|Birth Name||Laura Roslin|
|Death||Cancer, while flying over Tanzania in 4 ACH (c. 148,000 BCE) (TRS: "Daybreak, Part II")|
|Parents||mother †, father †|
|Siblings||Cheryl Roslin †|
Sandra Roslin †
Briefly cohabits with William Adama
|Role||President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol;|
formerly Secretary of Education
|Portrayed by||Mary McDonnell|
|Laura Roslin is a Cylon|
|Laura Roslin is a Final Five Cylon|
|Laura Roslin is a Human/Cylon Hybrid|
|Laura Roslin is an Original Series Cylon|
Laura Roslin serves as the Secretary of Education at the time of the Cylon attack and later serves twice as President of the Twelve Colonies despite never being elected to office. She is also believed by some in the Fleet to be a religious figure essential to the fulfillment of the Pythian prophecy.
Some time before the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, Roslin is forced to take care of her dying mother, who is going through doloxan treatments for cancer (TRS: "Act of Contrition"). At some point, Roslin's father and sisters are killed in a car accident at the fault of a drunk driver (TRS: "Daybreak, Part I"). Like her mother, Roslin is a schoolteacher, though she enters politics under the mayoral administration of Richard Adar (TRS: "Miniseries"). When Adar decides to run for president, Roslin reluctantly agrees to join his campaign, and is later appointed as Secretary of Education (TRS: "Daybreak, Part II").
Though Roslin never marries, she engages in a sexual affair with the married Adar (TRS: "Epiphanies"). The day of the Cylon attack, Roslin learns that she has terminal breast cancer. Returning to work, Roslin informs Adar that she has successfully resolved an ongoing teacher's strike, but Adar vehemently disagrees with her method, and asks for her resignation. She asks him to defer the matter until she returns from the decommissioning ceremonies of the Galactica (TRS: "Epiphanies").
Fall of the Colonies
Roslin travels to Galactica aboard the government-chartered civilian transport, Colonial Heavy 798, accompanied by a government aide, Billy Keikeya. On board Galactica, Secretary Roslin meets with Commander Adama, who denies her request to add a student computer network in the battlestar. Roslin lets the matter go and departs the ship following the decommissioning ceremonies.
On route back to Caprica, Roslin learns from the captain that the Cylons are attacking the Twelve Colonies. Roslin quickly takes on the mantle of leadership, rallying the passengers to make space for potential refugees. She finally establishes contact with a government official on Caprica, who does not know the whereabouts or condition of President Adar. As the transport begins to rescue survivors from a stranded passenger vessel, the Case Orange automated beacon is picked up on the wireless, and Roslin instructs the pilot to respond to the message with her government identification. Soon, a response returns from the automated message: Roslin, the forty-third official in line of succession, is the highest-ranking government official left alive and thus has succeeded Adar as president. Physically shaking, Roslin holds back tears and her voice cracks as the priestess Elosha administers the oath of office.
In her first act as president, Roslin orders Galactica to assist her in rescue operations. In turn, Adama refuses to recognize her authority and orders the vessel to rendezvous with Galactica at the Ragnar Anchorage. The two are interrupted by a pair of Cylon Raiders, which launch nuclear missiles at the small fleet Roslin has assembled. She refuses to leave the vessels behind and is only saved by quick thinking on the part of Lee Adama. Soon after, a Galactica Raptor carrying Dr. Gaius Baltar locates Roslin's ship, the newly rechristened Colonial One. Roslin appoints Baltar as her chief science advisor and uses the Raptor to locate any surviving ships around Caprica. Over the next few hours, Roslin's small group of ships transforms into a massive fleet harboring over 50,000 survivors.
While attempting to transfer passengers off of all non-FTL capable ships, the Fleet is discovered by another pair of Raiders. Forced to make a difficult decision, Roslin orders all FTL-capable ships to jump to Ragnar, abandoning the thousands of people still aboard the sub-light ships. At Ragnar, Roslin meets again with Adama and urges him to abandon the Twelve Colonies in favor of guiding the surviving civilians to a new home. Though Adama initially rejects this idea, he later acquiesces and the Fleet, protected by Galactica, leaves Colonial space.
In an attempt to give the survivors a reason to survive, Adama claims that he knows the location of Earth, the home of the Thirteenth Tribe. Roslin privately calls Adama out on his lie. Adama admits the deception, and in return for Roslin keeping his secret and allowing him to retain control of the military, he acknowledges Roslin's authority over the civilian fleet as president (TRS: "Miniseries").
