Admiral Sir Geoffrey Tolwyn, Bt. VC, MOH, DSC, KCB. was an Admiral of the Terran Confederation, remembered for his brilliant defense of Earth against Lord Thrakhath's, a classic example of military prowess in the face of overwhelming odds. His subsequent political actions dishonored his name and memory. Frequently he was a direct or nearly direct superior and adversary of the Colonel Christopher Blair.
Since his youth, his eliquence had always been one of his strong suits during pressure, seemingly being able to talk his way out of every trouble. But sometimes he talked himself straight into the hole.
Youth and Young AdulthoodEdit
The only son of a British baronet, he was born in 2612, during an era of relative peace. Tolwyn grew up as part of the last remaining vestige of nobility in the world. He attended the Confederation Navy Academy and graduated during a time when many in the Confederation were questioning the very necessity of the armed forces and when Confederation senators were looking to bolster their votes by cutting "wasteful" military programs; all during the slow, steady build of tensions between the Confederation and the Kilrathi Empire.
During his second year, Tolwyn studied under Vance Richards who then served as a summer flight instructor for basic subsonic atmospheric flight. He was first in his class in subsonic, sonic, and transatmosphere training.
By 2634 Tolwyn was a good looking, tall, slender, gray-eyed Ensign, having acquired the wings of a basic fighter trainee over the left breast pocket. Just before his graduation, he received his official orders posting him to Lunar orbital base 5 to start orientation training for the Wildcat fighter.
After the graduation ceremony of that year, while bringing drinks to his family, he heard Senator Jamison More being interviewed over a controversial bill to close the Academy. Tolwyn approached and had a run-in with him, bringing up personal motive for the blockage of a new starfighter program to replace the aging "Wildcat" medium fighter. The awkward dialogue was witnessed by Spencer Banbridge and Winston Turner.
The senior officers knew that Tolwyn's audacity doomed his own career, so when Banbridge offered an assignment to Turner, Turner chose Tolwyn over Robert Singh, to be his admin assistant. Indeed he was summoned to the office of CICCONFEDFLT Banbridge and was "banished" to Base McAuliffe.
On 2634.120 Tolwyn reached Johnson Island instructed to report to Lieutenant his former instructor, Richards. After taking his orders from the Confederation Fleet Personnel Office, Richards lead him to the base officer's club waiting for further orders. They were joined by Turner, who revealed that they were assigned to him.
The name of his wife is still in dispute; End Run gives her name as Elizabeth, while in Fleet Action the same author calls her Clara. To complicate matters further, in Action Stations his fiancee's name is given as Rebecca. However, it is stated in End Run that he met his future wife at a party at the Academy, whereas in Action Stations his engagement was one arranged by his family, so it's possible that that arranged engagement was broken off at some point, paving the way for Elizabeth/Clara. The fact that she met him at the Academy raises the possibility that she may have been a Navy officer as well.
Tolwyn was a widower, with two sons who were lost in the course of the war.
Beginning of the Kilrathi WarEdit
During the Battle of McAuliffe, Ensign Geoffrey Tolwyn was a fighter pilot in the cockpit of a Wildcat, with barely five hundred flying hours under his belt. He managed to survive both of his sorties, including a battle against the then-Crown Prince of Kilrah (who committed ritual suicide because of his shame at being defeated by a "mere human"). After that battle, Tolwyn was promoted to Lieutenant and given command of a frigate.
Rise to Flag RankEdit
From 2639 to 2654, Tolwyn rose to prominence in the Confederation Navy, rising from Lt. J.G. to Commodore in the 15 years. His driven nature was as much a hindrance as a blessing, however, and he developed as many enemies in the Admiralty as friends; some of whom blocked his ascension to Rear Admiral for a number of years. Finally his chance to prove himself as a force commander came on the Tiger's Claw's cadet cruise of 2653-4, where he commanded the carrier and its battlegroup (and its load of student-pilots, including a young Cadet Christopher Blair) through a number of harrowing engagements with the Kilrathi (see Wing Commander Academy). After the completion of this task, Tolwyn was promoted to Rear Admiral and command of 14th Fleet.
