Smoothing the edges...

Delance

Victory, you say?
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).

Wing Commander was released first. The point you present was very much relevant in the early 90's. Not so much today. In relation to Galaga, WC was really a space simulator. Today, a Space Simulator would be a really boring game. That said, even tought it might look differently, Arena has much more to do with Wing Commander than Space Invaders in terms of gameplay.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
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.

That's cetainly okay - as I mentioned in my own post, I really think that these 'heated' discussions are something which improves the community in the long run. If we aren't passionate about Wing Commander then why are we talking at all?

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.

Well, you bring up an interesting question - but I don't think it has a single answer one way or another. We have to do some archaeology.

Compare Chris Roberts' draft of the movie to the earliest version which he wasn't involved in - a lot of the things he changes actually are continuity related on a basic level. For instance, the first version uses "Sabres" which he changes to Rapiers. Chris Roberts *isn't* a sci fi geek, he developed the series in very broad strokes - he doesn't know incredibly obscure things about characters pasts and how the timeline works and so forth... but just comparing the two versions makes clear tha the's moving towards the Wing Commander he remembers.

Next, take into account the aspects of the movie that were done in post production. The film shoot itself was done without most of the old 'Wing Commander' crew... but the editing, CGI, dubbing, etc. were not. Comparing *these* areas to the shooting script makes clear that there *was* a move to add 'game' continuity to the film before it was released. You mentioned Lt. Dibbles, for example... there's a line about him in the finished movie that isn't in the script because the gang at DA (most of whom were Maverick vets) wanted more continuity. They also get credit for the entire introduction (which is full of references) and the 'Hornet' line when Maniac arrives on the 'Claw... as well as little visual references, like the VDU that shows that targetted Kilrathi transports are Dorkir at one point.

Also, there's the tie-in material which was published with the movie. If you read the Wing Commander movie novelization without seeing the 'visuals' of the movie then it's really just another Wing Commander story... one that actually goes through great lengths to *explain* the continuity issues with the script. That one book refers to the classic games more than all of the Baen novels do together... (now, I'll admit, I had something to do with that as the continuity consultant on the project... but the fact that they had me come in and do that in the first place certainly speaks to the intent of the licensors.)

Even the Confed Handbook, which arguably causes more problems than the movie itself, is specifically full of 'explanations' for various movie issues - it does things like explain Bossman's name and references the events of the first episode of Academy adnd so forth, and the author has stated that all this was intentional. Actually, a lot of the problems which it introduces come from attempts to explain things that didn't make it into the finished cut of the movie (like a reference to Paladin being on the Iason).

What I guess I'm saying here is that the movie was *written* separately... but from the point that Chris Roberts took ovr the project and especially after the film shoot was finished there was a very concerted effort to connect it back into *our* Wing Commander universe. If nothing else, we should respect that.


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.

I don't think your latter example works simply because they're *not* tellings of the same story... they're two different stories. The question is whether or not they're in the same universe. The *intent* is certainly that they are, and future products will refer to them as such. It's *not* in any way forcing you to enjoy them or to review them or to think about them... but there's no real way to get rid of them. If that means you won't like Arena and Privateer 3 and Wing Commander 7 and so forth because they may mention the Pilgrim War at some point, then that's just a darned shame.

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).

I think you'll be imrpessed with Arena in this regard - it takes the 'classic' plane system and really turns it on its ear... youu use special maneuvers (rolls, loops, dives, etc.) to go up and down. It innovates in exactly the way a Wing Commander should. Beyond that, the ships *feel* right. A battle involves taking down an enemy ship's shields and then armor and then subsystems and so forth... rather than just shooting your hypercannon at an enemy Galaga and blowing it up.

(Wing Commander came well before X-Wing. X-Wing was actually *announced* as a result of LucasArts' seeing the Wing Commander demo at Comdex...)

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"?

