Twelve Colonies

Twelve Colonies
Twelve Colonies
United Colonies of Kobol
Battlestar Galactica country
Colonial Anthem
Source Battlestar Galactica, Caprica
Creator Glen A. Larson (1978 series)
Ronald D. Moore (2003 series)
Genre Science fiction
Capital Caprica City, Caprica (upon commencement of the 1st Cylon War)1
Language(s) Caprican,[1] others
Ethnic groups 12 colonial groups of common ethnic origins
Government Federal Presidential Constitutional republic
 - President (7-0 BCH) Richard Adar
 - President (0-4 ACH) Laura Roslin2
Legislature Bicameral
 - Upper House Quorum of Twelve
 - Lower House People's Council
Important dates Before/After Cylon Holocaust 
 - Articles of Colonization 52 BCH 
 - First Cylon War 52 BCH 
 - Cimtar Peace Accord 40 BCH 
 - Destruction of the Twelve Colonies 0 BCH 
 - Dissolved 4 ACH 
Population ~28,592,125,000 (BCH)[2]
<60,000 (1 ACH)
Currency Cubits
1 Before the Articles of Colonization: Boskirk, Virgon.
Following the destruction of the colonies: none officially.
On New Caprica: New Caprica City.
2 With interruptions.

The Twelve Colonies of Man or Twelve Colonies of Kobol are fictional locations that constitute the principal human civilization in the original Battlestar Galactica television series, the "reimagined" series of the same name in 2004, and in the prequel series, Caprica. The names of the tribes and the planets they lived on were borrowed from the Zodiac.

The Twelve Colonies were established by tribes who left their homeworld Kobol, the alleged birthplace of humanity. There were at one time thirteen tribes, but one went to a planet called Earth. In the 1978 series, the thirteenth tribe were humans but in the reimagined series the thirteenth tribe were biological Cylons. The humans of the Twelve Colonies (around 28.5 billion according to the official map released[3]) were virtually exterminated by the Cylons on the onset of both series, called the Second Cylon War. Fewer than 60,000 survivors managed to escape in a small collection of civilian spacecraft that survived the Cylon invasion, guarded by the Battlestar Galactica. The concept of twelve tribes alludes to the Twelve Tribes of Israel.


Society and homeworlds


The people who live on these twelve planets share their origins with a common location, that being Kobol. However, each planet has developed cultural differences to each colony.[4] The flag of the Twelve Colonies is a vertical banner of alternating red, white, blue, white and red, where the red and white stripes are of equal width while the central blue stripe is wider than any of the other stripes.[2][4] The central blue stripe is divided into light blue (top) and dark blue (bottom), with the light blue section forming a triangular finish pointing downwards.[2][4] The emblem of the colonies is placed on the light blue portion of the flag.[2][4] The flag of the Twelve Colonies is the source on which all other Colonial flags are based.[2][4]

Capricans live a very cosmopolitan life with a prosperous economy and have access to the latest technological conveniences. They appear to be accepting of just about any lifestyle, and with few reservations, seem to live and let live.[4] According to Doctor Gaius Baltar, Caprica was the "seat of politics, culture, art, science and learning". He considered being Caprican to be prestigious in itself.[5] The official language of Caprica is Caprican,[2] which is similar to modern English and is spoken throughout the Colonies.[6] The national anthem of Caprica is Caprica Abides.[7]

Taurons are a people who have been hardened by battle, having lived with war and death for a very long time. Periods of civil unrest on their home world, has instilled a degree of 'Trojan' battle hardness & practical no nonsense attitude to life in general. Taurons are loyal, but are seen to never forgive a betrayal or any form of treachery. The patron gods of the Taurons are Jupiter, Diana, Mars, and Venus. The Tauron government is a Democracy, with Ha'La'Tha leaders installed within. Taurons primary source of income is the cattle trade, and a Tauron steak is considered the best in the Colonies.[4] The native Tauron language is similar to Ancient Greek, although some traces of Modern Greek are present.[8]

Picons are a close-knit people, but they're also friendly and hospitable to Capricans, and enjoy a low crime rate. Picons tend to believe in an overall sense of balance, which is indicative of their zodiac symbol of two stylized fish circling each other, suggesting balance. Picons are also very good athletes and enjoy a good fight and a pint of ale. The Picon government has made available health care, education and affordable housing to all inhabitants, asserting that it is a basic human right.[4]

