In search of Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica was a childhood favorite of my sister and brother and me. We loved scifi and fantasy, especially space operas. While I found out later that the Galactica film we had watched so many times had been edited from a TV series, I have never seen any other episodes beyond what was culled from the three-part pilot.

Last Wednesday, I found Mission Galactica: The Cylons Attack at the local movie rental shop. The Cylons Attack consists of episodes 12 and 13, titled “The Living Legend,” of the original 1978 series.

Roosa has never seen Battlestar Galactica, so I started looking around the Net for the original pilot movie. Easier said than done. There’s now a new Galactica series running, and of course all the search results are inundated with episodes of the 2003 series.

My search continues (and I’m afraid it could become a minor obsession to find and see the whole original series). But I discovered another interesting fact, one that makes perfect sense in hinsight. There’s a reason I have such a clear image of what “the decayed future” looks like. There’s a reason why the spaceships in Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars are so similar — they all share the same father, Ralph McQuarrie.

But wait! There’s more. I’m a big fan of John Williams. (I suspect this is a standard nerd thing.) He’s the composer of the theme songs of not only Star Wars, but Indiana Jones, and Superman, to name a few. However, I had no idea that he’d written the theme of Battlestar Galactica. It seems so obvious now.

The fact that Williams’s work is so recognizable is probably a clue that his music is not exactly high culture. But I suggest that his influence is staggering. I’m willing to wager that most kids who grew up in the 80s and 90s and watched American movies feel a pull at their heart when they hear the swell of a Williams theme.


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