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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Annihilation "Annihilation"
(Saga of a Star World, hour 1)
TV episode
0:00-41:59 on Side 1 of the DVD
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Richard A. Colla

In another galaxy from our own, the 12 planetary colonies of humanity are about to sign for peace with their enemies, the robotic Cylons, ending a millennium of war. But the armistice turns into a trap, resulting in the near total annihilation of humanity.

(This episode begins with the Colonial battle fleet gathering for the armistice and ends with Adama's declaration that he will lead the survivors in a search for Earth.)

Read the complete synopsis of the three-hour "Saga of a Star World" at the Battlestar Wiki site.

Didja Know?

I borrowed the cover slogan of issue #1 of the BSG comic book by Marvel Comics for the title of this hour of Saga of a Star World.

This pilot episode of the series features a slightly longer introductory preamble than the one presented in the hourly episodes. Below is the text of this episode's preamble, with the additional passages in red:

There are those who believe that life here began out there. Far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians. Or the Toltecs. Or the Mayans. That they may have been the architects of the great pyramids or the lost civilizations of Lemuria or Atlantis. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man, who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens...

The first 5 hours of the series, "Saga of a Star World" (3 hours) and "Lost Planet of the Gods" (2 hours) were originally written as a mini-series before ABC gave Larson the go-ahead to do a full series (probably due to the success of Star Wars in theaters).

The helmets of the Cylon centurion costumes worn by actors had a small grouping of pinholes above the Cylon eye slit for the actor to see (poorly) through. The pinholes are generally hard to see in the episodes, but a screengrab from "The Lost Warrior" below reveals them clearly.

Evidence suggests that most Cylon centurions were voiced by voice actor Michael Santiago.

The series generally used different units of time and distance measurement than those known in the English language which the actors speak (though there was the occasional slip-up usage of English measurements by either the actors or writers). A completely comprehensive guide to Colonial measurements has never been produced, due largely to conflicting usage even within the series itself. Most fans accept that (approximately) micron=second, centon=minute, yahren=year. During the first 5 hours of the series (the "mini-series" as mentioned above) even these definitions do not hold, but they do for the balance of the series. There was an excellent breakdown and discussion of Colonial measurement at the fan site battlestargalactica.com, but the site is currently inactive; the article is archived at the Internet Archive.

Throughout the series, the characters seem to invoke both "the Lord" and the "Lords of Kobol". It is never really made clear what the Lords of Kobol are; are they deities or merely saints? 

I don't recall that we ever get a complete listing of all 12 Colonies during the series, but indications are that they have names based on Earth's 12 constellations of the zodiac: Aries (Aeries), Taurus (Taura), Gemini (Gemoni), Cancer (Orion--allegedly called this due to the negative connotations of "cancer", but in "The Magnificent Warriors" Orion is said to be a nearby planet, not one of the colonies), Leo (Leonis), Virgo (Virgon), Libra (Libris), Scorpio (Scorpion), Sagittarius (Sagitara), Capricorn (Caprica), Aquarius (Aquarus), Pisces (Piscera). Various BSG sources suggest that all 12 planets exist in a single system, some even suggesting that it is a bi- or tri-nary sun system to account for so many habitable planets; a BSG fan called AdmiralMarcus on the Battlestar Galactica Wiki made the very cool interpretation of the Galactica's tactical display of the Battle of Cimtar below, showing the orbits of the planets and moons in the Colony system(s), with 5 suns in relatively close proximity to each other.
tacital display of Colonies
 
Battlestar Galactica had at least four different basic logos used on its licensed materials (shown below).
 
Battlestar Galactica main logo Battlestar Galactica merchanside logo
 
Battlestar Galactica merchanside logo Battlestar Galactica Mattel toys logo


 

Didja Notice?

What are the planets and moons seen during the introductory segment? Are they part of the 12 Colonies? The Kobol system?

