Skip to main content

Starbuck Fix: Just What is Kara Thrace?

Cylon? Clone? Resurrected human? A ghost? A demon? Just what is Kara "Starbuck" Thrace since returning from the clutches of death last season?

Tonight's episode of Battlestar Galactica ("Someone to Watch Over Me") looks like it will finally answer that elusive question as Kara seeks some answers about her, er, condition and gains some shocking revelations about her true nature.

While I have no knowledge of the upcoming plot twists ahead on Battlestar Galactica, the promo for tonight's episode (which can be found below) had me pondering some theories of my own, building on that of my recent theory about Kara's parentage and what I know from the two-hour pilot for prequel series Caprica.

I posited a few weeks back that Kara is actually the offspring of a human mother and the Cylon Model Seven, named Daniel. Which is why she is so vital to the Cylon race... and why Simon went so far as to remove her ovaries back on Caprica (remember that dangling plot thread?). And that using the resurrection technology that was recreated by Ellen Tigh, Kara's memories were downloaded when her Viper exploded in the nebula.

As we've seen, Starbuck did die on Earth. She and Leoben encountered her body in the wreckage of her Viper on the surface of the blue planet. So what is Kara then? As I previously stated, I think that she is a resurrected Kara and that the puppet master pulling her strings had created a body for her using the DNA samples extracted from her genetic material in Simon's possession. As for why? I think it was the work of a rogue Model Seven who managed to escape Cavil's destruction of his entire line... and I believe that he is Kara's father and reached out to save his daughter, after appearing to her in a vision in the guise of "Leoben." (More information about this theory can be found in this post.)

On tonight's episode of Battlestar Galactica, Kara is set to meet a piano player at Joe's Bar who offers her some knowledge about her past and what she really is. The notion of the piano player was introduced in last week's episode ("Deadlock") when Kara wondered when Joe's Bar had gotten a piano player. My theory: they never did.

I believe that Kara is visualizing this piano player though he doesn't actually exist in the reality perceived by everyone else around her; the barman's pointedly odd reaction to Kara's question would seem to support this as well. And we know that the Cylons can hear music--like "All Along the Watchtower"--that no one else can. So how is Kara perceiving things that aren't there? Using the same technology that the Cylons have to visualize other realities. As seen on the Cylon base ship in Season Three, the humanoid models can separate their perceptions: while we might see the stark white corridors of the techno-organic ship, they can see themselves surrounded by the trees of an ancient forest.

It's the same technology created by Daniel Greystone, the inventor of the Centurions, whose work is the basis for the BSG prequel series Caprica. Greystone previously invented a holoband, which grants the wearer to immerse themselves in a fully interactive virtual reality, a technology that I believe was essential in crafting the Centurions and the humanoid Cylon models. It's also this gift for perception, I believe, that grants Kara the ability to have that vision in "Maelstrom" and meet with the piano player in tonight's "Someone to Watch Over Me."

So who is the person she's interacting with, who disguised himself as Leoben and now potentially as a pianist? I believe it's the mythical Daniel whom Kara will be speaking with tonight and who will take her on a path of personal awareness. The shot of Kara as a child sitting at a piano would seek to support this as well. Plus, we know from Ellen Tigh's description of Daniel that he is an artist: he painted and so does Kara. If Kara played the piano as a child, so too could Daniel have known how to play.

Kara therefore is, like Hera, an important symbol of the future of the both Cylon and human races, a blend of both genetic reproduction and technological resurrection. While some have pondered whether she is a Trojan Horse, designed to undo humanity and serve as a "harbinger of death" (as the the hybrid foresaw), I think Kara is instead a sign of how both of their races can survive: by blending with one another and taking the strengths and weaknesses of both their natures.

What do you think? Is Kara the offspring of Daniel? Does that make her the first Cylon-human offspring? Or is she something else altogether? Discuss.

Tonight on Battlestar Galactica ("Someone to Watch Over Me"), Kara befriends a piano player who helps her come to a shocking realization about her destiny and Galen and Boomer attempt to reignite their relationship while the Cylons attempt to try her for treason.


Anonymous said…
Although it makes my head hurt, I like your theory. And, if it's true, would that also mean that Baltar is part Cylon since he can "see" Six?
Jace Lacob said…

