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CT Imperial rank scructure and insignia

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by dazin5, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. dazin5

    dazin5 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 20, 2021
    Is there any authoritative description of the imperial rank titles and their insignia in SW? I would imagine that they broadly correspond to real world military ranks, but some accounts place 'commander' above 'captain', which doesn't seem right as it wouldn't be the case in any real world naval force. Also what about the Stormtroopers? Do their rank structures correspond to real world army (or perhaps marines) ranks? Some stormtrooper officers are addressed as 'commander' but whether that is a formal rank is unclear. In the real world there are Commanders in the Navy but not the army, where the equivalent rank is Lieutenant-Colonel.

    Do they have identifying indicators of rank when in armour? The coloured shoulder pads sometimes seen don't seem to give away much. I wondered if stormtrooper armour might have some device built in that identifies rank to other imperials but that is not visible on the surface. There's one point where a scout trooper addresses another as 'sir' and salutes, indicating that the latter is an officer, even though there is no difference in their costume, as far as I can notice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  2. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
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  3. dazin5

    dazin5 Jedi Youngling star 1

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    Feb 20, 2021
    Cheers. Dash it. I can't deal with commanders being above captains. In my imaginary version the ranks are the same as they are in the Royal Navy, since they all have British accents anyway.
     
  4. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Think of it as merged services - with "captain" being the army version, but Commander being the navy version.
     
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  5. dazin5

    dazin5 Jedi Youngling star 1

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    Feb 20, 2021
    They seem to have a separate army and navy, though, (since they have both generals and admirals), and the stormtroopers seem more or less equivalent to marines, at least initially.
     
  6. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Starfighter crew, at least, are a good example of "Navy, but with Generals" - at least in the Legendsverse.

    "Captain" as a post being separate from "Captain" as a rank - you can have the rank of lieutenant, but be in command of a ship and always be addressed as "Captain" while on it.
     
  7. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 14, 2018
    Right, and "Major" is just above "Captain", as it is in real-world armies. The naval-style "Commander" title essentially takes the place of the real-world "Lieutenant Colonel" army rank.

    IIRC these titles were created by the SW/ESB costume designer, John Mollo, who was also a historian of military uniforms.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  8. SheaHublin

    SheaHublin Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Just to note, a lot of John Mollo's personal documents from ANH and ESB came up for sale in 2018, some of which (at least, to my knowledge) still have not been publicly shared, and which shed a lot of light on the Rank Insignias and Imperial Uniforms in general, among other topics. They had quite a few (but not all) on display and high-rez images posted online, many of which are easily Googleable. They provide quite a revealing glimpse at the thoughts that went into the various designs and their purposes.

    Anyway, the ANH system was discarded for ESB, and ROTJ in turn had a costuming "blooper" that had all of the Imperials with the same insignia. The insignias from ROTJ have been disregarded as a result, but the single-row insignias from ANH have been featured in the EU, sometimes alongside the much more common ESB style of badges. Additionally, EU sources also have the ESB style badges existing before and after 0BBY. So, both styles are canonical within the EU, though the result is a bit ungainly. There is a fairly simple solution, though: single-row badges are worn by staff officers, double row badges by line/field officers. The EU (per WEG and other sources) clearly indicated that both classifications of Imperial officers existed, and every single single-row badge wearing Imperial from ANH has either explicitly been identified as a staff officer or cannot be ruled out from being one.
     
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  9. Darth Chuck Norris

    Darth Chuck Norris Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 13, 2014
  10. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Those don't always match what's been established in the newcanon. Pryce is a Governor, but wears the proposed Grand Moff chest insignia despite reporting to Tarkin (but with only 2 cylinders rather than Tarkin's 4):


    [​IMG]

    and Kassius Konstantine wears the proposed "fleet admiral" insignia with four cylinders, despite the fact the the chart doesn't have a "6x2 insignia, all red and blue, and 4 cylinders" option.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021 at 10:34 AM
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