Sci-Fi Fodder

Speculation: Is Starbuck a Cylon?

"Battlestar Galactica" has lit up the blogs and message boards this week. The reason? A spirited discussion on the 'Final Five' (warning, linked site has been slow lately) membership and whether or not any of the current "Battlestar Galactica" regulars will be revealed to be a Cylon.

To wit, Wired Magazine has posted an article the posits that Starbuck is the crew member that is a Cylon. The author lists eight reasons why she thinks this is so. I, of course, have added my rebuttals!

She says: "Uncanny ability to sneak right up to the Resurrection Ships and get close-up pictures of them when she was on a secret mission for Admiral Cain."
I say: Bah! She had the stealth ship, build and designed by the good Chief Tyrol (more on him later).

She says: "The Simon cylon was oddly unable to turn Starbuck into a baby-maker for the Cylon when he captured her and tried to stick her into the baby farm."
I say: Bah! That's not exactly how I remember it. Looking at the script for that episode ("The Farm"), I don't see Starbuck ever actually being connected to the baby machine. Thus, *unable* is a bit strong. She was mentioned as 'special' and 'having a destiny', though.

She says: "Starbuck's connection with the Leoben model when she was imprisoned on New Caprica had an edge to it that said cylon-vs-cylon rather than cylon-vs-human."
I say: Bah! She killed him over and over again. Her connection was to the child.

She says: "The mad Cylon hybrid who controls the Basestar says there will be a "chosen one" (presumably from among the Cylon) who will know the Eye of Jupiter. Turns out that Starbuck has been painting an image of the Eye of Jupiter since she was a kid.
I say: Agreed - this was pretty freaky. It is also notable that Helo recognized the painting and put it all together. Remember, though, it was the Chief who found the the temple and was the first to enter.

She says: "While injured and strung out, Starbuck manages to figure out how to pilot a busted Cylon Raider with minimal difficulty, despite the fact that engineering geek Galen can't make heads or tails of the thing. Is this her cylon programming taking over?"
I say: Good point. I remember Boomer giving the Chief pointers on how to 'talk' to the machine. Cylons seem to know how to manage those things.

She says: "Katee Sackoff, the actor who plays Starbuck, has hinted that she may leave the show. Possibly she'll be outed as a cylon and killed?"
I say: This is possible. Sackhoff is going to be off the show for at least a period of time. But, she could be simply killed, or captured or return later in the series.

She says: "When D'Anna sees the face of one of the "unknown five" in the Temple, she gives it the same reverent look that Leoben used to give Starbuck when he had her in captivity."
I say: Pretty weak! D'Anna also apologized to the member of the 'Five' and I do not remember any significant interaction between D'Anna and Starbuck.

She says: "Only a robot could have sex with Apollo. OK, so maybe Dualla is a cylon too."
I say: Heh - I always thought Dualla was a Cylon.

So, I personally eliminate Starbuck from Cylon consideration. I also completely eliminate Apollo. He was on the diseased Cylon ship and suffered no ill effects. Sure, Athena was there also, but it was explained that the baby had given her extra antibodies. Every other major character seems to be fair game!

So, who is on my 'most likely' list? Right now, I prefer the "Chief Tyrol is a Cylon" theory. Chief previously had weird visions (in the episode where he beat the crap out of Cally). He designed a stealth figher from spare parts found around the hanger. He fell in love with a Cylon operative (Boomer). Chief also was 'drawn' to the site of the Eye of Jupiter. He is clearly a major character and would be a huge loss for the Galatica - which, to my mind, is a necessity to give the writers the impact needed for such a revelation.

As a side note, with the fact that there are 12 Cylon models and 12 Lords of Kobol, I have a theory that each model is a likeness of an associated Lord of Kobol. Made in their image, so to speak. So, if we ever see statues of the Lords, I suspect that we will see all of the Cylon models. Now, that would be a great season ending reveal!

Stick with me here -- I'm going to offer a comparison that takes a while to conclude:

One of the things that drives me nuts about sports radio (and sports journalism, for that matter) is that so many writers try so friggin' hard to "create" stories. They offer ridiculous opinions based on nothing but hunches (and a need to fill space), and these ridiculous opinions are then repeated ad infinitum by radio hosts and tv hosts and then, eventually, the casual fan. This leaves nothing but a frothy bit of inane conversation -- there's no *there* there.

And now to my connection ...

The Wired writing is doing the EXACT same thing. Now, I'm all for coming up with theories -- and truth be told, some of the connections the writer makes are quite good -- but there comes a time where even the most hellbent opinion maker has to step back and say "am I just bullshitting now?"

For example, the writer really, REALLY should have backed away from the keyboard after she whipped out the D'anna/Starbuck in the temple connection. Good lord. Where the hell did THAT come from? Fred, you aptly note that Starbuck and D'anna have NO history together (that we know of -- I mean, maybe they passed each other in the hallway when D'anna was posing as a journalist on Galactica). Why, in the name of God, would the writer ever come to this conclusion? Hell, she might even be right when all is said and done, but where's the line of facts leading up to this point? I just don't see it. -- mac

-- Posted by: mac at January 23, 2007 10:49 PM

I believe that saul could be one of the final five. d'anna appologized to whoever she saw, and since the cylons tortured saul, it could be him. Also, he is too human for his own good. Saul is responsible for the deaths of his wife, and the people blown out of the airlock. What better of a cylon operative than to kill off the human race while masquerading as an over-emotional cylon bashing XO.

-- Posted by: lawrence dryden at February 15, 2007 2:32 PM