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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: War of Eden (Part 1) "War of Eden" Part 1
Battlestar Galactica: War of Eden #1 (Maximum Press)
Story: Rob Liefeld and Robert Napton
Script: Robert Napton
Layouts: Karl Altstaetter
Penciler: Hector Gomez
Inker: Rene Micheletti
July 1995

20 yahrens after fleeing the Colonies, the Galactica and her fleet discover Earth.

Story Summary

Read the story summary of "War of Eden" Part 1 at the Battlestar Wiki

Notes from the BSG chronology

The Maximum Press stories do not fit into the continuity established by the Richard Hatch novels which were published later but begin chronologically-earlier with Armageddon (18 yahrens after fleeing the Colonies). But with some mental gymnastics, we can pretend a few details are different to force it into the saga.

Page 1 reveals the current Colonial year (yahren) to be 7362. This places that story just 2 yahrens after the events of Armageddon (assuming we disregard the huge jumps in time the novels following Armageddon retroactively introduced).

Didja Know?

The letters page of Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck #1 ("Lunar Won") indicates there are some additional story pages of War of Eden in the TPB compilation. I do not have a copy of this compilation, so no commentary on those pages is included here. If I gain access to one in the future, I'll add some additional commentary.

The Colonial term "centar" (hour) is consistently misspelled "centaur" (the part-human, part-horse creature of Greek mythology!). On the "Terminology" page in issue #2 of War of Eden, it is stated that the spelling came from the script of "War of the Gods".

Throughout the mini-series, many members of the fleet are seen wearing garb that has aspects of ancient Egyptian design.

Didja Notice? 

The "What Has Gone Before..." blurb on the inside front cover describes humanity's flight from its mother-world Kobol. Of course, in the later-published Richard Hatch novels starting with Armageddon, humanity's homeworld is said in the mythology to be a world called Parnassus, much earlier than the civilization on Kobol.

The "What Has Gone Before..." blurb also describes the Twelve Colonies as having had 12 battlestars, with now only the Galactica surviving. The idea of 12 battlestars has been a prominent one among fans, but series creator Glen Larson himself has stated in interviews that there was never a specific number in mind.

"Earth" is consistently spelled with a lower-case "e" in the "What Has Gone Before..." blurbs of this series. The planet's name should be capitalized; it's only when describing "dirt" or a generic "world" as "earth" that it should be lower-case.

The story often uses the word "year" instead of the equivalent Colonial term "yahren".

In the time-period of this issue's prologue, said to be 5 yahrens after fleeing the Colonies, Colonel Tigh is depicted as having gone mostly bald and he is seen wearing a Warriors' brown and khaki uniform and ascot similar to that worn by Commander Cain in the two-part "The Living Legend" episode.

According to Apollo's journal here, Commander Adama was stricken with Kaitai Syndrome, a rare and incurable disease afflicting elderly Capricans, five years after fleeing the Colonies. The condition erodes the neuro-pathways of the brain, eventually robbing the victim of all mental capacities.

At this point in time, Apollo is married to Sheba and they have a son named Cain. Sheba is depicted with blond hair throughout the Maximum Press comics, not brunette as in the TV series.

On page 3, why is Apollo wearing a dress uniform after returning from his disappearance?

On page 4, Apollo tells how he was again abducted by the Beings of Light, referred to in the Maximum Press stories as "Seraphs". The term was also used in "A Destiny Among the Stars". "Seraph" is a term from the Old Testament of The Bible, meaning "burning one" and referring to a type of heavenly being (an angel).

On page 5, Apollo states that on the Ship of Lights, he met John, just like "the last time they took me..." This is presumably a reference to "Experiment in Terra", though we now also have the events of Armageddon to contend with, in which Apollo was taken relatively recently, but John was not among the Beings of Light he met in that story. Still, we could say there is a missing story in between the events of the Hatch novels and this one, wherein Apollo did meet John again.

   Apollo explains that the Seraphs have given the fleet a device called a temporal overdrive that will allow the fleet to reach Earth much sooner, otherwise it would still be a journey of thousands of yahrens. The device sounds similar to the Quantum Shift-Effect generator the fleet obtained from the wreckage of a Cylon base in Armageddon. However, the name "temporal overdrive" given here suggests a possible time-travel aspect, as "temporal" means "pertaining to time". It's never explained in the course of the Maximum Press stories, but this may be why the fleet arrives at what seems to be approximately the Cretaceous period of Earth, populated by dinosaurs, instead of a couple of decades or so after the Apollo 11 landing (as seen in a recording at the end of "The Hand of God").
   In the letters page of Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck #2 ("Kresh Course") the editor comments on Carrie Q. Lemmens' letter regarding the Apollo 11 transmission in "The Hand of God" and the fleet's current arrival in what appears to be Earth's ancient past and says, "time and relativity are funny things...keep reading." Possibly this is a reference to the time travel that occurs in the later Journey's End mini-series, in which the Galactica travels in time back to the events of "Annihilation" with hopes of stopping the Cylon sneak attack on the Twelve Colonies, because the issue of the fleet arriving in Earth's far distant past is never dealt with directly. Also, in the lettercol of "War of Eden" Part 4, another letter writer points out the discrepancy and the editor replies, "The Apollo XI transmission...would not make sense if this was indeed earth's distant past...unless it's not earth's distant past." So, it may be that at some point in our future, Earth's civilization crumbled and somehow seemingly prehistoric creatures have repopulated the planet.

