1990s Sci-Fi Space Adventure Based On Fan-Favorite Franchise Being Totally Forgotten

By Douglas Helm | Published

wing commander
  • This space-based sci-fi blockbuster is incredibly difficult to find an updated home release for.
  • The 1999 film Wing Commander isn’t on any subscription streaming services, and it hasn’t received a 4K restoration.
  • The movie is based on the popular space combat simulation game series of the same name.

Video game adaptations have come a long, long way, with adaptations like The Last of Us and Arcane getting heaped with critical praise. Still, it’s fun to go back to the dark days of video game adaptations, like 1999’s Wing Commander, which was loosely based on the game series of the same name. Unfortunately, it’s hard to revisit these films if they’re nowhere to be found on streaming services.

No Streamers, No 4K

wing commander

Not only is Wing Commander not available on streaming services, but it also never received a 4K restoration. In short, there’s really not a great way to watch the film on modern TVs. But it’s not entirely surprising that this movie isn’t getting a lot of love because it’s pretty terrible

The Plot

wing commander

Wing Commander follows an interstellar war between two factions known as the Terran Confederation and the cat-like Kilrathi Empire. A young crew ends up being the last hope for Earth after finding a device that allows them to intercept the Kilrathi invasion. A young team of fighter pilots is forced to hold off the Kilrathi until reinforcements arrive.

The Cast

wing commander

Wing Commander has a pretty decent cast that includes Freddie Prinze Jr, Matthew Lillard, Saffron Burrows, Tcheky Karyo, Jurgen Prochnow, David Suchet, and David Warner. Also, Chris Roberts, the creator of the video game series, directed the film. Unfortunately, having these elements in place did not equate to a good movie,

Wing Commander Didn’t Command Much

Wing Commander was a massive critical and commercial failure, only making a measly $11.6 million at the box office. This makes it easily the worst film that Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard ever starred in together. Before Wing Commander, the two starred in She’s All That and would later star in both the live-action Scooby-Doo films and the movie Summer Catch.

It’s not hard to imagine that there is a better version of the Wing Commander movie out there, but some mistakes were definitely made along the way during production. For one, Roberts decided to make the most of the film’s budget and film most of the movie from the interiors of the spaceships, which takes away some of the space opera grandiose that you expect from cosmic dogfights.  Also, the film sadly missed out on having some of the voice actors from the video game series.

Rushing To Beat Anakin

The Wing Commander movie was a prequel, so it was decided that Mark Hamill was too old to reprise his role from the games. Also, Malcolm McDowell plays Admiral Tolwyn in the game but he had scheduling conflicts that prevented him from appearing in the movie. Finally, the production was rushed because the studios wanted to get the movie out before Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace came out and destroyed any hope of competing space movies to make money at the box office that year.

Bad Or Good, It Can Be Fun To Revisit

wing commander

In the end, Wing Commander ended up being a disaster, no matter how you slice it. Still, sometimes, it’s fun to revisit terrible movies and see how bad they really were. Unfortunately, the movie isn’t on the streaming services, so you’ll have to find a different way to watch it.

Source: Genrevision