Template:Infobox Television episode
"Saga of a Star World" is the pilot for the American science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica which was produced in 1978 by Glen A. Larson. A re-edit of the episode was released theatrically as Battlestar Galactica in Canada, Australia and some countries in Europe and Latin America before the television series aired in the U.S., in order to help recoup its high production costs.<ref name="CV">The Different Versions of the Battlestar Galactica Pilot Episode</ref> Later, in May 1979, the feature-film edit was also released in the U.S. (see below)

Battlestar Galactica is set in a distant star system, in an age described as "the seventh millennium of time". Twelve colonies of humans, living on twelve colony worlds, have been fighting a thousand-year war against the robotic race of Cylons, who seek to exterminate all of humanity.

The Cylons have unexpectedly sued for peace, through the diplomatic agency of a human, Count Baltar. The human leaders and the commanders of their military fleet are all too pleased by the Cylon offer of peace, which ends so many years of warfare. The powerful "Battlestars" are assembled for armistice talks with Humanity's age-old robotic enemy. But it's all a deception - Baltar has betrayed humanity for personal gain, and the Cylons have no intention of making peace. Commander Adama of the Battlestar Galactica suspects that the Cylons are planning a trap and confides his concerns to Colonial President Adar. The President attempts to allay Adama's fears by stating it was the Cylons, through Count Baltar, who have sued for peace.

Adama is the only battlestar commander who's suspicious of the Cylons' motives. He orders a special recon patrol consisting of his two best pilots: his eldest son, Apollo, and Lt. Starbuck. Adama's younger son, Zac, convinces Starbuck to let him go in his place. The patrol discovers a vast Cylon armada,once Apollo and Jack check Colonial Warbook-a data file of known star ships waiting in ambush behind a moon named Cimtar, but the Cylons jam their communications. Cylon fighters pursue the two Vipers and Zac's fighter is hit, reducing his speed. This forces Apollo to leave him behind so that the fleet can be warned. Zac's Viper is destroyed by the Cylons just before he reaches the fleet.

Baltar manipulates President Adar into prohibiting the launch of fighters as the Cylons close in on the fleet. Frustrated, Adama orders the Galactica's Viper squadrons be placed on full alert with their fighters ready to launch. As the Cylons attack, the Galactica is able to launch its fighters first while the other battlestars are caught off guard. The Atlantia, with President Adar aboard, is attacked and destroyed while the Acropolis, Triton, and [[]]Pacifica soon follow; Galactica alone survives the Cylon assault.  Apollo informs Adama that the Cylons' fighter fleet was accompanied by refueling tankers. Adama realizes that this was done in order to allow these fighters to operate far from their base ships (known as "Basestars"). Obviously, the Cylon capital ships must be operating somewhere, since they aren't attacking the Human's main fleet. He orders the Galactica to withdraw, in order to protect his home planet, Caprica. But they are too late: upon arrival they find the devastation the Cylon Basestars have left. The Cylon fleet launched massive assaults on all the Colonies, and more are likely.

With the Colonies in ruins, Adama collects as many survivors from the destroyed Colonies as possible and sends out a call for every surviving civilian ship to embark survivors and to follow the Galactica. The hope is that the Galactica can protect this fleet long enough to find a legendary thirteenth human colony, the last outpost of Man. It is on a planet called Earth, but the location of this lost thirteenth colony is known only to the last lord of Kobol, the planet which was the original home of Man but was abandoned thousands of years earlier when the thirteen colonies migrated to the stars.

Helping Adama in the quest for Earth are his son, Captain Apollo, commander of the Galactica's strike wing, Lieutenants Starbuck, the Galactica's best fighter pilot and Apollo's best friend, and Boomer, and Colonel Tigh, Adama's second in command. The Cylon Imperious Leader, determined that no human at all shall survive, orders Baltar's execution but he is spared at the last moment in order to help the Cylons hunt down the human fleet (TV series). In the feature film, Baltar is executed by beheading after the Imperious Leader explains to Baltar that he has missed the entire point of the war. All humans must be destroyed. He thanks Baltar for his assistance in wiping out most of the human race and then orders a Cylon centurion to kill him on the spot.

After initially escaping the Cylons, across a massive starfield called the Nova of Madagon, because of its extremely dangerous, hot environment and Cylon mines the Galactica and its "ragtag fugitive fleet" find brief respite on the resort planet of Carillon, where they hope to find food and fuel for their journey. As much of the fleet's food supplies were contaminated by pluton bombs during the Cylon attack, the fleet is in desperate straits and must find a food source soon or face starvation, and Carillon has plenty.

It quickly becomes apparent that there is more to Carillon than meets the eye. The fact that Carillon has more than enough food and fuel for the fleet's needs makes Adama wary. It is also apparently the largest tylium (fighter fuel) mining facility in that part of the galaxy, but nobody has ever heard of the place. Adama questions where the Ovions are getting their food and what the connection is between the resort on the surface and the underground mining operations. Starbuck is pleased that he is winning so much at the gaming tables, but begins to suspect that something is wrong because the gamblers never lose their money. Colonel Tigh mentions to Adama that "some of our people are getting downright obese" because of all the food the Ovions have access to. Carillon seems like the answer to the prayers of a people who have just experienced the destruction of their civilization. Sire Uri, Adama's nemesis on the Council of the Twelve, has authorized visitor passes to half the population of the fleet for the purpose of visiting the Carillon resort. Adama grows increasingly suspicious and does some research on the Carillon outpost. He discovers that Baltar was responsible for performing the initial Carillon survey and reported that tylium was too minimal for mining. He immediately smells a Cylon trap.

