Lieutenant Athena

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For the 2000s' Battlestar Galactica Athena, see Number Eight (Battlestar Galactica).
Athena
Battlestar Galactica character
Portrayed by Maren Jensen
Information
Species Human
Gender Female
Title Lieutenant
Colony Caprica
Affiliation Colonials

Lieutenant Athena is a fictional character in the original Battlestar Galactica television series, which ran on ABC from 1978 to 1979. The character was portrayed by Maren Jensen.

Character history[edit]

Athena is Commander Adama's only daughter, and serves as both a bridge officer on the Battlestar Galactica and as a pilot. She also is seen working as a teacher, providing education to some of the Colonial Fleet's children, in what appears to be an elementary school setting.

She had two brothers, Captain Apollo who was featured in the series, and Zac who was killed in the opening episode. Ila, her mother, had died off screen during the Cylon sneak attack on Caprica.

Before the destruction of the Twelve Colonies, she had been romantically linked to Lieutenant Starbuck, but later drifted apart, particularly after Starbuck met the ex-socialator Cassiopeia. In a memorable sequence from "The Long Patrol," Starbuck continues to try and date the two women, even on the same night, but ultimately Cassiopeia seemed to win out in the rivalry for Starbuck's affections.

Athena also expressed some concern Starbuck might eventually not return from a mission, and questioned whether they should continue their relationship. In "The Return of Starbuck" episode of the sequel series Galactica 1980, the audiences learned that Athena's concerns were, perhaps, justified.

The role of Athena was originally intended to be central to the series, but Maren Jensen was not an experienced actress, and despite considerable improvement over time, her screen time was gradually reduced. First, the role of Cassiopeia began to expand to fill the role Athena had been designed to play, and then the character of Lieutenant Sheba was introduced midway through the season. Athena was the only major recurring character not to appear for the entire run of the show, as Maren Jensen left the series after "Greetings From Earth." However, she was still credited in the season's remaining episodes.

Although Athena was never seen again after this point, she was mentioned later in "The Return of Starbuck." She appears again in the Maximum Press Battlestar Galactica comics published in the 1990s still serving on the Galactica after her father is placed in cryostasis to ward off a terminal illness and Apollo assumes command of the ship. She also appears in Richard Hatch's re-launch novel series set after the show ended.

Athena's rank[edit]

In the episode The Long Patrol, a readout on one of the computers lists Athena's rank as Lieutenant. In other parts of the series she is referred to as an Ensign. However, depending on which order the episodes were filmed (vis-a-vis broadcast order), it is likely that she was promoted at some point.

Origin of name[edit]

The name Athena was based on the goddess from Greek mythology also known as Athene, who was equivalent to the Roman Minerva.

Analog in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica[edit]

The character of Athena does not appear in this capacity in the 2004 TV series (see Athena (Battlestar Galactica) for her direct counterpart), however several characters in the new series encompass major elements of Jensen's character:

  • Sharon Valerii and Kara Thrace take on the piloting and romantic elements of the character and are also treated as "surrogate daughters" by William Adama, who has no biological daughter in the reimagined version.
  • Eventually, the copy of Valerii married to Karl Agathon is given the callsign Athena to distinguish her from the copy who had the callsign Boomer.
  • Athena's role as a bridge officer is carried by the character of Anastasia Dualla, who later becomes Adama's daughter-in-law.

External links[edit]

  • Athena at the Battlestar Wiki