It’s Friday here which means... happy 22nd birthday to the Wing Commander movie! 🎉🎉🎉
When the movie came out, I took my first ever cross country trip without my parents to attend the premiere in Austin, Texas. My best friend Chris Reid, also a rising high school student, flew in from the other side of the country. Before that week in March we'd been only IRC messages to one another and now we were flesh and blood humans. The whole experience had this sense of a jump to adulthood and to the next iteration our lives. And we did not care that the movie had changed the look of the space fighters or recast the heroes or even that last minute editing had made the plot incomprehensible to anyone who hadn't read the screenplay and the novelization beforehand. (Of course when you're eighteen you know that everyone has your same experiences so it stands to reason that everyone had read the screenplay and the novelization beforehand!)Here’s ChrisReid and me at the Wing Commander Austin premiere! Very fancy. video as a test to prove they could handle the effects work needed to make the movie. It was shown to audiences at SXSW in 1998! The scene is likely familiar as it’s an earlier version of the concom encounter from the movie (with Maniac instead of Angel). And it uses fighter designs from the games for the Rapier and Dralthi! The effort to make the movie started at Origin in 1996 where a set of lush painted storyboards for this scene were created. The full series is here. six foot wide map painting used in Wing Commander’s opening credits. full story. thread I did for the CIC Twitter account identifying all the supporting cast from Wing Commander’s credits. And here’s one that teaches you all the rank insignias developed by the art department!
Here’s a (LONG) thread I’m especially proud of that tracks the history behind the real life Lightning jets that were converted to Rapiers for Wing Commander! And if you made it through all that, here’s its twin covering the Broadsword cockpit used in the movie!