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People keep insisting on real world equivalents, but why must the Imperial Navy adhere to the USN rank system and not, say, the Polish Navy, where Komandor OF-5 ranks above Kapitan marynarki OF-2? 207.6.245.44 05:32, April 6, 2010 (UTC)

This article could be rewritten to cover the rank and title of Commander in various militaries. --Imp 18:32, 15 Jul 2005 (UTC)

  • Yes, thats what it should be about. -- Riffsyphon1024 18:41, 15 Jul 2005 (UTC)
    • Where does commander officially fall between in Starfighter corps? --User:SFH
      • Just to be confusing, it has several distinct meanings: as a substitute for Brigadier/Commodore in some arms of the military; as an alternative for Lt.-Colonel and/or Major; as a generic title for an officer in command of something. It's probably the messiest term in SW, but you can draw parallels to a variety of different real-world military ranks using 'Commander', etc., and also to French ranks in chef de. McEwok 03:09, 11 Aug 2005 (UTC)

Replaced by Major/Lt. ColonelEdit

  • Where does it indicate that Commander was replaced by Major and Lt. Colonel? -- SFH 05:00, 15 Jan 2006 (UTC)
  • Well, Lt. Col. appears in the later NJO, and the "Commander" ranks have disappeared - changed it to make it a bit clearer... --McEwok 04:29, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm not making myself clear, am I? My point is that I've found no earlier references to any Lieutenant Colonels in Starfighter Command, Rebel, NR or Imperial; Major to Lt. Col. is a perfectly standard promotion, up one rank - what's new is that there's a Lt. Col. rank of any sort, and there are now no reference any more to any "Commander" rank. The ranks have been brought into line with USAF practice, when before they seemed to be something a little different... --McEwok
  • Good point. Brain fart on my part. Do you have a full list? IIRC, they're rather odd, the XWA ranks... and they definately don't bind perfectly with the ranks used in the novels. --McEwok 12:01, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Equivalence w/ CommodoreEdit

The Imperial Navy rank of Commander is unambiguously treated as equivalent to a Commodore on more than one occasion.

Would it be possible to provide examples of these occasions? Stating that evidence exists is not the same as offering evidence.

  • There is a throwaway line in The Bacta War which refers to a Commander being higher than a Captain by virtue of his rank badges. However, other sources debunk this idea. We know there is a distinct rank of Commodore in the Empire from the mention of a Commodor Bevven who commander the Imperial Navy forces at the Battle of Picutorion in The Imperial Sourcebook.
Further, we have the distinction of two Commanders being subordinate to Captain Piett (who is Captain by rank not courtesy). Commander Gherant, who was in charge of security aboard the Executor, and Commander Brandei who was in charge of overseeing the Executor's TIE sqadrons and making sure they were battle ready, ref. Decipher. Why would two "Commodores" is that is indeed what Commanders are be placed in a position subordinate to a Captain? Further more Commander Brandei was transferred to the ISD Judicator and was later promoted to Captain (rank not courtesy title) of that ship. How can a Commodore be promoted to Captain? No. Commanders are not the equivilant of COmmodore, they have their own distinct rank, Commander is the same in the Imperial Navy as it is in the USN. Above lieutenant Commander and below Captain. --Jerry 17:24, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Okay.
1.) It's not a "throwaway line"; it's an explicit, canonical statement. Convarion is identified by his insignia as "a Commander, not a mere Captain". There is no source that "debunks" this, no other explicit statement to compare with it.
2.) Other examples of Commanders outranking Captains include Commander Pter Thanas, senior Navy officer at Bakura, who outranks Captain Jamer of the Dominant, and Commander Demming of the Reprisal, who outranks Captain Sankaran in Empire #35. Commander Kratas of the Gorgon is at least implicitly senior to the Captains of the other Star Destroyers at the Maw.
3.) The Imperial Sourcebook gives "Commodore" as a synonym for Systems Admiral, a grade of command between Admiral and Fleet Admiral within a Sector Group: I think this has to be read as a title rather than a permanent rank, and it certainly isn't immediately "above" Captain. A New Republic title of Commodore, distinct from the definate NR rank of commodore, is also known - for instance, General Han Solo is known as "(the) Commodore" when he takes command of the Fifth Fleet in Shield of Lies.
4.) There is no explicit evidence whatsoever to say that the Imperial Navy follows the real-life USN/RN system; nor is there any automatic reason to assume that they should.
5.) There are various ways to explain Gherant and Brandei. For one thing, Gherant is only seen in RotJ, and the image used for Brandei is an officer aboard the Avenger, not the Executor. We can explain them being called "Commander" in at least two ways: there is evidence for officers ranging in rank from Lieutenant to General being addressed vaguely as "Commander", or you could make a case that the cards use an "alternative translation" from Basic that conforms to our USN/RN ranks: there's also a Lieutenant Commander Ardan in CCG, who is actually seen aboard Executor in ESB. Gherant has a Captain's badge (like Ardan in ESB, and like Piett and the officer the card game calls Admiral Chiraneau in RotJ); but Brandei, as a fighter ops officer, could use Army-style ranks... where Commander seems to rank between Captain and Major.

Of course, if you have any further thoughts, feel free to add them here! --McEwok 15:24, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

  • On Kratas, I would like to point out that Gorgon was Admiral Daala's flagship, and as Daala was the senior officer, it would seem that Kratas' functions could have been more like that of an Executive officer, charged with the minute to minute affairs, while senior power would be held with Daala. However, I could be totally wrong about this. -- SFH 20:15, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Things That Make Me WonderEdit

The universe is a magical place, full of wondrous things. I'd like to take this opportunity to list some of those things.

Things that make me wonder:

I wonder why it is that the brief remark that Cdr. Ait Convarion is "a Commander, not a mere Captain" in The Bacta War is "an explicit, canonical statement," but the fact that Cdr. Gherant was called a "deck officer" who was "hand-picked by Captain Piett" isn't.

I wonder why it is that Pter Thanas is being treated as a case of a commander-qua-commodore, when he was demoted to "commander" by a colonel (who is inferior in rank to a commodore). I wonder why it is that McEwok is comfortable with the ridiculous assumption that a gunner aboard a Star Destroyer in "Model Officer" would be a post captain, and not a gun captain. I wonder why it is that he's also comfortable with assuming that a commander aboard a flagship must be senior to post captains because he happens to be the flag captain.

I wonder why McEwok is so quick to point out that commodore can be both a rank and a title (which is authentic naval practice), but that he doesn't point out at the same time that commander is also both a rank and a title, and that Imperial officers who are not commanders-by-rank (like, oh, say General Tagge or Moff Jerjerrod) have been verbally addressed and referred to as "Commander." I wonder why he doesn't acknowledge the fact that there is no evidence that Com. Bevven (Imperial Sourcebook 2nd Ed.), Com. Zuggs (Rebellion, Lost City of the Jedi), Com. Soleric (Pirates & Privateers), or Com. Dane Tizzin (Stock Ships) are courtesy commodores.

I wonder why we shouldn't assume that the Imperial Navy follows the Anglo-American rank scheme when we've seen Imperial officers with the ranks of ensign, lieutenant, lieutenant commander, commander, captain, commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral, admiral, and fleet admiral. I suppose this is because this system is so radically different from the Anglo-American rank scheme, which uses the completely different ranks of ensign, lieutenant, lieutenant commander, commander, captain, commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral, admiral, and admiral of the fleet/fleet admiral.

