Wing Commander III acting...

-danr-

Vice Admiral
If we're talking individual lines that stir emotion.

- During the end scene in WC3, Melek is talking to Blair having captured him, and there is a slight pause in the dialogue before Melek says "We are...surrendering...to you, Heart Of The Tiger". Blair looks up, the surprise on his face evident that not only did a Kilrathi just say the word surrender, but also slightly relieved that he isn't about to be impaled on Melek's claws.

- Just before the Lancelot flight sets off on the T-Bomb mission, we see a cutscene of a huge Confed fleet assembling at the Kilrah jump point including the Victory and her escorts. We hear Rollins say "Colonel Blair report to the briefing room, Colonel Blair report to the briefing room". - I'm not sure why I like this scene so much, there's a sense of 'last chance to survive' about it all, and somehow this seems to be reflected in Rollins's downbeat voice.
 
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Mindcrime

Commodore
Not all together, but I got the feeling Hawk was older than Blair, so he could have served with Iceman before the Tiger's Claw, or on the Claw before Blair graduated the Academy. Maybe at Custer's Carnival? (but it's been forever since I played Prophesy, does Hawk say they were all flying a mission together?)
Yeah i just beat prophecy again a few weeks ago. Hawk talks about the 3 of them serving on the claw together. Also i think he talks about icemans death and it not making sense in the timeline.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Where's Loaf Ben when we need him? : p

Here's a post from LOAF from a while back, but still relevant: https://www.wcnews.com/chatzone/threads/smoothing-the-edges.20496/page-5#post-310261

and, of course, Hawk. Note that Hawk was *not* a fighter pilot on the Tiger's Claw -- he was a comm tech who became friends with Iceman. Iceman reccomended him for OCS and he was off doing that when the Tiger's Claw was destroyed (and well before - he wasn't onboard during the death of Jazz's brother). He flew with Iceman later in 2656, off of a different carrier (Iceman survived the Tiger's Claw but died within a year, in the manner specified in Prophecy).

And another https://www.wcnews.com/chatzone/thr...ned-at-ktithrak-mang.21292/page-2#post-321053

I believe we can prove that Blair was still on the Austin when Iceman was killed... which is something we hadn't thought about before.

We can work out roughly when Iceman died, from information given to us in a few places. As a baseline, remember that the Tiger's Claw was destroyed three months (97 days) after Firekka. Iceman took leave just after Firekka, where he met (and knocked up) Lance's mom. He found out she was pregnant three months later and took an emergency one-week leave to marry her. This would have been pretty much exactly when the Tiger's Claw was destroyed - which happened three months and one week (97 days) after Firekka. Giving Iceman time between Firekka and when he left on his first leave plus time for the leave itself, his marriage must have happened shortly *after* the Tiger's Claw went down (we know he was present that day). Then we know he was killed in action six weeks after he was married - so at least seven weeks after the 'Claw was destroyed (six weeks plus his week long emergency leave).

As for Blair... we know that he was served with court martial papers the day after the Tiger's Claw was destroyed (2656.056) - but the Kilrathi Saga manual says that the actual court martial wasn't scheduled until later in the year (2656.329). The Wing Commander I & II Ultimate Strategy Guide says that he was on the Austin when he was convicted - which means he was there for Iceman's death. You can imagine the scenario, with Blair defying his house arrest order to go searching for his friend's body.

Iceman certainly died before Ghorah Khar, though, since Thrakhath withdrew six weeks after Blair's conviction (it would have been early 2656.)
 
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Mindcrime

Commodore
Oh wow! See i never knew Blair served on another ship after the claw. I thought he was immediately court marshaled after the claw went down. Good stuff.
 

Mindcrime

Commodore
If Chris ever got a legit chance at remaking Wing Commander someday I think Ben should co write it with Chris. Lol. But NO space whales man!
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
All of this is relying on the fact that EA did that much research on the history of wing commander canon. Since the roberts bros weren't involved with Prophecy which is when Hawk says he served with Iceman and Blair when he Iceman died. Honestly it doesn't make sense at all since Hawk and Blair are meeting for the first time in WC4. I think EA just kinda threw that crap together. As I write this I wish i could easily go back to the moment where Blair and Hawk meet ij WC4 to be sure. If I'm wrong I apologize.



