Wednesday, February 8, 2017

In Memory of Richard Hatch and Captain Apollo

It's no feldercarb—Hatch will be missed!
Years and years ago, my parents set me down a path that would forever dominate my destiny.  Consume me, it has, for nearly 40 years.

They took me to see Star Wars.

In the theater.

At four years old, I was sold.

Fantasy!  Science Fiction!  TOGETHER!

A year later, riding high on the wave of Star Wars Mania (yes, that was a thing), NBC launched Battlestar Galactica.  Everything was coming up Rob!  I wanted a Colonial warrior jacket more than anything, and to strap on a blaster.  Starbuck was the coolest thing ever, and I wanted to Pyramid and drink ambrosia—which at that age, I thought would taste like sarsaparilla.  For Halloween, I wore a brown sweater and a hand-made wooden gun that I’d used a black marker to make look like a BSG prop.

Bromance before bromances were cool.
But more than that, though, I wanted a friendship like that between Apollo and Starbuck.

Apollo, as embodied by Richard Hatch, was great—dutiful, capable, passionate.  But he was made awesome by his association with Dirk Benedict’s Starbuck.  Yet, for all that, Starbuck really wouldn’t have been who he was without Apollo, and neither would have been anything without Hatch.

Hatch had an amazing passion for any project that he undertook.  BSG was no different.  Hatch loved the concept, he loved the characters, and he became a very strong advocate for a sequel of the series.  He wrote seven novels for the BSG universe, and wrote, directed and produced (out of his own pocket) a trailer to try to win support for a new series—The Second Coming.  His passion brought together some of the original cast members, including John Colicos’ Baltar, and Terry Carter’s Colonel Tigh, and some other faces you might recognize.

In a documentary on Battlestar Galactica Dirk Benedict commented on Hatch and some of the animosity his attempts sparked by BSG creator Glen Larson.  Benedict said something along the lines of, “They both have such passion . . . if they could just get together . . .”

Who could say no to that smile?
Although initially, Hatch opposed the reimaging of Battlestar Galactica in 2004, he eventually came to respect and admire the effort.  He came on board with another stellar character, Tom Zarek, written specifically for him.  As a firebrand, Zarek was charismatic, popular and driven toward his goals.

It was very much how Hatch had lived his own life.

Hatch, of course, was more than just Battlestar Galactica, but that’s where I was first introduced to him, and it’s how I always knew him.  The little boy in me will always think of Captain Apollo whenever I see Hatch, no matter what he’s in.

I think that’s the kind of legacy he would have liked.

May the Lords of Kobol bless you and keep you, Captain Apollo.  You’re cleared for launch.

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