|Place of birth||Earth, Sol System|
Free Republic of the Landreich
|Service/branch||Terran Confederation Space Force|
Terran Confederation Navy
Free Republic of the Landreich Navy
|Years of service||2634-2667, 2667-2670, 2671-2673|
TCS Concordia CVS-65 (2660-2667)
Task Force 45
TCS Vesuvius (2673)
Terran Confederation Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross
Knight Commander of the Bath
|Relations||Reggie Tolwyn (son, deceased)|
Elizabeth Tolwyn (wife, deceased)
Kevin Tolwyn (nephew)
|Other work||Head of the Strategic Readiness Agency|
|Work-in-progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.|
Geoffrey Tolwyn was a Terran officer from the Terran Confederation. He was once one of the most prestigious Admirals of the Terran Confederation Navy and eventually attained the rank of Space Marshal.
Geoffrey Tolwyn was a very complex man whose personal history was tied very closely to that of the Confederation throughout the 27th Century. On numerous occasions he was responsible for preventing tragic disaster, even extinction of the human race. A lifetime of bitter fighting ultimately changed him however, and although he outlived the Terran-Kilrathi War, he was never able to find peace. Arguably more important to the war effort than even Christopher Blair, Tolwyn's fate diverged significantly from the premier fighter pilot of the Kilrathi War. The circumstances that sustained him for decades proved to be his undoing, and ultimately Tolwyn met a tragic and unfortunate end.
Young Tolwyn was assigned to the TCS Albemarle for his cadet cruise with his classmate David Whittaker. While they were flying a training mission, Tolwyn's helm console exploded, and the shuttle he and David were on crashed on the planet they were surveying. He was trapped in the wreckage, blind and without his helmet. The planet's atmosphere contained sulfur dioxide. Whittaker, his helmet destroyed in the crash, somehow managed to get Tolwyn to an emergency pressure bubble. They both spent six months in the hospital recovering. He befriended Banbridge and Duke Grecko around this time after taking one of Banbridge's classes at the Academy. It was in Banbridge's quarters that Tolwyn first met his wife Elizabeth Clara.
In 2634, Tolwyn accompanied Winston Turner to McAuliffe and became one of the first heroes of the Kilrathi War. Despite only having primarily simulation experience, he successfully flew a Wildcat fighter to defend the TCS Concordia against the Kilrathi who had just destroyed the McAuliffe Skyhook. Ensign Tolwyn decided to fly in the counter-attack despite having suffered from second degree burns, a dozen durasteel shrapnel wounds and having part of a rudder pedal dig out his leg. Turner attempted to convince him not to fly, but failed. After a dogfight, Tolwyn finds the ejection pod of the Kilrathi ace Ratha, but chooses not to kill him because it would not have been "British." After the delaying action, he landed on the Concordia with only 15 seconds remaining to jump. Tolwyn was recommended for the Medal of Honor for his heroic efforts in the defense of McAuliffe.
In 2639, Captain Tolwyn played a vital role in the Enyo Engagement and parallel defense of McAuliffe. When Kilrathi forces stormed the planet and held a quarter of a million hostages under orbital guns, Tolwyn rallied the remaining defenders and co-ordinates a daring counter-strike. A small force of Raptor heavy fighters deployed mines around a nearby jump point: the Kilrathi easily avoided the field, but when the mines were radio-detonated, a large Confederation fleet jumped in and headed directly towards the Kilrathi gunships, destroying them with minimal loss of civilian life.
In the 2640s, Tolwyn's wife and sons were killed in a Kilrathi raid. Later in his life, news reporters often pointed to this as the main reason for his spectacular career and subsequent downfall. One of his sons was named Reggie.
Although often a great leader, Tolwyn was impatient and often personally assumed command in a crisis. He once made the TCS Tiger's Claw the flagship of a battle group to delay a Kilrathi fleet against overwhelming odds until the Confederation could send reinforcements.
Tolwyn relieved then Captain Thorn from duty for cowardice in the face of the enemy. He was also well known to be willing to risk lives to achieve his goals. He threatened massacre of several Pilgrim worlds in a bid to recall the super-cruiser Olympus that had gone rogue with Pilgrim agents in the early 2650s.
In 2654, he spent some time as commander of the Tiger's Claw when Confederation High Command wanted to distance themselves from him. He worked closely with young pilots Christopher Blair, Todd Marshall and others who came to prominence as the Kilrathi War progressed. He became attached to the Claw and worried for its survival when it embarked on a Secret Mission to destroy the Sivar Dreadnought in 2656.
With the Tiger's Claw's destruction on 2656.033, it was Blair whom Tolwyn blamed for the loss. He had him court-martialed for negligence and sent to In-System Security until fate brought them back together again aboard the Confederation-class TCS Concordia in 2665.
Tolwyn was hostile towards Blair during this time and made it very clear in his words and attitude, his distrust and enmity towards the pilot. Under desperate circumstances and with the support of Concordia Wing Commander Jeannette Devereaux, Blair was able to vindicate himself and uncover the truth behind the destruction of the Claw. Relations between Tolwyn and Blair improved thereafter, and Tolwyn commanded the Concordia for seven years before moving further along the chain of command.
