Quarto, As one of Saga’s writers, I thought I would share a few thoughts. Writing Saga was a very interesting experience. Saga’s story was originally the brain child of one author. He had a specific vision for all the characters and for the story as a whole, and he has a style which is fairly distinctive. He was heavily involved in all issues related to the script for a long time. Over time, several other writers were brought in to help (myself included), and at the end of the project I was the one doing most of the writing. The process has been much less like having an author write a story, and a lot more like having different authors write different chapters to the same story, then crossing over and adding and subtracting content from each other’s chapters. Then, the project leads also provided objectives, outlines, and ideas about how the story should go and would ask the writers to follow those objectives and come up with ways to make things work. Part of what has made this complicated is that the various authors did not always see eye to eye. For example, I was never a fan of any of the “Hey, look at me, I’m stupid. So, I’m going to do something stupid and die and then everyone will say, ‘Look at that idiot burn! He deserved it!’” (such as the Lightspeed and Dawn examples that you gave). I originally tried to have all of them removed (for quite some time, in fact). As they stand, each of them is actually quite a toned down, subtle version of the way they were originally written (except for the Pothead dialogue and death scene, which remained pretty much as it did originally, and which I thought had all the delicacy and subtlety of a jackhammer to the thumb). However, to the original author, these moments were very, very important. So, in the end, we compromised, taking a toned down version of most of these events but leaving them in. They will appeal to some people, and to others they won’t (myself included). To me, it felt like the message is, “You only die if you do something stupid,” which felt like an unfair message to a lot of soldiers who don’t make it home. (Interestingly enough, Quarto, I actually know the author’s original intent behind that Lightspeed line, and it’s not what you stated. I probably shouldn’t get in to it, but it wasn’t meant as a dig against non-career officers. I could get in to exactly what it is intended to, but it’s just better to let that all go right now. That was a spirited conversation between me and the original author at the time. As it is, the original line has been so greatly altered in its present form that there is hardly a way to trace it back to its originally intended target, unless you know the story, which I don’t feel inclined to share. I’ll let that particular sleeping dog lie.) A visible example of the compromise can be seen by looking at the old prologue and comparing it to the new one. In the old prologue, Champ and his wing leader both act like idiots (“Hey, look at us, just the two of us can take on a swarm of fighters and a capital ship and everything is just cool,”) and then they die. With discussion, the compromise was to keep the event for the revamped prologue, but to change the situation. Now, it is a jealous Champ who just saw Sandman score some real kills and wants to prove he is better than Sandman (and possibly edge out Sandman for the attention of Panzer). So, Champ goes rogue, endangers his trainer and two fellow trainees, and ultimately gets himself and his wingleader killed in a tragic act of hubris. His trainer is the victim of Champ’s pride, and he dies trying to protect his fledgling pilots, not due to any fault of his own. That, to me, still stuck with the theme of Champ’s pride being his downfall, but of his wingleader dying as many brave soldiers do, trying to make the best of a bad situation. I had originally added more dialogue in the Prologue to flesh out the triangle relationship of Sandman, Champ, and Panzer. But, it just got to be too much and was cut. The same sort of thing applied to characters. I was a little surprised by how some of the characters changed just based off of what the voice actors brought to the table. For example, I never liked Greywolf on paper. But, the actor who did his voice brought something to him that actually got my liking him, in spite of his gruff exterior and constant picking on Sandman. Which leads me to another thing that changed over time; Sandman, in the original script, was treated as the perpetual newbie by absolutely everyone (with the possible exception of Phalanx). We left some of that in (with Greywolf, Psychopath, and Avatarr refusing to give Sandman any credit or respect), but let him gain respect in the site of other characters. So, getting back to the point from my little tangent, some of these scenes (FortCrocket, the Kinney) have been around nearly from the beginning, and were very important to the original author and the story he wanted to tell. So, through all of the revisions and the compromises, these remained largely how he originally wrote them (with one exception. Originally there was a traitor involved in the death of the carrier eventually known as the Kinney. I thought that the traitor thing had been done enough in the Wing Commander universe, and I wanted the carrier to be lost because the Kilrathi genuinely overpowered it, not because some traitor allowed them to). I would agree with you that they way they transformed into gameplay probably results in the clunkiest parts of Saga, but because of their importance to the original author to his vision of the story, they remain. (By the way, with the Kinney mission, go to afterburners, activate glide (alt+g), and then you will still have all your afterburner fuel for the battle when you arrive together with your whole squadron.) I also have to give some props, though. When I read in the script about the whole Valkyries squadron deal, it just didn’t seem to work for me on paper. However, when I saw it implemented, I actually liked it (due partially to the voice actors who really sold it for me and just the way it turned out to be a really fun mission). So, I am not going to try to say that my view on how the script should have been finalized is always right. I was wrong on that one, and was pleasantly surprised. I have a distinctive style, and for those who know me well, they will easily pick out which missions and pieces of dialogue were written primarily by me (you will find my influence particularly in the last series of missions). I also did quite a few revisions on mission flow and dialogue written primarily by other authors, while still having to stick close to what they originally wrote. And sometimes my ideas were entirely shot down or gutted. An English major doing a manuscript analysis (or a psychologist doing an evaluation of the script) could probably go through this with no foreknowledge about how many authors have worked on it and pick out the various styles of each of the authors without too much difficulty. I am not a perfect writer, none of the writers are. In fact, none of the criticisms I have heard brought up about the script are anything new beyond what the writers pointed out in each other’s ideas while we were developing the script. So, what am I saying by all this? I am saying that I think Quarto’s critiques are valid. I think there are some parts of the script I love, and some parts I am not in love with. The final is what it is as a result of years of both conflict and compromise, which has admittedly left it imperfect. It is just my hope that in the end, the gist of what we are trying to portray, of what I was personally trying to say in my portions, gets across and connects with some of the people who play. I do want to be clear. Even though the primary author and I have not seen eye to eye on many things over the last decade, I have a lot of respect for him and the sheer amount of work he put in to this project. Without him, there would not be a Saga, so even though I have some points of disagreement with him, I am very thankful for his contribution and for letting me have mine. We have both learned a lot about compromise through the whole process. I just want to let you know that if you have criticism for parts of the script or dialogue that I wrote, I am very open to it and want to learn from the reactions you guys have to it.