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Wing Commander Academy episode
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Red and Blue
Blair and Maniac are assigned to the Tiger's Claw for training.
Episode No 1
Air date September 21, 1996
Previous episode [[]]
Next episode The Last One Left
Production information
Writers Mark Edens/Michael Edens
Product No 1
In-universe information
CIC Date 2654.072-3
Preceding episode [[]]
Subsequent episode The Last One Left
Guest ship(s) Arrow
IMDB link

Red & Blue is the first episode of the Wing Commander Academy TV series.

PlotEdit

Act 1Edit

A squadron of Confederation Hellcats move against a Kilrathi Carrier. Things are going bad for the Terran squadron as one after one each ship is destroyed to the overwhelming Dralthis. Gwen Bowman is lucky enough to eject, leaving only Christopher Blair and Todd Marshall in action. Right when Maniac dares Maverick to move against the carrier by themselves, the space field collapses, as the simulation of the Academy shuts down. The instructor dismisses them, after ordering the technician Burroughs to bring the computer back online.

Academy on hilthros

The Terran Confederation Naval Space Academy

In a foyer, Maverick chats with Victoria aka 'Viking' attempting to approach her. Then Maniac shows up repeating his daring of which of the two is the best. They are interrupted by Archer who throws Maniac away with a forearm throw. The Academy director with Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn, captain of the TCS Tiger's Claw enter the scene. He mentions that the Claw is being refitted and wants to see the cadets in action. They are going to create two opposing teams, with the weapons set in minimum power. Tolwyn assigns Maniac as the leader of the Red Team, and Maverick the leader of the Blue.

At night, Blair is at the faculty recording a message to his parents; he mentions their disapproval of him joining the war, but Maverick points out that there must be some glory in a dangerous job fightingfor the best. Meanwhile a figure, who is non other than Burrows, enters a restricted computer/communications area and contacts a Kilrathi, seemingly to transmit secret Academy files. The Terran however insists that he is going to deliver them in person, and then they must take him to Kilrah before his deed is realized. To cover his retreat, he has programmed full-powered weapons and the flight computers so that they won't register shield damages. They will destroy each other during the exercise.

Act 2Edit

The next morning the cadets set off with their Scimitars. Maniac once more dares Maverick and dares him to a private dogfight inside the nebula. Outside the planet's orbit, Maverick assigns Vicki his second in command, telling her that he will transmit her the Red Wing coordinates while keeping Maniac occupied. Meanwhile the captain of the Kilrathi Blockade Runner informs prince Thrakhath nar Kiranka about the arrival of two Terran fighters (none other than Maverick and Maniac) but the Prince says not to worry, as the plans they will obtain will render them useless. In the nebula, Maniac approaches Maverick, who calculates the vector of his ion trail and transmits it to Victoria who leads the Blue Wing to intercept the Reds. Their movements are observed by the Academy director, the instructor and Tolwyn, who has noticed that the two Wing leaders have been competitive.

The Red Wing (with Archer) are soon surprised by the Blue, and Jazzman realises that the weapons (having being tampered by Burrows) are dangerous.

Hilthros vicinity

Back in the Academy, Burrows neutralizes a guard with a blaster and steals an Arrow from the hangar. Meanwhile Victoria gets a lock on Jazzman and destroys his Scimitar's engines, but he manages to eject. She reports the phenomenon, and Tolwyn orders them to return to the Academy. Archer however goes into the nebula to notify Maverick and Maniac, as the transmission could not reach them there.

Act 3Edit

Maverick and Maniac engage in dogfight, as Burrows's Arrow lands in the Kilrathi ship. Burrows delivers the plans to the Kilrathi commander, as he narrates how the Academy rejected him as "unstable" for failing a psych test. The captain enters the ship and opens the airlock, saying that as a spy, Burrows has no honor and does not deserve to live. He is then notified about the arrival of a third Terran ship.

It's Archer, who just realizes the presence of the Kilrathi ship, moments before being hit by its turrets. Maniac chases Maverick, who attempts to tell him that something is wrong with his shields, and they are interrupted by Archer's request for assistance who warns them about the Kilrathi. The two pilots then move against the Kilrathi, in order to save Archer. The ship opens fire against them, and Archer, in order to distract it, thrusts her eject pod and rams the ship. The commander orders evasive maneuvers at full power at the moment when an angry Thrakhath orders him to begin transmission of the documents at once. The Scimitars then fire against its stabilizers, and cause the ship to fall against an asteroid. Then, they capture Archer's pod with tractor beams.

Back at the Academy, the director reprimands them for using the exercise as their own dueling ground, and then they are notified that Tolwyn has ordered them to join the Claw for a training patrol mission within the hour. The cadets leave excited, and Tolwyn confesses to the director that the Navy Command want him to play their own game, and that's why he is not an admiral yet.