The voice that performs the introductory preamble of each episode of BSG is that of actor Patrick MacNee. MacNee is also the voice of the Cylon Imperious Leader and later portrays the malevolent Count Iblis, who is implied to have been responsible for starting the reptilian Cylons down the path of mechanizing their own species, in the two-part "War of the Gods" storyline. Why did series creator and producer Glen A. Larson choose to use the same actor for all three roles? True, MacNee has an awesome voice, but is there meaning behind the casting of the multiple roles? It makes some amount of sense that the now robotic Imperious Leader might have the voice of the being who led the original leader (said to be Sobekkta in "Nostalgie De La Boue") astray, but why does the opening narrator of the series also seem to have Iblis' voice?

The opening narration mentions that some people on Earth believe that humans from across the universe may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, Mayans, or Toltecs. These are all ancient Earth civilizations who were quite advanced for their time. The Egyptians, of course, arose in Egypt (the "great pyramids" mentioned in the narrative are also a reference to the Egyptian civilization). The Mayans and Toltecs were civilizations in ancient Central America.

The opening narrative's mention of the lost civilizations of Lemuria or Atlantis are references to two mythological land masses that once harbored advanced civilizations that later suffered severe cataclysms that sank the lands beneath the ocean.

During his toast to the Council of Twelve, President Adar calls this august body "the greatest leaders ever assembled." Gee, egotistical much?

The terms Council of the Twelve and Qurorum of the Twelve are borrowed from the hierarchy of the Mormon Church, which is the religion of BSG creator Glen A. Larson. Also, in the BSG universe, humanity's home planet is said to be the lost planet Kobol. The name was probably inspired by the alleged star or planet called Kolob in the Mormon religion.

I never quite caught on before this viewing, but as the camera pans around the Council table, we see that Commander Adama is seated there. So, he must have been one of the twelve members of the Council from the start! I'd always assumed he'd gained his position by default as the leader of the rag-tag fleet after the Cylon annihilation. My understanding is that the twelve council members originally represented each of the 12 Colonies, so that must also mean that Adama is the representative for Caprica. He appears to be the only active military member of the Council as both the commander of a battlestar and a councilmember. It seems that he must be some kind of icon to the Colonies (or at least Caprica) if this is true.

President Adar says they are approaching the seventh millennium of time. "Nostalgie De La Boue" implies that they are already in it. (PopApostle reader Jace Toronto points out that Starbuck tells Zara during the interview in "The Man With Nine Lives" that his parents were probably killed in the village of Umbra during the Cylon sneak attack of 7322, making it currently the eighth millennium.)

The four openings along the vertical edge of the battlestar landing bay are Viper launch ports. There are 12 more ports, in groups of 4, farther down the bay as well.
Viper launch ports

As Zac enters the pilot barracks at 3:50 on the DVD, a fire extinguisher and a metal box (possibly a first aid kit?) are seen mounted on the wall. Both have the same symbol on them. Is the symbol the Colonial version of a universal emergency symbol?
 emergency equipment

As Apollo turns toward Zac at 4:45 on the DVD, a light reflection suddenly appears and bounces around on the bulkhead beam above him. I'm not sure what is causing it, perhaps reflection from the metallic clasps on either Apollo's or Zac's warrior jacket?

The helmets worn by the Viper pilots are similar in look to headdresses worn by ancient Egyptian pharaohs.
Viper helmet King Tut mask
Viper helmet King Tut mask

I always wondered what was the point of the little lights on the helmets worn by the viper pilots. During my research of BSG for these analyses, I found an article in Battlestar Galactica Official Poster Magazine #2 from 1978 that suggests that the lights are the emitters of a personal force field that help protect the pilot's air supply.
Viper helmet with lights

As Apollo and Zac zoom out into space on their routine patrol, a Cylon Raider pops into the bottom right corner of the screen at 5:57 on the DVD, even though they will not encounter the Cylons for another 10 minutes!
Viper and Raider

At 6:38 on the DVD, a couple of paintings or photographs are seen on the walls of the Council chamber. The one on the right looks somewhat like the layout of a Mayan city.
Council chamber pictures 

Apollo activates his viper's onboard warbook to identify the vessel hiding in the cloud behind the moon Cimtar and it flashes through a few different ship designs before matching the ship to a Cylon tanker. Some of these graphics appear to be based on pre-production designs of other ships that appear in the series.
Warbook ship designs Warbook ship designs
Warbook ship designs Warbook ship designs


