Smoothing the edges...

Houkiboshi

Rear Admiral
There's something about them in the new Arena pics... an add for recruitment... Will we be seeing anything else about them?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
They may be mentioned at other points in the manual, but I don't think we'll be seeing any major Retro stories in the near future... they're *very* hard to write for without becoming blatant parody. Best served in small doses!
 

MjavTheGray

Spaceman
So....except the RF and Priv - there's no info about Retros?
They're no small part of the WC Universe, and they're not mentioned in Encyclopedia?
I find it hard to believe, and yet it is true - no Retros in Encyclopedia...
 

MjavTheGray

Spaceman
Last edited by a moderator:

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I don't think you're quite understanding. The Encyclopedia is just unfinished - it's not any sort of commentary as to what is or is not important to the WC universe.

And yeah, Captain Eisen is a good deal more important to WC than the parody church from Privateer.:)
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Continuity and loose ends

There are a lot of continuity inconsistencies between the games and the movie (and I imagine the novels and the animated, although I haven't read them or watched it). For that matter, there are inconsistencies from game to game. You just can't get around it. Fans (and officials who compose the "canon") can come up with explanations of why and how, but the fact is that whenever you make a game, a novel, and a movie, there will be inconsistencies, because 1) as some people have mentioned, some of them are under concurrent development and changes to one can't be implemented in the other, and 2) what makes a good game in 1991 doesn't necessarily do so in 195, what makes a good game period does not necessarily make a good movie, and what makes a good movie does not necessarily make a good novel.

After all, Peter Jackson's telling of the Lord of the Rings doesn't exactly follow the books exactly, but there is no effort on the part of fans to somehow fit the two canons together...people accept that things were changed for the movies. Maybe some people like to do so, so let them. Don't worry about it.

Long before the movie came out, I (and I'm sure every other fan here) had my own ideas about the story. When the movie didn't conform to them, I just shrugged it off. I actually didn't care for the movie, so I perfer to pretend it doesn't exist, but that's a personal choice. If you like the movie, great. But don't exhaust yourself trying to fit it into the games, or attacking other people who enjoy trying to do so.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Now having said all that, there is one consistency issue from game to game (without even worrying about the movie or the novels) that has always bugged me, and I am curious what the "canon" explanation (perhaps from one of the novels?) for it is.

In WC2, Jazz is out to kill all the survivors of the Tiger's Claw: "I swore I'd kill everyone on that damned ship. Spirit was so easy. All I had left were you and Angle and Paladin and Maniac" (he apparently does not consider himself or Doomsday to be targets, presumably because neither of them was stationed on the Claw when Goddard was destroyed and his brother was killed). Also, earlier in the game, when Bluehair comes aboard the Concordia and comes to the rec room, he says enters the room with Angel, Spirit, Doomsday, and Jazz, and says something to the effect of "the survivors of the Tiger's Claw...I hadn't realized there were so many of us left" to which Doomsday replies "All we need is Paladin and Maniac and we can all die together". These two bits together imply that Bluehair, Angel, Spirit, Paladin, and Maniac, along with Jazz and Doomsday were the only survivors of the Claw (and apparently, that includes people who only served on the Claw briefly, since Jazz and Doomsday were transferred off at the end of SM2).

However, I understand from people talking about the novels that Hunter is supposedly still alive at this time (and, based on letters from Hunter to Blair in the WC3 manual, Blair knows it). Also, Hawk supposedly served on the Claw, right? And was a pilot who flew with Blair and Iceman? And must have done so between the end of SM2 (when Iceman was alive) and the loss of the Claw?

So what is the "canon" explanation of why Hawk and Hunter aren't considered to be "survivors of the Claw" and aren't on Jazz's hit list? LOAF? You seem informed...
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Long before the movie came out, I (and I'm sure every other fan here) had my own ideas about the story. When the movie didn't conform to them, I just shrugged it off. I actually didn't care for the movie, so I perfer to pretend it doesn't exist, but that's a personal choice. If you like the movie, great. But don't exhaust yourself trying to fit it into the games, or attacking other people who enjoy trying to do so.