Indeed, the Ovions, Carillon's indigenous insectoid inhabitants, are in league with the Cylons and the resort on the surface is a trap. The Ovions use humans as food for their young in nesting areas deep underground. Apollo and Starbuck investigate the disappearance of some of their comrades and discover the conspiracy. Starbuck suspects that the Ovions are supplying the Cylons with tylium for their military and suggests to set fire to it with his laser pistol in order to blow the planet apart and deprive the Cylons of a major source of fighter fuel. Before he can do this however, a firefight with the Cylons erupts and both Colonial and Cylon laser blasts set fire to the volatile tylium deposits. These fires eventually result in a massive planetary explosion which destroys Carillon and the Cylon basestar (in low orbit) which is commanded by the Cylon Imperious Leader.

Meanwhile, the Council of the Twelve led by Sire Uri, believing the Cylons have been left far behind, propose that the humans pause to celebrate their escape and dismantle their military and weapons to prove to the Cylons that humans are no longer a threat to them. The Council arranges a banquet on Carillon, and orders all fighter pilots to attend. The Cylons, believing that all of the  pilots are at the banquet, launch a fighter attack against the Galactica in orbit. But Adama has long suspected a trap, and arranges for support crew to impersonate the real pilots at the banquet. The Galactica's Vipers are launched a few at a time so as not to attract Council attention, and stay on the planet's surface until Adama is ready to spring his trap. Once the Cylon fighter contingent is fully engaged with the Galactica, Adama recalls all his Vipers from the surface of Carillon. This takes the Cylons (and the Galactica bridge crew) completely by surprise.

During the fight, Apollo realizes the Cylon fighters couldn't have come so far without a basestar. He and Starbuck go hunting, and find a Cylon Basestar hidden on the far side of Carillon. In defiance of Commander Adama's recall order, they decide to attempt to destroy it, in order to enable the refugee fleet to elude pursuit. They use fake radio chatter to fool the Basestar into thinking it's under attack by multiple Viper squadrons. The basestar descends into Carillon's atmosphere to avoid detection, and is destroyed when the planet finally erupts in a massive Tylium explosion.

Despite their victory, the humans realize their enemies will still be pursuing them.

==Different versions==
There have been various different versions of the pilot broadcast or released theatrically.  Although produced for television, originally as part of a planned series of telemovies and eventually as a television series<ref name="Production">Battlestar Galactica Frequently Asked Questions</ref>, Universal Studios decided to release the film in cinemas in order to recoup some of the high production costs with producers believing the series "could be a fine shot at a corner of the Star Wars market".<ref name="Production"/> In July 1978, two months before its U.S. television debut, the film was released in Canada, Australia and some countries in Europe and Latin America.  The release was a success following an aggressive marketing campaign from Universal<ref name="Production"/> and influenced the decision to release the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century pilot in cinemas a year later. Later episodes of the regular Battlestar Galactica series were also re-edited and released in cinemas internationally.

Although there are many minor differences between the broadcast pilot and the cinema release, the most notable is the fact that in the film version Baltar is executed by the Cylons whereas, in the television version, he is held for public execution before later being shown mercy by the Cylons and going on to be a major character in the series. <ref name="Differences">The Different Versions of the Battlestar Galactica Pilot Episode</ref><ref name="Differences2">Battlestar Galactica (1978) (TV) - Alternate versions</ref>  The cinema release also made use of Universal's Sensurround process.

The television version was first broadcast in the U.S. on September 17, 1978. This original three-hour broadcast was interrupted for more than an hour to televise the signing of the Camp David Peace Accords between Israel's Menachem Begin and Egypt's Anwar Sadat, overseen by President Jimmy Carter. Following the coverage, ABC resumed the broadcast, right where it was interrupted. In later years, this version has often been split into three episodes, each an hour long, for syndication.

In May 1979, following the broadcast of the final episode of the regular series, the film version was released in some U.S. cinemas.<ref name="US">The Different Versions of the Battlestar Galactica Pilot Episode</ref>

In 1980, the pilot was edited again and syndicated as part of a series of re-edited Battlestar Galactica telemovies <ref name="Telemovie">Battlestar Galactica Frequently Asked Questions</ref>

==DVD releases==
Both the cinema version and the television version have been released on DVD. The television version was released as part of "The Complete Epic Series" boxset containing all episodes of the series. The film version was released in 2006.

==Other media==
*A photonovel of the film was released in 1979, and is considered a highly-prized collector's item. While much of this demand was due to each image on each page being taken directly from the actual 35mm film cells, compounding the value was the scarcity of intact copies; the glossy paper used for the print stock did not adhere well to the spine glue, and after several reads the binding tended to fall apart. This was further compounded as the glue became brittle with age.Template:Fact
*Stu Phillips' soundtrack to the pilot, as performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic has been released on various occasions in the past, including a dedicated CD in the boxset entitled The Stu Phillips Anthology - Battlestar Galactica.<ref><br></ref>  In 1999, it was also re-recorded by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Phillips himself, and issued on CD.<ref>Soundtrack (1978 Film) - Battlestar Wiki</ref>
* A paperback novelization of the film was published in 1978.<ref>==Further reading==

  • Template loop detected: Template:Cite book
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  • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |</ref>
    *The story was adapted into comic book form by Marvel Comics, first in a magazine format, then later in both tabloid format and as a trade paperback.

    *The plot of Part I formed the primary plot of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica miniseries in which the colonies are destroyed and the survivors set out for Earth.
    *The reimagined series episode "The Passage" is loosely based on the plot of Part II in which the fleet must navigate through a radiation belt.


==External links==
*Template:Imdb title
*Saga of a Star World at the Battlestar Wiki
*interview with director Richard Colla about his work on Saga of a Star World
*Ralph McQuarrie Concept Sketches and Concept Paintings


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