Electronic Arts didn’t really believe in Wing Commander Prophecy at all; the feeling at the corporate level was that the series couldn’t work without Chris Roberts, and the budget for the fifth game was decimated (the proper definition!) When Chris left, there were two teams gearing up to work on Wing Commander V: one for the PC and one for the Playstation. The PC team was largely veterans who worked on Wing Commander IV, while the Playstation group was folks coming off of Prowler and Crusader: No Regret. Those teams took a hit when Chris founded Digital Anvil, with many of the veterans opting to move on and work with him. The teams were merged and plans for the Playstation version were soon nixed. But in the end, the guys who did Wing Commander were people who’d been working with Chris for years, either directly or on various spinoff titles…they just had very big shoes to fill, with far less money to fill it with. Supposedly, EA was genuinely surprised at the reaction Prophecy got at E3 (in terms of retailer pre-orders), having previously decided not to spend advertising money pushing it.



The big change in the writing is due, I think, largely to the change in screenwriters. Not to much the people themselves (Terry Borst & Frank De Palma on WC3 and 4 to J. Larry Caroll and David Carren on Prophecy) to the type of writers they were: Borst & De Palma were feature screenwriters while Carroll and Carren were experienced TV writers. You can sort of see it throughout in the tone and tenor of the story, but in particular how ‘referential’ it gets. Where Wing Commander III and IV go very broad in their dialogue, Wing Commander Prophecy likes to do TV-style world building: lots of proper nouns, references to things not relating to the story arc, etc. Just the fact that you have ‘Iceman’ as part of the story talks to the TV-type writing origins: they mined a series bible to find a dead character, whereas the writers on Wing Commander III did exactly the opposite and wrote assuming there were no other stories.



(As my past self suggested, this is one of those tangled continuity blobs that gets a little less ridiculous with particular elements subtracted. The fact that Hawk was also present is probably the least likely part of it, and the story makes a great deal more sense if you substitute some other character. So that’s mostly a case of being very limited in what actors they could afford to bring back… Hawk was wiling to work for less, and so he had to be developed where they’d have perhaps rather had Paladin or someone else not available to the production.)
 

Richard H

1st Lieutenant
...they’d have perhaps rather had Paladin or someone else not available to the production.)

PALADIN?!? Ok, I get this is just an hypothetical example, but I'm trying to wrap my head around John Rhys Davis' Taggert a) fitting back in a cockpit, and b) being the plot element that is ready to kill all the allied Kilrathi, after risking life, limb, and the Bonny Heather for the Gohra Khar separatists. Again, not the intended reaction of the quote, just my mind getting hit with a Temblor bomb.
 

Mindcrime

Commodore
Electronic Arts didn’t really believe in Wing Commander Prophecy at all; the feeling at the corporate level was that the series couldn’t work without Chris Roberts, and the budget for the fifth game was decimated (the proper definition!) When Chris left, there were two teams gearing up to work on Wing Commander V: one for the PC and one for the Playstation. The PC team was largely veterans who worked on Wing Commander IV, while the Playstation group was folks coming off of Prowler and Crusader: No Regret. Those teams took a hit when Chris founded Digital Anvil, with many of the veterans opting to move on and work with him. The teams were merged and plans for the Playstation version were soon nixed. But in the end, the guys who did Wing Commander were people who’d been working with Chris for years, either directly or on various spinoff titles…they just had very big shoes to fill, with far less money to fill it with. Supposedly, EA was genuinely surprised at the reaction Prophecy got at E3 (in terms of retailer pre-orders), having previously decided not to spend advertising money pushing it.



The big change in the writing is due, I think, largely to the change in screenwriters. Not to much the people themselves (Terry Borst & Frank De Palma on WC3 and 4 to J. Larry Caroll and David Carren on Prophecy) to the type of writers they were: Borst & De Palma were feature screenwriters while Carroll and Carren were experienced TV writers. You can sort of see it throughout in the tone and tenor of the story, but in particular how ‘referential’ it gets. Where Wing Commander III and IV go very broad in their dialogue, Wing Commander Prophecy likes to do TV-style world building: lots of proper nouns, references to things not relating to the story arc, etc. Just the fact that you have ‘Iceman’ as part of the story talks to the TV-type writing origins: they mined a series bible to find a dead character, whereas the writers on Wing Commander III did exactly the opposite and wrote assuming there were no other stories.



