Wing Commander Information Center

James Taggart (callsigns: Paladin, Scotsman[1], or Mother Hen) was a half-Pilgrim, and experienced pilot during the Kilrathi War.

Personal Biography[]

Paladin was born on Ares, a space station in orbit around Venus. His parents were Terraforming engineers Shamus and Delli Bethlyn natives of Wick, Scotland.[2][3][4] James was given the Anglicized version of his father's Gaelic name; James. His parents were Pilgrims.

The Confederation Handbook says that he was born on Mimas Colony in 2605;[5] other records suggest 2609.

His parents were thought to be lost on Mimas in 2613 after a Mimist attack and he was legally adopted by Mikal and Anhel Taggart. Little is known about James life growing up as that information was destroyed by a later attack in 2624[5] but as a kid he loved medieval romance tales about King Arthur and Roland.[2]

James apparently visited his blood parents after that on Ares, Venus where they had moved (under the nose of the Confederation apparently).

He was a kid when the Confederation discovered the Empire of Kilrah and when he took his commission. Enchanted by the medieval legends he considered himself a knight-errant who would write his own history.[2][6] He used to fly with Shotglass before the Kilrathi War on the Tiger's Claw.[7]


Taggart's OCS record

He later attended the University of Cairo and 4 years later he was involved with Danielle Kura but she died of medical complications by the TBM33 virus shortly before his graduation. He earned a degree in Physical Science, graduating 23rd out of 1055. He was admitted into the Space Force OCS that same year and graduated with honors. Subsequently attended Flight School and Counterintelligence School.

His first assignment was on the Patrol Carrier Horus in 2629. Upon the beginning of the Pilgrim War, he was promoted to captain and transferred to Intelligence Services; during which he was attached to CIS and his record was classified.[5] He was given his own ship Ebenezer, and went undercover as civilian Pilgrim sympathizer and merchant spying for the Confederation. During his mission he had to attend prayer meetings and con/crit sessions (although he enjoyed the transcendence dances).[8] He apparently visited his parents in 2632, and may have killed his own father, after his father killed his mother (though this memory was manipulated by Kilrathi, and unreliable).

He returned to flight duty in 2635, with rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Iason and capture by the Kilrathi[]

After the war, he requested transfer to Exploratory Services, and was promoted to Commander simultaneously upon assignment to the CS Iason in 2637. He, Farrah Izmuti and other two pilots served to the shuttles, ferrying the ship's scientists to their assignments.[5]

He was on free-time, practicing in the flight sim, practicing reverse thrust turning maneuvers or Shelton slides when the ship encountered the alien ships. At first Taggart thought that the alarm was part of the sim before realizing it was a real one and ran to his battle-station, the flight deck, soon joined by the other 3 pilots. Every 15 minutes they got an info-byte from the captain about what was happening.[5]

After about an hour, he and Izmuti were ordered out with the modified Ferrets. Taggart was sent out to scan the area with medium-and long-range flash beaming the info back to the Iason, starting off with the ships themselves, and then turning the scan outwards. Taggart was trying to determine anything that resembled an alien ship from the unusual scans reading completely different patterns. When he started pulling the scanners in for another round of medium-range scans, Aria was suddenly shot from the aliens and she was ordered to pilot her damaged ship back in the Iason, while Taggart continued his job. An hour had passed when he detected a weird pulse from the alien ships, as they commenced their attack on the Iason. Taggart considered making a pass on the aliens, but hoped that they would retreat, and he'd be able to catch the gate's fingerprint. However the Iason was destroyed, and a piece of the debris hit his ship draining its shields and damaging the repair array.[5]

Taggart attempted to self-destruct, but all systems were down. He was tractored into a ship and the Kilrathi took him out moments before asphynxiating. He was tended with a green fog which made him feel good before passing out. He woke up in a filtered room, while some Kilrathi were fighting over him, as a "trophy", dropping and getting him like a doll. He found himself on the floor, blood around him, and while he tried to crawl away, a Kilrathi feel on him. When he woke up, his arm was broken and ribs cracked.[5]