It's no more exhaustive to do so than making your post was here just now. It all fits together very well actually. The movie novelization actually has even more care taken to connect with the games. As we've always said, you're personally free to pick and choose which elements you want to think of as Wing Commander in your own head, but that's not what the actual baseline is. The WC Movie is an official product, and as such, the events that occur in it coexist in the same official timeline as the games. There's a whole bunch of direct links to WC Movie things in Wing Commander Arena (both game and manual).
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Your analogy doesn't work. Lord of the Rings is based on a specific story. It's telling the exact same events of the books.

The WC movie isn't telling the story of a specific game. The novelization goes a long way to show exactly how it fits into the WC canon. No matter how flawed the movie is and how much an individual may not like it or want to ignore it (their perogative) that doesn't change that the events of the movie are official and will be considered in any future WC release. The complimentary arena fiction has already demonstrated subtle nods to the WC movie (and even the unreleased third movie tie-in novel).

Regarding Hawk, he's not a Claw survivor because he wasn't on it when it went down or when Jazz' brother died. Also you need to consider the the context of the statement from WC2. She was specifically refering to a group of friends that served together. It wasn't meant as an exhaustive list of actual survivors.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I agree with your first post in principal - in an idealized world, everyone should respect everyone else's opinion... but in practice I really do believe that arguments like these are necessary for building and maintaining a community and a continuity. If no one argues then we never build convinctions we can believe in and we never *strengthen* our point of view (or find others). If everyone agres to believe the first thing they decided then they never explore all sorts of new facts and viewpoints and so forth. I think we've all learned a lot of cool things in large debates... and made good friends by finding worthy opponents. Heck, even arguing over this *concept* will improve us in some fashion.

As for your second post, which is more in line with my stock and trade...

The real answer is that Hunter's surviving (if ever so briefly in terms of number of appearances) was a plain and simple retcon. Wing Commander II even kills him on the 'losing path' version of the final discussion between Blair and Jazz: "How many deaths are you responsible for, Colson? Specialist McGuffin... General Halcyon, Iceman, Knight, Hunter, everyone else on the Tiger's Claw...".

That said, Ellen Guon (who wrote WC2 and then almost immediately after decided that Hunter should survive in Freedom Flight) was very careful to make sure that he *wasn't* at K'Tithrak Mang -- he's on furlough at the end of the novel and planning to rejoin the Tiger's Claw in the Enigma Sector. The intended inference there is certainly supposed to be either that Jazz doesn't *know* Hunter wasn't killed or that he doesn't care. With the exception of Paladin (who Jazz knew had retired), the only people he's hunting for are people who actually landed on his cruiser after the 'CLaw was destroyed - Spirit, Blair, Angel, Maniac, etc (Maniac didn't land on the Austin, but he had already been aboard in her psych ward). The second novel with Hunter, Fleet Action (2668) addresses this a little more directly... Hunter runs into *another* Tiger's Claw survivor ("Vanderman"), and they both claim they'd heard tha the other was killed. (WC2 also obliquely references Hunter - one of the generic wingmen from another station you meant is "Jaeger", the German word for hunter...)

Note that there are several other Tiger's Claw survivors that we know about as of WC2 beyond those mentioned above... including Tolwyn (who commanded the ship for a brief time leading up to The Secret Missions), Guthrig Andropolos (the 'Claws psychologist who later wrote the timeline in Victory Streak) and possibly Shotglass (the Armada manual claims Shotglass gave the main character a set of wings "after K'Tithrak Mang"). Then there's Carl LaFong and "Armstrong", alternate names for Blair who seem to have been split off into their own background characters...

