When the two warriors found the location of the Omega mimic in Edge of Tomorrow, why did Sergeant Rita Vrataski and Major/Private William Cage choose to take the squad he was assigned to, as opposed to this mob of faceless bad-asses?

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What makes me think they were bad-asses (or rather, more bad-ass than your average troop packing weaponized armor)?

They were assigned to Rita's squad!

  1. After becoming a hero in Verdun, we might expect that she would be assigned a group of soldiers who had not only applied to be part of her squad, but were accepted according to ability.
  2. But more importantly, she had become quite ruthless. In one of the loops she encounters William in a situation where it is not clear he can continue, and without hesitation she takes the battery powering his armor. This is effectively a death sentence on the grunt wearing the armor. She would not accept inferior troops and would see to it that such troops were either trained (in the simulator) until they were good, or injured to the extent that they were hospitalized (whereupon she could probably get them reassigned to a different, 'less strenuous' squad, while getting a new replacement to try).
    1. She would most likely set higher standards for the training of her own squad. (Read 'lots of time in the simulator'.)
    2. If the trooper survived an extensive time in the simulator, it would mean they had excellent skills, and even if they got a significant injury while training, she could probably get them reassigned in order to try someone new.
  3. During training, she would have gotten to know each troopers' strengths and weaknesses, and would therefore be able to utilize them more effectively.

Further to the 'take the most bad-ass troops available' point is another matter. William had to spend time convincing his assigned squad (who only met him that day) to follow Rita and himself in a mission. If Rita had taken her own troops, that conversation would have been more like this:

Sergeant Vrataski: Change of plan. We won't go in with the troops tomorrow, because we get the chance to finish this tonight. This guy (indicates William) has intel that could prove vital. He'll be my 2IC for the mission. Suit up & report to pad 61 by 20 hundred hours.

So, why did the pair of them choose to go with William's squad given they were both less experienced and harder to convince than Rita's own?

  • 1
    Because the mission was completely off - plan and involved crossing into enemy territory in a stolen flyer to their certain deaths. Her own team would be too professional to risk the army for a single mission.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 19, 2014 at 13:31
  • 2
    @Richard "Her own team would be too professional to risk.." Are you suggesting her squad would have refused her order to 'suit up & get going'? I sure don't accept that. When she said "Jump" they'd ask "How high (sir)?" Note that I'm not suggesting that she would have told them the whole truth (i.e. 'mission we're doing off our own initiative, without authorization'), but simply as above. Commented Oct 19, 2014 at 13:37
  • 3
    Yes. The plan was to steal a flyer on the eve of the invasion and risk the mimics knowing that they were coming. My guess is that her team would have shot her for mutiny
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 19, 2014 at 13:47

3 Answers 3


Rita indicates that a mission of this magnitude is going to need additional manpower. She tried going up the chain of command before Verdun (and was institutionalised / dissected) and was forced to work alone. She wonders aloud whether they know any grunts stupid enough to go on a suicide mission in a stolen flyer, ignoring direct orders from the General:

Rita : We need a drop ship to get us to Paris in time.
Cage : And more soldiers, too.
Rita : Now, who's crazy enough to follow us to Paris?

Luckily Cage knows precisely who to call on, the J-Troop soldiers that he's been fighting alongside for months. He knows them intimately, their strengths, their weaknesses and especially the fact that many of them are happy-go-lucky Verdun survivors who laugh in the face of death and can be convinced to break orders.

On top of that, he's able to use his knowledge of their intimate details to convince them that his mission (e.g. killing the Omega without harming any of the Alphas, even if it means sacrificing their own lives) is both real and essential, something that her own hand-picked team of commandos would presumably consider too fantastical to believe.

  • 1
    Thanks, that seems to be it. I had not realized that the first time they spoke (and she took his battery) that he'd just received a gaping chest wound, and was therefore, doomed. I had thought she had just assessed him as inexperienced & someone that was unlikely to survive much longer, and took his battery because she thought she could make better use of it. She had too many principles to lie/omit information (as would have been required in my scenario) to her own squad. Commented Nov 2, 2014 at 6:28

How about... Her own squad is there to be her minders and make sure that she doesn't go around saying "coo-koo" stuff to the rest of the army and break morale?

She has tried and failed on many occasion to get the army to do "crazy" stuff!

  • 2
    That was only in early timelines at Verdun. She quickly learned not to. In the only timeline that persisted, she was a kick-ass soldier. But ..hey that raises an interesting question as to how her tech. guy did not benefit from the 'many time lines' effect (guessing he only would have been fired a few times - at most). Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 22:13
  • 1
    Because she was the only one in the time-loop, her squad is blissfully unaware that she ever had special abilities.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 1:13

It was more dramatic to use the sarcastic jerks that harassed Cage everyday and see them 'man up' and follow his lead. Although, the studio could've gone with BOTH squads:

Rita-"I'll get my squad. They signed on to follow me to hell and back. They won't back down from a fight."

Cage-"There's bound to be hundreds of mimics in Paris and we don't have the luxury of the power this time. We'll need more than just one squad."

Rita-"Who the hell else would be crazy enough to follow us to Paris?"

Cage-"I know a half dozen guys who're bat $hit crazy enough for that."

And boom: double the manpower and a logical plot point! Hell, throw in a kidnapped Sgt Farrell for bonus!


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