The three buttons on the viper joysticks normally read Fire, Turbo, and IM; the first two words are obvious and frequently used functions on the Viper, IM is never explained in the series. On rare occasions during the series, the IM button is used for reverse thrusters (letter writer Sean Lee in the lettercol of Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck #3 claims the IM stands for "Inverse Mode"; in Armageddon, Apollo uses the right side button to arm the targeting system of a Scarlet-class Viper). But in Zac's viper, at 11:10 on the DVD, the joystick buttons are instead labeled Stores, Camera Auto, and Camera Pulse (though he seems to use them the same way as Fire and Turbo). On Joel Owens' website (now archived at the Internet Archive), a fan named Kevin Coyne has pointed out that the joystick is from a Vietnam-era recon aircraft, the OVC1-Mohawk; so the camera terms were relevant for capturing aerial landscape shots during recon missions. (Thanks to Roger Wilcox for the tip!). Joel Owens' site also points out some similarities of the Viper console panels to the flight console of the U.S. space shuttles!
Zac's Viper joystick OVC1-Mohawk
Zac's Viper joystick OVC1-Mohawk

At 17:05 on the DVD, President Adar says this is "the first peace man has known in a thousand years." Either the actor or the writers slipped up in having Adar say "years" instead "yahrens".

It must be just a film artifact, but at 19:28 on the DVD, a green Cylon Raider is seen flying in the formation!
Green Cylon Raider

Why do the Colonials keep referring to Cimtar as "the old moon"? Old compared to what? Is there a new moon? And of what planet is Cimtar a moon anyway? Page 4 of the novelization reveals that Cimtar is the moon around a planet with a decaying orbit in an out-of-the-way, uninhabited system. (PopApostle reader Jace Toronto comments, "The word 'old' may not be meant to be a literal term referring to age. Perhaps in Colonial history, Cimtar was the first moon discovered; at some point, a newly discovered moon might be referred to as a 'new moon' and thus Cimtar as the 'old moon,' a nickname that perhaps stuck for millennia afterwards--There are plenty of things in our world that have names or nicknames for historical reasons that are literally illogical or incorrect.")

During the battle, Commander Adama asks if any of the other battlestars managed to launch vipers and his bridge crew reports they did not. Yet, as vipers begin to regroup on the Galactica at Caprica, we learn that only 25 of the 67 vipers landing are Galactica's. Perhaps these vipers were launched from other headquarters such as on Caprica or other colonies and moons? (PopApostle Jace Toronto also adds that, the battle being a chaotic time, the bridge personnel may simply have not had accurate information in hand at the moment.)

Notice that at 21:31 on the DVD, the shot of the Atlantia moving past the camera is missing the ship's name on the bulkhead of the landing bay! Just seconds later, we see the name of the ship through the viewport of a Cylon Raider.
Battlestar Atlantia Cylon cockpit

At 22:32 on the DVD, a Cylon commands, "Atlantia death squadron, attack." This suggests that there was a squadron of Cylon raiders designated as suicide fighters to deliberately collide with the Atlantia to cause maximum damage to the presidential battlestar. 

At 24:19 on the DVD (and later scenes), the Cylon Imperious Leader is seen to have a small, green lizard upon his left shoulder! It even moves around some. A pet, I suppose, perhaps intended as a touchstone to the Cylons original reptilian origins. (In the audio commentary, Richard Hatch says the lizard was a chameleon that had fake wings attached to it!)
 Imperious Leader and lizard friend

At 26:10 on the DVD, above the planted flowers spelling out peace at the Presidium on Caprica, we see 11 flags. Presumably these are the flags of the 11 colonies besides Caprica; the flag of Caprica must be located on some central spire or point of honor within the Presidium. Unfortunately, we never get a good look at the designs.
Presidium

During her broadcast, Serina mentions that the armistice meeting is taking place on the Star Kobol. Presumably, this is a Colonial diplomatic ship. 

