Smoothing the edges...

QuailPilot

Spaceman
But my quiestion was - how do we deal with 'Glad to meet ya' now, when it is officially declared that those two WERE classmates?
And I have the answer. We do call it an idiotic joke of Maniac. Okay. So be it :)

Or it could be the case of game was made first, and manual was made afterwards, but I prefer your explanation.

I also like the WCII color schemes.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
In the movie, Blair refers to Bossman by name. "Lt. Commander Chen? 'Bossman'?"
Yes, Bossmans fighter says Lt. Commander Charles Chen on it too.

Anyway I don't recall Hunter ever being called "Mr. Hunter" in the movie at all. Maniac calls him "Mr.... Lt. Hunter" after reading his dogtag. So he referred to him by his callsign there. I don't recall ever seeing his helmet.
Since when do they put your callsign on your dogtags? However I do believe that Hunter is supposed to be the hunter from the games.

This isn't specific to the movie though. WC3 and 4 also fluctuate between having callsigns and proper names on uniforms for example.. (maniac being a prime example that is actually fixed in the movie... his helmet says Marshal)
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
Oh well, apparently Chris Roberts didn't care much continuity when he made that bit of the movie, even tought it cleary evoked the moment on WC1 when Bossmen is KIA. Regardless of that, of course, for the purposes of storyline, if Bossman is alive by the end of WC1 he obviously was simply considered KIA at that moment, there's nothing that complex about it.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Yes I do know that the broadsword has been around since pre-war times. I just didn't think there were any present aboard the Tiger's Claw. I would have thought that such a tough bomber would have made an appearance when there were several oppertunities that it could have been used.

Sorry, but i just hate having loose ends.

You've just invented this artificially by wondering why things aren't exactly how you imagined they should be. There's a big difference between something like that and a genuine loose end. Almost your entire list is stuff like this.

But my quiestion was - how do we deal with 'Glad to meet ya' now, when it is officially declared that those two WERE classmates?
And I have the answer. We do call it an idiotic joke of Maniac. Okay. So be it :)

Yeah, there are legitimate continuity issues that could make for interesting discussion, but this seems really trivial.
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
Yes, Bossmans fighter says Lt. Commander Charles Chen on it too.

Since when do they put your callsign on your dogtags? However I do believe that Hunter is supposed to be the hunter from the games.

This isn't specific to the movie though. WC3 and 4 also fluctuate between having callsigns and proper names on uniforms for example.. (maniac being a prime example that is actually fixed in the movie... his helmet says Marshal)

I did some more analysis of the movie and Hunter's flightsuit does say "Hunter" on it while everyone else has their last name.

Also when Hunter rips Blair's flight suit open and sees his cross, you can also glimpse Blair's dogtag which clearly states "BLAIR" in very large letters.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I still stand by the fact that "Mr. Knight"'s helmet has KNIGHT displayed on it, so as far as I'm concerned this is another pilot whose last name is Knight.

While I appreciate the explanation, this doesn't float from either an intent or a greater continuity perspective. In the latter case, we need look no further than the movie novelization or the Confederation Handbook to find that he's Joseph "Knight" Khumelo (sic).

There's nothing especially damning about his helmet, either - look instead at the nose art, where everyone uses their callsign (even those not mentioned in the movie, Rosie and Polanski - Sister Sassy and Bishop). "Knight" and "Hunter" are used here.

This isn't specific to the movie though. WC3 and 4 also fluctuate between having callsigns and proper names on uniforms for example.. (maniac being a prime example that is actually fixed in the movie... his helmet says Marshal)

There's an obvious movie-specific reason for this - he wears his helmet *before* the scene where he 'gets' his callsign (I know, I know, not in the greater continuity...). Anyway, I sit not five feet from a helmet with HOBBES stenciled on it, so there's no overarching requirement that a last name be on a helmet... in fact, the WC3 novel suggests that pilots paint their helmets themselves (Maniac had some art on his in the book, IIRC).

