Why was Starbuck given the first name “Kara” on Battlestar Galactica? According to new comments from showrunner Ronald D. Moore, he was inspired to name her after Major Kira Nerys from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival Moore said, “I am horrible with names. When I have to come up with a name it’s always… someone I just talked to.” And because the last big sci-fi show Moore had worked on before Battlestar Galactica was Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the name “Kira” was fresh in his mind. And so he changed one vowel and Kara Thrace was born.
Katee Sackhoff’s portrayal of Kara “Starbuck” Thrace on the 2003-2008 reboot of Battlestar Galactica is easily the standard for one the best science-fiction heroes of all time. While loosely based on Dirk Benedict’s character of the same name from the original 1978 BSG, Sackhoff not only redefined the character for new audiences but straight-up created one of the most complex, hilarious, and fierce characters in sci-fi TV, period.
And a connection to Deep Space Nine makes sense. Like, Kara Thrace, Nana Visitor’s Kira was an ass-kicking take-no-prisoners former resistance fighter who basically ran a space station prior to Sisko and Starfleet showing up in the first episode. Unsurprisingly, Nana Visitor appeared in a fourth season episode of Battlestar Galactica called “Faith,” though she sadly didn’t share any scenes with Sackhoff.
In the original BSG, Starbuck and Apollo didn’t have proper names, but early in the process of rebooting the show, Moore decided those names would only be their Top Gun-style callsigns. The first name conundrum was then solved — at least partially — by his Star Trek writing history.
Sadly, the new Battlestar Galactica in pre-production will probably not feature any iteration of Kara Thrace. Though if she did show up, we’d smoke a cigar instantly.