Tuesday, May 17, 2011

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (1978) Theatrical Posters

As we all know, the pilot film for Galactica was released both domestically and in foreign markets as a theatrical feature film, augmented with Universal's patented "Sensurround" audio process. Here's a triptych of one-sheets for that release.

I especially like the striking Jack Gaughan (based on Ralph McQuarrie production art) teaser poster at top. The second is the familiar Robert Tanenbaum one-sheet, while the Japanese version appears to use both McQuarrie and Tanenbaum artwork.


  1. It's always been said that Galactica was a poor man's Star Wars, something I don't agree with by the way, but these posters clearly show a Star Wars influence as if the designers were trying to ride the coat tails of that film.

  2. Well, there's no question that without Star Wars there would have been no Galactica. It was the unprecedented success of Lucas' opus that encouraged Universal to back Larson's project, and when he brought John Dykstra on board to design the special effects, the visual resemblances were almost inevitable.

    As for the posters, from a marketing perspective, it was only logical to play up Galactica's similarities to Star Wars. Associating your movie with an already-established hit is always a good idea, commercially.

  3. I remember the huge speakers at the back of the theater. Even with similar SFX and a youthful interpretation, the plot about "brothers of man" made BG distinct from SW to me. Earth wasn't in a galaxy far far away.

  4. You know -- I would really love to have one of those McQuarrie teaser posters (the one on top)....


  5. I searched long and hard to acquire a couple of the Canadian posters, so you can imagine my surprise when I found that it isn't Ralph's artwork! Turns out another famous sci-fi illustrator, Jack Gaughan, was hired to replicate one of Ralph's production paintings for the poster (which was also used for the UK book cover).


    At least we found out before we attributed it incorrectly in our forthcoming classic Galactica art book!

    John Scoleri
    Dreams and Visions Press
    The Art of Ralph McQuarrie