The First Month
Roslin begins building the foundations of a civilian government by collecting a census on the remaining population while Cylon attacks force the Fleet to jump every 33 minutes. Working tirelessly throughout these attacks without any sleep, Roslin is forced to make another tough call and authorizes Galactica to destroy the Olympic Carrier, a ship suspected of being tracked by the Cylons. Ultimately, the destruction of the ship ends the attacks, yet Roslin continues to question whether she had made the right choice considering the 1300 lives lost on the ship (TRS: "33").
Though Roslin and Adama continue to have a wary relationship, Adama integrates her into the decision process. Roslin and Adama agree to keep the knowledge that Cylons now appear human a secret (TRS: "Water"). She later authorizes the conditional pardoning of prisoners aboard the Astral Queen. However, Tom Zarek, a former terrorist with a political agenda, successfully frees the prisoners, takes control of the ship and broadcasts calls for Roslin to step down from office and hold immediate elections. Roslin refuses to negotiate and presses Adama for an armed response, though she is less than pleased when Lee ends the situation by giving the prisoners control of their ship and promising that the scheduled presidential elections would take place in nine months (TRS: "Bastille Day").
Having appointed Lee as her military liaison, she admits the truth of her cancer to him. She later seeks treatment from Galactica's doctor, Sherman Cottle, though she opts to use an alternative, psychoactive drug, chamalla, rather than endure the same doloxan treatments that she had watched her mother suffer through (TRS: "Act of Contrition").
Following a suicide bombing aboard Galactica by copy of Aaron Doral, Roslin holds a press conference revealing the truth about humanoid Cylons and releasing pictures of Aaron Doral and Leoben Conoy. The news is greeted with a stunned reaction throughout the Fleet. A resulting independent investigation aboard Galactica is launched by Adama, though Roslin cautions against this course of action. (TRS: "Litmus").
As a result of her press conference regarding the Cylons, a copy of Leoben Conoy is captured aboard the Gemenon Traveler. Despite Adama's desire to kill him immediately, Roslin insists he be interrogated. When Conoy claims that he has planted a nuclear bomb within the Fleet, Roslin travels to the Gemenon Traveler and stops the torture being inflicted on him. Agreeing to release him if he tells her where the bomb is, Conoy informs her that there is no bomb and that Adama is a Cylon. She subsequently orders him to be thrown out of an airlock, a method of execution repeated multiple times over the course of Roslin's administration (TRS: "Flesh and Bone"). While Roslin becomes suspicious of Adama as a result of Conoy's claim, her fears are allayed by Baltar's invention of a Cylon detector (TRS: "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down").
Soon after, Roslin reconstitutes the Quorum of Twelve aboard Cloud Nine. However, the election of Zarek as the Sagittaron delegate disrupts her agenda when Zarek insists on the election of a vice president. The delegate from Virgon nominates Zarek, while Roslin chooses Wallace Gray as her preferred candidate. However, Gray fails to win enough support in the Quorum to defeat Zarek and is replaced at the last minute by Baltar, the Caprican delegate. The resulting vote is a tie, which allows Roslin to cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of Baltar (TRS: "Colonial Day").
Shortly before the capture of Leoben Conoy, Roslin has a set of visions that are uncannily prescient to future events. During a press conference soon after, she hallucinates a dozen snakes crawling over her podium. Disturbed by these events, she consults Elosha and admits that she has been using chamalla. On hearing about the snakes, Elosha reveals that it matches a prophecy in an ancient text written by Pythia 3,600 years ago concerning the exodus of humankind, which foretells that a dying leader will guide the remnants of humanity to the promised land (TRS: "The Hand of God").
Cottle informs Roslin that her cancer has spread to her lymphatic system, giving her perhaps six months to live (TRS: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I"). Soon after, a recon mission from Galactica discovers a habitable world with ruins across the surface. Reviewing the photos of the ruins, Roslin has another vision that Elosha confirms to be the City of the Gods on Kobol. Roslin has two further visions of the Arrow of Apollo and the Tomb of Athena and accepts the scriptures as fact. Though Adama considers permanent settlement on the planet, Roslin tries to convince him they should use a captured Cylon Raider to return to Caprica and retrieve the Arrow of Apollo, which would open the Tomb of Athena and point the way to Earth. Uncomfortable with Roslin's newfound religiousness, Adama asserts his authority over the military to deny her the use of the Raider (TRS: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I").
