Visual Guide: PROP-Aganda
Often forgotten is the fact that the 1999 Wing Commander film features truly incredible set design. From the minutely detailed Rapier cockpits to the cramped, submarine-like environs of the Tiger Claw, the movie's sets succeed far beyond expectations. That's courtesy of Oscar-winning production designer Peter Lamont. Lamont, fresh off his work on James Cameron's Titanic, turned a warehouse in Luxembourg into a 27th Century Confederation space carrier full of don't-blink-and-you-still-miss-them details.
One of these wonderfully crafted details is the series of propaganda posters created to decorate the Tiger Claw's pilot's mess. At least eight different posters were designed by the art team to adorn the walls of the mess, which called for them directly in the shooting script:"MESS is an apt adjective for these cramped quarters. Defaced propaganda posters, and pin-ups, male and female, line the walls." The posters are also reused in several characters' quarters… but even that is not enough for the average viewer to ever even notice them, as they flash by so quickly in the background.
We've attempted to locate and identify as much as possible from these posters, cataloged below. Text is included where legible and in two copies we are lucky enough to have preserved examples of the posters to study in further detail. We're hoping more of the original props or set photography surfaces some day as Wing Commander is just packed full of tiny details waiting to be discovered.
BE PREPARED - A black poster with illegible white and then red text followed BE PREPARED in large white letters. The bottom includes the Confederation logo and small white text. (Pilot's Mess)
CHAMPION - A muscular man wearing suspenders and sunglasses in front of a Confederation roundel. Text to the side reads CHAMPION. Text at the bottom is obscured but the first line ends "PACHO" and the last "2653". (Pilot's Mess x2)
DO IT FOR ME BOYS - A woman smiling in front of a Confederation roundel with "do it for me boys" in handwriting in front of her. There seems to be additional text at the top of the poster. (Pilot's Mess, Blair's Quarters)
YESTERDAY WE FOUGHT TO SAVE A COUNTRY - Features a man in marine armor superimposed over a panoramic shot of a planet from orbit. White text at the top reads "Yesterday we fought to save a Country. Today we fight to save a World." Text at the bottom reads "CONFEDERATION MARINES FIGHTING TO PROTECT THE UNIVERSE". (Pilot's Mess, Blair's Quarters, Maniac's Quarters)
REMEMBER - A white poster which reads REMEMBER in large letters followed by a drawing of a Confederation pilot, "only use your message code once inside the cockpit" and an 88th Fighter Wing logo at the bottom. (Pilot's Mess x2, Taggart's Quarters)
THERE CAN BE NO PEACE UNTIL EVIL IS DESTROYED - Multicovered poster which reads THERE CAN BE NO PEACE UNTIL EVIL IS DESTROYED in large, styled text and "The Confederation Navy needs you" at the bottom. Additional text is present alongside the TCS Concordia logo at the bottom but it can not be made out. (Pilot's Mess x2, Taggart's Quarters)
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE KILRATHI - A black poster which reads NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE KILRATHI at the top followed by three lines of additional text (that includes the phrases "is genetically" and "the difference") and features a 3x2 grid of photographs of humans. There is additional text at the bottom in two blocks, the larger of which includes "to know" and "talking to". The photographs are different on each version. (Pilot's Mess, Maniac's Quarters)
WARNING - A white poster which reads WARNING in red letters down the left side following by "C.W.O. INFORMATION" in white. The text at the top is "Before you trust him, find out if he's two-faced." and the image shows a woman behind a human torso with an alien head. Text at the bottom: "Issued by Confederation War Office 00:JKL00098/2654 For an information leaflet on identifying possible aliens please contact the Information Bureau on Concom 0900 0.87 Confed. ZT" (Pilot's Mess)
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