YMMV / Wing Commander


  • Anti-Climax Boss: Prince Thrakhath in the final stretch of Video Game Wing Commander III; even though he is flying the Bloodfang, renowned for its unmatched lethality among the Kilrathi, he flies little faster than a Vaktoth and you likely won't need much time taking him out in your Excalibur.
  • Fandom Rivalry: The fandoms of Wing Commander and Freespace have at times butted heads, influenced in part by personal dislikes.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Depending on who you ask, one or a combination of the following: Prophecy and later games, the novels, the movie, the cartoon, and in rare cases, Wing Commander III and IV.
  • Growing the Beard: While the main campaign of the first Wing Commander and the first Secret Missions expansion pack were miles ahead of anything else available in the early 90s in terms of graphics and game play, the storyline is little more than an Excuse Plot. In Secret Missions 2 the characterization and plot both become much more engrossing. We first meet several recurring characters in SM2, both heroes and villains.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Wing Commander III opens on the burning, half-sunken wreck of the Concordia, your flagship from the previous game which is then deemed a "total loss". Come 2012 the Costa Concordia disaster took place, with the ship similarly marooned and damaged beyond repair off the coast of Tuscany. Could possibly be Hilarious in Hindsight, considering the comedy of errors that led to the sinking of the Costa Concordia.
  • One-Scene Wonder: A non-human version; the F-104 Bearcat appears as the newest frontline Terran fighter in The Price of Freedom, but the player only gets to fly the craft in about two missions, and only if they choose the Speradon path during the Border Worlds campaign.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • The Scrappy: Everybody seems to hate Maniac (both in real life and in-universe)... Except for the writing staff, since of all of the cast members who get Killed Off for Real, Maniac — the most likely candidate given his rank, status, and reckless behavior — isn't one of them.
  • Squick: From Wing Commander IV, the sight of one of the victims of the biological attack on Telamon. Even Blair and his comrades must look away upon seeing the aftermath of it.
  • Stoic Woobie: Mariko "Spirit" Tanaka and Michael "Iceman" Casey both have lost loved ones to the Kilrathi (fiance and family, respectively), but don't go wallowing in self-pity over it.

  • Executive Meddling: Unusually, a case where some executive meddling would have made the film better. Roberts later said that in hindsight, he wished he'd had an executive producer who could have told him the elements of the film that were distracting from the core story and needed to be removed, especially on the tight budget ($27 million, expanded to $30 million after Roberts kicked in an additional $3 million out-of-pocket).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Blair in the video games was portrayed by Mark Hamill, best known for playing a Jedi. Blair in the film is played by Freddie Prinze Jr.., who would go on to play a Jedi.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • The Kilrathi are played by guys in suits, but the animitronics running the faces barely work and they flail their arms like bad puppets. The film tries to shoot them in darkness to hide this most of the time, but it only makes the clear views more ridiculous.
    • The ships and combat look bad, even for the time. The Rapiers, being minimalistic modifications of a small section of fuselage and cockpit from old English Electric Lightning fighters, looked particularly horrible. Babylon 5 was doing better effects on a budget that was famously skimpy even for TV when this came out, and The Phantom Menace would be setting a new bar less than a year later.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: A very common complaint, particularly the name of the carrier changing from TCS Tiger's Claw to TCS Tiger Claw due to script editing confusion between editors for the film.
    • The various ships and starfighters featured do not resemble their video game counterparts at all. Especially egregious are the Rapiers, which are downright ugly compared to those of the games.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: The Kilrathi look nothing like their video game counterparts and in fact are visibly furless. Chris Roberts himself admits that he was satisfied with neither their look in the games or their redesigned appearance in the film.

Wing Commander Academy
  • Foe Yay: An occasional element of Maniac and Archer's UST.
  • Spiritual Licensee: To Universal's previous sci-fi cartoon, Exosquad; indeed, USA Network aired reruns of that show the same time they were airing this one.

Alternative Title(s): Wing Commander Academy