(As my past self suggested, this is one of those tangled continuity blobs that gets a little less ridiculous with particular elements subtracted. The fact that Hawk was also present is probably the least likely part of it, and the story makes a great deal more sense if you substitute some other character. So that’s mostly a case of being very limited in what actors they could afford to bring back… Hawk was wiling to work for less, and so he had to be developed where they’d have perhaps rather had Paladin or someone else not available to the production.)

Ya know.....now that you say it, if they substitute Hawk for Paladin the whole thing would have made sense. Since iceman paladin and blair all served together at the same time.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
PALADIN?!? Ok, I get this is just an hypothetical example, but I'm trying to wrap my head around John Rhys Davis' Taggert a) fitting back in a cockpit, and b) being the plot element that is ready to kill all the allied Kilrathi, after risking life, limb, and the Bonny Heather for the Gohra Khar separatists. Again, not the intended reaction of the quote, just my mind getting hit with a Temblor bomb.

I don't think LOAF was suggesting that you could just rename Hawk's character Paladin... He was saying that they wrote Hawks hate into the story because they knew he was someone they could bring back for the game. If Paladin was in the game, likely he would have had a different story arc, probably one where he has to deal with guilt over his role in the temblor bomb project and murdering millions/billions of kilrathi. On that thought, we should probably be grateful they went with Hawk and not Paladin. Besides, Paladin probably should have been space president by this point (after being chair of the senate in WC4).
 

Mindcrime

Commodore
One thing I didn't like about Prophecy is the fact that there are no other cap ships around to help. Its just you guys all alone to kill off this whole alien invasion. Not very believable.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
One thing I didn't like about Prophecy is the fact that there are no other cap ships around to help. Its just you guys all alone to kill off this whole alien invasion. Not very believable.

That was kind of the point of the midway. It was supposted to be an "all your eggs in one basket" solution that eliminated the need for escorts and supply ships... But I don't really think that is a solution that makes sense either. It seems like an awfully expensive and pointless solution to a problem nobody was having.
 

Mindcrime

Commodore
That was kind of the point of the midway. It was supposted to be an "all your eggs in one basket" solution that eliminated the need for escorts and supply ships... But I don't really think that is a solution that makes sense either. It seems like an awfully expensive and pointless solution to a problem nobody was having.
Exactly, if the enemy kills the Midway then they won the war. Not a good plan at all lol.
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
Well, we are talking about a technologically superior enemy. Against such one ship of maximum power may be better solution than number of cannon fodder.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
One thing I didn't like about Prophecy is the fact that there are no other cap ships around to help. Its just you guys all alone to kill off this whole alien invasion. Not very believable.

As AD pointed out, the plot of the story is that they are operating in Kilrathi territory where you wouldn't expect Confed capships. We do see two types of Kilrathi capships (and obviously Confed Pelican transports plus several in-betweeners like the Marine LCs, SWACs and Condor resupply ships). In Secret Ops, they make up for this considerably when they are operating in local Confed space and we see several fantastic new designs plus multiple returning favorites.

Exactly, if the enemy kills the Midway then they won the war. Not a good plan at all lol.

Yeah, that's why they spend so much time lamenting the topic during the game (and debate the merits of in the senate in the manual). :) But the point is that it and all of the ships are built for a different era. Without the Kilrathi or any significant foe, the priorities change significantly and we see all kinds of specialized fighters to complement the all-in-one carrier.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
The big change in the writing is due, I think, largely to the change in screenwriters. Not to much the people themselves (Terry Borst & Frank De Palma on WC3 and 4 to J. Larry Caroll and David Carren on Prophecy) to the type of writers they were: Borst & De Palma were feature screenwriters while Carroll and Carren were experienced TV writers. You can sort of see it throughout in the tone and tenor of the story, but in particular how ‘referential’ it gets. Where Wing Commander III and IV go very broad in their dialogue, Wing Commander Prophecy likes to do TV-style world building: lots of proper nouns, references to things not relating to the story arc, etc. Just the fact that you have ‘Iceman’ as part of the story talks to the TV-type writing origins: they mined a series bible to find a dead character, whereas the writers on Wing Commander III did exactly the opposite and wrote assuming there were no other stories.

Good insight, thanks! It now makes sense as to why Prophecy's cutscenes at times seemed less 'Hollywood blockbuster' and more 'ER'. It was at times fast paced, but the delivery on the conversations often seemed like TV drama.

Yeah, that's why they spend so much time lamenting the topic during the game (and debate the merits of in the senate in the manual). :) But the point is that it and all of the ships are built for a different era. Without the Kilrathi or any significant foe, the priorities change significantly and we see all kinds of specialized fighters to complement the all-in-one carrier.

