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Battlestar Galactica (2003)/Razor

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Special 1
Airdate November 24, 2007
Written by Michael Taylor
Directed by Félix Alcalá
Fleet Survivors 49,579
← Mini-sode 7
Razor Flashback 7
4x01 →
He That Believeth in Me (1)
Battlestar GalacticaSeason Four

Razor is a special movie presentation of Battlestar Galactica. The aired version had an 84 minute run-time. A special DVD was released on December 5, 2007, two weeks after the airing, that had a 111-minute version of the movie on it including the Razor mini-sodes.

The movie actually takes place between episodes 2x17 - The Captain's Hand and 2x19 - Lay Down Your Burdens and has many flashbacks to earlier points in time. Watching it after season three is best though as some plot points are set-up by revelations during that season.

Edward James Olmos (Admiral William Adama), Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin), Katee Sackhoff (Kara "Starbuck" Thrace), Jamie Bamber (Commander Lee "Apollo" Adama), James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar), Tricia Helfer (Number Six), Grace Park (Sharon Valerii)

Michael Hogan (Colonel Saul Tigh), Aaron Douglas (Chief Galen Tyrol) (credit only), Tahmoh Penikett (Captain Karl "Helo" Agathon) (credit only), Michael Trucco (Samuel Anders) (credit only), Alessandro Juliani (Lt. Felix Gaeta) (credit only), Kandyse McClure (Lieutenant Anastasia "Dee" Dualla) (credit only)

Guest Star: Michelle Forbes (Admiral Helena Cain)

Guest Star: Graham Beckel (Colonel Jack Fisk)

Guest Star: Stephanie Jacobsen (Major Kendra Shaw)

Guest Star: Nico Cortez (Young William "Husker" Adama)

Guest Stars: Matthew Bennett (Aaron Doral) (credit only), Steve Bacic (Colonel Jurgen Belzen)

Cast: Brad Dryborough (Hoshi), Eileen Pedde (Sgt. Mathias), Fulvio Cecere (Lt. Alastair Thorne), Vincent Gale (Peter Laird), Campbell Lane (Hybrid), Kyra Scott (Young Helena Cain) (extended version), Chandra Berg (Little Lucy Cain) (extended version), Peter Flemming (Helena's Father) (extended version), Shaker Paleja (Medic Hudson), Andrew Dunbar (Marine DaSilva), Jacob Blair (Squad Leader Banzai) (extended version), Peter Bryant (Frank Bruno), Chris Bradford (Ops Officer) (extended version), Tyson Stanley (Young Marine), Trevor Roberts (Scylla Protestor #1), Cameron MaCleod (Scylla Protestor #2), Ingrid Tesch (Mother), Joey Pierce (Marine Riggs), Matt Drake (Son #1), Dustin Eriksen (Son #2), Stefan Arngrim (Male Captive), John Hainsworth (Man in Cage #2), Victor Ayala (Man in Cage #2), Deni Dolory (Woman in Cage), Emily Hirst (Child in Cage), Ben Cotton (Terrified Man), Stefanie Von Pfetten (Showboat), Alyssa Minniss (Flower Girl)

Uncredited: Elizabeth Thai (Pegasus crew member)


Plot Overview

Shortly after Lee Adama is put in command of the battlestar Pegasus, he brings in Kendra Shaw as his XO. Shaw began serving under Admiral Cain just as the Cylons attacked the 12 Colonies, witnessing firsthand the choices Cain made that kept Pegasus and its crew alive, experiences that helped mould Shaw into a razor.

When Lee is ordered by his father to rescue a missing scientific crew, they discover a missing link to the Cylons' past experiments on humans during the Cylon War, which may in turn be a key to everyone's future.


Arc Advancement


  • Lee made Kendra Shaw, who served closely with Cain after recently joining Pegasus just before the Cylon attacks, his XO. It's unknown who replaced her following her death.
  • At the end of the war, the Cylons were experimenting with making humanoid models. When an armistice was declared, a sect of Centurions took a hybrid they made and basestar and left to avoid being scrapped. It is later found and the basestar is destroyed.
  • The hybrid predicts several events, albeit in a cryptic manner:
    • "Enemies brought together by impossible longing, enemies now joined as one."
    • The fifth of the Final Five, "still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering."
    • He also predicts that the Cylons will consumed by sin, as well as "know enmity, bitterness, the wrenching agony of the one splintering into the many," but will join "the promised land, gathered on the wings of an angel. Not an end, but a beginning."


  • Adama knew Cylons were experimenting on human to make organic model Cylons. Hence why he so easily came to the conclusion that Leoben was a Cylon.
  • Cain was in an intimate relationship with Gina. This paints her animosity in the light toward her not just out of hatred of Cylons, but being personally betrayed.
  • The hybrid foresees Kara as "the herald of the apocalypse," a harbinger of death that will lead the human race to its end.


  • As the film takes place earlier than the time between the two seasons it was released, some of the hybrid's predictions have already come to pass:
    • The "denial of the one true path, played out on a world not their own, will end soon enough" is an allusion to the discovery and settlement of New Caprica that is abandoned following the Cylon occupation before the fleet resumes the search for Earth.
    • The "seven, now six, self-described machines" alludes to the boxing of the Number Three model.
    • "Soon there will be four, glorious in awakening, struggling with the knowledge of their true selves, the pain of revelation bringing new clarity, and in the midst of confusion, he will find her." This alludes to the events of "Crossroads", part 2 where upon the arrival at the Ionian nebula four of the Final Five become aware of their Cylon nature and Lee's sudden discovery of Kara.
  • The film depicts the killing of Cain's original XO ("Pegasus") and the killing of the families on the Scylla ("Resurrection Ship").
  • Kara tells Shaw about her mother teaching that "fear gets you killed; and anger keeps you alive." She also told this to Anders in "Maelstrom".


