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- This article discusses the Re-imagined Series character with the pilot callsign of "Starbuck." For information on Kara Thrace's counterpart in the Original Series, see Starbuck (TOS).
|Birth Name||Kara Thrace|
|Death||Viper destroyed near gas giant, crashing on Cylon Earth (Maelstrom/Sometimes a Great Notion);|
Mysteriously reappears (Crossroads, Part II);
Vanishes in Tanzania on pre-historical 2nd Earth (Daybreak, Part II)
|Parents||Socrata Thrace† (mother)|
Dreilide Thrace† (father)
|Marital Status||Married to Samuel Anders† (formerly engaged to Zak Adama†)|
captain of Demetrius
|Serial Number||462753 |
|Portrayed by||Katee Sackhoff|
Erika-Shaye Gair (child)
|Kara Thrace is a Cylon|
|Kara Thrace is a Final Five Cylon|
|Kara Thrace is a Human/Cylon Hybrid|
|Kara Thrace is an Original Series Cylon|
|Kara Thrace in the separate continuity|
Kara "Starbuck" Thrace is a gifted Viper pilot, with an attitude that has hindered her career in the Colonial Fleet. However, William Adama has confidence in Thrace's military skills, and she greatly aids the Fleet inside and out of the cockpit. She is the last Commander, Air Group (CAG) of Galactica, and mysteriously vanishes in a region that will later be known as Tanzania on the second Earth shortly after the Fleet's arrival on the planet (Daybreak, Part II).
- Thrace's mother Socrata was a former Colonial Marine Corps sergeant major. She beat her daughter so frequently that Thrace came to accept pain as a way of life ("Flesh and Bone", "Maelstrom").
- Her father Dreilide was a pianist and composer. Kara seems to have been closer to him than with her mother (Valley of Darkness, Someone to Watch Over Me) until he left them.
- Thrace left home to join the military. During her training, she was disciplined for insubordinate conduct towards superior officers.
- She was a talented Pyramid player (Resistance), and was up for the pros, but an injured knee took her out of contention. However, she discovered a passion and skill for being a fighter pilot (Podcast:The Hand of God).
- One of her early posts was aboard the battlestar Triton. While there, she offended Commander Myron Ruth, who initiated court-martial proceedings against her, but the charges were later dropped (The Son Also Rises).
- Thrace eventually returned to flight school as an instructor, where she fell in love with one of her students, Zak Adama. Despite his poor performance, she allowed him to pass his final check flight although he failed three of the required maneuvers (Act of Contrition).
- Thrace lost Zak Adama when he was killed during a routine mission shortly after graduating. Lee Adama ("Apollo"), Zak's elder brother, blamed their father for Zak's death, and Thrace, feeling guilty, kept quiet. She met William Adama shortly after the accident, and the two formed a strong rapport and stood together at the funeral (Act of Contrition).
- Thrace resigned as an instructor and returned to the Fleet as an operational pilot on the battlestar Galactica under the command of William Adama, where she served for some two years prior to the Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies. Before the Cylon attack, she was second-in-command to the CAG, Jackson Spencer.
- She has a rarely-used run-down apartment in Delphi that overlooked a parking lot, and a Colonial version of a Humvee which she and Helo use to escape the city and get to the country where she meets Samuel Anders. She was also an avid painter, and her apartment is cluttered with her paintings and a poem written on a wall (Valley of Darkness). The apartment was neater when Thrace was with Zak Adama, although her mandala wall painting pre-dates that relationship. (Daybreak, Part I)
- Thrace hides the fact that she is deeply spiritual. She frequently prays to the Lords of Kobol, particularly Aphrodite and Artemis in dire situations (Miniseries, "Flesh and Bone", "You Can't Go Home Again").
Galactica and Pre-New Caprica
- Thrace's attitude quickly runs her afoul of Colonel Saul Tigh, Galactica's executive officer. Their open mutual dislike of one another leads to the point where blows are exchanged, with Thrace ending up in the brig. After the Cylon attack she is released from the brig and returns to duty as Viper pilot.
- Thrace manages to keep two of three nuclear missiles from striking Galactica in their first Cylon sortie, and saves Lee from doom in an innovative maneuver in the Battle of Ragnar Anchorage.