I really don't understand why we can't all just agree that this is an instance of retroactive continuity, rather than pretending that, "hey, playername. I’m Maniac. Glad to meetcha," means anything other than the obvious. There certainly wasn't an overarching vision for Wing Commander as a franchise when the original game's dialogue was written, much less the possibility of a major motion picture and animated series.

That's an oddly knowing tone for someone who has exactly the same information as everyone else. The fact of the matter is that *all* we have is the impliication in Claw Marks - there's no one saying what the team did or did not plan out for the characters in 1990. More importantly, you're forgetting that the actual 'origin' of the Academy background came well before an animated series or a motion picture dared sully your vision - it enters the 'canon' with the 1991 Wing Commander I & II Ultimate Strategy Guide and also shows up in the licensed writers material created around this time (ultimately making it to print in a reference in the Wing Commander III novelization).

Yes, Bossmans fighter says Lt. Commander Charles Chen on it too.

I seem to recall that there were set photographs of *all* the Rapiers with names and nose-art painted on them. Few if any of that made it into the actual movie, but it may be in the WCHS archive somewhere (the nose art itself all gets reproduced in the Handbook, which also uses the sometimes-wrong pilot names from the set... Khumelo instead of Khumalo, Deveraux instead of Devereaux and Charles Chen instead of Chen Kien).

Still, the Academy years aren't THAT important.
For the future relations between Chris and Todd their time on the 'Claw wouldn't be more than enough?

From a dramatic standpoint I think it adds something important. If Blair and Maniac are competitors because they met on the Tiger's Claw, that's ultimately a very *dark* relationship... they're trained killers having a killing contest. If they're wet-behind-the-ears students who started competing over girls and swimming races, then it's a much more likeable story.

I'd be reluctant to say that sharing a graduating year is proof positive that the two characters knew each other during their academy years until such time as there was actual backstory developed about it. Sure, it's easy to look back with the clarity of hindsight and say that it must be so, but Blair, the character, didn't even exist until Wing Commander III. He was a cardboard cutout with no history or personality of his own. Up to that point, he was the blue-haired protagonist with no greater purpose than to represent the player.

An aside, but we actually recently dug up a pre-WC2 Origin internal newsletter that names him "Arturo Blair" (Our Hero Blue Hair)... in the context of looking for a better name for the licensing bible. We like to think that WC1 was a garage fluke like Ultima, but it was actually very serious - it was by far the most expensive game developed to that point... and it was followed (if not even preceded) by all sorts of licensing concepts.

Or it could be the case of game was made first, and manual was made afterwards, but I prefer your explanation.

The manuals are usually finalized several weeks before the games themselves because of the amount of time it takes to send them off to the printers. This is what leads to problems with ship specifications, as the ships are rebalanced right up until the game itself goes to duplication.

Since when do they put your callsign on your dogtags? However I do believe that Hunter is supposed to be the hunter from the games.

Worth quoting, because it gets at the idea of intent instead of continuity. I don't think there's any question of intent here - they're supposed to be Hunter and Knight from the games. Their descriptions are something like 'Australian guy' and 'big African guy'... that's Ian St. John and Joseph Khumalo boiled down.

Whether it was with the furvor of a fan grasping his Claw Marks or someone who remembers that there was a character named Knight in the original game, it would be hard to argue that the original idea was for this to be a 'different' big African Tiger's Claw pilot named Knight (this is actually a serious thing to remember - *we* all know that 'Knight' is Joseph Khumalo because we've all memorized Claw Marks... someone looking at WC1 casually will be hard pressed to find the name mentioned outside of a funeral scene. WC1 refers to the characters by their callsigns 99% of the time).

What the OP wants is to figure out a way so that intent can differ from actual continuity (like Maniac's callsign) -- and that runs aground because there's a Handbook page with a picture of 'Movie Knight' with his name under it. :)

Also when Hunter rips Blair's flight suit open and sees his cross, you can also glimpse Blair's dogtag which clearly states "BLAIR" in very large letters.

Remember that from a stand-alone-movie standpoint, Blair has no callsign (for obvious reasons - 'Maverick' wouldn't fly with the general movie-going audience...). There's a close(r) up photo of his dogtag on the first page of the Handbook. (Before anyone jumps on this - he's 'Maverick' in the novelization...)
 

