Lieutenant Dwayne Hunter
Dwayne is a quiet, self-contained guy with a very good sense of
humor who loves fishing, sports, and serving his country. He is also
the Earth's last line of defense as pilot of the BGY-11 "Big Guy".
The crushing responsibility just makes Dwayne a little more sardonic --
or so it seems. But inside the Big Guy, talking to himself, Dwayne is
not always quite as cool and calm as he might wish to seem....
Lieutenant Dwayne Hunter was a military pilot -- a bomber pilot from the picture of him and Harley Griffin (118), his best friend and wingman, in front of the "Thompson Tornado". But more than ten years ago, he was assigned along with Harley Griffin and others to help design the Earth's promised new defense craft. Harley quit in disgust when the project decided on a robot instead of something human-directed, but Dwayne stayed, since it was his duty. Ironically Dwayne later became the BGY-11's "Human Factor".
Lieutenant Hunter not only pilots the Big Guy, but also comes up with all the Big Guy's battle banter. At the same time, he is often sardonically commenting on the situation to himself, Dr. Slate, or the Pit Crew. But in public he is closemouthed to an extreme, partly because he has to keep the Big Guy's secret and partly because he really doesn't spend much time off-duty.
Lieutenant Hunter has spent most of his adult life piloting Big Guy, so when the program ended, he had no idea what he was going to do (101). He suffered from the same thing again (but worse) when Big Guy was taken away by Po the Annihilator (120).
We don't know much about the lieutenant's past or his family, except that he has only one sister, the redheaded and hard-to-faze Darlene, and a nephew (her son) called Jeffy (104). He is obviously very fond of them both. Darlene thinks that Dwayne should marry, settle down, and have kids of his own, but Dwayne feels that his job makes this impossible.
Dwayne is very close to his Pit Crew, with whom he lives and works in the hangar and bunkroom on the Dark Horse. Garth, his second-in-command, is steady, dependable, and the most concerned about people's feelings. Jo tends to see the bright side. Mack makes the wisecracks and pessimistic remarks. They all call him Dwayne, and rank and protocol are of very little concern in their little circle. But if you save the Earth every few weeks, nobody's gonna complain, are they?
Dwayne initially was unimpressed by Rusty and resented him for taking his job away, but when Dwayne realized that inside Rusty really was just a little kid with all a child's fears -- and when Rusty was brave and clever enough to persuade Argo to take something that would destroy him, even as Rusty himself was malfunctioning severely -- Dwayne gained respect and affection for his small partner (102). Dwayne was more touched still when Rusty learned to like him as well as the Big Guy (104), and when Rusty saved his life (110). Dwayne regards Rusty as a son, and would do anything to protect or help him. Still, it is sometimes trying for Dwayne to have to depend on a little kid when so much is on the line. He trusts Rusty to get it right; it would just be nice if Rusty could get it right the first time.
Dwayne appears to be rather sweet on Dr. Slate, and the feistier she gets, the more he seems to be attracted. He also seems to be rather touched to have somebody worry about him, and of course their shared love for Rusty creates a bond. But he's shy. He calls her Slate or Doc instead of Erika. When at their first meeting Dwayne seems to be coming on to her (103), when he looks at her gasping for breath with such concern and fear (109), and when he positively glows upon seeing her come to visit him (110), one sees a pattern. When Dwayne goes on "It's not a date!" with Erika, he is at first very embarrassed, but after Erika tells off Dr. Donovan (much to Dwayne's enjoyment), he warms up to her and dances happily, albeit with his fingers barely touching her back and her hand held away from his shoulder (115). This seems to mark a turning point for him, as he begins to flirt gently with Slate on nearly every ep afterward.
The biggest question about Dwayne and his world is what service he is in. We see Dwayne wearing both Army and Air Force-type uniforms. It is my belief that in Dwayne's world the US Air Force is still a corps of the US Army. This seems to be represented by the service flag in Thorton's office next to the US flag.
Dwayne has been in the service more than ten years and yet he is still a lieutenant -- at least to all appearances. I believe that if Dwayne quit the service or the BGY-11 Program ended permanently, Dwayne would retroactively be given a higher rank, with all pay and such included. I mean, sheesh, he ought to be a captain or major at least, given that he's saved humanity and all.
Translated from Columbia Tristar's Spanish-language site. This appears to have elements of the comic as well as the series (the multiple BGY-11's of 'Company B', that is).
The human pilot of Big Guy, Dwayne is Rusty's permanent mentor. In his 30 years, Dwayne has flown since his adolescence -- one of those "natural-born" pilots. A career military man, he is an ex-test pilot, veteran of the the Earth War of '99 and one of the original pilots of the BGY-11 program. Dwayne is around 30 years old, has graying hair and is somewhat bitter -- without a doubt because of what he did (or didn't do) with the Big Guy program. When you see him, he is a man without motive, reason or objective who feels like a man without a country; he is always a man with a GREAT secret, who guards it under oath. So, he is an unknown hero of a great war known for its...heroes. If Big Guy comes to be a robust version of John Wayne; Dwayne is Clint Eastwood: a man of few words -- but words that count. Dwayne comports himself with the formal conduct that would be expected of an ex-soldier, and still maintains the fundamental military values of such. He cannot be a rocket scientist like Slate, but he is self-taught in many fields, including computer science.
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