Christopher Blair

From Academic Kids

Christopher "Maverick" Blair is the player's character throughout much of the Wing Commander computer game series. He also appears in the Heart of the Tiger and Price of Freedom novelizations. Throughout the series Blair was portrayed as competent and cool-headed though not unemotional, with his 'rebellious' cockpit moniker assigned him as an ironic reference to his Boy Scout personality.

In the first two games of the series - Wing Commander and Vengence of the Kilrathi - the character had no official name: the player was asked to personalize the character's name and callsign. The advent of full motion video cut scenes in Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger required the character to be given a real name. "Christopher" is also the first name of series creator Chris Roberts; "Blair" is derived from the character's unofficial nickname in Wing Commander and Vengence of the Kilrathi, "Bluehair". The player was still allowed to assign Blair a callsign; only in Wing Commander Prophecy, in which the player takes the role of a different pilot, is Blair's canonical callsign established to be "Maverick."

Col. Blair was played in Heart of the Tiger, The Price of Freedom, Prophecy, and Academy by veteran actor and Star Wars star Mark Hamill, originally brought in to play Maniac. In the 1999 movie, set earlier in the series' history than the games featuring Hamill, Lt. Blair is played by Freddie Prinze, Jr. Neither of them have hair that is anywhere near blue. Alternate names for Bluehair included Carl LaFong.

Personal Biography

In WC1, Bluehair is a calm, handsome fellow who never says a word (see silent protagonist). Despite his lack of volubility, he rises steadily into the ranks of the TCS Tiger's Claw, eventually leading her flight wing to numerous successes. When the Claw moves into the K'tithrak Mang sector to deal with a Kilrathi command post, however, her number comes up--with the sole exception of a few pilots who had been transferred to other ships, and Col. Bluehair himself who is out on patrol, the ship is lost with all hands. It is destroyed by... No one's really sure. Bluehair's flight data recorder picks up really weird signals--they seem to be Kilrathi fighters with cloaking devices--but it is damaged beyond repair when he engages them; Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn, one of the up-and-comers in Confed ranks, thinks Bluehair is lying to cover his own treachery, demotes him to Captain and exiles him to the backwater Caernavon Station. This is the scene where Bluehair gets his first line of dialogue, voiced by Chris Roberts. Bluehair is widely branded the "Coward of the K'tithrak Mang" and reviled throughout the Confederation.

Ten years later, WC2 rolls around. Bluehair is still on Caernavon, but when the TCS Concordia Tolwyn's new flagship, jumps in-system and is ambushed, Bluehair singlehandedly rescues it. Cognizant of the need to keep the best pilots on the front lines, Tolwyn shifts Bluehair to active service aboard the Concordia, where he serves alongside a number of old friends--Angel, Spirit, Doomsday and Hobbes. New to the roster are Jazz, a smooth-talking fellow with a war-checkered past, and Stingray, enthusiastic and brash. Paladin drops in on occasion, but Maniac is far away doing testing on some new fighters. (Nobody misses him.) To dampen the mood, however, a saboteur is on the Concordia, striking materiel and personnel. In his time aboard the Concordia, Bluehair is able to finally record incontrovertible evidence of the Kilrathi Strakha Stealth Fighters, uncover and defeat the traitor, destroy the K'Tithrak Mang outpost and avenge the Tiger's Claw, and start a romantic liaison with Angel. He is also re-promoted to Colonel by a grudgingly respectful Tolwyn. More ominously, he gains the personal attention of Kilrathi Crown Prince Thrakhath; he is eventually given the Kilrathi warrior name "Heart of the Tiger".

At this point, Bluehair's record gets hazy, as he becomes involved in a number of Secret Ops projects, including (supposedly) the TCS Gettysburg mutiny and the testing of the new Morningstar fighters. What's clear is that he fought at the Battle of Earth and was grounded with injuries for six months, during which time the Kilrathi pushed the Confederation to the wall. With the Concordia lost at the Vespus system in the opening moments of WC3, Blair (now portrayed in live action by Mark Hamill) is reactivated and assigned to the TCS Victory, a carrier almost as old as he is (mid-30s). Despite the relatively unglamorous nature of his assignment, he, along with his wing of pilots including top aces Hobbes and Maniac, is able to provide at least some defense for the TCS Behemoth before its destruction at the hands of a traitor; his wing is also responsible for the delivering of the Temblor Bomb to the Kilrathi home planet, resulting in the death of the Emperor, as well as Prince Thrakhath (engaged and defeated by Blair in the planet's atmosphere) and the immediate cessation of all hostilities between Terran and Kilrathi. Blair is now entitled to add a new label to his roster: Savior of the Confederation.

After the war, Blair attempts to return to his roots on Nephele and become a farmer. Tolwyn reactivates him during WC4, however, to investigate allegations that the Union of Border Worlds has been causing trouble for Confed shipping (claims that Confed is doing the same thing to Border Worlds shipping are ignored). A third faction is eventually implicated, and Blair succeeds in uncovering it, though he is forced to defect to the Border Worlds to do so, since the faction appears to be supported by elements within Confed.

Blair remains in the military for the rest of his life, though he accepts a transfer from Space Forces to Navy. He is the architect and main proponent of the 'super-carrier' plan, and is aboard the TCS Midway, the first of the new class, on its maiden voyage. When the ship unexpectedly encounters invaders from another part of the galaxy (codename Nephilim), the Midway single-handedly beats them back, mostly led by player character 1Lt Lance "[Insert Callsign Here] Casey. Commodore Blair is, unfortunately, lost in the action against the Nephilim when he entered the Nephilim wormhole. The wormhole was destroyed before he could get out of it and was MIA and presumed dead.

Other info

Since a pilot's callsign is usually more of a nickname bestowed on him by other pilots (and often in the real world something unflattering or incongruous, like tagging a six foot four pilot with the callsign of "Tiny"), one pilot can have several callsigns through his career.

"Maverick" Blair is introduced in Wing Commander III novelization - before then the WC universe bible indicates that his callsign was originally intended to be "Falcon" or "Phoenix." The latter saw print in the novel End Run.

Blair was given the Kilrathi warrior-name "Heart of the Tiger", which in the novelization of Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom he adopts as his callsign as part of the Union of Border Worlds Militia.

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