Why, yes. Yes, I do think it does mean that and that's exactly what I was implying. :)
Unknown said…
I think they're not offspring but creations. They're the next generation of Cylon skinjobs, created by Daniel. If they were offspring (and, therefore, created decades ago), the whole Cylon/Human hybrid thing would be rather anticlimactic.
Unknown said…
I think you're right. Also, hasn't it been established that Kara's dad was a pianist? I seem to recall her returning to her apartment on Caprica (perhaps when she went there to get the arrow and encountered Helo and Sharon?) and playing his piano music on a stereo thingie over and over.
Anonymous said…
does anyone think kara *is* daniel? didn't ellen say daniel's dna was 'corrupted', not destroyed? maybe it was somehow salvaged ...
Anonymous said…
I came to the same conclusion. It supports the statement that Kara's mother had made, that she was special. It also jives with why she was so disappointed that Kara was not #1 in her class. She knew Kara's father was cylon. It also explains as to why Kara seemed to steal the show when it came to combat skills.
Anonymous said…
Looks like you were right about Kara's father being the piano player, about him also being model 7 Daniel and about the Cylon projection too. Neat trick! I almost think you're a Cylon, Jace!
Anonymous said…
Evidence would indicate that she is actually Sarah Korvus, the first bionic woman.
Anonymous said…
I just stumbled upon your blog and I am so excited that I wasn't the only one that thought of this. My husband thinks I'm nuts for suggesting that Kara is half cylon and half human. I did however did not remember Daniel as being the possible father of Kara. Kudos to you for thinking of all of the puzzle pieces! I'm anxious to see the finale and discover the truth, but I am sad to see such a quality show end.
Anonymous said…
Neat idea.
It would explain quite a bit, as has been theorized here.
Let's find out what, if anything, they show on the last episode that may confirm or refute this theory.
Anonymous said…
I think that there is a strong possiblity that Kara is a clone. That she really did die when apollo saw her explode. They Cylons clone her and put her in a new viper because they already had a plan that included her being the harbinger of death. She was dead but they needed her, so they cloned her and gave her clone false memories like the 1's did to the final 5.
Frogman27 said…
I've been working up a back story that the Lord's of Cobal were cylon skin jobs that created us to work for them and we rebeled. Then we created robotic cylons and they rebeled, and so on...This has happened before, it will happen again:0
Anonymous said…
It's an interesting theory, and I tought about it, but how can we explain she suddenly disappears in the last episode?
Jack of Hearts said…
@Anonymous Wow. You do realize this was written a while back, right? Man, some people are THICK.
Anonymous said…
She didn't need to be anything, she just owed both Adamas the whole world and she gave it to them.
Patterson 138 said…
Okay. Here go's. First off, This show encompasses theories from many different religions similar to those you see here in our world. That being said, regardless of what you believe, it is clear that Baltar and Caprica are either crazy or they are seeing things. Along the same lines, you could argue the same with Starbuck (post death). The only difference is that everyone can see her. So here is my theory: Starbuck is an angel/arch-angel. Maybe a 'hand of God Saint Michael type' but an angel just the same. In certain religious text (not neccessarily those accepted by religious experts) it is written that when Satan was cast out, there were angels who left at the same time but did not follow Satan into hell. Those angels stayed on earth and took human companions and bred with them. I think that this is what the ghostly Baltar and Six are. Now I am only making compairisons so don't everyone get all 'Now wait a minute' on me. This is just a theory and a disscussion point. So what do you think?
Bruce said…
Great great show! I have watched over the series again and again, and the one thing that lingered in my mind was "Kara Thrace". I had numerous ideas, most principally that she must be a "hybrid" of sorts. Many people are saying Daniel is her dad, but I have a feeling it goes deeper. She could be an ancestor of the original "earth" colony, hence she has the images or genetic memory of the nebula etc. it might also explain why in "the plan" Leobin was able to see the images projected from her mind before he was blown out the air lock. I think Caprica might answer some more questions we all have. I’m rattling on, but just wanted to say nice to see some people are thinking the same as me ;)
1123 6536 5321 said…
I am tending to agree with Patterson 138, she's an angel like the ghost six and Baltar (also the Leoben she see's when out cold in "maelstrom", and the pianist). Although she's sent by "god" (who the ghost six and Baltar mention right at the end), Starbuck's more like Boomer in that she's a sleeper and isn't allowed to know what she truely is.
I am of no doubt "someone" is watching over her, and guiding her onward with her destiny at a young age.
To me she is way too lucky with escaping death. The most notable times being: in the miniseries, her throwing a puch at Tigh saves her life, she'd have been killed with the rest of the squadron. When she takes on eight raiders, and has to eject over the moon (could have been shot outright, ran out of O2, left behind, sucked into the gas gaint). When she's shot and then captured on Caprica. The confrontation with Pegasus (during resurrection ship). Scar (She is arguably the best pilot ever so maybe not). During the defence of the Temple of Five, she's shot down in a raptor. To me these start to add up. And when she did "die" she was following what she felt was right. Like it was a test to see if would truely follow her destiny.
However another idea a friend of mine had was that she had ascended (ref stargate).
Or maybe she's the Gandalf of BSG? Any other thoughts?
I'm just sad it had to end, but all good things come to an end,
monica said…
I think the Harbinger of Death idea is that Kara brought "Death" to the Cylons since there are no more resurrection ships so Cylons gain an aspect of humanity that they never had-mortality. This makes them arguably closer to or the same as humans in their plight for survival. Kara brings "them" (Cylon/humans) to their "end" which is Earth II. What seems to be an ominous phrase then becomes neutralized.