I wonder why it is that McEwok thinks that hand-waving and vague complaints of visual inconsistency is evidence that Cdr. Gherant and Cdr. Brandei aren't inferior in rank to post captains. I wonder furthermore why he's comfortable with assuming inconsistent 'translation' that would render the rank as an Anglo-American commander-by-rank, but still insists that the rank does not occur as the rank immediately inferior to post captain. . . which is precisely what it is if it's an "alternative translation from Basic that conforms to our USN/RN ranks." This does not, of course, contradict his claim that "there is no explicit evidence whatsoever to say that the Imperial Navy follows the real-life USN/RN system; nor is there any automatic reason to assume that they should."

I wonder why it is that Cdr. Nemet was identified in the Dagobah Expansion Set as the logistics officer of the Avenger, which would of course make him subordinate to Capt. Lorth Needa, who was a 'mere' post captain. I wonder why Cdr. Desanne was relegated to being a boat officer for dignitaries and high-ranking leaders in the Cloud City Expansion Set, if he's actually a broad-pennant. I wonder why Cdr. Brandei was promoted to captain after the Battle of Endor (according to the Dark Force Rising Sourcebook) if he already outranked mere post captains. I wonder why Cdr. Rosk was navigator and Cdr. Toniv was executive officer of a ship commanded by Capt. Soontir Fel in The Hutt Gambit if they were both broad-pennants superior in rank to their own commanding officer. I wonder why Capt. Redlo Dovlis's XO is also a commander in the same book. I wonder why Maarek Stele was promoted to commander before he was promoted to colonel in The Stele Chronicles, when colonel is equal in rank to a post captain, and therefore inferior in rank to a broad-pennant.

Really, I wonder why there are so many commanders in positions that are clearly and unambiguously inferior to captains, when the rank of commander is, after all, clearly equal to that of commodore.

In fact, since commander is equal to commodore, I wonder why it is that LCdr. Ardan was command duty officer of the Executor in the Dagobah Expansion Set, when he should obviously be some sort of 'vice commodore,' since there's no such rank as that silly, unprecedented Anglo-American rank of commander just below the rank of post captain.


So you're the guy who does Domus Publica? [1] Well, I've always respected and enjoyed your work, and you raiase some good points in there... so here's my response:

  • I wonder why it is that the brief remark that Cdr. Ait Convarion is "a Commander, not a mere Captain" in The Bacta War is "an explicit, canonical statement," but the fact that Cdr. Gherant was called a "deck officer" who was "hand-picked by Captain Piett" isn't.
It's quite simple. I think we both agree that Captain and Commander can be generic titles as well as specific positions in the chain of command, yes? Now the Convarion statement concerns the relative positions of "Captain" and "Commander" as indicated by rank badges, and shows that Commander is higher, although officers holding the rank-badge position of Commander can still be addressed as Captain if they're capital-ship commanding officers. The Gherant statement, on the other hand, shows that an officer styled "Commander" (whatever that means in this context) can operate beneath the "Captain" of a Super Star Destroyer; but we know that Gherant wears "Captain" insignia....
OOU, the CCG people probably were thinking in terms of Anglo-American ranks, but as we have them two statements aren't directly contradictory. The Bacta War shows that a Commander is above a Captain, as indicated by a different insignia, but CCG shows that lower-ranking officers, at least some of whom bear the same insignia as Captains, can also be addressed as "Commander" in some circumstances. These statements can be reconciled one of three ways: 1.) the rank system changed at some point; 2.) different "translations" are being used; 3.) the lower-ranking "commander" conforms to the well-attested pattern of addressng/styling officers as "Commander" while holding ranks (and wearing appropriate insignia) ranging from Lieutenant to General.
  • I wonder why it is that Pter Thanas is being treated as a case of a commander-qua-commodore, when he was demoted to "commander" by a colonel (who is inferior in rank to a commodore).
Good question. I've not yet got round to rereading TTaB (any chance of a page/chapter ref.?), but off the cuff, one possible answer is that a title of "Colonel" (more specifically, High Colonel) may perhaps be borne by officers of higher substantive rank. Another possible solution is that Tyers was treating the entire Imperial Sourcebook rank hierarchy as a single scheme. A third option is that "Captain" and "Commander" indicate positional postings rather than actual substantive ranks. Regardless, Commander Thanas outranks the Captain of the Dominant - does the book they say anything about their rank badges?
  • I wonder why it is that McEwok is comfortable with the ridiculous assumption that a gunner aboard a Star Destroyer in "Model Officer" would be a post captain, and not a gun captain.
I don't see this as entirely ridiculous, given that the first officer of Majestic in the BFC holds the rank of Captain. The most significant thing here is that Demmings, with the insignia and title of Commander, is clearly commanding the Reprisal, is also addressed as "Captain", and outranks Captain Sankaran, who carries the classic "captain" insignia, and is the next-most-senior officer seen. Commander Demmings is a senior officer, in other words - but while we're on the terminology, what's your reason for phrasing the discussion in terms of "post captain" and "gun captain"...?
One thing I do concede is that Sankaran doesn't need to be a Navy officer: he could potentially be an "Army" captain, which means that we can't hold up as A Model Officer as a definite example of a Commander-above-Captain Navy hierarchy; however, such a hierarchy definately fits with the evience of this story, and it does not offer any reason to countermand the implications of the Convarion reference.
This leads onto a question: what sort of position is Sankaran in? He seems to be supervising the gunners, and is probably the ship's gunnery officer, but we don't see any absolutely clear-cut reference: Demmings says "I commend your gunnery crew, Captain Sankaran", which shows that Sankaran has authority over the gunnery crew, but leaves open the possibility that his position is not limited to gunnery; later, he says "I ordered precision fire, Gunners! What happened?" - and Sankaran answers the question, but he wasn't necessarily addressed in the preceding exclamation directed to the Gunners. Options for Sankaran are various: the actual Captain of the ship under Demmings, the XO with the rank of Captain; some lower-ranking grade of Navy captain than Line Captain; an "Army" captain.
As it stands, what we can take from A Model Officer is this: Commander Demmings, Captain of the Reprisal with the same insignia and titles as Commander Convarion, Captain of the Corruptor, is evidently a senior officer - he is the Captain of a Star Destroyer, and replaced a Moff on his assignment on Tiss'sharl; he is not likely to rank below Line Captain, and he outranks Captain Sankaran, who weaers the insignia of a Captain, and is the next-most-senior officer seen aboard his command, and who may well - but doesn't necessarily - hold some sort of Captain rank in the Navy.
  • I wonder why it is that he's also comfortable with assuming that a commander aboard a flagship must be senior to post captains because he happens to be the flag captain.
Well, for one thing, I'm not assuming a rank equivalent to "post captain", as the only canon terms I know are "Captain" and "Captain of the Line/Line Captain"; nevertheless, I concede that Kratas may be a relatively weak element in the argument... unless there's evidence to indicate his insignia, or evidence that he outranks the other Star Destroyer captains, that is? Is he ever called Daala's second-in-command or is there any description of his rank insignia?
  • I wonder why McEwok is so quick to point out that commodore can be both a rank and a title (which is authentic naval practice), but that he doesn't point out at the same time that commander is also both a rank and a title, and that Imperial officers who are not commanders-by-rank (like, oh, say General Tagge or Moff Jerjerrod) have been verbally addressed and referred to as "Commander."
I took it as read that there is a generic title of commander, actually; what there isn't direct evidence for is a specific rank of Commander below Captain, whereas there is direct evidence for a specific insignia and title of Commander ranking above Captain. We can actually account for all lower-ranking officers called "Commander" by use of the generic title, although I don't exclude possibilities like of a change in the rank system over time, or alternative translations of the same titles, or a difference between a positional Commander-Captain-Lieutenant hierarchy and the actual rank structure, or by the presence aboard Navy ships of flight officers and other personnel with Army-style ranks.
  • I wonder why he doesn't acknowledge the fact that there is no evidence that Com. Bevven (Imperial Sourcebook 2nd Ed.), Com. Zuggs (Rebellion, Lost City of the Jedi), Com. Soleric (Pirates & Privateers), or Com. Dane Tizzin (Stock Ships) are courtesy commodores.
The only Imperial position of Commodore that we know of is as an alternate title for Systems Admiral, and there's no evidence that these men aren't of this rank. There is also, dare I labour the point, explicit evidence that Commander is above Captain in the Navy....
  • I wonder why we shouldn't assume that the Imperial Navy follows the Anglo-American rank scheme when we've seen Imperial officers with the ranks of ensign, lieutenant, lieutenant commander, commander, captain, commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral, admiral, and fleet admiral. I suppose this is because this system is so radically different from the Anglo-American rank scheme, which uses the completely different ranks of ensign, lieutenant, lieutenant commander, commander, captain, commodore, rear admiral, vice admiral, admiral, and admiral of the fleet/fleet admiral.
The primary reason we shouldn't assume that the Imperial Navy follows the Anglo-American system is an explicit, canon reference to Commanders outranking Captains. We could also note explicit references to non-Anglo-American ranks of Captain of the Line and Grand Admiral. We could also note the fact that, far from sitting above Rear-Admiral, Vice-Admiral and Admiral, "Fleet Admiral" sits within a Sector Group hierarchy of Admiral, Systems Admiral/Commodore, Fleet Admiral, High Admiral. We could also note that while the Rear Admiral - Vice Admiral - Admiral hierarchy is almost universal in real-life naval services, the ranks of Lieutenant, Commander, Captain, and Commodore, while very widespread, are and have been used in very different ways in different navies.
What you're doing is taking the stated Imperial ranks and lining them up alongside the Anglo-American system; certainly, you can show a number of parallels, but there are also serious exceptions: you can't dismiss these exceptions just because they don't fit. There is no reason to assume that the Empire uses the Anglo-American system, or even a simplistically modified variation thereoff...
  • I wonder why it is that McEwok thinks that hand-waving and vague complaints of visual inconsistency is evidence that Cdr. Gherant and Cdr. Brandei aren't inferior in rank to post captains.
There's no evidence that Gherant and Brandei are "Commanders" by rank rather than title; nor for that matter am I aware of evidence for an Imperal rank of "post captain". Against this, we can set the clear rank-badge hierarchy regarding Convarion.
  • I wonder furthermore why he's comfortable with assuming inconsistent 'translation' that would render the rank as an Anglo-American commander-by-rank, but still insists that the rank does not occur as the rank immediately inferior to post captain. . . which is precisely what it is if it's an "alternative translation from Basic that conforms to our USN/RN ranks." This does not, of course, contradict his claim that "there is no explicit evidence whatsoever to say that the Imperial Navy follows the real-life USN/RN system; nor is there any automatic reason to assume that they should."
There is no explicit evidence for the use of Anglo-American ranks by the Imperial Navy, and there are several canon examples that clearly cannot fit with the Anglo-American system; however, assuming the use of Anglo-American ranks as an "alternative translation" is one way to rationalise the discrepancies, largely rooted in the CCG - which I suspect used Anglo-American ranks in OOU terms. Another option is assuming a change over time in the Imperial rank system. However, these suggestions remain at present only fanboy inferences. What we can say for sure is that canonically, Ait Convarion is shown by his rank insignia to be "a Commander, not a mere Captain", and this explicit Commander-above-Captain statement is not explicitly countermanded when it comes to insignia or substantive ranks (as opposed to generic titles) by any canon source. Indeed, the bulk of the material supports it.
  • I wonder why it is that Cdr. Nemet was identified in the Dagobah Expansion Set as the logistics officer of the Avenger, which would of course make him subordinate to Capt. Lorth Needa, who was a 'mere' post captain. I wonder why Cdr. Desanne was relegated to being a boat officer for dignitaries and high-ranking leaders in the Cloud City Expansion Set, if he's actually a broad-pennant. I wonder why Cdr. Brandei was promoted to captain after the Battle of Endor (according to the Dark Force Rising Sourcebook) if he already outranked mere post captains. I wonder why Cdr. Rosk was navigator and Cdr. Toniv was executive officer of a ship commanded by Capt. Soontir Fel in The Hutt Gambit if they were both broad-pennants superior in rank to their own commanding officer. I wonder why Capt. Redlo Dovlis's XO is also a commander in the same book. I wonder why Maarek Stele was promoted to commander before he was promoted to colonel in The Stele Chronicles, when colonel is equal in rank to a post captain, and therefore inferior in rank to a broad-pennant.
"Commander" Nemet wears a Lieutenant's insignia. "Commander" Desanne wears a Captain's insignia. "Commander" Brandei wears no insignia that we see. "Captain" Soontir Fel was promoted to Major several years later. Maarek Stele flies TIEs, and "Commander" as a rank for flight officers is a different rank grade (though probably with the same insignia), sitting somewhere between Flight Captain and Colonel: I don't know of any evidence to countermand the Lieutenant - Captain - Commander - Major - Colonel hierarchy used by WEG and TIE Fighter, and by the Thyferrans in The Bacta War (where Commander Dlarit is outranked by a Major). And again, I know of no explicit references to a RN style "broad pennant" existing in Imperial terminology.
  • Really, I wonder why there are so many commanders in positions that are clearly and unambiguously inferior to captains, when the rank of commander is, after all, clearly equal to that of commodore.
As you said yourself, the answer is 'that commander is also both a rank and a title, and that Imperial officers who are not commanders-by-rank (like, oh, say General Tagge or Moff Jerjerrod) have been verbally addressed and referred to as "Commander.""
  • In fact, since commander is equal to commodore, I wonder why it is that LCdr. Ardan was command duty officer of the Executor in the Dagobah Expansion Set, when he should obviously be some sort of 'vice commodore,' since there's no such rank as that silly, unprecedented Anglo-American rank of commander just below the rank of post captain
Ardan wears a Captain's insignia (flipped on his CCG card for some reason, but not in the movie). His is the most problematic rank-title: all the low-ranking "Commanders" can be explained as generic titular commanders; but that said, he's one of only a very few "Lieutenant Commanders" in the Imperial forces: Cracken's Rebel Operatives lists Lieutenant Commander Nim of military intelligence, an alias of Alliance agent Pike Angeles, while Lieutenant Commander Janna Tammok is the head of security for the Imperial consul-general on Bothawui in the Shadows of the Empire Planets Guide. There are certainly ways to explain these ranks without countermanding the explicit canon statement that a Commander has three red tabs over three blue, two code-cylinders, and ranks above a "mere Captain" like Piett or Needa....
Ultimately, when it comes down to it, the situation is this. We have explicit evidence for positional Commanders above Captains, with an associated rank insignia; we don't have evidence that any of the Commanders below Captains are any more than generic "Commanders" by title, and/or flight officers or Army officers; nor do we have any specific rank-badge for them. There is a line in on the Commander page which currently reads: In the Imperial Navy, however, the title of Commander usually indicated officers ranking above a Captain but below Admirals, equivalent to a New Republic Commodore....