- Her skills in saving Lee brings her grudging respect from Colonel Tigh, but she is unable to accept his offer of the olive branch—an act that will have repercussions for her later (Miniseries).
- Thrace participates in a hostage rescue mission aboard the Astral Queen. Following the successful mission, Thrace tries to mend fences between herself and Colonel Tigh with a toast (consisting of water), apologizing in much the same way as Tigh himself had tried after their initial escape from Ragnar Anchorage. But Tigh rejects Thrace's apology, stating that her flaws are professional, while his flaws were personal (Bastille Day).
- Thrace eventually admits her secret about Zak Adama to William Adama himself, an act that brings their close friendship almost to the breaking point (Act of Contrition).
- During a surprise encounter with Cylons during nugget training, Thrace destroys several Cylon Raiders, but her ship is damaged and tumbles towards a small red moon with an unbreathable atmosphere. With her Viper in a fatal flat-spin, Thrace is forced to eject from her Viper (You Can't Go Home Again).
- Thrace (nursing a damaged knee) repairs the downed Cylon Raider found on the inhabitable moon and returns to Galactica, giving the Fleet a vital piece of Cylon fighter technology for study and use.
- The recovering Thrace, off flight status, is asked by Commander Adama to plan a special attack on a Cylon tylium refinery. The tactical planning role is not something she relishes, and she frequently shows resentment towards others for her condition (The Hand of God).
- During Thrace's undesired interrogation of a Cylon prisoner, a copy of a known Cylon named Leoben Conoy, she uses some drastic acts to try to extract the information from the humanoid Cylon (Flesh and Bone).
- Thrace is assigned to plant a nuclear device on board a basestar in orbit around Kobol. She disobeys orders to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo at the request of President Roslin, since she discovered Commander Adama's speech concerning knowledge of the location of Earth was a lie. She jumps to Caprica (Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I), landing in Delphi in the captured Cylon Raider, depriving the Fleet of the valuable military asset.
- In the Delphi Museum of the Colonies with the Arrow, she is violently attacked by a copy of Number Six. Despite being heavily outmatched in the fight, Thrace luckily defeats the Cylon.
- At the museum, she reunites with Karl Agathon, whom she thought dead, and discovers a second copy of Sharon Valerii, realizing instantly that the woman is a Cylon.
- "Caprica Valerii", fearing for her child, steals Thrace's Raider. In exasperation, Thrace only mutters: "Bitch took my ride" (Scattered). Like Agathon, Thrace is left with no way to return to the Fleet unless she could find her Raider or another Cylon spacecraft, as only Cylon navigational computers are powerful enough to plot jumps over such large distances..
- Thrace berates Agathon's love for the Caprica copy of Valerii. Thrace finds the keys of her surplus military utility vehicle in her old jacket in her old apartment. Thrace has a ride again, if only to move more efficiently about Caprica (Valley of Darkness).
- Thrace and Agathon meet a resistance movement on Caprica. Thrace and Samuel Anders strike up a rapport as fellow Pyramid players and end up having sex.
- During planning to steal a Heavy Raider, Thrace is shot in a military action, waking up in a hospital on Caprica. Thrace is told by her doctor, Simon, that Anders died from wounds he suffered in getting Thrace to safety.
- Thrace discovers that Simon is working with a known humanoid Cylon. She overhears that the next day he plans to extract her ovaries for use in the Cylon's attempts to study and create a hybrid Cylon/human embryo. Simon also makes the mistake of calling Thrace by her callsign, Starbuck, which she had never revealed.
- Staggering and in pain, Thrace kills Simon and escapes the hospital, but not before clocking a Six copy with a fire extinguisher and destroying the local farm power supply, mercy-killing Sue-Shaun and several other women in the facility.
- Another Simon copy appears just as the Resistance attacks the facility. The second Simon, now revealed as a humanoid Cylon himself, is immediately killed by the Resistance, but a squad of Cylon Centurions appear and pins the Resistance down. Luckily, Caprica-Valerii swoops in with a stolen Heavy Raider, destroys the Centurions and flies the Resistance and Thrace out of harm's way.