He then remained in a small dark room with a machine that probably filtered the air. He was sick and in bad pain. His "owner" came with a smaller alien, wearing helmets, and that was when he first observed the Kilrathi. The smaller one attempted to fix his bone. Later, his "owner" scatched his name into his neck with his claw. While his arm was healing he was fed once a day with meat and leafy vegetables. He also picked some of their language which he found unpronouncable, and managed to understand their insignia in a attempt to keep his mind occupied. After what he thought was weeks, he and the machine were removed from the room.[5]

He found himself in a different ship, in an enormous room filled with rows of glass cells with barred openings and dim light. The Kilrathi tried endurance tests on him, such as temperature, and in many of them he ended up passing out, waking up with an abrasion. The war had started and human prisoners were coming by the thousands. He could talk with a few people who spoke Standard and got updates. Once they had a surplus, they weren't careful with them, killing everyone once the cells were restocked with a new colony, and they didn't bother with him any more.[5]

He was held for two years and he was presumed dead by the Confederation. Eventually he was taken again, where they strapped a filter device to his back and a mask and taken to a launch bay where he was boarded into a fighter/shuttle. Taggart guessed that they were going to return him to his "owner". After 3 jumps, they landed next to a big cruiser while it was trying to laser a fast little cargo-scout. Meanwhile Taggart worked at the the straps and got clear, and broke the pilot's skull with the filter device. He then managed to aim the ship towards what he supposed was the bridge (actually perhaps an external shield generator as he unexpectedly slammed directly into the hull). The shuttle was destroyed and found himself in space, but soon was collected by the cargo-scout.[5]

It was a small band of down on their luck pilots who had bought a cast-off ship, fixed with grapples and tractors and scavenged debris for valuable scrap, especially Klrathi artifacts for which the Confed had put a bounty. After giving him a meal, the pilots dropped him off at Tartarus Port as they didn't want contact with the authorities. Taggart contacted the Confederation from a public communications booth located in the Commercial Customs section of the station. He was examined and found with vitamin deficiencies and some minor parasitic infections. He was debriefed and awarded accrued pay and 3 month's R&R leave before returning to duty.[5]

Kilrathi War[]

He also served on board the TCS Tiger Claw during Custer's Carnival.[9]. While he was serving on a cruiser, some years before 2654, he had an encounter with Bakhtosh nar Kiranka.[10] At some other time, he encountered Salthis over Accord when he discovered that they always make specific movements.[11] One time, while flying with Dragon of Yellowjacket sqadron escorting a tanker, they encountered Khajja nar Ja'targk, who destroyed the tanker.[12] He also had an encounter with Bhurak nar Caxki; he had him in his sights but another Salthi destroyed his ion drive and computer systems. Paladin had to eject and won the Golden Sun, but his wingman never returned.[13] Paladin also had witnessed the attack of Epsilon Prima system by new Dralthis. Because of the Confed Tactical underestimation of their range, 5 Confed pilots were killed.[14]

According to the Wing Commander I and II: The Ultimate Strategy Guide, Taggart was still assigned to the Claw during this era, while LaFong was training his second year at the Academy under Halcyon.

He became a Commodore of Terran Confederation Naval Intelligence reporting directly to Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn. Working undercover as a civilian, Tolwyn gave him an ancient heirloom, a ring kept by his family for 16 generations, which Taggart should show to claim authority in urgent situations. For eight months he posed as the pilot of the Errant-class merchantman Diligent. Because of his Pilgrim heritage Taggart had a great knowledge of spatial phenomena and navigation, including ancient relics such as maps. [15] While piloting the Diligent to the Vega sector, he was tasked by Tolwyn with several objectives, such as discovering the various hardware that the Kilrathi may have managed to stash around Vega, and notifying the proper agencies, and ferreting out those humans who may be engaged with the Kilrathi, either spies or black market outlets to the Empire of Kilrah. Finally, he had to keep his eyes open about any Pilgrim subversion. Taggart in turn warned Tolwyn that his own officers might have become Pilgrim sympathizers; Taggart did not rule out that the Pilgrim remnants would seek to take advantage of the Kilrathi crisis, even allying with the Kilrathi against the Confed.[16]

Pilgrim Uprising[]

He was tasked to carry pilots Christopher Blair and Todd Marshall to the TCS Tiger Claw in the Vega Sector. He had also noticed that Blair carried a Pilgrim Cross.

