I learned from Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope, that the position of 'at attention' (Canon?) was the first imperial gesture or salute used to display respect, but later on I discovered that there were -at least- two more ways of military salute: One was in the Nazi army fashion (Legends) by standing at attention and holding out the right arm with the lower arm raised in a 45 degrees angle. The hand held open, showing the palm. This gesture was typically accompanied by the phrases "Long live the Empire!" or "Hail the Empire!". The third salute was delivered by Biggs Darklighter (Legends) similar to the standard American salute as follows: Raise the right hand sharply, fingers and thumb extended and joined, palm facing down, and place the tip of the right forefinger on the temple.

Given the aforementioned, I ask if there is a Canon reference about what is the correct Imperial military salute.

Still image from Star Wars: A New Hope Image from Wookieepedia Legends Image from Wookieepedia Legends


The salute used during the Clone Wars, and afterward by the Rebel Alliance, was what we'd consider a standard military salute these days, as seen in the following images:

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While there has been no canon depiction I'm aware of showing a specific imperial salute, given that the Empire kept a great deal of the military aspect of the Old Republic (uniforms barely changed, for example), it's unclear why the salute would have changed.

  • 1
    Standard American salute, I believe you mean. Different countries have different salutes
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 27 at 17:21
  • @TheLethalCarrot - Sir, yes sir! Changed. May 27 at 18:02
  • In ESB, two imperial officers did the 'standard bad guy/nazi' stand rigid and 'boot click' with slight head bow while on hologram during the asteroid field search (right after the bridge of a Star Destroyer gets blown up), but other than that, there is no genuflection in that film at least
    – NKCampbell
    May 27 at 18:16
  • @TheLethalCarrot, that style of salute (with minor differences such as palms facing outward instead of down, how many fingers are extended, or where exactly the hand is in relation to the head) is the salute used in all NATO countries, China, Russia (and the old USSR), North Korea, Iran, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Ghana, Ethiopia, Chile, Cuba...basically any random country I looked at, even countries who have been decades at each other's throats use it. There might be some exceptions, but only a handful. And Americans didn't invent it, so no, not "the American salute". May 28 at 0:16
  • Those minor differences are quite important when it comes to doing a proper salute and not getting shouted at.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 28 at 6:50

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