It could also be that the hybrids were saying she is the harbinger of Death as in she is dead or death personified or a messenger sent by Death. This would make her some sort of heavenly or spiritual body even though I never understood why she and Anders should have been enemies as foretold --I think-- by Leoben. Did she know what she was? She definitely did at the end so when do you guys think she actually made the realization? Was it when she was at the wall of photos and placed her photo up again?
Elizabeth said…
I know this is a little late but I've just watched the last episode and... Wow! What a fantastic way to end BSG. I've slowly watched the entire collection without knowing the final outcome and I think it ended beautifully.
What a shame for Admiral Adama to lose Laura Roslin. Even though it was always going to happen, I was crying when she died and Adama was talking to her grave. (I am a girl)
I always knew they would find Earth but finding it 150,000 year ago was an amazing twist. It lets your imagination run wild with possibility's of how we ended up here today.
And as for Starbuck, I'm convinced she was an angel. As Starbuck jumps Galactica to Earth she has a flashback where Leoben Conoy says "I don't see Kara Thrace, I see an angel blazing with the light of God." Lee Adama also knows she was an angel when he quietly says "Goodbye Kara" after she disappears at the end.
And I'd just like to add, for a clapped out old battlestar, Galactica could really take a pounding. She was in a sorry state when Starbuck jumped her without retracting the pods and broke her back but for all of Pegasus's bulk, she was only half the ship that Galactica was.
I'm now going to put the miniseries back in my DVD player and start all over again.

Eddie said…
I just finished watching the entire series - my son gave it to me on DVD for my birthday. To me it seemed obvious that Kara was Daniel's (7) daughter. He was sensitive according to Ellen, so the requirement for procreation (love) was certainly there. And why did she not fear death?

As for her return from death... It seems like it almost has to be divine intervention.

Resurrection? Okay, possible. D'Anna was able to kill herself repeatedly and have the record of it wiped, but how do we explain the Viper and, more importantly, Kara's disappearance at the end?

Viper: Maybe the Centurions were programmed to build the Viper, etc, and to protect Kara like they were programmed to protect the Final Five. would explain her insane kill record.

Body: preprogrammed to vaporize upon completion of the task?

I think the "angel" idea fits better.
Unknown said…
They stroll the city street and AS says, "Commercialism, decadence, technology run amok ... remind you of anything?" Baltar says, "Take your pick: Kobol, Earth, the real Earth before this one, Caprica before the fall." AS starts, "All of this has happened before.." and Baltar finishes "But the question remains: Does all of this have to happen again?" This time, says AS, she's betting no. Baltar says he's never known her to play the optimist before... why the change of heart? "Mathematics," she replies. "Law of averages. Let a complex system repeat itself long enough and eventually something surprising might occur. That too is in God's plan."

"You know it doesn't like that name," says Baltar. Six gives him an "Oh, come on" look.

"Silly me," he says. "Silly, silly me."

OK, so we have there two angels (demons) - Baltar & N° what if she, Kara, is the GOD theyre talking about all the time? This could explain everything.. :))
Anonymous said…
Having just watched the end of the series again (for the fourth time), I think it's safe to say that the God explanation isn't really as much of a cop-out as it initially seemed to be. In fact, it seems that something that is God-like IS indeed influencing the events that occur on the show, but the entity, whatever it is (and I have a theory as to what that is) is simply taking part in ensuring this cycle continues to play out just so.

Inner Baltar and Inner Six (the ones that appear in their heads) are agents of this entity. They are not angels or demons, though they may go by that name to make things easier for those they 'haunt'. Conceptually, the people who are seeing them would have to believe they were something mythological or ethereal, or they might believe themselves completely insane. If they play to that religious notion, the people they influence are probably more likely to act in the way they want.

In fact, they confirm this at the end. The quote in the comment above me, where Baltar says "You know it doesn't like that name" all but confirms the entity is not God, at least not in the sense that most people would think. Clearly, this entity is GOD-like, but it is not the 'Christian' God of the Bible. This last line very clearly defines that the entity is NOT a mythological being at all. In fact, the line that six utters about the law of averages implies a very machine-oriented mindset. It's my belief that the God-like entity is an ancient machine intelligence that was created as the result of a cycle that occurred millions of years before.

The question as to what Kara is... well that's a pretty big mystery still. I think your theory is pretty good though, if you're looking for a logical explanation that covers all the rational bases.
Anonymous said…
Necromancing at its finest. Anyhow my first thought as though the "You know it doesn't like that name" part was Jimi Hendrix. All Along the Watchtower playing over and over in different arrangements and the whole show ending with it just after that statement. Just a thought.

Popular posts from this blog

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous season

Pilot Inspektor: CBS' "Smith"

I may just have to change my original "What I'll Be Watching This Fall" post, as I sat down and finally watched CBS' new crime drama Smith this weekend. (What? It's taken me a long time to make my way through the stack of pilot DVDs.) While it's on following Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars on Tuesday nights (10 pm ET/PT, to be exact), I'm going to be sure to leave enough room on my TiVo to make sure that I catch this compelling, amoral drama. While one can't help but be impressed by what might just be the most marquee-friendly cast in primetime--Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Jonny Lee Miller, Amy Smart, Simon Baker, and Franky G all star and Shohreh Aghdashloo has a recurring role--the pilot's premise alone earned major points in my book: it's a crime drama from the point of view of the criminals, who engage in high-stakes heists. But don't be alarmed; it's nothing like NBC's short-lived Heist . Instead, think of it as The Italian