I guess this technically falls into the 'story yet to be told' category along with the Bossman thing... I certainly believe Blair would go looking for his old friend in such circumstances (and also that an S&R mission isn't necessarily a combat mission). Note that the Blair-found-the-body and the Hawk-flew-with-Iceman *are* completely separate stories within the context of WCP alone.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
Well, considering Blair is prone to disregard orders and regulations in order to perform spectacularly risky and heroic deeds, it’s not absurd that he found a way from a Confed System and tried to save his friend in a Kilrathi system. After all, his insight into jumping served him well before.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Hehe, well, that's if he even had to go to a Kilrathi system - Iceman was sliced up and dumped into space as propaganda... he was almost certainly left where someone would find him (possibly even Blair on purpose, since we know the Prince had such a problem with him personally at that point...).
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
The idea of a 'personal canon' may sound nice and self-respectful, but it's actually nonsense...

It's also one of the most insulting things I've heard lately. The people making up the community have spent years arguing and figuring out what's WC canon... When some guy pops up proclaiming his own "personal canon" it's not just silly, it's disrespectful to the community.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
It's also one of the most insulting things I've heard lately. The people making up the community have spent years arguing and figuring out what's WC canon... When some guy pops up proclaiming his own "personal canon" it's not just silly, it's disrespectful to the community.

I think you missed the point entirely... The community *doesn't* get to decide what's canon.
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
I think he means that for the most part we have agreed to and accepted the canon (even if we don't like the presentation of parts of it) so for someone frankly unknown to come in and trounce on it is pretty disrespectful towards everything Wing Commander stands for, which includes the fan community.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
Well, Thrakkath seemed devoted to disturbing Blair in gruesome ways as some kind of personal project.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I think he means that for the most part we have agreed to and accepted the canon (even if we don't like the presentation of parts of it) so for someone frankly unknown to come in and trounce on it is pretty disrespectful towards everything Wing Commander stands for, which includes the fan community.

I don't have a problem with it in that sense. Think about it - in this thread alone we looked at the idea of analyzing the *intent* of the movie from the available history for what may be the first time... it ended up being strong evidence 'for' its inclusion, and it's something that wouldn't have happened if we hadn't been having an argument.

Having posted to a message board for a longer amount of time doesn't make us special - anyone can come in here and have (or force us to have) a new idea... and that's excellent.

I think you missed the point entirely... The community *doesn't* get to decide what's canon.

Not directly a criticism of you (I've done it to), but lets try and move towards using the word canon correctly instead of emulating how Star Trek and Star Wars fans have incorrectly co-opted it. Canon is a noun... the adjective is canonical. "Super Wing Commander is part of the canon" versus "Super Wing Commander is canonical."
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
I'm not very happy with some consequenses of the canonical choices made. For example, Flint must spend a few days pissed off on the elevator, apparently 24/7, waiting to talk to Blair - if he does talk to her, she can't go on to be shot down above Kilrah. That's just cold, Blair!
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
I think he means that for the most part we have agreed to and accepted the canon (even if we don't like the presentation of parts of it) so for someone frankly unknown to come in and trounce on it is pretty disrespectful towards everything Wing Commander stands for, which includes the fan community.

Yeah, that's what i said, it was just poorly written.

I mean, I hated what WC 3 and 4 did to Tolwyn as a character, but I would ask "How on earth does this fit with the previous games and books, is there some source that explains this", rather than just tell everyone how we should all ignore WC 3 and 4 because he was such a great guy in SO.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I think he means that for the most part we have agreed to and accepted the canon (even if we don't like the presentation of parts of it) so for someone frankly unknown to come in and trounce on it is pretty disrespectful towards everything Wing Commander stands for, which includes the fan community.

I'm not sure if you're referring to me, but if you are, I would say a few words.

