Edward Pang found a more recent Game Spin for today that talks a bit about the effect Wing Commander cutscenes had on the overall game impact. You can find it in the April 24 Spin here.
Digital Anvil and Warthog have done a very good job of presenting us with a fun space sim, but it's just not as compelling as Wing Commander. ... It's attack, attack, attack. There aren't really those interludes that you get in Wing Commander III that help build tension and draw you into the game world.