6and7eighths

Spaceman
Bandit LOAF said:
6and7eighths said:
I really don't understand why we can't all just agree that this is an instance of retroactive continuity, rather than pretending that, "hey, playername. I’m Maniac. Glad to meetcha," means anything other than the obvious. There certainly wasn't an overarching vision for Wing Commander as a franchise when the original game's dialogue was written, much less the possibility of a major motion picture and animated series.
That's an oddly knowing tone for someone who has exactly the same information as everyone else. The fact of the matter is that *all* we have is the impliication in Claw Marks - there's no one saying what the team did or did not plan out for the characters in 1990. More importantly, you're forgetting that the actual 'origin' of the Academy background came well before an animated series or a motion picture dared sully your vision - it enters the 'canon' with the 1991 Wing Commander I & II Ultimate Strategy Guide and also shows up in the licensed writers material created around this time (ultimately making it to print in a reference in the Wing Commander III novelization).
I'm sorry you seem to think that my lack of affection for the film brings with it some sort of contempt for what it added to the series. As long as we're airing likes and dislikes, I didn't much like Wing Commander III, either, although I am actually quite fond of Academy. If there's one thing I am contemptuous of, however, it's the concept of 'personal continuity.' I'm really not certain how that figures into the discussion at hand, though, unless you're simply being snide. You'll have to forgive me, I'm not quite so adept at reading tone from text.

I don't know that I come across as knowing any more than anybody else, if that's what you mean. Or rather, it's not my intent. I certainly don't pretend that Wing Commander was some fly-by-night miracle; I'd imagine that nobody invests time and money in a project with the intention of it being a failure. However, at the same time, I think it's fairly obvious that in 1990 the future of the franchise wasn't quite so set in stone. That the groundwork for story threads built upon years later in was laid out as early as Wing Commander II's development doesn't change the fact that it is nonetheless retroactive to Wing Commander I, when such story elements didn't exist.

A story doesn't simply move forward. Chronology in fiction is entirely subjective. As a character's background is developed over time, the story's starting point moves farther back. As the story is presented from other perspectives, it broadens in scope. Wing Commander has been fortunate enough to enjoy long-term success and, as a result, has been blessed with a wealth of background material which is occassionally inconsistant.

That the worst continuity errors anybody can come up with is whether or not Paladin was an intelligence agent during Wing Commander or not, or that a single line of dialogue in that game doesn't mesh with relationships from earlier in the chronology developed later in the series, or even that a character's accent is off because they're portrayed by a British actress instead of a Belgian is a testament to the remarkable level of internal consistancy we have. There are very few outright contradictions, and where there are, they're largely inconsequential.

That we, as a community, go out of our way to bicker over such things is the source of my frustration, not that my personal vision of what Wing Commander is supposed to be has been sullied. The simple answer is to acknowledge that when you fill in the blank spaces, sometimes you overwrite a bit. It happens.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Well, you're absolutely right... you're not good at reading tone :) I'm not trying to attack you here, nor is anyone saying that "retcon" doesn't exist (or that it's a bad word). It's just that it's very possible that this specific example (which I read you as having become worked up over, to the point of blaming the movie and the TV show incorrectly) *isn't* an example thereof.

We know that by 1991 the idea that Maniac and the player had been rivals at the Academy was published canon. This was either a result of someone 'retconning' a new story after Wing Commander I (perhaps based on the Claw Marks reference you cited above) *or* it's because the story was part of the character background created for the game a year earlier (which would, in turn, have lead to the Claw Marks reference). Without that first production document we simply don't know... in my mind it could *easily* be either thing.
 

mustanger

Rear Admiral
Here's an inconsistency that always bugged me...

In the WC4 Novel, Blair is onboard the Lexington, and gets a brief flashback of Angel's room on the Concordia. He then says something along the lines of "oh, of course, because the specs are the same as the Concordia." I guess Forschtechen didn't realize that the Concordia class carrier and the WC2 Concordia are not the same thing?
 