Resolved, Roslin convinces Kara Thrace to steal the Raider and return to Caprica by admitting that Adama does not know where Earth is. Upon learning of her deception, Adama asks Roslin for her resignation; her refusal results in him sending a Marine boarding party to Colonial One to arrest her. Though Lee Adama ultimately sides with the President during the armed standoff, Roslin agrees to surrender to prevent bloodshed. Adama is shot soon after by a Cylon agent, and Saul Tigh assumes command of Galactica and refuses Roslin's request to be released (TRS: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II"; "Scattered").
From her cell, Roslin rallies support from the Quorum of Twelve by convincing them of her role in the Sacred Scrolls; in response, Tigh dissolves the Quorum and declares martial law (TRS: "Fragged"). With the help of several sympathetic crew members of Galactica, Roslin escapes with Lee and hides within the Fleet with the help of Zarek (TRS: "Resistance"). Declaring herself publicly to be the "dying leader" foretold by Pythia, Roslin asks the Fleet to follow her back to Kobol (TRS: "The Farm"). Nearly a third of the Fleet heeds her request and jumps back to Kobol, where they rendezvous with Starbuck and the recovered Arrow. A search party led by Roslin heads to the surface and Elosha is soon killed by a landmine, which deeply shakes Roslin (TRS: "Home, Part I").
A recon team led by Adama intercepts Roslin's group, and Adama and Roslin resolve their differences, with Adama agreeing to help her find the Tomb. After locating it, the group places the Arrow in the bow of a statue of Sagittarius, which activates a projection showing the way to Earth. Upon returning to the Fleet, Adama reinstates Roslin as president (TRS: "Home, Part II").
Adama and Roslin begin to respect each more and their leadership in managing fleet business becomes more cooperative, asking each other for advice and correcting each other as needed, starting with a potentially disruptive tabloid expose of the Gideon shootings (TRS: "Final Cut"). However, Roslin's health continues to deteriorate, and Cottle advises her that she has weeks left to live. Roslin begins to put her affairs in order, signaled by her returning a book given to her by Adama (TRS: "Flight of the Phoenix").
The discovery of the Battlestar Pegasus gives Roslin a brief moment of relief. However, Admiral Cain's disregard for the political status quo within the Fleet becomes apparent when Cain refuses to take Roslin's calls (TRS: "Pegasus"). After a near-disastrous armed standoff between Adama and Cain, Roslin conspires with Adama to assassinate Cain for the safety of the Fleet (TRS: "Resurrection Ship, Part I"). While Adama ultimately refuses to go through with the plan, Cain is murdered by a Cylon agent and Roslin promotes Adama to admiral. The new admiral gives the President a kiss, establishing a more personal aspect to their friendship (TRS: "Resurrection Ship, Part II").
By this time, Roslin requires help to move around, and she is soon rushed to Galactica's sickbay as her health fails. Preparing for Baltar's accession to the presidency, she instructs Billy to give Baltar a letter she has written him. In what she believes to be her final act as president, Roslin orders that the half-Cylon, half-human baby of Sharon Agathon be terminated. However, Baltar panics at the thought of becoming president and devises a last minute solution to cure Roslin using an injection of stem cells from the hybrid fetus, which completely eradicates her cancer (TRS: "Epiphanies").
Before her treatment, Roslin remembers that hours prior to the attack on Caprica, she had witnessed Baltar interacting with a Number Six Cylon and deduces that he played a role in the destruction of the Colonies. However, Roslin's letter to Baltar had hurt his pride by calling out his self-centered nature. When Roslin attempts to offer Baltar an out by asking him to resign, Baltar refuses to do so (TRS: "Black Market"). This encounter would mark the beginning for Roslin of a deep personal loathing of Baltar.
Roslin returns to work and begins aiming towards her reelection. Though the sudden death of Billy comes as a shock to her (TRS: "Sacrifice"), she soon appoints his replacement, Tory Foster, who assures her that her victory in the election is certain. However, the certainty of her reelection is thrown into doubt when the issue of abortion is raised in the Fleet. Though Roslin is pro-choice, she realizes that the survival of the human race depends on repopulation and bans abortion throughout the Fleet. Coming out against the ban, Baltar launches a presidential challenge against Roslin with the backing of Tom Zarek (TRS: "The Captain's Hand").
