The Galaga was a DHARMA Initiative submarine that was appropriated by the Others after the Purge and used as a means of transporting recruited personnel from the outside world. ("Enter 77") ("The Man Behind the Curtain") In 2004, Locke destroyed it using C-4 explosives he acquired from the basement below the Flame. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
DHARMA Initiative service
The Galaga was originally part of the DHARMA Initiative infrastructure on the Island. There were docking facilities around the Island, including those near the Barracks, the Processing Center, at Hydra Island, and at the Looking Glass station underwater. It was used to travel between destinations on the Island and from the Island to the outside world. An underwater beacon helped the submarine locate the Island. During the 1970s, the Galaga was commanded by Captain Bird.
When Sawyer's group became stranded in 1974 at the conclusion of the time flashes, Horace Goodspeed said only DHARMA Initiative personnel were allowed to stay on the Island and offered to return them to Tahiti by the submarine. After saving the DHARMA Initiative from Richard and the Hostiles, Horace allowed the five to stay two more weeks until the sub's next departure. Juliet sat at the dock beside the Galaga, telling of her intention to leave anyway, until Sawyer convinced her to stay. ("LaFleur")
In 1977, following Daniel's warning of the impending Incident, Pierre Chang evacuated all non-essential DHARMA Initiative personnel, including all the women and children, aboard the Galaga. Among the evacuees were his wife and infant son, as well as young Charlotte Lewis and her mother. When Sawyer and Juliet were discovered by Radzinsky, they agreed to reveal the location of the Hostiles in exchange for letting them leave on the sub. After returning from the Others' camp, Kate was also forced to leave with them. ("Follow the Leader") However, the three overcame their DHARMA Initiative captors and ordered the captain at gunpoint to release them on a life raft, and then to carry on with his evacuation mission. ("The Incident, Part 1")
Service under the Others
Juliet's first view of the Island was from the submarine dock. ("One of Us")
Sometime after the Purge, Charles Widmore was exiled from the Island for breaking the rules and left via the Galaga. Ben came out to the dock to see him off, and Widmore was escorted onto the sub in restraints by armed guards. ("Dead Is Dead") Mikhail would later claim that he arrived on the Island by submarine to join the DHARMA Initiative. ("Enter 77")
Juliet arrived on the Island in 2001 aboard the Galaga. The exact circumstances of her journey are unknown, as she was kept unconscious from the time she met Ethan and Richard Alpert at an airport (presumably outside of Miami) until after the submarine had docked at the Island.
When she woke up, she found herself strapped to a bunk in the submarine. Ethan claimed that the straps and the tranquilizer were necessary because of the roughness of the travel experience to the Island. ("One of Us")
Ben claimed the submarine was the Others' only way of reaching the outside world. When the Swan imploded, the underwater beacon stopped functioning along with the rest of the former DHARMA Initiative communications equipment. This meant that if the submarine left, it would not be able to return. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
John Locke infiltrated the Barracks and held both Ben and Alex hostage, demanding to be taken to the submarine. Ben later explained that since communications with the outside world were lost the submarine was only capable of leaving the Island, but never returning, and that Jack would be leaving the Island by submarine in a few hours. The result would be the same whether Locke destroyed the submarine or not. All he would accomplish by destroying the submarine would be to keep Jack on the Island. Locke was later taken to the submarine by Alex and planted a C4 explosive. As he left the dock, he surrendered to the Others, but the submarine appeared to explode moments later. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
In the aftermath, Juliet (who would have left together with Jack) questioned if Locke acted on his own or under Ben's influence when blowing up the sub, and whether he blew up the Galaga at all. ("Operation: Sleeper")
The submarine was used by the Others to launch a raid on the Elizabeth with the intent of capturing it. During the preparation for this mission, the name of the submarine was first revealed when Colleen whispered to her husband Pickett her orders to use the Galaga to capture the sailboat from the survivors of Flight 815. The whisper cannot be heard on the audio track of the show, and was discovered in the closed captions of the episode. ("The Glass Ballerina")
Non-destruction theory and producer's commentary
Locke destroying the sub. Note his soaked clothing.
A theory that originated shortly after "The Man from Tallahassee" aired postulated that Locke did not actually destroy the submarine, but instead moved it elsewhere for future use. Evidence supporting this theory was the fact that Locke appeared on the dock soaking wet, despite entering the sub dry and presumably exiting it the same way; there appeared to be no reason why Terry O'Quinn would be soaked between shots.
When asked about this discrepancy shortly after the episode aired, Damon Lindelof replied "no comment." It is still unclear if this was ever intended to be a plot thread in future episodes or a mere production error.
Jeff Jensen: "When Locke was walking away from the submarine in "The Man from Tallahassee", he appeared to be soaking wet, despite the fact that we never saw him get into the water. This was just before the blow-up. Are we supposed to be wondering why John Locke was all wet?"
Damon Lindelof: "No comment."
- The Season 3 interior shots of the submarine were filmed on the USS Bowfin (SS-287) which is located near the Arizona Memorial.  The Bowfin is a Balao-class submarine constructed in 1942. The interior is very similar to US Gato-class submarines from the same period.
- The exteriors of the submarine were two props located at the fish pond at Molii Gardens, owned by the Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.
- A ☵ trigram is seen on the submarine's conning tower and on the shirt of one of its crew members. The same symbol appears on the bottom of the DHARMA logos. This symbol has two symbolic representations: as Nature, Water; and as one of its meanings, the Abyss.
1982 Video Game - Galaga
- Galaga is an arcade game released by Namco in 1981. The arcade game is played often in between writing episodes of the show, and thus the submarine was named after the game in its honor. (Official Lost Podcast/April 16, 2007)
- What may be a submarine mistaken for a whale is described on Day 13 of the diary transcript: "I think I saw a whale this morning... So there I was floating in the ocean when I heard a sound like a steam vent blowing behind me. I turned around and saw this really huge shape going back and forth under the surface."
- While Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse pronounced the name of the submarine as "GAL-uh-gah", (Official Lost Podcast/April 16, 2007) which is the typical pronunciation of the arcade game, the submarine's captain pronounced the name of his vessel as "guh-LAH-guh", ("The Incident, Part 1") which is closer to how the word would be pronounced if it were Spanish in origin.
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Galaga/Theories
- Why did the DHARMA Initiative use a submarine to travel to and from the Island?
- Why do travelers need tranquilizers to make the trip?
- Does everyone aboard the submarine take the tranquilizers?
- Why was Locke wet after returning from placing the C-4 aboard the submarine?