Taggart in his quarters.

Because Blair had orders to carry the message of the recent destruction of the Pegasus Station to the Claw, Taggart decided to jump the Scylla anomaly directly to the Vega Sector. Minutes before the jump, the NAVCOM went offline, and Taggart left the cockpit to make repairs. He managed to get it back on-line while Blair's Pilgrim talents awoke and he instinctively punched calculations to the helm. The Diligent successfully made the jump and met with the Claw in the Enyo system.

Blair delivered to Captain Jason Sansky a message from Tolwyn with the orders to proceed to the Charybdis and gather intelligence on the Kilrathi fleet. However Commander Paul Gerald was skeptical on the circumstances the orders arrived and asked a proof that the message was authentic and not a trick to divert the Claw away from its position. Taggart showed Tolwyn's heirloom to Sansky, who immediately recognised it, and proceeded to comply to Tolwyn's orders. However as Charybdis was too far away, Taggart mentioned a class-2 pulsar in the sector which not even the NavCom knew. Gerald mentioned that only Pilgrims jumped pulsars years ago and Sansky admitted that there was no other choice.

On their way to the pulsar, Taggart was visited by Blair inquiring about the Pilgrims and Taggart mentioned about their traits which led to the Pilgrim War where Blair's parents were killed. As the Claw approached the pulsar, Taggart brought Blair to the bridge, and instructed Sansky how to navigate the ship, overriding the computer's warnings, as it was not calibrated. Gerald as always is skeptical and asks the Captain to reconsider, but Sansky held his belief in Taggart. Taggart successfully made the jump and arrived to the Ulysses Corridor.

Flying with the Baker Wing

When Kilrathi presence was discovered, Taggart disagreed with Sansky to attack the Thrakhra-class ConCom, warning that it would only make the Claw vulnerable to an attack. Sansky insisted that doing so will slow the Kilrathi and ordered Jeanette Deveraux to lead a strike force, accompanied by Taggart. He flew a CF-131 Broadsword as 7 of the Baker Wing. Deveraux ordered them to concentrate against a target but Taggart warned her it was a Dorkir-class supply ship left behind by the Kilrathi task force that would soon attack the Claw. He had to reveal his true identity and position.

Paladin destroys the Kilrathi battleship.

After which Baker Wing changed course and found that the Claw was already under attack. After the fighters cleared the Dralthis for the bombers, Taggart and Knight approached. Taggart suggested to wait until they lowered their shield to launch a torpedo, but Knight was shot down. When the battleship was ready to fire again and finish the Claw, Taggart who had managed to take cover among the wreckage of a destroyed Ralari class destroyer launched 4 torpedoes which totally destroyed the Sivar-class, and the remaining Ralari-class destroyer next to it.

Boarding the Kilrathi ship.

While the Claw was hidden, it was approached by the ConCom and Taggart suggested to use it to their advantage. He participated in a boarding operation led by Paul Gerald (who insisted he had no confidence in a mission led by a rogue and a half-breed). The Diligent docked the ship with grapples and the marines boarded the ConCom to steal fuel cells; Blair, following Taggart's guidance, recovered the NavCom stolen from the Pegasus Station.

The drones were heavily damaged and could not be programmed to send a message to Tolwyn in the Sol Sector with the intelligence gathered, so Taggart suggested that Blair should be the carrier. To give him courage, he revealed his heritage as a Pilgrim.