... and, of course, Hawk. Note that Hawk was *not* a fighter pilot on the Tiger's Claw -- he was a comm tech who became friends with Iceman. Iceman reccomended him for OCS and he was off doing that when the Tiger's Claw was destroyed (and well before - he wasn't onboard during the death of Jazz's brother). He flew with Iceman later in 2656, off of a different carrier (Iceman survived the Tiger's Claw but died within a year, in the manner specified in Prophecy).

Editing as I think of survivors:

* Chris McCubbin claimed that the blonde tech Maniac goes after on the Tiger's Claw in the movie was supposed to be Rachel. I don't think that's in the canon anywhere, though...
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Your analogy doesn't work. Lord of the Rings is based on a specific story. It's telling the exact same events of the books.

The WC movie isn't telling the story of a specific game.

No, it's telling a story that, quite frankly, bears no resemblence to any of the games and makes practically no sense at all within the games' canon, at least not without significant retroactive convolutions in direct violations of Acum's razor to give it continuity. "Well, Bossman must have been MIA, not KIA, even though his fighter somehow made it back to the ship and so he presumable did as well". Well, the Rapiers and Broadswords in the movies must just be earlier versions or different fighters witht he same names, which is why they look so different, and maybe they were outmoded by the time WC1 happened so we never saw them on the Claw in WC1". "Well, Claw Marks makes no reference of the big battles in the movie, even though it lists all the other significant earlier oevents in the war, but maybe it just left that one out". "Well, this Pilgrim thing that was a huge big deal in the movie is never again mentioned in any of the games because, hey, people must have just gotten over it". "Well, maybe the Claw was refit which is why it looks so different". "Maybe Blair never had the opportunity to use the magic abilities he showed in the movie again, which is why we don't see them in the games". "Maybe all the actions people in WC1 took that imply a first meeting (hunter, maniac, et al) are just because they're making jokes". "Maybe Paladin transferred from Secret Ops to flight duty, then back to Secret Ops, even though Blair and Maniac were obviously aware of it and but never talk about it in the game, and maybe his accent changed because it was part of his disguise". See what I mean? A lot of inconsistencies, mainly because the moviemakers seemed to put a higher priority on telling a story and meeting a budget than fitting it exactly with the games. Nothing wrong with that. They were trying to make a successful movie. For the record, I didn't hate the movie as many did and enjoy watching it again on occasion. But forget about the continuity. Movies are movies. Games are games.

That these convolutions are officially sanctioned and therefore "canon" to some fans doesn't make me the slightest bit interested in trying to incorporate them into my view of the world of the games. And aren't we, as the audience and the consumers, the end users after all?


The novelization goes a long way to show exactly how it fits into the WC canon. No matter how flawed the movie is and how much an individual may not like it or want to ignore it (their perogative) that doesn't change that the events of the movie are official and will be considered in any future WC release. The complimentary arena fiction has already demonstrated subtle nods to the WC movie (and even the unreleased third movie tie-in novel).

Well, that's fine then--I plan on ignoring Arena as well (mainly because I don't own an X-box and don't plan on buying one for one game, especially a Wing Commander game that is an arcade style shooter, which I hate, and isn't a real combat sim)--but like you said, that's my perogative. :) Anyway, I find the many inconsistencies between the games and the movies too large for my taste, even if they have been canonized. I agree with the poster earlier that said he had a different canon in his own mind for the movie.

Regarding Hawk, he's not a Claw survivor because he wasn't on it when it went down or when Jazz' brother died. Also you need to consider the the context of the statement from WC2. She was specifically refering to a group of friends that served together. It wasn't meant as an exhaustive list of actual survivors.

How long was it between the end of SM2 and the loss of the Claw?

So the explanation is that Hawk joined the Claw sometime after Operation Thor's Hammer, and during that time became close enough to Iceman that they voluntarily flew together. He also apparently flew with Blair. Yet he transferred off before K'tithrak Mang? And he wasn't a part of a "group of friends that served together", even though the "Life of the party" Doomsday and Jazz, whom Blair hated, both served on the Claw very briefly (like, a week?) but were included? Just curious...
 

