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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Chess-Players of Space "Chess-Players of Space"
Battlestar Galactica Annual 1978 (Grandreams)
Author Unknown
Artist Unknown

A battle between Cylon Raiders and Colonial Vipers is viewed as an epic chess game in space.

Story Summary

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.


Didja Know?

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.

Didja Notice?

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 individual Cylon).

Throughout the story, Imperious Leader is referred to as Illustrious Leader!

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 cybernetic organisms.

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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