- Thrace promises Anders that she'll return with a rescue mission for the remaining survivors. Anders returns the Arrow of Apollo to Thrace, which he hid on the resistance grounds for safekeeping (The Farm).
- Thrace, Agathon and the pregnant "Caprica Valerii" land on the Astral Queen in the Heavy Raider. Finding the Laura Roslin faction in orbit of Kobol, Thrace is reunited with Lee. He kisses her impulsively, catching Thrace by pleasant surprise, but a tense standoff follows when Lee discovers that another Sharon copy has returned with them. Roslin helps defuse the situation, and Thrace delivers the Arrow of Apollo to the President.
- Temporarily removed from military protocol, Lee playfully teases Thrace by stealing a pyramid ball she took from Caprica. Adama senses her depression about Caprica and tells her that he'd be happy to hear about any problems she had. He also let slip that he loved her, which brightened Thrace's mood to the point where she teased him back about his slip.
- With a team led by Laura Roslin, Lee, and, later, joined by the recovered Commander Adama, Thrace enters the Tomb of Athena and successfully uses the Arrow of Apollo to activate a hologram that shows constellations of the Twelve Colonies' ancient symbols.
- Thrace realizes that they are on a recreation of Earth. Together with Lee, they locate the Lagoon Nebula, a celestial body known to Commander Adama and Lee, and gather sufficient information to begin an actual course to Earth (Home, Part II).
- Thrace shows off the impressive stealth abilities of the new Blackbird fighter in her maiden flight (Flight of the Phoenix).
- With the arrival of Pegasus, Admiral Helena Cain summarily assigns Thrace (and Lee) to Pegasus after digesting the reports of Galactica's officers.
- The Pegasus CAG removes Thrace from the Cylon recon mission. Lee secretly tells her to use the Blackbird to take recon photos of the Cylon Unknown (Pegasus).
- Returning from her very successful mission, the Blackbird's lack of a Colonial transponder is mistaken for a Cylon Raider on DRADIS, and Thrace is nearly confronted and shot at by Vipers from Pegasus and Galactica. After narrowly avoiding certain death by declaring herself a friendly, Thrace transmits her recon photos to Pegasus.
- Admiral Cain is very impressed with Thrace's performance and promotes her to Captain and Pegasus CAG.
- Thrace is assigned the task of planning the joint attack on the Resurrection Ship, but successfully asks to have Lee on her team, restoring him to flight status.
- After she briefs Cain and Commander Adama on her battle plan, Adama asks Thrace privately to assassinate Cain after the battle is complete. Adama fears that if Cain continues to command, the Fleet would be in mortal jeopardy from Cain's draconian command (Resurrection Ship, Part I).
- Thrace's battle planning, as before on the tylium mine, works to near-perfection, with the Resurrection Ship destroyed and its supporting basestars.
- As a result of the battle events, Thrace is left without backup as she walks to the Pegasus CIC to shoot Cain, obviously afraid and apprehensive. When Commander Adama calls, Thrace slowly moves her hand to her sidearm but, to her relief, Adama does not give the kill order and cryptically instructs her to stand down (Resurrection Ship, Part II).
- Thrace and Louanne "Kat" Katraine are involved in the protection of a mining operation from periodic Raider attacks. One Raider, nicknamed Scar, fuels an intensive rivalry for the pilot's "top gun" honor. Thrace, still depressed over her inability to convince Fleet command to initiate a rescue for Samuel Anders and his resistance, drinks heavily and obsesses over removing Scar from the sky, even at the cost of her life. Fortunately, Thrace realizes the futility of her actions, and works together with Katraine to destroy the remarkably dangerous Raider (Scar).
- A few weeks later, Thrace takes leave on Cloud Nine when she was dragooned into rescuing Lee and several other Galactica crew and residents after terrorists take them hostage in exchange for the incarcerated Sharon Agathon neé Valerii. Thrace gathers intelligence on the situation, but her cover is blown. In the retreating firefight, Lee is caught in the crossfire. After the situation is resolved, Thrace intended to sit at Lee's bedside, only to discover that Dualla beat her to it (Sacrifice).