On the ConcordiaEdit
In 2661, Tolwyn's flagship, T.C.S. Concordia, a Confederation-class Dreadnought, was commissioned. Now with a ship, Tolwyn's command was shunted to 3rd Fleet and to the front lines of the war. With his flag in Concordia, Tolwyn spent the next decade plus on the spearhead of the Confederation's war efforts, battling in multiple theaters of the war, in both Vega and Enigma Sectors. In 2664, Tolwyn was reunited with Christopher Blair - this time under much more adversarial circumstances - and they fought together, albeit grudgingly, during the most dangerous campaigns of the war. Tolwyn commanded the fleet during the Battle of Earth, and won the battle which was mankind's most perilous hour. However, the fleet he inherited after the battle was worn and dangerously thinned, and Tolwyn was reduced to sending decades-old light carriers to battle the Kilrathi in engagements that before would have required full fleet carriers. Towlyn was transferred off the Concordia shortly after the battle of Earth to head the Terran Confederation Navy's Weapons Development Program at Jupiter Station. While he was away, the Concordia was fighting a rearguard action in the Vespus system when it took torpedo hits to its engines, causing it to fall out of orbit. The Concordia crashed into the massive ocean of Vespus, taking almost all her crew with her. Colonel Christopher Blair located the wreck and reported to Tolwyn that it was a 'total loss'.
In 2669, the Behemoth Project was tested. One of the largest space faring structures ever built by the Confederation, its major weapon, a planet-killing superconducting particle beam cannon, was successfully deployed against the test planet Loki VI. However, a Kilrathi spy in the fleet leaked the weak points in Behemoth's defenses to the enemy, and a massive Paktahn bomber strike on the weapon destroyed it, along with Tolwyn's hopes of saving the Confederation. Fortunately, General James "Paladin" Taggert's Temblor Bomb program, the second Confed superweapon program and truly the Confederation's last hope for victory, was successfully deployed against the Kilrathi and saved the human race from annihilation. As a result, Taggart was elected to the Confederation senate after the war.
Peacetime Tolwyn, the SRA, and the Black Lance ConspiracyEdit
After the end of the Kilrathi War in 2669, Tolwyn, burning with humiliation from Behemoth's destruction, was assigned to command of the Strategic Readiness Agency and promptly converted the agency into his personal fief. He was brought into the Agency's two-decade-old Black Lance Project and found that he had a personal skill for misappropriating funding from other projects to fulfill the Black Lance's agenda. Tolwyn's fanatical personality had found his ultimate fulfillment: the "perfection" of humanity into a fighting force unparalleled in the galaxy. By 2674, the biogenic plague intended to destroy the unworthy was prepared and test runs were made against planets in the Border Worlds, but before the plan could fully unfold (which included war with the Border Worlds), Colonel Christopher Blair - operating with Border Worlds forces - uncovered Tolwyn's plot and revealed it to the Senate in an impromptu but impassioned speech. It was during this Senate hearing that Tolwyn was to be given the position of "Space Marshal" (the highest rank in the Confederation military, equivalent to a Fleet Admiral or Grand Admiral) and a decision would be made on whether to declare war on the Border Worlds. With Blair's intervention, the senate voted against war in an impressive landslide. Tolwyn was arrested and arraigned on charges relating to crimes against humanity.
After being found guilty on all charges stemming from the Black Lance conspiracy, convicted and stripped of rank, Geoffrey Tolwyn was imprisoned. Wilhelm Schwarzmont interviewed him in 3 occasions in his capacity as Historian of the Fleet. Tolwyn committed suicide in his prison cell on the eve of his execution in 2674, believing he had failed humanity. After his body was removed, Schwarzmont visited his cell and found arranged on his bunk a photograph of his deceased wife and children and the wings and ensign's bars issued to him on the day he graduated from the Academy.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Admiral Tolwyn first appears in Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi. In the full motion video cut scenes beginning in Wing Commander III, Tolwyn is portrayed by Malcolm McDowell, who also voices him in the animated series Wing Commander Academy. In the 1999 Wing Commander movie, Tolwyn is portrayed by David Warner, as McDowell was unavailable.
References and sourcesEdit
- Wing Commander CIC - Geoffrey Tolwyn article
- Wing Commander IV Script - Script for WC4
- IMDB: Malcolm McDowell IMDB - Malcolm McDowell
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