As the war ground on, Tolwyn selected Jason Bondarevsky, Etienne Montclair and other comrades for the new command of the TCS Tarawa. He thought of them as his best people, but was not yet aware of Operation Back Lash and what his choice would mean for them - instead, he believed he was doing them a favor. When more information was revealed, the thought of having to abandon Strike Force Tarawa if they could not escape Kilrathi pursuit on their own was unbearable for Tolwyn. After the pivotal action at Vukar Tag, Tolwyn was able to detach the Concordia to come to the Tarawa's aid on its return from an end run to Kilrah. With the success of Operation Back Lash, Tolwyn was recommended for the Medal of Valor with Diamonds.
Tolwyn's nephew, Kevin Tolwyn, was making his own identity by this time and the elder Tolwyn often fought with his sister-in-law over Kevin's career. She wanted him to be a clean career officer and become an Admiral through the political route, because of the death of Kevin's father in a training accident. Geoffrey Tolwyn knew good officers were required on the front lines, however. Kevin represented the latest in a string of military Tolwyns fifty generations long. Tolwyn's family had a 1,000 year tradition of serving in the Army, Navy and Air Force of Britain and the Space Forces of the Confederation. Tolwyns earned six Victoria crosses and served at Waterloo, the Somme, in the Battle of Britain, Minsk and the siege of London against tyrants such as Hitler and Zhing.
In 2668, with the Confederation striking hard and winning major victories, Tolwyn was the first critic of the peace armistice extended by the Kilrathi. He authorized an attack on a Kilrathi carrier in the Munro system shortly after learning about the cease fire and this decision brought him to a humiliating court martial. Tolwyn was declared guilty of disobedience for breaking General Order 2312A, ordering suspension of all hostilities, and subsequently dishonourably discharged. This new-found freedom was actually orchestrated by the Confederation Military Chief of Staff so that Tolwyn could build a team that infiltrated deep into Kilrathi space and uncover evidence that the armistice was indeed a ruse perpetrated by the Kilrathi.
On the far side of the Kilrathi Empire, Tolwyn's operatives discovered evidence of enormous shipyards constructing super-carriers that could slice to the heart of the Confederation. This information was delivered barely in time to cobble together a makeshift defense of Earth, but not before the inner worlds of Warsaw, Gilead, and Sirius Prime were attacked and destroyed. President Harold Rodham officially pardoned Tolwyn for the Munro incident, and reinstated him as a full admiral in command of Third Fleet, with the mission of organizing Earth's defenses. Tolwyn's commission was reinstated and he directed the Concordia in a harrowing battle throughout the Sol System. This near catastrophic defeat of the Confederation truly embittered Tolwyn and caused a dramatic shift in his way of thinking. He received the Senatorial Medal of Honor for his defense at the Battle of Earth.
Shortly before the Concordia was sunk at Vespus he was assigned to the Behemoth project at the Weapons Development Office to oversee the weapon's final implementation, taking the place of Ubarov. He did not like the Behemoth's poor maneuverability and defensive capability and did not agree with the idea of destroying entire planets. Although he got involved with the Behemoth's planning nearly ten years prior, he was interested in hearing about alternatives, until his old friend David Whittaker came to see him to recruit him for the Belisarius Group.
Tolwyn told David Whittaker he would not have anything to do with Belisarius or its plan for a coup, and Whittaker then said it was just some vague idea and not an actual plan. Tolwyn pretended he believed him but his paranoia was piqued. The Group could have had him killed, but it was probably Whittaker who held them back. Not knowing whom he could trust, Tolwyn chose not to alert Confederation Fleet Security. The Belisarius Group had a secret agency within Confederation Fleet Security, Y-12. Tolwyn could not contact anyone whom he thought he could trust either, because the Group would have them killed.
Tolwyn then decided he had to finish the Kilrathi War as soon as possible, so the Group no longer had an excuse to stage a coup against the civilian government, one of the reasons for Tolwyn pressing the TCS Behemoth into service prematurely. He later revealed to Jason Bondarevsky that he did not know of Special Operations' plans to develop the Temblor Bomb, or he would have assisted them instead.
Despite all of this, Tolwyn was tempted to join the Belisarius' plans. The civilian government of the time had severely mishandled the war effort, and he thought that a military government, if led by the right people, would have a better chance of winning the war. However, he would want to give control back to the civilians after the war, and he did not think there were enough people who thought the same way; they would keep the military government in place indefinitely.
