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Christopher "Maverick" BlairThis list is alphabetical, but it's appropriate that Blair be its first entry, as he is the Player Character for most of the franchise's entries and one of its most central figures overall. Heroic, earnest and originally nameless, he was portrayed by Freddie Prinze Jr. in The Movie, and by Mark Hamill in the later games and the animated series.
- The Ace: The most famous ace in Confederation history, responsible for ultimately ending the Kilrathi war.
- Call to Agriculture: Blair retired to become a farmer after Wing Commander III. He wasn't much good at it, however, and couldn't turn down the call to return to active duty in the next game.
- Colonel Badass: In Wing Commander III and Wing Commander IV.
- Custom Uniform: In Wing Commander III and Wing Commander IV, Blair has his last name on the name tag on his uniform, while all other pilots have their callsign on the name tag.
- Defector from Decadence: In Wing Commander 4 when he joins the Border worlds.
- Drowning My Sorrows: in Wing Commander III, after the death of Vaquero.
- Ensign Newbie: In the first game, as well as in Wing Commander Academy.
- Four-Star Badass: Upgraded from Colonel Badass to this in Prophecy, where he even flies a mission on your wing before getting captured by the Nephilim.
- Got Volunteered: Spirit of all people does this during a rescue mission briefing.
- Knight in Sour Armor: In the second game, he's fairly bitter about his career being ruined because no one believed him, but is still willing to take risks and defy orders to do the right thing.
- I Have Many Names: Bluehair, Blair, "The Coward of the K'tithrak Mang," "The Heart of the Tiger," "The Savior of the Confederation," "The guy from Star Wars"...
- Leeroy Jenkins: For someone whose callsign of "Maverick" is an Ironic Nickname, he's not always "by the book.:
- In Wing Commander II, he disobeys orders to rescue Stingray and to attack the Kilrathi starbase at the end.
- From Wing Commander III:
- After failing to defend the Behemoth, Prince Thrakhath appears and taunts Blair with a video of the violent death of his Love Interest, and challenges him to a personal duel. The player can choose to ignore the challenge and land before the Victory jumps out of the system that Confed is abandoning, or accept the challenge and become Trapped Behind Enemy Lines, even if he succeeds in killing Thrakhath.
- When The Mole flees the Victory to spill Confed's plans to the Kilrathi, Blair can go out and give chase, but this indirectly leads to Vaquero's death. (As per the novelization, this is the canon path.)
- Legally Dead: In Prophecy, Blair is lost when the Nephilim wormhole gate he's seeking to shut down collapses, leaving his fate uncertain. In the sequel Secret Ops, background fiction for the game says that he was declared legally dead.
- Military Maverick: "Maverick" is an Ironic Nickname, as Word of God claims he got his call sign as a sarcastic reference to his by-the-book flying style. However, on occasion he has fit the trope in a non-ironic sense.
- Second Love: Angel is his first but after her death, he can take up with Angel or Rachel in Wing Commander 3. He, canonically, chooses to hook up with Rachel and they get married in the novels but she leaves him before the events of Wing Commander 4
- Tragic Monster: Depending on when you defect from Confed, in Wing Commander IV.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Maniac, eventually.
- You Are in Command Now: In Wing Commander IV, Blair is given command of the Intrepid when Eisen departs for Earth. Subverted in the novelization, in that a Navy lieutenant is the one to actually give the exact commands to carry out Blair's orders, but is too junior to be made Captain himself. However, Blair was already the CAG by Wing Commander 3, and was shown to have some command-experience from Wing Commander Academy so he wasn't quite as ill-prepared for command as is typical for this trope.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: As a result of the limited color palette available to VGA displays of the time the first game came out, the Player Character was given blue hair. When the series went to FMV, this resulted in the last name of the character becoming "Blair".
Todd "Maniac" MarshallOne of the first wingmen you fly with in Wing Commander I. He's Blair's rival from the Academy, scoring second in their graduating class, and is also something of a Foil, the Red Oni to our Bluehair. Played by Tom Wilson in the later games and animated show, and Matthew Lillard in the movie.
- The Ace: He's almost as good as his Boisterous Bruiser ego says he is (while serving up a large slice of ham, particularly when Tom Wilson steps into the role in Wing Commander III). Maniac has the 14th highest kill score in the entire Kilrathi War, behind Blair's 11th Place spot. All the other pilots in the Top 20 are dead. However, he's next to useless when you fly with him, almost never follows orders and runs away at the earliest opportunity. He's quite the match when he challenges Blair to a duel in Wing Commander IV, though.
- Born Lucky: How Maniac has managed to survive for so long, according to Blair. He goes on to tell Catscratch that "there's one on every ship, but only one".
- Boisterous Bruiser: Especially in Prophecy where he doubles as a Sergeant Rock with a big slice of ham in his jaws at all times.