Houkiboshi

Rear Admiral
A couple of things I noticed...

Bossman's rapier could be on the claw because he was flying someone else's ship...

Now, you say you hate arcade shooters... That's ok, but I dare you to prove WC is a simulator... I play Pacific Fighters, MCFS, Jane's F/A-18, Eurofighter 2000... Well, those are real simulators...

Do you see anything realistic about the way you fly in WC?

I love Wing Commander... I think it's the best game(s) I have, with starlancer, but it's not a simulator...
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
In case you haven't noticed (and obviously you haven't) there has NEVER been a wing commander game that was even close to a real combat sim. Seriously, would you have really gotten as into the franchise as you did if you had to spend 3 hours flying to maybe find a dralthi or two, bomb your target and attempt to land back home by using the proper air-to-fuel ratios, course plotting and careful management of your fuel on hand?

they are all arcade sims, you blow up dozens of ships every mission and face odds that would have killed any real world ace throughout all of history.

They are fun because they are arcade games, not in spite of it!

if it was a real space simulator, when you started flying at an enemy kamehk you'd keep flying right at it until you exploded quite horrifically on its hull (kind of hard to reverse thrust in space, where there is nothing for your thrusters to push off of.)

get over yourself.

The movie didn't destroy the conceptual energy of the series, it simply added new ideas, remember when it came out in 1999? so do I, it happened to be after most of the games had been made. There have been examples of retroactive continuity in ALL of the WC games so far, not to mention the books and the cartoon series, and frankly it is unbelievable they got it as consistent as they did!

But nobody ever seems to say "Oh, wing commander IV was horrible because it invented a black lance, who ever heared of a black lance anyway, those dragons were awful, and Tolwyn as a traitor!? Thats not the Tolwyn I know!" That all simply got accepted into canon, as it should have been. Why make an exception for the movie.

Just because Freddie Prinze Jr. doesn't look like Mark Hamill?
(its called a movie, people get played by different actors.)

Just because the claw looks different?
(The claw has looked different in EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT it has been represented in.)

Just because Paladin had a different accent?
(I sometimes speak with a southern accent just because it sounds right when you are talking to southern people)

And for the record, bossman was alive and MIA, which is something that we'll all be getting our fill of in the most recent comic series I have started.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
i reylly Hate that Tulwyn character And the fact i cant fly longbaus in Wc 4 So im just gonna say the blak lanse leader is rallyyy elvis!!!! that's my cannon!!!
 

McGruff

Banned
Though there is no doubt that Elvis is alive today, laying low and waiting for the right time for his Vegas comeback, it is very unlikely that he will survive into the 2600's.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
No, it's telling a story that, quite frankly, bears no resemblence to any of the games and makes practically no sense at all within the games' canon, at least not without significant retroactive convolutions in direct violations of Acum's razor to give it continuity. "Well, Bossman must have been MIA, not KIA, even though his fighter somehow made it back to the ship and so he presumable did as well".

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but wren't you telling us all we shouldn't respect eachothers opinions and not argue about *this specific thing* two posts ago? That seems to have fallen flat in the face of AD having a different opinion than you.

Also, the term is "Occam's razor"... and you're using it incorrectly. The logical concept is that the simplest explanation *given the available facts* is (more likely) correct. It is the furthest thing in the universe from chopping out the facts that you don't like in order to create a simpler explanation. Occam's razor would have to take into account both that Bossman is appantly dead in the movie *and* that he is apparently alive in Wing Commander I.

Well, the Rapiers and Broadswords in the movies must just be earlier versions or different fighters witht he same names, which is why they look so different, and maybe they were outmoded by the time WC1 happened so we never saw them on the Claw in WC1".

