I would vote Prequal
If the next WC game were a sequel, then it'd only be proper to have a sequel to Wing Commander: Arena. You could create a new cast of characters for the hero group and still have existing tech to work with. If anything, the modified craft could even give us a choice in building our own ships so to speak.
I can easily see common WC working with a modernized control scheme. Taking previous games into account, I'd imagine the primary method of flight would be akin to the mouse control from WC1 for the left analog, and the right analog would allow us to look around. Click the left analog, afterburner, just like in WC:A. Click the right, camera lock on your current target. That's just an example of how I think it could work while being simple. Left trigger, missiles. Right trigger, guns. Left and right bumpers: Weapon change for respective slots. D-Pad? Comms menu.
Best part is, if this theoretical WC game got a PC version, I'd imagine it'd have a control scheme we'd all be familiar with. Also, in time, probably a lot of custom craft & missions if it's mod-friendly.
or you could impute a completed saved game from the original game, and what happened in a particular (lets say) WC1 game, would affect what will happen in the new one.
Eh, no MP-focused WC please.
I came up with a neat idea for a WC game that was a blend of the traditional structured storyline and Privateer style openness. It involved you, a confed pilot, escaping from a kilrathi POW camp with a stolen freighter and a band of beaten and all but defeated confed personel and civilians of various skills. It could be set at any time during the Kilrathi war really.
Basically, you would have a standard mission or two before being captured and then a more open concept where you choose which route, objectives, and wingmen, equipment to get back to confed space... I worked out some of the mechanics but I won't bore you with it right now.
I read this and thought of WC4. Good idea though.
Not to be misunderstood: a MP component to a new WC game would be awesome, I just don't like games as much that are more heavily focused on MP than on SP. I realize that this is a very personal wish and nothing that can be taken as a norm.
I do get that, I like stand-alone games myself, but if WC is going to get a successful relaunch, you have to look at the market trends and in PC gaming it's all about MMO at the moment, so launching a new game that is only MMO may be a wise move.