- Defector from Decadence: Surprisingly, joins the Border Worlds against the Confederation. It's implied, albeit understated, that this is partially due to Dude, Where's My Respect?.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Points out, repeatedly, his accomplishments rival everyone but Blair's but he's only a Major. This is due to his attitude, glory-seeking, and disobedience of orders which would have gotten him kicked out if not for his achievements.
- Glory Hound: Generally with realistic consequences.
- Guile Hero: one of his most fabled exploits was in coming across two Kilrathi destroyers whilst flying a dinky little patrol fighter. Through judicious taunts and dazzling flying alone, he was able to convince the two ships to smash into each other, with all hands lost. The Claw Marks manual that came with the first game says it's suspected he just managed it out of pure dumb luck, and was sleeping while autopilot was flying his fighter.
- Hidden Depths:
- He's genuinely rattled by Vagabound's death, and surprisingly points out that certain actions that you can take in Wing Commander IV might not be entirely moral.
- Similarly in Prophecy he is shown genuinely disturbed when several of his wingmen end up getting killed when they emulate his reckless style, and he voluntarily steps down from wing commander position.
- Hot-Blooded: "Ramming speed!!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He starts out as a plain-old Jerkass, but does slowly warm up in the later games, particularly once the series went to live action and Tom Wilson took over the role. However, it isn't until in the second half of Prophecy where he really developed his character by forging a friendly relationship with the protagonist after the latter became a more than competent pilot.
- Leeroy Jenkins: He's uncontrollable in combat, and will charge a fully defended cruiser with all flack guns firing with ten bandits on his six and won't stop until they, or he, are dead. The only time he obeys any orders other than "break and attack" is in the final mission set of Wing Commander III.
- Limited Advancement Opportunities: Maniac just can't seem to get and stay past Major. Mostly it's his own fault, though, thanks to his Leeroy Jenkins behavior and general jerkassishness.
- Military Maverick: He's a Dirty Harry-style Deconstruction, with similar fatality rates among his wingmen and dazzled worshipers. He's so irresponsible he never keeps any promotions past Major. This contributes to his defecting to the Border Worlds.
- Right Behind Me: Maniac falls for this in Wing Commander III in a discussion with Flint, going off at first Flash and then Blair, not realizing Blair is right behind him.Maniac: The Colonel is a spineless...
Blair: I wouldn't finish that sentence if I were you, Major.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Downplayed. His legend is real... but he certainly doesn't have a modest personality.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: He tends to get killed a lot for blindly charging at the enemy in the original game. Once he gets Plot Armor, this becomes a justified trope: he's just that good. The problem, again, is that nobody else is.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Maniac is loathed by everyone in-universe and out but the writers.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Blair, eventually.
- Worthy Opponent: Maniac sees himself as this to Blair. To his credit, while he's obsessed with one-upping Blair, he absolutely insists that it must happen in a completely fair fight.
Jeanette "Angel" DevereauxOriginally introduced as a studious, somewhat nerdy Francophone Belgian in the first game, Angel was promoted ahead of Blair, serving as his squadron commander when Blair is assigned to the Claw as per The Movie. In between the second and third she serves under him in a different fashion. Played by Saffron Burrows in the movie, and Yolanda Jilot in Wing Commander III.
- Character Death: She dies as soon as she's introduced in Wing Commander III, although the player doesn't learn of her death until much later, and this sets up the last mission as being one for revenge.
- Colonel Badass: Her eventual rank.
- Damsel out of Distress: Jazz gets an elbow to the face for trying to hold her hostage at gunpoint during the events of Wing Commander II and its add-ons, and even stands up to the Kilrathi when captured in Wing Commander III.
- Gratuitous French: Frequently in combat.
- I Am Very British: In the movie.
- Promoted to Love Interest: Starting in Wing Commander II, she goes from just another pilot to Blair's lover.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: in the second game.
- Right in Front of Me: From the movie: "I'm Commander Devereaux, Lieutenant. Your wing commander."
- That's an Order!: She uses several versions of the trope phrase in the movie.
Geoffrey TolwynFirst introduced in Wing Commander II as a toxic combination of Obstructive Bureaucrat and Insane Admiral, Tolwyn appears to have something of a vendetta against Blair, believing wholeheartedly in the cowardist propaganda spread against him and resenting the need to take Blair aboard his flagship, the Concordia. Then the third game rolled around and Malcolm McDowell stepped into the role...
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: He seeks to weed out humans who are not fit to fight through horrendous means and seeks dominance over the Border Worlds and the Kilrathi. Yep, that sounds familiar.
- Big Bad: All of the attacks to which Blair is responding in IV are ultimately arranged by Tolwyn as part of a plot to manipulate the Confederation and the Union of Border Worlds into a conflict.
- Evilutionary Biologist: In Wing Commander IV, he orders the creation of a bioweapon designed to weed out "weak genetic stock".
- Fallen Hero: In his heydey, Tolwyn was undoubtedly one of the fleet's best pilots and commanders.