How can we make it better, and more accurate? --McEwok 17:16, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

You could quit lying. The Imperial Sourcebook lists the ranks above captain. Commander is not one of them. That is far more explicit then one throwaway line in a single source that contradicts dozens of others that has an alternative explanation that works. --User: Lowkey

Um... I'm not lying.

The ISB lists a hierarchy of command positions within a Sector Group - ship's Captain, Captain of the Line, Admiral, Systems Admiral/Commodore, Fleet Admiral and High Admiral. But there's nothing to say that these are all proper ranks, rather than titles denoting position.

In the text itself, Adjudant is mentioned as a positional title, borne by a Captain of the Line as second-in-command to an Admiral. There's also evidence in other canon sources that other ISB titles exist outside the formal rank hierarchy: Michael Unther was a Sector Group's commanding "Admiral" prior to his substantive promotion to Rear Admiral, while the title of "Commodore" is used by officers with squadron commands irrespective of rank, such as by General Han Solo and Major Sil Sorannan in the Black Fleet Crisis books

Moreover. the list omits some widely-used Imperial ranks, like Vice Admiral and, you've guessed it, Commander itself. The canon evidence on the Imperial usage of the title has to coexist with the ISB information, certainly; but the ISB doesn't countermand it. Reverting. --McEwok 14:21, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Imperial Sourcebook, first edition, had a color rank insignia chart that described what all the various rank insignia meant. Sadly, my copy of said book is gone, and that entire set of color pages seems to be missing from the second edition book (at least they're missing from the scans I've found while looking for a replacement). I believe the page in question could shed at least some light on the situation...--Winchester 17:43, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your thoughts! I think the page you're thinking of is the one that shows "temporary ranks after the Battle of Yavin" (or some such). It has Lieutenant and Captain with insignia as seen in the movies, then Commander with the insignia described for Ait Convarion in The Bacta War; however, it then shows the Army ranks of Major and Colonel, and General, followed by Admiral and Priority Sector High Commander (=Grand Moff). In origin, it's entirely possible that "Commander" may have been concieved of here as an Army rank, and it has certainly been used as such in other canon material (it looks like a translation of Napoleonic French commandant = Major, where major = a US/British Lieutenant Colonel).
  • However, the Lieutenant and Captain insignia shown here are those of Navy officers of those ranks, as seen in ESB, as is the Admiral insignia at the top. Sure, we don't know what the original intention was, but I'm not even sure that that matters: this implicit Navy hierarchy has been extrapolated out to include the rank insignia and relative authority of a navy officer called a "Commander", most clearly in The Bacta War... as I've already mentioned.
  • Yes, I know it's confusing, but does it make sense? --McEwok 15:00, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

RevertingEdit

With apologies to 199.2.120.247 (unsigned edit by the legendary Publius), I'm reverting on his edit.

  • Still no clear evidence presented for Commanders below Captains in the Imperial Navy. As I already said, I'll give you that it was sucrely the CCG's OOU intention to imply Anglo-American ranks in styling Gherant as "Commander" as of Hoth, but K-Mac intended Coruscant to be mostly unspoilt wilderness, and the canon evidence of the CCG has to be handled rigorously, and also to contend with other evidence. Even if we assumed that "Commander" was Gherant's rank rather than a generic title (which we can't!), we don't even "know" canonically that he's a line officer in the navy. Yes, It's eminently possible that the Imperial navy had "real"-style ranks at some point, and the article acknowledges that that (as it should!); but there's no direct evidence to substantiate this, whereas there is evidence, positive and negative alike, for the converse: the description of Convarion as "ex-Imperial naval forces loyal to Thyferran Chief of State Ysanne Isard" is special pleading, and hardly substantiated by the text of The Bacta War, quite apart from the lack of evidence for any purely local revision of rank insignia.
  • Also rewritten Behind the scenes. I've tried to keep as much of Publius' text as possible; but "the English-language model" does not have "clear dominance in the fictional reality of Star Wars".

Sincerely. --McEwok 17:33, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

In the first place, you do not have any evidence that commander is a grade superior to captain in the Imperial Navy. You have the oft-cited instance of Cdr Ait Convarion being said to outrank "a mere Captain" in The Bacta War, but this depends on Fliry Vorru being familiar with naval uniforms and conventions – which is only begging the question, because Vorru has never been shown to be a navy or military man, and he has spent a considerable amount of time in prison. Imperial rank badges are known to have changed at least once during the time in which he was incarcerated on Kessel, and yet you assume that he is reading Convarion's badge correctly. How many civilians can correctly read military uniforms?

Furthermore, even if Vorru is reading Convarion's badge correctly, it is irrelevant. Ait Convarion is not an Imperial officer in The Bacta War, he is an officer in the Thyferran navy, loyal to a rogue warlord, and as such his rank, uniform, and position are completely irrelevant to a discussion of the Galactic Empire's navy. You dismiss this as special pleading, but do not have any sort of argument for supporting the idea that a traitor's uniform is a good guide to the Imperial Navy's usage. Shall we conclude that superior general and supreme warlord are also authentic? Shall we conclude that Apwar Trigit's uniform is authorized? You cannot use the example of a man who is not in the Imperial Navy as a guide to the Imperial Navy's usage. You cannot argue that Ait Convarion proves the Imperial Navy does anything, seeing that he isn't in it.

Secondly, you continually insist that there is no evidence of commanders being inferior in rank to captains in the Imperial Navy, despite the fact that several have been repeatedly cited (e.g., Capt. Redlo Dovlis's executive officer in The Hutt Gambit, and Cdr. Rosk and Cdr. Toniv on board Capt. Soontir Fel's Pride of the Senate in the same source; Cdr. Brandei being transferred to Judicator and promoted to captain in the Dark Force Rising Sourcebook; Cdr. Gherant being a deck officer hand-picked for duty on Executor by Capt. Firmus Piett).You have still not been able to explain the existence of lieutenant commanders like LCdr. Ardan and LCdr. Janna Tammok. You dismiss this evidence with claims that their uniforms are wrong or do not correspond to the Imperial Navy's usage, but at the same time you are unwilling to entertain the idea that Convarion's uniform is wrong or does not correspond to the Imperial Navy's usage.

