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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com

Galactica 1980: Galactica Discovers Earth "Galactica Discovers Earth"
Galactica 1980 #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Illustrated by Cezar Razek
Cover by Lucio Parrillo
2009

30 yahrens after fleeing the Colonies, the fleet at last finds Earth.

Read the synopsis of this issue at the Battlestar Wiki site

Didja Know?

This 4-issue mini-series was a reimagining of the concepts of the Galactica 1980 TV series. This version of events is edgier and not aimed particularly at kids. In fact, the super scouts are completely absent from this series. Hallelujah! If anything, the story is a bit too pessimistically edgy, with an alcoholic Troy, a suicidal Adama, plummeting fleet morale, a borderline-sociopathic Dr. Zee, and the destruction in the first issue of the Galactica! Additionally, there are discrepancies in continuity to the original BSG series, seeming to be a meld of both the original and reimagined BSG series, as evidenced by the Colonial characters having first and last names and Baltar seeming to state that the Cylons are a creation of humanity. Like the G1980 TV series, I consider this mini-series, though entertaining, an apocryphal telling of the end of the Colonial fleet's journey, preferring the Maximum Press version of the discovery of Earth in its War of Eden mini-series.

The title of this issue is borrowed by the writer from the 3-hour premier of the Galactica 1980 TV series.

Didja Notice?

Although it's not so much true in the interior art, the covers of this series depicted (besides Lorne Green's likeness as Adama)Troy, Dillon, and Jamie with likenesses similar to the actors who portrayed them on the Galactica 1980 TV series: Kent McCord, Barry Van Dyke, and Robyn Douglas (see image with the comment below). 

The cover of this issue is loosely based on the packaging of the Region 1 DVD set of the TV series.
Galactica 1980 #1 Galactica 1980 DVD packaging
Galactica 1980 #1 DVD packaging

The image of a mushroom cloud on the cover has a subtle skull formed within the billows of smoke.
mushroom cloud w/ skull motif

On page 1, at a Harvard lecture about the possibility of extraterrestrial civilizations, this series' version of Dr. Mortinson speaks the extended form of the classic preamble of BSG (as originally heard at the beginning of "Annihilation").

Panel 4 of page 1 depicts Earth scientists in 1977 readying the two Voyager space probes which were launched into the solar system by the U.S. that year. 

The "Galactica 1980" logo that appears in panel 5 of page 1 is printed in a nearly identical digital font as the one used in the opening of the TV series.
Galactica 1980 TV logo Galactica 1980 interior comic book logo
TV logo Page 1 logo

The Vipers seen in this mini-series are of the single occupant kind, not the dual occupant cockpits depicted in the TV series.

The bottle Troy is drinking from on page 3 appears to be one of the small ambrosia bottles seen in episodes of BSG.

Page 4 reveals that the Cylons have left the fleet alone for so long that Dillon has never even seen a Cylon or a Raider.

Also on page 4, Dillon implies that Troy is drunk much of the time.

On page 5, Commander Adama records Galactica log entry nine-seventeen-nineteen-seventy-eight. 9-17-1978 was the premiere date of the original Battlestar Galactica series on the ABC television network.

Page 6 implies that Adama has been contemplating suicide and he even holds a gun to his temple before receiving a summons from Dr. Zee. The gun is similar in design to some seen in BSG2000.

Page 7 implies that the Rising Star is no longer the luxury liner of the fleet, as we see that Dr. Zee seems to have a lab there which he is currently using for the study of the Voyager probe they've discovered. On page 8, Dillon seems to imply that the Rising Star is Dr. Zee's ship.

Adama asks if the Voyager probe could be from the Alliance. This is a reference to the Eastern Alliance seen in the BSG episodes "Greetings from Earth" Parts 1 and 2, and "Experiment in Terra".

Dr. Zee is presented more in the likeness of Robbie Rist, the young actor who portrayed him in the 3-part "Galactica Discovers Earth" premiere episode of the TV series (note the haircut and glasses), and not the actor who appeared in the role in all other episodes, James Patrick Stuart.

On page 8, Zee points to a golden disc on the side of the Voyager probe, stating it took him approximately 3.2 centars (about three hours) to devise a means of translation. The disc is an actual part of the two Voyager probes, being audio recording discs (records) of copper plated with gold, placed with the possibility of discovery by an extraterrestrial civilization. It's not revealed which of the two probes the fleet has picked up, Voyager 1 or 2.
Dr. Zee with Voyager disc Voyager disc

In panel 4 of page 8, Zee states that he is an old man. Apparently, he has reversed his aging or his consciousness has been imprinted into the mind of a young boy. The particulars are never explained.

