|Battlestar Galactica character|
|Portrayed by||Callum Keith Rennie|
Leoben is a humanoid Cylon agent who portrays himself as possessing philosophical and religious enlightenment. Meanwhile he delights in playing mind games by engaging in disorienting and poetic discourse that entwines truth and lies. The Number Two series model seems to be one of the physically strongest type among the humanoid cylons, demonstrating superhuman feats such as snapping handcuffs and tossing people around like ragdolls.
In the fourth season episode "Six of One", Conoy's model number was revealed as Number Two.
Leoben Conoy is first encountered in the miniseries by Commander Adama hiding in the Ragnar Anchorage supply depot posing as an arms dealer scrounging for weapons and supplies. Apparently to avoid arrest, Leoben offers to help Adama's supply team gather cannon shells for Galactica's defensive guns. After an explosive device accidentally detonates, Adama is trapped with Leoben and separated from the rest of the crew. They look for a way out, engaging in philosophical conversation, all the while Leoben claims to be suffering from allergies. As Adama and Leoben converse, Adama notices Leoben Conoy's "allergies" getting worse. This makes Adama suspicious as he feels it may be a reaction Cylons have to radiation (in this case emitted by the gas giant the anchorage orbits). Eventually, Leoben confirms Adama's suspicions, admitting his true nature.
Adama and Leoben fight and in the ensuing struggle, Leoben reacts with amazing speed and strength, but Adama manages to kill him by bludgeoning him in the head with a flashlight. Just prior to his demise, Leoben Conoy reveals to Adama that Cylons can be "resurrected" with their persona downloaded into another copy upon death, allowing all of their experiences to be saved and providing effective immortality. It is implied, however, the radiation field in which the Ragnar Anchorage is located prevents Leoben from downloading to a Cylon facility for proper resurrection.
After Adama is rescued, Leoben Conoy's body is taken back to Galactica and examined, revealing humanoid Cylon variants are almost identical to humans.
In the episode "Flesh and Bone", a copy of Leoben is found in the fleet hiding aboard the Gemenon Traveller and is arrested. After dodging questions and playing mind games he claims he has planted a nuclear bomb within the fleet. Leoben is subsequently tortured for information by Starbuck, something he submits to even though he is shown to be capable of breaking free of his restraints and killing her. He demonstrates a growing obsession with Starbuck throughout the episode, and the interrogation becomes a contest between the two of them. President Laura Roslin intervenes in the interrogation and more courteously questions him. He then makes startling predictions about Kobol and the future of the fleet. After he admits that there was no bomb (and frightens Roslin by claiming Adama is a Cylon spy), Roslin has him vented into space.
Occupation of New Caprica
In the final episode of 2nd season "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II", Leoben appears again during the Cylon invasion of New Caprica. He asks Starbuck's husband Samuel Anders for Starbuck's whereabouts.
In the third season premier "Occupation", it is revealed Starbuck has been captured by the Cylons, and is forced to live with Leoben for a number of months. During this period she has killed him five times, though he would simply resurrect and return, exercising extreme patience in his task of winning Starbuck's affection.
Leoben claims he created a baby from an egg retrieved from Starbuck's ovary (see "The Farm") and presents a girl named Kacey. He says Kacey is a half-Cylon hybrid, Starbuck and Leoben being the parents. In "Exodus" (part 2), however, it is revealed Kacey is a human child taken from her mother on New Caprica, and the two are reunited (much to Starbuck's shock) when Starbuck and Kacey arrive back on Galactica.
Leoben's role in Starbuck's destiny
Ever since Starbuck first encountered Leoben aboard the Gemenon Traveller and during the time she was forced to live with him on New Caprica, Leoben has continually told her she has a special destiny and an important role to play in future events. Despite Starbuck's guilt that she has been nothing but a "screw up" since childhood, Leoben tries to show she is more significant than she believes. In later episodes of the third season, Starbuck has bizarre dreams of Leoben, with some becoming markedly erotic.
In the episode "Maelstrom", Starbuck begins hallucinating things, such as her younger self, fleeting images of her mother, and finally non-existent Cylon Raiders. Because of this, her fitness for duty comes into question. Thinking she's losing her mind, she seeks help from an oracle who tells her Leoben is her spiritual guide and her deceased mother, Socrata Thrace, is using him to get a message to her.
During a hallucinatory dogfight with a Raider, Starbuck's Viper takes damage and she falls into unconsciousness, ending up in a dream of her mother's apartment. Leoben appears and takes Starbuck to a scene six years prior, where she learns her mother is dying of cancer. However, her mother's heartless and derogatory comments force Starbuck to walk out on her mother for good. Her mother dies alone and Starbuck kept the pain of that decision locked inside her.
Leoben next takes her to the moment of her mother's death and allows Starbuck another chance to be with her mother at her deathbed. Leoben consoles Starbuck, telling her death is nothing to fear. Starbuck states "You're not Leoben," to which he replies, "Never said I was. I'm here to prepare you to pass through the next door; to discover what hovers in the space between life and death." Starbuck finally accepts (apparent) death and decides to go down with her damaged Viper when it explodes in the atmosphere of a gas giant. Starbuck's reappearance in "Crossroads Part II," where she tells Lee Adama it really is her and that she has been to Earth, may suggest the destiny Leoben had been guiding her to involves much more than her death.
The copy of Leoben that held Starbuck captive on New Caprica returns to offer a truce between the Colonials and the Cylon Rebels. In "The Road Less Traveled", he helps Starbuck finish a painting of part of her vision, and eventually convinces her to travel to his severely damaged basestar, in "Faith". Onboard she discovers part of her painted vision of the road to Earth: a trinary star system possessing a gas giant with a rapidly receding and damaged basestar that appeared as a comet. Leoben takes her to see the ships's Hybrid who gives Starbuck a cryptic and disturbing message. The Hybrid suggests unboxing the D'Anna models to help locate the final five but informs Starbuck she is the harbinger of death leading humanity to its end.
In "Sometimes a Great Notion", upon reaching Earth from the coordinates of Starbuck's Viper, Leoben accompanies Starbuck through a desolate landscape, eventually coming upon the ruins of a crashed Viper. The dead pilot of the Viper is revealed to be Starbuck. Starbuck asks him "What am I?" Leoben has no answer for her and appears to be extremely alarmed by this turn of events.
Having sided with the Colonials, along with the Sixes and Eights, against the remaining Cylon forces led by John Cavil, Leoben is instrumental in aiding them throughout their final confrontation. When Starbuck's interpretation of the musical notes in her head leads everyone to a new planet (which is later identified as our Earth), the Leoben series, along with the remnants of the Colonials, the Sixes and Eights, vote to settle the new world and help make a difference in rebuilding civilization before they "pass into God's hands". The Leobens, like his Cylon counterparts and the remnants of humanity, pass into history.