Let's talk about Bossman again!

Discussion in 'General Wing Commander Chat' started by Baggins, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. Baggins

    Baggins Petty Officer

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    Love the Confederation Handbook and the Peter Telep novels connected to the movie.

    But there is one weird oddity beyond Bossman's "death" that seems is not discussed a lot.

    That is how the Handbook uses Kien Chen's original WC1 name, but at one point also calls him Vince. Of course the Peter Telep's novels also calls him Vince Chen.

    Where did Vince come from us there a story behind this?

    Also in the film we also see "Charles Chen" on the fusalage of Rapier 13 (CF-117b Rapier).

    Whereas Kien "Vince" Chin flew Rapier 35 (F44-A Rapier)

    They also were listed as having died on separate days apart. Ya maybe it's possible to split Charles and Vince into two different yet related characters (twins/brothers/cousins) ;). Angel two-timing the Chen brothers!
     
  2. AD

    AD Finder of things, Doer of stuff

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    As far as the movie, I would chalk it up to someone in the art department not double checking if there was some kind of background on what amounts to an easter egg. Writers for hire also are limited to what they are given in their writers guide if they aren't already familiar with the source material. For example the first draft of the WC movie has Angel being called "ANGELICA (ANGEL) DEVERAUX" as if her callsign is shortened form of her name. However, the name Charles or Vince doesn't actually show up in any of the script drafts, and Bossman isn't mentioned at all actually in the first two versions (Droney's initial script and Chris Roberts rewrite). Likely Peter Telep decided to name him himself when he got the script. Telep didn't have the movie's visuals to go off of either and used the game descriptions for ships in his novel. So it's not surprising that the art department also decided they needed a first name to put on Bossman's fighter whenever the decision was made that the names would show up on the ships at all.

    As far as making the book version and the movie version two separate characters, it's a fun idea to think about, but it's certainly not the intent, and I also don't think it works well as an explanation. We would also have to assume that two brothers flying off the same ship as carrying the same handle, which typically isn't a name you pick for yourselves. It would be a pretty bizarre situation where the crew would give them identical handles, exact same ranks, and then they both died at nearly the same time. If they didn't both die at the same time you would expect the mess hall conversation to go more like "what are you talking about? Bossman is right here. He's not dead."
     
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  3. Baggins

    Baggins Petty Officer

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    AD I understand that Ben Lesnick gave a hand for some information in the novels. Hence some stuff from the Academy TV show made it into the novels, and "Hilthros system" thing. I wonder if he ever had a conversation about the whole "Vince" thing.

    I find it interesting that it does appear in the Handbook along with Kien CHen though.

    As for two people on the same ship with the same handles... I point to Star*Soldier, and its reference to "Maverick" Armstrong, and "Maverick" Blair ;). Yes I know its crazy! Although Blair might have been going as "Pilgrim" at the time Armstrong was going as Maverick.

    Maybe its "Boss-Man" and "Bossman" ;) or the Bossmen. :p (note making them two different characters was more of a 'joke' anyways, in the same way that LaFong, Armstrong and Blair being separate characters is somewhat of a 'joke' though its now in published 'canon')

    There may or may not be two "Blairs" on crew manifest of the Tiger's Claw as well... Since the Freedom Flight: "Blair" predated Christopher Blair, and isn't necessarily been retroactively been confirmed to be the same Blair. At least according to a discussion I read here once from Ben (Bandit Loaf) pointing this out that they may not be the same character.

    But you are also right about movie naming issues... In the credits and movie itself, Knight is a name "Mr. Knight" on the nametag/credits, and "Hunter" is also Mr. Hunter on the credits/name tag. So surnames, and not necessarily "handles", though the Confederation Handbook tried to 'fix' the issue, and link them back to the original characters and their original names.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
  4. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    I can speak to this! "Vince" was chosen by Chris McCubbin for the 'letter home' which appears in the Confederation Handbook. He picked the name without knowing the art department had gone with Charles for the set. Peter Telep then took the name from the Handbook for the novelization.

    Looking back at our correspondence (I've saved these for how long?!), Peter never asked about Bossman... I did send him a copy of Claw Marks, but I guess he either didn't make the connection or chose to align his book to the Handbook (which did happen with a few other points.)

    I will ammend that today! I've since learned they were using 'Arturo Blair' (Our Hero Blue Hair) as the placeholder for the character's name as early as 1991.
     
  5. Baggins

    Baggins Petty Officer

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    Heh there would be some fun if there was an Arturo Blair distant cousin of Christopher Blair added to the history of the universe ;). I like the name!

    But cool to hear that that scene and later nod in WC3 novel to Blair being around during SM2 are probably linked!

    Although that kinda puts a wrinkle with that letter in The Kilrathi Saga that suggests that Blair was away on R&R during the time.
     