Gemenese culture is influenced by strict interpretations of the Sacred Scrolls. Schoolchildren know the names of every god, and won't hesitate to correct you if you get one wrong. The government is a republic led by the Prime Minister. They have a Guardian Council which presides over all moral issues, while the lower house called the House of Councilors handles the administration of the laws.[4] Gemenon is one of three colonies other than Caprica known to have an official language, Old Gemenese. Old Gemenese is similar to Romanian.[9]

Virgons tend to revere the "finer things" such as ornate country gardens, elaborate laced garments and the ability to distinguish vintages of Leonan wine. Virgon government was at one time a true monarchy, which changed to parliamentarian. The royal family remain, but are figureheads. Virgons pride themselves on their ability to determine where someone new they meet originally came from due to the accent spoken.[4]

Leonans are similar to Virgons in that they enjoy gourmet food and fine wine. Leonan women are known for being beautiful and thin, no matter what they eat. Beauty is defined uniquely as "being in one's own hour". Leonis was once an empire, ruled by a powerful set of royals who protected their rule by insisting on a millennium of inbreeding. Eventually the Leonan empire came to be ruled by a leader who was descended from one great-great grandmother, Johanna the Mad, no fewer than fourteen different ways. Leonan government changed to a democracy and the royal family did not continue.[4] Leonis is one of three colonies known to have an official language other than Caprica, Leonese, which printed material in the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide :Beyond Caprica travel guide on Leonis resembles French.[2]

Sagittarons have a profound distrust of advanced science, and most treat illness and even broken bones with herbal medicines, faith healing, mojo bags and prayer. Due to the rugged and isolated terrain, they tend to be comfortable being alone and being self-sufficient.[4]

Scorpians place family happiness as paramount on Scorpia. The people consider themselves deeply pious, but to other cultures like Capricans they're actually very tolerant and flexible. If an eccentric lifestyle makes someone happy, then it's alright with them. Scorpians are also very athletic like Picons and are very devoted to their favorite sports teams. The government is a democracy, where torture is legal and institutionalized and conducted at the Central Detention Facility in the capital of Celeste. Locals regard the police as walking angels of death. However, tourists are seen as a source of national income and will kill to protect them. Other colonial governments have been known to dispose terrorists, dissidents and other undesirables on Scorpia.[4]

Libran is a culture devoted to law, and as such has little history or culture of its own. Streets near the courthouses are named for gods and great leaders. If you are a lawyer sent to Libran, it probably represents the pinnacle of a career in law. The government is administered by a local council elected by everyone assigned to the planet in a direct democracy funded by the other colonies.[4]

Canceron has a large multitude of diverse dialects, religions, epic poems, cuisines, music, theater, and literature, yet Canceron's own people rarely know much outside their own subculture. The government, due to its massive population, proclaims itself the largest democracy of all the colonies. At its planetary Congress it has more than 2,300 representatives from 88 states that speak at least 19 distinct dialects, that are answerable to the 88 state congresses. Terrorism is a basic fact of life to young Cancerons.[4]

The Aerilonian idea of self-reliance without a central government is strongly adhered to. As a result, the Aerilon Parliament and the Prime Minister have publicly stated that the government will not attempt the funding of health care, schools, or anything that could be relied upon by the people, unlike the government of Picon. The Aerilonian people have granted the police remarkably broad powers to detain, imprison, and even torture people on even the slightest pretext. The people are very much into spending time outdoors, and value plain speech, hard work and trust in one's neighbor above everything else, except for the worship of the gods. Like Picons, Aerilonians enjoy a good fight and a pint, or two. Paintings are suspect unless they are of family members, heroic men, or cattle. Primary colors are recommended, Sculpture is also suspect, unless it is made by hand, out of wood, with a pocket knife, and results in a pointed weapon. Artists who desire to become famous will find themselves leaving Aerilon for another colony, such as Caprica, Leonis or Virgon to do so. Agriculture is the foundation of planetary economy.[4] Doctor Gaius Baltar, a native of Aerilon, described his homeworld as "a drab, ugly rock, condemned to be the food basket of the Twelve Worlds".[5]

Aquarions are highly educated, liberal, tolerant, and peaceful and think nothing of paying for services rendered with a painting, a song, or a good story, and will accept such payment just as casually. The society is small enough for individuals to remain fully accountable, so the system usually works very well. The colony was founded as a utopian outpost for those who prefer not to be bothered with gods, planetary identity, politics, or other sources of division. As a result, they have developed a strong self-perception as a place where the human spirit and its creative expression can reach their maximum potential. Anyone who disrupts the social balance will find themselves permanently banished to another colony with a simple two-thirds vote, usually finding themselves on Scorpia, or on trial on Libran, never to come back.[4]

The colonies and their locations

In the original series, the twelve tribes settled on twelve different planets in the fictional Cyrannus galaxy within a 12 light-year distance from Earth. Since Earth is also in this galaxy, it is clearly the Milky Way galaxy.