MjavTheGray

Spaceman
In the WC4 novel (I've only succeeded in finding Russian translation) the patrol which is killed by Theether in the first chapter, flies Arrows.
In the WC4 novel there's no word about Banshees, Vindicators and Avengers
In the WC4 novel Sosa choses Blair, not Catscratch
In the WC4 novel Forstchen calls 'Dragons' the 'Black lance'

So.
Forstchen's novel is not something done with love for WC Universe.

And more:
WCIII novel by Forstchen says that Hobbes and Blair were BOTH lieutenants in the Vega Campaign time.

Now tell me. Did Mr. Forstchen ever glance at Wing Commander?

So, I would say that ANY FANFIC written with love is better than 'official' book where Venture is 'upgraded' with Dralthi's engines, Maniac is a lame who ejects fighting "one-to-one" dogfight, Blair (just think of it!!!!!!) is afraid of Theether...

So, EVERYTHING is better than forstchen's books!
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
If Blair and Maniac are competitors because they met on the Tiger's Claw, that's ultimately a very *dark* relationship... they're trained killers having a killing contest.

As Maniac points out somewhere in WC1, he's on it for the flying, while Iceman is on it for the killing.

We like to think that WC1 was a garage fluke like Ultima, but it was actually very serious - it was by far the most expensive game developed to that point... and it was followed (if not even preceded) by all sorts of licensing concepts.

That's true, and WC1 pushed the hardware requirements way up. In fact, it's very likely that Origin helped make Creative Labs what it is today because of the amount of people buying Sound Blasters for the cool music and sound effects on WC1 and WC2.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Now tell me. Did Mr. Forstchen ever glance at Wing Commander?

So, I would say that ANY FANFIC written with love is better than 'official' book where Venture is 'upgraded' with Dralthi's engines, Maniac is a lame who ejects fighting "one-to-one" dogfight, Blair (just think of it!!!!!!) is afraid of Theether...

Matching up engine types and ranks isn't what makes a good book, and professional authors aren't chosen because they're experts in a series' background. Complaints like "which fighter someone flew in a particular engagement" shouldn't be serious criticisms though, because no - the author couldn't have played the games. These novelizations are written well before the games are completed. They're based on speculative scripts and preliminary developers' notes. That's how they're able to release these books at virtually the same time as the games.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Here's an inconsistency that always bugged me...

In the WC4 Novel, Blair is onboard the Lexington, and gets a brief flashback of Angel's room on the Concordia. He then says something along the lines of "oh, of course, because the specs are the same as the Concordia." I guess Forschtechen didn't realize that the Concordia class carrier and the WC2 Concordia are not the same thing?

Actually, IIRC this was because originally the Lexington was to be a Confederation class, but they were unable to put it into wc4 and have it look good, or reasons along those lines. This was changed in game, although the novel was already pretty far in the works, so the reference wasn't changed. If you search the forums you might find another thread where this was all hashed out.
 

mustanger

Rear Admiral
That is interesting, I always assumed that they were just re-using WC3 models from the beginning.

P.S. - I didn't search it because the thread was just pointing out inconsistencies, and that just happened to be one that I remembered :)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
In the WC4 novel (I've only succeeded in finding Russian translation) the patrol which is killed by Theether in the first chapter, flies Arrows.

This is an especially crazy point to make, since it was actually Hellcats in an earlier draft (included in the WCIV manual)... and they were *changed* to Arrows specifically to emphasize th fact that the book was describing a *different* attack. Another clue would be that all the characters and ships involved have different names...

In the WC4 novel there's no word about Banshees, Vindicators and Avengers
In the WC4 novel Sosa choses Blair, not Catscratch

The former is absolutely unimportant - the novel came up with an even more interesting way to show that the Border Worlds were desparate, which doesn't necessarily contradict the idea that they have amazing super-fighters for some reason. The latter isn't clear-cut at all - there's certainly an interest there, but it's never clear that it turns into a relationship.

In the WC4 novel Forstchen calls 'Dragons' the 'Black lance'

This has always been, bar none, my favorite thing about the Wing Commander IV novel. It's a very clever connection to make, which Ohlander seems to have done based only the slightest reference in the Wing Commander IV film script. That document notes that the "Dragon" is an outgrowth of the Excalibur project... which he apparently coupled with the fact that most Confederation ships have 'weapon' names and figured out a really neat explanation.

