Pilgrim story-line or not?

FredDude32

Commodore
Hey all!
Long story short: I'm still in the process of writing a WC-story. Though the Story so far is fairly straight-forward I'm still split over the question of including (or excluding) the whole Pilgrim story element into it all.
My main aim is to write the story to my fellow WC-fans, but to be honest I do not know how well the Wing Commander Movie Pilgrim story arch was recieved to begin with.

So, whats you guys opinion?
(Yes your opinions matter eventhough it's I who is writing the story) :)
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
The Pilgrim story arch is 100% canonical at this point - you should go with the sequence of events in Star*Soldier. There are copies of Pilgrim Truth and Pilgrim Stars floating around out there (one is free download; I don't recall which though I'm reasonably sure it's Pilgrim Truth) and they pretty well sum up the story arch.

I'll put my humble opinion this way: I didn't like the Pilgrim story arch much, yet they are still in WCRPG. You may just have to tweak a thing or two that you know about the WC universe to make everything fit.
 

FredDude32

Commodore
I was afraid you'd say that. I'm not a great fan of that storyline either. Though I suppose I wont have to overdo it in the writing.
Thanks for the reply!
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Well, the WC universe worked perfectly well without the Pilgrim story (which is canon, of course). Though the question you should ask yourself: will it enhance your story to bring in the Pilgrim stuff? Or will it be detrimental to it, because it shifts the focus of the story away? You shouldn't include something that directly contradicts what we know about the Pilgrim stuff but it shouldn't be too hard to have a good WC story that does not include anything Pilgrim but also does not contradict anything of it. And a small throwaway reference to the Pilgrim wars ("He was a veteran of the Pilgrima war...") certainly does not hurt a story too much.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
When is your story set, anyway? Later in the storyline they might just be considered Terrans like anyone else with a genetic affinity for mathematics, if that's even considered polite to talk about. If I recall correctly the war was still fresh in peoples memories in the film.
 

Ilanin

Captain
It is, at this point, more or less impossible to write a Wing Commander storyline without contradicting some part of the canon unless you are extremely careful with what you reference. For example, if you mention the Pilgrim War, you'll contradict Action Stations, which predates the movie and states that the Confederation's been at peace for a century - but anyway, according to the movie timeline the Pilgrim War's going on as they speak. You could actually rewrite that section of dialogue to take the Pilgrims into account without changing the thrust of it too much (Turner's essential thesis could become that the mostly static, siege-style war against the Pilgrims has left the Fleet completely unprepared for the Kilrathi's high intensity, shock-and-awe style of warfare), but that's not what Forstchen wrote.

Ultimately, what you should do makes most sense for your plot. If it's helpful to have Pilgrims (if you need an explanation for why the protagonists are able to get places unreasonably quickly, for example - something Blair was doing long before he was revealed to be a Pilgrim, entertainingly - see WC4, for example), then mention them. If it'd be more useful to present the Confederation as strongly united, then the Pilgrims never existed.
 

FredDude32

Commodore
I'm gonna try and answer all questions and comments at once:
The story I have in mind takes place after the first contact with the Kilrathi that ended with the destruction of the TCS Iason in 2629, but before the actual decleration of war in 2634. (I posted the first few pages of the Story here on Wcnews a long time ago, though since then I've only worked on the Story sporadically.)

In the story I want to describe, and develop upon, involves the serious misgivings both ordinary and higher-upper military/political personnel has about the current situation in the Confederation Armed Forces ever since it was made clear (at least to those people on the frontlines) that the Confed-Kilrathi relations will almost certainly deteriorate into open conflict sooner or later. In this time-period the Confederation is at peace and as a whole has no interest in upholding the ever increasingly higher budget that the CAF (Confed Armed Forces) demands, eventhough there are more or less obvious evidence of the increasing Kilrathi threat.


My main handicap is (obviously) that I have never read a Pilgrim-related novel and I do not know anything about the particulars: Meaning when and where the war took place so I cant really backup the claim that the Confederation was actually stable and at Peace just before the Kilrathi-Terran war.
To be honest it doesn't look like I can do this type of story without involving the Pilgrims one way or another.
It would be easier for me to write a non-Pilgrim novel of course, but that would probably be selfish I suppose. I dont want people to skip a potential good WC reading-experience because of it.

If I have to choose a real-life comparison I suppose the relation between the US and Japan in 1940-41 (before the war) would be appropriate. I've always loved stories like that which doesn't necessarily include the actual fighting. One of my favorite movies in that regard is "Seven Days in May" which doesn't include any sort of warfare at all but all the tension you can handle (Seriously it's a great movie. See it if you haven't).
(the clip is just an example of a great movie, not identical to what I had in mind for the Story) :)
 

Ilanin

Captain
Right, the period you're talking about is during the Pilgrim War. You literally cannot write a story in which the Pilgrim Alliance exists, because the period you are talking about is occupied by the Pilgrim Wars, which happened between 2631 and 2634 (theoretically, the Peron Massacre happened after the McAuliffe Ambush, but most people put this down to the inconsistency between Action Stations and the Pilgrim series and mentally move one or the other around a bit, I think). Your primary plot point is thus somewhat contradicted - the Confederation is not at peace. I guess you could try and write something in 2629-30, but for most of that period it was very far from obvious that the Kilrathi actually were a greater threat than the Pilgrims.