The new series has never clarified their relative positions in space; however, Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore has stated[10] that all the colony planets are in the same star system, as described in the original series. This was also hinted at several times in the pilot episode.

Tweets from Serge Graystone, SyFy's official twitter site for Daniel Graystone's robot Serge indicate that all 12 colonies are on planets within a cluster of 4 stars.

More information was included in a published guidebook, released in summer 2010, called Beyond Caprica: A Visitor's Pocket Guide to the Twelve Colonies.

In January 2011, Jane Espenson and Kevin Grazier made public a map of the Twelve Colonies that the show creators worked from.[2] This map reveals that Picon, Caprica, Gemenon and Tauron orbit Helios Alpha; Leonis and Virgon orbit Helios Beta; Libran, Scorpia and Sagittaron orbit Helios Gamma, and Aerilon, Canceron and Aquaria orbit Helios Delta. It also reveals the names of gas giants, minor planets and moons in the Colonies' solar system (the Cyrannus system) and includes cultural details on each colony.

Zodiac Constellation 1978 Series 2003 Series
Name Name Flag Capital Population[2] Pyramid Teams Patron God[2] Nickname[2]
Aquarius Symbol Aquarius Aquarus[11] Aquaria None officially, major city is Heim 25,000 None Hermes The Ice Colony
Aries Symbol Aries Aeries Aerilon Gaoth 1,200,000,000
  • Aerilon Threshers (Gaoth)
  • Promethea Golden Horns
Demeter The Food Basket of the Colonies
Cancer Symbol Cancer Orion Canceron Hades 6,700,000,000
  • Canceron Hydras
  • Hades Vice
  • Mangala Krill
Hephaestus The Largest Democracy
Capricorn Symbol Capricorn Caprica Caprica Caprica City 4,900,000,000
  • Caprica Buccaneers
  • Delphi Legion
Apollo The Capital of the Colonies
Gemini Symbol Gemini Gemoni Gemenon Oranu 2,800,000,000
  • Gemenon Twins
  • Illumini Vipers
Hera The First Colony
Leo Symbol Leo Leonis Leonis Luminere 2,600,000,000
  • Leonis Wildcats
  • Hedon Suns
Artemis The Heart of the Colonies
Libra Symbol Libra Libris Libran None officially, major city is Themis 2,100,000 None Athena The Colony of Justice
Pisces Symbol Pisces Piscera Picon Queenstown 1,400,000,000
  • Picon Panthers
Poseidon The Ocean Colony
Sagittarius Symbol Sagittarius Sagitara Sagittaron Tawa 1,700,000,000
  • Sagittaron Archers
Zeus The Lone Colony
Scorpio Symbol Scorpio Scorpion Scorpia Celeste 450,000,000
  • Celeste Storms
  • Celeste Lightning
  • Scorpia Stingers
  • Argentum Bay Silverstars
Dionysus The Playground of the Colonies
Taurus Symbol Taurus Taura Tauron Hypatia 2,500,000,000
  • Tauron Bulls
  • Olympia Stallions
Ares The Old Colony
Virgo Symbol Virgo Virgon Virgon Boskirk 4,300,000,000
  • Boskirk All Reds
  • Virgon United (Blaustad)
Hestia Imperial Virgon