Angel is saved

During the mission Taggart gave orders to successfully defeat a Fralthi-class Cruiser that attacked the Claw. However Deveraux was hit while protecting the Claw from a Skipper Missile and her Rapier was stranded. Taggart boarded the Dilligent to look for her, a difficult task as she had turned off the homing signal. He found her by pure chance and brought her to the hangar of the Claw.[17]

When Ivar Chu McDaniel returned to the galaxy to take Pilgrims to their new homeworld, he offered Taggart the chance to return with him to that world. Taggart found the offer tempting and deep down he had the draw to explore the universe, but his loyalty was to the Confederation and he chose to remain behind. However, he was forced to remain onboard the Concordia to face court-martial for his actions, and was detained there while Obuntu and Blair returned to the Tiger's Claw. It is not known when he was cleared of his charges against him and allowed to return back to the Claw, but he finally did just in time to take part in the Vega Campaign.

In the original Wing Commander, the game's random date generator begins on 2654.110, and Paladin Taggart is seen on board the ship in the ship's bar (from the first mission), and Claw Marks states he is one of the ship's "Wingleaders".

However in the movie novels James Taggert was captured as early as .088, and he doesn't return to the ship until long after .163 (perhaps as long as a month after the book), as he faces his court martial. This means that the 2654.110 date in relation to the events of Enyo cannot fit at that point in the timeline if the movie is fit in, and that events would have to take later in that year. Also Paladin doesn't become a crew member on board the ship during the series (though he does help fly a couple of missions in the movie), but is already established member during events of WC1. At end of the movie novels he is contemplating joining (or rejoining) Tiger's Claw's crew.

The Bible LaFong timeline claimed that Enyo occurred as early as .084, however its placement for McAuliffe which is places in .121 to .125 also overlaps with the period Taggart is actually missing from the ship. Which means that those events have to actually take place later after Taggart returns.

The WC4 Guide claims that the end of the Vega campaign is some six months after McAuliffe (Vega campaign is said to end around .325 in some sources), if this was the case McAuliffe would take place around June (.151-.181), and taking WC1&2USG and WC1 ingame references together, that WC1 Enyo missions is only within a couple of days before McAuliffe. Assuming that Paladin returns to the ship not long after .163 and LaFong boards not long after that it is possible for it to be roughly six months (probably closer to 5 to 5.5 months) between McAuliffe and the end of the war at .325.

Vega Campaign[]

While the Vega Campaign officially starts around 2654.110 there is no major push forward until after June or so.

Paladin during the Vega Campaign.

On the TCS Tiger's Claw Major Taggart usually plays the part of the sage old man considering retirement. He is known to have flown missions with aces such as Christopher Blair, Jason Armstrong, and others. He flew with Carl T. LaFong in the McAuliffe System.[18][19]

Following his court martial, he transferred back on board the T.C.S. Tiger's Claw, Taggart is assigned as Squadron commander[20][21] He flew with the members of his squadron, including Blair under the running name Paladin, careful to protect those on his wing.[22][23] Paladin once told Blair to "Never let your people see you run, laddie."[24]. Paladin was a knowledgeable veteran, calm and capable in the roughest situations[25], and his advice to Blair and other young recruits was respected. it is not long before the Tiger's Claw is ordered to the Enyo System. Rumor has it that the Kilrathi have an unusually large presence there.[26]

WC3 novel mentions that Paladin had been his first squadron leader on the Tiger's Claw. No such event occurs in either the movie, tv series, or the game specifically. Though Taggar as Squadron Leader is something touched upon in Super Wing Commander in the intro, and he is called a "Wingleader" in the original Wing Commander manual (and Secret Missions SNES manual).

Also, technically in the movie Paladin did fly with Maverick to the Claw (issuing orders to him until the got there), using Maverick's Pilgrim talents to enter the Charybdis quasar to deliver a message to Tiger's Claw faster, and they shared a couple more battles together in the movie, although Angel is the crew's Wing Commander in the film. In the game Paladin is one of the first two pilots met in the Bar, along with Angel, giving the player some advice.

The Wing Commander Prophecy guide also states the entire roster of pilots was under Paladin's command (which is likely a reference to the information from the novel). For this to work it would have to be a later event when Blair and Paladin had come back to serve on the ship permanently, after the events of the Novel trilogy.

