CT Generals in the Rebel Alliance

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
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    So how does the Rebel alliance's military rank system work exactly or the military ranks of the good guys in Star Wars for that matter?

    I've always thought that promotions are based on time-in-service, right? Wouldn't Lando Calrissian and Jar Jar Binks needed to have previously been Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, Captain, Major, etc etc, before being promoted to General?

    Apparently, in the Star Wars universe it doesn't take military or commanding experience for anyone to be promoted to General and being given command over an army.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Lando, at least in Episode V, just the administrator of Cloud City? And yet, in Episode VI, he is a general. Huh? How'd that happen?

    And Jar Jar Binks, well, he was even banished from the Gungan underwater city… and by the end of the movie, he's a general.

    As far as Luke goes, he is not promoted to General, but to lieutenant commander of the rebel alliance, at least according to Wikipedia. However, Luke was never in a military academy, nor did he go through any kind of military training which would've justified his being promoted or given the rank of commander. Yes, he's the hero and yadda yadda yadda, but I bet leading an army or a squad requires much more than being the hero.

    And wasn't Han promoted to general as well? I may be wrong about him, though, because I haven't watched the original trilogy in a very long time, but I am almost sure he was.


    How on Earth would these people ever be put in charge of leading troops into battle?

    Any thoughts on this?[face_laugh] Oh George…
    Last edited by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 21, 2014
  2. DarthBarrister Jedi Master

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    Jan 16, 2014
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    Well, it's a pretty informal structure, I'm sure - basically a guerrilla organization, right?. They ask Lando to lead the assault on Death Star II - they make him a general. If/when they win the war and form their own government, they maybe adopt something more formal.

    You're throwing Jar Jar into the discussion?
  3. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 12, 2014
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    Yes, because wasn't he promoted to general too? I am talking about the good guys in the SW universe, in general.
  4. DarthBarrister Jedi Master

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    Jan 16, 2014
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    That's PT and not relevant to the Rebel Alliance.
  5. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 12, 2014
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    I am talking about the good guys in general.
  6. DarthBarrister Jedi Master

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    Jan 16, 2014
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    Then maybe change your thread title?
  7. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

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  8. Beezer Force Ghost

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    Jul 5, 2013
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    Someone told Rebel leadership of his little maneuver at the Battle of Tanaab..!! :D


    But yes, the fact that a couple main characters go from zero-to-general overnight is a bit unrealistic, but given the subject matter of the films, I think we can overlook it.
  9. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
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    Unrealistic? Probably. But as DarthBarrister pointed out, the Rebel Alliance seemed like a "less formal" organization. And to put it simply: desperate times call for desperate measures. It seems like they would be constantly suffering from big losses (they *are* the little guy in this war), and would therefore need to constantly plug in some high-ranking holes. So that's why you get some pretty hasty promotions. Luke blows up a Death Star? Fine, give that kid a promotion. Han, who's been hanging around and performing military tasks suddenly is ready to sign up? **** it. Make him a General, etc……again, I'm not denying it's a little…..weird (I mean, really. Leia should've gotten that promotion over Han in ROTJ, but let's not turn this into a discussion on sexism in a GFFA). Anyway, I guess that's how I try to justify it.

    Although really, I have less problem with Luke's promotion. He pretty much saved the entire Rebellion, and they undoubtedly suffered big losses in that attack, so that one makes more sense to me. Desperate times, after all…..
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  10. CT-867-5309 Chosen One

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    Jan 5, 2011
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    Yeah, certainly not reality, but normal for movies.

    One thing to remember is that ESB is like three years after ANH, so Luke and Han had time to put in service.

    Luke is the hero of the Rebellion, he saved it from complete destruction. He's now their poster boy and has proven himself maybe their best pilot, so why wouldn't he be a commander, in charge of Rogue Squadron?

    It's clear early in ESB that Han has been working with the Rebellion. Leia calls him a "natural leader". He's one of the heroes of Yavin. That's enough for me.

    Lando is probably the most egregious. Sources vary, but it's only been about six months to a year since ESB. Lando didn't really do anything in ESB to get in too deep with the Rebels. Yeah, he helped Leia and Chewie in the end, but he also cooperated with the Empire. Running Bespin probably qualifies him for a position of command more than one might think. Being a general is all about leadership, responsibility, making decisions, etc. Lando had plenty of experience doing that, with "supply problems of every kind" and the shadow of the Empire looming over everything. Then, of course, Han told the Rebels about his little maneuver at the Battle of Tanaab. I guess they were impressed, and Han's recommendation counts for something.

    And as has been mentioned, it's a very informal and loosely organized.

    I'm cool with it.

    It's no stranger than the entire Jedi Order being instantly put in command of a Grand Army, ahead of clone troopers who have been training their entire lives for war.

    Oh yeah, Jar Jar...easily the worst example. He goes from clumsy, banished fool moments from severe punishment to general in the Gungan "grand army", all because he was hanging out with Padme and the Jedi. He's basically made a general for being an ambassador between the Naboo and the Gungans. Boss Nass wasn't particularly bright either, so that explains it, I guess
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  11. Mr. K Moderator Emeritus

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    Oct 23, 1999
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    battlefield commission. Besides, from what I can tell, the Rebel Alliance doesn't base it's command structure on standard military progression (sgt to lieutenant to capt, etc) but does so based on merit and where that individual would be most useful. I suppose the Rebels' lack of resources plays a huge part in that. If you come across someone with command experience who wants to join up- you don't place that guy down at the bottom so he can climb the ladder. You gratefully thank him for signing up and give him a commission (Ackbar being a good example). If you want a command in the Empire, you go to the academy, serve as junior officers, and work your way up.

