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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Shuttle Diplomacy "Shuttle Diplomacy"
Battlestar Galactica #8 (Marvel)
Written by Bill Mantlo
Art by Sal Buscema and Klaus Janson
October 1979

Inside the memory machine, Adama recalls a mission guarding the leader of Scorpia.

Story Summary

Read the full story summary at the Battlestar Wiki

Didja Know?

The title "Shuttle Diplomacy" is a reference to the diplomatic term which indicates an outside party acting as an intermediary between two parties.

Didja Notice?

While Caprica is described as having mostly shunned the use of robots in the novelization of "Saga of a Star World", this story reveals that Scorpia did the opposite, and programmed robots to perform all menial tasks, leaving the human inhabitants of the world to lives of leisure.

Considering what happened to the Cylons, having been supplanted by their own robotic creations, and the Colonies' thousand year war with the now robotic species, it's hard to believe that one of the Colony worlds would allow robots to maintain the Scorpian civilization so thoroughly.

Page 11 suggests that Commander Ranyon commanded the Galactica during Adama's time as a Captain aboard the ship. The Robert Thurston BSG novels suggest that Adama's father was commander of the Galactica before him, so it could be that Ranyon is Adama's father!

After the crash of the diplomatic shuttle on page 17, the Scorpian warrior drones proclaim that the humans must be protected, "That is the prime directive." This may be a reference to the First Law of Robotics from the Robot novels and stories of Isaac Asimov: "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."

Apparently the Scorpian diplomats refused to heed their ambassador's words to fight alongside their robots against the approaching Cylon troops on page 22 because, on page 23, when the front line of robots has fallen, Tigh laments that they have only his and Adama's weapons to protect them, despite having secured a box of laser pistols from the shuttle (although the diplomats finally do pick up weapons later in the battle).

At the end of the story, a Scorpian diplomat suggests that, with the disclosure that the Scorpian ambassador was actually a robot herself, the humans of Scorpia will now work, fight and govern side-by-side with the robots. If so, why do we not see any of these Scorpian robots in the fleet? Also, it seems unlikely that the general populace of Scorpia would have gone along with considering robots equal to themselves. 

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