In the movie trilogy novels Paladin is gone from the Claw between .088 and for some point after .163. There is no way he could be made the squadron leader until after he was reinstated back on the Tiger's Claw. This of course causes a number of issues with other timed events... even the idea that Venice (.287) could take place six months after McAuliffe is a stretch; .287 is around October, and .163 is around June (which would only be about 5 months before). However, Venice technically ends at .325, which allows for some wiggle room, and that extra month. Technically while he appears 'earlier' in the Claw Marks, Paladin first appears in the Enyo campaign in the original Wing Commander, however he appears even earlier in Enyo in the intro to Super Wing Commander where he is already squadron leader. In Super Wing Commander he doesn't appear during main Enyo campaign, but does show up in McAuliffe.

Operation: Thor's Hammer[]

While investigating for the Kilrathi superweapon], he flew a Raptor with LaFong in the Psi Wing, tasked to strike against a Supply Depot in the Bifrost system. There, they engaged a Ralari-class and also had the first glimpse of KIS Sivar.[27] Later, flying as Theta Wing, they engaged a Lumbari-class and finally the Depot.[28][29]

Operation: Crusade[]

After the success of the previous mission, the Claw was assigned as the Honor Guard for the Diplomatic Corps in Firekka.

The Confed was alerted by unexpected Kilrathi presence in the system. Paladin didn't have a chance to visit the planet as all shore leaves were suspended. Meanwhile Paladin started thinking about his retirement the following month and made plans about buying a ship and traveling round planets.[30][31]

When Kilrathi presence was detected in the system, pilots were sent to investigate in patrols; Paladin was assigned in the next patrol. Before his launch, he was next to his F-44 Rapier II talking quietly with Doomsday.[32] After Bossman's death, Paladin tried to comfort Angel saying that she couldn't do anything about him, and they are lucky they just lost him and not both of them.[33] Paladin and Hunter flew as Alpha Wing in preparation for their withdrawal to Corsair[34]

Paladin doesn't fly with the player at all in the Secret Missions 2.

Service in Special Ops[]

The following days he had left the Claw and the Confederation Navy. Commodore Steward recruited him for Special Operations division of Confederation Intelligence. He was reassigned to Sol Station for a few months to learn as much as possible about Kilrathi internal affairs from the Kilrathi defector Kirha, and then be assigned to Bonnie Heather, a hi-tech ship disguised as a freighter, off on some special missions.[35]

When his old friend Hunter was on leave to Earth, he stopped on the Station to see him. Meanwhile the station held the Kilrathi defector Kirha. Duke mentioned to Paladin that their guest didn't eat for 2 days and he visited him in his cell to talk. After making introductions, Paladin promised to see that he will be fed with raw meat, as requested; he also saw that Kirha didn't know how to use the hygiene facilities provided (he drank water from the toilet and excreted on the mattress) and showed him how to use them properly, then he left to meet with Commodore Steward.[36]

Hours later he returned with Gwen Larson. The two started questioning him, and he was amused to hear that he was oath-sworn to Hunter, and promised that he'd see him soon enough after his leave. He also told him that Terrans like short names and he shouldn't call his liege lord "Ian St. John, also known as Hunter". While Kirha did not provide useful information about military movements or the rebellion on Ghorah Khar, Paladin and Gwen decided that he could reveal them much about their social structure, and the layout of Ghorah Khar itself.[36]

As Hunter was on leave on Earth, he requested that they not ship him to the Claw for some days and Steward signed the orders. He set up a bunk for him on-Station. When Hunter was back he took him to the cell of Kirha and burst into laughter when he saw Kirha kneeling before Hunter. Paladin explained his task and his permission to Kirha to speak about Ghorah Khar is necessary for the interrogation for the next couple of days. That night Hunter bought him many drinks but couldn't learn anything more from his operations.[35]

The other day he questioned Kirha about Ghorah Khar with Hunter's assistance. Larson entered to tell Paladin that the Commodore wanted to ask some more questions about the planet and he left, allowing the two people to flirt; and later Hunter to concoct a plan with his two alien friends.[35]

Mission to Ghorah Khar[]

Preparing for his mission, Paladin was sleeping in the Bonnie Heather bunkroom and having the best dream he had for years (which included 3 gorgeous flight attendants) while Hunter, with the help of Kirha and K'Kai attempted to hijack the ship. He woke up startled with Hunter's gun trained on him. Hunter intended to tie Paladin and Larson up and leave them in a maintenance closet while stealing the ship, but Paladin somehow persuaded Hunter—mostly by sheer force of personality—to have Gwen brought in so as to talk it over and try to talk them out of this.

