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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Take the Celestra Battlestar Galactica
"Take the Celestra"
TV episode
Story by David S. Arthur & David G. Phinney and Jim Carlson and Terrence McDonnell
Teleplay by Jim Carlson and Terrence McDonnell
Directed by Daniel Haller

Starbuck is reunited with an old flame; trouble brews within the fleet.

Read the complete story summary at the Battlestar wiki site

Didja Know? 

This is the first episode since "The Living Legend" Part 1 that has included the "There are those who believe..." preamble during the opening theme. I guess this episode was just short in running-length because with the following episode, "The Hand of God", the preamble is gone again!

Actress Ana Alicia, who portrays Aurora here, later goes on to appear as Gloria Alonzo on the Galactica 1980 episode "Space Croppers".

According to the Battlestar wiki, the arm patch worn by the crewmembers of the Celestra is actually the shoulder sleeve patch of the United States Army's 78th Infantry Division.
Celestra arm patch

Didja Notice?

At the ceremony honoring Commander Kronus, Commander Adama mentions that Kronus was once the commander of the battlestar Rycon and the Fourth Colonial Fleet. The Rycon was lost in the Battle of Cosmora Archipelago, though Kronus took out three basestars in the fight.

For his efficient command of the industry ship Celestra in the fleet, Commander Kronus is awarded the Distinguished Service Medallion and appointed Executive Commander of all three industry ships: the parts ship, the textiles ship, and the Celestra (the other two ships are left unnamed). Possibly the parts ship is the Hephaestus, the foundry ship which manufactures replacement Vipers, as mentioned in the novelizations of "Lost Planet of the Gods" and "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" and first named in The Nightmare Machine.

Apollo later seems to refer to the Celestra rebels as being from the "electronics ship".

When Aurora walks into the Interfleet Navigational Operations room, notice that the duty officer there has a hook-grip prosthetic in place of his right hand. I have not been able to find any real information about the actor, Robert Murvin, who played the duty officer, but I suspect he himself is actually missing his right hand since IMDB also lists him as playing a character called Lefty in the very non-politically correct comedy film Under the Rainbow (1981). A character nicknamed Ironhand (real name Stedonis), who may be the same duty officer seen here, appears in the novel Surrender the Galactica, as the captain of the Broadside.
Robert Murvin

The computer keyboard used in the Interfleet Navigational Operations room at 6:21 on the DVD looks just like one of our own Earth keyboards, using the Latin alphabet in a QWERTY layout.
QWERTY keyboard

During the party after the ceremony, it is revealed that Adama was once the aide to Commander Kronus.

After intercepting Aurora at the party, Starbuck again uses the phrase "for Sagan's sake", as he has in a couple other episodes. He seems to be the only one who uses it. Was Sagan a Lord of Kobol who has particular significance for Starbuck?

Cassiopeia tells Starbuck she's managed to get two tickets to that night's Spheroid concert. Is Spheroid a musical band? A type of music?

At 9:44 on the DVD, there appears to be a modified Eastern Alliance destroyer as part of the fleet! The production had limited funds to construct spaceship models, so obviously the destroyer model got modified (notice the tailfin and down swept wings) and reused as a miscellaneous member of the fleet. My No-Prize explanation of its presence in continuity is that one of the destroyers that attacked the fleet in "Lunar Won" was damaged and captured in the battle and then repaired/refurbished to add to the fleet, possibly as additional defense since the destroyers seem a bit small to house civilian living quarters. This would bring the fleet up to 215 ships, up from 214 in "The Living Legend" Part 2.
Rebuilt Eastern Alliance destroyer as ship of the fleet Eastern Alliance Destroyer
Ship of the fleet Eastern Alliance Destroyer

Although it appears the same externally, the shuttle that ferries Commander Kronus seems to be modified from the traditional shuttles on the interior. There is a partition in the cabin that reduces the passenger area in back to make room for a command cubicle for Kronus' use.
Command shuttle

Notice that the corridors of the Celestra appear to be the same sets as the Galactica corridors, repainted tannish-yellow.

The Celestra rebels sabotage a turbodyne aboard the ship, part of the sublight propulsion system.

As the rebels make their move at 19:35 on the DVD, two crewmen aboard the Celestra seem to be closely examining a packing crate for no apparent reason!

As Apollo and Starbuck land their Vipers in the Celestra landing bay at 21:25 on the DVD, notice that the nose of Apollo's Viper is missing part of the fuselage!

Do the letter/number combinations below, seen at 21:43 on the DVD, represent "fire extinguisher" and "telephone"?
Colonial fire extinguisher and telephone

When they land on the Celestra, Apollo chastises Starbuck for not looking his best for the meeting with Commander Kronus; he needs to fasten up his jacket. But Apollo's jacket is not fastened up either!

At 22:54 on the DVD, it can be seen that the futuristic packing crates of electronics aboard the Celestra are just corrugated cardboard boxes spray-painted gray with duct tape on the top and bottom edges!
packing crates

At 27:13 on the DVD, it can be seen that the joysticks of the shuttle are the same as the ones seen in the Vipers. At 44:39, we see that even the Celestra has the same joystick design on a ridiculous stand-alone steering column on the bridge.

The scene of the shuttle launching from the Celestra's landing bay at 27:36 on the DVD is just a recycled shot of the Galactica's bay! 

I like the scenes at 33:26 and 40:48 on the DVD, where we see that portions of the Celestra are suffering from rust. It adds realism to the concept of a used and worn-out fleet of ships. Since rust is a result of oxidation on metal and there is no oxygen in space, the presence of rust is an indication that the Celestra spent some time grounded on a planet's surface before becoming part of the rag-tag fleet after the holocaust.
Rusted Celestra Rusted Celestra

Aboard the shuttle, as Apollo orders Starbuck to scan for the Celestra, the scan screen we see shows a ship diagram that does not match either the Celestra or the shuttle! So what is it?
Scan screen

At 37:04 on the DVD, it's appropriate that the shot of the Celestra shows her landing bay without the usual lights inside as the ship is running dark at Charka's order.

When Charka asks how long until the Celestra reaches the fleet, Hermes responds, "Just over a centar, sir. But we'll be in communications range in 81 centons." Since a centar is approximately one hour, it would seem that there are less than 60 seconds in a centon if 81 centons is still less than an hour. And besides that, this dialog exchange would seem to suggest the Celestra does not have faster-than-light communications capability. In fact, it's possible the Colonials in general do not have faster-than-light communications; I can't think of any times they have used it in the course of the series.

Despite the fact that the Celestra is running dark and the passengers of the shuttle remark on the danger of guiding the ship into a dark landing bay, there is some kind of residual lighting still visible in the landing bay as Apollo brings the shuttle in. 

Near the end of the episode, Commander Kronus struggles to reach the steering column of the Celestra to straighten the ship out. 1) What's the big deal? So the ship goes off course a bit until the battle is over. Just set her back on course at that time! 2) Why is Kronus struggling and why does he die? Did he get hit by gunfire? It's never revealed.

At the end of the episode, Commander Kronus receives a burial in space, similar to Serina's in "The Memory Machine".

The ship Taurella falls behind the fleet and is lost sometime in the first yahren of the exodus, as explained in "The Death of Apollo" Part 1. I have more-or-less arbitrarily decdided to place the loss of this ship in between "Take the Celestra" and "The Hand of God". Now 214 ships.

Memorable Dialog

blast out of his boots.wav
this collection of moving derelicts.wav
running away from Cassiopeia.wav
wonder who she's going to the concert with.wav
she wouldn't be with Greenbean would she?.wav
she's obviously blind.wav
I don't want to own Starbuck.wav

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