Aside from being a hot-shot pilot, smoking cigars, playing cards, and being a little bit on the promiscuous side, Katee Sackhoff's Starbuck from the 2003-2009 reboot of Battlestar Galactica didn't have a lot in common with Dirk Benedict's version from the 1978 original television series. Starbuck was reinvented quite a bit, even getting a proper first and last name: Kara Thrace.
On Thursday, while promoting Outlander at the Edinburgh Intl. Television Festival, Ronald D. Moore, the man who developed and executive produced the Battlestar Galactica reboot, told the audience that he "decided the original's pilot names – Starbuck and Apollo – would become their callsigns."
He then had to figure out what their names would be, and coming up with names for his characters have always been a struggle for Moore. He has no shame in admitting to borrowing names he has heard on a television program he just watched or from people he just talked to. However, for Starbuck, he looked to the last sci-fi TV series he worked on for inspiration with her first name.
"So in that particular circumstance, I had just finished up on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with Kira Nerys [the Bajoran commander played by Nana Visitor]," Moore told the audience (via radiotimes). "So I thought 'Kara' will be her first name. Then I needed a last name, and I had this big old antique book on my desk that was literally 'Book of Ancient Names'. I literally ran my finger down it and went 'Thrace! Kara Thrace! I love it.'"