Seeing how determined the 3 hijackers were, he asked them for coming along, as they couldn't run the Heather without his help. Furthermore, he saw the hijack situation as an opportunity to see that part of Kilrathi space before waiting for permission from High Command; as he said "it's easier to apologize than get permission." To give an example of what could go wrong, he showed how they could, by mistake, transmit a Kilrathi insult, demostrating his knowledge on Kilrathi language; and causing Kirha to respond accordingly, validating Paladin's point. Larson at first was reluctant, but then agreed to come with them. Hunter wasn't sure it was a good idea, but he was outvoted to that decision.[37]

Enigma Campaign[]

Paladin in Wing Commander II.

He was Chief Field Officer of Intelligence and Special Operations in the Enigma Sector working as a spy and under cover operative for the Confed. During the intervening years he participated in a number of actions, including the Ghorah Khar incident, in which the Kilrathi colonists on the planet successfully rebelled against the Empire of Kilrah.[38] While there, Ralgha nar Hhallas saved his life.[39]

During the entire course of his service in this field, he operated out of a Free Trader-class transport the TCS Bonnie Heather. He was investigating the situation on Ghorah Khar and figuring out why Prince Thrakhath nar Kiranka had destroyed the manufacturing site 10 years ago when the Kilrathi retreated. His agents on the planet informed him that the Empire was about to retake the system. He was en route to TCS Concordia in Ghorah Khar system with that information to Tolwyn. A wing of Jalkehis attacked him but he was rescued by Hobbes and Prankster, and escorted to the Concordia. There he was reunited with his old friend Prankster while enjoying a glass of Sukhar May'ya and offered him a position on the Bonnie Heather. In his meeting with Tolwyn about the situation on Ghorah Khar, Paladin tried to persuade him that Prankster is not the enemy.[38]

After Prankster and Hobbes returned from Olympus Station,[40] Paladin wanted to talk with Prankster in the barracks. Prankster was bitter that Hobbes too all the credit for saving the station, and Paladin renewed his offer to Prankster to join him; giving a cryptic hint that there are many ways to fight the war. Paladin also expressed his worries that the Kilrathi called off their attack and pulled back from Ghorah Khar so easily.[41][42]

Paladin was once more in Bonnie Heather, and was under attack from Grikaths when discovered during a patrol by Prankster and Stingray, and then safely taken back to the Concordia.[43] After that, Paladin played a game of poker with his friends Hobbes, Prankster and Downtown, while narrating one of his stories about pursuing a Dorkir-class while having no thrusters, just using momentum to skirt a black hole's event horizon (a story Ralgha already heard countless times). He also tried to cheer up Prankster who was concerned about his problemous relationship with Angel.[39] Soon later he had to leave, and Prankster with Stingray escorted the Bonnie Heather through a wing of Drakhris out of system.[44]


After the attack on K'tithrak Mang, Colonel Christopher Blair joined Paladin to participate in a number of special operations.[45] Paladin continued to rise in prominence with the special services, eventually heading up a number of black projects designed to win the War against the Kilrathi swiftly and decisively. At the end of Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger, he personally commanded the operation that led to the destruction of Kilrah and the end of the war, thanks to the use of the new Temblor Bomb. Taggart had recruited Angel to help him do vital re-con work for the project and he was aware of her death on Kilrah long before Blair. Paladin insisted that he withheld the truth from Blair to "protect him from himself".

