Just as strong-willed and outspoken as her fighter pilot character, Katee Sackhoff said in no uncertain terms that she doesn't want "Battlestar Galactica" to end on a happily-ever-after note for Starbuck.
"I think there will be closure for Starbuck," Sackhoff said. "But I can't see her happy, in love and with babies. She's the happiest when she's alone, feeling pain and stress. She's tremendously flawed, but out of everyone she's the most human."
"Battlestar Galactica" begins its final season April 4 (Sci Fi Channel) with the Cylons, rapidly evolving robots created by man, hot on the heels of humans racing toward Earth. Starbuck has returned from the dead, saying she's been to Earth and can lead the refugees to their promised land.
The lusty, hard-living Starbuck has a complex romantic life. She's in love with two men: Apollo, the dedicated son of Galactica's commander, and Anders, a resistance fighter who may not be the man she thinks he is. Last season, after a steamy night with Apollo, Starbuck married Anders the next morning.
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But while the personal encounters can cause a viewer's set to sizzle, it's the overall theme of what it means to be human that has earned "Battlestar Galactica" critical acclaim, including the 2006 George Foster Peabody Award and the American Film Institute's award for outstanding program in 2005 and 2006. The science fiction series has tackled such contemporary issues as genocide, biological warfare and food-supply shortages.
"The series is about humanity starting over as they wander through (space) in search of their promised land. It's almost biblical," said Jamie Bamber, who plays Apollo. But the heart of the series, Bamber said, is really about "how we deal with humanity in a mortal, finite world." Sometimes, the Cylons can seem more human than their flesh-and-blood creators.
"Sharon is a Cylon. There is no human version of herself, but she reacts in some human ways," Grace Park said of her character.
In the final 20-episode season, viewers will see the humans — and probably even the Cylons — reach Earth. However, in the dark tradition of "Battlestar," there's more beneath the surface, and Sharon's Cylon-human hybrid child may open up a whole new avenue. But don't expect any story lines to continue beyond the final episode. Executive producer Ronald Moore said he's not keeping the door open for movies or another season.
"The premise was that they were looking for Earth, and we had to pay that off," Moore said.
The show's writers have had a plan for the final season mapped out for months. But when the Writers Guild of America voted to strike, Moore had an opportunity to tweak the plan.
"I had time to catch my breath and really think about some things," Moore said. "We're still going to have an ending, not an ambiguous ending, but how we get there has been changed a little bit." Moore said he always believed in "Battlestar Galactica" but was surprised by the recognition the series has garnered.
"I had been at 'Star Trek' for 10 years, and Patrick Stewart never even got a nomination for his work. You just get used to the idea that you'll be ignored because of the genre," Moore said. "But this series cut hard against science-fiction clichés. It was a character drama piece, not escapism, that tackled complicated matters and challenged the audience to do more than just come along for the ride."