While dealing with Baltar's challenge, the issue of the Agathons' child, which will soon be born, resurfaces. Roslin decides that Sharon cannot be allowed to raise the child, yet she also feels that the child is important and should be kept safe. Thus, she conspires with Dr. Cottle and Foster to fake the child's death. She later gives the child up for adoption to Maya, claiming that the baby belonged to a Pegasus officer (TRS: "Downloaded").
As the first presidential debate between Roslin and Baltar approaches, polls show Roslin firmly in the lead; Baltar's poor showing in the debate does little to change this. Indeed, Roslin appears confident that Baltar will not be able to win the election. However, the discovery of a habitable planet changes the entire nature of the race. Roslin refuses to even consider settling on the planet, saying that the Fleet must find Earth and, regardless, the planet will most likely not be able to sustain a long-term settlement. However, Baltar seizes on the public's support for colonization and pulls ahead in the polls (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I").
Roslin refuses to risk the future of the human race to win an election by supporting settlement. However, she feels that a Baltar presidency will also jeopardize the survival of humanity and thus authorizes Foster to rig the election. When early results from the election show Baltar in the lead, Foster has key election officials on Galactica, including Colonel Tigh and Anastasia Dualla, replace a ballot box with one stuffed with ballots for Roslin. Though the election is called for Roslin and Baltar concedes the race, Felix Gaeta discovers the plot and informs Adama. Roslin pleads with Adama to cover up the rigged election. While Adama admits he agrees with Roslin, he refuses to overturn the results of a democratic election. However, he does not publicly reveal the conspiracy, calling it an error in the ballot tabulation. Baltar succeeds Roslin as president, and Roslin settles on New Caprica with the rest of the civilian population (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II").
On New Caprica, Roslin returns to her old profession of schoolteacher, working with Maya and watching over the hybrid baby, Isis. During a groundbreaking ceremony for a project promoted by Baltar's government, she meets with Admiral Adama. The two friends comfortably chat while smoking and drinking, and later gaze at the stars together. During the intimate outing, Roslin tells Adama of a cabin she is planning to build next to a lake, insisting that though the Cylons could return, they should use what time they have to enjoy life (TRS: "Unfinished Business"). Her fears are proven justified; on the 380th day after settlement, the Cylons discover and occupy the colony (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II").
Roslin becomes heavily involved with the resistance movement led by Colonel Tigh, who subordinates himself and his militia to the de facto civilian government-in-waiting she forms with Vice President Zarek; while Zarek has the constitutionally superior claim to the presidency, Roslin has the loyalty of Tigh's military; moreover, Zarek is jailed in the Cylon detention facility for four months, while Roslin retains the public guise of a politically-uninvolved school-teacher. Disgusted with the willingness of some humans to join the Cylon-controlled New Caprica Police, she and Foster work on discovering the identities of those people and handing their names over to the Resistance (TRS: "Occupation"). Following a suicide bombing at the graduation for the police force, Roslin is detained by the Cylons as are all high-profile civilians. Baltar visits her in her cell and offers to help her should she publicly denounce the bombings. Roslin argues that the Resistance is justified in their acts, yet she concedes that she does not support the suicide bombings. Despite refusing to cooperate with Baltar, she is released from prison (TRS: "Precipice").
Roslin later attempts to force Tigh to stop the suicide bombings, and a heated argument ensues in which Roslin uncharacteristically slaps Tigh. When another suicide bomber cripples the power infrastructure and kills numerous Cylons and humans, police forces storm through the city and arrest numerous people, including Roslin. The prisoners are put on trucks, where Roslin finds former vice president Zarek, who has spent the last four months in detention (TRS: "Precipice").
The Cylons take Roslin and the prisoners to be executed at the Pergamus Flats. Before they can do so, a raid by the Resistance kill the Cylons and free the prisoners. Roslin learns from Galen Tyrol that Galactica is planning a daring raid to evacuate the colonists. With the Resistance, Roslin goes over the evacuation strategy that they had put in place, and ensures that Maya and Isis will be safely escorted to an evacuating ship (TRS: "Exodus, Part I").