There are those who believe that obscene language here began out there. Far across the universe, with the tribe of humans known as Capricans. Some believe the words "FUCK OFF" are written in the lights of Caprica City during the Cylon attack. It is seen at 26:54 on the DVD, most noticeable when the third Cylon Raider flies to the middle of the screen (look to its right). Thanks to Kobol.com for pointing this out on their site!
lights of Caprica FUCK OFF

For some reason, at 28:16 on the DVD, there appear to be a couple of small camp tents set up on the perimeter of the Presidium.
camp tents

At 28:48 on the DVD, Athena is crying at the scenes of destruction on Caprica, with makeup running down her face.
 Athena crying 

As Athena begins running a remote damage check on Starbuck's incoming viper, at 31:55 on the DVD, the words "Made in USA" appear on her computer screen! And at 32:04, a panel in Starbuck's viper cockpit shows the word "USASCII", an American character-encoding scheme for computers which was the standard on the worldwide web until the end of 2007. Above it, is the acronym EBCDIC, another character encoding code, used in mostly IBM mainframe operating systems.
 Made in USA Viper switches 
 
As Starbuck quickly exits his damaged viper at 33:31 on the DVD, he tells the damage repair crew to "give it a good wash, fellas!"

At 34:30 on the DVD, two suns are seen in the sky over Caprica.
Twin suns over Caprica

At 35:13 on the DVD, we get our only glimpse of Adama's wife, Ila, in a couple of photographs found in a keepsake box in the couple's demolished home. Despite Adama's certainty that Ila was at the home when it was destroyed, she does later turn up alive in a cameo in issue #15 of Marvel's BSG comic book ("Derelict").
Ila Ila

When he first meets Serina in the crowd of survivors on Caprica, Adama calls her by name even though she has not introduced herself. The novelization makes it clear that she is a media personality known all over Caprica.

As the rag-tag fleet begins its exodus from the Colonies, Adama states that there are 220 ships in all. (In the novelization, there are 22,000 ships!)

It seems a bit difficult to believe that all these ships would be able to escape their colony worlds with the Cylons attacking and patrolling the system. I suppose it could be argued that even the vast numbers of the Cylon fleet might be stretched thin in attacking 12 worlds at once, so some ships were able to slip away through the cracks with skill and luck. Once at the rendezvous point, the novelization reveals that Apollo was able to rig up an enveloping camouflage force field to hide the gathered ships from the many Cylon patrols that passed nearby.

I like how the Colonial Movers ship has storage modules that look similar to train freight cars! And the slogan of Colonial Movers appears to be "We move anywhere." Ironic, considering they are now part of the movement of humanity across the cosmos to Earth!
Colonial Movers ship We Move Anywhere
   
At about 39:15 on the DVD, we see a rare instance of writing that does not appear to be English on one of the ships. (The ship is identified in later episodes as the Prison Barge.)
Prison Barge Unusual writing on the Prison Barge

While addressing the survivors about his plan to find Earth, Adama says that it lies in a galaxy much like their own. However, there is conflicting information throughout the series as to whether the Colonies from which the fleet has fled existed in another galaxy or simply in a solar system (in either case, referred to as Cyrannus) in the same galaxy in which they are searching for Earth. If the Colonial legends and mythology speak of Earth existing in a galaxy (or system) much like their own, it would imply that people from the Earth colony communicated with the 12 Colonies at some point in the past.

Notes from the deleted scenes on the DVD

During Starbuck's Pyramid game in the pilots' barracks, Jolly is seen by the bunks with his shirt off. Not for the faint of heart...he was one hairy guy!

During the attack on Caprica, Boxey is seen chasing the original Muffit, but he calls the daggit Peanut. Probably this was the actual name of the trained dog portraying Muffit.

Some of the deleted scenes of the Imperious Leader do not yet have Patrick MacNee's voice in place. Most of these just feature an off-camera script reader speaking the lines. But a few of the scenes sound as if they're voiced by Ted Cassidy! Possibly it is the voice of Dick Durock, another behemoth like Cassidy, who was in the Imperious Leader costume for most, if not all, episodes in which the character appeared.

