It’s only been eight years since “Battlestar Galactica” ended, but based on fans’ fervor at the reunion, one would think the cast had been waiting 150,000 years. A full Paramount Theater in Austin, TX greeted creator Ronald D. Moore and stars, Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, and Michael Trucco for the ATX TV Festival’s closing night panel.
That being said, the cast was feeling nostalgic, and many references were made to how much has changed in the world since they were shooting the iconic sci-fi series. Blockbuster video rentals, internet cafes, and online message boards all played a big part of the memories, and below we’ve collected seven of the most notable anecdotes.
“Not even ‘Blade Runner’ was this well crafted.”
Edward James Olmos made his love for the series clear early and often. McDonnell cited how only Olmos would actively promote “Battlestar” on his own time, telling people to watch it whenever he got the chance, and Olmos brought the crowd to its feet at the end of the night — literally — as led a chant of the fan favorite line, “So say we all!”
And to think: When first offered the role, he turned it down.
“I think what got us all was the writing,” Olmos said, after noting how he said “no” to Admiral William Adama before reading the script. “It was brilliant from the first page.”
After accepting, Olmos guided the series toward one of his old films: “Blade Runner.”
“I had a strong understanding of the world, but I got it through ‘Blade Runner,'” Olmos said, adding that he wanted the producers to go after “that understanding” for “Battlestar.”
And for Olmos, his TV opus surpassed the aesthetic design of one of film’s most visually stunning works.
“Not even ‘Blade Runner’ was this well crafted,” he said. “Because the story was so deep.”
Everyone auditioned a lot.
A common theme of the night was the secretive process of the show’s producers, led by Ronald D. Moore. Sackhoff got the ball rolling by noting how hard it was for her to land the part. Not only was she in her early 20s at the time, going out for a role meant for a 35-year-old, but she kept getting called in and kept being asked to change certain things.
“I think I auditioned six or seven times,” Sackhoff said. “I cut my hair in the process. I took off my stilettos because I guess Starbuck doesn’t wear them.”
Sackhoff then remembered being told to watch the original series by her father, going down to to the “internet cafe,” paying “my $11.99 for one hour,” and logging into a chat room to see what people thought of the character she was up to play.
“And I learned in that moment: Fuck ’em,” Sackhoff said.
— Ben Travers (@BenTTravers) June 11, 2017
While Starbuck may have been more scrutinized than other characters, she wasn’t alone in the lengthy audition process.
“I auditioned so many times for this show,” Callis said. “Why don’t they make it as difficult to become the president?”
Helfer also said she went on “many, many, many auditions,” and Park was upset she didn’t land the role she originally wanted.
“When I was told I got Boomer, I was pissed,” Park said. “I was like, ‘Who the F is Boomer?'”
Continue reading for the biggest mistake of the series, favorite scenes, and more.