Award-winning artist NinjaLA has put together two nice, even concept sketches. They're different takes on Kilrathi fighters - the first is based on the early Privateer Online artwork while the second is a stylized version of the Wing Commander movie's KF-100 Dralthi.
This is the Star*Soldier gloss for the first systems page:
CONCEPT: This is a thickly veiled guide to Wing Commander Arena's different maps. Nine systems, nine maps -- coincidence? I think not! This was actually one of the sections that helped sell the project. The original version was a FODORS-style travel guide to distant planets, more focused on things like what the hotels were like at the Bearpit. When we transitioned to a magazine for mercenaries instead of a pilot's bookcase, we were left with what you see today. I will note that I had an awful lot of leeway here - the team chose the sector, but I got to pick which map went where and (in most cases) just what was going on.
- "D. Bortman" - Ghost from the Wing Commander community.
- "Firekkan Planetary Alliance" - The 'official' name for the no-longer-Confederate Firekkans, from the Wing Commander Universe map.
- "Circe" - The Circe System was where a mercenary war was going on in Wing Commander IV, so it seemed natural to include it here. This is the 'practice' map in the finished game, which is an asteroid field where players can try out different ships, weapons, etc. That's why the bio makes a point of it being an easy place for beginners.
- "Circe V, Circe VII" - Taken from Wing Commander IV.
- "Argent Sector" - The 'all Confed' part of space, from the Wing Commander Universe map.
- "2525" - If man is still alive...! I will note that most of the numbers here are made up to a useless extent. The settled dates are interesting, though, and they attempt to 'unwrench' some of the oddities the Wing Commander movie material added to the founding of the Confederation. In short: yes, the Pilgrims had a stranglehold on Sol and Vega... but humans were settling the rest of the galaxy anyway.
- "Ace Rating" - This is left over from the travel booklet, which was an "ACE GUIDE".
- "Analysis" - Most of this refers to the events of Wing Commander IV (conventional tanks are the tank mission, chemical bombs are the evacuation mission, etc.)
- "Kilrathi civil war quagmire" - Okay, listen up: this is the single Wing Commander story I have always wanted to tell... which is a pre-Wing Commander Prophecy Vietnam allegory, with the Confederation backing some particular faction in the Kilrathi civil war. You would start off as a Confederation observer flying missions against (some clan) and ultimately have to make a choice as to who you're fighting for.
- "Farragut Naval Base" - You may (must) have noticed that Wing Commander Arena features the famous ball-and-stick Perry Naval Station in its menu (... and nowhere else). I wanted to acknowledge that here and, lucky me, I got to come up with some backstory for the impressive stations in the first place. The names (Farragut, Halsey) are US Naval officers (like Perry).
- "Terran Confederation" - This entry is also where we start getting into some interesting questions. Farragut is the last stronghold of the actual Terran Confederation. Why? Because one of the dictates I kept getting from the team was that the events of Arena were to be separate from galactic politics - the Confederation was back in Sol Sector mending fences, Epsilon would be revisited in the future. That's where the 'general withdraw order' comes from.
- "TCN" - Acronym for Terran Confederation Navy, used frequently since at least Wing Commander III.
- "built in the 2650s" - When the Gemini Sector was settled, according to the Privateer manual!
- "Only example of its type to survive the Nephilim War" - I don't know if anyone picked up on this line, but it's supposed to imply more bad news for the Gemini Sector.