Pegasus Base Attack


I was recently watching the Wing Commander film again for probably the 10th time in a couple of years and there is something that keeps on bugging me. When the camera pans over the Pegasus Base you can clearly see a ship departing the base. Now from what i heard in the film the shipwas called the TCS McClellan and was on it's way to earth. What i want to know is when the Kilrathi Battlegroup attacked had the McClellan left already or was it destroyed because Tolwyn then asks if there are any ships left in Vega and only the Tiger Claw is mentioned. So did the McClellan make it to the Charybdis Quasar or was she destroyed in the attack?
The ship that leaves at the start is the TCS Vanguard. The McClellan is only heard of shortly later requesting a flyby. The Kilrathi fleet is camped out just out of sensor range or something. Presumably the Vanguard was killed when it tried to leave.
ok thanks the TCS Vanguard, um does anybody else notice how this attack models after Pearl Harbor in the same way? except here it was allowed to happen by that Lieutenant at the beginning who neglected to do his job? Can anybody also tell me if this affected the Confederation Fleet in any other way other than allowing the Kilrathi get directly to Earth even if they got destroyed jumping into Sol.
Yeah, Wing Commander - the series in general - has pretty much always been about taking the idea of WW2 pacific theater island hopping and putting it in space, with the Kilrathi essentially standing in for the imperial Japanese navy. It's hard to see in the theatrical cut of the film since so much material was cut but the Kilrathi armor is very Samurai-like and they have an idol of their war god Sivar on the bridge of their ship.

The opening was very much designed to reference Pearl Harbor, and you'll see a number of other shots in the movie that were inspired by classic ww2 movies like Tora Tora Tora among others.

I'm not sure the officer who left his post to go to the bathroom would have made any difference. It didn't delay the Confed response by much. It was a sneak attack. Also, what isn't stated in the film -though it's in the novelization and shooting script and was filmed - is that there's a different person who's a traitor on Pegasus. Somehow the traitor managed to get the Kilrathi past the Pegasus patrols so by the time the fleet showed up on radar it was too late anyway.

As far as how it affected Confed, well they lost several capships and a key naval base at Pegasus. The Concordia fleet under Tolwyn also lost several ships whose reactors melted down when they pushed hard to get to Earth on time. Aside from that, it's never stated but we can infer that there's the posilbility that other confed postions were left vulnerable by the fleet leaving to protect Earth, but nothing is explicitely stated. I'd have to re-read the movie tie in novels to say anything for certain though.
A Traitor? a human traitor? that's surprising, a human that would help the Kilrathi. I assume said person died in the attack also?
A Traitor? a human traitor? that's surprising, a human that would help the Kilrathi. I assume said person died in the attack also?
Not impossible considering there's an anti-Confed sentiment among many Pilgrim descendants and who's to say that the Society of Mandarins themselves hadn't infiltrated the station, who were officially introduced during the Firekka campaign. Since most of that plot was cut from the final film it's kind of a moot point. Kilrathi, once a human has outlived its usefulness, will often execute said human(s) for no other reason then a sacrifice to Sivar anyway. No traitor to humanity has been known to survive their duplicity, yet, either by human hands or kil claws. Correct me if I'm wrong.

As to Pearl Harbor, you can chalk that one up to officers who suffered from poor tactical decisions despite being warned by their relatively new radar systems. The online naval military history site states this:

"In the hours before dawn, U.S. Navy vessels spotted an unidentified submarine periscope near the entrance to Pearl Harbor. It was attacked and reported sunk by the destroyer USS Ward (DD-139) and a patrol plane. At 7:00 a.m., an alert operator of an Army radar station at Opana spotted the approaching first wave of the attack force. The officers to whom those reports were relayed did not consider them significant enough to take action. The report of the submarine sinking was handled routinely, and the radar sighting was passed off as an approaching group of American planes due to arrive that morning."

For most on base, it wasn't until they literally saw, "the meatballs on the wings," that they realized they were under attack.

You can read more about the events surrounding Pearl Harbor here:
Even though it's not in the movie it's technically 'canon' since the novelization was published, but anyway...

A Traitor? a human traitor? that's surprising, a human that would help the Kilrathi. I assume said person died in the attack also?

Yeah, the reasoning of the traitors is expressed kind of vaguely when the Traitor is later confronted during the concom attack. When he's asked why, the traitor explains that the Pilgrims felt the stars belonged to the Pilgrims and not the Kilrathi nor the Terrans. So they wanted the Kilrathi to attack earth, but they let Pegasus warn the fleet because they wanted Confed to also destroy the Kilrathi in return... a "nobody wins" scenario. They ultimately wanted them to wipe eachother out.