Notes on the colonies in the original series

  • Given the name's negative connotations, the word "Cancer" was never used as a colony name, and in its place was the frequently-mentioned colony of "Orion".
  • Count Baltar was the representative of one of the colonies - it was never revealed which one was his home - prior to his betrayal. The script for the first episode states that he was from the colony of "Orion", however this mention never made it to the screen. (The telefilm novelization, however, says he was a wealthy rare items trader whom the Cylons first approached to sue for peace, and whose title of Count was self-awarded, but all this information has to be regarded as somewhat apocryphal as none of it was ever mentioned in the series.)
  • In either version of the show, many colonies spoke different languages. For example, in the original series, Gemonese was spoken in several scenes (in the Terra arc, 'Terra' is said to be the Gemonese term for 'Earth').
  • In the original series pilot (and novelization), Adama remarked that Sagitara had "the best defense systems in the Colonies".
  • In the novelization for the telefilm, several Colonies were mentioned: Virgon, Sagitara, Caprica, Scorpia, Taura, Piscera and Gemini.
  • In the novelization, one planet is called Aeriana, yet in the episode "The Long Patrol", it is pronounced Aeries.
  • In a deleted scene from "Experiment in Terra", Apollo mentions Sagitaria, though it was called Sagitara in all other references.
  • In "The Magnificent Warriors", Orion is mentioned a few times and it is stated that it was not one of the Colonies, but a nearby planet.
  • In the novelization for "The Young Lords", the planets Aquarus, Scorpia and Virgon are mentioned.

Notes on the colonies in the re-imagined series

  • Many colonials speak the Caprican language, but apparently have different accents or dialects. At least one archaic language, Old Gemenese, is referred to by Colonial Lt. Kendra Shaw. Baltar mentions that he has an Aerilon accent. In the series Caprica, Taurons are heard speaking a separate language resembling Ancient Greek.
  • The Tauron word Ha'la'tha means "Always faithful to the soil" quoted by the Guatrau in the episode "False Labor" of Caprica.
  • Gemenon, Sagittaron, and Aerilon are regarded as "poor colonies" where most of the inhabitants worked in harsh blue-collar jobs while the colonies of Caprica, Picon, Tauron and Virgon contained a more elite and educated social class who worked administrative and professional white-collar jobs. Caprica, being the capital of the Colonies, is especially cosmopolitan, and the cavalier religious attitudes of Capricans are in stark contrast with those of Gemenon and Sagittaron, who take their faith very seriously.
  • Aerilon is primarily a farming colony and is referred to by Gaius Baltar as the "foodbasket" of the Twelve Colonies. When portraying Baltar's "native" accent, James Callis adopts a Yorkshire accent as it is an accent that can be stereotypically associated with people who come from a working class background and thus fit the image that his character was trying to project of life on Aerilon as an isolated agricultural planet.
  • In Caprica, Joseph Adama states that Tauron has no flowers growing on it; also it has suffered a civil war. It is also the home of the Ha'la'tha organized crime syndicate. Taurons also use Roman names for the gods such as Jupiter and Mars. Prior to the 1st Cylon War, Capricans took a racist view of Taurons, with one Caprican government official privately stating that "deceit is in their DNA."
  • Battlestar Galactica: The Plan states that Leonis has plains, Scorpia has jungles, Virgon is forested, Libran is dedicated to the Colonial judiciary, Tauron has pastures, both Picon and Aquaria are largely covered in water, and Canceron is known for its beaches. No mention is given of Sagittaron, with the television version mentioning temples on Gemenon, reinforcing the strong religious fabric on the planet.

Relative locations (1978)

In the Battlestar Galactica video game, published in 2003, just prior to the release of the reimagined series, the colonies were in one star system called "Cyrannus". The name "Cyrannus" was used in the original series episode "The Long Patrol", but was used by the character Starbuck as the name of the galaxy, not a single star system, although as with most SF shows of that era, much of the terminology used is obscure and self-contradictory. It appears as if the authors were themselves frequently unclear as to what the difference between a solar system and a galaxy was, though "star system" could refer to a cluster of stars that were in relatively close proximity to each other. The name "Cyrannus" has not been used in the reimagined series, but appears on a map produced by the writers and producers of the show.

In the 1978 series, the Colonies were very obviously set in a binary star system, and distinguished between "Inner" and "Outer" colonies. "Inner" colonies orbited the primary star in the system, and "Outer" colonies orbited the other one, though both appeared to be G2 class stars from what little information was visible onscreen. The inner colonies - including Virgon, Sagitaria and Caprica - were attacked first. By the time the Galactica arrived, the Cylons were already launching their first wave against the outer colonies.

In the novelization of the pilot for the 1978 series, the Twelve Colonies are referred to as "The Twelve Colonies of the Three Suns".

Relative locations (2003)

Map of the Twelve Colonies (not to scale).