At no point did I "trounce on the canon". This thread started with someone posting questions about inconsistencies that bothered them, and it caught my eye because many of the same inconsistencies have occurred to me. Some other poster said something to the effect of he didn't let the differences bother him because he enjoyed the movie separately from the games, and I originally posted to agree with him, as I do much the same thing. It was only after I was then attacked that I fired off a lengthy but hurried post which, I'll admit, probably came off somewhat more hostilely than I intended. I have never made claims that the canon is wrong because it doesn't fit my personal vision, just that apparent inconsistencies (which may well be explained away by resources that I have not read) do not bother me because I keep them separate in my mind.

I admitted that I have never read any of the novels, nor seen the animated series. For that matter, I have never even played Academy or Armada (I own them but have yet to get them to work on modern computers). I have loved Wing Commander passionately for years, and one of these days I will get around to trying the novels, and maybe getting Armada working. When I do so, if they fill in gaps that make some of the inconsistencies that bother me go away, then I'm sure the movie and the games will come together in my mind; if they do not, I'll continue with my life and continue to enjoy the games as some of the greatest games ever written and the movie as something fun to rent when I have nothing better to do, and I'll continue to not stress about inconsistencies. I fail to see how this attitude "trounces on the canon" or "is disrespectful to everything Wing Commander stands for". It's a game, people. A wonder, beloved game that was ahead of its time and that lives on today, but not political leader or a religious belief or a martyr or something that I sully the image of by even suggesting that inconsistencies between its various components exist.

And of course the notion of "personal canon" exists. None of us came into existence knowing everything there was to know about Wing Commander instantaneously (well, maybe BanditLOAF did, but anyway...) There was always a time when there was some hole in our knowledge. As we were discussing earlier, since there is a "Story still to be told category", there are obviously still some holes to be filled for everyone. Of course we all, in the absence of further information, imagine stories or scenarios that might fill in these holes. People did that with Star Wars for years before the prequels came out (and some people still do, ignoring the prequels). As we play additional games or read novels that we manage to find, naturally some of our imagined stories are proved to be wrong, and we replace our imaginings with "canon". However, our own fancies continue to fill in all the holes that remain. Since everyone has been exposed to different amounts of the story, everyone's preception of the games is slightly different, which is what leads to interesting debates and insights.

For example, I know that of the original seven Claw pilots (after Bossman died) in WC 1, only Spirit, Angel, Maniac, and Paladin survived till WC2 (and apparently Hunter, as has been discussed). I always imagined that the reason why they survived is that they, like Blair, probably were out on patrol, while Knight and Iceman probably had flown the earlier shift and were in their beds or in the bar when the Claw went up. Then Prophecy came along and told us more about Iceman, and between that and what folks here have told me, I have found out that Iceman survived the Claw, but the exact circumstances of his death, and perhaps Blair's pickup, are still unknown. So now my view of the universe has evolved, and my imagined stories have been replaced. I still wonder and imagine how it happened, and how Knight met his end. But the implication of some of the posters here is that by even imagining things that have not been spelled out explicitly is somehow heretical because I'm creating my own personal canon...

And as to "someone unknown"--I have been visiting this site for years. I rarely post, and when I do I often do not bother to log in. Still, I fail to see how that is relevant. If I had posted every day for the last five years, would my opinions somehow be more valid or better?
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
And in End Run

I also didn't like what Tolwyn turned into in WCIII/IV, but not because I don't like it, it shouldn't exist

Towlyn has a few major events shake his life between Blair's contact with him in SO2 and WC3. The false armistice, BoT, his involvement with GE/Belisarius and project Behemoth all shaped this outlook. Tolwyn in the novels is always shown in the context of people he cares about and trusts (for the most part). He cares about Bondarevsky much more than he ever cares about Blair that is why we see such different interactions between the two. The effects of BoT alone must have done quite a number on Tolwyn. Losing entire worlds and a fair number of northern hemisphere cities along with the strictly military losses, it was a very bloody period for all.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I admitted that I have never read any of the novels, nor seen the animated series. For that matter, I have never even played Academy or Armada (I own them but have yet to get them to work on modern computers). I have loved Wing Commander passionately for years, and one of these days I will get around to trying the novels, and maybe getting Armada working. When I do so, if they fill in gaps that make some of the inconsistencies that bother me go away, then I'm sure the movie and the games will come together in my mind; if they do not, I'll continue with my life and continue to enjoy the games as some of the greatest games ever written and the movie as something fun to rent when I have nothing better to do, and I'll continue to not stress about inconsistencies. I fail to see how this attitude "trounces on the canon" or "is disrespectful to everything Wing Commander stands for". It's a game, people. A wonder, beloved game that was ahead of its time and that lives on today, but not political leader or a religious belief or a martyr or something that I sully the image of by even suggesting that inconsistencies between its various components exist.

In all seriousness, why are you here raging against the machine when you could be playing or watching or reading a whole host of new Wing Commander things? I'd give my right arm to be able to enjoy Academy or Armada or the animated series or the novels for the first time again somehow. Here I am spending an extraordinary amount of time, effort and money tracking down an obscure and likely non-existant port of Privateer to get that little thrill again... and you have an embarassment of riches laid out in front of you! Don't waste your time criticizing our fervor, download the animated series! Have the tech support guys set up your Academy and Armada! Pay the dollar an Amazon zShop will want for a copy of Fleet Action!

And of course the notion of "personal canon" exists. None of us came into existence knowing everything there was to know about Wing Commander instantaneously (well, maybe BanditLOAF did, but anyway...) There was always a time when there was some hole in our knowledge. As we were discussing earlier, since there is a "Story still to be told category", there are obviously still some holes to be filled for everyone. Of course we all, in the absence of further information, imagine stories or scenarios that might fill in these holes. People did that with Star Wars for years before the prequels came out (and some people still do, ignoring the prequels). As we play additional games or read novels that we manage to find, naturally some of our imagined stories are proved to be wrong, and we replace our imaginings with "canon". However, our own fancies continue to fill in all the holes that remain. Since everyone has been exposed to different amounts of the story, everyone's preception of the games is slightly different, which is what leads to interesting debates and insights.

Again, the problem is that that's *personal*, but it isn't a canon. The entire thing is an attempt to borrow an unrelated idea because it has a pretty word assosciated with it. A canon is a body of recognized law, something that sets the rules for a group (in this case, an unrelated group: Wing Commander writers). It can't exist on an individual level because the idea that an individual decides upon their own beliefs is a *given*. Furthermore, by definition those personal beliefs cannot be forced on anyone or even quantified in the nature that a canon requires... because then they're not individual. It's essentially the difference between believing you weren't speeding and insisting to the police officer that you shouldn't have to pay your ticket because you've never heard of laws against speeding.

For example, I know that of the original seven Claw pilots (after Bossman died) in WC 1, only Spirit, Angel, Maniac, and Paladin survived till WC2 (and apparently Hunter, as has been discussed). I always imagined that the reason why they survived is that they, like Blair, probably were out on patrol, while Knight and Iceman probably had flown the earlier shift and were in their beds or in the bar when the Claw went up. Then Prophecy came along and told us more about Iceman, and between that and what folks here have told me, I have found out that Iceman survived the Claw, but the exact circumstances of his death, and perhaps Blair's pickup, are still unknown. So now my view of the universe has evolved, and my imagined stories have been replaced. I still wonder and imagine how it happened, and how Knight met his end. But the implication of some of the posters here is that by even imagining things that have not been spelled out explicitly is somehow heretical because I'm creating my own personal canon...

Housekeeping - the fact that Iceman survived the Tiger's Claw doesn't come from Wing Commander Prophecy... it comes from the 1991 Wing Commander I & II Ultimate Strategy Guide.

However: this isn't an example of you having a canon. A canon is a set of unbending rules. If your 'personal canon' said that there were only seven surviving Tiger's Claw pilots then that would be the end of any discussion on your part. This is why these discussions anger those who understand the concept - insisting that your "canon" is different from that of the group is to insist that you're right and they aren't. It isn't a unique individualistic respectful concept that's being somehow trampled on by group-thinking... it's a special term that defines the absolute. No religion (wherefrom we borrow the concept) steps up to argue that 'my holy book is right *too*!'

Rather, what you've given us is the rare example of the set Wing Commander canon functioning. You require information you don't have, the proper canon is consulted and cited and as a result you change (or do not change) your personal beliefs. A canon doesn't exist to define what you know at any particular time, it exists to define what the group *can* know (and reference). None of us know every detail of every novel and manual and hint book and nook and cranny... but because we have a set canon, any of us can cite it in order to argue their point (as above).

And as to "someone unknown"--I have been visiting this site for years. I rarely post, and when I do I often do not bother to log in. Still, I fail to see how that is relevant. If I had posted every day for the last five years, would my opinions somehow be more valid or better?

Well, frankly, yes - in actual practice someone who posts every day for five years will automatically have opinions which are considered more (or less - McGruff) valid by their peers than those of someone who has never posted at all. It is *entirely possible* that you have thoughts that are better or more unique than anyone else here... but you must recognize that it will take more proof than someone whose actions and thoughts have become known and understood overtime.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Towlyn has a few major events shake his life between Blair's contact with him in SO2 and WC3. The false armistice, BoT, his involvement with GE/Belisarius and project Behemoth all shaped this outlook. Tolwyn in the novels is always shown in the context of people he cares about and trusts (for the most part). He cares about Bondarevsky much more than he ever cares about Blair that is why we see such different interactions between the two. The effects of BoT alone must have done quite a number on Tolwyn. Losing entire worlds and a fair number of northern hemisphere cities along with the strictly military losses, it was a very bloody period for all.

The change in Tolwyn's personality originally had nothing to do with any of this. As written, the character was a good commander who honestly believed Blair was a traitor. When Blair tries to demean Tolwyn to characters like Angel and Sparks in WC2, he's rebuffed - Tolwyn is their Captain and they'll follow him to hell. In Special Operations 1, with Blair exhonorated, Tolwyn is an entirely likeable character all around.

... and then they cast likeably evil Malcolm McDowell to play Tolwyn. WC3, at the very least, gives him a line to explain away his earlier friendship with Blair... before portraying him as a petty power-crazed madman with his hands on the mother of all phallic symbols. WC4 drops even the pretense - the role is written to McDowell's strengths rather than the character and he's suddenly a Space Nazi complete with breeding program, final solution and Waffen SS uniform.

The first 'contradiction' in his character was intentional and displayed in a very subtle manner. Dr. Forstchen has said that he saw General MacArthur in this (particularly his dislike of Blair in WC2 compared to his obvious respect for Bear in SO1). If he liked you then your career was set... but if he didn't, he was your worst, most subborn enemy.

It's the "shift to FMV" character change (loss, really) that ended up requiring entire novels written to take apart Tolwyn's sanity.

To the credit of those stories, they work overtime to do this - a full three novels (Fleet Action, Action Stations and False Colors) are oriented specifically towards explaining Tolwyn's shift... and even the animated series prequel specifically works at porraying McDowell as a more 'likable' (if coldly results-oriented) WC2 Tolwyn.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
The change in Tolwyn's personality originally had nothing to do with any of this. As written, the character was a good commander who honestly believed Blair was a traitor. When Blair tries to demean Tolwyn to characters like Angel and Sparks in WC2, he's rebuffed - Tolwyn is their Captain and they'll follow him to hell. In Special Operations 1, with Blair exhonorated, Tolwyn is an entirely likeable character all around.

... and then they cast likeably evil Malcolm McDowell to play Tolwyn. WC3, at the very least, gives him a line to explain away his earlier friendship with Blair... before portraying him as a petty power-crazed madman with his hands on the mother of all phallic symbols. WC4 drops even the pretense - the role is written to McDowell's strengths rather than the character and he's suddenly a Space Nazi complete with breeding program, final solution and Waffen SS uniform.

The first 'contradiction' in his character was intentional and displayed in a very subtle manner. Dr. Forstchen has said that he saw General MacArthur in this (particularly his dislike of Blair in WC2 compared to his obvious respect for Bear in SO1). If he liked you then your career was set... but if he didn't, he was your worst, most subborn enemy.

It's the "shift to FMV" character change (loss, really) that ended up requiring entire novels written to take apart Tolwyn's sanity.

To the credit of those stories, they work overtime to do this - a full three novels (Fleet Action, Action Stations and False Colors) are oriented specifically towards explaining Tolwyn's shift... and even the animated series prequel specifically works at porraying McDowell as a more 'likable' (if coldly results-oriented) WC2 Tolwyn.


Interestingly, the original intent in the WC movie was also to establish a reason for animosity between Tolwyn and Blair. As shot (the scenes aren't in the finished movie) Tolwyn "uses" blair as a pawn in an effort to delay the kilrathi. Belegard (is that the right spelling) actually had a bigger part too because he didn't agree with Tolwyn treating blair that way. I can't remember if it was because Tolwyn suspected traitors on the Claw or not, but earlier drafts of the movie end with Tolwyn admiting it to Blair and telling him that he'd be angry about it if he were in Blair's position.

I don't think it was written as Tolwyn disliking him but rather making disconnected military decisions, possibly sending young soldiers to their death.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
(...)
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(...)

Huh, I never realized that. The Claw looks differently in the cutscenes in WC1? And the WC2 intro Claw looks different than the WC 1 Claw? Did I miss obvious differences (which would shame me) or are they minor?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Huh, I never realized that. The Claw looks differently in the cutscenes in WC1? And the WC2 intro Claw looks different than the WC 1 Claw? Did I miss obvious differences (which would shame me) or are they minor?

One big example is the number of engines - it changes between the WC1 cutscenes, the WC1 in-game model and the drawing in Claw Marks. It might not be obvious... but imagine the Star Trek Enterprise changing how many engines it has from scene to scene!
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
As written, the character was a good commander who honestly believed Blair was a traitor.

An interesting subject which is at the core of the story. WC2, SO1, SO2 and WC3 and WC4 all begin with Blair at Tolwyn’s office.

WC2 doesn’t hint Tolwyn knew Blair. People who knew Blair didn't think he was a Traitor - Paladin flat out tells Tolwyn anyone who served with Blair in the Claw would tell the same.

Then, later, we find out Tolwyn served with Blair on the Claw, and actually knew his character well from WCA. Tolwyn choose to believe Blair was a traitor, just like Paladin chooses not to. Why? Well, Tolwyn didn’t like Blair and Paladin did, that’s pretty much why. The story of WC2 gets even more interesting when you input everything that happened on WCA and the WCM. To think Blair was a traitor, after all that?

In all fairness, no one believed the stories about ghost ships, and Blair's friends considered him merely incompetent. What was more or less what the court decided, since Blair was convicted of negligence, and demoted to Captain. It was Tolwyn who made the decision to end his career and put him on ISS, what was object of much delight for the Kilrathi imperial family.

Then Blair tries to demean Tolwyn to characters like Angel and Sparks in WC2, he's rebuffed - Tolwyn is their Captain and they'll follow him to hell. In Special Operations 1, with Blair exhonorated, Tolwyn is an entirely likeable character all around.

It was as if the old days of WCA were back. No bumping heads. When Jazz escapes on SO2, Tolwyn even tells Blair no one blames him for that.

... and then they cast likeably evil Malcolm McDowell to play Tolwyn. WC3, at the very least, gives him a line to explain away his earlier friendship with Blair... before portraying him as a petty power-crazed madman with his hands on the mother of all phallic symbols.

It was odd. At the very beginning, Tolwyn gives him a very cold and distant non-response about the status of Angel. Paladin, on the other hand, does exactly the same, on a warm and fuzzy way.

What makes me think about the ISS. Didn't anyone else who knew Blair - like Paladin - could've helped him? Or didn’t Blair even try?
 
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