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Battlestar Galactica (2003)/William Adama

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Admiral William "Husker" Adama
Battlestar Galactica (2003)
Actors Edward James Olmos
Nico Cortez (Razor Flashback)
Luke Pasqualino (Blood & Chrome)
First Appearance Miniseries
Last Appearance The Plan
Series Billing First Billed
Episode Count 72 + miniseries + 2 movies + 1 webisode
Notable Episodes 1x04 - Act of Contrition
1x05 - You Can't Go Home Again
Also Appears On Caprica
Blood & Chrome


Basic Information

Adama is the fleet commander of the last known warship of the Twelve Colonies, the battlestar Galactica.

Character History

William "Husker" Adama is of Tauron heritage and was born to Evelyn and Joseph Adama. At the beginning of the first Cylon war, Adama was serving as a pilot, "Husker" being his callsign, and he quickly distinguished himself. After the war, he married a woman named Caroline and they had two sons, Lee and Zak. Both followed their father into the ranks of the Colonial fighter pilot.

Zak was passed through basic flight by his lover and fiancée, Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, even though "he didn't have the chops to fly a Viper," because she didn't want to disappoint him. Shortly thereafter Zak was killed in an accident during a mission. Lee, unaware of Starbuck's role in this, and knowing that Zak was a substandard pilot, believed for years that his father had pushed Zak through flight school, arranging his passing grade in basic flight. For this reason, Adama and Lee spent the ensuing several years estranged.

Colonel Tigh, Galactica's XO, is one of Adama's oldest friends. Adama pulled him out of the gutter and got him a Fleet commission, and the two presumably served with each other up through when Adama got his first command and brought Tigh along to serve as his number-two.

Before the destruction of the Colonies, Commander Adama and Tigh were in command of the brand-new battlestar Valkyrie, (said to be even more powerful than Pegasus). He loses command after a failed mission that violated the Cylon side of the armistice line. This mission, which was ordered my Colonial Fleet Command (based on Picon) caused Adama to be sent to the Galactica, as its final commander. Though this was all changed by the Cylon attack on the Colonies.

After the destruction of the Colonies, Commander Adama led the Colonial remnant on a desperate run from the Cylons, dealing with infiltrators, terrorist attacks, and politics the entire way with grace and dignity for the most part, until President Laura Roslin ordered a valuable military asset stolen and one of Adama's most loyal pilots, Starbuck, to betray Adama and go to Caprica to retrieve a religious artifact. Adama ordered Tigh, Apollo, and a squad of Marines to go onto Colonial One and take the President into custody, effectively removing her from power. Apollo mutinied against his father's removal of Roslin while on board Colonial One, and was returned in cuffs shortly before Boomer returned from her mission to take out a base ship over Kobol and attempted to assassinate Adama.

Tigh took command of the fleet while Adama was in sickbay, and ended up declaring martial law and sending marines to take supplies from the fleet by force when the fleet denied Galactica resupply, ending in the shooting of four unruly civilians. Adama awoke from his coma, and, faced with a rioting fleet and a potential civil war caused by Roslin and Apollo's escape from Galactica's brig, told Tigh that they would clean up the mess together.

After the fiasco with Admiral Cain and the battlestar Pegasus ended with Cain's death, President Roslin promoted Commander Adama to Admiral.

Memorable Moments

  • Miniseries: Adama beats Leoben Conoy to death with a flashlight.
  • The Hand of God: Adama gives Apollo his lighter, telling him to bring it back
  • Kobol's Last Gleaming (2): Adama is shot by a Cylon infiltrator
  • Pegasus: Adama clashes with Admiral Cain over the court-martial of two of his men.
  • Resurrection Ship (2): President Roslin promotes Adama to Admiral.
  • Exodus (2): Adama rescues the Colonial survivors from Cylon-occupied New Caprica.
  • Hero: In a flashback, it is revealed that a covert mission Adama was tasked to complete while in command of the battlestar Valkyrie may have been partially responsible for the eventual Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies.


  • Olmos wore blue contact lenses so as to look more like his onscreen son Jamie Bamber.
  • Was named, in Tauron tradition, after his deceased half-brother who himself was named after their grandfather.


  • The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but... sometimes it's too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question "Why?" Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed and spite and jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything we've done, like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. When that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God and then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.
  • There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.