  • Your arguments are interesting and intelligent, but ultimately, they're all conjecture—and I don't think it's unfair to say that you're arguing a point you believe in, rather analysing the evidence neutrally.
  • Present textual proof that Convarion is, or regards himself as, a Thyferran officer rather than an Imperial one, or that the forces at Thyferra use non-standard uniforms or ranks.
  • Present similar proof that ex-Moff Vorru has no experience as regards military matters and uniforms. Bear in mind especially the uniformed nature and rank hierarchies of paramilitary organizations such as Imperial Intelligence and the various arms of COMPNOR.
  • Present proof that any of the commanders you cite are commander by rank on the model you claim, rather than holding a generic positional title or the Army/Starfighter (and probably Gunnery/Specialist) rank of the same name. Note that "Captain" Fel is later promoted to Major and Colonel, and thus perhaps unlikely to be a captain by rank rather than courtesy title. Janna Tammok is a security officer commanding stormtroopers, and the comparable Rebel Alliance position of Lieutenant Commander is a mid-ranking Army and Starfighter grade, coming above Captain and below Commander.
  • In the final analysis, what we have is an explicit statement that commanders outrank captains and that this is shown by rank-badges (plus other circumstantial evidence in accord with this claim), and on the other hand, several instances that may indicate an alternate captain-above-commander hierarchy (and probably were intended to in OOU terms) but which can't be explicitly shown to be so, and which can be explained in other ways. Yes, you can raise questions about the accuracy of Vorru's POV, and yes, you can make an argument that other evidence indicates a "Anglo-American" usage; but ultimately, the evidence for commander-above-captain is more explicit, and that's the main issue.
  • Nevertheless... I can see that it could make sense to note the possibility of "Anglo-American" ranks first, so I've reordered my rv text. --McEwok 10:39, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

My dear sir, you cannot shift the burden of proof to me; it is yours, and I expect you to satisfy it. It is you who must prove that the rank of a man who is not in the Imperial Navy should be taken as an authoritative guide to the Imperial Navy's chain of command. The proof that Ait Convarion no longer considered himself an officer in the Imperial Navy is the fact that he was serving the Chief of State of Thyferra rather than his lawful superiors in the Imperial Navy. Given that fact, I reject your suggestion that he is a valid example of Imperial practice; he, like "Supreme Warlord" Harrsk and "Superior General" Delvardus, is a traitor, not a loyal officer.

Furthermore, your argument relies on Vorru's knowledge of Naval parlance and practice. It is therefore incumbent upon you to demonstrate that a man who has never demonstrated any particular familiarity with Naval practice should be taken as a reliable expert on Naval etiquette. The films themselves show that Imperial rank insignia changed at least once during the period of 35 to 39 ABY, and yet you expect a man imprisoned in a maximum security penitentiary for a decade or more to be an authoritative source? If you would rely on his expert witness testimony, then you must demonstrate his credentials. Why should his word be taken, especially when it contradicts other depictions of commanders as being subordinate to captains?

Do not insult my intelligence by pretending that vague intimations that these commanders "might not" be commanders is sufficient to support your argument. I expect you to demonstrate that they are consistent with the rank of commander that you propose, and to further demonstrate why it is appropriate for officers who do not command anything to be addressed as commander if they are not in fact commanders. Furthermore, if you intend to argue that they are not in fact commanders, then I expect you to explain what rank they actually hold. Since you have arrogated unto yourself the position of expert on naval affairs, I expect you to explain -- in a manner consistent with naval practice -- what rank and position these officers hold, if -- as you insist -- the plain evidence and authentic naval practice should not be accepted. I will further point out that the "promotion" of Captain Fel to major and then colonel depends on the infallibility of the notional scribe who wrote his biography in The New Essential Guide to Characters, something that I reject. That document is notionally a collection of biographies written by a character in-universe, subject to error even within the framework of canon.

I repeat that you have an explicit statement that a traitor in another navy outranks a captain, and I adamantly reject the idea that this is authoritative vis-à-vis the Imperial Navy. It is more explicit, but it is also irrelevant. I have reversed your edit, and will continue to reverse it until such time as you present a coherent argument that satisfies the evidence and authentic practice.

  • He's serving the Director of Intelligence, who is probably still exerting authority by virtue of her legitimate emergency powers. "Madam Director", as he and her other subordinates call her. She may be running the Thyferran régime, but can you show me that she's not doing so in addition to her existing duties?
  • Beyond that... you're handwaving. Offering a whole lot of maybe and repeating points I already answered. Your argument rests upon assumptions every bit as much as mine... except that unlike me, you don't have any specific evidence to back yourself up.
  • That said, I'm not fanatical about preserving my own phrasing here. If you can think of an alternative way to present the state of evidence (possible to infer at least intermittent use of "Anglo-American" ranks, but also some explicit evidence for Commander—with two code cylinders—as a position above ships' Captains) feel free to put it forward for discussion here. Let's not get locked into an edit war. --McEwok 20:57, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Cdr Convarion was not serving the Director of Imperial Intelligence, my dear boy, he was serving the former Director of Imperial Intelligence. Solo Command specifically refers to "the coalition that had replaced Isard." Furthermore, she was reduced to bartering for more ships from another warlord, HAdm Teradoc, when she needed to use an Interdictor cruiser, hardly the conduct of a woman still holding office as the uniformed head of a branch of the Imperial armed forces. If you insist that her status as chief of state of a foreign power was consistent with her still holding the office of director, then -- by all means -- feel free to provide supporting evidence. I will not be baited into disproving every unsubstantiated possibility you may feel disposed to propose.

I must point out that claiming to have addressed a point is not the same thing as having actually done so. You have yet to explain why it is that every instance of a commander subordinate to a captain must be understood to portray something other than a commander subordinate to a captain. You have yet to explain what rank those officers held if they were not in fact commanders, and why they were being addressed as "Commander" if they were not commanders. You have yet to explain why we should take the word of a convicted felon who had spent a decade or more in prison as being authoritative on matters of Imperial naval usage, despite the fact that Imperial rank insignia changed at least once while he was in prison and the fact that the man whose rank he was describing was not even in the Imperial Navy.

I point out further that I do not need to "prove" anything. I have already produced a number of examples of commanders being subordinate to captains, which is prima facie and ipso facto proof that commanders are subordinate to captains. You, on the other hand, must prove that these examples are incorrect -- which you have not done -- and explain how the alleged commander-qua-commodore system works, especially in light of the attested existence of the rank of commodore. Do not, incidentally, insult my intelligence by arguing that commodore means something different in the Imperial Navy; that is a claim whose strength relies solely on a claim found in the Imperial Sourcebook, which is notionally a document edited by Arhul Hextrophon, who wrote in the prologue that "until collaborated, this report should be considered high level rumor at best."

I am not concerned about phrasing. I am concerned about content, and the content you advocate is flawed and misleading. I am indifferent to how the matter is phrased, provided that it is not being used as advocacy for a flawed and inauthentic system that is not supported by the totality of evidence. As it stands, your preferred version is precisely that, and I have removed it.