    Jar Jar's promotion was just STOOOPID.
  12. ObiAlKenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 10, 2012
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    They were a less organized, rebellious outfit. I liken their military promotions to the Confederacy during the Civil War. Many proven leaders or important people were promoted to much higher ranks at a quicker rate than that of the Union soldiers. I even think Jeb Stuart was under thirty before he was given the commission of General. Many battlefield commissions.
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  13. Sarge Chosen One

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    Oct 4, 1998
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    Unrealistic military promotions have become a trope of scifi adventures. One of the many things I hated about Star Trek 09 was the promotion of 3rd year cadet Kirk to captain of the Federation flagship. That was as insulting as it was ridiculous.
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  14. Mr. K Moderator Emeritus

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    I was going to mention that but just got madder the more I thought of it. That's like going for a ride on Carnival Cruise; but due to a series of unfortunate events, you are awakened in your cabin and asked to take command of the ship...or going on a flight from San Francisco to Chicago and being told to go to the cockpit to pilot the plane because you played flight simulator on your old Commodore64 and your dad is Capt. Sullenberger.
  15. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    I hated that as well. It is insulting.
  16. Beezer Force Ghost

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    Jul 5, 2013
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    Ya that was ridiculous. They should have ended it with Kirk as the first officer under Pike's command (even that would have been a stretch, but theoretically plausible if Pike requested him).

    Even though you don't have to attain the rank of captain to be the captain of a vessel, they still don't generally give those commissions to cadets.
    Last edited by Beezer, Feb 24, 2014
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  17. Mr. K Moderator Emeritus

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    I would have squealed with glee if Nimoy's Spock Prime had returned with Kirk & Scotty to the Enterprise and taken command. The Cadet Kirk to Captain thing is just nuts. Everyone on the bridge would have had a legitmate right to raise billy hell and object to that, despite Captain Pike's orders- there isn't an Admiral in Starfleet that would have backed Pike up over the bridge crew saying 'hell no'. It really shouldn't make me so upset anyway- William Shatner is Kirk.

    At least in SW, the Rebellion is in dire straits and needs as many good command officers as it can find, it's a matter of desperation and pooling of resources as best you can. It's very different in SW...when an Ackbar, Dodonna, or Rieekan- or even young farmboy Luke who's rescued the Princess and destroyed the DS appears and want to help your cause- you toss that guy in the command structure and I guarantee no Rebel junior officer or soldier would complain. You thank the Force that he's there and calling the shots.
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  18. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

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    Nov 10, 2011
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    It's never really spelled out exactly what Leia's role is in the Rebellion, but she's clearly on a higher level than Han in the leadership structure, even after he's made a general.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Feb 25, 2014
  19. Yanksfan Chosen One

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    Is she though? I mean, she clearly was in ESB, that's for sure. And she *should* be in ROTJ, but it doesn't seem like she is. For instance, why didn't she know that Han was made general until he said something? Wouldn't she have been involved in that decision if that were the case? And if she's "higher up," then why is she accompanying him on his mission and taking a subordinate role in it? I mean, Han's clearly in charge of the mission right? So if she outranks him, then that doesn't really make sense. It would've made more sense for *her* to be in charge of the mission and Han volunteering to accompany her. You know?
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  20. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 28, 2001
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    Leia was high up when Mon Mothma wasn't around. But in terms of not knowing about Han, she knew he was a general now, just not that he had volunteered to lead the Endor mission. It was probably a late decision.
  21. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
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    And she volunteered to serve under Han on the Endor mission. Han has more experience with that kind of field work, so it wouldn't make sense for her to take over just because she outranks him. And it's not like either of them was going to ever formally order the other one around, anyway.

    I don't think a real life military organization would let a higher-ranking individual serve under a lower-ranking individual on a mission, but we all know how flexible and informal the Rebel Alliance is. I mean, just take a look. Luke burst into that very same classified mission briefing and straight-up interrupted the proceedings. Then everyone just kind of dispersed without any formal dismissal by the leadership. I don't think anyone was all that worried about how the strike team arrangement interfered with the official chain of command.

    I'm not even sure if Leia was a military officer.

    e: In fact, the real question is, why did they bring a babbling protocol droid along on their stealth commando mission? Obviously he ended up being the linchpin to the mission's success, but how were they to know that beforehand?
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Feb 25, 2014
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  22. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    They need someone to translate for Artoo and if there are natives on Endor, then you're going to need a Protocol Droid that is fluent in six million forms of communication.
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  23. DarthBarrister Jedi Master

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    Jan 16, 2014
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    The answer is always the Force.
  24. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

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    But it's a commando mission. Requiring stealth. You shouldn't expect to even have to interact with the natives on a stealth mission. Because you're not supposed to let anyone know you're there. Did SEAL Team Six bring a civilian translator along when they busted into Osama bin Laden's fortified compound? And I'm not talking about during the preliminary operations when they were trying to confirm he was in Abottabad. They were in a residential area in nominally friendly territory. They weren't creeping through a forest in enemy-controlled territory where they'd be killed the moment they were spotted by patrolling troops.
  25. CT-867-5309 Chosen One

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    Jan 5, 2011
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    Aren't special forces dudes expected to be well-versed in multiple languages, especially the native languages of the areas they operate in?

    I don't know anything about it, but I would be surprised if the dudes in SEAL Team Six weren't able to speak whatever the people in the area speak.

    The dudes in Zero Dark Thirty were speaking Pashto or whatever that was...though I realize that was just a movie.
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