The images of the continents of Earth on pages 5 and 18 show the modern day shapes of the continents due to continental drift, not the shapes and positions they would have been in during the reign of the dinosaurs. This is further indication that, despite appearances, we are not seeing Earth's distant past.

On page 7, Apollo states that the temporal overdrive has strained the ships of the fleet, so the range of their jumps has been limited.

Also on page 7, Apollo's journal entry suggests that the Cylons have spread across many galaxies, conquering hundreds of worlds.

As commander, Apollo wears a rather ugly maroon jacket with shoulder tassels, as if he's a Prussian general or something.

On page 8, Colonel Athena reports the Rising Star destroyed in the battle against the Cylons. Near the end of the issue, Lucifer tells Baltar that several ships in the Colonial fleet were destroyed.

The Galactica appears to be more heavily-armored and thickly-plated now than in the early stories of the saga.

In the Maximum Press stories, the adult Boxey is referred to as Box. In the Hatch novels, he was called Troy.

The latest generation Vipers in this story appear to have multiple laser turrets on each wing and four engine mounts instead of the classic three.

On page 11, Starbuck says he upgraded the reverse thrusters on his Viper a few sectons back. A secton is about a week.

On page 12, Athena announces the fleet is ready to make the final jump to Earth, "Programmed coordinates, nineteen million sectars by epsilon vector twenty-two. Course reckoning 0000 point nine." These are the same coordinates and course reckoning mysteriously placed in the brains of Apollo and Starbuck at the end of "War of the Gods" Part 2.

On page 14, Athena states there are currently 162 vessels in the fleet. Of course, the most recent mention of fleet strength in the Hatch novel Destiny, there were only about 30 ships left! It seems unlikely that many, if any, more could have been added since then. In the study of Destiny, I remarked that the 30 figure seemed much too low from what we knew of the status of the fleet previously. I like the 162 figure given here better, though Resurrection (which takes place before Destiny) ended with fewer than 158 ships in the fleet.

On page 16, the Galactica is seen to have some additional, smaller engines from the main thrusters.

In this story, Box is a lieutenant, Starbuck is a captain, and Boomer is a colonel. But starting in the Hatch novel Rebellion, Starbuck was referred to as a colonel.

Like Tigh, Starbuck is depicted wearing an ascot. Unlike Tigh, he has ridiculously long, flowing hair.

Page 17 reveals that Box is Starbuck's wingman.

On page 17, Starbuck remarks to Apollo that if he'd been left behind in his Viper while the fleet went into overdrive, he'd just have found a nice, deserted planet somewhere, christened it "Starbuck", and sat out the rest of the war. This is a reference to the episode from the apocryphal Galactica 1980 TV series, "The Return of Starbuck", which details Starbuck being shot down over a desert planet, which he dubs "planet Starbuck".

The energy probe Starbuck is detecting from Earth on page 18, which turns out to be a Kobolian ark, is coming from central Africa, where the first humans are believed to have evolved on Earth according to modern science.

On page 21, panel 3, notice that one of the Kobolian markings on the ark is an ankh, which we know in modern times as the ancient Egyptian symbol of eternal life.

The two claws on its forelimbs suggest the carnivorous dinosaur that attacks the landing party is a tyrannosaur. The scale of the creature seems to vary somewhat from panel-to-panel, but is generally depicted quite a bit larger than any tyrannosaurid fossils that have been found.

On page 23, Boomer states that the tyrannosaur looks like a Tavarian dragon. Starbuck amends that the dinosaur is bigger and louder. This is the first mention of such a creature in the BSG universe.

Page 26 reveals that Baltar is now the commander of the Cylon baseship Hades. Of course, the original(?) Baltar converted to the human side of the war in Armageddon and died in Destiny. It's possible that this Baltar is a clone body of the original, created by the Cylons and implanted with one of the cloned Baltar brains revealed to exist in Destiny.

Baltar's uniform has what appears to be tubing connected to the arms. The letters page of "War of Eden" Part 2 reveals that his arms are now cybernetic. 

Lucifer is also depicted as still being Baltar's cogitator. Lucifer was seemingly destroyed in Resurrection, but it's possible he uploaded his consciousness before death as he'd previously done in Armageddon. This could also be a new IL-series with the same name, since he does look quite different from the Lucifer seen in the TV series. In fact, in "The Making of Battlestar Galactica" sketch pages at the back of this issue, the Lucifer character sketch is labeled as Lucifer VI, implying the sixth model in a series. In "War of Eden" Part 4, Baltar implies that he had the previous versions of Lucifer recycled as scrap metal. Lucifer VI
  Lucifer VI

On the last page of this issue, Count Iblis returns to pay a visit with Baltar. He looks quite different than he has in the past, with a bald head and pointed ears.

Unanswered Questions

How did Baltar get the scar over his left eye? It's never explained throughout the series.

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