Battlestar (fictional spacecraft)

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A Battlestar from the original movie and series
A Battlestar (the Battlestar Galactica) from the re-imagined series
The Battlestar Pegasus, a Mercury-class Battlestar, from the re-imagined series. A larger, more technologically advanced ship compared to the Galactica

Battlestars are capital ships from the science fiction universe of Battlestar Galactica, depicted in the original Battlestar Galactica movie and series, the Galactica 1980 spinoff, and the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series.

Battlestar Galactica (1978–1980)[edit]

General information[edit]

Battlestars are the premier capital ships, effectively the space equivalent of aircraft carriers, of the 12 Colonies of Man; Battlestars have fought for at least five hundred yahren in the Thousand Yahren War against the Cylon Alliance.

The hull is divided into the main hull with the bridge and propulsion systems, and winged hangar bays on the port and starboard sides. Each hangar bay typically carries many Viper Starfighters and several shuttles. Given the large dimensions of the ship design there is an internal rail car system to transport personnel, especially in the event of a battle alert.

The fuel for a Battlestar and its Vipers is called tylium which can be found only on certain planets.[1]

Battlestar armament[edit]

Laser turrets[edit]

The laser turrets are essentially the same weapon as a Viper's laser cannon based on appearances alone. There are several known types of turret. One, the anti-ship type, is a slow-tracking heavy turret found along the outer edge of both hangar bays. They have longer barrels than other turrets. Above each anti-ship turret is an anti-fighter turret. They are flatter and thinner in appearance and track much faster. Their barrels are smaller and closer together. These weapons however lack the power to significantly damage capital ships.[2]

Forward lasers[edit]

The forward lasers have only been seen in The Living Legend Part 2 and The Hand of God and are often confused with anti-ship missiles because they use the same graphics. They are orange-colored beam weapons solely for capital ship use. It is not known whether all Battlestars had these lasers or not. When the Galactica attacks a Baseship in "The Hand of God" Commander Adama explicit states that they have reconfigured their lasers to be able to attack the Baseship and showing that they are not a standard mode of weaponry.[2]

Anti-ship missiles[edit]

These heavy missiles give a Battlestar enough firepower to utterly destroy at least two Basestars. The only example of their use is in The Living Legend, Part 2, where they are fired at the same time as, and often confused with, the forward lasers. It is not known whether all Battlestars had missiles or whether only some did. the only ship which is seen to have them - or even referred to as having them - is The Pegasus from 'The Living Legend, Part 2'. The Galactica herself is never seen using them or even referring to having them. When she takes on a Cylon Baseship in "The Hand Of God" she attacks it by reconfiguring her lasers, not by using any missiles.[2]

List of Battlestars[edit]

Eight Battlestars were seen or mentioned by name during the TV series. Of these, five were known to have survived by the time the original movie took place.[1]

Many are identified in background radio chatter in the original pilot film ("... Battlestars Atlantia and Acropolis losing speed..") (Background voiceover Male: "...Request damage reports from Battlestars Triton and Pacifica.." Background voiceover female: " response from the Triton and the Pacifica") (Background voiceover female: "...This is the Acropolis. We're on fire. Request shuttles to..." )

A sixth Battlestar (the Pegasus) was thought to have been lost, but reappeared during the series.[2][3]

Built 500 yahren before the close of the Thousand Yahren War. It is commanded by Commander Adama. The Galactica has about 150 Vipers aboard, a mixture of its own, some from the other Battlestars at the Peace Conference, and a great number of fighters from the Pegasus.
  • Battlestar Atlantia
Lost at the Peace Conference. Atlantia carried President Adar and the Council of Twelve. Was the first battlestar destroyed in the Battle of Cimtar.[1]
  • Battlestar Pacifica
Lost at the Peace Conference. Novelization states that she was sister ship of the Atlantia, was the largest of the battlestars and had previously been destroyed.[1]
  • Battlestar Triton
Lost at the Peace Conference.[1]
  • Battlestar Acropolis
Lost at the Peace Conference.[1]
Sole survivor of the Battle of Molecay, 2 yahrens before the Destruction of the Colonies. The Pegasus was commanded by Commander Cain. Missing in action since the Battle of Gamoray when she destroyed two Cylon Basestars. Viper pilots from the Pegasus' Silver Spar Squadron wore a helmet design that bore a black 'flying horse', unlike the Galactica's Blue and Red Squadron pilots' falcon/eagle crest Viper helmets, due to the Pegasus' own namesake.[2][3]
  • Battlestar Columbia
In the episode "Gun on Ice Planet Zero", a Cadet Cree claims to be from the Battlestar Columbia in an attempt to foil the interrogation efforts by the Gold Command Centurion Vulpa. Vulpa answers back that the Columbia was lost in the Peace Conference with the rest of the fleet.[4]
  • Battlestar Rycon
In the episode "Take the Celestra", during an awards ceremony Commander Kronus is described as having 'risen from the ranks to command the Battlestar Rycon, a ship famed for destroying 3 Cylon Basestars at the Battle Of Cosmora Archipelago, but at the cost of the Rycon herself presumably. '[5]
Another ship mentioned as destroyed in the novelization of the original series first episode. Was the last Battlestar destroyed according to the Battlestar Galactica novelization, when Lt. Starbuck and Lt. Boomer tried to find another ship to land on because of burning up a lot of fuel due to the use of full turbos on their Vipers, during the Battle Of Cimtar. Its ship insignia and the ornamental crest on its Viper pilots' helmets would have featured a 'Burning Sun'.
Another ship that was on a list of names given to the costume department during production of the series. The Prometheus's Viper pilot helmet ornament and ship insignia would have featured a hand holding a burning torch. Rumor has it that Prometheus would be found by Galactica during the second season.
  • Battlestar Cerberus
In the novelization for "War of the Gods", Adama recalls serving with Cain and a friend named Apollo on the battlestar Cerberus as young Viper pilots. Apollo is killed in a battle at Sagitara and Adama names his son in his honor.