Consequently, Tolwyn rushed to press Behemoth into service, pushing people to their limits, and not knowing of Ralgha nar Hhallas' espionage efforts directed against the project. He was too focused on bringing the Behemoth on-line to pay attention around him. Tolwyn's plan for implementing the Behemoth was to use a low-profile carrier, the TCS Victory, staffed with legendary pilots such as Christopher Blair, Todd Marshall, and Ralgha nar Hhallas. Ships such as the TCS Coventry under Captain Jason Bondarevsky would defend the battle group. Tolwyn formally transferred his flag to the Victory on 2669.245 to oversee the deployment of the Behemoth himself. Just four days later, the massive super*weapon was destroyed in a tragic battle. After its loss, the Admiral was relieved from Project Behemoth. He returned to Sector HQ at Torgo to face an inquiry into the reasons for the loss of the ship. Tolwyn and his staff left the Victory on 2669.249. With the Behemoth destroyed, Tolwyn resigned himself to a Kilrathi victory.
Fortunately, Christopher Blair ended the war with the Temblor Bomb before the Belisarius Group had the chance to seize power. The officers on his Behemoth court-martial were agents of the Belisarius Group. They acquitted him, but later reminded him that they could eliminate him if he raised trouble. The loss of the Behemoth in 2669 was a devastating blow for him. Although Belisarius interests made sure he was found blameless for its loss, he returned to duty just in time to negotiate a peace with the Kilrathi that his rivals James Taggart and Christopher Blair had won. His court-martial after Behemoth was sensational, and when he was acquitted there had been indignation across the Confederation, but it quietly died down in the wake of peace.
After the Kilrathi War, the Belisarius wanted to trigger war on the frontier so they could once again find justification to stage a coup. Tolwyn wanted to avoid this by stopping the rogue Kilrathi Ragark; Tolwyn believed if Project Goliath was a success they had a chance of stopping the Kilrathi and Belisarius would not have had the reason they needed to seize power.
Fearing the Group wanted to use Kevin Tolwyn as a means to manipulate him, Geoffrey sent Kevin to the Free Republic of the Landreich and accompanied him there soon after with a team of allies. All the secretive conspiracies playing out within the Confederation were beginning to make Tolwyn paranoid, along with the bitter feelings he felt over the civilian government's mismanagement of the false peace armistice and other events. Jason Bondarevsky felt that Tolwyn had changed substantially since times past, that there was now a chasm between them. Bondarevsky felt Tolwyn was like a gambler who had lost everything but kept on playing, hoping for a big break and refusing to consider the consequences of his actions.
Tolwyn executed Project Goliath in 2670 to prevent a Belisarius-provoked war between the Kilrathi, Landreich and Confederation, but began to think about his own machinations to keep the Confederation fit for survival into the future. On 2671.055, Tolwyn announced he would resign his Landreich commission and return to Earth to be placed in command of the Confederation's Strategic Readiness Agency, but believed that even in this new time of peace he would be unable to prepare the Confederation for the next threat to humanity. Tolwyn's paranoia overwhelmed him and he declined to share his ideas on the Genetic Enhancement Program with confidants like Bondarevsky and Vance Richards. Eventually this program took on a life of its own. Tolwyn blamed Admiral Vance Richard's counter-intelligence for failing to recognize Ralgha as a traitor in 2669, which caused the loss of the Behemoth.
On 2673.223, Tolwyn delivered his biennial report to the Defense Committee of the Great Assembly. In it he charged the Union of Border Worlds with instigating piracy and lawlessness on the fringe of society. Secretly, Tolwyn was using a force of Black Lance fighters and secret weapons to instigate his own war in order to keep civilians geared for fighting. He believed there were more dangerous threats than the Kilrathi in the universe, and he believed he was the only one who could save the Confederation from them.
Unfortunately, Tolwyn thereafter lost his grip on reality and committed various atrocities to further his paradoxical and obsessive need to defend his people. He seemed to have lost his humanity, with only his sense of duty remaining. After intervention from Christopher Blair and William Eisen, Tolwyn failed to convince the Great Assembly to vote for war against the Union of Border Worlds. His conspiracy was revealed, and Tolwyn faced another long and sensational trial. The Admiralty court found him guilty of genocide and 15 lesser crimes. Tolwyn was stripped of rank and sentenced to life in prison, yet he still stood proudly when the guards led him out of the court.
Tolwyn was convinced that humanity would now face extinction at the hands of the next enemy that came along, possibly one of the races the Kilrathi feared. He originally thought Blair had condemned all of humanity by stopping his plans, but in his prison cell, Tolwyn came to the realisation that he had pushed his plans too quickly. He also realized, too late, that there was no need to have the entire population be genetically pure. It would not have been perfect, but it would have worked to purify just the military. Realizing his haste had brought the project down, he decided he actions would have been responsible for condemning the entire race despite his life-long efforts to save it.
With this sudden realization, Tolwyn hung himself in his prison cell on the eve of his execution. Tolwyn ultimately died a disgraced man, and in the post-Kilrathi War era he has been viewed with great contempt by the Terran populace for his ignoble fall from grace.
Tolwyn aboard the TCS Concordia.
Behind the Scenes
- Geoffrey Tolwyn's voice was provided by Maarten Davies in Wing Commander II.
- He was portrayed by Malcolm McDowell in Wing Commander III and IV.
- In the PC and PSX versions of WC4, Tolwyn was sentenced to death instead of life in prison.
- In the Wing Commander movie, he was portrayed by David Warner.