- Fridge Logic: Why are cadets engaging in combat on the front lines? Well, they're usually not. With a few exceptions, most of the action seen on the show is actually on minor fronts, a way for the cadets to get experience without getting killed in the important battles, not to mention a way for the troublesome Commodore Tolwyn to be put to productive use.
- It also harkens back to the Age Of Sail, where it was common for cadets (typically called Midshipmen in the American and British navies) to receive their training by serving aboard a sailing ship and essentially learning on the job. Hence the prevalence of the Plucky Middie in fiction taking place in the era. The practice was eventually phased out (along with similar practices for enlisted sailors) in favor of professional training programs offered on dry land.
- It also implies that the Confederation needs people in the fight badly enough that they're willing to deploy a bunch of cadets into combat before they've graduated from the Academy. Even if they're just filling gaps in the line on less important fronts, that does indicate a certain urgency to the situation at this point in the war. That said, given that the cadets ultimately succeed in dealing a major material and morale blow to Thrakhath and his forces by the finale (ruining a major religious ceremony by dropping Thrakhath's up-until-now invincible flagship on it), the gamble seems to have paid off for the Confed leaders, and all without having to pull a first-rate unit off the front lines.
- The series manages to open a whopper of a plothole regarding Tolwyn's behavior at the court martial in Wing Commander II. Academy shows that he, of all people, ought to be aware the cats are working on stealth tech, and yet...
Fridge / Wing Commander Academy