"Chess-Players of Space"
Battlestar Galactica Annual 1978 (Grandreams)
A battle between Cylon Raiders and Colonial
Vipers is viewed as an epic chess game in space.
After several months, the Imperious Leader's basestar has caught
up to the human fleet and he launches an attack on the
Galactica. As part of his tactics, the Cylon Raiders blow
an actinic mine behind them as they near the defending Viper
squadron in order to temporarily blind the human pilots. The
scheme works except that the pilots then allow the battlestar's
sensors to target the Raiders for them, bridge personnel telling
them when to fire.
Soon, the effects of the actinic flash have worn off as well,
and the human pilots make short work of the Raiders. Imperious
Leader is infuriated and pulls back. The Vipers return home to
the Galactica victorious, but it was no checkmate.
This story appeared in the British
Battlestar Galactica Annual 1978, a book of short stories, articles, and
games all about BSG,
geared towards kids.
Notes from the BSG Chronology
On the opening page of this story, Imperious Leader's thoughts
reflect that it has been months since the last battle with the
humans. With no battle against the Cylons since
"Collision Course", it could
be argued that some point after the end of the Marvel comic book
series is a good point to place this story.
On page 1 of the story, the word "Cylon's" is a misprint, the
apostrophe should be after the "s" to indicate a plural
possession (the Cylon race's leader, not the leader of an
Throughout the story, Imperious Leader is referred to as
On page 2 of the story, the Cylon Raiders are described as
trailing an actinic mine behind them, which goes off, creating a
blinding ball of light that hampers the human Viper pilots
fighting against them. "Actinic" is a term relating to types of
radiation that give off photochemical effects.
Page 3 implies that Cylons may utter death cries just as their
Raider is about to explode! Since the book in which this story
appears was published in 1978, the year BSG premiered on
television, the writer may have been working from the early show
bible, which still described the Cylons as part reptilian
Page 4, panel 5 seems to show the Imperious Leader shaking his
fists in anger!
Since both Apollo and Starbuck were in the space battle, it must
have been Blue Squadron that was launched to fight the Cylon
attack squad. But, at the end of the story, Adama seems to refer
to them as Red Flight.
The title of the story places Imperious Leader and Commander
Adama in the figurative roles of chess players, space is the
chessboard, and the battles taking place between the human and Cylon
forces are the game.
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