Notes from the audio commentary by Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict and Herbert Jefferson, Jr. on the DVD

Richard Hatch reveals that his character was originally named Skyler before it was changed to Apollo several days into shooting! I don't know that it's been confirmed, but speculation has been that the name was changed so as not to have a name too similar to Skywalker from the Star Wars franchise.

Hatch comments that actor David Greenan, who ultimately portrayed bridge crew member Omega, was originally slotted to play Apollo. 

Battlestar Galactica novelization Notes from the novelization of "Saga of a Star World", Battlestar Galactica by Glen A. Larson and Robert Thurston
(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published September 1978)

Pages 1-85 cover the events of "Annihilation"

The novelization has a number of differences from the aired version of "Saga of a Star World", having been based on an early draft of the script. Author Robert Thurston has also since commented that script changes were constantly coming in to him while he was writing and he would try to incorporate those changes into the book; this probably explains a number of self-contradictions within the novel about the mythology of Earth, the origin of the Cylon war, the techno-organic nature of the Cylons, etc.

The novelization uses Earth units of measurement, not the Colonial ones used in the TV series.

On page 1, Adama's journal mentions that the Cylon war began 1,000 years ago, without warning.

Also on page 1, Adama comments on the "time twistings of space travel". Presumably, he is referring to the time dilation that occurs aboard a space vessel traveling at or near the speed of the light (as described in Einstein's theory of relativity).

Page 3 reveals that Zac is 23 years old at the time of the armistice and that he is somewhat of a viper pilot veteran already, not the greenhorn he is depicted as in the episode.

On page 5, Zac comments that his being on this patrol is punishment from Colonel Tigh for an unrevealed escapade with a nurse. In the episode itself, the greenhorn Zac practically begs to go on the patrol as his first flight mission.

Page 6 reveals that Zac made it through the academy with the highest marks in its history.

Also on page 6, Zac uses the phrase, "Roger dodger, old codger." It's a bit of a surprise to see such an obvious Earth euphemism used in the context of BSG. The phrase "Roger dodger, you old codger" originated as a flippant remark among U.S. military personnel during WWII.

Page 9 reveals that Baltar is a "self-proclaimed" count (a count essentially being a companion to the ruler of a kingdom). In the case of Baltar, there may be a double-meaning in that he is something of a companion to Colonial President Adar and he is the secret partner of the Cylons, who plan to conquer the Colonies.

Page 9 also reveals that Adama and Adar went to the academy together.

Page 11 suggests that there are just five battlestars in the fleet (and four of them are destroyed in the upcoming battle; through dialog in this episode we learn these four are Atlantia, Pacifica, Triton, and Acropolis). This must just mean five that survived up until the time of the Battle of Cimtar, because several others are mentioned (or seen, in the case of Pegasus) in later episodes or novels.

Page 11 also suggests that the Galactica is over two hundred years old and was commanded by Adama's father before him. ("The Hand of God" suggests the battlestar is about 500 years old.)

Page 11 refers to the Pacifica as the Atlantia's sister ship, perhaps because of our own Earth connection between Atlantic and Pacific as the two major oceans of the world.

In the original BSG TV series, all the battlestars seen look alike. The novel describes them as having unique designs and sizes.

Page 13 reveals that Adama as been commander of the Galactica for 25 years. The Starbuck mini-series from Dynmite Entertainment implies Adama had a shorter amount of time as commander.

Page 13 also reveals that Starbuck's gambling acumen has made his name a part of fighter-pilot slang. To be starbucked means to be "maneuvered into a situation in which your defeat was inevitable."

Page 15 compares Jolly and Greenbean to Mutt and Jeff. Another odd connection to modern Earth; Mutt and Jeff were characters in a comic strip of the same name, one short and heavy, the other tall and thin.
Mutt and Jeff

Page 15 goes on to suggest that the two pilots' names, Jolly and Greenbean are nicknames awarded by their fellow pilots. If so, what are their real names? And which other pilots' names we know of are also just nicknames, not the real ones (Starbuck comes to mind)? In the reimagined BSG of the 2000's, this is the case with most of the pilots; Apollo, Starbuck, Boomer...all are fighter-pilot nicknames.

