So, facing that, the Alliance took anybody they could, including gamblers, thieves and smugglers. And we're not even surprised Luke wound up leading the mission to take down the Death Star in the first film -- he had the Force, why not give him a shot? It wasn't like they had any better ideas.
So What's the Problem?
What doesn't make sense, however, is taking these scruffy new recruits and immediately promoting them to the rank of general. And it happens twice.
"Nothing keeps the troops happy like Colt 45."
In Return of the Jedi, before the attack on the second Death Star, we learned that the Alliance named Lando Calrissian a general for his efforts during the battle of Taanab. We don't know what happened, but whatever it was, it was clearly enough to make everybody forget that he completely betrayed Luke, Han and Leia by hand-delivering them to Darth Vader. Lando later explains that he did it because he was afraid of the Empire, but he still believes in the rebel cause and shows it by helping to rescue Han and Leia. Still, how can they be sure he won't do the same thing again later? He isn't just trusted with a ship in the battle, he is leading the fleet in a critical attack.
His co-pilot is just some alien who wandered in off the street.
But treason aside, what qualifications does he have to be a general, and leapfrog who knows how many more senior officers? It's possible that he has a previous military career we've never seen, or that through his political power he was able to swing an officer job. Fine, we are willing to accept that his rise to a high rank in the military was left on the cutting room floor. But then they declared Han Solo a general as well.
We can't pretend that Han led some incredible military campaign off-camera like Lando. Before A New Hope, he wasn't a soldier at all. He wasn't even the leader of a gang or anything. He was just cruising around doing illegal shit with teen wolf riding shotgun. He has never been trained in military tactics. Hell, he has never been through any kind of basic training. It's true that in The Empire Strikes Back they are calling him captain, so that means he rose to that rank in the three short years since A New Hope.
C-3PO made rear admiral, while R2 was promoted to field marshal.
But between the second and third films, what let him take the massive leap to general that most military men spend 30-plus years striving for? Don't say he accomplished some amazing feat of strategy we didn't see -- he was frozen in carbonite the whole time.
We're guessing it's more likely that he got the job because Leia didn't want to date a smuggler after the war was over, but if Han Solo can get that far ahead in the Rebel Alliance based solely on who he knows, does the Alliance really have any standards at all? At least the Empire picked a guy they knew was skilled before they cloned him hundreds of thousands of times, not just someone's buddy.
It's easy to win promotions when you're boning the head of state.
Davidb Marchetti is a horrible playwright for The Contemporary Theater Company. The b is not a typo for some reason.
For more fictional head-scratchers, check out The 11 Most Retarded Fictional Weapons and 8 Famous Fictional Archaeologists Who Suck At Their Job.
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