  • Publius: If you insist that her status as chief of state of a foreign power was consistent with her still holding the office of director, then -- by all means -- feel free to provide supporting evidence.
By all means. How about the fact that, throughout the novel, the other Imperial characters always accord her the style of address appropriate for the Director of Imperial Intelligence, rather than Thyferran head of state:
  • "Please, Madam Director, reflect for a moment on how our current position mirrors that of the Empire prior to the death of our beloved Emperor." (Voru to Isard, TBW page 92)
  • "Of course, Madam Director." Convarion bowed, then pointed to an aisle through the middle of the bone white ranks of stormtroopers. "My wardroom is this way." (Convarion to Isard, page 135)
  • "Do you feel, as I do, that Madam Director Isard is not viewing the same reality we are?" (Vorru to Erisi, page 250)
  • ""Madam Director Ysanne Isard, I regret not being able to bring you this message personally, but not that much." (Sair Yonka's defection holo to Isard, page 250)
  • "Do recall, as Director of Imperial Intelligence, I have been through this routine before." (Isard to Vorru, page 252)
  • "No, Madam Director will do that for me, won't she?" (Erisi to Vorru, page 274).
  • "Victory will be mine, Madam Director" (Joak Drysso to Isard, page 282)
  • "Yes, Madam Director, I understand." Erisi shivered as the echoes of Isard's voice died in her ears. (Erisi to Isard, page 317)
  • "I have a priority message from Director Isard. She's ordering us out of here." (Ensign Yesti to Joak Drysso, page 318)
Additionally, there are several times the Imperial characters define themselves explicitly as Imperials:
  • "My goal has always been to destroy the Rebellion, then move to rebuild the Empire.... If we play things carefully, we will not have to reconquer Imperial Center, we will be invited back to resume our rightful place at the head of the Empire." (Isard to Vorru, page 22)
  • Those who had remained loyal, either to her or the concept of the Empire, still could bristle when she gave orders. (Vorru reflects on Convarion's character, page 137)
  • Erisi really couldn't blame Isard for treating the Thyferrans and the THDC as the Empire's stupid, inbred cousins. (Erisi reflects on the situation, page 149)
  • "When it arrives at Alderaan and powers up its gravity well projectors, Antilles and his ships will be trapped. There will be another sacrifice at Alderaan--another victory there for the Empire to celebrate. What do you say to that?" (Isard to Vorru, page 192)
  • Since the Emperor's death he had clung to his role as a defender of the Empire to justify what he had been called upon to do. (Sair Yonka considers his position, page 241)
  • "We are all loyal sons of the Empire. We are not afraid to put death before dishonor." (Joak Drysso tries to ram Thyferra, page 327)
  • Against this, I have been able to find not one piece of evidence to support your contention that Isard's regime at Thyferra is non-Imperial. While more elements of the Empire have certainly rejected Isard's command authority, this does not mean that she has herself eschewed her position.
  • You have yet to explain why it is that every instance of a commander subordinate to a captain must be understood to portray something other than a commander subordinate to a captain.
No, I don't, because that's not actually my position. In my last edit of the page, the opening sentence of the disputed section reads:
  • As to the Imperial Navy, is possible that at some stages in the Empire's history, a rank of Commander conforming to this usage [ie the "Anglo-America" system] was also employed, but no unambiguous evidence for this is known.
I decided to place this at the head of the section after considering your POV, but I remain firm in the opinion that the only explicit evidence for a rank of commander against captain in the same hierarchy places it above—because this is no more nor less than the truth. And if you don't accept Vorru's POV as valid, you might want to read chapter 17 of The Bacta War, and note the field demotion from Commander to Captain that Isard imposes on Convarion on page 137.
  • I point out further that I do not need to "prove" anything. I have already produced a number of examples of commanders being subordinate to captains, which is prima facie and ipso facto proof that commanders are subordinate to captains.
You've shown instances of officers styled commander subordinate to ship's captains, yes. And I have agreed from the outset that it is possible that such officers could hold a commander-below-captain rank. I note that possibility on the page. However, there is no explicit evidence for such a rank, but we do seem to agree that there's an Army-style rank of Commander, and a generic title of commander, both in use in the Imperial military. Either of these could explain all of these occurrences.
  • ... explain how the alleged commander-qua-commodore system works, especially in light of the attested existence of the rank of commodore.
Well, I know of no direct evidence for an Imperial rank of commodore. I agree that there are a few Imperial officers with a title of commodore, but if you're refusing flat out to accept The Imperial Sourcebook, which is the only source to clearly define the usage of the title, I can of course point to the use of commodore as a command title by the New Republic, as accorded to General Han Solo in Shield of Lies, which clearly establishes its usage as a title independent of the rank of commodore used by the NR.
  • You have still presented no proof whatsoever for your claims that there must be a commander-below-captain rank hierarchy in the Navy; your attempts to slight the evidence for commander as a station above ship's captain are based on mere conjecture. Ultimately, you have failed to mount a challenge of any substance to the position informing my edits. I'm really not sure what more there is that I can say... except of course that if there's evidence I don't know about, I'm entirely prepared to revise my POV accordingly! --McEwok 01:37, 26 August 2006 (UTC)


There is a great deal of difference between a person continuing to hold a title and a person continuing to hold an office, Mr. <censored>. When the Princess Leia addresses Obi-Wan Kenobi as "General Kenobi" in A New Hope, this does not constitute evidence that he continues to hold the office of commanding general of the Open Circle Fleet. I did not ask you to provide evidence that Ysanne Isard continued to use the title of Director of Imperial Intelligence, I asked you for evidence that she continued to hold the office. The fact that she had to barter for new equipment and had to rent an Interdictor cruiser from another warlord argues very strongly against her continued occupation of any office in the Empire.

I remind you that Adm. Zsinj also continued to think of himself as "Imperial" even after he had defected from the Empire and set up his own interstellar empire. Indeed, it was part of his title: He styled himself "Imperial Warlord." The fact that Isard and her cohort considered themselves to be within the Palpatinist tradition has little bearing on the fact that they were not part of the Galactic Empire, which was then ruled by "the coalition that replaced Isard," according to Solo Command. There is not a shred of evidence that they were any more a part of the Empire than the rogue warlords murdered by Daala in Darksaber – who also, incidentally, referred to themselves as "the Empire."

For some strange reason, you seem insistent that there must be "explicit evidence" for a rank of commander as subordinate to captain. This is quite strange, in light of the fact that I have already cited examples of commanders subordinate to captains. The very existence of these examples is prima facie evidence of the existence of such a rank. Mere observation confirms its existence. You demand "explicitness" as though anything short of a precisely-worded fiat were ambiguous. Where then is your evidence that a major general outranks a sergeant major?

I see that you are unfamiliar with the authentic usage of commodore, despite your pretensions of being an expert on naval usage. You seem to think that the use of the title commodore for an officer who does not hold that rank is some sort of novelty, when it is in fact quite common. An officer commanding a squadron is called a commodore, in the same way that an officer commanding a ship is called a captain. It is a long-established custom of the naval service. There is nothing extraordinary about it. The fact that there are Imperial commodores and flag officers rather calls into question the place of this alleged 'super-commander' within the chain of command.

You have yet to provide a compelling argument that an ex-Imperial officer in an ex-Imperial Navy is an authoritative example for the Imperial Navy's chain of command, or that a recently-incarcerated politician is a reliable expert on naval etiquette. You have yet to explain why direct and explicit evidence of commanders subordinate to captains should not be taken as direct and explicit evidence that commanders are subordinate to captains. You have yet to provide any compelling evidence in support of your edits. Seeing that it is you who is advancing a novelty, it is your responsibility to support and substantiate it. It is certainly not mine to disprove it. The burden of proof is yours, and you have failed to satisfy it.