During the Battle of New Caprica, Zarek and Roslin escape together but she states that she will evacuate aboard her ship, Colonial One. Zarek notes the important symbolism, tacitly acknowledging her inevitable return to office. He gives a sidearm to Jammer, directing him to protect Roslin. Once the Fleet is safely reassembled, Roslin, Foster, and civil servants begin clearing the trappings of the Baltar/Cylon administration from Colonial One while assembling a census and calculating their losses. Foster confirms that Maya and Isis did not evacuate, and offers her apologies to Roslin. Though shaken, Roslin forgives Tory and takes a somewhat fatalistic view of the loss of Isis (TRS: "Exodus, Part II").
With Baltar missing following the evacuation, Zarek, as the legal vice president, assumes the presidency. However, Adama makes it clear that he will not accept this, and Zarek agrees to transfer the presidency to Roslin in exchange for a place in the new government. Touched by his courage on New Caprica and recalling their ability to work together in the resistance, Roslin agrees to make him her new vice president. The discovery of a secret tribunal set up by Zarek to try and execute Cylon collaborators leads Roslin to issue a blanket pardon for all crimes committed on New Caprica - excluding those committed by the fugitive Gaius Baltar - and to organize a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to document the experiences of the survivors (TRS: "Collaborators").
Second Roslin Administration
Roslin's second term in office is no less hectic than her first. Despite the misgivings of Adama, Roslin authorizes him to exterminate the Cylon race through the use of biological warfare and is visibly irritated when he refuses to investigate the sabotage of the plan (TRS: "A Measure of Salvation"). She later talks him out of resigning his commission when the knowledge of previous secret mission he had conducted surfaces (TRS: "Hero"). Following a food crisis, Roslin works with Adama to guide the Fleet to a planet covered in algae (TRS: "The Passage").
Though she believes that the newly-discovered Temple of Five on the algae planet is another road sign on the path to Earth, the arrival of the Cylons prevents any significant examination of the Temple. At this time, knowledge of Roslin's deception regarding the hybrid child surfaces when Adama learns that the child being held by the Cylons. Adama is noticeably disturbed by Roslin's actions, but this does not affect their relationship in the long term (TRS: "The Eye of Jupiter").
Baltar's capture on the algae planet places new stresses on Roslin. She attempts to interrogate him and again accuses him of involvement in the Cylon attack on the Colonies, a charge he denies. Though Adama suggests that they make Baltar disappear, Roslin decides to give Baltar a trial (TRS: "Taking a Break from All Your Worries"). The decision draws a strong rebuke from Zarek, who believes that this will give Baltar a chance to cause unrest in the Fleet (TRS: "The Woman King"). When publications of a manifesto secretly written by Baltar from his cell begin to circulate in the Fleet, Roslin confronts Baltar and orders him strip-searched for his writings. However, he turns over the pages before being completely stripped of his clothing (TRS: "Dirty Hands").
While preparing for Baltar's trial, Roslin deals with a labor strike emerging in the Fleet. Though she initially takes a hard stance against the unrest, she eventually agrees to work with Chief Tyrol and the laborers to increase time off and ensure that children are not forced to enter any particular occupation in the Fleet (TRS: "Dirty Hands").
For Baltar's trial, Roslin personally appoints Didi Cassidy and Alan Hughes as prosecutor and defender, respectively, and appoints Romo Lampkin as Hughes' replacement following his assassination. Roslin puts pressure on Cassidy to indict Baltar for his collusion in the attack on the Colonies; this interference draws a strong rebuke from Cassidy, who notes that outside of Roslin's vision, there is no evidence of Baltar's involvement in the attack. Nevertheless, Roslin remains committed to the trial, attending the proceedings and eventually testifying for the prosecution. Though she seems to incriminate Baltar in colluding with the Cylons during the New Caprican occupation, her testimony is called into question by Lampkin's co-counsel, Lee Adama (TRS: "Crossroads, Part I").
Lee had previously noted that Roslin had begun drinking tea at times she previously had not, and he had discreetly smelled the tea. He confronts Roslin on the fact that she has begun using chamalla again, masking the bitter taste by mixing it with her tea. Despite pleading for him not to reveal this, she relents, admitting that she has been using chamalla again because her cancer has returned. Ultimately, Baltar is acquitted to her strong displeasure. While the fact that Adama, a judge at the trial, had voted for acquittal does not severely affect their relationship despite her displeasure, Lee's role in Baltar's acquittal leads to a noticeable rift in his friendship with Roslin (TRS: "Crossroads, Part II").
