Another new episode has aired, and that means it's time for another Pony Spotlight! My name is TheSlorg, and I'll be your pilot today. Why? Because this article is about to soar!
Or rather, it's about Soarin.
Alright, better quit while I'm ahead. Find out more about Soarin below the break!
Aliases: Soarin', Clipper
Cutie Mark: A lightning strike between two waves in a heart shape
Appearances: 13 episodes
First Appearance: The Ticket Master
Speaking Roles: Plenty!
Random Fact: Soarin is named after Amy Keating Rodgers' son, Soren.
Soarin began as Soarin'. Just sayin', but he's not a Saiyan, despite that stylin' mane.
Yeah enough of that. Soarin did originally have an apostrophe in his name, but it has been dropped over time. He also started out as just a figment of Rainbow Dash's imagination–kind of. His first appearance was in season one's The Ticket Master, where he showed up in Rainbow's daydream about attending the Grand Galloping Gala and watching the Wonderbolts.
Back then we didn't have anything to go on other than the idea that the Wonderbolts seemed to basically be the Equestrian version of the Blue Angels. He was just one of a group of Wonderbolts in Rainbow Dash's mind. But in the episode Sonic Rainboom, Soarin turns out to be one of three celebrity judges for the Best Young Flyer's Competition which Rainbow Dash and Rarity entered. He eventually gets knocked out by Rarity when her wings evaporate and she plummets to her doom. Soarin and Rarity are both saved by Rainbow Dash when she performs a sonic rainboom in time to save them all from hitting the ground.
None of that gives us any clues as to Soarin's personality, though. We know he's a celebrity, and he's high enough rank to be one of the judges, but that's about it. We also know he's brave enough to try to save Rarity, though that trait could be attributed to any Wonderbolt. It wouldn't be until The Best Night Ever that we would get a real glimpse at Soarin's personality.
In The Best Night Ever, Soarin is the first pony to purchase any of Applejack's baked goods when he buys a big apple pie. A moment later, Spitfire chuckles and comments that Soarin is always hungry after a big show. Soarin agrees, but drops his pie. After a quick save by Rainbow Dash, Soarin offers up a thank you. All we can really gather from this is that he eats a lot after shows, and is humble enough to offer thanks when necessary. At least he's not a stuck up celebrity!
Throughout the rest of the night, Soarin is busy socializing and doing celebrity photos, much to Rainbow Dash's dismay. Not really his fault, though. He does at least try to speak with Rainbow, but is literally pulled away to do other things.
Soarin didn't appear much in season two, and didn't show up at all in season three. In the season two finale, A Canterlot Wedding part 2, there is a brief moment at the end that establishes that he was in attendance for Cadance and Shining Armor's wedding, and shared a dance with Rainbow Dash. His rank is also shown as a commander in the Wonderbolts, and we'd later find out he is second-in-command beneath Spitfire.
His next prominent appearance was in season four's Rainbow Falls. When the Wonderbolts show up for the Equestria Games qualifiers, he sees Rainbow Dash and says that it's nice to see some real competition there, solidifying him as a 'nice guy.' Later, though, he is distracted by a couple of cheerleader ponies as he's practicing, and ends up clipping his wing on one of the obstacles. He plummets from the sky only to once again be saved by Rainbow Dash. Unfortunately, his wing is either broken or dislocated, and he's carted away, but not before saying that Rainbow Dash is the best for saving him.
Sadly, it seems that despite his rank, ability, and friendliness, he doesn't really have any good friends among the Wonderbolts. He seems to envy Rainbow Dash, telling her that she has really nice friends, and revealing that nopony has been by to visit him at all. Even worse, we discover that his wing is good enough to fly, but the Wonderbolts haven't asked him to return, instead opting to replace him with Rainbow Dash because she's a faster flyer. Despite this double-cross, Soarin is quick to forgive and helps lead the Wonderbolts to an easy qualification, then cheers on Rainbow Dash and Ponyville as they do the same.
He shows up again later in Equestria Games as he helps Cloudsdale rack up the medals. He shows his courage again when he's among the pegasi who attempt to keep an ice cloud from crushing the ponies below, before Spike finally melts it with his flame breath.
Soarin is also among the pegasi who lead a direct assault on Lord Tirek in the season four finale, but ultimately has his flight (temporarily) stolen from him.
Soarin's next major appearance was in season five's Rarity Investigates! where he takes charge of the Wonderbolts in Spitfire's absence. When Rainbow tells Rarity that she's not sure who she'd be talking to if Rarity weren't there, Soarin arrives and says that she'd be talking to him. This is likely just because he has to inform her that Spitfire is missing, but it wouldn't be any stretch at all to imagine Soarin taking a moment to have a chat with Rainbow even if Spitfire were there, given their history and his clear admiration for her.
Things weren't all roses, however, and Soarin knows when to put friendship and admiration aside. When Rainbow is suspected of intentionally getting Spitfire out of the Wonderbolts show so she could take her place, Soarin warns her that if she's found guilty, he'd have no choice but to ban her from the Wonderbolts forever. He does, however, stipulate that if she can prove her innocence, she can still fly with them. Once Wind Rider is discovered to have been the one to frame Rainbow, Soarin angrily declares that Wonderbolts look out for each other, and is disgusted by Wind Rider's actions.
His last big appearance was the most recent episode, season six's Newbie Dash. He is one of two Wonderbolts who nearly crash into Rainbow Dash when she forgets rule number one: to always look both ways before crossing the runway. Nevertheless, his first concern is to ask Rainbow if she's okay. What a stand-up guy! Admittedly, he does chuckle when somepony calls her 'Rainbow Crash,' but as we later see, this is just how the Wonderbolts roll, and is not meant to be mean-spirited.
During the training montage, we see Rainbow nearly crash into Soarin again, to the point where he has to call out, "Check your nine, Crash!" Again, not mean-spirited, but meant to keep her focused and performing at her best. We later find out that every Wonderbolt has a nickname, and Soarin's is Clipper, earned after clipping his wing on a flag pole his first day as a Wonderbolt. This, combined with his accident during the Equestria Games qualifier, and dropped pie, could be evidence that Soarin is quite accident-prone. At the very least, he's a little clumsy sometimes. Clumsy or not, he further strengthens his role as a 'nice guy' when he's the first to tell Rainbow that despite her screw ups, she's the most talented flyer they've ever had in the Wonderbolts.
Note: Just click the link for a whole list of fics featuring Soarin here on EQD.