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Prior to the events of Edge of Tomorrow the United Defense Force achieves a significant (if not their only) victory against the invading Mimics at no other place than Verdun, in which Rita Vrataski shines out as a hero and symbol of hope for humanity. This battle supposedly marks the turning point for the overstrained human forces and inspires them to their huge offensive during which the events of the movie pan out (yet, as we learn later as a deliberate attempt by the Mimics to inspire the humans with false hopes).

Now seeing that the movie seems to some degree ripe with military historical references, it seems unlikely that the choice of Verdun was made by mere coincidence, since the real Battle of Verdun was one of the most prominent, longest and wasteful battles of WWI and remains as a symbol for the inconclusiveness of an attrition war and the horrors of war in general.

But I fail to bring this into context with its significance in the movie. Was the choice of Verdun as such a prominent battlefield in the movie's backstory simply just "name dropping" as part of the movie's other historical references or is there a deeper connection between the real battle of Verdun and its significance in relation to the movie's story and themes or maybe even word from the film-makers/authors why this particular location was chosen? (An in-universe relation seems unlikely anyway, since the Mimics surely didn't know about its signifiance in human history.)

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I think that everything you said makes complete sense, but I see also that there was a previous "Battle of Verdun" during the Franco-Prussian War:

The 1792 battle occurred over a single day, and the Prussian army successfully defeated the French.

The 1916 battle, that you mention, occurred over 11 months and ultimately the French army defeated the German army, despite an initial assumption (by the Germans) to the contrary.

Looking at the plot of the movie, the Mimics' plan is revealed to be that they are staging battles and when suffering a loss, they repeat the day, remember the previous events, and then go on to seem prescient and win the "second" version of the attack.

Everything was working perfectly with that methodology until Rita steals the time-reversal power, and now she remembers the battles and they do not, because she is the one resetting the time-line. She eventually loses this power, but Cage garners it in a very similar manner, and this is the focus of the movie. We only learn about Rita's experiences through dialogue, and she is situated as a mentor to Cage.

So, if we ignore Rita's experience and simply look at the movie and the references to Verdun in regards of Cage's experiences, I think that the history of the two battles mirrors the plot of the film.

The "first" time through, it was an unequivocal defeat for humanity. But now that Cage has the power for time-reversal, despite the loooooong and arduous task of training and dying and training and dying, he ultimately defeats the mimics and wins the war.

I think the specificity of the choice of the battle site is because it has this very unique history of being a site of an extremely short and then an extremely long battle. The mimic attack that Cage first went through was clearly going to be a quick defeat of the last human defense effort, but by being able to restart the time-line, he was able to then endure this incredibly long battle and ultimately succeed.

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