That night, Maverick goes to board a Scimitar to leave the Academy, when Maniac renews his challenge. He sees Victoria in civilian clothes, telling him that seeing how Jazzman was about to die under her fire, made her realize she will feel the same even with the enemy. She wishes Maverick good luck and she walks away as his ship takes off.

TriviaEdit

  • This episode was originally set in 2655, but later retconned to 2653 (to incorporate material from the Official Authorized Wing Commander Confederation Handbook and Peter Telep, Wing Commander, ch. {{{1}}}), this also gives Tolwyn time to have been reassigned to the TCS Concordia. The rest of the series is retconned into mid to late 2654 which still has issues with both the movie and Thorn's command (Freedom Flight/WC3 Novel reference).
  • The episode ends with crew being transported off the planet within an hour of the end of the show to be trained on Claw under Tolwyn for unspecified amount of time. They are continued to be called Cadets. The retcon puts slightly more in line with the WC1 (however in most material they are no longer cadets in 2654). Note: The show also lists Blair as Lt on the door to his room.
  • Background Material refers to the class as the 201st Plebe Class, however the Plebe class is the first year, 4th Class Midshipman class (Maniac and Blair would have been Plebes back in 2650 or 51 or so as per other timelines, and by 2654 no longer plebes).
  • The retcon in Star*Soldier places the rest of the episodes further apart into the following year 2654 (rather than the same year), and they more or less overlap with the Vega Campaign. This appears to give room to the game/movie history of the graduation in 2653 early 2654. It must be assumed that Blair and Maniac were no longer cadets (though several of the other characters might still be) unless they are being counted as 1st Class Midshipman in their '4th year' as per the Ultimate Guide.
  • Ship cameos of ships introduced in Wing Commander III include the Hellcats in the simulation[1], and the Arrow[2] stolen by Burrows when fleeing the Academy. They may be appearing before the chronological development of those ships in other sources (further compounded by the date retcon). WC3 took place in 2669 some 15-16 years after the retconned Academy timeline.
  • Certainly the Academy facility is not the HQ which is located on Earth. This appears to be a chapter on a barren planet, which is close to an asteroid field and a nebula. The series' bible gives the name Hilthros. It is confirmed to be Hilthros in the Wing Commander: The Movie novel. This was a nod to the Ultimate Guide. However, the Wing Commander movie Guide puts the events in Sirius, during the CSF flight school, this appears to be how Star*Soldier interprets as well. Hilthros and Sirius are believed by some fans be in two different systems, while others believe that Hilthros exists in the Sirius system (coincidently Sirius is a binary star system, and Hilthros is described as having two suns).
  • According to both Ultimate Guide and The Kilrathi Saga, Michael Anthony each respectively mentions Anthony's roommates Carl T. LaFong, and Christopher Blair and the bunks in their room in Blue & Red Blair has a small room, with a single bed and he does not appear to have room mates.
  • At the time of this story in other sources Blair, Maniac, and others were spending a year on the TCS Formidable (not Hilthros or the Claw) that is not to say that there isn't time for them to make a few stops on Hilthros during that year (it is less likely).
  • The Commandant of the facility belongs to a green-hued species, or a subrace of human, but his name and origin is not mentioned in the story.
  • The Kilrathi capital ship appears to be similar to a Hvar'kann-class dreadnaught, although significantly smaller. The Terran Confederation Handbook apparently makes a mention of the events of that episode, and identifies the ship as a Kilrathi blockade runner.[3] The simulation ship is a Kilrathi Carrier.[4] The novel confirms it was a 'destroyer' (note technically a blockade runner]] is any ship that is used to run a blockade).
  • The episode establishes Maverick's frequent communication with his father. However later continuity (including the Wing Commander film) establish that Arnold Blair was killed while Christopher was very young. He could be sending messages to a foster father, but it is not stated to be so. In Pilgrim Truth his foster father is Samuel a citizen of Nephele. The Press Kit claims this father is StarPeace member and a civilian (according to Ben Lesnik if Season 2 had been completed the series would have shown this to be his foster father).
  • This episode establishes Tolwyn as the Captain of the Tiger's Claw, something that is not mentioned in the original Wing Commander I, and is contradicted by the Wing Commander film. In the film Tolwyn is an Admiral, commands TCS Concordia, and the Captain of the Claw is Jason Sansky, followed by Paul Gerald. Note later Thorn would be captain as well during Secret Missions/Goddard and Firekkan Campaigns. Tolwyn is thought to be captain of the Austin during this period.
  • At the end of this episode Victoria washes out, however in the Ultimate Guide its implied that by the 2653 class only the 200 most dedicated students were left, and everyone had washed out before that. It is possible that she was last one to wash out of the last 201 students though (which would be 'ironic' considering the name of their class).

ReferencesEdit

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]

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