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Capt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace


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#1

Epithet

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 2:11 PM

A place to discuss gender issues in space, insubordination, hot shot piloting, and whether a cigar is sometimes just a cigar.

I thought the decision to make Starbuck a woman was a bit of a stunt at first. But based on the quality of the characterizations so far, I think they may use it to take some subplots in interesting directions. And, unlike others, I don't think she comes across as unlikeable. I think the same traits in a male would be seen as a charming rogue. But in a woman, it gets interpreted as bitch.

#2

Hannibal Khan

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 2:54 PM

Yeah when Dirk Benedict sucked on the cigar, it was a little HoYay! Now I kind of get twitchy when Kara does it. It's just so.... deliciously dirty.

#3

Murrain2

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 3:55 PM

I think the same traits in a male would be seen as a charming rogue. But in a woman, it gets interpreted as bitch.

And to get us thinking about that right there is one excellent reason for SexChangeBuck.

Does anyone else think she's doing a great Dirk Benedict impression?! Not just the charactor, but the mannorism and such that he used as Starbuck? I'm actually most impressed, and I don't impress easily. Despite the sex change, the new Starbuck seems to be more the old Starbuck, then the new Apollo is the old Apollo, you know? More than any of the new guys are the old guys, actually, I think.

And oddly enough, I'd rather see the old versions hook up than the new versions. Okay, maybe that's not so odd for me...

#4

Bungalow Joy

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 4:23 PM

Not so odd, because...

I think the same traits in a male would be seen as a charming rogue.


...is itself fraught with internal issues, not necessarily in relation to gender politics. (Although ho-yay can be related to gender politics, but not precisely, but yeah, but no, but still...)

But in a woman, it gets interpreted as bitch

...there are quite a few female characters out there like her, and they weren't created to be hated, nor are they.

#5

Shanna Marie

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 5:33 PM

It's funny, but instead of thinking that those personality traits in a woman make for a bitch, I have the opposite attitude. A man who behaved the way she does would just annoy me, and I'd write him off as a jerk. In a "one of the guys" woman like she is, I find those traits endearing. There's something almost puppy-like about her, like a precocious kid who's trying to see just how much she can get away with. It doesn't strike me as egotistical or malicious, but rather more playful.

#6

john mora

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 6:45 PM

She's just always so over-the-top and loud and obnoxious. She's so entertaining I don't care what she has between her legs.

#7

emmers00

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 7:54 PM

Bungalow Joy said:

...there are quite a few female characters out there like her, and they weren't created to be hated, nor are they.


See, that's the thing though. I don't think there are that many female characters like her out there. Maybe there are in sci fi shows, and I just haven't seen them, because I don't watch much sci fi, but in TV and movies otherwise... not so much. There are tough women, certainly. But I feel like they're always written to carefully toe some sort of gender line. They're tough, but they're really damaged little kittens inside. Or they're hyper competent, good at everything they do, perfectly coiffed... sort of robo-chicks (like Lara Croft, or even #6). I think Starbuck is a lot more interesting than that. She's flawed, but not in some sort of "typical" female way (she may be damaged inside, but more in a surly tiger sort of way, rather than a kitten sort of way). I'm not doing a particularly good job of explaining myself, but let's leave it at that I'm thrilled by this character. I think she's interesting, both in theory and to watch.

#8

Hannibal Khan

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 9:07 PM

She's cut from the Aeryn Sun model of female characters. Strong, doesn't need a damn knight in shining armor, and can out kick any man's ass. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Aeryn and Starbuck are what Joss wanted Buffy to be, but failed at miserably.

Edited by Hannibal Khan, Jan 17, 2005 @ 9:08 PM.


#9

Jolie Blanc

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 10:09 PM

I think that another reason for making Starbuck a woman comes from the need for balance on the Galactica. The majority of the rest of the characters on the ship are pretty straightforward, toe the line sort of officers who tend to view situations in a more 'black and white' manner. Starbuck has always been more of a 'think outside the box' sort, both in the original and in the new. But from what I recall (it's been a while) The Original Starbuck (TOSbuck?) was much more willing to tag along behind Apollo and follow orders. His upstart behavior tended to be relegated to his off-duty hours.