Pages 13-16 depict Starbuck's pyramid card game in the barracks and reveals that his two opponents are Gemons...and they're good players to boot! This makes Starbuck's comment to Cassiopeia later on (in "Exodus") about Gemons ("No wonder those little buggers are such good card players!") both in the novel and in the episode, make more sense. (This scene was filmed and appears in the deleted scenes on the DVD.)

On page 16, Apollo compares the lure of what was hiding inside the space cloud above Cimtar to "space Loreleis". Here on modern Earth, Lorelei is a reference to a mermaid who lures sailors to their deaths with the sound of a beautiful song. 

Page 17 reveals that, here in the novel, the Cylons are still part organic, many-eyed creatures with heads that could alter shape at will. There is no reference to the reptilian nature of the ancient Cylons before they became robotic, as told in the TV series.

Page 21 describes Athena as blond. In the TV series, she is dark-haired. And page 92 describes Cassiopeia as dark-haired instead of blond!

Page 22 describes the landing deck of the Galactica as coming out of its pod, expanding, and easing itself under a descending shuttlecraft. This is obviously different from the landing bays depicted in the series. 

Page 22 also describes Colonel Tigh as short and wiry. On the TV series, actor Terry Carter as Tigh is 5'10"...not tall, but not short either.

Page 23 suggests that Tigh's inability to keep his feelings reigned in had cost him at least one command of his own.

Page 35 suggests that as they progress in life, Cylons may surgically acquire additional brains (up to three)! Of course, this would seem to apply only to the partly-organic Cylons depicted here in the novel, not in the TV series.

On page 46 we learn that in the novel, unlike in the series, Boxey is not Serina's son, he is just a boy who is caught in the middle of the Cylon attack on the Presidium and Serina heroically goes to his aid.

Page 51 reveals that Adama and Tigh have shared more than three decades of friendship.

The Adama Journals entry on pages 53-55 tell us that, in this early novelization, Earth was not the lost 13th colony of humankind, but the actual origin world of humanity. This may explain the use of Earth phrases mentioned earlier. No mention is made of Kobol being the homeworld of humanity throughout the novel.

Page 65 reveals that the time of the Cylon attack on Caprica was late afternoon. As he gazes at the wreckage of his and his wife's abode, Adama despondently reflects that late afternoon was the time she usually took a nap; she had probably been asleep when the structure was demolished.

On page 68, Adama reflects on how he met Ila while he was on TDY. TDY is an abbreviation of "temporary duty yonder", a term used in the United States government when assigning its employees to a temporary duty away from their usual place of work.

The Adama Journals entry on page 75 tells of the secret rendezvous point for all ships escaping the Colonies to meet with the Galactica. He comments that it is a miracle that so many ships managed to make it off their home planets and to the rendezvous without being stopped or destroyed by the Cylons. He also admits, though, that they have no way of knowing how many ships didn't make it. He also comments that Apollo was able to rig up an enveloping camouflage force field to hide the ships gathered at the designated assembling point from the many Cylon patrols that passed nearby.

When the Imperious Leader reneges on his deal with Baltar and informs the human traitor of his pending execution, Baltar asks if he thinks he's some kind of god. Imperious Leader responds, "Gods are one of the intellectual trivialities of your race." I point this out only because it's a far different statement than what the Cylons of the reimagined BSG would have said.

On page 80, it is Baltar who, in an attempt to bargain for his life, gives the Imperious Leader information about the human refugees who have fled the Colonies in a ragtag fleet. In the aired episode, it is Baltar who learns of it second-hand from a centurion who is reporting on the statements of recently captured humans.

Page 81 indicates that Baltar is actually executed. In the series, Imperious Leader sentences him to death in the following episode ("Exodus") and then he is granted a reprieve by the successor to the Imperious Leader in "Deathtrap".

Also on page 81, Adama reflects on the odd transports that now make up his fleet, with ships belonging to Trans-Stellar Space Service, Gemini Freight, Tauron Bus Lines, etc.

On pages 81-82, Athena makes a remark about "the catlet that swallowed the underbird," referring to a famous Caprican children's story. This also, of course, refers to the English colloquialism, "the cat who ate the canary."