  6. Baggins

    Baggins Petty Officer

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    As for Vince in Comfederation Handbook the same book also uses his full name Kien Chen/Chen Kien (it reverses the names in at least one spot) in couple of places including that biography under the KIA list.

    I wonder why Peter Telep didn't make reference to that in his books.
     
  7. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    That's pretty normal. Chinese is one of a few languages that normally reverse the order of names, so first name (Chen) normally comes last. Because most of us are used to first names first, people often get confused about this. You know - you look at Chen Kien and find yourself wondering, is this first-name-last, or has someone already reversed it here? Happens all the time in reality.

    Also worth adding: most Chinese adopt an English-language name for themselves - the exception being Chinese Christians, who are frequently baptised with such a name (and then still often get a Chinese name on top of that). Since such names are unofficial, it is hypothetically possible that the same person would use different English names in different stages of their life or under different circumstances. However, while this certainly would not be out-of-the-question in real life, it's also one of those things that sound incredibly silly when used to explain a change in names in a fictional universe. So, I definitely wouldn't use this to explain the Vince/Charles thing.
     
  8. Baggins

    Baggins Petty Officer

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    Ya I've wonderEd if it was reversed because of Asian cultural reasons but then that begs the question which order is the real "name"! Which is the surname and which is the first name?
     
  9. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    In all likelihood, Chen is the surname. Any time anybody talks about Bossman using his rank, they always talk about "Major Chen". Most of the time in WC1, if somebody is talking on a first-name basis with Bossman, they'll use Kien. One exception is Paladin, who at one point uses Chen (yes, I did waste ten minutes searching through the WC1 script :) ). But that might be just because WC characters do occasionally talk to each other on a surname basis.
     
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  10. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

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    Chen is the surname - it's one of the most common surnames in Taiwan and the 5th most common surname in China, where Bossman is from according to Claw Marks. From what I can gather, it's a locative surname taken by most people living in an area "in present-day Huaiyang County in the plains of eastern Henan province" after their country was annexed around 480 BC.

    As for "Kien", I'd need to do more research to figure out the meaning. My usual go to sites aren't being as helpful as they ordinarily are, other than to say it's a Chinese masculine given name...
     
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  11. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

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    I suppose I could go make some quick notes on the names "Vince" and "Charles" real fast, though I have no reason to suspect that either one is in any way related to "Kien" - those names were probably just selected at random. Vince is a shortened form of Vincent, a name derived from "vincere", a Latin word that means "to conquer". Charles is a French form of the Germanic name "Karl", which means "free man".

    I'm betting on "Kien" being a cognate form of a more common name - hell, I suppose it could be a different form of "Chen"...but I'd still need to do the work.
     
  12. Baggins

    Baggins Petty Officer

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    I tried to do a search on both (Charles and Vince) in the past to see if they would relate to Kien or Chen in anyway but came up with nothing.

    I almost wonder if they didn't want to relate him to Kien Chen in early development and maybe he was going to be 'someone else'. Although I guess that also depends on he was originally called "Bossman" or if that was later draft revision or not?
     
  13. Whistler

    Whistler Commodore

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    It's worth noting as well that Claw Marks also refers to Spirit in the same manner; identifying her as Tanaka Mariko. Clearly there was intent to pronounce a pilot's name properly based on culture. Chen is certainly his family name and Kien his familiar.

    As for Paladin calling him Chen, Taggert's implying this to mean as a gesture of respect between the two equally skilled Majors without trying to sound overtly familiar. In Japanese or Chinese culture you would never refer to someone by their first name (let alone sans-honorific) without knowing that person on a very intimate level, i.e. lovers or family. Even in English speaking locales no one ever calls Maverick, "Colonel Chris." Hey, that has a nice ring to it. :cool:

    With me there's a convenience in calling me by my last name. I, and many others apparently, share the common first name Chris. When you're in a room of 57 people and someone calls for a, "Chris," and 5 men (including me) and 1 female raise their head to acknowledge people start using other means. ;)

    I can't throw a rock in this town and not hit another Chris. If I threw a virtual one here it would bang across several heads like a skipping stone in a pond. Christopher, Christian, Christophe, Christine, Christina, etcetera.
     
  14. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    Nah, his letter is referencing an R&R that happened after Secret Missions 2 and while Hunter was having his further adventures with Kirha and crew. He mentions Blair being familiar with Ralgha: "Things have been wild since you went on R & R... remember that Cat ship that surrendered to us a couple of months ago?"

    I will say that I work somewhere with many Chrises... but when you say 'Chris' everyone knows exactly who you mean ;)
     
  15. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    Amazing coincidence: I ended up spending the morning on an email thread troubleshooting with a supplier in China, Chinese name in the email header...

    ... and every time he signed his name '- Vince'!
     
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  16. Baggins

    Baggins Petty Officer

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    That makes sense, also since there are at least one or two sources that actually does place Chris on the ship at that time, anyways... The WC4 guide or the Prophecy Guide I think... and possibly more than one novel.
     

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