- Later, Thrace is assigned to Pegasus as a flight trainer. Though the pilots like her, Commander Barry Garner does not, eventually confining her to quarters for "insubordination." Following the ill-fated rescue and retreat from a Cylon ambush (where Thrace leads the fighters) and after a search, rescue and destroy mission to a Cylon-war era basestar, Thrace informs Lee—now commander of Pegasus—that she was taking over his old CAG post aboard Galactica, joking that she has a problem with her commander wanting to send her off to get killed ("The Captain's Hand", "Razor").
- Thrace gets her wish: the Caprica rescue is approved, and she leads a large Raptor squadron to the planet. The group soon met up with Anders, who reports that their HQ had been destroyed and Thrace's timing was just perfect. A squad of Centurions ambush and pin down the group moments later (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I).
- Still pinned down from attack fire, Thrace and Anders agree to kill each other to avoid capture and internment at a farm. But the attack stops, and a man appears, praising the Gods as he announces that the Cylons not only have ceased fire, but are abandoning the Twelve Colonies. Thrace isn't really surprised to discover that the man, known as Brother Cavil, was a Cylon upon their return to the Fleet.
- Thrace and Anders proceed to get drunk, and host a disastrous encounter with Lee. This apparently led to a rift between the two comrades.
- The evening of the founding of New Caprica, Kara slept with Lee and proclaimed her love for him as she was uncertain regarding her feelings toward Anders. The following morning she quickly married Anders in a ceremony near the river, despite declaring to Lee just the previous evening that she had no intention of getting married. This caused a rift between Kara and Lee that lasted for well over a year (Unfinished Business).
- Life on New Caprica tempered Thrace, and she often behaved in ways Thrace never would have, including hugging Colonel Tigh and pampering Anders during his bout with an illness.
- She watches in horror at the sudden arrival of hundreds of Cylon ships in the sky over New Caprica. A few of Galactica's former crew gather near Thrace, looking to her for guidance. She responds the only way she knows how: "Fight 'em until we can't" (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II).
The New Caprica Ordeal and Her Death
- After Baltar's surrender of New Caprica, Conoy keeps Thrace prisoner in an apartment located within the Cylon-built New Caprica Detention Center in an attempt to convince Thrace that she loves him and also convert her to the Cylon monotheistic religion. She repeatedly kills Conoy a total of five times in an attempt to convince him to let her go ("Occupation", "Precipice").
- Conoy introduces Thrace to a small child named Kacey, who appears to be approximately two to three years in age, whom he claims is their biological daughter, created using one of Thrace's extracted ovaries (The Farm) and his genetic material. Conflicted, Thrace leaves the child unattended, which later results in Kacey falling down the apartment's stairs (Precipice). After the fall, Thrace begins to change her attitude towards the child and begins to offer affection towards Conoy ("Precipice", "Exodus, Part I").
- Upon her return to Galactica after Admiral Adama's daring rescue attempt, Thrace heartbreakingly discovers that Kacey was simply another manipulation on Conoy's part; Kacey is merely a human child whom the Cylons had abducted from her mother (Exodus, Part II).
- Bearing the psychological scars of her four month ordeal with Leoben and Kacey, Thrace is recruited by Diana Seelix as a last minute replacement juror in the Circle after Anders' resignation. Thrace's involvement in the Circle precipitates the breakup of her marriage with Anders. Initially wondering about the legality of the tribunal, she is the fifth vote to find Felix Gaeta guilty of treason and collaboration. Later, when Gaeta is about to be killed in one of Galactica's launch tubes, she demands that he beg for his life. Thrace physically assaults him and goes down the litany of "lies" that Gaeta told her earlier about him helping the insurgency. As she does so, Galen Tyrol, one of the Circle's jurors, overhears this and confirms the story. In a sense of confusion after learning that Gaeta was telling the truth, Thrace leaves the launch tube (Collaborators).
