Morningstar in WC3

YCDTD

Commodore
7 year lurker, first time poster.

I've heard that the Morningstar was originally going to be in WC3? Can someone confirm or deny
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Hello! Welcome to the posting side of things! Dundradal is on vacation this week, so I will steal his line and say "always good to see a friendly ship."

As for the Morningstar--I know of no plans to have it in Wing Commander III. One of the big design choices for Wing Commander III was to have it be a clean break from the previous games in terms of style, art direction, technology and so on. Chris Roberts wasn't so intimately involved in Wing Commander 2 (he was busy with Strike Commander) and so wasn't as interested in keeping a strong connection to it.

(The Arrow appears in Armada because Armada's development cycle began after Wing Commander III. The Armada team actually borrowed the Arrow and Dralthi models, the first completed for WC3, as placeholders for their game... and ended up keeping the Arrow. You can find some early Armada press shots that have the "WC3" Dralthi in them...)
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Thanks LOAF. I never knew Roberts was not that involved with WC2- maybe the best overall game!
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
It's interesting! It's only recently come out, I'd say--there was a big push on Origin's part to sell Chris Roberts as the man behind every single element of Wing Commander back in the day... which of course isn't realistic when you think about it. (In fact, Richard Garriott mentioned in an interview just a few days ago how only he and Roberts were Origin's "A" players and it just seemed so silly knowing how much else went into these games.)

But yeah, Chris Roberts was producer on Wing Commander II (like Warren Spector had been on Wing Commander I) and he was in charge of certain things (like approving new graphics)... but he was consumed by Strike Commander starting pretty early on in that process. (If you have that game, he compares the development process to being similar to Francis Ford Coppola making Apocalypse Now in a letter to the player in the manual--that was a project that took everything out of everybody involved and then some.)

Wing Commander II was actually "directed" by Stephen Beeman, who doesn't get much credit for it.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
It makes me a little worried to be honest. I don't know if you follow Star Wars LOAF, but it appears that it was great because of the team that was involved, and not just the "genius" of Lucas. Now Roberts wants to return to WC apparently...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I do follow Star Wars (it's hard not to) and I think there are some similarities. I think the original four Wing Commander games could be compared to the original Star Wars movies very easily.

Star Wars and Return of the Jedi and Wing Commander I, III and IV were all projects where the buck stopped with the famous creator. Now, inside that story would Star Wars have been as amazing without Ralph McQuarrie, or Wing Commander III without Chris Douglas? No -- but in both cases they're team members who are there because they were selected by Lucas and Roberts. Any collaborative work functions that way, and the credit has to flow upwards.

Wing Commander II and The Empire Strikes Back are both interesting outliers. ESB had a brilliant director with a degree of control over the project and Wing Commander II had Roberts stepping back and letting others run the project. In both cases, a big part of why they happened was that the famous creator didn't yet understand that the IP was his legacy. Chris Roberts believed he would go on and do other games like he had before Wing Commander... and Lucas similarly didn't yet grasp how much his name was going to be assosciated with Star Wars forever, no matter who the director of the specific picture was.

I think the prequels are an entirely different story, though, and it's likely something Chris Roberts won't face. We probably won't know the full story behind them for another decade or two, but I don't really believe the narrative the fans have constructed so far. It's not so much about Lucas being a bad director who no longer had a good support network as it is Lucas going into the project without understanding how the audience had changed in twenty years. I think Star Wars prequels with other directors could have been fascinating (or terrible) and that Lucas should have considered going that route... but I don't think it was their One Big Problem.

I mean, look at the gulf between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Phantom Menace is unquestionably Lucas trying to make a movie that will be completely enthralling to kids... in 1977. He didn't *get* that the audience wasn't the same anymore and wouldn't appreciate so much of what he was going for. The last eleven year old who would have thought Jar Jar was hilarious or that it was super rad to see kid Anakin flying a space fighter died in 1990. I'm betting that Phantom Menace was EXACTLY the movie he sat down to create and... honestly I kind of like that. Then there's a kind of profound sadness with the other two, then, where you watch the movies and realize he's no longer doing the (weird, possibly terrible) film he wants but is instead frustratingly trying to figure out what his fans even want now. And he never really cracks it.

So I think Chris Roberts will face different challenges. As I mentioned in that other thread, he famously pursues HIS idea and doesn't worry about focus grouping or otherwise involving the potential audience... so whatever he comes up with will be his Phantom Menace. We just have to hope he has a better understanding of what makes a fun game. :)

(As an aside about the rare impact of the two franchises, I will say that I lost a LOT of respect for Lucas in 1999, when he wanted FOX to kill the Wing Commander movie (eventually being so petty as to insist that FOX make a formal announcement that the Star Wars trailer was NOT attached to Wing Commander... even though it was.) I also /gained/ a lot of respect for Chris Roberts' business sense at the same time, when I heard that his contract with FOX actually specified that they had to put Wing Commander in theaters before Phantom Menace or he would get the rights to the film back himself.)
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Your point about The Phantom Menace being Lucas's original vision and the other prequels being him trying to please the fans is an observation I have also made. Great minds think alike! Lucas once said that he didn't care if he made a piece of art or a piece of shit, but after The Phantom Menace he became quite concerned that people would not like his movies.

Ah, Star Wars is too depressing to talk about these days. Let's get back to WC!
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
I agree with LOAF on most things... the adult characters in TPM were okay though, just Anakin was too much of a little likeable kid.

As for the Morningstar, it was an unconventional ship designed by the standards of Maniac to keep up with his flying style. Who from WC2 onwards and confirmed in the sequels, the cartoon and even the movie as a complete nutcase while flying.

Academy(game) lists it as frontline fighter, and actually while playing WC2 you'll find the Sabre a better balanced fighter(But this could be my personal idea, since I also prefer the raptor over the rapier II, and the size only makes the difference in Standoff's sim).

I see little use for a nuclear-missile-equipped gun-heavy expensive superweapon in peacetime.. (But i think the novell does make mention of morningstars). Besides, It had issues with it's unstable jumpdrive.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I see little use for a nuclear-missile-equipped gun-heavy expensive superweapon in peacetime.. (But i think the novell does make mention of morningstars). Besides, It had issues with it's unstable jumpdrive.

I would be careful not to place too much emphasis on the jump drive. Like the Phase Transit Cannon being decommissioned, it's more of a joke than some universal deal breaker. Complex mechanical products always have bugs in the testing phase. If the Morningstar became a frontline fighter, they would have fixed a bunch of things along the way.
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
I would be careful not to place too much emphasis on the jump drive. Like the Phase Transit Cannon being decommissioned, it's more of a joke than some universal deal breaker. Complex mechanical products always have bugs in the testing phase. If the Morningstar became a frontline fighter, they would have fixed a bunch of things along the way.

Of course. Confed has had plenty of experience making jump drives that work. There's no reason to think that production model Morningstars would still have jump problems. Either they would fix it or remove the drive completely.
 
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