This isn't some fan theory, though - we know that the Rapier in the movie and the Rapier II in Wing Commander I/II/Arena are different ships. We also know that the Broadsword is the *same* bomber in the various stories. This all comes from what is established about their histories, not what they happen to look like in any individual story (the looks-different? must be different! ship sailed when Super Wing Commander came out...).

"Well, Claw Marks makes no reference of the big battles in the movie, even though it lists all the other significant earlier oevents in the war, but maybe it just left that one out".

That isn't really true - the original Claw Marks doesn't have a timeline... it has several 'X Years Ago' boxes where the 'X' is always some number divisible by five. It also references major battles in places... some of which are never mentioned again (especially: the Tiger's Claw's saving Earth from a Kilrathi invasion immediately after it was commissioned in 2644 - that story never shows up in an official timeline). The idea of adding new history to later Wing Commander timelines has been a *constant* with later timelines... just look at the Repleetah material retconned into Victory Streak. (Of course, we also know that the Claw Marks booklet included in Wing Commander I was published *before* the movie... because Blair has a copy of it in the movie novelization.)

"Well, this Pilgrim thing that was a huge big deal in the movie is never again mentioned in any of the games because, hey, people must have just gotten over it".

This quote thing is kind of silly - trivialized parodiesof other peoples views are fun to write (believe me, I know!), but they don't make for a convincing argument. The simple fact here is that no one has ever said this. Any discussion of Pilgrims will certainly, certainly bring up the fact that Peter Telep's 'Pilgrim' novels were written *specifically* to remove Pilgrims as inhabitants of the Wing Commander universe.

"Well, maybe the Claw was refit which is why it looks so different".

I will argue very strongly against this... because the 'Claw changes appearances between cutscenes in the original game alone and much moreso between the original game and WC2, the animated series, Claw Marks, Super Wing Commander, etc. We should judge the continuity by the history, not by how they happened to make the ship look in one particular story... since this will change every single time.

"Maybe Blair never had the opportunity to use the magic abilities he showed in the movie again, which is why we don't see them in the games".

I'm not even sure what this one refers to anymore. What magic abilities did Blair show in the movie? The ability to navigate a jump point? Load up WC2, take your Broadsword to a jump point and hit 'J'. There, you just used Blair's magic abilities from the movie in the game. (Note that Blair seems to be chosen for jump-related missions with some frequency... including and especially in the 'long jump' episode of Academy.)

"Maybe all the actions people in WC1 took that imply a first meeting (hunter, maniac, et al) are just because they're making jokes".

That isn't without some researched background... but play it the other way around - what about when they *don't* introduce themselves? Paladin's line is "Och, laddy, take a seat an' tilt a glass with ol' Paladin." Did you assume Blair already knew Paladin? Of course not - you're being especially picky about something that doesn't matter when and *only* when it suits your argument. Also note that many other stories have already put Blair and company together before their 'greetings' with no ill effects... including the Wing Commander I & II Strategy Guide, which has Maniac, Blair and Spirit at the Academy together.

"Maybe Paladin transferred from Secret Ops to flight duty, then back to Secret Ops, even though Blair and Maniac were obviously aware of it and but never talk about it in the game, and maybe his accent changed because it was part of his disguise".

Oh, the accent thing is idiotic... but people aren't repeating it to annoy you (or me) - they're repeating it because it's explicitly stated in the Wing Commander IV novelization (written well before there was a movie). The same is true of Paladin having been with covert operations before Wing Commander I... it's been an accepted part of the lore for a very, very long time.

See what I mean? A lot of inconsistencies, mainly because the moviemakers seemed to put a higher priority on telling a story and meeting a budget than fitting it exactly with the games. Nothing wrong with that. They were trying to make a successful movie. For the record, I didn't hate the movie as many did and enjoy watching it again on occasion. But forget about the continuity. Movies are movies. Games are games.

