Every Privateer Manual Has Its Thorn Update ID

From Watson's Disease in the original Wing Commander (named after David Watson, a friend of Origin founder Richard Garriott) to a variety of fan appearances in 'classifieds' scan of Wing Commander Arena's Star*Soldier, Wing Commander's designers have a long history of tuckerizing friends and fans. Another prominent example appears in the "Survival Tips" article of the original Privateer's Playguide:
When I recently attended a convention on Oxford, I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of a young pilot working at the fighter base. Mark Thornton’s boundless enthusiasm for his job impressed me so much that I decided to interview him for publication here. What I have compiled is condensation of our conversations about his training at the TCSN Academy. Here are the high points of his advice for rookie pilots.
Who was Mark Thornton? Imagine my surprise when he e-mailed us - apparently our spam-blocking software had accidentally banned him from the forums! That sorted out, he was nice enough to explain to me how he wound up in the Privateer manual:
I wrote Origin a letter a long time ago regarding opening my own custom software store, and asked them for any assistance about purchasing software, business licensing, etc... and they sent a HUGE mailer back to me with a bunch of stickers, promotion pages of upcoming games, and a nice letter wishing me good luck. Over the years though they were all thrown away, grrrrrrr. But I do still have all of their games! :) (thank you DosBox! :))

Anyway, Wing Commander Privateer came out soon afterwards and when I saw my name in the Flight Training portion of the manual, I FREAKED! It's great to be a permanent part of Origin's history!

As a little background, I've been in the United States Marine Corps for 21 years, I am a Gunnery Sergeant and work as an Parachute Rigger/Life Support shop head for all Marine Corps aircraft systems, and will retire in February 2008.

How cool - and what a complement, being referenced like that! He also sent in three pictures, so we could see what Mark Thornton looks like. The story gets even better for those familiar with the Wing Commander novels - he actually served aboard the USS Tarawa!

#1 - That's our boat, the USS Tarawa (LHA-1) in Pearl Harbor, on our way to Iraq in July 2005.

#2 - This is the deck of the USS Bowfin in Pearl Harbor. A must visit!

#3 - Here I am in my "spacious" Flight Equipment shop aboard the Tarawa. To my right is my Maintenance Chief in for a visit, and on my left is one of my Flight Equipment guys. My squadron patch is Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (HMM-163) out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, CA. (I'm now finishing my career at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona with Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1)).

Recent Updates

Cha Cha To This Kilrathi Theme

Origin composer George Oldziey has released another awesome Wing Commander track from his live recording session held a few weeks ago. This one is the "Kilrathi Cha Cha" as remixed and performed by Gato 6, his talented Latin Jazz band. It's full of fun and personality - give it a listen below! (2018-02-25)

Maverick Gets Pantsed

LOAF is still scratching the surface of his 30 boxes of Academy archival materials, but when he does get a chance to dig in, he uncovers some real gems! Take for, example, Cadet Blair's sorely underrated bottom half. Everyone is all into torsos, but you can't have one without the other! (2018-02-24)

Mark Hamill Premiering New Documentary at SXSW

It's a good week for Mark Hamill fans! In addition to getting his Hollywood star, Mr. Hamill will be returning to the birthplace of Wing Commander next month to help debut a new documentary, The Director and the Jedi, about his work with Rian Johnson on the new Star Wars film. (2018-02-23)

Mark Hamill To Receive Hollywood Star

Thanks in part to his recent success resuming the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, actor Mark Hamill will soon be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony is set for March 8, 2018 at 11:30 am. I'd encourage Wing Commander fans nearby to go check it out, but the crowd will likely be substantial. (2018-02-22)

Banshee Kicks Off Flat Universe's Border Worlds Faction

The first Border Worlds ship for Wing Commander Flat Universe has been announced! The Banshee now joins the battle alongside four Confed and four Kilrathi craft. It's designed to be particularly effective against slower bombers such as the Broadsword or Grikath. (2018-02-21)

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