have to wonder if the writers intended it to be this way or if we were just supposed to accept that the real build-up to their relationship happened during that unseen year during the New Caprica days. There’s never been a Callie-centered episode so most of what we know of her is based on her work and her relationship with Chief.

Tory Foster – Prior to the season finale of season 3, I doubt I’d even mention Tory’s character. Finding out that she was one of the final five Cylons was definitely a shock. Based on what we’ve seen of Tory, prior to learning she was a Cylon is that she is the type of woman willing to do what needs to be done. She helped conspire to steal the presidential election and was a key player in organizing the resistance on New Caprica. Her loyalty is to the president proving that in some cases, behind a strong woman is another strong woman. I’m sure we’ll be getting to see a lot more of her in the fourth season.

1 comment:

journeymanjim said...

i know this is an old post but i enjoyed reading your thoughts on each of these characters. i've always liked how bsg has such strong female characters, never falling to silly stereotypes. the men and the women seem on almost equal ground in this world. heck, they even fight each other in the boxing ring with no complaints from either side!