|Battlestar Galactica character|
|Portrayed by||Dirk Benedict|
|Colony||Umbra City, Caprica|
Lieutenant Starbuck of the Colonial Service, played by Dirk Benedict, is a fictional character in the 1978 science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica. Starbuck is a Viper starfighter pilot, gambler, womanizer and smoker of "fumerellos," or cigars. He is involved with Lieutenant Athena and socialator Cassiopeia, and best friend of Captain Apollo.
Fictional character history 
Orphaned at a very young age in the Cylon attack on Umbra, a small agro community on Caprica at the edge of the thorn forest in yahren 7322, Starbuck never knew his parents. The man known as Chameleon, portrayed by Fred Astaire in the episode "The Man With Nine Lives," is discovered to be Starbuck's father, but Chameleon never reveals this fact to his son, instead trusting only Cassiopeia with this knowledge.
Starbuck was well liked and had close friendships with some of the other colonial viper pilots such as Lieutenant Jolly, and Lieutenant Boomer.
Starbuck is well renowned as an excellent fighter pilot, but nonetheless manages to crash a Viper four times, in "Saga Of A Star World," "The Long Patrol," "The Young Warriors," "The Return Of Starbuck," to crash a shuttle at least once, in "The Gun On Ice Planet Zero," or get into a difficult situation in a dogfight.
"The Wheel of Fire," an unproduced Galactica 1980 episode, reveals that Starbuck was eventually rescued by the beings from the Ship of Lights and that the entire affair of Starbuck finding Angela, delivering her child, and sending him to the Colonial Fleet was engineered by them, to test whether Starbuck was worthy to join them. Starbuck passes the test and becomes one of the Ship's crew.
The re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series episode "You Can't Go Home Again" gives a nod to this episode. In the episode, Lt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace crashes on a deserted moon and must repair a Cylon Raider to rejoin the fleet.
Starbuck reappears in Richard Hatch's original Galactica novels, described as still the best pilot in the fleet, even though over 10 years have passed since the last episode and the start of the novel series. He and Cassiopeia have a daughter named Dalton, who becomes a fighter pilot. He also appears in the Maximum Press comic book series published in the 1990s, with one story seeing him stranded on a deserted planet and having to fight to survive much like the episode "The Return of Starbuck", his sole appearance in the short lived revival attempt Galactica: 1980. Due to licensing issues, his likeness isn't based on Dirk Benedict.
In other media 
Dirk Benedict was cast in the somewhat similar role of Lieutenant Templeton "The Face-Man" Peck on the NBC television series The A-Team, after his work as Starbuck. In one episode, the second season's "Steel," while on the Universal Studios film lot, a Cylon walks past Peck, causing him to do a double-take. This shot was used on the later second, third and fourth season opening credits for the series.
Origins of name