Taggert's prominence after that battle gave him enough political clout to where he was elected president of the Confederation's Senate by the events of Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom. Despite his numerous complaints about the political backbiting involved in the job, he proved to be an able leader, guiding the Confederation through a crisis with the Union of Border Worlds, and the attack of the Nephilim. It is likely that part of his success as a politician is due to the close ties that he still maintains with his old friends in the intelligence service.


During the Nephilim wars he retired to The Residence, Dumfuirlin, Scotland, on Earth where he continued to write to his friends.


By 2701, he had become President of the Terran Confederation.



Paladin was tall. In the time of his reassignment he had somehow long, silvering blond hair.[36][35] Taggart is considered to be honest and dependable as an officer, and an extremely competent pilot. In his personal life he was somewhat insular and never amassed many close friends, but is well respected by his wingmen and fellow officers.[5] An effective wingleader, especialy appreciated for his wingman skills. He has a reputation for protectiveness when flying wing. Pranksters often scrape the name "Paladin" from his cockpit and replace it with "Mother Hen".[2]

Paladin with Knight

Paladin would be found in the Claw Rec Room drinking, with many empty glasses of drink next to him. His name was recorded among the top scores of the TrainSim.[46] One time he and Hunter were on shore leave, they got each other into trouble with the MPs.[35]

Sometimes he worried about the coexistence with the Kilrathi; he feared that they were so ruthless that the war would end only with their genocide.[47] A month before his "retirement", he considered buying a small ship and visit planets, but as it wouldn't be enough for him, he considered other ways to keep his life exciting.[48]

Behind the scenes[]

WC1 VDU Paladin.png

James Taggart is one of the most important characters appearing in all five games of the main continuity, as a senior pilot (Wing Commander), a special operative (Wing Commander II), a general (Wing Commander III), a Senator (Wing Commander IV, and in Wing Commander: Prophecy). He also has significant appearances in many of the Wing Commander novels by Mercedes Lackey, Ellen Guon and William Forstchen.

Commission issues[]

There is a strange discrepency with the history of Taggart in the films and original games. In the films a prequel of sorts to the original WC1, Taggart is an undercover intelligance agent, and Tolwyn's right hand man. He does most of his espionage from the Diligent. According to the WC Handbook he may have started his undercover missions in Vega as a "Free Trader" on the Diligent around 2654.056.

In Claw Marks which was published on 2654.110 overlapping the middle of Pilgrim Stars, Taggart is listed as having been a long time pilot member of the Tiger's Claw. In Pilgrim's Truth Taggart comes to the claw on .079 via his Errant-Class merchantman, and is on board until .88 when he lands on/seemingly defects/captured by the Olympus (whom he remains with until around .163).

The Wing Commander movie novel does suggest that he was a crew member on the Tiger's Claw in the past as early as Custer's Carnival, but in the Film (Pilgrim's Stars) the current captains Sansky and Gerald to not appear to know him. They don't trust him. Although whoever was involved with Claw Marks considers him a long time and respected member of the claw's flight roster. This maybe a connection to Halcyon and Shotglass who have known him for years. In the film Jeanette Deveraux does not seem to know him or trust him, yet according to LaFong they had served together along with Khumalo and Casey under Halcyon before (at least mid 2653 or so). It may at least be she only understands him to be a civilian is simple stuck on protocol, and following the rules forcing him to have to prove he is still commissioned.

It can be assumed that Taggart may have been a crew member on the Claw before, .056, and at the time the captain was probably someone else, possibly Halcyon or Tolwyn. There were probably a number of crew members that may have met him that early including Lyle Starkbuck, Bossman, and maybe a few of the other classic crew members (however as per the movie not everyone seems to know him). In WC1&2 Ult guide it does seem to suggest he and Bossman are well known about by many of the students in the Academy.


In the games Taggart appears and is mentioned to be Scottish. Taggart is a surname of Scottish origins (a reduction of MacTaggart or McTaggart). In the Wing Commander film however he speaks with a French accent and says a couple of French phrases (merde and au revoir mes amis) suggesting a French upbringing, owing to actor Tchéky Karyo's French background.