- During a combat exercise between Vipers, Thrace breaks formation and collides with another pilot, forcing an end to the war games and causing Lee to revoke her flight status. Later, at her bunk she is met by Kacey and her mother, whom she dismisses, telling Kacey's mother not to visit her again. In the pilots' rec room, Thrace and Colonel Tigh begin to sow dissent between the survivors of New Caprica and the crew that stayed behind on Galactica, insinuating that those who stayed behind did not suffer like those on New Caprica did, and that the crew of Galactica took too long to organize a rescue. Admiral Adama, upon learning of this from Karl Agathon, confronts Thrace and Tigh on their behavior. He challenges them to shoot him, as their constant complaining is tantamount to pulling the trigger. When neither do, Adama throws Thrace off her chair and demands that both she and Tigh shape up and move on with their lives. Spurred by Adama's words, Thrace cuts her hair and returns to duty. Later, in uniform, she visits Kacey and her mother on the converted hangar deck (Torn).
- Thrace enters an affair with Lee, rekindling their romance on New Caprica (Unfinished Business). Both Anders and Lee's wife, Lieutenant Anastasia Dualla, are more than vaguely aware of the pair's sexual tension. Lee ends the affair and reconciles with his wife despite still being in love with Thrace, but Thrace refuses to give Anders any further attention than a periodic sexual fling.
- Thrace is involved with the defense of the incorrectly called "Temple of Five" but is severely injured, leaving her rescuer, Dualla, to return them to Galactica (Rapture). Agathon recognizes the strange circular mandala in the Temple, created 4,000 years before, and its resemblance to a symbol that Thrace painted in her apartment. When shown the symbol, the recovering Thrace is darkly reminded of Leoben's prophesy.
- During refueling operations above a gas giant, Thrace is continually attracted to what she believes is a Cylon contact, which she chases to find a planetary storm that resembles the mandala. She dives into it, almost losing control before coming to her senses and returning.
- Command staff and Thrace question her competency to continue flying, but Lee volunteers encouragement and offers to fly as her wingman on her next CAP.
- Thrace finds herself attracted by another apparent Cylon contact. As she descended, her Viper is struck by debris and she, while unconscious, experiences a revelation about her mother, Socrata Thrace, and guided through the vision by what looks to be a Leoben copy.
- Starbuck regains consciousness but chooses to continue her descent despite Lee's desperate pleas to ascend. "I'll see you on the other side (...) Just let me go" were her last words as her Viper explodes. A grief-stricken Lee tells CIC that he did not see any ejection (Maelstrom).
- While preparing for a Cylon engagement near the Ionian nebula, Lee (who has since left the Colonial Military) detects a bogey on DRADIS. While he searches for the target, Lee finds himself momentarily in a cat-and-mouse chase game with the mysterious target. As Lee attempts to regain sight of the bogey, it positions itself next to his Viper.
Return from the Dead and Suspicion
- The pristine Viper Mark II that comes alongside is flown by Thrace herself. A shocked and confused Lee Adama (now a civilian) listens to the apparently-resurrected Kara Thrace, who tells him that she has been to Earth and she has returned to take the Fleet to it (Crossroads, Part II).
- After the battle at the nebula, she returns to Galactica where everyone is astounded to see her alive. While everyone believed her dead for over two months, only several hours have passed for her. She has returned with recon photography of Earth, but no navigational data or knowledge of how she got there. Further complicating her claim is the fact that her Viper is nearly pristine, as if it had just been built. Despite her passing a medical examination by Doctor Sherman Cottle, almost everyone, including Thrace herself, wonders if she could be a Cylon.
- When the Fleet jumps further away from the Ionian Nebula, she experiences headaches and says that she is losing the intuitive feeling of the way to Earth. Desperate to lead the Colonials there, she breaks into Adama's quarters and confronts Roslin at gun point (He That Believeth In Me).
- Thrace is eventually subdued by Colonial Marines and imprisoned in the brig. Lee visits Thrace in the brig and tells her that he believes her. Thrace is happy that he does and they share a kiss before Lee leaves for Colonial One. Although not sure what to make of her claims, Admiral Adama releases her later, and gives her command of Demetrius, and a crew including Karl Agathon and Samuel Anders, telling her to try to find Earth (Six of One).