Treatments and Visions
Roslin decides to undergo doloxan treatments as a way of at least slowing the progress of her cancer. During her first treatment, Roslin has a vision of herself in the Kobol Opera House, where she is looking for Hera. Seeing Sharon Agathon on the opposite side of the entrance, the two women race to catch Hera when two figures, Baltar and Caprica Six, pick up Hera and walk into the auditorium, with the doors closing behind them. Screaming as she awakens, Roslin finds that Six, Sharon and Hera all shared the same dream simultaneously (TRS: "Crossroads, Part II").
The Fleet's arrival at the Ionian Nebula also has a noticeable and unexplained effect on Roslin. Immediately after jumping to the Nebula, Roslin becomes dazed and stunned, which coincides with the entire Fleet inexplicably losing power. These events also coincide with the activation of the Final Five and the mysterious return of Kara Thrace, who had seemingly died two months previous (TRS: "Crossroads, Part II").
Roslin is immediately skeptical of Thrace's claims of finding Earth and not remembering how she had arrived at the Fleet, expressing her concerns that Thrace is a Cylon agent to Adama. When Roslin orders the Fleet to continue heading away from the Nebula, rather than follow Thrace's guidance to Earth, Thrace confronts Roslin at gunpoint (TRS: "He That Believeth In Me"). Attempting to convince Roslin that she is not a Cylon, Thrace hands her the gun and tells her to shoot if she truly believes Thrace is a Cylon; Roslin does so but misses, later attributing it to the doloxan treatments affecting her aim (TRS: "Six of One").
The doloxan treatments begin to take a greater toll on Roslin's health, forcing her to wear a wig as her hair falls out. Despite this, she continues to work as president, signing an executive order that curtails public gatherings, ostensibly as a way of protecting Baltar's cult from being attacked but in actuality an attempt to limit Baltar's growing influence. However, the Quorum, led by the newly-appointed Caprican delegate, Lee Adama, overturns this measure as an undue attack on civil liberties. While Roslin is upset by this, she acknowledges that Lee is simply trying to do what he believes is right (TRS: "Escape Velocity").
Roslin's doloxan treatments continue, with her only solace being that Adama reads to her during her treatments. While in sickbay, she meets Emily Kowalski, a end-stage cancer patient, and the two bond. While discussing their mortality and faith, Roslin concedes that her experiences during her mother's illness and death gave her a profound fear of dying. Soon after, Roslin has a dream of her and Emily standing on a boat crossing over to the afterlife. When Emily leaves to embrace her family, Roslin sees her mother and family waiting for her. However, she acknowledges that she is not ready to cross over; she wakes up to find that Emily has died (TRS: "Faith").
The discovery of the Rebel Cylon basestar presents Roslin with yet another difficult decision; the Cylons are willing to help the Colonials destroy the Resurrection Hub, thus rendering all Cylons mortal, in exchange for the identities of the Final Five, which will give them the location of Earth. Roslin agrees to the deal, lobbying the Quorum for its approval, yet secretly conspires with Adama and Tigh to ensure that the Final Five will not be handed over to the basestar without first informing the Colonials of Earth's location (TRS: "Guess What's Coming To Dinner).
Thrace informs Roslin that the Cylon Hybrid had told her that "The dying leader shall know the truth of the Opera House," and Roslin insists that both her and Baltar travel to the basestar to question the Hybrid. When the Hybrid is brought back online, it immediately jumps the basestar away from the Fleet with the intention of traveling to the Resurrection Hub per the original plan of attack. Whenever the basestar jumps, however, Roslin enters a vision of an empty Galactica with Elosha showing Roslin her own death in Galactica's sickbay, surrounded by Adama, Lee and Starbuck (TRS: "The Hub").
On the basestar, Roslin unsuccessfully attempts to communicate with the Hybrid, only gleaming the message to "protect the child." During the Battle of the Resurrection Hub, Roslin attempts to administer first aid to a severely injured Baltar, injecting him with morpha. As a result of the drugs, Baltar admits to Roslin that he unintentionally gave the Cylons the access codes to the Colonial Defense Mainframe, resulting in the attack on the Colonies. Roslin immediately stops administering aid and sits idly by while Baltar bleeds. However, another vision of Elosha convinces her that she cannot lose her humanity. Realizing this, Roslin helps stabilize Baltar and never pursues his role in the attack further. When Adama finds the missing basestar and reunites with Roslin, she tells him that she loves him (TRS: "The Hub").
