Scar (Battlestar Galactica) - Production


Moore wanted an episode focused on Viper pilots like the first-season episode "Act of Contrition". In particular, he wanted to explore their daily lives aboard Galactica and their tactics in battle. Writers David Weddle and Bradley Thompson kept the episode from becoming too "industrial" by incorporating executive producer David Eick's desire for a confrontation between Starbuck and Kat. Weddle compared "Scar" to the film Battleground for its focus on the individual pilots.

Moore restricted the writers to one dogfight in this episode. To increase the dramatic tension, Weddle and Thompson began the episode at the start of Starbuck and Kat's patrol and told the bulk of the story in flashbacks; inserted more opportunities for Starbuck and Kat to clash on Galactica; and wrote another dogfight to be narrated over radio.

The writers went over the script in detail with Moore in a July 2005 writers' meeting that was recorded and published by podcast. one key plot point they discussed at length was a motive for Galactica staying in one place while Scar shoots down its fighters one at a time. Slate summarized the ensuing discussion:

One writer suggests that they're fixing the engines (a true standby of science fiction, one that served Star Trek for decades). Another writer proposes that ...Vipers are vulnerable because they're flying attenuated, long-distance patrols. Moore eventually decides that the fleet must have manufacturing facilities, but needs raw material, some magic metal for building Vipers found only where the ship is stuck. 'Then it can influence the conversations in the ready room,' Moore says, 'because of the psychological toll on the pilots. Now their machines are more valuable than they are.'

A scene of auctioning off a recently killed rookie pilot's belongings was written and filmed, but it was cut from the episode. Moore felt it was too jarring a scene to include in the episode. He compared the practice of new pilots taking dead pilots' bunks to a scene from Full Metal Jacket.

The chair in which the pilots spin to get dizzy before their accuracy test was based on a similar device Moore saw at Edwards Air Force Base; the test there was to point one's finger accurately rather than to fire a weapon. Thompson based Scar's technique of flying at Starbuck with the sun behind him obscure her vision on a technique described in World War II pilot Pappy Boyington's autobiography, Baa Baa Black Sheep. A diagram shown on a whiteboard in the ready room during Starbuck's briefing was taken from a textbook on fighter tactics.

The visual effects in "Scar" were particularly difficult and time-consuming to produce. The last visual effects shots were finished in the week before the episode aired.

In a rare break from the series's cinéma vérité style, director Michael Nankin slows down time as Starbuck remembers Anders in the moments before she swerves from Scar. The episode closes with Stanley Myers's classical guitar piece "Cavatina", the theme from the 1978 film The Deer Hunter.

Read more about this topic:  Scar (Battlestar Galactica)

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