|Date of birth:||2609|
|First Appeared:||Wing Commander I|
In the fictional universe of Wing Commander, James Taggart is one of the most important characters, with the callsign of "Paladin." He appears 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) and a Senator (Wing Commander IV and Wing Commander: Prophecy). He also has significant appearances in many of the Wing Commander novels by Mercedes Lackey, Ellen Guon and William Forstchen.
In the Wing Commander series, Paladin usually plays the part of the sage old man. At the beginning of the Kilrathi War he was still a young man, however, by the time of WC1, he was middle aged and considering retirement. Sometime between Wing Commander I and Wing Commander II, Taggert retired from active duty. However, rather than leave military life for good, he transferred to Special Operations to work as a spy and under cover operative for the Confederation. 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.
Paladin played a big part in Wing Commander II, advising Admiral Tolwyn on the situation within the Enigma Sector. After the attack on K'tithrak Mang, Christopher "Maverick" Blair, the game's protagonist, joins Paladin to participate in a number of special operations.
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, 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. 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.