Kara, on the other hand, refuses to conform to just about anything, and it carries over to her duty life. If she wasn't the best damn pilot they have, it'd no doubt have a lot more repercussions. And (without going into spoilery detail) they do some interesting things in the 5-10 episodes that force Starbuck to take her unique perspective in a new direction.

Plus, she's fun as hell to watch. She's far and away from the weakest of the bunch, IMO.

#10

SmokingCatamite

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 10:15 PM

There are tough women, certainly. But I feel like they're always written to carefully toe some sort of gender line. They're tough, but they're really damaged little kittens inside. Or they're hyper competent, good at everything they do, perfectly coiffed... sort of robo-chicks (like Lara Croft, or even #6)


I think what you're refering to is how deep down, underneath the tough exterior, a tough female is always a real woman inside and therefore will cry and want a baby of her own etc. The robo-chicks are basically men who look sexy.

Thrace is interesting in that she does seem to have some damage but isn't quite unfunctioning. I hope the backstory is good.

#11

Jolie Blanc

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Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 10:26 PM

Thrace is interesting in that she does seem to have some damage but isn't quite unfunctioning. I hope the backstory is good.


It's pretty good. There's still a lot to learn about her (as of 1x11) but it's an enjoyable ride the whole way. I've been thoroughly impressed throughout the series so far in ways they manage to surprise us about Starbuck, but in a way that makes you go, "Oh, YEAH, she'd totally do it like that..." Even little things like the way she fights in a brawl.

Also really like her interactions with Tigh. Talk about your bizarrely functional CO relationships. Half the time they look like they want to punch each other, but at the same time, they manage to work together well enough to not crash the ships. (Or blow up the wrong target with a Viper, or whatever)

#12

Benito

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Posted Jan 18, 2005 @ 12:37 AM

And to get us thinking about that right there is one excellent reason for SexChangeBuck.

I think the reasons were transparent--the show was severely gender imbalanced once the flighty and stupid female characters from the Original Show were tossed out.

Of course it still gets me wondering if deer exist in space, and if a "buck" is still supposed to be a male deer.

It's not very out of line to insist that the best pilot is female though, since a lot of current data from our own times indicate it's more than possible, at least in terms of speed and reflexes. About the only sour note is that the Vipers seem to be "retro" enough to require some amount of physical strength as well, and that's a bit of a harder sell (for her to be the best on that basis, I mean, not merely competent).

Frankly, I'm not even sure she is filling the same role as OriginalRecipeStarbuck, any more than Apollo is following OriginalRecipeApollo.

#13

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Posted Jan 18, 2005 @ 1:45 AM

Of course it still gets me wondering if deer exist in space, and if a "buck" is still supposed to be a male deer.


Supposedly, the name Starbuck doesn't have anything to do with deer or maleness at all. Of course, the Colonials aren't from earth, so god knows what the etymology of their names is supposed to be.

ETA: Benito, I just mean the name the "buck" in the name Starbuck on earth isn't referring to male deer. I have no idea what the Colonials reckon it means.

Edited by Hugin, Jan 18, 2005 @ 1:09 PM.


#14

Benito

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Posted Jan 18, 2005 @ 1:57 AM

Their relationship to earth, and even the etymological connections, are all up in the air. We know they know about Earth though. And there are reasons to believe that while some of the cultural connections are meant to be simple convenient shorthand for ease of viewing (time units, basic fashions, etc.) other connections seem like they could mean something (mythology, names, etc.). I don't think we can fan-wank that "Starbuck" doesn't mean something unless we have an idea of what it DOES mean... and I don't think they've ever said.

#15

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Posted Jan 18, 2005 @ 4:10 AM

Here's a list of occasions when the name "Starbuck" has cropped up. By no means comprehensive, but a starting point.

The first thing that always comes to mind for me is the first mate in Ahab's ship in Moby Dick. But of course, this Starbuck (the lone voice of reason when Ahab insists on vengeance) is absolutely nothing like our Starbuck, as she Lives Outside The Box.

#16

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Posted Jan 18, 2005 @ 5:10 AM

Katie Sackoff/Starbuck are quite simpy a gift from the gods-like many I was expecting the worst-just shows how wrong one can be, her interactions with all the characters (especially Balter and Apollo) are sublime. And she is hot!

#17

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Posted Jan 18, 2005 @ 8:12 AM

Because I remember it from Moby Dick (and because there's people with Starbuck as a last name) I always assumed that it was some sort of Navy term.

