Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on the geekilicious women who inspire us. Our crushes range from fictional female characters in our favorite genre shows, movies and books… to creators in geeky media. We celebrate you, oh women of geekdom!
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers for Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009). If you have not seen this series, you have been a fool. Go to Hulu and binge all seasons now (make sure to start with the two-hour miniseries)!! It’s truly one of the best shows to ever grace TV screens, and you can thank us later. So say we all!
Starbuck (Kara Thrace)
Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace (played by Katee Sackhoff) is the best pilot in the 12 colonies at the start of BSG. Just ask her. She starts the series as a tough, hard-living, card-playing, gods-loving, no-nonsense lieutenant with a dark past. Through the course of 5-ish seasons, we find that Starbuck is not only the bravest and most skilled of any of the crew of the Galactica or surrounding Battlestars, she is also the center of prophecy and the key to human survival.
Starbuck is shot at, shot down, beat up, farmed for body parts, chased by Cylons, saved by a Cylon, promoted, jailed, shot down again, settled on New Caprica, locked in a prison of hallucination and more. And, finally, after all of that fighting and loving and resisting, she finds a home for her people. She also finds herself, dead, in a burnt-out ship. And, once the fate of human-kind is secured, she disappears into thin air. She. Is. Epic.
The Real Deal:
Starbuck is haunted by an abusive past, mistakes she’s made, and a general knack for self-destruction. That’s how you meet her. She’s funny and crass, and complicated. She’s insubordinate and inappropriate, and usually right. In an ensemble show like BSG, Thrace stands out as someone you are always interested in following. Fundamentally capable, she makes it happen even when she’s ‘screwing up’. She’s a loyal friend, passionate partner, and a fearlessly lionhearted comrade. The only thing that really makes her suffer or break is letting her people down; whoever they are. But, ultimately, she never actually does that. Starbuck always comes through in the end.
Why She Matters:
The character of Starbuck was originally a man. In fact, initially, there was some pretty strong backlash from fans of the original series when they found out that Starbuck would be a female character in the reboot. And, that is a large part of why she matters. She’s a complicated character, written without gender in mind, like men are written. Starbuck is the central figure in BSG; the point around which the vortex swirls. And, through the arch of the story of Galactica and the second Cylon war, she goes from self-destructive bad a** lieutenant, to capable captain, to saver of civilizations to angel? Yes. Through all of those changes and obstacles, Starbuck displays depth, complexity, vulnerability, and resilience. Each of those things informs each decision she makes. She is at the center of one of the best shows ever made. She is strength. She is humanity. She is fracking important.
This article was first published on June 20, 2018