See, this doesn't even make sense. None of the things you listed help meet a budget or even really tell a story... you've jumped from *I don't like these things* to *this is an explanation of how movies are made* without any accompanying logic. It's a disservice to the thought process to ignore it in this manner.

(And, of course, an obligatory notice that 'the moviemakers' means series creator Chris Roberts, operating on a license purchased from Electronic Arts.)

That these convolutions are officially sanctioned and therefore "canon" to some fans doesn't make me the slightest bit interested in trying to incorporate them into my view of the world of the games. And aren't we, as the audience and the consumers, the end users after all?

Well, yes and no. The problem here is that masses of fans (fans in general - Star Trek fans, Star Wars fans, Wing Commander fans) have decided that they should co-opt a concept that has very little to do with them - the idea of there being a 'canon' of stories to a particular science fiction universe. The 'canon' of these settings is part of the back-end - the inner workings. We have no more ability (or reason) to change than we do how a camera on our favorite TV show is positioned or how a programming variable in our favorite game's coding works. The fact of the matter is we like hemming and hawking about it because it's taken on such an intellectual-sounding name. Canon! It's like what religious scholars and English Lit PhDs talk about, except all we have to do is decide which Star Wars comic books we're *against*!

A canon is for people writing new stories - telling them what they're required to respect. Obviously, that's a rough yardstick... because no future manual writer or script supervisor for Wing Commander is ever going to bother to know what Fleet Action established the yield of antimatter torpedoes to be. The idea of a 'personal canon' may sound nice and self-respectful, but it's actually nonsense... because in practice it affects nothing. Your personal canon ignores the movie? Great - so what? That doesn't stop a future story from referring to it. You also don't really have any reason - or excuse - ever to talk about it... because by definition it's something personal that you've decided because you don't want other people inflicting their views on you. Someone *explaining* what they personally think is a 'real' Wing Commander game is just grandstanding. It's like those "my other car is a jet" bumper stickers. It's a funny joke, but it doesn't actually mean anything.

Well, that's fine then--I plan on ignoring Arena as well (mainly because I don't own an X-box and don't plan on buying one for one game, especially a Wing Commander game that is an arcade style shooter, which I hate, and isn't a real combat sim)--but like you said, that's my perogative. :) Anyway, I find the many inconsistencies between the games and the movies too large for my taste, even if they have been canonized. I agree with the poster earlier that said he had a different canon in his own mind for the movie.

That's not fine, though - this is incredibly, willfully ignorant. We've already seen ample evidence that Arena is going to add to Wing Commander's continuity - without even requiring that you play the game... which, I note, you haven't done yet. You've decided beforehand that you don't like it and that whatever it adds to the canon *must* be ignored? And you expect us to take your opinion on related matters seriously?

(I'm sure someone else will already hit this point before I can reply, as it's so glaring, but I must say it anyway: Wing Commander is *in no way* a simulation. It's an arcade game that's especially immersive... it isn't simulating anything. Furthermore, as someone who has actually played Arena, I can guarantee that the game goes through an extraordinary number of hoops to feel as much like the gameplay as the original game as possible. The fact that WC1 says '3D Space Combat Simulation' on the box is in no way a license to feel that it's more complex than a first person shooter.)

How long was it between the end of SM2 and the loss of the Claw?

Secret Missions 2 ends on November 11th, 2655. The Tiger's Claw was destroyed on February 25th, 2656 - so it's a little over three months.

So the explanation is that Hawk joined the Claw sometime after Operation Thor's Hammer, and during that time became close enough to Iceman that they voluntarily flew together. He also apparently flew with Blair. Yet he transferred off before K'tithrak Mang? And he wasn't a part of a "group of friends that served together", even though the "Life of the party" Doomsday and Jazz, whom Blair hated, both served on the Claw very briefly (like, a week?) but were included? Just curious...

No. See my reply above yours for a discussion of Hawk's involvement with the Tiger's Claw. He and Iceman (not Blair) fly together *after* the Tiger's Claw is destroyed.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
Movies are movies. Games are games.