So. Forstchen's novel is not something done with love for WC Universe.

That's kind of insulting, since several of Dr. Forstchen's Wing Commander novels pretty much *define* the Wing Commander universe for most fans. None the less, you are technically correct - there's a wide gap between professional writing assignments and fan fiction. The former is done for money, the latter out of "love". There's also a wide gap in quality - show me a fanfic as good as Fleet Action and I'll show you someone who's lying about there being a fanfic as good as Fleet Action.

(Of course, let us note well that the two novelizations weren't written by Dr. Forstchen - he did the outlines, based on the game scripts... Andrew Keith and Ben Ohlander were responsible for the actual prose).

And more:
WCIII novel by Forstchen says that Hobbes and Blair were BOTH lieutenants in the Vega Campaign time.

I believe the novel says only that Blair was a "junior lieutenant" when Hobbes defected. Which, in so far as I know, is true.

Now tell me. Did Mr. Forstchen ever glance at Wing Commander?

In the case of the novelizations, no - they were written at the same time the games were being developed... the authors had only the script to go on.

So, I would say that ANY FANFIC written with love is better than 'official' book where Venture is 'upgraded' with Dralthi's engines, Maniac is a lame who ejects fighting "one-to-one" dogfight, Blair (just think of it!!!!!!) is afraid of Theether...

I'm pretty sure the *point* of Seether was that he was to scare the player - the game just used him very poorly. Also, the reference to Milk Run is odd - the book doesn't ever say that they engines are from a *Dralthi*.

So, EVERYTHING is better than forstchen's books!

Your post certainly wasn't.

Actually, IIRC this was because originally the Lexington was to be a Confederation class, but they were unable to put it into wc4 and have it look good, or reasons along those lines. This was changed in game, although the novel was already pretty far in the works, so the reference wasn't changed. If you search the forums you might find another thread where this was all hashed out.

To be clear - the *SCRIPT* (which Forstchen would have read) called for the ship to be the same as the Concordia (Concordia class' comes from the scriptwriter not knowing what class the Concordia was). It's unclear whether or not this ever made it into the software development side of the equation.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
This has always been, bar none, my favorite thing about the Wing Commander IV novel. It's a very clever connection to make, which Ohlander seems to have done based only the slightest reference in the Wing Commander IV film script. That document notes that the "Dragon" is an outgrowth of the Excalibur project... which he apparently coupled with the fact that most Confederation ships have 'weapon' names and figured out a really neat explanation.
Hmmm... I can understand that you're willing to accept and defend this explanation once it was published. After all, it's from an official source, and that's really all there is to it. I'm really surprised to hear that you like it, though - I mean, the whole thing is so unnecessary and over-complicated that it seems like something taken straight out of a fanfic. I mean, if a fanfic writer decided that he would have preferred the Excalibur to be called the Merlin or something, that's precisely the kind of explanation he'd come up with.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Well, I guess I remember a time when fans used to bitch and moan en-masse whenever a fighter that wasn't named after a weapon showed up... everyone's favorite awkward explanation was that the Hornet, Thunderbolt and Hellcat *were* named after weapons because in 2650-odd those 20th century aircraft were considered ancient.

The 'Lance' thing struck me as a nice way of making the Dragon a little bit more reasonable. Instead of some kind of entirely evil secret fighter with an entirely evil secret name it suddenly became something that might have been developed as a regular fighter.
 

rtheriaque

Rear Admiral
My personal feeling on "smoothing the edges" is simple... In my world, the WC movie exists as its own separate canon. It just makes it simpler for me to reconcile and enjoy both. I would never, however, shoot down (or attempt to) the explanations that make both work together.

Bottom line, it's a very successful franchise that has enabled fans to enjoy its universe in a variety of ways. There will always be inconsistencies (apparent or legitimate) when a work of fiction expands beyond the point of a few episodes, games, books, etc. Look, for example, at Star Trek. Do what makes you happy!
 
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