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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com

Galactica 1980: The Night the Cylons Landed "The Night the Cylons Landed"
Galactica 1980 #4 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Illustrated by Cezar Razek
Cover by Lucio Parrillo

The Cylons rain destruction down upon Earth. With the Galactica already destroyed, can anything stop them?

Read the synopsis of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki site

Didja Know?

The title of this issue is borrowed by the writer from the 2-part episode of the same name in the G1980 TV series.

Didja Notice?

Galactica 1980 #4   Battlestar Galactica novel The cover of this issue is loosely based on promotional art for the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, most notably used on the cover of the novelization of the series' 3-hour pilot episode.

Page 1 reveals that Baltar's basestar is named Omega-Monthu. In ancient Egypt, Monthu was the falcon-headed war god. The word also meant "nomad". Together with "Omega", which is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and often stands for the end of something, the name of the ship may be symbolic in the story of the end of the Colonials' nomadic journey through the stars to Earth (in this case, Baltar's desire for them to end their journey in death).

Also on page 1, Baltar states that Adama always claimed that Earth was just like Caprica. There was never any suggestion in episodes of BSG that Adama had any particular knowledge or beliefs in exactly how Earth would be when the planet was discovered.

Page 2 reveals that the purge of Caprica took the Cylons only 2 centars (hours) to complete. As the Cylon assault on Earth begins, page 3 states that it takes no more than 10 centons (minutes) for more people to be killed than died in both world wars.

The Colonials seem not to be familiar with the concept of nuclear weapons, as Adama calls the ones that brought down the Galactica a super-weapon. It is implied that the radiation of the missiles is what allowed them to penetrate the Galactica's shields. Later in the story, the Cylon fleet is also destroyed by Earth's nuclear weapons. It is hard to believe that neither the Colonials nor the Cylons would be familiar with nuclear weapons technology through their own histories. If nothing else, the Galactica was involved in stopping a nuclear showdown between the Eastern Alliance and the Western Nationalists on the planet Terra in the original BSG episode "Experiment in Terra".

The clock tower on page 5, panel 1 appears to be Big Ben in London, England.

On page 5, we see the reintroduction of the turbocycles, as seen in the G1980 TV series.

As Dr. Zee flees from the battle aboard the Rising Star, a Cylon Raider heads towards the ship, identified by the ship's computer as an Alpha class Raider. This is the first mention of an Alpha class Raider. It looks like the standard Raider seen in past episodes; this one does, however, fire a missile that destroys the Rising Star, rather than the standard laser guns.

President Carter takes Adama, Troy, and Dr. Mortinson to Langley Air Force Base in Langley, Virginia. At the time, this was a real U.S. Air Force base. In 2010, it was merged with the nearby Fort Eustice Army Base to form Joint Base Langley–Eustis.

On page 10, Lucifer suggests to Baltar that the humans may be planning a counter-attack, to which Baltar sarcastically responds, "What could they possibly fight back with, I wonder. Harsh language?" This may be a reference to the 1986 film Aliens, in which one of the Colonial Marines asks, when their ammo clips are taken away, what they are supposed to use against the aliens "...harsh language?"

As Commander Adama announces he's going to pilot Troy's Viper in a suicide mission against the Cylon fleet, the sun shines behind his head in panel 1 of page 12, looking a bit like an angelic halo. This story is the first time the elder Adama has been depicted flying a Viper since Surrender the Galactica.

Page 13 depicts Cylon Raiders strafing mujahideen rebels in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. The Soviet Union aided a communist takeover of Afghanistan in 1978 and sent in troops to fight the country's mujahideen rebels from 1979-1989.

Page 13 also depicts Cylon Raiders having shot down a Colonial shuttle over Jinshanling, China. Jinshanling is a section of the Great Wall of China.

On page 14, Lucifer appears to have human-looking metallic hands, unlike the more organic-looking hand seen in the BSG comic book story "Search for Sanctuary" Part 2 or the tendril-like fingers described in The Nightmare Machine. Being a mechanical entity, Lucifer may have interchangeable parts.

In this issue, Baltar calls Adama "Bill", implying his first name is William as in the reimagined Adama of BSG2000. In part three ("Experiment in Terra"), he was referred to as Troykus Adama in the narration.

Commander Troykus/Bill (take your pick) Adama dies in this issue, sacrificing himself to pilot a Viper loaded with a U.S. nuclear bomb straight into the central pylon of Baltar's basestar.

The dialog boxes disbursed throughout the panels of page 20 suggest Adama seeing his dead friends and relatives and joining them in the afterlife. Or perhaps on the Ship of Lights?

   Six quatrons after the defeat of the Cylon fleet, Troy is seen driving a Jeep through the wheat fields of Guymon, Oklahoma with a Ms. Hamilton.
   The term "quatron" may be the Colonial equivalent of "month"; in "The Magnificent Warriors", Adama remarked that he had been cooped up on the ship for 16 quatrons. If a quatron is approximately one month, then this scene takes place at the end of August or beginning of September since part two of the mini-series ("Greetings From Earth") established this story as taking place on January 27, 1980.
   Guymon is a real world city in the state of Oklahoma.
   Ms. Hamilton is depicted as a journalist and is obviously Jamie Hamilton, who also appeared in the G1980 TV series as a television news reporter. (Jamie is also depicted on the cover of Galactica 1980 #1 even though she does not appear in it.)

In panel 5 of page 21, notice that the license plate of the Jeep Troy is driving reads BSG 1980, i.e. Battlestar Galactica 1980. Just an in-joke by the writer or artist of the series. Or maybe the Jeep is owned by Troy and he ordered a personalized license plate? ;-)

On the last page of the story, we see that the Colonials, in cooperation with the U.S. (and probably other countries) are building a new battlestar to protect Earth from the second wave of Cylon forces they expect to come. Notice that the design of the new ship appears to be the same as that of the reimagined Galactica from BSG2000. The landing bay of the under-construction battlestar shows the name of the ship to be Adama.

The story ends with the final panel simply stating "To be continued in...Galactica 1981." Though our current mini-series was published in 2009, no sequel series has appeared or been otherwise announced. I'm not really sure if writer Marc Guggenheim necessarily intended to write a follow-up series or just put that last panel in as a sort of "the story continues, as all stories do, somewhere in a ficton universe." 

Unanswered Questions

How many people died in the destruction of the Rising Star? Presumably there were other people on board besides just Dr. Zee, even if only crewmen to serve his needs.

From Earth's surface, the explosive destruction of the fleet of basestars is seen in the sky. Obviously Adama's Viper was not the only one armed with a nuclear bomb and kamikaze volunteer. But how did they pick which basestar each pilot would hit? Particularly, how did Adama know which one was Baltar's to throw his own ship against? Did he just pick the one that was hanging to the rear, similar to Commander Cain's assumption in "The Living Legend" Part 2?

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