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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
"Lunar Won"
Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck #1 (Maximum Press)
Story: Rob Liefeld and Robert Napton
Script: Robert Napton
Art: Hector Gomez

The Eastern Alliance launches an all-out attack on the Galactica; Starbuck meets the real Charlie Watts on Lunar 1.

Story Summary

Starbuck has been doing so well at gambling lately that he's considering quitting the force to become a full-time wagerer. Just as he's beginning a date with Cassiopeia, a red alert claxon goes off. The fleet is under attack by an armada of Eastern Alliance destroyers led by Commandant Leiter, who seeks to destroy the Galactica in revenge for his past incarceration.

During the space battle, Starbuck's Viper is badly damaged and he is injured and loses consciousness. The ship's computer senses his unconsciousness and, with life support failing, engages the auto pilot routine to find a safe place to land. The program chooses to turbo out of the battle and land on the nearest life-sustaining world, Lunar 1.

The Viper crash lands on Lunar 1 and the unconscious Starbuck is pulled from the wreck by Colonel Charlie Watts, who is currently leading a resistance to the Alliance on that world. Waking up later, the Warrior meets Colonel Watts and a woman named Justine. Starbuck wants to radio to the Galactica for help, but they tell him that while they were caring for him, the Eastern Alliance hauled his wrecked Viper to their labor camp. Also at the camp, a Nationalist called Commander Joseph, who has a lot of information about the Alliance needed by the resistance, is being held after his capture under an alias. Starbuck formulates a plan with the resistance to get to his Viper and also spring Joseph.

With a diversion provided by resistance forces, Starbuck manages to break into the facility, but finds his Viper's cockpit torn apart, apparently for study of the technology. But he does retrieve the emergency pack still hidden on board. He then makes his way to the detention area and into a large cell holding a number of resistance members. He tells them he's with Charlie and Justine, looking for Joseph. Joseph steps out of the crowd and introduces himself. Just then, Alliance enforcers led by a Commandant Kresh step in from outside. Kresh thanks Starbuck for identifying Joseph for them.

CONTINUED IN BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: STARBUCK #2

Didja Know?

There are no actual titles to the individual issues of the Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck mini-series. I decided to provide titles on my own because there's no particular reason this story should be called "Starbuck" just because he stars in it; there are a number of stories in the BSG universe that spotlight the character. It would be a different matter if this story gave us insight into Starbuck's origins or something, but it's just another story of him as a Colonial Warrior. The title of "Lunar Won" which I have used here is simply a pun on the name of the world called Lunar 1, and references Starbuck's "winning streak" in the story and the fact that the issue ends with Commandant Kresh having turned the tables on our hero.

There is an interesting BSG timeline included in the text pages of this issue. The information in it is derived from the Encyclopedia Galactica (a non-canonical publication from 1979 that occasionally contradicts canonical sources [and even itself]), the TV series, and the comic book stories published by Maximum Press.

Didja Notice? 

There are a number of flaws on the cover of this issue:
 
  • Starbuck's holster is on his left hip. It should be on his right. Apollo is the one who is left-handed.
  • Starbuck's jacket has 3 clasps on the right side and 4 on left! There should be 4 on each side. Also the clasps are not positioned as they are on the real costumes; the bottom clasp should be at the bottom of the jacket, not a few inches up.
  • Starbuck appears to be carrying two different types of laser guns in his hands. Possibly they could represent Colonial and Alliance weapons.
  • The Viper on the left-hand edge has a gun or spine protruding on the outer edge of the left wing, but not on the right; there shouldn't be a protrusion there at all. (Though a diagram on Starbuck's locker door on page 3 of the issue seems to show a similar configuration for some reason; maybe Starbuck's been working on some ideas for a modified Viper?)
  • The uniform of Commandant Leiter does not look much like the one depicted in the TV series, neither on the cover nor in the issue itself. Even the insignia on his cap is different; here, it's a triangle but in the televised episodes it was more of a diamond.