On page 82, Adama says the information he has about Earth comes from "the secret history books" which, he remarks, he doubts any of the crew assembled around him have been privileged to inspect. This sounds a bit like Earth's own Ancient Astronaut Theory of present-day, that there is a secret history of Earth that humans were visited (or colonized) by extra-terrestrials in the distant past and that some secret societies or shadow governments have the records and knowledge of it.

Battlestar Galactica #1 (Marvel Comics) Notes from the comic book adaptation of "Annihilation"

"Annihilation"
Battlestar Galactica #1 (Marvel Comics)
Script by Roger McKenzie
From the teleplay by Glen A. Larson
Art by Ernie Colon
March 1979
   
Marvel Comics titles published from 1963-2002 almost always featured a symbol in the upper-left corner of the cover that represented the particular title (rumored to be for recognition by customers who were flipping through the stacks of comics on a convenience store spinner-rack). The corner symbol of the first three issues of BSG is seen at right. There's a recognizable viper, Cylon centurion, and Colonial warrior, but the ship in the middle doesn't look much like the Galactica! Battlestar Galactica comics corner symbol

This issue of the comic is actually just titled "Battlestar Galactica". I am using the cover slogan "Annihilation" as the title of both this issue and the first hour of the pilot. 

The first three issues of Marvel's BSG comic are an adaption of the three-hour pilot "Saga of a Star World". Some of the material presented in these three issues originally appeared in Marvel Super Special #8, with additions and modifications in these issues. The Marvel Super Special has some plotline differences from the comic series, leftovers from the early drafts of the pilot script: Baltar is depicted as bald and he is killed by Cylon centurions at Imperious Leader's command; Serina is named Lyra instead and she is diagnosed with a fatal illness; the centurion who is stationed with the Ovions on Carillon is referred to as Slygg by the Ovion queen, Lotay (in the novelization, the centurion calls himself Serpentine).
Marvel Super Special #8 (Treasury Edition) Marvel Super Special #8 (Magazine Edition)
Marvel Super Special #8 (Treasury Edition) Marvel Super Special #8 (Magazine Edition)

Throughout the three issues there is a mixture of Colonial and Earth measurement units (yahrens/years, etc.).

Throughout this issue, the artist seems to have gotten the pre- and post-destruction Colonial fleets confused. Early scenes of the fleet depict it as the ragtag fleet, not the majestic battlestar fleet that existed before the destruction.

The narration on page 1 ends with "It is the mission of the Colonial fleet to bring peace, at long last, to the war-torn galaxy." This, again, implies the series is moving in galactic terms rather than merely interstellar.

On page 2, Apollo comments that he's afraid that once the armistice is signed, they'll turn all warriors out to leisuron. "Leisuron" seems to be a Colonial word for vacation. Later in the series, "furlon" seems to be the preferred term for "leave of absence" for the warriors. Obviously the writers have derived these Colonial terms from "leisure" and "furlough".

On page 14, we see the interior of a Cylon raider as Zac's viper appears on the monitor scope. The screen shows English words and numbers at the top and, at the bottom, what might be meant to suggest Cylon characters.
Cylon Raider cockpit

On page 15, Starbuck's viper maintenance crew seems to be made up of hot women who have their own form-fitting overalls...with the words "Starbuck's Crew" printed on the back! Perhaps this is the C.W.O. (Chief Warrant Officer) of Starbuck's ground crew named Jenny as later revealed in the novelization of "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero".
Jenny(?)

On page 22, panel 2, Apollo is mistakenly depicted with blond hair, making him look like Starbuck. Maybe he quickly dyed it blond so he could score with Starbuck's maintenance crew! 

Memorable Dialog

intro.wav
launch when ready.wav
a place in the history books.wav
a perfect pyramid.wav
welcoming committee.wav
did Baltar suggest.wav
stand by to attack.wav
that was my son, Mr. President.wav
by your command.wav
speak, centurion.wav
not here, not now.wav
every assorted vehicle that will carry them.wav
a planet called Earth.wav

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