In the re-imagined series, the Cyrannus Star System is two pairs of binary stars that orbit a common barycenter at a distance of .16 light year from binary barycenter to binary barycenter. Kobol is located 2000 light years away.[2]

The first pair is "Helios Alpha" and "Helios Beta", orbiting the barycenter at 63 astronomical units.

  • Helios Alpha: Spectral Class G2V, Mass 1.0.
    • Planets: Icarus, Picon, Caprica & Gemenon (binary planets orbiting a barycenter), Tauron (moon: Minos), the Erebos asteroid belt, the gas giant Zeus (74 moons, including Hebe and Nike), and Persephone.
  • Helios Beta: Spectral Class K1V, Mass 0.79.
    • Planets: Troy, Leonis, the Ouranos asteroid belt, Virgon (moon: Hibernia), the gas giant Hera (29 moons, including Iris and Euboea), and Pallas.

The second pair is "Helios Delta" and "Helios Gamma", orbiting the barycenter at 70 astronomical units. The gas giant Ragnar (moon: Sigurd) orbits the binary system about the barycenter at 110 astronomical units.

  • Helios Delta: Spectral Class K2V, Mass 0.74.
    • Planets: Phoebe, the Aeolus asteroid belt, the gas giant Hestia (17 moons, including binaries Rhea and Kronos) with Canceron & Aerilon at Hestia's L4 and L5, Aquaria, and Styx.
  • Helios Gamma: Spectral Class G9V, Mass 0.89.
    • Planets: Thanatos, the Acheron asteroid belt, Scorpia, Saggitaron, Libran (moons: Herse and Pandrossos), and the gas giant Ophion (14 moons).

Colonial government

1978 series

The Quorum of the Twelve (sometimes called the "Council of the Twelve") is the main governing body of the Twelve Colonies. There are twelve members, each representing one colony. There is a president of the Twelve Colonies, who acts as the head of state. There is also a Commander in Chief of the armed forces. The President and civilian government lead the Colonies, unless martial law is declared. After the death of President Adar and the death of the Quorum of the Twelve, the Colonial remnants, under the protection of the Battlestar Galactica, were placed under martial law by Commander Adama, the last surviving member of the pre-destruction Quorum. Count Baltar, a member of the Quorum who survived due to his treachery, was presumably stripped of his rank in absentia for his gross betrayal of humanity. The Quorum has the power to repeal martial law itself, but after a disastrous attempt at reestablishing civilian rule in the "rag-tag fleet", such matters were dropped for the present.

There is no death penalty, even for treason. The maximum punishment is life imprisonment. Officers of the court in criminal proceedings include 'Opposers' (prosecutors) and 'Advocates' (defense attorneys).

The Colonial Service

The combined Colonial armed forces are called the Colonial Military, or the Colonial Service. This is divided into at least three branches:

  • The Colonial Fleet is the first line of defense against Cylon invasion. This force of Battlestars and Vipers has held the Cylons at bay and can easily outwit superior Cylon numbers with human ingenuity; Fleet personnel are renowned for their bravery and prowess in warfare in the Colonies and beyond. The various divisions of Fleet personnel are as follows:
    • Starship officers, such as Commander Adama and Colonel Tigh, who are outfitted in blue uniforms with silver trim and black boots.
    • Enlisted starship crew typically dress in light brown jumpsuits with darker brown boots.
    • Colonial Warriors, the Viper pilots and ground troops of the Colonies, wear light brown uniforms with darker brown uniform jackets and dark brown boots. These are specially designed to protect them from g-forces experienced in Viper launch operations.
  • The Colonial Marine Corps
  • Colonial Security Forces, also called Council Security personnel, are officers clad in black, who form a catch-all police force, under the direct control of the Quorum of the Twelve. Their jurisdiction appears to cover both civilian and military police roles. They are nicknamed "blackshirts." There appears to be some animosity between Colonial Warriors and the security forces, whose personnel also carry the same pistols as Colonial Warriors, especially when security officers attempt to force Warriors to adhere to Council edicts that the Warriors believe to be ridiculous or naive.[12]

