Science Fiction Film & Television

Starbuck as 'American Amazon': Captivity narrative and the colonial imagination in Battlestar Galactica

Science Fiction Film & Television (2010), 3, (1), 57–78.

Abstract

The new Battlestar Galactica (2003–9) reconfigures images of the woman soldier in relation to a distinctly American colonial imagination. Battlestar Galactica rejects the popular damsel-in-distress narrative attached to such woman soldiers as Jessica Lynch by representing women as capable of both violence and nurturing. By placing characters such as Starbuck in captivity, however, the show also reinscribes colonial narratives about the threat posed to civilisation by males who are racially and religiously 'other'. In addition, Starbuck's transformation into a supernatural guide in the final season limits the subversive potential of the character: she is no longer a powerful human woman, but instead becomes an agent for reinforcing colonial fantasies about human development.

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Sharp, Patrick