Yes! First thing I thought of when I read Afrim's post was:

"This tub gets holed, what then? They put all their eggs into one little basket with no backup."
 

Mindcrime

Commodore
Chris, I just realized I never played through Secret Ops....... I am gonna fix that right now. I was so angry at Prophecy when i was young that I never wanted to play another WC game without Chris Roberts being involved. I am gonna play it tonight.
 

Mindcrime

Commodore
Yes! First thing I thought of when I read Afrim's post was:

"This tub gets holed, what then? They put all their eggs into one little basket with no backup."
Good point. I do remember Blair being really pissed off a out that before the first mission breifing of the game.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I think Wing Commander III, far and away. Which is sort of interesting. We were watching Revenge of the Sith last night and remarking how BAD the acting was, a result of the fact that all these great actors had no idea what they were doing in front of a green sheet and tennis ball... whereas Chris seems very much to be the opposite of Mr. Lucas, completely at ease directing in actors in front of a green screen (years before that became mainstream!) but then losing a slight something with the real sets...
I think the major difference is that WC3 required no sets. There was never really any interaction between characters and sets. They were simply talking heads, and the actors just had to concentrate on each other. It's a radically different situation to Revenge of the Sith. It's also a far more natural situation for actors - if they have theatre background, they do this all the time. And even if they don't have theatre background, they still do it all the time in rehearsals.

That was kind of the point of the midway. It was supposted to be an "all your eggs in one basket" solution that eliminated the need for escorts and supply ships... But I don't really think that is a solution that makes sense either. It seems like an awfully expensive and pointless solution to a problem nobody was having.
I don't think that's the case at all, but it does take a bit of imaginative thinking about the situation in the WCP era.

Firstly, consider that Confed still maintained a fleet of several Vesuvius carriers. These were the real battle carriers, loaded with far many more fighters than the Midway, but les capable of independent operations. This tells us what the Midway isn't - and it isn't a Vesuvius replacement, even though the manual sometimes makes it sound that way.

Secondly, consider that Confed now has to control a far greater area than before, suddenly having to "fill the void" left behind in many systems previously occupied by Kilrathi forces, and restored under nominal Confed control with the peace treaty. This area, however, does not require powerful strike operations. The big requirement is what today would be referred to as peacekeeping - basically restoring law and order, managing supply lines to isolated colonies, and so on. Normally, this would be handled by the kind of forces we see in WC2 and Privateer - In-System Security pilots operating off orbital bases. But these bases do not exist in many parts of Confed's expanded area of operations - and even more so in Kilrathi space, where occasionally Confed needs to operate. What Confed really needs, therefore, is bases, not carriers. But once you plonk down a base, it stays there, and it is probably not possible for Confed to build new bases all over the place. The Midways provide a solution where a base can be deployed in multiple systems on a rotational basis. Presumably, this also allows Confed to incorporate more resources into such a base - it's hard to imagine a typical orbital station being equipped with a science or engineering division, because it would get far too expensive. But if you have something like that on a mobile base, then you can deploy such resources as needed. And bear in mind, naval support is not only required for war and for law enforcement. We can imagine the Midway's engineers and marines being landed on a planet to assist after a major natural disaster and the like. We can also imagine the Midway perhaps being equipped with better medical facilities than a typical carrier or even a typical space station - rather than a sick bay, it may have something close to a fully fledged hospital on board. And when I say fully fledged, I mean they may even have something as unexpected as a maternity ward - not for the crew, but to handle the kind of day-to-day emergencies that would show up in isolated, resource-starved colonies. This idea has a kind of interesting follow-up in Arena, where we see the crippled Port Broughton serving as static base. None of this is imaginable with a Vesuvius.

Thirdly, note that the manual explicitly states that in war, the Midway would form the core of a battlegroup - and therefore, would be operating with escort vessels and the like. This doesn't happen in WCP, because we're seeing a completely unpredictable emergency. We can actually imagine that in a situation like that, the Midway would first offload a part of its crew to make room for others, ramping up war capabilities while reducing other capabilities. But in planning for this, the assumption would have been that there would be weeks or months to prepare for such a change. After all, when building a new warship, even in the context of a sci-fi universe, you just don't design thinking that you need to take into account the contingency of a previously unknown and very hostile race showing up unexpectedly in the middle of known territory.
 
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