2003 Series

In the 2003 re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica, the Colonial government is somewhat different. Referred to officially as "the United Colonies of Kobol", the government was established under the Articles of Colonization. There is a Presidency, and a "Political Cabinet" (which include the ministries of Defense and Education), with each ministry headed by a secretary. This cabinet appears to be quite extensive even in comparison to modern real-world governments, as its Secretary of Education is the 43rd in the order of succession, while the lowest cabinet post in the US line of presidential succession is only 18th. There is a death penalty, and executions for treason include being vented into space, a punishment implemented by President Laura Roslin and continued by President Tom Zarek during his brief term. The military conducts execution of its personnel via firing squad. Local government includes mayors, of whom President Adar was one before his first term as President of the Twelve Colonies. The Colonial Government appears to include some form of civil religion as noted by the presence of clergy such as the priest Elosha in seasons 1 and 2 of the series. In his blog, Battlestar Galactica's producer Ronald D. Moore indicated that the Colonial government presumably included a larger, still unnamed representative body (most likely the People's Council mentioned in Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II) and an independent judiciary system, as well as another (also unnamed) religious body with an advisory function.[13]

The Quorum of Twelve does exist in the series (an interim one is established a month into the exodus) but its structure and purpose is different. The Quorum's sessions are presided by the President of the Twelve Colonies, who may cast a vote in case of a tie. Each Colony gets a single vote. The functions of the Quorum of Twelve include taking nominations for and electing the Vice President - whether this is common practice or an emergency attribution in the case of a vacant Vice Presidency is not known. Quorum members may run for the Vice Presidency, but must resign their Quorum seat if elected. Given that the Colonies used to be independent nations until a few decades before the Cylon Attack, Ron Moore describes the Quorum of Twelve as a mixture between the United States Senate and the UN Security Council. The Quorum has the power to remove the President from power via a vote of no confidence.

The Colonies appear to operate on a party system, and at least one party is mentioned in the series. When Tory Foster becomes president Laura Roslin's Chief of Staff in episode 17 of Season 2, she mentions that she was a member of the Federalist Party. It is unclear however if the government of the colonies is made of of one or several parties, as parties do not appear to play an important role after the fall of the colonies.

It is unclear if free passage throughout the Colonies was guaranteed for Colonial citizens, although the most likely scenario is that it was not. In season three Gaius Baltar mentions that he got one of his lab assistants from Gemenon a visa, presumably to live and work on Caprica where he was based. Also, throughout the series various passports appear, and although they are all in the same format they are issued according to the colony each citizen is from, similar to the passports of the member states of the European Union.

The differences in Colonial government in the 2003 remake stem from the fact that Cylons were created by humans as servants and soldiers. The production team has established that the Cylons were used as soldiers in wars among the Twelve Colonies. Indeed, while the Exodus from Kobol was 2,000 years before the final Cylon defeat of the Twelve Colonies in the TV series, the "Articles of Colonization" are stated as being only 52 years old, framed in the early days of the First Cylon War, which went on for another 12 years. In the time of the TV series Caprica, set 58 years before the Cylon holocaust, the Twelve Colonies do not yet have a united government.[14]

Colonial Military

The Colonial military appears to be made of at least two branches.

  • The Colonial Fleet operated a force of about 120 Battlestars and several support vessels. The Colonial Fleet was organized around "Battlestar Groups", such as Battlestar Group 75 (from which Galactica receives its BSG-75 designator). These groups were possibly composed of a single Battlestar protected and supported by smaller vessels, including, but not limited to, Viper and Raptor squadrons. The Colonial Fleet has a mixed Navy/Marine Corps rank system: Admiral; Rear Admiral; Commander; Colonel; Lieutenant Colonel; Major; Captain; Lieutenant; Lieutenant, j(unior) g(rade); Ensign. Non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel also have a mixed Navy/Marine Corps rank system, referred to as a "Naval-style rank system" as detailed by Ronald D. Moore (a former Marine Option Midshipman) in his blog: Master Chief Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer, Petty Officer 1st and 2nd Class, Specialist, Deckhand and Recruit.
  • The Colonial Marine Corps, a specialized ship-based ground force operating onboard the ships of the Colonial Fleet. Marines are used for strike actions and for security purposes such as repelling boardings and maintaining a ship's brig. The role the Marine Corps may have played in planetary defense is still not known, or even if there was a separate Colonial Army for that role. Marine non-commissioned and enlisted personnel use regular Marine rank titles; whether their officers use the same mixed rank structure as Colonial Fleet officers is not certain as only two Marine officers, an unnamed lieutenant in the episode Escape Velocity and Lieutenant Terry Burrell in Sacrifice, have so far been shown.

