Battlestar Wiki:Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup

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Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup
Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup


Colony Caprica (presumed)
Birth place {{{birthplace}}}
Birth Name Laura Roslin
Birth Date {{{birthdate}}}
Nickname {{{nickname}}}
Introduced Miniseries
Marital Status Unmarried[1]
Family Tree View
Role President, The Twelve Colonies of Kobol, former Secretary of Education
Serial Number {{{serial}}}
Portrayed by Mary McDonnell
Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup is a Cylon
Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup is a Final Five Cylon
Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup is a Human/Cylon Hybrid
Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup is an Original Series Cylon
Additional Information
[[Image:|200px|Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup]]

Laura Roslin is the last surviving government official of the original Twelve Colonies, becoming its new President after the Colonies' destruction.


Roslin, a former teacher with some twenty years experience, worked with then-mayor Richard Adar. Over the years, she had risen to the office of Secretary of Education.

Adar and Roslin are in a sexual affair[2] during the events of a teachers strike that she successfully mediates, to Adar's objection. Roslin learns that she, as did her mother, has breast cancer, and the diagnosis is grim.

She attends the decommissioning ceremonies on battlestar Galactica as the government's representative. On her return on Colonial Heavy 798, the Cylon attack begins, leaving billions dead and thousands of lives stranded in space.

Despite being thrust into the role of President in highly unusual and stressful circumstances, Laura Roslin initially proves herself both tough and capable within the role. Initially in awe of Commander Adama, and worrying about his opinion of her, she quickly overcomes her doubts and fears to make the tough decisions. She is always prepared to put the safety and destiny of the Fleet first, no matter what the cost of her own reputation.

Character History at a Glance

As her first duties as the new president, Roslin undertakes a rescue mission to round-up stranded vessels in Caprican space. Roslin successfully persuades Galactica commander William Adama from his intention of mounting a hopeless counter-attack against the Cylons to protecting the last of humanity from annihilation.

Roslin establishes a fledgling civilian government, with Billy Keikeya as her senior aide, soon recreating a new legislative Quorum. Roslin and Commander Adama's initial leadership works but awkwardly. With Roslin responsible for all civil leadership matters and Adama for all military decisions (Miniseries), the dividing line of their duties is often blurred in the first months of their exodus.

While using chamalla over diloxin for cancer treatment, Roslin experiences prescient visions related to the surprise discovery of Kobol. Priest Elosha believes that Roslin may the "dying leader" of the Pythian prophesy. Roslin plans to substantiate Commander Adama's fictitious knowledge of Earth's location with an actual bearing from ancient Kobol.

Roslin's actions to retrieve an ancient artifact leads Commander Adama to stage a coup. Complicating her arrest, Adama is soon shot by a Cylon agent, leaving the Fleet command solely in the hands of Saul Tigh. While in the brig, Roslin gains grassroots support from the Quorum of Twelve and civilians for her quest. After escaping Galactica's brig, she leads a third of the Fleet to Kobol in search for the Tomb of Athena.

Early in the search on Kobol, Elosha is killed, and Roslin is left alone for a time in her spiritual quest. The recovered Commander Adama realizes the need to stay unified, joins Roslin's expedition on Kobol and begins mending fences. He tells Roslin that her decision was leave the Colonies was correct, as choosing to stay would have had them all killed.

The team discovers the Tomb of Athena. Roslin's leap of faith pays off big with the first specific navigation pointer to Earth. Back on Galactica, Commander Adama introduces Roslin as President during a speech and leads the audience in a rousing ovation on her return, publicly burying the hatchet between them.

Since Kobol, Adama and Roslin's mutual respect and joint leadership in managing fleet business becomes more cooperative, each giving advice or correcting each other as needed. With the news of her illness now common knowledge, the military crew christens a new experimental stealth fighter by the name, Laura, a gesture that brings tears to the President.

Despite the joyful arrival of Colonial reinforcements, Roslin becomes concerned about Admiral Cain's draconian command style and ignorance of herself and the civilian fleet. After a near-disastrous military confrontation between the two battlestars, Roslin forces their commanders to concentrate on destruction of a critical Cylon ship and its fleet. Privately, Roslin is unafraid to warn Adama that Cain must be eliminated if the civilian Fleet is to survive.

