Hunter Toth and Salman Rushdie resemblance?

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Salman Rushdie appeared on the news in the UK this morning, and I was certain I recognised him from somewhere.



Rushdie is a British novelist whose fourth book 'The Satanic Verses' caused widespread outrage throughout the Muslim world, and resulted in a fatwa, subsequently spending years in hiding in the wake of death threats.

Hunter Toth appears in the Gemini Sector in 2669, he is wanted by the Church of Man for authoring 'Prometheus Unplugged' - and coining the term 'Retros'

Is this a coincidence? Or a parody that was somewhat more topical in 1993?
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Not the first time the comparison between the two has been done - Mark Minasi made it in Secrets of the Wing Commander Universe, IIRC. Was probably a deliberate choice.

Looking at the two pictures side-by-side, I'm even more sure it was deliberate...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Totally intentional! Rushdie has fallen out of the public consciousness since then but the reference would've been immediately understood in 1993.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Not the first time the comparison between the two has been done - Mark Minasi made it in Secrets of the Wing Commander Universe, IIRC. Was probably a deliberate choice.

Looking at the two pictures side-by-side, I'm even more sure it was deliberate...
It took me a while to find a Google image search result where he's without his glasses but with a beard. It's possible we've happened upon the picture they gave the artists working on Privateer, given the likeness of the way his hair falls at that exact moment, along with the eyebrow raise and shirt/jumper combination.

Totally intentional! Rushdie has fallen out of the public consciousness since then but the reference would've been immediately understood in 1993.
Indeed, he was basically a 'household name' and I remember my parents talking about him - but it wasn't until I saw him today that I recognised him. The guys at Origin did a good job capturing his likeness, given that 25+ years on, he's still recognisable to somebody who has only seen him in a parodical low resolution VDU image.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
It took me a while to find a Google image search result where he's without his glasses but with a beard. It's possible we've happened upon the picture they gave the artists working on Privateer, given the likeness of the way his hair falls at that exact moment, along with the eyebrow raise and shirt/jumper combination.
I suspect this very similar photo is the reference by the virtue of it being the one that appears on the dust jacket of the book that had made him famous at the time:



(His hair matches the Privateer VDU a little more on the sides, too!)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
No, no I'm serious! It's such an interesting thing to figure out. I love tracking down the behind the screens stuff like this.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I dunno if best thread ever, but definitely it's an interesting detail to catch. Back in those early internet days of Privateer, Salman Rushdie, like practically any famous author, was a faceless name to me. So, while I certainly did catch the general analogy between him and Toth, I had no idea whatsoever that they went as far as to base his face on Rushdie.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
That speaks a little to why this sparks my imagination! It's very interesting to me to think how the flow of information has changed game development over the past thirty years. If your lead tells you to concept a character based on Rushdie in 2019 you Google his name and you have... thousands and thousands of pictures of the man. In 1993, you knew the name because it was in the news and maybe you'd seen him on a talk show or something and have a general idea what he looks like... but if you wanted visual reference you literally had to go to the library and check out his book. It's one of those ways society has changed that doesn't feel like it really happened but will someday define a pretty strong difference between these two eras that 'feel' like ours.

I was watching an old Beverly Hills 90210 the other night and was struck by how the plot so specifically relied on the characters not being able to communicate with each other when they're not at home. The kids are all supposed to meet at a party but they get lost in different pairs and have misadventures instead... and to me that just seems like an old TV show... but to my kids and their kids who have only ever known a world where every single person can connect with every single other person at a moment's notice without thinking about it that sort of thing must make it feel born old.

(I'm also always tickled by how easily Origin got away with... borrowing... their art. It's always funny finding something like this picture or the Return of the Jedi explosions in Wing Commander 2. There are SO many processes and reviews today to stop reference art from making it into a final build today that it's just unthinkable that it was pretty much okay then.)
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
That speaks a little to why this sparks my imagination! It's very interesting to me to think how the flow of information has changed game development over the past thirty years. If your lead tells you to concept a character based on Rushdie in 2019 you Google his name and you have... thousands and thousands of pictures of the man. In 1993, you knew the name because it was in the news and maybe you'd seen him on a talk show or something and have a general idea what he looks like... but if you wanted visual reference you literally had to go to the library and check out his book. It's one of those ways society has changed that doesn't feel like it really happened but will someday define a pretty strong difference between these two eras that 'feel' like ours.

I was watching an old Beverly Hills 90210 the other night and was struck by how the plot so specifically relied on the characters not being able to communicate with each other when they're not at home. The kids are all supposed to meet at a party but they get lost in different pairs and have misadventures instead... and to me that just seems like an old TV show... but to my kids and their kids who have only ever known a world where every single person can connect with every single other person at a moment's notice without thinking about it that sort of thing must make it feel born old.

(...)
You're absolutely right and I think about this a lot when dealing with my kids. I try to show them much of the games, toys and books that I loved as a child and then seeing my old Playmobil Knights next to the new ones...or having phones with wires depicted in Tintin books. Or later, when I'll show them my collection of old PC games, with thick manuals and floppy disks. It really shows me how much the world has already changed, without me realising it.
 

Blaster

Rear Admiral
I think part of the reason the shifts in society seemed mostly unnoticeable to us is because hardly any of them were very surprising. Most of the steps along the way seemed like a natural progression from what came before and we were looking forward to many of them for awhile before they actually happened. If someone told you about smartphones in 1995, and how people were going to use them someday, you might have been excited to hear it but probably not shocked.
 
Top