- Thrace irritates her crew by frequent, unexplained course changes and rarely leaving her quarters, where she holes herself up to study star charts. When her husband confronts her about her command style and their marriage, she tells him that she is not the same person he married and tries to throw him out of her cabin. However, when Anders holds her, she tells him that she wants to have sex in order to feel something. Afterwards, she says that she feels distanced from her body and the events around her (The Ties That Bind).
- When a Leoben Conoy copy comes aboard Demetrius with the offer of an alliance with the Cylons, a power struggle among the crew breaks out when Thrace orders to jump to his baseship (The Road Less Traveled). The fight ends with Gaeta getting shot in the leg by Anders. After standing down, Thrace decides to accompany Conoy with a small team. On his baseship she meets the Cylon Hybrid, who repeats the first Hybrid's prophecy (Razor) and gives her the next task: join the Cylons to unbox Number Three to learn what she knows of the Final Five (Faith).
- After the unboxing, Thrace reacts with shock and disbelief when she learns that her husband is a Cylon. She investigates the Viper she returned in and notices that it receives a strange signal, giving her a direct bearing to Earth. Her discovery stops the imminent execution of Colonel Tigh and leads to a truce with the Cylon rebels. After arriving at Earth, Thrace is part of the first group on the surface, but finds only a destroyed city (Revelations).
The Thirteenth Colony and the Search for a New Home
- Thrace and Leoben Conoy explore the devastated Earth trying to find the source of the signal. They find pieces of wreckage belonging to a Colonial Viper—the same Viper that Thrace flew into the gas giant. Finally, they come upon the cockpit of the crashed Viper, with its pilot still inside. Thrace is horrified to discover that the carcass inside the cockpit is hers. Thrace reveals to Conoy that the Hybrid aboard the rebel baseship called her the "Harbinger of Death." Conoy has no explanation for any of this and flees the scene, leaving Thrace alone to wonder who or what she really is. Thrace later retrieves the dog tags and wedding ring from the body. She then cremates the body and returns to Galactica. She does not tell anyone what she has discovered (Sometimes a Great Notion).
- After Galactica leaves Earth, Thrace is still trying to come to terms with her discoveries there. Felix Gaeta, who is unhappy about the Fleet's alliance with the Cylons and for the events leading up to that point (including a certain revelation about his role on New Caprica), decides to pick a fight with her. Gaeta accuses Thrace of collaborating with the Cylons: Thrace responds by telling him she isn't afraid to beat up a cripple and storms out (A Disquiet Follows My Soul).
- A withdrawn Thrace later has an altercation with Brendan "Hot Dog" Costanza. She teases him about his unexpected fathering of Nicholas Tyrol. Costanza is unamused, angrily retorting that Thrace slept with half the Fleet herself and has nothing to show for her efforts. This hits a nerve and Thrace throws a bowl of food at a retreating Costanza.
- An alarm goes off and Thrace is ordered by Noel "Narcho" Allison to evacuate the area. Thrace is suspicious and when she presses Allison for more information, he snaps that no one even knows what she is any more.
- Thrace turns to see a group of marines and civilians led by Charlie Connor run past her, and she follows them. She sees the group break into a weapons locker and arm themselves. She hears Connor giving his men orders to take the hangar deck.
- Thrace rushes back to her barracks and grabs her weapons. She then tries to warn the CIC, but Gaeta blocks her calls. Realizing that Gaeta is also involved, Thrace takes off for the hangar deck.
- She arrives at the hangar deck just in time to rescue Lee Adama from Connor and his men, who are being assisted by Margaret "Racetrack" Edmondson and Hamish "Skulls" McCall. Thrace kills one of the marines and wounds Skulls, forcing the others to back off. She and Lee then hurry away.
- Thrace and Lee take refuge inside a storage compartment. Lee doesn't think they can defeat the mutiny alone. Thrace responds by kissing him. She then says that this is the first time in weeks that she feels right.
- Thrace and Lee head for the CIC. They find that the mutiny has spread all across the ship. They arrive at Admiral Adama's quarters, where they meet Laura Roslin. After learning of the mutiny, Roslin decides that she must come out and address the Fleet. However, the ship's communications are down, and the only working wireless transmitter on the ship is in Gaius Baltar's possession.
