This is the Star*Soldier gloss for the first timeline page:
CONCEPT: The timeline is my favorite part of the manual and it is the single thing I am most proud of including and working on. It's an surprising mix of self restraint and over-the-top qualities that it's hard to quantify. I set myself a huge number of ground rules for this section... and found myself begging and pleading with myself for just one more page to add more material.
In short: Wing Commander manuals have a single timeline which has been evolving over time - from the 'X Years Ago' blurbs in Claw Marks to the last iteration in Victory Streak. An update was written for Wing Commander IV but not included. Therefore, it fell to me to take the original timeline, last visited in 1995, and update it for today's Wing Commander. In my fanboy heart of hearts I wanted to simply rewrite everything... but I knew I needed that original structure, Guthrig's classic timeline to derive everything from. So the rules were:
- It had to include everything from Victory Streak.
- Unpublished or uncollected material took precedence over anything I wanted to add. This meant the material Origin created for the Encyclopedia, the version from the Academy press kit, the Super Famicom additions and so forth.
- I would write entries only for individual projects. No sneaking in an extra event to explain so-and-so discontinuity otherwise unrelated to the timeline (the exception being the Pilgrim War, which was a necessary bullet point given the section's conceit).
- I would 'edit' Origin's text only where it was absolutely, absolutely necessary (I'll point this out as we go along).
So, let's take a long look at where this version of Guthrig's masterwork comes from:
- "Official Terran Confederation Navy History" - Cool conceit, huh? The timeline was originally 'fun facts' on the Tiger's Claw, then a short article on the Victory. Now it's excerpts from a book being reprinted, to come up with an excuse for its inclusion in this magazine (and the slight necessary screw-you at the end). I'd love to read the actual book someday.
- "2615" - Alternate version addition. From the Super Famicom version of Wing Commander I, translated from Japanese.
- "2629.105" - No changes.
- "2630-2634" - No changes.
- "2631-2635" - My addition. The aforementioned Pilgrim War; it is written to parallel the Victory Streak 'buildup to the Kilrathi War' paragraph and also to take importance away from the Pilgrims in general.
- "2634.186" - No changes.
- "2634.228" - No changes, but note that the McAuliffe Ambush items are taken from the longer Claw Marks version rather than the condensed Victory Streak version.