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The Best Battles from Battlestar Galactica

By on August 12th, 2011 6:27 pm

Whether you’re a casual fan or a hardcore Galactica Geek, there are battles that we all have in our video collections.

These are the ones that push the characters to their limits, that change the course of their respective story arcs in unforgettable ways, or that simply wow us with some really, really cool effects and action shots. Here are five of the very best battles the show has ever featured…

The First Battle

Some fans feel that the show was still finding its feet at this early stage, but the first battle from season one episode one blew us all away, nevertheless. Intended mainly as a setup to the series and as a way to show off the capabilities of the Galactica, the first battle did not disappoint.

Primarily a pure action extravaganza, the highlight of this sequence comes when the Galactica displaces itself in space in order to dodge a barrage of missiles. This was unlike anything else being shown on television at the time and remains a fan favorite moment in the series.

New Caprica, 3:3

New Caprica broke new ground for the series and set the stakes higher than ever before in terms of the quality and production value of the action. Many would argue that this is where the show’s action direction really took off and crystallized many of its top quirks, not least being the handheld, documentary style camera.

When BGS began doing this, it was almost unheard of in space opera action, but it proved to lend the action more life and spontaneity than the old hull-mounted-cameras everyone had been using since Episode IV. Cylons attacking in-formation, on and off-world action, the explosive clashes in New Caprica rival the most epic moments of the great Battleship Potemkin.

Starbuck vs. Apollo

Okay, this one is hand to hand, but the show really surprised viewers by showing that they could thrill us just as easily with punches and kicks as they could with explosions and starships, and that you don’t always need million dollar effects to create a stellar action sequence. While brief (the fight is really over in two hits), the fight packs more emotional explosive power than most space battles.


Adama orders an attack on a colony right by a black hole. Enough said. The tension and drama of Daybreak, the series finale, make up for any of the weaker episodes fans might have felt disappointed by earlier in the series, the action really peaks, and all in all, this is just a darn good send off for one of the greatest sci-fi series of all time.

The Resurrection Ship Battle

This one is generally regarded as the all time great Battlestar Galactica space battle sequence. For pushing the characters to their dramatic limits, for changing the face of the series, for sheer, pulse pounding action, for the sharp effects work, this one has it all. The two part Resurrection Ship arc is why we watch BGS in the first place. Scratch that, it’s why we watch space opera at all.

The epic battle kicks off with the Colonial forces ready to do battle with the Cylons and baiting them into a trap. From here, Galactica and the Pegasus both attack the Cylon Resurrection Ship, and the rest is Battlestar Galactica history.

But what really pushes this battle over the line from “merely epic” to “something special” is Apollo’s arc as he takes the Blackbird out and collides with a Cylon, soon discovering a pinhole in his suit that compromises his life. The tension of this sequence alone is as pulse pounding as the battle itself.

The re-imagined original series is off the air now, however one cool new game out right now is actually a BGS themed real-time strategy game. This means that not only can you get all the fun of Starcraft within the trappings of Battlestar Galactica, you can also arrange the “What if?” battles that you came up with in your head while watching the series.

The online game is competitive, so don’t expect anyone to take it easy on you just because you’re new. See if you can top your favorite battle on this list. Get a glimpse of BSG Online by reading the SpaceSector first impressions article: Battlestar Galactica Online: Hands On First Impressions

Matthew Kiddman is  a long time gaming and sci-fi enthusiast who takes every chance he can get to write about the gaming industry and in particular space games like Battlestar Galactica Online. Look for him in the online Galactica game.

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  1. Anton says:

    No, no, no, no. The best space combat in BSG was by FAR the Pegasus Suicide Run, and pretty much everything that lead up to in that episode.

    Also BSG Online is a far cry from an RTS, or anything resembling Starcraft, anyway.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Correct. BSG Online is a MMORPG. As I say in my about page I plan to post occasionally about other space gaming genres, other than strategy, when I find them of interest to the space gaming community. I guess BSG Online is one of those cases.

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