Due to a lack of a police force within the fleet, both Colonial Fleet and Marine personnel also serve as law enforcement officials as necessary. According to Ronald D. Moore's own podcast commentary for the episode Kobol's Last Gleaming, the plainclothed Presidential Security Force is intentionally separate from the military, with its members culled from any and all surviving police officers within the fleet.


1978 series

2003 series

In the 2003 series, the official currency of the Twelve Colonies is, again, the Cubit[15] (abbreviated cb in the reimagined series banknotes), which has been used since at least 58 years before the fall. It is similar to the euro in that the twelve worlds were united in a monetary union before the creation of the Twelve Colonies as a federal state. Unlike in the original series, cubits appear both in paper and metal form. Throughout the reimagined series, banknotes with the value of 100, 500, 1000 and possibily 10 cubits can be seen. Gold and silver coins are also used. The banknotes are square in shape[15] and the coins are rectangular.[15]

Before the fall of the Twelve Colonies some worlds were highly industrialized, such as Caprica and Virgon, whereas others were more dependent on agriculture, most notably Aerilon which is also nicknamed "the foodbasket of the Colonies".[2] Prior to start of the First Cylon War, the economy of colonies such as Caprica were highly mechanized, but it is assumed that following the war the fear of Cylons had an impact on the economy of the Twelve Colonies. It is known that child labor is prohibited[16] in the Twelve Colonies and that manual labor is the backbone of the refugee fleet's economy.

Following the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies it is made clear by Tom Zarek[15] that a currency-based economy is not functional in the refugee fleet that survived, but the government of Laura Roslin moves to address this issue.

Trade unions appear to play an important role in the lives of the working class in the refugee fleet and the settlers of New Caprica, and a strike was organized on the fleet's only tylium ship by the trade union.[15] President Roslin takes the trade union's suggestions into consideration, but it is unclear whether trade unions played such an important role in the Twelve Colonies prior to the destruction or if they were created out of necessity during the colonists' stay on New Caprica. Although one day before the destruction of the colonies the teachers were on strike, President Adar does not seem to pay much attention to their demands.


  1. ^ Language in the Twelve Colonies - Battlestar Wiki
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Map of the Twelve Colonies
  3. ^ Although, in the Season 4 episode "A Disquiet Follows My Soul", Kara Thrace gives an estimate of 50 billion people dead in the attack
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q DK Eyewitness Travel Guide :Beyond Caprica by Bob Harris ISBN 978-0-7566-7311-6
  5. ^ a b The Battlestar Galactica episode "Dirty Hands".
  6. ^ As heard and seen in lettering throughout Battlestar Galactica and Caprica.
  7. ^ Youtube video
  8. ^ As heard in several episodes of Caprica.
  9. ^ As heard in the Caprica episode "Blowback" and the movie "Battlestar Galactica: Razor".
  10. ^ "The mythology of the new Galactica is heavily influenced by that established in the original. I've always approached this project with an eye toward taking the original material and making it work in a new context. I still try to do this whenever possible. Does it make sense that there would be a star system with 12 inhabitable planets? Not really, but that was in the original and at some point I decided to run with that as another nod to the old show. The mythology of the old show centered around Kobol and the thirteen 'tribes of man,' so I've kept it as the centerpiece of ours. Not every single element is the same and not every element is even intact, but the roots are there. The point was to make another version of Battlestar Galactica, not just use the name." (Ron Moore Blog, January 30, 2005.)[dead link]
  11. ^ File:Names from agenda ep 111.jpg - Battlestar Wiki The names of all twelve Colonies are present on this page, but the 2003 series has referred to the same colony as both "Aquaria" and "Aquarion".
  12. ^ Council Security - Battlestar Wiki
  13. ^ "In Episode 11, Colonial Day we'll see the reinstatement of the Quorum of Twelve, a political body established in the original series, which seems to be a cross between a US style Senate and the UN Security Council, where each Colony has a single vote. Presumably there was also a larger representative legislative body and some kind of separate judiciary. There is also a religious body, (unnamed thus far) that acts in some advisory capacity to the government, along the lines of the British House of Lords. Although we haven't dealt with it yet, Elosha was probably a member of this body." (Ron Moore Blog, January 30, 2005.)[dead link]
  14. ^ [Caprica Pilot]
  15. ^ a b c d e Cubit on Battlestar Galactica wiki
  16. ^ Dirty Hands (Battlestar Galactica)

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