One of the original dozen Battlestar’s constructed by the Colonial Navy during the first days of the Cylon War, the Galactica was on the verge of retirement when the 12 colonies were destroyed. It was her very age that saved her from annihilation during that first, devastating attack – antiquated systems protected the Galactica from Cylon tampering. She has become the flagship of the fleet, and the military center of the surviving human society, as well as the last line of defense between humanity and extinction.
This patched-up yet proud Colonial Military starship has the unique distinction of being humanity’s final battlestar. In the 50+ years of the Cylon War, the Battlestar Galactica has seen it all and endured hundreds of conflicts. The ship is centered on its Combat Information Center (CIC), where its commanders can launch offensive and defensive assaults with precision. It’s doubtful that there is another ship anywhere in Colonial Space with more heart and soul than this battle-worn behemoth.
One of the original twelve battlestars, Galactica was built by and represented the planet Caprica. She was put into service five years into the Cylon War and saw combat until the signing of the Armistice five years later. She was one of the most highly decorated ships in the Colonial fleet and participated in some of the most famous battles of the war. Of the original twelve battlestars, only Galactica and two other ships survived the Cylon War intact.
Upon the conclusion of hostilities, Galactica served in the Fleet for the next twenty years as one of the frontline warships guarding the peace. Gradually, newer warships were built and Galactica’s role became less and less prominent in Fleet exercises. Eventually, Galactica’s other two Sister ships were retired and sold for scrap, while Galactica herself was retained in the Fleet for reasons more ceremonial than practical. She was a famous ship and it was good p x for the Defense Ministry to keep her in service and in the public eye. As a result, Galactica made many port calls to the twelve colonies and was a familiar ship to the public.
However, the cost and maintenance required to keep Galactica in service began to outweigh the P.R. benefits and during a series of budget cuts it was decided, to retire the ship and donate her as a museum vessel to the Department of Education.†
Eric Chu is heralded as the father of the modern design of the Battlestar Galactica. Gary Hutzel said in an interview; “The key element of that design was the ‘ribbing’ element, which was something Eric helped bring to life. He came up with that after Scifi said the Galactica needed a much more radical look.”††
Lee Stringer brought Eric’s sketch to life in the Computer Graphic (CG) realization of Galactica’s exterior. Elements from the 1978 Galactica practical miniature were scanned and used as exterior detail on the 2003 CG model.
Lee Stringer sheds some insight into who was involved with the massive design effort that went into creating the Battlestar Galactica.
[The Battlestar Galactica] was a combo effort like many designs. Eric Chu and Richard Carl Livingston worked up the original look and some of the details. Someone in the art department did basic plan views that were used for the set diagrams and displays. I then took that and made it 3D. Once approved (by Gary Hutzel (vfx), David Eick (producer) and SciFi) there was a massive amount of secondary design work done on the details.
Much of that was mine, but there was also help from those assigned to add many of the nurnie/greeble parts (Fabio, Jon, Gabe, Mike, Matt). Texturing and lighting was mine. Inside the landing deck was the work of Bill Arance and lit by Aram Granger. So I was the one in the middle of this whirlwind of activity.
The close up big guns were made by Jose A. Perez, the smaller AA by Jon Rosenthal. Both were based on Richard Livingston’s sketches with a bunch of ‘input’ from me. I then simplified the landing deck and guns for use on the ‘hero’ BSG model. †††
This rest of this section covers the Galactica’s interior sets along with the accompanying set-dec items found in the sets.
†. Moore, Ronald D., “Battlestar Galactica, Series Bible” December 17, 2003: page 41.
††. Bassom, David, “Ship Shape, Building a Battlestar: Gary Hutzel.” Battlestar Galactica The Official Magazine. Vol. #1 Oct/Nov 2005: page 52.
†††. Stringer, Lee. December 17, 2012. In Facebook [Reply to private friend page]. Retrieved December 17, 2012, from http://www.facebook.com