Returning to the Fleet, Roslin is held captive as a hostage by the Cylons, led by a resurrected Number Three copy, in exchange for the Final Five. Before telling Adama goodbye, she whispers to him that he should destroy the basestar before agreeing to hand over the Final Five to the Cylons. During this crisis, Roslin is confronted by her aide, Tory Foster, who reveals that she is one of the Final Five and will not use her influence to avert bloodshed. However, actions taken by the remaining Final Five Cylons, Kara Thrace and acting President Lee Adama prevent the crisis from turning violent and reveal the location of Earth. Agreeing that Cylons and humans will go to Earth together, the Fleet finally arrives at the fabled destination, with Roslin and Adama embracing in celebration. Their jubilation is short-lived, as it is soon discovered that Earth is a uninhabitable nuclear wasteland (TRS: "Revelations").
The discoveries on Earth shake Roslin to her very core. Unable to break the news to the citizens waiting to hear from their president, Roslin retreats to her quarters aboard Galactica, burning her copy of the Pythian Prophecy in a sharp rebuke of her previous beliefs. She largely abdicates her role as president, with Lee Adama once again assuming most of her responsibilities (TRS: "Revelations").
As she is still the legal president, Roslin is pressured by Adama to decide whether the Fleet should enter into a permanent alliance with the Rebel Cylons, gaining Cylon technology in exchange for giving the Cylons a seat on the Quorum. However, Roslin becomes increasingly erratic in her behavior, discontinuing her doloxan treatments, throwing away her medications and jogging through the corridors of Galactica. When confronted by Adama over her behavior, she informs him that she no longer has much interest in serving others, wishing only to "live a little" before she dies. As a result, she enters into a romantic, sexual and co-habitable relationship with Adama while effectively ceding her presidential authority to Lee (TRS: "A Disquiet Follows My Soul").
However, Roslin is soon temporarily forced back into her role as president during a full-scale mutiny aboard Galactica led by Felix Gaeta and Tom Zarek. Using Baltar's shortwave wireless to address the Fleet, she calls for the citizens to remain loyal to Adama and herself and reject the actions of Zarek and Gaeta. With the help of Galen Tyrol and Adama, Roslin flees Galactica with Baltar, after sharing a farewell kiss with Adama, and rendezvous with the Cylon Basestar (TRS: "The Oath").
When the Cylons decide to leave the Fleet due to the mutiny, Roslin passionately persuades them to remain with the Fleet and support Adama. Later, she calls for the Fleet to shut down their FTL drives as Gaeta and Zarek prepare to leave the basestar behind; ten ships comply with the order. Growing bolder, she gives Galactica five minutes to surrender and return command to Adama, only to be falsely told by Zarek that Adama had been executed. Brimming with rage, Roslin declares that she will destroy Galactica unless they surrender immediately, but Adama is able to stop the potential battle by regaining control of the ship. Roslin is so relieved she breaks down in tears along with an Eight. Once the ship has been secured, an exhausted Roslin shares an emotional reunion with Adama, rejoining him in their quarters aboard Galactica (TRS: "Blood on the Scales").
Following the execution of Zarek for his crimes, Roslin officially designates Lee as her successor and gives him authorization to replace the Quorum, massacred during the mutiny, with a new legislative body more closely tailored to the political realities of the Fleet (TRS: "No Exit"). With her health declining, she steps back from her duties, though she does personally sign an order transferring the newly captured Sharon Valerii over to the Rebel Cylons (TRS: "Someone to Watch Over Me").
When Hera is kidnapped by Valerii, Roslin seems to have another prescient moment, whispering the child's name before collapsing (TRS: "Someone to Watch Over Me"). In sickbay, the dying Roslin continues to repeat Hera's name while she dreams. As Galactica continues to structurally fail around them, Roslin recounts to Adama her previous plans to build a cabin, lamenting the fact that she will not be able to fulfill her wish. Saying that Galactica has been the only true home she has ever had, she is able to convince a reluctant Adama to abandon the failing Galactica (TRS: "Islanded in a Stream of Stars").
