Rogue One, A Star Wars Commando Tale of Combined Arms Warfare

WW2 Combined Arms Insignia


Author’s Note: Some spoilers ahead.

Amanda and I just saw Rogue One, we both greatly enjoyed it. I thought that this was a good way to mark the first week of 2017 ending. Furthermore, I thought this was a brilliant war film, and above all it was a good commando movie. However, it had a rougher ending than most commando movies.

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The Guns of Navarone (1961), is a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Alistair MacLean. This movie introduced me to the world of war movies, and especially commando movies. In The Guns of Navarone, this team of commandos is on a suicide mission to destroy two powerful pieces of artillery that are preventing naval operations to be successful in the Aegean Sea.


In Rogue One, the commando team from the Rebel Alliance is tasked with obtaining the Death Star plans from a fortress guarded by a large garrison. Like the commando team in Guns of Navarone they use guile and deception to achieve their objectives. This is also a throwback to the original Star Wars (1977).


These two movies are full of combined arms warfare. What is combined arms warfare? Read this piece here on Combined Arms. In a nutshell it is the complete engagement of a foe or objective with multiple arms or type forces: land, air, and sea. In the World War II setting of Guns of Navarone, the concept of combined arms warfare was being developed by Nazi Germany and it was refined by the Allied powers.

Red Army armor and infantry working together in combined arms warfare in World War II, possibly at Kursk in 1943.

In this Star Wars tale, the Rebel Alliance makes the best use of combined arms during their command raid. Their spaceborne fleet, starfighters, and their spacemobile commando force are an example of a combined arms task force fighting a numerically superior but overconfident foe. The imperials counterattack and use combined arms warfare as well.

The Rebel Fleet is engaging the Imperial Star Destroyers head on reminiscent of the Battle of The Jutland. 
The core of the rebel commando unit.
Rebel forces under fire.

Rogue One was pretty much the Rebel Alliance’s equvialent to The Shot Heard Around The World.


Bohdi in some ways was a Paul Revere alongside with the Jyn Erso’s father. They were warning that the Imperials were coming with a powerful weapon. Erso and her companions were sent on a suicide mission that gave the rebels a turning point at a later date.

El Alamein was the turning point in World War II in the European theatre. The film Sahara (1943) features Humphrey Bogart at the ending exclaiming the news of the victory at El Alamein. This is a tale of the prelude to the Rebel Alliance’s El Alamein: the destruction of the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin.

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