Wing Commander (movie)

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Theatrical release poster

Wing Commander is a 1999 science fiction movie[1] loosely based on the Chris Roberts Wing Commander games.

In late 1997 Digital Anvil, the company founded by Chris Roberts, acquired the live action feature film rights to the Wing Commander series from Electronic Arts, which had previously bought Origin Systems where the game series had been made.

With the games being inspired by the look and feel of star wars when they were first started, with no star wars games on computer back then, Chris Roberts was concerned the movie might be accused to be a rip off so he tried to return to the basic roots of Wing Commander I inspired by the war in the pacific and WW2 and make the designs look more retro.[2] For Chris Roberts it's like classic, nautical World War II movie, taking elements of Das Boot, or Tora! Tora! Tora! set in a science-fiction universe.[3]

Malcolm McDowell accepted to act on the Fantasy Island tv serie and had to be replaced by David Warner to play Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn.[2]


The movie had a bad reception, which Cris Roberts blamed on his inexperience as a film director, with directing live action for Wing Commander III and Wing Commander IV not being on the same level. He also blamed the lack of a strong creative producer, a low budget, a ridiculously short pre-production timeline as well as giving into some of the studio's casting choices that didn't fit the Wing Commander audience.[4][5]

The film has been criticized by some fans for altering the visual style of the most recent Wing Commander games.


  • Jürgen Prochnow, 2nd in command of the Tigerclaw, also played among others in the classic Das Boot and in David Lynch Dune.[6]
  • Martin Galway appears in the screen credits.[7]
  • Wing Commander Arena, the latest game in the series, makes reference to the movie, including references to the Pilgrim War, while using ships and settings which first appeared in the main series of games. The manual Star*Soldier does make references to some of the ships from the movie however showing them in silhouettes.

External Links


  1. imdb: Wing Commander
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wing Commander Combat Information Center interview with Chris Roberts by Hadrian, 1999
  3. Cinescape - March 1999
  4. Chris Roberts Reddit AMA first comment about the Wing Commander movie
  5. Chris Roberts Reddit AMA comment about the Wing Commander movie
  6. Jürgen Prochnow, imdb
  7. Meet Martin Galway. Transmission - Comm-Link. Retrieved 2022-10-22

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