- Thrace, Adama, and Roslin make it to Baltar's compartment, where they find Galen Tyrol organizing a defense. Tyrol tells them that Admiral Adama has been arrested and is being escorted to the brig. Tyrol also tells them about a secondary storage airlock they can use to escape the ship. Thrace and Adama head off to rescue the admiral.
- At the brig, they find that William Adama and Saul Tigh have already escaped custody. They have also taken the rebel marine, Allan Nowart, prisoner. Thrace tries to kill Nowart, but Adama thwarts her. As Nowart flees, Thrace argues that the mutineers are no longer his men, and as such are the enemy and that they can't afford to take prisoners.
- Thrace, Tigh and the Adamas arrive at the secondary storage airlock, where they find Tyrol, Roslin and Baltar waiting. A Raptor piloted by an Eight docks. After Roslin and Baltar board the Raptor, Thrace, Lee and Tyrol head off to continue the fight against Gaeta and Thomas Zarek's forces (The Oath).
- Lee and Thrace head off to free the captives held in the brig, while Tyrol goes to sabotage the ship's FTL drive. They take out the mutineers guarding the brig and free Tigh, Sharon Agathon, Karl Agathon, Hera Agathon, Caprica Six and Samuel Anders.
- During the escape, a firefight ensues and Anders is shot in the back of the head by a mutineer. He is not killed but is in dire need of medical attention. Thrace yells at the others to go without her and she starts dragging Anders towards the infirmary.
- Thrace eventually exhausts herself trying to carry Anders and she collapses. Marine Parr escorting Romo Lampkin appears; Thrace attempts to shoot Parr, but her gun is empty— however, Lampkin suddenly stabs the marine twice in the neck with a pen, killing him.
- Thrace asks Lampkin to help her carry Anders to the infirmary. Lampkin is reluctant but eventually agrees to help (Blood on the Scales).
- In the immediate aftermath of the mutiny, Thrace learns from Doctor Sherman Cottle that the bullet is still stuck in Anders' skull. Anders' suppressed memories of his Cylon life back on Earth are also triggered. To Thrace's disappointment, Anders does not have an explanation as to who she really is or how she apparently came back from the dead.
- Cottle manages to remove the bullet, which he gives to Thrace. However, when Thrace goes to speak with Anders, she discovers that he has zero brain activity—which the medical personnel are unable to explain (No Exit).
- Thrace is later part of a joint Cylon-Colonial CAP which escorts a Raptor carrying Ellen Tigh and Sharon "Boomer" Valerii onto Galactica.
- Thrace is later seen in Joe's Bar drinking and toying with the bullet removed from Anders' skull. She and Tyrol have a brief discussion about Valerii, who is being held in the brig (Deadlock).
- Thrace gets a drawing of what seems to be stars from Hera and later visits Joe's Bar where she helps piano player Slick with the music he's composing. There she reveals that she used to play piano as a girl with her father until he left and then stopped and she had a song she used to play that made her happy. She realizes that Hera's drawing is of the notes for that song and she and Slick start playing it together. The music turns out to be the same music that activated the memories of the so-called Final Five. Slick, who was a manifestation of her father, disappears and Thrace later goes to Anders in the hope of finding out the reason she knew of the Music and its meaning, but is unsuccessful.
- When Admiral Adama comes to see Anders—now acting as Galactica's Hybrid—to find out the location of The Colony, Thrace reveals to him that she has tried to make sense out of the notes by assigning numbers to them, but has had no luck in understanding it. She also tells him that she is dead, that she burned her own dead body on Earth and has no idea what she is. Adama tells her he knows what she is: she's his daughter. Later she and Adama spread red tape down the hanger deck to create a line for people to cross one way or the other to show whether or not they volunteer for the rescue mission for Hera. Thrace flanks the Admiral on the volunteers side of the line and doesn't move the whole time, having made her choice.
- During the battle, she leads a strike force that includes both Agathons into The Colony through Raptors. They encounter Sharon Valerii who gives them back Hera before being killed by Sharon Agathon. Thrace's team meets up with Lee's and they retreat to Galactica, which has rammed itself into the Colony as part of the final assault.