The Truth of the Opera House
While continuing to deteriorate in sickbay, Roslin overhears Cottle and Layne Ishay discussing Adama's newfound plan to attack the Cylon Colony in an attempt to recapture Hera. Drawing on her remaining strength and visibly weakened, Roslin walks through the hangar deck to declare her intention to join Adama's raid saying that he isn't going without her. Despite her weakened state, Adama accepts her joining and indicates that he might've suspected she was going to the whole time. (TRS: "Daybreak, Part I").
Cottle gives Roslin a cocktail of drugs that allows her to function normally for a period of 48 hours; she acknowledges that she knows the drugs will considerably shorten what little time she has left. During the Battle of the Colony, Roslin assists Ishay in sickbay, attempting to sort out patients by those who can be saved and those who will certainly die. Overwhelmed, Roslin enters the corridor only to begin having another prescient moment. Walking through Galactica as the Cylons board the ship, while at the same time seeing flashes of her previous Opera House vision, Roslin locates Hera and hides both of them from the approaching Cylon forces.
When Roslin sees that the coast is clear, she finds that Hera has disappeared again. Looking for her, she sees Sharon Agathon in much the same manner that she does in the vision. With both of them running towards Hera, Baltar and Six find her, enter a nearby hatch and close the door. Thus, Roslin realizes the truth of the Opera House: the Opera House is Galactica, with the Final Five raised on the catwalk, and the events in the vision foreshadow her actions during the final moments of the war.
Following the subsequent discovery of New Earth, Roslin does not take part in the decisions to settle the planet and abandon all Colonial technology. She spends her remaining time with Adama, observing the African wildlife as her health rapidly deteriorates, to the point where she has severe difficulty breathing. Adama decides to take Roslin in a Raptor to get a closer view of the animals, and she waves her final goodbyes to Kara and Lee. In flight, Roslin utters her final words, "So much... life," and quietly passes away. Adama tearfully places his wedding band on her finger. He buries her next to the cabin he had planned to build for both of them. Adama is shown to visit her grave often, perhaps every day, and speaks to her about what is going on in his life (TRS: "Daybreak, Part II").
- The character of Laura Roslin is unique to the Re-imagined Series. She has no counterpart to the Original Series, where its version of President Adar is killed and a presidential replacement is never made. Roslin assumes more of the political-spiritual leadership of the Original Series' Commander Adama, whereas William Adama is representative of the Original Series' character's military commander aspect.
- Roslin appears in almost all episodes of the series, with the only exceptions being "The Road Less Traveled" and "Sine Qua Non", both in Season 4. She also does not appear in the TV movie "The Plan", nor does she appear in the webisode series "The Resistance" or "The Face of the Enemy". This ranks her as the second-most frequent character in the series behind William Adama.
- Actress Mary McDonnell is perhaps best known for her role in the epic film, Dances with Wolves, with Kevin Costner. Another famous role of hers was the U.S. First Lady in Independence Day, a film which (in a less serious tone than Battlestar) depicts cocky human fighter pilots battling an genocidal enemy from outer space. In that film she dies of her injuries from a helicopter crash before an end to the conflict is reached.
- While it may be a coincidence, the name Laura Roslin is an amalgam of the forenames of the incumbent U.S. First Ladies at the time the Re-imagined Series and the Original Series each premiered: Laura Bush and Rosalynn Carter, respectively.
- In the Singer/DeSanto continuation of the the Original Series, a female president named Mara would visit Galactica in much the same way that Laura Roslin did as part of that Galactica's decommissioning ceremony.
- The glasses that the character wears are also McDonnell's real glasses.
- According to the February issue of Sci Fi Magazine, actress Mary McDonnell indicates that, according to the series bible, Roslin has dated, but has never married. (Scans available on Ramblings of a dorkish nature)
- According to a December 2005 interview with Mary McDonnell in TV Guide, President Adar, a married man, was having an affair with Roslin in the twilight of his term.
- In the commentary track for "Epiphanies", Ron Moore states that a longer explanation of Roslin's cure was filmed that explained that the blood's stem cells cure Roslin. However, the scene was cut because he was afraid it would be too complicated and thought of as technobabble. The character's updated biography on the official Scifi.com site does confirm that stem cells from the hybrid were the actual cure. As such, Battlestar Wiki treats this data canonically as with information found in most deleted scenes.
- Mary McDonnell Q & A, Part 1 (backup available on Archive.org) . (VID) (2006-10-13). Retrieved on 2006-10-14.