ProtectedEdit

  • I've protected this page because there's been more than 3 reverts. Please come to some sort of agreement/compromise, and then we can get it unlocked. QuentinGeorge 12:02, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Returning to this page after a long pause for breath... I fear that Publius' version of the page, the one you've allowed to stand, is simply inaccurate:
  • There is no direct proof that a Commander in the Imperial Navy ranked below a Captain. All examples of Commanders below Captains could be explained on other grounds.
  • He describes Isard's forces in The Bacta War as "ex-Imperial naval forces loyal to Thyferran Chief of State Ysanne Isard". This goes too far: at best, they may be no longer Imperial, though I've cited plenty of textual evidence to show that they think of themselves as Imperials.
  • I'm not quite sure what he means when he says Convarion's rank of Commander "may have stemmed from a confusion with the Imperial Navy's rank of Captain of the Line." If he's trying to suggest that Vorru doesn't understand military ranks, then while that's certainly a possibility, I don't think it can be pushed too far: Vorru's interpretation is supported by Isard's demotion of Convarion from Commander to Captain by removing his rank cylinder in the following scene. And I know of no evidence that Captain of the Line ranks above a normal rank of Captain, rather than being the rank as opposed to the position of Captain.
  • The fact that Commander Gherant is "inferior in rank" to Captain Piett doesn't necessarily indicate that Commander is below Captain in the Navy hierarchy: there are other usages of both terms that could account for this discrepancy, just as Publius can cite alternative usages to explain why Captain Sankaran is below Commander Demmings in the hierarchy of the Star Destroyer Reprisal in recent comics...
  • I'd suggest, as a compromise based on my own edit: As to the Imperial Navy, is possible that at some stages in the Empire's history, a rank of Commander conforming to this usage was also employed, but no unambiguous evidence for this is known. There is, however, explicit evidence that a title of Commander could denote an officer ranking above a Captain but below Admirals, broadly equivalent to a New Republic Commodore, although the clearest evidence of this usage dates from two years after the Battle of Endor. These officers wore the same rank plaque as Captains, with three red squares above three blue, but they wore a code cylinder at either shoulder, rather than simply one on the left. The situation is further complicated by the widespread use of "Commander" as a generic title of address in Imperial service, and by the use of the more junior Army/Starfighter rank of Commander by some officers serving aboard Navy vessels.
  • I'm sure that can be further improved with input from other people. And if we can clear that up, we can move onto the behind the scenes section.
  • *grin*--McEwok 15:28, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

You haven't changed your position at all. Again you call for direct proof, conveniently ignoring prima facie evidence of commanders inferior to captains. The fact that there are commanders inferior to captains in the Imperial Navy is direct evidence in and of itself, your insinuations to the contrary notwithstanding. You are attempting to alter the facts to suit the theory -- as with the suggestion that there must be some unknown element in the relationship between Cdr Gherant and Capt. Piett, in complete disregard for parsimony -- , which is simply backward and unscientific. Facts are stubborn things, sir.

Again you confuse style with substance. The former Admiral Zsinj also considered himself "Imperial" after he defected from the Empire, and even incorporated it into his self-proclaimed title. That does not in fact make it so. You have cited textual evidence that shows that they consider themselves Imperials, but putting a crown on your head does not make you a king, no matter how fervently you might think so.

I do not accept your proposed compromise, as it continues to incorporate unsubstantiated and inauthentic usage, and further inserts unnecessary ambiguity into the situation. It is a thinly-veiled screed against the established and authentic usage of commander (incorporating your opinion into the matter by calling all counterevidence "ambiguous" and only counting your preferred evidence "clearest") and completely ignoring the fact that the Imperial Navy already has two ranks between captain and the flag ranks (captain of the line and commodore). Your 'compromise' is simply your original position repackaged.

    • Hooboy...this talk page is absolutely huge...what precisely are the bits of the article that are disputed? The entire thing? Half of it? QuentinGeorge 08:41, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Primarily, just the brief Navy Ranks bit; once that's cleared up, we can move onto Behind the scenes. As to explaining what it's all about, I don't think you have to go back up beyond Protected on this page, when you locked it: I lay out my POV as simply as I can (not that that means it's necessarily lucid!), and Publius replies with his response. If that makes any sense, we can start from there. --McEwok 16:14, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

The dispute exists only in the usage of the grade of commander as a naval rank. I have no issue with the rest of the article. This gentleman’s insinuations to the contrary notwithstanding, the evidence is quite clear regarding the fact that the grade of commander exists in its proper, authentic place as an inferior to the grade of captain in the Imperial Navy, and that this is not a change or abnormality from the ‘usual’ state of affairs. I am quite insistent that this article reflect this fact.

  • Publius: there are commander ranking below captains, yes—and there are also commanders ranking above captains. To prove your position, you would have to show that the commander-below-captain usage explicitly represents a substantive Navy rank, rather than (a.) a generic title, or (b.) an Army-style rank, as used by many shipboard officers. You would also have to prove that there was something non-standard about Convarion's rank in The Bacta War, rather than simply positing speculation. As it stands, it's the clearest, most explicit evidence we have.
  • Moreover, as has been explained to you already, there is no one "proper, authentic place" for the rank/title of Commander in Navy hierarchies. The modern Anglo-American system, while obviously influential, is not absolute or fixed.
  • Also, incidentally, there is no clear evidence that Captain of the Line is any different from the substantive rank of Captain in the Imperial Navy, while the title of Commodore is treated by the Empire as synonymous with Systems Admiral, and actually above the lowest rank of Admiral within Sector Group hierarchies. I suspect that these ranks are merely positional designators, and can be borne by men whose substantive rank is below Rear Admiral. They may even—though this is highly speculative—be the specific titles covered by the more generic "Commander" designation. --McEwok 15:01, 9 December 2006 (UTC)


Yes, there are commanders above captains -- however, there is explicit canonical evidence that senior Imperial officers who are not commanders have been addressed as "Commander" (General Tagge, Moff Jerjerrod), which actually undermines your suggestion that this must represent the grade of commander rather than the title. Your suggestion that maybe the commanders junior to captains are simply using the title is without merit; the naval title of "Commander" signifies a senior-level officer who commands something. Command is not a vague word in military science; it is carefully distinguished from charge. There is only one commander per command. Only the commanding officer has command within his command. Officers junior to commanding officers on board their ships do not command anything; therefore they are not titular commanders. Secondly, commander is not an Army rank. Therefore, naval commanders cannot be using an Army-style rank, as there is no such thing. There is an Army title of commander, but again it is strictly reserved to officers who command.

I do not intend to continue playing back and forth with you. The Thyferran navy is not the Imperial Navy; its usage is irrelevant to the Imperial Navy's (cf. regulations regarding facial hair). If you want to argue that the Empire had a grade of commander superior to the grade of captain, then cite evidence pertinent to the Empire, not to Thyferra.