- Thrace helps defend the ship and after an agreement is reached with Cavil, takes damage reports on their forces alongside Lee. After things go badly and the Colony starts to fall into the black hole with Galactica, Thrace—the nearest person to the FTL console—is ordered to jump them away. Thrace doesn't know the rendezvous coordinates and, after Adama makes it clear that it doesn't matter, is inspired to input the numbers she assigned to The Music's notes as the coordinates and jumps Galactica there. According to Thrace, Thrace jumps them to "the watchtower," which turns out to be the singular moon in orbit around another planet that the Colonials later dub Earth.
- Thrace says goodbye to Anders before he flies the Fleet into the sun, destroying Galactica and the other ships, and later says her final goodbye to William Adama. Then she says her final goodbye to Lee Adama, having fulfilled her destiny to bring the Fleet to the second Earth. He fails to comprehend her at first, but realizes what she means as they continue talking. Thrace finally asks Lee what he is going to do now that he is here, and disappears when he turns away momentarily to look at the scenery, surprising him. In a reference to their first ever meeting, after Lee realizes that she is really gone, he says goodbye to her and promises that she will not be forgotten.
Lords of Kobol, Hear My Prayer
Despite her tough, rebellious exterior, Thrace is deeply spiritual and possesses a great deal of faith in the Lords of Kobol. She usually prays in moments of mourning or desperation, such as when she thinks Lee is dead (Miniseries), when she is trapped on a desolate moon with a broken knee and low oxygen (You Can't Go Home Again), and when she discovers she's in Cylon captivity (The Farm). This spirituality is put to the test as a series of events lead her towards a mysterious destiny.
- Main article: The Destiny
From early in her life, Kara Thrace has been guided through her mother's actions for a special role in life, a plot point that begins with a Leoben Conoy copy in the Season 1 episode, "Flesh and Bone". In "Maelstrom", the character dies, but reappears as a guide for the Fleet at the end of Season 3.
A Cylon Hybrid, speaking to Major Kendra Shaw moments before their deaths, warns her that Thrace is the herald of the apocalypse and the harbinger of death, that she would lead the human race to its end, and that she is not to be followed (Razor). Similarly, another Hybrid describes her as the harbinger of death, and she would lead them to salvation and destruction (Faith).
This becomes the case, as she leads Galactica (and the Fleet) to a second, new planet the Colonials dub "Earth." There, both Colonials and both races of Cylon (the Kobollian-based "Final Five" and the remaining models from the "Significant Seven") are saved. However, as they blend in with the native humans on the new Earth, the distinctive natures of Colonial human and Cylon creations blur and merge. In a sense, the blurring results in the "death" of both races as a new human race begins. Hera Agathon's body, a perfect human/Cylon merging, is later represented as the Mitochondrial Eve for the humans on the New Earth (Daybreak, Part II).
- On the Sci-Fi Channel's preview for season 2.5 (US), Katee Sackhoff is quoted as saying that Starbuck is "the best Viper pilot...EVER."
- Thrace was a region in south-eastern Europe that was heavily influenced by the ancient Greeks and was eventually conquered by Phillip II of Macedonia. Thracians were considered by most to be the most ferocious fighters and were often highly paid mercenaries for Greek kings.
- Thrace may have been named after Thrax, the son of Ares, the god of war, who was said to reside on the Thracian plain in Greek mythology.
- After auditioning for the role of Dualla, Grace Park was asked by director Michael Rymer to audition for the role of Starbuck, and she was actually one of two finalists up for the role. Ultimately Park was cast as Sharon "Boomer" Valerii.
- In a TV Guide photo shoot at the BSG studios, Katee Sackhoff explained that the tattoo that Starbuck bears on her left arm is a wing and a circle and has half of the constellation of Capricorn (a reference to Caprica obviously) and a small symbol of the planet as well. The tattoo on Anders' arm is the other half of the symbol and when they embrace, the tattoos form the whole symbol. According to Sackhoff, Kara and Anders had the tattoos done around the time of their wedding, a fact later confirmed in dialogue during Season 4.5.
- The license plate on Thrace's truck on Caprica is "FB 42 E3" (Valley of Darkness).
- Confirmed number from QMX dogtags given to them by the studio.