The movie novelization and followup Pilgrim Truth mentions his Scottish connection on his parents heritage (although also descended from Pilgrims who returned to earth). As a rule the Telep novels are closer to the original continuity than the movie, or the Handbook, and uses dates and references from the games more directly.

As Taggart is a undercover spy of sorts, it can be assumed that he is capable of portraying different roles.

Inexplicably Taggart even wears an eye patch in Super Wing Commander, an appearance trait he does not share in any other source. If this due to an injury, or simply a fashion statement/disguise is not known.


If Paladin dies in WC1, this is his funeral speech:

"Major James Taggart, one of our most seasoned veterans, has fallen in battle with the Kilrathi foe. We will all miss Paladin's friendship, his wealth of experience and his tales of the first battles against the Kilrathi."
― Peter Halcyon
"Goodbye, Paladin. I'll try to remember what you've taught me."
― Bluehair

In Operation: Thor's Hammer this becomes:

"We now bid farewell to our comrade, Major James Taggart. His tactical knowledge has saved many lives and often thwarted the enemy. We will all miss his skill and friendship as we continue the fight that he started years ago."
Peter Halcyon
"Goodbye, Paladin. I'll never forget the help you've given me."


  • Claw Marks suggests that he was born on 2609. It is also suggested that Paladin lies about his age. This may partially have to due with his unclear past, and mixed records. Also to be able to keep himself on the flight roster..
  • The Confederation Handbook gives him an earlier birthdate, 2605.


  • In Wing Commander movie, Paladin was portrayed by Tchéky Karyo. James Taggart is Pilgrim, like the young Christopher Blair, and his presence foreshadowed the strong influence that he and Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn would have on young Blair's future career.


  1. WC 1&2 guide, pg 54, 56
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Claw Marks (Wing Commander I box package), Pilot Profiles
  3. Wing Commander Movie, Novel, pg
  4. WCM Novel, pg
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named taggart
  6. WC Movie Novel, pg
  7. Wing Commander I, McAuliffe series (Mission 3)
  8. Chris McCubbin, Official Authorized Wing Commander Confederation Handbook, Correspondence: Taggart to Tolwyn
  9. WCM Novel, pg
  10. Wing Commander I, Dakota series (Mission 3)
  11. Wing Commander I, Enyo series (Mission 1)
  12. Wing Commander I, Venice series (Mission 1)
  13. The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Carl T. LaFong
  14. Wing Commander I, Jotunheim series (Mission 2)
  15. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named film
  16. Chris McCubbin, Official Authorized Wing Commander Confederation Handbook, Correspondence: Taggart to Tolwyn
  17. Wing Commander film
  18. Wing Commander I, McAuliffe series
  19. Star*Soldier, 26
  20. WC3 novel, pg
  21. Wing Commander: Prophecy Guide, pg
  22. WC3 Novel, pg
  23. WC3: "BLAIR (cutting him off) All those missions we flew together - - you on my wing, protecting me - - "
  24. WC3 novel, pg
  25. WC4 Guide, pg
  26. WC4 Guide, 49
  27. Wing Commander I, Bifrost series (Mission 1)
  28. Wing Commander I, Bifrost series (Mission 2)
  29. Star*Soldier, 26
  30. Wing Commander I, Firekka series (Mission b1)
  31. SM2
  32. Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 4
  33. Wing Commander I, Firekka series (Mission c1)
  34. Wing Commander I, Firekka series (Mission c2)
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 10
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 9
  37. Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 11
  38. 38.0 38.1 Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi, Ghorah Khar series (Mission 2)
  39. 39.0 39.1 Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi, Tesla series (Mission 2)
  40. Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi, Ghorah Khar series (Mission 4)
  41. Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi, Novaya Kiev series (Mission 1)
  42. Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi, Novaya Kiev series (Mission L1)
  43. Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi, Tesla series (Mission 1)
  44. Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi, Tesla series (Mission 3)
  45. Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi, Pembroke series (Mission 1)
  46. Wing Commander I
  47. Wing Commander I, Border Zone series (Mission 2)
  48. Wing Commander I, Firekka series (Mission b1)