- Four-Star Badass: In episode 6 of Wing Commander Academy, he runs a blockade by playing chicken with a Kilrathi ship, and again in episode 8 he makes a badass quote before climbing into a fighter himself.
- General Ripper: He was a Space Marshall for all of five minutes, above even admiral, where some of his actions at the lower rank included genetic profiling and eradication of anyone who did not fit his mold through bioweapons.
- He Who Fights Monsters: The near-destruction of humanity during the Kilrathi War led him to conclude that Humanity must evolve into a warrior race via the horrific culling of the weak and near-constant warfare.
- Insane Admiral: While it was less pronounced in II and III, IV shows him clearly into this territory.
- Jerk Ass: So much that he makes you miss the days of being with Colonel Halcyon back in Tiger's Claw.
- Knight Templar: Above all, he ultimately wants to save the human race. What he will to do so make him almost as great a threat to humanity as the Kilrathi were. Almost.
- Military Maverick: He is described as tactically brilliant but untrustworthy, too intent on fighting his own war to make a truly effective tool of Confed.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: In the novel Fleet Action, when the Kilrathi Baron Jugaka demanded humanity's surrender, Admiral Tolwyn said, "Direct your inquiry to President Quinson. I'm sure he will tell you to go perform a certain impossible anatomical act." When the baron specified he wanted the fleet's surrender, Tolwyn "replied with what he assumed the President would have said."
- The Social Darwinist: Becomes a Type 3 version of this in IV.
- Veteran Instructor: Tolwyn is assigned to provide final training for the eponymous academy's students, in Wing Commander Academy, due to his being Reassigned to Antarctica.
- We Have Become Complacent: Almost verbatim during the endgame of IV when you choose the right dialogues.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: in Wing Commander IV, albeit zigzagged between the game and the novelization. The game makes it clear that Tolwyn crossed the Moral Event Horizon, but the novel has characters wondering (after his death, to boot) if the ends didn't justify the means.
Lance CaseyThe new Player Character in Prophecy and an Expy to Blair, Casey is the son of a legendary ace from the Kilrathi war. Portrayed by Stephen Petrarca.
- The Ace: Casey eventually becomes every bit as good as his father was, perhaps even better.
- Dead Guy Junior: The second coming of Iceman.
- Ensign Newbie: How he starts in Prophecy.
- Right Behind Me: He starts bad-mouthing Commodore Blair, who inevitably appears. After being made aware of Blair's presence, he goes into full "recruit greeting a senior officer" mode.Casey: "I must have heard everything about Blair." (lists off Blair's famous achievements, then pauses when he sees his audience stand at attention) "Except that he was onboard the Midway..." (muttered)
- Someone to Remember Him By: was the "someone" in this case. The strategy guide gives the impression of a hastily-arranged wedding, which was just as well—Iceman still died before Lance was born.
Jason "Bear" BondarevskiOriginally appearing in an Expansion Pack to Wing Commander II, Bondarevski was adopted by author William Forstchen as the main character of his Expanded Universe novels. Bear, like Blair, eventually reaches flag rank and helps to strike a number of devastating blows against the Kilrathi war machine.
- Ascended Extra: He went from a character in a minor subplot in Wing Commander II to becoming a major character in the novels.
- Artificial Limbs: The Wing Commander IV novelization states he lost an arm during the conclusion of the Kilrathi War, which was replaced with a cybernetic substitute. As noted below, later he's offered an Unusual User Interface, but declines.
- Running Gag: His name. Many attempt to say it, most botch it badly.
- Unusual User Interface: In the novel False Colors, he's offered the chance to have his cybernetic replacement arm (mentioned above) wired so he's directly connected to his fighter's controls. He declines the offer.
Janet "Sparks" McCulloughIntroduced in the second game in the same role Rachel was later given in Wing Commander III, she eventually transferred to the Expanded Universe novelizations along with Bondarevski.
- Ascended Extra: After only a brief showing in the games, she becomes significant character in the non-novelization novels.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Her name is mentioned in dialog, but much of the time she was addressed by her nickname.
- Official Couple: she and Bear.
- Shipper on Deck: For Blair and Angel.
- Wrench Wench: Her job aboard the carriers she serves upon is to maintain the spacecraft launching from their decks.
Kevin "Lone Wolf" TolwynThe nephew of the famous admiral, Tolwyn is a novel-only character (though they flirted with the idea of including him in one of the games). He starts out pretty much a Spoiled Brat, but after a bit of Break the Haughty (and surviving one of the toughest missions in the war) he matures into a capable and outstanding pilot.
- Ace Pilot: One of the better pilots in the stories he participates in, maturing into an all-around excellent servicemember.
- Glory Hound: He starts out as this in End Run, until it's pointed out that his seeking to kill a fighter, in End Run, left a wounded bomber open to an ambush, killing one of the bomber's crew members in the process.