(For those of you wondering, the reason for this horrible inconsistency is because in order for Blair's parents to have been killed in the Pilgrim War, it could not have happened any earlier than 2630 and be consistent with his age).
 

FredDude32

Commodore
Damn!

I would have preferred a more compatible story-line.
I suppose I have two choices now: To write the story as I originally envisioned it (in other words without the Pilgrim-element), or to try to integrate it into a new(er) Pilgrim type story....(crap) :(

Right, the period you're talking about is during the Pilgrim War. You literally cannot write a story in which the Pilgrim Alliance exists, because the period you are talking about is occupied by the Pilgrim Wars, which happened between 2631 and 2634 (theoretically, the Peron Massacre happened after the McAuliffe Ambush, but most people put this down to the inconsistency between Action Stations and the Pilgrim series and mentally move one or the other around a bit, I think). Your primary plot point is thus somewhat contradicted - the Confederation is not at peace. I guess you could try and write something in 2629-30, but for most of that period it was very far from obvious that the Kilrathi actually were a greater threat than the Pilgrims.

(For those of you wondering, the reason for this horrible inconsistency is because in order for Blair's parents to have been killed in the Pilgrim War, it could not have happened any earlier than 2630 and be consistent with his age).
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
You do have a window there, though...Iason is destroyed on 2629.105 and the beginning of the Pilgrim War is on 2631.244; that's more than two year's time. It's also been established that the Pilgrim War began with a sneak attack on the Port of Titan - see https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/History_of_the_Pilgrim_War - which should still tie-in with the premise of your story.
 
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delMar

Rear Admiral
Sorry to interrupt, this is probably a very stupid question (and I have no intention of hijacking this thread):

How do I know, what is part of the canon?
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
Thanks, capi.
What I was not sure about, is, who "officially" declares something as canon in the Wing Commander universe.

For comparison:
I, personally, think that George Lucas handled the StarWars expanded universe quite good: everything, which is not part of the movies, belongs to the Expanded Universe.
So he's free to do what he wants. But, he tries not to contradict the EU too much (eg he looks up names he's about to use and does not if it's already part of the EU).
AFAIK, among fans, almost everything in the expanded universe is considered canon.

So if I were to write some Wing Commander story some day, I would define my "core" universe and then mention it in some preface.
Capi, as I have noticed lately, you mention that too in your works.
I like that. Even though I do not like the movie ;-)

Just my two cents.
 

FredDude32

Commodore
You do have a window there, though...Iason is destroyed on 2629.105 and the beginning of the Pilgrim War is on 2631.244; that's more than two year's time. It's also been established that the Pilgrim War began with a sneak attack on the Port of Titan - see https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/History_of_the_Pilgrim_War - which should still tie-in with the premise of your story.


You are not wrong in that there are multiple "openings" so to speak...I would have preferred my original plan though...
I suppose a good writer is flexible, not strict. :)

Thank you all for your replies and advice.
 
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FredDude32

Commodore
In retrospect I suppose I could always find a story within the war to base my original story on.
Like the McAuliffe battle of 2634!
 
My two cents. I don't remember which book it was in so if someone knows it please tell me. I remember reading where Blair says that a bad and inaccurate movie was made base on the book "Treacherous Hero". The check he was given was shown in the Kilrathi Saga Manual. I like to think "that" movie is "our movie" so for me the movie is cannon that it is not canon. ;-)

Not to mention the the man himself, CR, wasn't happy with it either. He mentioned it in one of the SC interviews.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Thanks, capi.
What I was not sure about, is, who "officially" declares something as canon in the Wing Commander universe.

So if I were to write some Wing Commander story some day, I would define my "core" universe and then mention it in some preface.
There's no such distinction in Wing Commander. Every officially licensed product by EA is canonical. This would then mean all fan projects, plus the "unauthorized" strategy guides are not.

Any series with dozens of different games/books/etc is bound to have some minor issues, and WC is no different. It happens just as much internally between the games (the creation of the "Border Worlds" concept in WC4 is just as significant a retcon as the invention of the Pilgrims) and the books (which struggles to keep its own character names straight between stories!).

Star*Soldier is a great reference, since it includes the most up-to-date timeline of Wing Commander events published by EA. And it does include Movie/Pilgrim references (as does the WC Arena game itself). It even gets WC Academy TV show stuff straight! Of course, none of this matters to your fan fiction. You can write whatever you feel like.
 
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