Ronald D. Moore Tries To Explain Starbuck – Again or Still

by on August 1, 2010

in Entertainment

When Ronald D. Moore’s reenvisioned “Battlestar Galactica” came to a close on the Syfy Channel, the biggest let down for me and many was the ambiguous nature of how the character of Starbuck, played by Katee Sackhoff, was handled. She had died and then came back. But her return was one of the more confusing sci fi “back from death” scenarios I’ve ever experienced.

She was back but she didn’t know she had died? Do you remember when she came across her Viper wreckage and found her body and was upset by this discovery?

Good keep that last question in mind.

At the “2010 Comic Con” event in San Diego, Ronald D. Moore tried yet again to explain away the ambiguous nature of Starbuck because when the humans found their Earth, she literally just upped and vanished from plain site, leading many to wonder WTH she was. Angel, god or figment of everyone’s imagination? Me, I was dead set on her being a Cylon of a sorts.

Katee Sackhoff

But once she delivered her final line and just vanished, I was left with an empty feeling about her role in the last 1/2 season.

My empty feeling about Starbuck was so strong that it completely distracted myself from how I felt about the series overall. I really enjoyed the series, but this main character who literally was left unexplained, robbed me of my satisfaction with the series. I no longer wanted to rush out and by the DVD or BD’s of the series if it was going to annoy me again. My journey with the show was dissed.

At a press roundtable, Moore said that she was open to interpretation and her character was “left deliberately nebulous and vague.“ He went on to say that “I think she was a representative of an entity that didn’t like to be called God, but everybody else talked about it in godlike terms.

I think?

He mentions how Starbuck’s end-story was very Christlike with her resurrection story arc. And furthermore, said that if he tried to define her, it would have made her less interesting. He ended his take on Starbuck by saying, “I just made a choice to go out on a more ambiguous note, and to let people argue about it perpetually.

As far as I could tell, they wrote themselves into a corner of which they screwed up killing off Starbuck and didn’t realize they needed her back. They then grabbed a fiction straws, pulled her back in, but could not explain it in the best way possible. So they not only didn’t have a vague idea of what she was in the end, but pitched their stance as such.

I had heard somewhere between seasons 2 & 3 that the writing was done on-the-fly. They had a general idea of where they were going, but brain storming sessions pretty much delivered the content of the episodes as they needed it.

I felt like I recognized this in a number of episodes bit I didn’t mind their approach. But the handling of Starbuck in the story finale pretty much drove it home so strongly for me, that despite really enjoying the series, it almost ruined it for me. Period. In felt like she was invalidated throughout the series and any action she took held no merit for me.

My other aspect on this ambiguous issue is that since that last Cylon mystery took the web by storm with people playing all kinds of guessing games, I can’t help but wonder if there were some hopes that this obscure character defining moment would also generate some heated web debate? Eh. Hard to tell amongst the damage control spin they’ve seemingly needed to do, and obviously, repeat.

That’s how Moore’s handling of Starbuck almost ruined “Battlestar Galactica” for me.


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