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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Apollo's War Battlestar Galactica
Apollo's War

Novel
By Glen A. Larson and Robert Thurston

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published January 1987)

Apollo, Sheba, and Croft are trapped on the planet Yevra, forced to fight in a decades-old war whose origins are lost in time.

Read the story summary at the Battlestar Wiki

Notes from the BSG chronology

The details in this novel tell us that the story takes place some time after Die, Chameleon!.

Didja Notice?

On page 6, Croft, who harbors a romantic interest in Sheba, muses on the fact that he had heard that she and Apollo had been an item for a brief time. This and other moments in the novel suggest that they are no longer romantically linked, with Apollo still mourning Serina. Sheba, however, maintains her interest in him.

Pages 6-7 remind us that Croft is now the commander of the prison barge, a reward from Commander Adama (as we first learned in Die, Chameleon!) for his heroism during the events of "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" 2-parter.

Page 7 states that it has been a long while since the fleet has been able to refuel and restock supplies. This suggests it has been some time since the events of The Nightmare Machine, since the fleet was able to restock at the planet Vaile at that time.

Page 8 states that Apollo is the flight coordinator for Galactica

Pages 9 and 21 describe the look of the alien called, simply, Sarge. He is a bipedal lizard-like being with a slash of a mouth and only four fingers on each hand. However, the cover painting of the book depicts him with a fairly normal-looking mouth and five fingers. Sarge

Page 32 reveals that there is already a legend within the fleet that Commander Cain will return in a magical iridescent ship and lead them all to the fabled planet Earth.

It is not explained in the novel how the different aliens unwillingly conscripted into the Army of the Rightful Destiny are able to understand each other. Possibly the belts they wear contain some kind of universal translation device, though later in the novel Apollo has his removed, yet is still able to understand everyone around him.

Page 57 reveals that Apollo likes to refer to the Council of Twelve as the dozen deadbeats. This would suggest that his father, Adama, as president of the Council, is not counted as one of the twelve council members as well.

Croft explains to Xiomara on page 57 that Capricans (like Apollo) are logical and calm, but have a fierce temper if you can bring it out of them. Scorpians (like Croft himself) are devious, cynical, crafty, and difficult to get along with.

Page 63 reveals that a so-called prophecy has spread through the fleet via printed pamphlets that most of the people currently in the fleet would not reach Earth, but only their later generations.

On page 71, Barra tells the assembled conscripts, "You're in the army now." This may be a reference by the author to the 1940 song "You're in the Army Now" by Abe Lyman and his Californians.

Page 77 suggests that it is sometimes said on the Galactica, in reference to Starbuck's phenomenal luck, that he could find a daggit hair in a pile of thread.

In order to keep the planet's troops inspired to keep thinking about things beyond the war they've been conditioned to fight, Apollo tells a made-up story on pages 96-100. The story seems to have some similarities to the events of "Ape and Essence" and "Forbidden Fruit", i.e. the fleet stops at what seems to be an uninhabited planet to search for food; some very nutritious fruit is found and picked; and a tribe of gigantic, humanoid cave-dwellers gives them trouble, kidnapping members of the ground party.

On page 101, Croft asks Apollo if he remembers when they "climbed that mountain to get at that Cylon gun." This is a reference to the events of "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" Part 2.

Hera, the Vailean cadet who was introduced in Die, Chameleon!, returns in this novel.

Page 107 reveals that Cassiopeia is the one who broke off the relationship with Starbuck. It also states that the two had come close to going through the sealing ceremony.

Page 125 reveals that it is said among the crew of the Galactica that Commander Adama's voice could please a demon or agitate an angel.

While recording his log on page 125, Adama comments that the planet discovered by Starbuck from which the fleet is currently gathering needed raw materials, has become known as "Starbuck's planet". This may be a subtle reference to the Galactica 1980 episode "The Return of Starbuck" in which Starbuck names the desert planet on which he's stranded "Planet Starbuck".

Adama also remarks in the same log entry that dissenters within the fleet have made their usual demands to end the search for Earth and settle on this latest planet instead. This supports events in issues of the Realm Press BSG comic book series (though unintentionally since this novel was published a decade before the Realm Press comics).

On page 140, Giles accuses Jolly and Greenbean of always agreeing with each other. This goes in hand with the statement in The Nightmare Machine that they are buddies (and wingmates).

On page 142, Hera proposes that they let down the observation seat in Starbuck's Viper so she can accompany him on his search for Apollo. Is there really room in a standard Viper for an extra seat?

On page 159, Commander Adama states, "Nobody starbucks Starbuck..."

Adama and Starbuck seal their deal on how to conduct and end the search for Apollo with a Kobolian handshake on page 159, described as "a fairly complicated ritual which began when the elder offered both his hands thumbs up and fingers spread."

On page 160, communications between Vipers is referred to as the interViper commline.

Chapter 25 features BSG70's only appearance of Commander Adama piloting a Viper and reliving his youthful days as a fighter pilot (though he does so once again in the apocryphal Galactica 1980 comic book mini-series published by Dynamite Entertainment in 2009).

On page 181, Apollo reminds Croft of the time the former criminal saved Boxey on Tairac. This is a reference to The Cylon Death Machine, the novelization of "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" 2-parter. The moment discussed here is not depicted in the televised episodes.

On page 188, Apollo remembers the time he seemed to die. This is presumably a reference to the episode "War of the Gods" Part 2.

On page 196, Xiomara tells Apollo she's learned her husband's last assignment from the records of the Army of the Rightful Destiny and plans to go look for him. If she found those records, wouldn't they also state his last known status (dead/missing/captured, etc.) and date of last contact with his superiors? She had previously been told that he had already been killed in action. 

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