#18

Murrain2

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Posted Jan 18, 2005 @ 11:16 AM

Maybe she hates to take stimulants because she once drank way too much coffee before taking off and was given that callsign...

#19

duff

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Posted Jan 18, 2005 @ 9:19 PM

Here's a list of occasions when the name "Starbuck" has cropped up. By no means comprehensive, but a starting point.


A key one they missed is Bill Starbuck from The Rainmaker (play and then movie starring Katherine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster). That Starbuck, I think, is closer to TOStarbuck's character - sort of a quixotic con man, who actually believes in his [pyramid] schemes. And IIRC from my old Battlestar Galactica picture book, the idea also was to have someone who "bucks the stars". Not sure how that would fit in with Kara, though.

#20

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Posted Jan 19, 2005 @ 7:52 PM

I like this Starbuck. She seems to be like several women I knew in Engineering school. It'll be interesting to see if they can make her promiscuous (like the old series' Starbuck) without turning her into a bimbo.

That being said, I really don't want her to hook up with Apollo. It's just such a trite storyline. Of course, if they do get together, the writers could make it more interesting by having them break up quickly and then have to deal with the bad feelings and garbage such a breakup could entail (especially as she's Apollo's direct report.)

Hmmm.

Nope. I'd rather he try to treat her as a replacement for his brother and she could rebel against that.

#21

Mayonnaise

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Posted Jan 19, 2005 @ 8:13 PM

I keep thinking of the Moby Dick too, which is sad because I've never read it I just gleaned it from the X-files... (It was Scully's Dad's Nickname for her.)

That said... I really don't want to see her hook up with Apollo either... that would be kinda cheep I think... and ruin the "one of the guys" thing, and you just know somone would interpret it as a grab for more special treatment.

And she's so totaly not a Bitch in my opinion... but I'm comming in off Ivanova, Lyta and Number 1 from B5, and the aformentioned Aeryn Sun, so I guess my opinion is skewed.

#22

Shanna Marie

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Posted Jan 20, 2005 @ 12:07 AM

It would actually be kind of funny if there's nothing more going on with Lee than friendship, almost like being family, but if others suspect there's more going on and pick on them about it. You know in that kind of closed environment there's going to be gossip, and any time a man and a woman spend a lot of time together and have such an air of familiarity about them that it will trigger even more gossip.

I still haven't decided if the looks the bystanders were exchanging after the breaking down in giggles in "33" were more "only she could get away with talking to a superior officer like that" or more "who wants to start the pool on how long it will take those two to do it?" I guess a lot would depend on how widely her previous relationship with his brother is known on the ship. It did seem like Adama has been treating her as almost a member of the family all along (he seemed more casually familiar with her during that opening jogging bit than he is with any other pilots or crew), so surely others on the ship are aware of all the family connections.

It would be so nice to finally get to see a show where the male and female main characters (I guess we could consider them the younger generation main characters, with Adama and the Pres as the older generation leads) don't get romantically involved, where they just remain good friends and co-workers.

#23

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Posted Jan 20, 2005 @ 12:28 AM

I took the looks the bystanders were giving her in "33" to be more "Wow, she gave up on that argument pretty quickly." mostly because I think it synced with the queasy look on her face after she ate the pills, like she'd really been hoping Apollo hadn't had the drugs on him so she could quietly forget to take them later. Though I guess it's not too far a leap from there to the betting pool.

To be honest, I'm actually kinda rooting for some Kara-Lee action, and I trust that writers enough at this point to think they're going to be awkward enough getting to that point that it won't feel like a forgone conclusion. (Kara-Lee, sounds like they should be off making pies or something.)

#24

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Posted Jan 20, 2005 @ 8:12 AM

What emmers00 said. You have crystallized my thoughts eloquently.

I love this character - I don't think I've quite seen anything like her on TV before. (Should add that I've seen the first 12 episodes. Huh? Because I, uh... I live in the UK! Yeah, that's it!) I really think this is the first time I've ever seen a chick get to be the charming/irreverent/buttheaded rogue hero with a sense of humor and irony, and with imperfections other than the usual Female Flaws (see emmers00's post for the rundown). Plus she gets to do cool shit onscreen, like laugh out loud and eat her damn lunch without a trace of self-consciousness, which - inexplicably - women rarely do in TVLand. (Ha. I'm only half joking. Try to remember the last time you saw a female lead do either of those things on prime-time TV. Sitcoms don't count.) Arffin' fantastic, man. I thought I'd never see the day.

