By the time Battlestar Galactica debuted on the Sci-Fi Channel in October 2004, viewers who loved to watch science fiction on TV had seen many years of Star Trek, The X-Files and other series which handled the genre in some very intriguing ways. But, this update of the late 1970s series managed to add a lot to the conversation, and mixed a tale of the remaining human survivors of an attack by the sentient robots they created fleeing to try and find a new home with a lot of politics, religion, lore and some good old-fashioned WTF moments. And, several of those shocking moment including some big deaths.
While fans of Battlestar Galactica, which is getting its own sorta reboot on Peacock (its new streaming home) soon, will absolutely always talk about that wild, three-part finale, one cannot underestimate the impact that all of these deaths had on the audience. Obviously, the show began with millions dying in the attack that set the series on its four-season trajectory, but it's the sudden deaths of some of the characters we'd been following for years (and several we didn't get a chance to know at all) which kept reminding us that we were watching a show seriously committed to giving us plenty to talk about.
This article has SPOILERS GALORE, so consider that your fair warning, but, without any further ado, here are the six most shocking deaths that Battlestar Galactica had to offer!
When Dualla Died By Suicide
Woooo, boy. This was ROUGH. As with everyone else in the fleet, Dualla had gone through a lot after the attack on the colonies, but instead of wallowing, abusing substances, failing at her communication duties on Galactica's CIC or taking her feelings out on others, Dualla is always a rock. She does her job well, and takes on additional responsibilities willingly as she moves up through the ranks, and remains hopeful in a wide variety of truly shitty situations. But, it would seem that Dualla finally got to her breaking point, and well, it was heartbreaking. Dualla was a steady presence for others, but was clearly holding on to a couple of hopes, and when those were dashed, she was done with the struggle.
Dualla had a long-standing crush on Apollo (who we all know was hot for Starbuck), and while the two did marry, it was after he cheated on her with Starbuck, which Dualla eventually found out. Their marriage had several ups and downs, but when the fleet thinks they've finally found Earth, only to see that the planet is uninhabitable, Dualla could do no more. She seeks out Apollo to have a nice conversation over drinks, heads to her locker, and when alone, puts her service weapon to her head and pulls the trigger. Honestly? I'm still not over it.
When A Baby Died By Caprica Six Snapping Its Neck
In case you'd forgotten, Battlestar Galactica actually began with a two part miniseries which showed us a bit of life in the colonies before the Cylon shit hit the fan. Of course, as we soon found out, the Toasters had successfully infiltrated several important areas of human life, including making sure that Caprica Six got close to Gaius Baltar, got the access code to the Colonial Defense System, and shut down most of the military so that the colonies could be destroyed with as little hope for a fight as possible.
Now, while Caprica Six quickly felt bad about what she'd done, and many of the Six models eventually went on to switch sides and help humanity, she was very steadfast in her mission the first time around. While there's some debate among fans about why she showed such brutality to a baby before the colonies were destroyed, refresh yourself on the scene, and see what you think:
Yeah, it looks horrible, doesn't it? But, considering the look on her face after snapping that little, vulnerable baby neck, I happen to agree with the fans who say Caprica Six killed this kid so that he wouldn't be around for the decimation of the human race. That's right, I'm saying it was a mercy snapping. And, yes, I will fight you on this.
When Starbuck Died By Piloting Her Ship Into A Storm
Maelstrom. That's the name of the episode (Season 3, Episode 17, to be even more specific) where Battlestar Galactica really ripped our hearts out. After almost a full three seasons of watching hotshot Viper pilot Kara Thrace prove the lengths she would go to in order to help the fleet survive, while also battling some self-destructive tendencies and making a few baffling decisions along the way. One of those, seemingly, baffling decisions ended up leading to her shocking death.
After refueling operations above a gas giant led Starbuck to engage what she believed was a Cylon ship, and almost losing her life as she tried to follow it, she later has the same experience when once again flying over the planet.
