Battlestar Galactica and Wing Commander


The more I watch old Battlestar Galactica (the old one with Lorne Greene), the more I think that Wing Commander took several cues from or was heavily inspired by the show. Here's some things I've noticed.

Check out Apollo's (on right) uniform here:

Looks a lot like the Confed uniform from WC3:

Same latch-up front and patches on the shoulders, with buttons on the collar.

Now, check this fighter out from BSG, the Viper:

Looks an awful lot like a Ferret from WC2, doesn't it?

I also noticed that the sound effect for the Viper's acceleration sounds exactly like a jump point opening in WC3. It's a couple of different sounds mixed together, but the WC3 jump sound is one of them.

Check out the Cylon fighter, the Raider:

Looks like a Dralthi.

I also think that the Battlestar Galactica itself looks like a Drayman from Privateer.

Does anyone else see these resemblances, or do I just have Wing Commander on the brain?


212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I can see the Viper / Ferret thing. However, the WC3 uniforms are just utility jumpsuits with stuff sewed onto them, so I don't think you can derive any "influence" there unless you're willing to say your local garbage man was the costume designer. Or that Richard Hatch has enjoyed international recognition for more than three decades.


I see what you mean on the uniform, at least as far as the clips going down the front. Never noticed that before.

Eh, I'd say the turbo/jump point analogy is close, but not an exact sound, as I think there's a difference in the frequency range and some extra "outside" noise where the Viper's turbo thrust is very straightforward. But again, I can mentally get the similarity.

The Viper/Ferret resemblance is pretty funny, especially considering the cockpit sitting on top of the elongated "nose" which is angled down and back at the front.

I agree w/FekLeyrTarg on the launch sequence, too. Knew there was a reason I liked that launch sequence...


Alex Von T.
the ferret has more in common with an xwing I think.. and the cockpit placement is the same in that situation too.. hmm......


Seventh Part of the Seal
the ferret has more in common with an xwing I think.. and the cockpit placement is the same in that situation too.. hmm......

I disagree, I can see several similarities in the nose, engines, and cockpit.

As for the cylon fighter... watch a couple of old Sci-Fi movies from the early 80s. Something like The Last Star Fighter or... (under protest) Battle From Beyond the Stars. That fighter design is quite common.

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I would say that if there was one element of the original Battlestar Galactica that survived through the 1990s it was the Viper and Raider designs... they really did outlast the stories themselves (who else was kind of surprised by how ridiculous BSG's actual episodes really were when they finally put out DVDs? Oh no, society has been destroyed by monsters... lets go to the casino planet!).

it would probably be impossible to say without talking to the actual artists, since there's no question that they both share the same immediate influence (Star Wars)... but I'd be willing to bet that whoever built the Ferret and Dralthi knew their BSG precursors.


Rear Admiral
I think a lot of science fiction inevitably borrows from science fiction that has gone before it. When I played Wing Commander, I saw a lot of influences, either accidental or possibly intentional, creeping in from other things.

I agree on the Viper --> Ferret, and also on the launch tube sequence.

But consider some other SciFi influences that seem to have crept in (or out):

Larry Niven's Kzinti --> Kilrathi

Starship Troopers Bugs --> Nephilim

Battlestar --> Fralthi

WC1 Ralari --> B5 Narn Heavy Cruiser

WC1 Salthi --> Player ship from Descent

And is it me, or does a WC1 Raptor bear an awfully striking resemblance to a Rylan Gun Star?

One thing that I do NOT see in WC is any resemblance to Star Wars ships...nothing looks like an ImpStar, or an X-Wing. OK, maybe a Nebulon B looks kind of like the cruisers we see later in the WC series, but that's about it. I would bet that the lack of Star Wars inspiration was intentional...the WC designers probably didn't want to seem like they were copying their biggest rival.


The Niven reference is why WC has a system named after him in WC2. Wasn't Descent made after WC1? Unless you mean that Descent was influenced by WC.


Rear Admiral
Yes, both B5 and Descent were after WC1, so I was implying that the influence went the other direction there...


Vice Admiral
Well, you did notice that the cockpit closes up on a WC1 fighter in thesame way it does on a BSG viper... Also the helmets match, only without the egyptian symbols, but those were all build from common motorhelmets.

As for the casino planet, well, there are two things people wanted to see in that time, spaceships and humans winning, and weird aliens and their culture. They had their reason for visiting that planet, and the casino was believed to be an abandoned mining outpost still housing supplies and weapons, new BSG does thesame thing, but stops at a real abandoned supply post(inhabited/guarded by a single person who turned out to be a cylon spy). It only ever got way to cheesy when they travelled to earth and then back in time to WW2 to stop a roque from assisting technological advancements in ww2. Luckily they pulled the plug on the series then.


Rear Admiral
There are some obvious similarities, which I think was an intentional omage to the show.

The new BSG reminded me of WC too, with its dark and absorbing narrative. What a great show that was.


I remember as a kid building a Viper kit with my dad along with a Galatica and a Cylon Raider..they were cool because we put them away and as they gather dust they began to weather...anyway

I don't see the resemblance between the Ferret and the Viper. I mean, certainly it's possible, but even then the Viper was a 21 year old design before WCII came out. Maybe it influenced the designer behind it with it's sleek ass lines? but it's a rather extreme leap, from Ferret to Viper.

But for a series I don't give much, the Mark II's in the BSG re-imagining, my goodness gracious I haven't loved a ship like that since the Moldy Crow in Dark Forces and that was because the thing was uglier than hell but had character.