Battlestar Galactica: The Passage Screws Up (Jupiter vs. Zeus)


I really like Battlestar Galactica. It has been one of my favorite shows for the past couple of years.

I don’t want to criticize it. I don’t want to be annoyed by it.

But long before I liked Battlestar Galactica, I loved Greek & Roman mythology. And they are making really stupid mistakes.

In this last episode, the writers have clearly gotten confused as to whether the religion of the humans is based on Greek or Roman mythology.

Baltar, in this episode, is decoding some pseudo-prophecy from one of the Baseship hybrids. He decodes a reference to cow eyes as Hera, as she is sometimes referred to as “cow-eyed” in Greek mythology. So far, so good.

He then jumps to her husband, “Jupiter,” and maps this to the location of the artifact they are looking for as they search for Earth.

This might be nit-picking, but Jupiter is the Roman name for Zeus. Zeus & Hera are the Greek names. Jupiter & Juno are the Roman names.

This has been annoying me since I watched the episode on Tivo. It’s such an easy detail to get right, and they are really messing it up. Everything else is Greek. Athena, not Minerva. Apollo, of course, has the same name in both Greek and Roman.

Drat. Small detail, maybe, but they are even calling the final episode next week “The Eye of Jupiter”. Drat.

6 thoughts on “Battlestar Galactica: The Passage Screws Up (Jupiter vs. Zeus)

  1. Jane Espenson discusses the original name for “The Eye of Jupiter” and references to it in “The Passage:” “When I wrote this episode, the upcoming episode was already well along, and it was called “Eye of Zeus.” So all the dialogue in my episode reflected that. It got changed to Jupiter later, and I don’t know why. It’s always hard to get names to legally clear. All you need is one guy named Zeus who lives in North Hollywood and Standards and Practices is all over you to change the name. (deadpan) That’s probably what happened.”

  2. Thank you! I was just griping to my roommate about this. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

    But at least it’s a less offensive error than Disney made with their Hercules movie. They turned Hera into Hercules’ mother. Which kind of takes the air out of the whole “Hera hating Hercules for being Zeus’s illegitimate child” theme that was the entire basis for Hercules’s mythos.

  3. This isn’t the first time this happened either. In the first episode of the third season Rosalin is writing in her journal and mentions explicitely that it is “Marsday”, which seems appropriate because Mars is the god of war.

    Also, in the episode “Hero”, Adama is shown to have commanded the Battlestar “Valkyrie”, which is a norse mythology reference.

    The third season in general seems to be riddled with these weird little flaws and contradictions.

  4. Fun Fact 10 years later: If you watch BSG with captions they, they use the dialogue as written and a few of the lines are different INCLUDING all the references to “Jupiter”. They read as “Zeus” in the closed captioning. Also, they never show the actors’ mouths moving when these words are said, which means they went back re-recorded those lines in post (as mentioned above). Very strange, would love to know the full story!

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