[The following contains spoilers for the Battlestar Galactica reboot.]
The final season of Battlestar Galactica takes a number of bizarre, mystical turns that many viewers wouldn’t have predicted when the sci-fi reboot began. Chief among these is the story arc for Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, which ends with our favorite hard-drinking fighter pilot disappearing into thin air just as the colonial fleet begins its new existence on Earth. While this moment has a certain emotional resonance within the story, it’s left many viewers wondering: What the hell happened to Starbuck? In a recent interview with TV Insider, actress Katee Sackhoff confirmed that, much like the rest of us, she’s got no fracking idea.
“I never had that conversation with Ron Moore,” Sackhoff says, adding that, at that point in her career, she didn’t think to question showrunners’ narrative decisions. “So, I never really asked what Kara was, I just went to work and I did it. I don’t know what she was!” At the end of season three, Starbuck sacrifices herself, crash landing on a planet in a blaze of glory. Miraculously, however, she returns months later, seemingly unharmed and imbued with knowledge that will save humanity. As Sackhoff says, “Starbuck, as we knew her, was gone,” but this new Starbuck had her own journey to go on.
As for the ambiguous nature of Starbuck’s ending, Sackhoff says that that was intentional. “I really wanted her—not to wrap her up in a perfect little present with a great little bow on it, but to, in my own mind, give her an ending where she was still someplace,” she tells TV Insider, saying that she actually altered the dialogue slightly in her final scene with Samuel Anders (Michael Trucco) so that it was clear she and her husband would be together again “on the other side.”
“We didn’t want that moment where you snap your fingers and realize it was all a dream,” Sackhoff says. “I just wanted to know what whoever she was, was safe somewhere.” That’s about as satisfying as an ending can get.
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