This time, Starbuck is knocked unconscious when going after the craft, and has a vision. When she wakes, she tells Apollo, who's on the mission with her, to "let me go" because "they're waiting for me," dives into the storm near the planet and her ship explodes. Of course, she came back (in a brand new, non-exploded Viper) a few episodes later, but I suppose we can discuss that in Battlestar Galactica: 1 Shocking Resurrection We're Still Not Over.
When Thousands In The Fleet Die By Nuke
Man, those Six copies really got around when it came to death and destruction, didn't they? Obviously, lots of Cylons were responsible for billions of human deaths on Battlestar Galactica, but this particular set of deaths was not only really sad, but so totally unexpected that I still remember watching this go down and silently saying to myself, "Well, frak it all to hell." And, we have Six copy Gina Inviere (and, yes, dumbass Baltar) to thank for it.
Gina worked on the Battlestar Pegasus for several months (as a spy and saboteur, obviously) and after she's found out and imprisoned on the ship, eventually begins a tentative relationship with Baltar (of course), who helps her escape and ends up giving her a nuke. (Yes! Don't ever ask me to explain that idiot.) When he's elected president, and tells Gina that he won't be able to make time for her in her hideaway aboard the Could Nine, she waits for him to leave her quarters, and as he's sworn in she detonates the nuke, killing herself and destroying other fleet ships in the blast area. Yay, Baltar! (Kidding. He should have been dead 90 times over for all his sins.)
When Cally Dies By Tory Shooting Her Into Space
A lot of people had to make a lot of tough decisions on Battlestar Galactica, and one such person was Cally, a deckhand on the ship. Cally was attracted to her boss, Chief Tyrol, but still covered for him as he carried on a secret relationship with Raptor pilot (and secret Cylon) Sharon Valerii. While that romance ends when Sharon is discovered to be one of the humanoid Cylons, and the Chief and Cally end up marrying and having a son, Cally's troubles begin in earnest when she follows her husband and realizes that he had more in common with Sharon than even he knew at the time.
That's right, folks, Chief Tyrol was one of the Final Five hidden, humanoid Cylons. And Cally, understandably, didn't know what the hell to do with that information. After some time trying to live with the horrible news, and dealing with growing sleeplessness and a dependence on anti-depressants, Cally decides to kill herself and their son. But! She's interrupted by another of the Five, Tory (who was Roslin's presidential chief of staff). Lest you think Tory was going to help our girl out, she takes Cally's son from her (he is a Cylon / human hybrid after all) and ejects her into space, killing her.
When Sam Dies By Piloting Galactica Into The Sun
Ah, Sam. As one of the Final Five, and thereby actually an ancient Cylon who had been killed by their first humanoid creation and later resurrected and forced to live in humanoid bodies with fake memories so they'd share the fate of the people in the colonies, Sam had a much longer history than most of the characters on the show. The former professional Pyramid player turned resistance fighter after the colonies were nuked, spent several years working with the military as a civilian and, after marrying Starbuck (which was a huge, Apollo-sized mistake), as a rookie pilot.
Sam manages to stay loyal to the colonies, but when a coup leads to the, now-revealed to all, Cylons being held captive, Sam gets a bullet to the back of his neck, which lets him access many memories of his original Cylon life. To help him recover, they plug him into the Cylon datastream aboard Galactica, but this just causes him to be able to interact with the ship. After the fleet finally finds another planet to call home, the fleet's surrogate father, Adama, calls for Sam to pilot the ships into the sun, so that they can be rid of all the technology that led to the Cylons in the first place. Sam does so, and without any Resurrection ships around, his death is a final one.
Man, never take the deaths on Battlestar Galactica for granted, OK? They all came with some serious intrigue and a lot of sadness, but helped make the show so much fun to watch every week. Which of these deaths was the most shocking for you? Let us know in the poll below!