The 2004 Battlestar Galactica reboot altered a lot of the key components from the original 1970s series, and one of the biggest tweaks came with Starbuck. The new show cast actress Katee Sackhoff in the role, which effectively changed the character from a man to a woman. As it turns out, Sackhoff's casting also affected the development of Starbuck's story from the very beginning. She explained how Starbuck changed, saying this:
I think she happened as the show evolved. I think they always intended Starbuck to be one thing. When they cast me, it slowly changed who she was. She was always meant to be ten years older and a lot more stable in who she was as a soldier. And when they cast a 21-year old and they had to rethink who she was. I was growing up when I did that show, not as much literally growing up because I had been in the business since I was a teenager, but I was becoming a woman. I don't think they could help but add some of that angst and searching and vulnerability into her because that's where I was in my life.
Starbuck was always a complex character, and it seems that Katee Sackhoff's relative youth played a part in why there were so many sides to her character. On the one hand, she was a hotshot pilot who could fly just about any hunk of junk in outer space (and shoot down Cylons while doing it), but on the other hand, she was a young woman who saw her commander as a father figure and wasn't quite sure how to feel about some of the people closest to her. Battlestar Galactica never painted her as just a seasoned warrior or just an idealist, and Sackhoff's reveal to Blastr indicates that the two sides of the character might never have been explored if the writers hadn't needed to adjust their stories to fit the 21-year old Sackhoff.
Battlestar Galactica was a critical hit throughout its years on the air. Episodes explored everything from science to religion to human nature at its very best and its very worst. The show likely never would have worked if not for the talented cast working to humanize fantastical plots, and Katee Sackhoff turned in some of the most nuanced performances of all four seasons. All things considered, Battlestar Galactica may go down as one of the best sci-fi shows in TV history.
There's been chatter in recent years that we might see another Battlestar Galactica reboot or even a big screen adaptation of the series. It would be interesting to gauge how another version stands up against the 2004 and 1978 series. We've already seen how two Starbucks compare; why not throw in a third?
If you're anything like me and now feel the need for a Battlestar Galactica rewatch, you can catch the entire series streaming on Hulu. Take a look at our breakdown of the series finale for a refresher on where the survivors ended up. Check our our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what you can watch in the not-too-distant future, and don't forget to take a gander at our 2017 Netflix premiere schedule.