On the inside front cover, the History of Galactica segment fails to capitalize the name of planet Earth throughout the three issues of the mini-series.

The Story So Far paragraph on the inside front cover tells us that one yahren has passed since the destruction of the Colonies.

Page 1 tells us it is the Colonial Yahren 7342. However, according to the BSG Timeline on the Battlestar Wiki, this cannot be correct based on what we know of the TV episodes. The only date given in the TV series is the Colonial yahren 7322, when the Cylons attacked Umbra on Caprica (causing Starbuck to become orphaned), as mentioned in "The Man with Nine Lives". From this it is deduced that the destruction of the Colonies occurs in 7348. That would mean "Lunar Won" would have to take place in 7349.

On page 1, Starbuck uses the phrase, "Read 'em and weep," while laying down his winning pyramid hand. This phrase is well-known in the Earth game of poker, also when displaying a winning hand.

On panel 3 of page 1, Starbuck's hand is scooping up his winnings and his arm is seen with the Colonial Warrior's jacket sleeve on it. But he is otherwise depicted as not wearing his jacket at the time!

Starbuck remarks he has been doing so well at gambling lately that he's considering quitting the force to become a full-time wagerer. Is he just on a winning streak or might he have become a better player thanks to advice from Chameleon?

On page 2, Boomer is depicted as white (though he does seem to have a darker hue on the next page)!

On pages 2-3, Starbuck and Jolly refer to a gambling establishment on Leo as a "chancellery" even though the Colonial term has previously been established as "chancery".

On page 4, Cassiopeia seems to have a different medical insignia on her uniform than we've ever seen before.

For some reason, on page 6, Colonel Tigh is depicted as mostly bald! By the next issue, he suddenly has a full head of hair again.

Colonel Tigh reports that the Eastern Alliance is attacking the fleet with 526 destroyers. It seems unlikely the Alliance would have the money and resources to have constructed so many.

On page 7, Starbuck is depicted with gray hair! 

The Alliance destroyers in this story are depicted a bit differently than the one seen in episodes of the TV series.
Eastern Alliance destroyer in "Greetings from Earth" Part 2 Eastern Alliance destroyer in this issue

Unlike in the TV series, here the Viper pilots (well, Starbuck anyway) are depicted as strapped into their seats with an x-shaped torso belt. Artistic license, I guess.

On pages 12-13, Starbuck repeats the words of his old flight instructor as he did in "The Young Lords": "There's only three kinds of Vipers...the one you train in...the one you escape from...and the one you die in."

In this issue, Starbuck meets Colonel Charlie Watts of the Western Nationalists. Charlie is the person whom the Beings of Light made Apollo appear as to the Terrans in "Experiment in Terra".

On page 19, Starbuck recalls a time as a child when his father (he thinks) took him into the Thorn Forest near his home town of Umbra and showed him how to fashion a bow and arrow from wood. It was revealed earlier in "The Man With Nine Lives" that Starbuck was orphaned as a child after a Cylon attack on the village of Umbra on Caprica and was found wandering in the Thorn Forest.

Page 22 reveals that Dr. Wilker had recently upgraded the auto flight program in the Vipers, which is what allowed the fighter to guide itself to Lunar 1 without orders when its sensors detected that Starbuck had been rendered unconscious and needed to be removed from the space battle zone immediately for safety.

Page 22 also reveals that an emergency pack is hidden on the underside of Starbuck's Viper (and presumably all others as well).

Commandant Kresh is depicted carrying what appears to be a riding crop. It seems to be an affectation rather than serving any useful purpose since we never see him riding an animal throughout this mini-series. Maybe it even indicates a BDSM fetish on the Commandant's part! 

The three-pointed insignia Kresh wears appears throughout the mini-series as a symbol of the Eastern Alliance. It is meant to suggest the Iron Cross used by the military of Prussia in the 19th Century and Germany in the first half of the 20th.
Alliance cross Iron Cross

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