Roslin and Adama.

After a significant Colonial victory and Admiral Cain's death, the now-frail Roslin promotes William Adama to Admiral. By surprise, the new admiral kisses Roslin, establishing a new romantic tone between them.

A near-death Roslin is saved by the fetus [3] of the Cylon hybrid fetus she initially ordered to be aborted. Before her cure, Roslin recalls her last days, including an attractive blonde she saw with Dr. Baltar on Caprica. Realizing Baltar's probable collaboration with the Cylons, she confronts Baltar and confesses the memory to Admiral Adama.

Roslin returns to work with a dispassionate, zealous manner, later appointing a new aide, the energetic Tory Foster, to replace the beloved Billy Keikeya, whose sudden death greatly depresses her.

Roslin's expected easy re-election is complicated due to fundementalist abortion issues, while Vice-President Baltar unexpectedly becomes her election rival. Unknown to Adama, Roslin hides the newborn Hera Agathon from the Cylons by faking the infant's death and giving her a foster mother.

When New Caprica is discovered, Baltar successfully wedges the civilian's desire to colonize against Roslin's campaign. In desperation she attempts to rig the campaign, but Adama discovers the plot and intervenes, reminding her that the civilians must make their own choices, even potentially disastrous ones. Baltar is inaugurated as President and orders colonization of New Caprica.

Early in the colonization, Roslin finds time to relax on New Caprica and unwinds briefly with Admiral Adama. With the many demands of the Fleet greatly reduced, the two friends comfortably chat over smoking and drinking, and later cuddle under the stars one night, and discuss what the future held for the Fleet.

Roslin as a teacher on New Caprica.

A year passes on New Caprica under President Baltar's poor leadership. Roslin had returned to teaching when the Cylons discover the colony and occupy the settlement.

Suspected as a resistance leader, Roslin is persecuted and eventually taken to be executed, but is rescued along with Tom Zarek, Baltar's former vice-president. From the event, Roslin and Zarek gain a new mutual respect.

Roslin eventually returns to the presidency after interim President Zarek cedes the office to become her new vice-president, but not before he purges several Cylon conspirators. She issues a general pardon to everyone in the Fleet to prevent the Fleet from being torn apart by long trials (Collaborators).

Roslin and Adama return to their pre-Second Exodus synergy, analyzing new data on the path to Earth and resolving a serious food shortage. Roslin and Adama's friendship is strained for a time when the truth about Hera Agathon is revealed. She is forced to admit her mistakes when Karl Agathon and his wife attempt an unauthorized rescue of their child, then in Cylon hands.

After the fugitive Gaius Baltar is captured, Roslin's zeal for answers about Baltar's Cylon involvement "infects" several others, including Tigh and Admiral Adama. Unsuccessful in getting answers through interogation, Roslin organizes a tribunal for Baltar's trial, recruiting Lee Adama to assist. Admiral Adama and Roslin become more open about their feelings, but are always aware of their responsibilities to the Fleet.


  • The character of Laura Roslin is unique to the Battlestar Galactica saga, having 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's apparent cure in "Epiphanies" contradicts the "dying leader" clause of the Pythian Prophecy, despite the fulfillment of her role in the Tomb of Athena story arc. Indications from the creators of the show suggest that Roslin's health trials may not yet be over.
  • Actress Mary McDonnell is perhaps best known for her role in the epic film, Dances with Wolves, with Kevin Costner. Other famous roles was as the 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.
  • The glasses that the character wears are also McDonnell's real glasses.[4]
  • President Roslin's appointment as Colonial president parallels US President Gerald R. Ford, who became US Vice President and later President through succession or appointment, not by election.


  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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.
  4. Mary McDonnell Q & A, Part 1 (backup available on . (VID Icon.pngVID) (2006-10-13). Retrieved on 2006-10-14.

Preceded by:
Richard Adar
President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol Succeeded by:
Gaius Baltar
Preceded by:
Tom Zarek
Vice President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol Succeeded by:
Tom Zarek
Preceded by:
Tom Zarek
President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol Succeeded by: