What happened to Blair?

bbcrusader

Spaceman
I’d love to know fan theories or official description on what happens to Blair at the end of prophecy?
If you watch one of the alien towers when they get destroyed one of them gets sucked back into the wormhole.. did he go into alien space ?
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I think that depends on whether they let J.J. Abrams write the next script...

Seriously, I'm not aware of any canonical indications of Blair's fate... so as far as I know it's up to your imagination. He's most likely dead... whether the tower he was in gets sucked back through the wormhole or not, he was in a failing, exploding space structure without a pressure suit, so it's pretty unlikely he could have survived.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Its mentioned in Star*Soldier i believe that a cult of Blair had popped up after people reported sightings. But it never truly established his status.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I’d love to know fan theories or official description on what happens to Blair at the end of prophecy?
If you watch one of the alien towers when they get destroyed one of them gets sucked back into the wormhole.. did he go into alien space ?

There is a quasi-official answer: Pilgrim Truth, the third Wing Commander movie novel, includes a flashforward where we're explicitly told that Blair is not dead and that he returns later on. The only thing that stops that from being the 100% absolute answer is that Pilgrim Truth was never published... though EA gave us permission to release the manuscript, so it's... sort of published!

The tower falling into the wormhole ended up being a coincidence; the artist responsible for the scene said he wasn't asked to do it any way in particular... so not a case of Spock telling McCoy to remember just in case.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
I remember the fate of Blair being discussed frequently in the years after Prophecy - I'm sure a quick search would turn up a lot of threads about that.

From a real world perspective it seemed to me they wrote Prophecy as a 'baton passing' from the old generation of pilots that we as players were familiar with - Blair, Maniac, Hawk - to the new generation - Casey, Maestro, Zero, Stiletto. (They did a similar thing with the Star Wars sequel trilogy.) I recall when I played Prophecy for the first time so many years ago I felt it was odd that Blair took so long to make his escape from the tower and in subsequent replays and discussion with the community here it seemed more like a clumsy attempt to write a heroic self-sacrifice for our beloved player-character-who-is-no-longer-the-player-character, justified by the psychological trauma of his capture and also to act as a catalyst for Casey's character development.

If it was supposed to be a heroic self-sacrifice, why make his fate so ambiguous then? I can only assume it's the writers' way of giving themselves some wiggle room, if there was a decision to bring back the character later at some point, for whatever reason.

So from that perspective, my assumption is Blair is gone, KIA. I forgot about the cult of Blair, that's a mildly amusing reference.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I am not sure having a giant murderous insect monster pounce on you from the ceiling and then simultaneously you are exploded in the vacuum of deep space qualifies as ambigious to anyone but a very hopeful fan :D And Wing Commander has never been an IP that (intentionally) brought back dead characters...

(The truth is that there was no particular plan after Prophecy; there were as many different takes as there were attempted followups and they ranged from yes he's dead to he's an alien prisoner to he's been turned evil by the aliens to now you fight a steady stream of Blair clones... and I think the one thing that unifies these is that none of them seem to really hit the mark...)
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Fair point - clearly I forgot about the alien pouncing bit. But I do consider his fate less clear cut than, for example, being disembowelled at the hands/claws of Prince Thrakhath in the losing ending of WC3... Clearly no-one would walk away from that, but if for some bizarre reason some higher-up said 'bring back Blair' in a post-Prophecy setting, I could see that as being plausible - albeit a stretch - from the end scenes of Prophecy.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
I am not sure having a giant murderous insect monster pounce on you from the ceiling and then simultaneously you are exploded in the vacuum of deep space qualifies as ambigious to anyone but a very hopeful fan :D And Wing Commander has never been an IP that (intentionally) brought back dead characters...

(The truth is that there was no particular plan after Prophecy; there were as many different takes as there were attempted followups and they ranged from yes he's dead to he's an alien prisoner to he's been turned evil by the aliens to now you fight a steady stream of Blair clones... and I think the one thing that unifies these is that none of them seem to really hit the mark...)

Yes - without a clear plan or direction for a sequel, surely the ambiguity is on purpose. Say they decided to make a Prophecy sequel in 2001, they would have the creative freedom to decide what happened to Blair because they hadn't railroaded themselves into revealing his fate.

However, with no such sequel ever materialising, that creative freedom belongs to the mind of the player. As a 15 year old I decided he had died there and then.
 

Pedro

Admiral
I am not sure having a giant murderous insect monster pounce on you from the ceiling and then simultaneously you are exploded in the vacuum of deep space qualifies as ambigious to anyone but a very hopeful fan :D And Wing Commander has never been an IP that (intentionally) brought back dead characters...

I've always had it in my mind he came back. One I remember writing an e-mail to Origin to which I surprisingly actually got a response (sadly I didn't think to save it) and they said "we don't know if he's dead". In most media "don't know" means "definitely coming back". But also narratively it seemed to fit; they took him prisoner once, he was called to by name - I always assumed they had a special interest in him (as the one that defeated the race they were expecting to find) and therefore the giant monster ready to pounce would be more likely to capture him than kill him.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
In their defense, can you imagine a CS person answering an email from a teenager asking if his hero is really dead any other way? :)

I don't think there's supposed to be any meaning to the warlord recognizing Blair other than to tell us that it's the one who tortured him earlier in the game and that this is round two. It wouldn't really make sense: they've lured him to their own destruction to capture him a second time after already intentionally letting him go with a plan that totally changes the story of the game but also it is never mentioned or alluded to in any other way? And you're ignoring the rest of the scene which is Blair finding a marine the warlord has already killed and then realizing he's in danger (but not that it's crawling above him). The alien is there defending the shield controls.

The scene is written with an intentional 'what really happened?' there which I think throws people off thinking it's to indicate Blair survived... but it's not whether Blair is captured and taken to alien space, it's whether or not he kills the warlord (now established to be something he wants revenge against) before it gets him. I think the last script direction is just 'he fires'... but it's all a mute point long term because the next thing that happens is the entire place explodes. Which we then gild with a cut back to the rest of the characters specifically saying Blair didn't make it!)

That's all to say I don't think Prophecy is intentionally including an 'out' the same way something like Star Trek II did with Spock's quickie mind meld... it's just the kind of sci fi plot that you could take in a different direction if you ever so desired, but also that's pretty much every sci fi plot ever, you can write in a clone or a transporter accident or a crazy coincidence or whatever you want. But SM2 executable bug aside, Wing Commander wasn't ever a setting built around bringing characters back for the dead.

There was also a lot of bad commentary on it back in the day which I think sticks with us in some form or another today. You had this immediate claim that Prophecy was 'supposed to be a trilogy' so of course Blair would come back... but with the benefit of hindsiight we now know that constantly-repeated 'supposed to be a trilogy' a) came from an executive producer who didn't even make it to ship day and b) referred not to some plan for a three part story they'd meticiulously developed but to the much more practical idea that they had planned to amortize the cost of developing the Vision engine over five years and three major releases. And then you had those two weirdos running all over the internet insisting they'd written the Prophecy sequels for Origin and the third one would be called RESURRECTION and... none of that was real at all. So we lived through a LOT of noise!

I think we can pretty well establish that nobody in November 1997 planned to bring Blair back, from the development team that hadn't plotted out a sequel to Mark Hamill whose quote had already priced him out of anything but a two day shoot on WCP. Once the game came out and it became a big debate you had different attempts to figure out how to bring him back in other projects (thank you for not happening, Privateer Online game where you'fight Blair clones)... but it's all war-winning Nazi super jets drawn on napkins and not anything that even made it to within a parsec of a screenwriter.

(For my part, I had wanted him to be dead because that just made the most sense for Wing Commander... but I wouldn't have minded it going in /most/ other directions (shakes fist at evil Blair clone squadron). And in 2021 I'm happy to say he /is/ alive because Pilgrim Truth said so :) )
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
In their defense, can you imagine a CS person answering an email from a teenager asking if his hero is really dead any other way? :)

I don't think there's supposed to be any meaning to the warlord recognizing Blair other than to tell us that it's the one who tortured him earlier in the game and that this is round two. It wouldn't really make sense: they've lured him to their own destruction to capture him a second time after already intentionally letting him go with a plan that totally changes the story of the game but also it is never mentioned or alluded to in any other way? And you're ignoring the rest of the scene which is Blair finding a marine the warlord has already killed and then realizing he's in danger (but not that it's crawling above him). The alien is there defending the shield controls.

The scene is written with an intentional 'what really happened?' there which I think throws people off thinking it's to indicate Blair survived... but it's not whether Blair is captured and taken to alien space, it's whether or not he kills the warlord (now established to be something he wants revenge against) before it gets him. I think the last script direction is just 'he fires'... but it's all a mute point long term because the next thing that happens is the entire place explodes. Which we then gild with a cut back to the rest of the characters specifically saying Blair didn't make it!)

That's all to say I don't think Prophecy is intentionally including an 'out' the same way something like Star Trek II did with Spock's quickie mind meld... it's just the kind of sci fi plot that you could take in a different direction if you ever so desired, but also that's pretty much every sci fi plot ever, you can write in a clone or a transporter accident or a crazy coincidence or whatever you want. But SM2 executable bug aside, Wing Commander wasn't ever a setting built around bringing characters back for the dead.

There was also a lot of bad commentary on it back in the day which I think sticks with us in some form or another today. You had this immediate claim that Prophecy was 'supposed to be a trilogy' so of course Blair would come back... but with the benefit of hindsiight we now know that constantly-repeated 'supposed to be a trilogy' a) came from an executive producer who didn't even make it to ship day and b) referred not to some plan for a three part story they'd meticiulously developed but to the much more practical idea that they had planned to amortize the cost of developing the Vision engine over five years and three major releases. And then you had those two weirdos running all over the internet insisting they'd written the Prophecy sequels for Origin and the third one would be called RESURRECTION and... none of that was real at all. So we lived through a LOT of noise!

I think we can pretty well establish that nobody in November 1997 planned to bring Blair back, from the development team that hadn't plotted out a sequel to Mark Hamill whose quote had already priced him out of anything but a two day shoot on WCP. Once the game came out and it became a big debate you had different attempts to figure out how to bring him back in other projects (thank you for not happening, Privateer Online game where you'fight Blair clones)... but it's all war-winning Nazi super jets drawn on napkins and not anything that even made it to within a parsec of a screenwriter.

(For my part, I had wanted him to be dead because that just made the most sense for Wing Commander... but I wouldn't have minded it going in /most/ other directions (shakes fist at evil Blair clone squadron). And in 2021 I'm happy to say he /is/ alive because Pilgrim Truth said so :)
So was there supposed to be more to what happened to Blair when he was taken prisoner? Was he supposed to come back to the Midway brainwashed or something to that effect where he would then betray Confed at the appropriate time (kinda like the ear worms in ST II)?
 

Pedro

Admiral
I mean an army of spaceman lead clones is basically the plot to oblivion. Unless my memory cheats they never really showed the army of Tom Cruises, just described it.
It’s likely either budget or good taste would have kept it from getting too cheesy. Still feels out of place in the wc universe though.

I don’t really have a strong feeling about if
Blair should come back, that was just my impression at the time which I don’t think was based on optimism.

That said I prefer the idea of him being alive because it wasn’t a satisfying or conclusive ending. I’m all for killing off a main character, even Blair - but it should be in a scene that sticks with you, not one that leaves you wondering if they are dead. I’d have been equally satisfied having him be retired and never seeing him after WCIV (although that’d leave Petraca propping up the whole franchise… :/)
 
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Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
So was there supposed to be more to what happened to Blair when he was taken prisoner? Was he supposed to come back to the Midway brainwashed or something to that effect where he would then betray Confed at the appropriate time (kinda like the ear worms in ST II)?
No, from a practical standpoint it's just structured the way it is because of Hamill's extremely limited availability... so they came up with a reason to have him off the ship for most of the game but still feel important. In terms of the narrative, it's a way to give us an initial grasp of understanding of the aliens and it sets up for why he has a personal stake in destroying the wormhole (and having a final encounter with the warlord).
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
(For my part, I had wanted him to be dead because that just made the most sense for Wing Commander... but I wouldn't have minded it going in /most/ other directions (shakes fist at evil Blair clone squadron). And in 2021 I'm happy to say he /is/ alive because Pilgrim Truth said so :) )

Either option presents a variety of good or bad writing outcomes. The trick is seeing a concrete outcome and then deciding if it hits a bullseye for the audience. It would be more "interesting" and more real if Blair died but you'd also be pulling the rug out from long time fans. Sometimes thats what you want to do and other times all it is is an exercise in frustration.

Without seeing anything either way, both options are equally good or bad. A Schrodinger's kilrathi.
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
Ignoring various more or less canonical things, this is what I would've wanted for story of Prophecy sequels:

The Nephilim were victims of a genocidal betrayal by Kilrathi - a peaceful scientific race that gave Kilrathi advanced knowledge, but failed to expect their brutal reaction. The few surviving Nephilim went to hiding, multiplying and strengthening for centuries. Their whole culture grew to be about revenge on Kilrathi and the destruction of Kilrah was a sign that their day had come.
Since Blair was the one to destroy Kilrah, they considered him the ultimate weapon against the Kilrathi and captured him to create a clone army of Blairs (or Blair/Nephilim mixes) to wipe out Kilrathi.
Considering him a holy instrument of their vengeance, they would've kept Blair alive and I would've wanted the third game to end with us going to save him and then Blair somehow convincing the clone army to turn on the Nephilim to (kind of ironically) save Kilrathi from extinction.
 
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