And novels are novels. It’s a known fact that any reader with a good deal of attention can detect a number of inconsistencies – apparent or otherwise – between the various sources. Frankly, the issues between WC1 and WC Movie are irrelevant. They come down to numbers, dates, facts and appearances. Those retcons are simple and easy. It's much more complicated when the entire tone of the storytelling changed sometimes drastically, and that certainly doesn’t happen in the movie. Take the game novelizations, for example, and you’d see some different view on things. Not just because it’s a different medium, but because the authors and their points of view are different. That’s a good thing, I think, for it broadens the scope of that particular story, for as long as we don’t enter a discussion about what is the “right” one based on what fits our own perceptions better. One thing is to like the WC1 Rapier better than the SWC one, another is to claim the SWC one isn't canon.

You can choose to see the whole thing in a number of ways. A really strict view would dictate that each product is encapsulated on its own universe, since fitting smoothly with the rest of the universe doesn’t seem to be a design priority for WC products.

Except for Arena, of course, what is actually the opposite of what you are complaining about. Instead of posing problems, it solves them. It’s remarkably odd to complain about Arena’s continuity given the superb and unprecedented effort made in this regard.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Hmmm

Sorry for my somewhat heated earlier reply. I was trying to side with people that were cautioning against nitpicking, and add something to the discussion, but I was rushed (at work, my boss was coming over), so what was originally going to be a well thought out post ended up being a stream of consciousness tirade. A lot of things bugged me about the movie when it came out, and I threw just a few of them in. I agree that it is a wonder that things fit as well as they do, but I still maintain the opinion that Chris Roberts and the folks that made the movie probably didn't INTEND it to fit perfectly well with the games, and maybe only decided to try to mesh it after the fact. If they had, i.e. if they truly had wanted to make a prequel to WC1, then they could very easily have changed things that would have made it mesh perfectly--i.e. by not having Bossman be the dead one but rather Lt. Dribbles or whoever it was that died in Claw Marks shortly before the game starts. The accents and appearances really didn't bother me that much...different actors and so forth...but they do add to the plethora of little details in the movies that don't quite fit with the games.

If the contention is that we are the audience and have no more control over the content of the movies/novels/games than we do over camera angles of our favorite TV shows, then, well, I agree with that (it's hard to disagree with), but if the next logical statement is that "since you can't change anything, you have to accept everything as a whole", then Wing Commander loses some of its luster in my eyes. The myriad of inconsistencies between the movies and the games take away from what could easily have been a more cohesive story. On the other hand, if I consider the movie and the games to be an alternative tellings of a story, the way the Jackson's Lord of the Rings is an alternative telling of Tolkein's story, which describes mainly the same events but doesn't necessarily have all the same details, then the saga stands on firmer ground and I can enjoy both the games and the movie as telling a great (or in the case of the movie, a mildly entertaining) story in a science fiction setting.

On the issue of simulator versus arcade...I know that Wing Commander is not a realistic simulator, the way that many flight simulators are. I am aware that its physics are not accurate. But you're taking my response too literally. Wing Commander was the first (or one of the first...maybe X-wing predated it?) of the "space combat simulators". It's distinct from arcade style shooters in that (1) you control where exactly your ship goes, whereas traditional arcade shooters have a fixed path you traverse while things fly at you and all you do is decide where to aim, what to shoot, and where to dodge, and (2) you have full 3D maneuvering capability, instead of moving in a plane (as Arena will apparently make you do).

One more continuity question regarding Hawk:

You said that he flew with Iceman (but not Blair) after K'tithrak Mang. But Hawk tells Casey that Blair picked up Iceman's pod after he was shot down and the Cats killed him. How was this exactly possible considering that Blair was cooling his jets with the I.S.S. (on Caernarvan?) by then, since it had been "ten years since he'd flown a combat mission"?
 
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