Completely apart from all that, the character itself just works as a great character -- which, at the end of the day, is all you can really ask for. A lot of that is due to great writing (and it is terrific), but in this instance I think the casting matters just as much, if not more. Sackhoff is perfect for this role -- she gets the charm-to-buttheadedness ratio just right, and manages to suggest that something more complicated may be lurking under the character's surface. Also, she brings like five thousand pounds of attitude to the role. There are moments which seem so genuine that you can't help but think that at least some of that has got to be Sackhoff herself -- because some of that shit you just can't fake.

And that is why Starbuck is cool.

Now if this were not a thread devoted to Starbuck, I'd add that the other characters are also fascinating, and that the writing, storylines, and sfx are excellent -- as is most of the acting. It makes the rest of the Sci-Fi Channel lineup look like a steaming pile of dog crap (not that it didn't already, but you know what I mean). I am just really, really impressed so far with this series -- more than I've been with anything I've seen in a while on regular (non-HBO) television.

Mercy. I cannot believe that I just typed that about a remake of "Battlestar Galactica". I was like five when the original series aired, so to me "BSG" has always conjured up fuzzy memories of a cape-wearing Lorne "Alpo" Greene and a pair of exquisitely coiffed heroes (one blond, one brunette). Wouldn't have occurred to me as prime remake material, but glad to be wrong.

Bonus! goofy fanboy observation, for those who've watched up to ep 10 or so: My brother and I were thinking maybe Sackhoff broke her leg in real life or something? Because she's been hobbling around w/ that cane an awfully long time. I mean, I've heard of continuity, but this seemed a little unusual. Even when Pembleton had that stroke on "Homicide," he was back screaming at perps in the box after just a couple of weeks.

#25

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Posted Jan 20, 2005 @ 8:28 AM

On that little matter: Remember, BSG has an unusually condensed timeline for something outside of 24. 1.12 is set about only three weeks after 1.4 (Act of Contrition). So for Starbuck to be only just losing the cane now makes sense.

#26

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Posted Jan 20, 2005 @ 9:38 AM

And another quick followup: I think Nuallain's probably right, but, as wierd coincidences would have it, a knee injury is what got Sackhoff into acting after it stopped her playing sports.

#27

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Posted Jan 20, 2005 @ 10:59 AM

Following along with the crowd: It's certainly possible, but I really prefer the idea that the writers just wrote it that way. This show has a serious hard-on for continuity. Did you notice that at the beginning of "33," an episode filmed a year after the miniseries, Adama still had that gash on his head from where Leoben attempted to brain him with the steam pipe?

I just love the idea that a group of staff writers sat down and said, "Let's give Starbuck a broken leg, then keep her in bed for two episodes, then put her on a cane for two more episodes, then have her limp for fracking ever, in a genre that gave us silly ideas like "dermal regenerators" to save money on make-up.

There are moments which seem so genuine that you can't help but think that at least some of that has got to be Sackhoff herself -- because some of that shit you just can't fake.


Exactly! That's exactly what I was thinking, I just didn't know how to put it into words. Did you notice the … aw, crap. Spoiler tags again. Did you notice the little wink she threw Tigh around the planning board in "The Hand of God?" It was so effortless, so unaffected that either it was spontaneous or she's one hell of an actress. Maybe both.

I do remember hearing Olmos say in an interview that the crew on this show are incredibly cool about ad-libbing, so I'm sure the actors have more than the usual opportunity to put some of their own personalities into their performances.

#28

Lila

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Posted Jan 20, 2005 @ 2:05 PM

Guys? Did you read the ground rules? It's one thing to have a sentence or two of tagged stuff. When the entire conversation is about stuff that has to be tagged in these topics -- take it to the spoiler topic. That's why it's there.

Edited by Strega, Jan 20, 2005 @ 2:11 PM.


#29

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Posted Jan 22, 2005 @ 1:58 AM

I loved her in tonight's episode! I agree with her take on how to lead people. The authoritarian approach intimidates me way too much. But her scene with the XO at the end was pointless personified.

#30

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Posted Jan 22, 2005 @ 6:41 AM

Y'all, I think I love Starbuck. She's so... awesome. I can't even think up good words to use.