Analysis of Major Characters

Character List

William Adama

Commander William Adama

In the re-imagined series, Commander William Adama is the highest ranking military officer left after the Cylon attack on the 12 Colonies and the destruction of the Colonial Fleet. In the show he is shown to be a pragmatic man not open to emotional reactions. An early example of this was in the show's pilot episode, when President Roslin is able to convince him to not go on a last suicidal run against the Cylons and to instead escape with the rest of the civilian ships. Throughout the series, he is a constant rock in the storms that are constantly besieging the remnants of humanity. It is he that in the early part of the show keeps the morale and the heart of the entire fleet alive with a prophecy about the mystical thirteenth colony known as Earth.

Laura Roslin

In the series, Laura Roslin is the president of the colonies after the Cylon attack on the twelve colonies. She is highest ranking civilian official left after the destruction of most of the Colonial government and the Colonial Fleet. One of her first actions as acting President is to convince Commander William Adama to not engage in a suicidal retaliatory attack against the fleet of Cylon capital ships referred to in the show as "Baystars." This one incident serves to set up a dynamic that continues throughout the show. After the first season, the reasonable and kind-hearted former Secretary of Education, becomes ability of ruthless action including the torture and killing of Cylons through throwing them out of airlocks and into the vacuum of space. Another both important and recurring aspect of her character is that from the first episode, her development of cancer puts the amount of time she has yet to live on a clock; the doctor in the first episode saying she has only a year to live.

Kara "Starbuck" Thrace

Kara "Starbuck" Thrace is one of the more complex and fully developed character in any television series in recent memory. The Starbuck that one sees in the first episode of the BattleStar Galactica miniseries, is wholly different from the one who is present at the close of the series. At the beginning of the series, Starbuck is considered one of the best pilots on the Galactica. She showcases this in the first episode by using her ship to physically push a fellow pilot back to the Galactica before the ship uses its FTL or Faster than Light Travel system to escape the Cylon armada. Hotheaded and defiant, Starbuck often conflicts with many officers aboard the Galactica even with Commander Adama who considers Starbuck a sort of surrogate daughter.
Lee Apollo Adama

Lee Apollo Adama is the son of Commander William Adama. Lee is a pilot on the Galactica at the beginning of the series. His relationship with his father is one of the interesting in the entire series. Throughout the series, Lee and his father attempt to heal breaches that are present from the beginning. Lee blames his father for the death of his brother, when in fact, it was his brother's fiance Kara Thrace who is actually responsible for his death. Beyond this, certain actions taken by both Lee and Commander Adama add to their feelings of conflict. In order to get back at his father, Lee serves along with and is an ardent supporter of President Laura Roslin, with whom Commander Adama conflicts throughout the series. The other character with whom om the beginning of the series or are created due to the actions taken during the series.

Gaius Baltar

Gaius Baltar is most certainly one of the least sympathetic characters in the entire cast. It is Baltar that in his foolishness and his stupidity, causes the fall of the Twelve Colonies and the subversion of large parts of the Colonial Fleet. His character unlike many of the others in the show, is undeniable human. Baltar as a character is arrogant, he is cowardly. However, he is also able to show great intelligence and moral stability, love and devotion, as well as pain at the view of his  inadequacies in the views of others.  It is these really human emotions, and this human complexity that add to the idea that Gaius Baltar is really the most human human in the cast of BattleStar Galactica.

Number Six

Number Six is without a doubt, the most important Cylon character in Battlestar Galactica. It is Number Six after all, who after seducing Gaius Baltar opens the 12 Colonies to invasion. She then sacrifices herself in order to help Baltar escape and get off world. From then on, Number Six appears as something of an illusion or a ghost who only appears to Baltar. This Number Six says that she is an apparition of Baltar's guilt over his role in the destruction of the Colonies and the billions of lives lost in the invasion. So, whether as an actual physical being or as a mental projection of Baltar's guilty psyche, Number Six is the quintessential Cylon and one of the most compelling "characters" in the show.