Unlike in the TV series, where Adama was almost a father figure to Zee, here the two have a somewhat antagonist relationship with each other.

The Galactica emblem hanging on the wall in the chamber of the Council of Twelve is a slightly modified reuse of the one seen in the BSG2000 TV series.

After Zee shows the council and Adama the primitive communications images from Earth, Adama remarks "Those pyramids are nearly identical to the ones we found on Kobol." We only see an obscured holo-image of the structures, but Adama is probably referring to the pyramids of the Giza Necropolis in Egypt, where the exterior Kobol pyramids and ruins were shot on location for "A Death in the Family".

On pages 12-13, Adama broadcasts to the fleet, stating to them the words first used by him in the episode "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1, a slightly trimmed version of which served as the opening narration of the G1980 TV series: "The great ship, Galactica, majestic and loving, strong and protective, our home for these many years we've endured the wilderness of space. And now we near the end of our journey. We have reached our haven. We have at last found Earth." 

Panel 4 of page 13 is the artist's take on a pre-production painting of the Galactica by Ralph McQuarrie. The same painting even appeared in the BSG episodes "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" Part 1 and "The Man With Nine Lives".
Ralph McQuarrie painting of the Galactica Cezar Razek take on Ralph McQuarrie Galactica painting
Ralph McQuarrie painting Galactica on panel 4, page 13 of this issue
   
McQuarrie painting in "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero"
McQuarrie painting in "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" Part 1

On page 14, the North American Aerospace Defense Command picks up Troy and Dillon's Vipers as they soar into Earth's atmosphere. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), is a joint operation of the U.S. and Canada to provide early warning and defense against air and space offenses against the two nations. NORAD also detected the two in the episode "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1.

On page 16, one of the President's advisors informs him that two F-15 Strike Eagles are in pursuit of the two unidentified craft (the Vipers) approaching Washington D.C. The proper name of these fighter planes is F-15E Strike Eagle, but they were not actually deployed by the USAF until 1988. In the episode of "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1, standard F-15s were seen in pursuit. 

On page 16, panel 2, what appears to be the Resolute desk is seen in the Oval Office of the White House. The Resolute desk is so named as it is made from the wood of the British Arctic Exploration ship Resolute, given as a gift to U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880 by Queen Victoria of Great Britain. It was placed in the Oval Office by President John F. Kennedy and since then the desk has been in and out of the Oval Office for various reasons and used in that office by several Presidents since then: Carter, Reagan, Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Obama. (The painting to page right of the desk appears to resemble one that was actually in that spot during the Carter administration.)
President at the Resolute desk The Resolute desk

The real world U.S. President in 1980 was Jimmy Carter. The President depicted here looks slightly like Carter and in issue #3 of the mini-series ("Experiment in Terra"), he is identified as such. The President did not appear in the original TV series.

Inquiring after the UFOs, the President asks if the Russians could've developed a new MiG. MiGs were Soviet military planes during the Cold War, mostly fighter jet models. MiG is the abbreviation of "Mikoyan and Gurevich", the founders of the Russian Aircraft Corporation who built the planes.

The President asks where is the call to Brezhnev. This is a reference to Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union at the time, and therefore de facto leader of that country (Alexei Kosygin was the actual Premier of the Soviet Union, a largely figurehead position).

One of the President's military advisors recommends he take the country to DEFCON-4. DEFCON (short for Defense Condition) is the military state of readiness for immediate combat within the country itself. U.S. DEFCON has 5 levels, with 1 being the highest (war is imminent). Here, the President seems to think his advisor's recommendation is overreacting a bit, but it seems like a reasonable stance when unidentified high-speed aerial craft are heading towards the nation's capitol!

On page 16, panel 5, the President's military advisor calls him "Sire"! I presume that was just a misprint of "sir".

In this issue, the Galactica enters the Earth's atmosphere and hovers over the White House. The battlestar entering a planet's atmosphere was never seen in the course of BSG70 or G1980, but did occur in the BSG2000 reimagined series.

The Galactica is brought crashing to Earth by a U.S. nuclear missile as it hovers over the White House. Part four of the mini-series ("The Night the Cylons Landed") suggests it was the radiation of the missile that allowed it to penetrate the ship's shields, as the Colonials seem unfamiliar with the concept of nuclear weapons!

Wouldn't Adama have communicated with Earth first, before making a dramatic (and terrifying) entrance over the U.S. capitol?

The quotes from Deuteronomy at the end of the issue are from the fifth book of the Bible, comparing Adama to Moses.

Unanswered Questions

What "experiments" did Dr. Zee perform on people, as mentioned by Adama on page 11? Are they related to how he has managed to have his elder consciousness in possession of a child's body?

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