Watch the clip above, and catch the entire exclusive People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) special, EW Reunites: Battlestar Galactica, here or download the free app on your favorite device.
Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore knew casting Katee Sackoff, a woman, was going to stir up a little drama when he launched the 2003 mini-series reboot (which led to the wildly successful TV show), but he didn’t mind.
“I knew it would be kind of controversial because you were changing the gender of one of the lead characters of the original; a lot of people forget that in the original series, the two leads were Apollo and Starbuck,” Moore said during the PEN special, EW Reunites: Battlestar Galactica. As he struggled to figure out what to do with the cigar-smoking, lady killer originally played by Dirk Benedict in the 1978 series, “somewhere along the line, my brain just went, ‘Well, what if Starbuck was a woman?'” And, thus, Starbuck became the skilled pilot with a chip on her shoulder.
“There were starting to be female pilots in the War against Terror at that time. We were starting to see women in combat for the first time,” the director says. “So it was a fairly new thing to see that dramatized.”
Moore also commented on the controversy the casting decision caused, saying people were up in arms about the gender change. “How dare you? You’re ruining Battlestar Galactica! This is blasphemy,” he recalls of some of the comments he received, adding that all the free press about the controversy actually helped their marketing.
See more of his comments on the matter in the video above.