Substantive rank refers to an officer's permanent grade, or the actual grade he personally holds and retains when he stands relieved of whatever post he may hold. It is distinguished from temporary rank, or the rank he holds by virtue of holding a particular post or appointment. Consequently, then, by definition captain of the line is inherently a different thing from post captain in terms of substantive rank; if captain of the line is an actual grade and not merely a title, then they are automatically not the same substantive ranks in the same way that ensign and lieutenant aren't. If captain of the line is merely a title and not an actual grade, then they are automatically not the same substantive ranks in the same way that captain and courtesy commodore aren't.

I'll point out that the fact that the very same source that mentions the rank of captain of the line also claims that there are captains of the line who do not command lines (i.e., those who serve as "adjutants" to "admirals" commanding squadrons), which is inconsistent with captain of the line being merely a title held by a post captain commanding a line.

Note that "temporary ranks" are not the same things as "courtesy ranks" (which are no more than "positional designators," as you put it). Three- and four-star ranks in the United States military are temporary ranks, but that does not mean that they are courtesy titles only.

I will further point out that the Imperial Sourcebook itself contains a disclaimer as to its accuracy; Arhul Hextrophon, the notional editor, specifically cautions that "none of the information contained herein has been confirmed or documented outside of the data presented here," that "unlikely though it is, this could be an elaborate ruse to pass along fake information to the Alliance," and that "until collaborated [sic], this report should be considered high level rumor at best."

It is only 'high level rumor' that commodores/systems admirals outrank admirals but not fleet admirals and high admirals. The same source also claims that an Imperial admiral commands a force some ten times greater than that formerly commanded by a Republican admiral; since this same source also claims that a squadron (allegedly the formation commanded by an admiral) "normally has 14 to 60 ships," we ought to therefore find Republican admirals in the Clone Wars era commanding between 1.4 and 6 ships. This is plainly absurd.

Furthermore, the same source claims that sergeants major are the seconds-in-command of platoons and that General Veers was wearing a major's rank badge (and that a major's rank badge indicates a higher rank than captains and commanders). Furthermore, it claims that lieutenant colonels command regiments and high colonels command battlegroups, making not the least mention of colonels; at the same time, its gallery of rank insignia allows no intermediate ranks between colonel and major, and neither lieutenant colonel nor high colonel appear.

At any rate, the point remains that you have failed to explain the existence of commanders in their proper, authentic place as the immediate juniors of post captains; you have failed to propose an alternate system that explains the naval chain of command and cursus honorum; and you have failed to demonstrate that the evidence of Cdr Convarion is relevant to this dispute. I fully intend to ensure that this article is not further hijacked as a vehicle for your idiosyncratic, inauthentic, unsupported and unsubstantiated 'theories' about naval organization.

False Statement in textEdit

"In many naval hierarchies, including those of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire, the Rebel Alliance, the New Republic and the Galactic Alliance, a Commander ranked below a Captain."

I am considering changing/removing this statement. According to the ONLY sources that try to make sense of the ranking system in Star Wars, the exact opposite is implied. X-Wing Alliance, WEG Imperial Sourcebook (page 37) and Rebel Sourcebook (Page 98) all place “Commander” above Captain. The ranks are even displayed with more dots or rank cylinders then the Captain rank.--212.242.126.216 00:01, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

Well now I have changed it … tell me what you think or edit it to the better. Thx.--212.242.126.216 03:44, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

Convarion: a new interpretation Edit

I hate to open old wounds or play Dr. Frankthread, but I think the Convarion discussion is worth a short revisit. For those who wish to check the following argument against the primary source material go to pages 134 and 137 of Stackpole's Bacta War as those are the relevant pages to the discussion regarding Convarion's rank.

On page 134, Fliry Vorru observes the following:

"The rank insignia [Convarion] wore on his jacket's left breast bore only six color tabs, but the fact that he also wore two rank cylinders told Vorru he was a Commander, not a mere Captain. Even so, because of his position of command on the ship and Imperial tradition, addressing him as Captain would be proper."
Bacta War, 134.

This sets up the crux of much of the back and forth regarding the relative hierarchy of the rank of Commander versus Captain. If we consider Convarion to be a Stormtrooper officer, then perhaps this makes sense since the Stormtrooper Corps appears to have a rank of Commander that ranks above the rank of Captain, rather like the real-world French military commandant. This would actually be sufficient to explain the matter away (particularly in light of his black uniform, which, based on A New Hopes Commander Praji, seems to be almost exclusively used by Stormtrooper officers.

Unfortunately this is not a tenable conclusion because of the interaction that occurs three pages later. The scene goes as follows:

"What I wish, Captain Convarion, matters not." Isard strode toward him and plucked the rank cylinder from the right side of Convarion's tunic. "What I order is all that matters...""
Bacta War, 137.

In nearly every argument I have seen presented, this is interpreted as a demotion for Convarion, particular in light of Isard's rather angry and scowling tone. But I believe we need to not interpret this as a demotion and may even be able to interpret it as a promotion. While Isard may certainly not be pleased with Convarion's unilateral decision-making, she may just as equally be impressed with single-minded resolve and his stalwart backing of his own decision-making in the face of the Empire's de facto leader. The first time I read this novel, now nearly a decade ago, I interpreted as a promotion especially since I had personally been witness to a very embarrassing dressing by a Lieutenant Colonel to a First Lieutenant who everyone thought would soon be cashiered, only to find out the Colonel gave him a glowing recommendation for his promotion to Captain (this happened while I was at Fort Campbell). I'm sure that Lieutenant was forever cautious of his decision-making, but because he did not second-guess himself and was resolute about the correctness of what he'd done, he'd sufficiently impressed his battalion commander to move the Lieutenant Colonel past his own reservations and disagreement over the Lieutenant's decision.

Returning to the subject on hand, it is also worth noting that a no point is Convarion referred to as anything but Captain, first apparently as a courtesy in light of his captaincy of the Corrupter and then in light of his demotion/promotion. Had he been called "Commander" throughout the scene prior to his apparent demotion, then I would have no argument. The fact remains, though, that the narration is told through the eyes of a civilian (Vorru) who appears to be have minimal, if any military experience. His time as Moff hardly qualifies as anyone can be made a high-ranking civilian in charge of military forces without actually understanding the intricacies of said military forces. Furthermore, it's not at all farfetched to assume Vorru would genuinely believe that a Commander outranks a Captain when you have Moffs being addressed as "Commander", i.e. Jerjerrod. This is, in fact, one of numerous examples in Star Wars canon where a high-ranking individual is referred to or addressed as "Commander" in light of his or her command authority rather than his or her substantive rank or title. If Vorru's only experience around the military was as a Moff, it's not unreasonable to interpret his statement as a misunderstanding of rank (substantive/graded) versus title (positional).

So I argue for a different interpretation of Convarion's rank and the events surrounding his "demotion" in The Bacta War: Convarion is, in fact, a Commander by rank and "captain" by position on page 134, but is then promoted to Captain by rank on page 137. The single line of "Commander, not a mere Captain" can be interpreted as a civilian's misunderstanding of the differences between military ranks and titles. The argument that the Imperial Navy may not follow the real-world Naval hierarchy of Commander below Captain is untenable based on the numerous primary sources within Star Wars canon (much of which has already been named), but additionally by the release of The Essential Guide to Warfare, namely page 120.--SOCLcomm 13:34, July 15, 2012 (UTC)

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