In the Battlestar Galactica universe, in both 1978 and 2004 instances, Kobol is the birthplace of humanity - from which the twelve (13?) colonies originally departed. One of the humanity's larger religions in the twelve colonies is a polytheistic faith worshipping 'the Twelve Lords of Kobol', a dozen deities out of which eleven are identified in the series.

I'm interested in knowing the origins of 'Kobol', and in particular its naming. Considering the series' focal point on human technological prowess I'd consider it plausible for the name to be a homage to the early compiled programming language COBOL; largely attributed to the computer science legend (Amazing) Grace Hopper.

Might I be correct in my assessment, or has the origins of the name 'Kobol' been discussed or mayhaps even confirmed before?

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    Or perhaps the mythical creature kobold? Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 21:17
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    I would bet that it's pure coincidence. There are only so many combinations of phonemes that sound like reasonable names to a native English speaker and don't translate to something unprintable elsewhere... (I'm still completely boggled that my synthetic nickname appears to be almost globally unique; it isn't a particularly strange combination of sounds.)
    – keshlam
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 3:01
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    – Andres F.
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


It is actually more likely a reference to the star/planet Kolob, which is mentioned in Mormon scripture and teachings. In those texts, Kolob was close to the throne of God, or is described as the "star nearest unto God".

Glen Larson, the creator of the original Battlestar Galactica is a known Mormon.

Backing this up is the other similarity in The Quorum of Twelve which is likely based on the The Quorum of Twelve Apostles in the Mormon church, and the reference to marriage as "sealing" as it is within the Mormon church.

Additionally, similar to the 13 original Tribes of Kobol including one lost one, the Book of Mormon describes 13 Tribes of Israel who departed, with the 13th being lost.

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    I'd upvote if half your facts weren't wrong. Kolob appears nowhere in the Book of Mormon. It is found in other scriptural texts and teachings. There are 13 tribes of Israel, but 10 are described as "lost" (this is from the Bible) and the Book of Mormon only describes a group from one of the tribes (Manasseh). All that aside, while Glen Larsen hasn't spoken much publicly about it, anyone familiar with the teachings of the LDS church will recognize that he borrowed quite a few concepts for the original BSG.
    – BBlake
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 17:38
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    This theory seems to stem from an (ahem) academic analysis rather than any established canon facts; beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Movies/2005/05/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 17:43
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    @Himarm - Most scholars will tell you there are 13. The descendents of the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, are considered two separate tribes are and are typically referred to as the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh separately, not as the tribe of Joseph. But yes, Israel did only have 12 sons.
    – BBlake
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 18:45
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    there are only 12 tribes, when entering the promise land levi did not receive land, as they were to be preists instead they broke josephs tribe into 2 to split the land up. From this point they excluded levi for the most part, and include the 2 sons because of portioning out of the land.
    – Himarm
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 18:51
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    All debatable mistakes aside, this answer is still way more likely than the name being a homage to the COBOL programming language.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 21:07

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