The Show

  • Although "Razor" is often referred to as a movie, it still has the show's standard credit sequence, but unique in that the title appears onscreen.
  • Katee Sackhoff's name has been reintegrated into the starring cast credits since it was removed in "The Son Also Rises" following Kara's supposed death. Michael Trucco has also been added to the opening cast of regulars.
  • Although credited, Matthew Bennett is only in the flashback webisodes, not in the film.
  • This is the first time Cain's first name, Helena, is given onscreen. It is also the first time we hear Gina's name spoken; her last is revealed to be Inviere. Shaw states that it's Old Gemenese for "resurrection". In reality, the word is Romanian, but has the same meaning.
  • The face on the Raiders during the assault on the Scorpion Fleet Shipyard is different than previously seen. However, these are not unique Raiders, but is simply a retconned design as Raiders with this look are seen throughout the remainder of the series.
  • The Cylon War lasted 4,571 days. This is roughly 12 and half years, assuming the show's measurements of time is close in proximity to our own.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References


  • Kendra Shaw is seen with a band-aid on the end of her right index finger during both the flashbacks while serving under Cain and those scenes set in the "present". It seems unlikely that she would still be wearing the band-aid ten months later and even less likely to be a coincidence.
  • Lee refers to the Cylon attacks as having occurred eight months ago, but the flashbacks go ten months back. Lee's estimate of eight months seems to be closer to accuracy.
  • The soldier who Kendra sweats takes off his blindfold completely, but it is seen left around his neck in some shots and proceeds to appear and disappear between shots.
  • When they are in the Raptor preparing for the rescue mission, as Shaw is talking to Kara about being a razor, a string of hair is seen hanging on the right side of her face. It is tucked back in the next shot before it falls down again.
  • While in the basestar, at one point Kara can be seen with a tattoo on her left arm (it is more visible in the extended version). This is clearly the tattoo she gets when she marries Sam Anders, something that won't happen for months from the perspective of the story's present setting. It disappears in later scenes.
  • When Lee holds the receiver in trying to hear Kendra's warning, the cord goes from free to being held with his fingers between shots.

Memorable Moments


  • Kendra Shaw: Lieutenant Kendra Shaw reporting for duty, sir.
Cain: Did you enjoy your coffee, Lieutenant?
Kendra Shaw: My coffee?
Cain: Just say "yes" so we don't get off on the wrong foot.
Kendra Shaw: Yes, sir.
Cain: Good. You see, because I figure that you either got lost on your way to CIC or you stopped for a cup of coffee. And frankly, I'd rather think it was that cup of coffee than realise that my new aide can't find her way around a battlestar.
Kendra Shaw: Sir, I've just arrived --
Cain: I'm not finished speaking. I know why you're here. You're here because you think this job is a stepping stone to a still better one. So let me guess, you had your mother pull some strings and she --
Kendra Shaw: My mother's dead, sir. She died of cancer.
Cain: Yes, I know. I read the papers. And while I'm very sorry for your loss, you'd be well advised to make that the last time you attempt to play on my sympathies. Between you and me, I'm feeling a hell of a lot sorrier for myself.
  • Kendra Shaw: Who am I? I'm a soldier, as were Fisk and Garner were. Neither of those men deserved my respect, so they didn't get it.
Lee: Can you be more specific?
Kendra Shaw: Fisk was a black market sellout, a piece of garbage, unworthy of the uniform. Garner was a martinet who tried to micromanage this ship like it was some bulky piece of machinery.
Lee: Hard to dispute either assessment. And what about me? Don't hold back just because I've got a pulse.
Kendra Shaw: You're a step up, but that doesn't change the fact that you're an outsider who was brought in to clean up our mess. Or the impression that your daddy just gave you a battlestar, like he was tossing you the keys to a new car.
  • Adama: Didn't think it possible that you could find an XO meaner than Saul Tigh.
Lee: Yeah, she's tough. But I think we need it tough.
Adama: Any ruffled feathers?
Lee: Well, she and Kara don't exactly get along.
Adama: Like to sell tickets to that dance.
  • Gina: Trust me, Lieutenant, in the end, we're all just human.
  • Centurion pilot: Enemy target destroyed.
Gold Centurion: All wings regroup and continue pursuit of battlestar Pegasus.
Centurion pilot: By your command.
  • Kendra Shaw: You're what all this is about, aren't you? What are you?
Hybrid: What am I? A man? Or am I a machine? My children believe I am a god.
Kendra Shaw: Are you... a god?
  • Hybrid: Kara Thrace will lead the human race to its end.
Kendra Shaw: What?
Hybrid: She is the herald of the apocalypse, the harbinger of death. They must not follow her.
  • Hybrid: All this has happened before, and will happen again, again, again, again, again, again, again, again, again, again...
  • Adama: Starbuck was here a little earlier. She's recommended Major Shaw for a posthumous commendation.
Lee: She wasn't looking for medals.
Adama: No, she wasn't. But I've been going through Cain's logs and from a tactical perspective, it's hard to find fault in anything that she did or that Kendra Shaw did.
Lee: They butchered innocent civilians, Dad. Come on. How can you ignore that?
Adama: I know that I didn't have to face any of the situations that she did. I had the President in my face arguing for the survival of the civilian fleet. I have Colonel Tigh keeping me honest and balancing my morality and my tactics, and I had you. Now, you don't have any children, so you might not understand this, but you see yourself reflected in their eyes. And there are some things that I thought of doing with this fleet, but I stopped myself because I knew that I'd have to face you the following day.