Battlestar Galactica (reimagined series)[edit]

A Battlestar in the re-imagined science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica combines the functions of battleship and aircraft carrier. The re-imagined series' Battlestars, as well as the series' other visual effects are designed and created by Zoic Studios for Battlestar Galactica.[6]

Battlestar armament[edit]

Flak Guns[edit]

Used for defense against incoming missiles and fighters, the flak gun fires a round which appears to work in a similar manner to modern-day anti-aircraft artillery: a round is fired towards an enemy, detonating and spraying shrapnel in all directions as it reaches them. Both Galactica and Pegasus use their anti-ship cannons to fire flak rounds when not attacking capital ships.

Light Guns[edit]

Similar in function to the gun armament carried by fighters, the Galactica's light guns apparently fire simple bullets at the enemy at a high rate of fire.

With dozens or even hundreds of light gun and flak gun emplacements, a Battlestar like Galactica is able to pour a very heavy volume of fire into space, creating a zone which is difficult, though not impossible, for attackers to penetrate.

Anti-ship Cannon[edit]

Columbia class battlestars such as Galactica carry 24 larger dual-barrel cannons for use against enemy capital ships. Mercury class battlestars like Pegasus carry 28 heavy cannon and are also armed with 4 forward-mounted heavy anti-ship cannons. Such cannons have proven to be able to inflict significant damage upon Cylon basestars.

List of Battlestars[edit]

Out of about 120 battlestars (Kara Thrace described a loss of thirty as being "almost a quarter of the fleet"), relatively few are known. The Galactica is a model from the Galactica class of battlestar. The Pegasus is from the newer Mercury class of battlestar.

  • Galactica (The Galactica was one of the first 12 Battlestars. Sponsored by Caprica)
  • Pegasus
  • Columbia (the first was one of the first 12 Built. Sponsored by Virgon )
  • Columbia (two battlestars bearing this name are known to have existed)
  • Atlantia (One of the 12 Original Battlestars built. Atlantia was Sponsored by Picon )
  • Triton (One of the first 12 Battlestars Built. Sponsored by Sagittaron)
  • Pacifica (one of the original 12 Battlestars Built. Sponsored by Acquaria)
  • Valkyrie (two battlestars of different classes have been seen bearing this name)
  • Mercury
  • Solaria (One of the first 12 built. Sponsored by Scorpia)
  • Athena (One of the original 12 Built. Sponsored by. Gemenon)
  • Rycon (One of the first 12 Battlestars Built. Sponsored by Aerelon)
  • Archeron
  • Yashuman
  • Theseus
  • Hesperiades
  • Atlantis (D23)
  • Cerberus (one of the first 12 Battlestars built. Sponsored by Canceron)
  • Themis (One of the first 12 Battlestars built. Sponsored by Libra)
  • Acropolis (the final of the first 12. Sponsored by Tauron)
  • Pleiades (BSG55)
  • Cygnus
  • Prometheus (One of the 12 original Battlestars Built. Sponsored by Leonis)
  • Vortex (seen on a report given by Dualla to Gaeta during the attack)
  • Uned (seen on a report given by Dualla to Gaeta during the attack)
  • Erasmus (seen on a report on Adama's desk when searching for a new CAG)
  • Night Flight (seen on a report on Adama's desk when searching for a new CAG)

Of these the first Columbia was destroyed during Operation Raptor Talon at the close of the First Cylon war. Yashuman was disabled by the CNP backdoor in the first minutes of the Fall of the Twelve Colonies and was presumably destroyed along with most of the rest of the Fleet (these events occurred off screen). The Pegasus just escaped the Fall of the Scorpion Shipyards by a blind jump and was destroyed around two years later at the Battle of New Caprica. The Galactica escaped the Fall and spent the next four or so years protecting the civilian fleet. Badly crippled while destroying the Cylon colony, Galactica and its fleet were piloted into the Sun after the survivors landed on (new) Earth.


External links[edit]

Battlestar Galactica (2003, 2004–2009)
Battlestar Galactica (1978, 1980)
  • Battlestar at BattlestarWiki.
  • Battlestar Galactica: Technical Manual