godzilla-roaring-2Warner Bros./Godzilla Trailer

“Godzilla” opened in theaters late Thursday evening.

If you’ve seen the trailers, you know one of the coolest parts is a skydiving sequence, showing members of the military paratrooping from a plane in order to engage the monster.

Check it out:

You may have also noticed something that struck you as odd.

After the jump, you see these red streaks of smoke follow the paratroopers on the way down.




It doesn’t only appear in the trailers.

The smoke was also a big part of one of the film’s promotional posters.

godzilla posterWarner Bros.

Then in the film’s main trailer, while the U.S. military is attacking Godzilla with its standard weaponery like giant aircraft carriers, one of the scenes shows soldiers shooting tiny red flares toward the massive monster.


Obviously, red flares and smoke are no match for Godzilla, so why are they so prominent? What is their purpose?

When we spoke with the film’s military technical adviser, retired Sgt. Maj. James Dever, he explained how something as small as red flares could be effective against something as big as Godzilla.

“The use of the red flares was never to attack the creature,” said Dever. “It was used to divert the creature … to distract him.”

The flares — and red smoke — divert the monster’s attention long enough for the military to use its more powerful artillery or even clear the area.

In real life, the military uses smoke and flares in similar ways.

Smoke can be used to create smoke screens for cover and the different colors of smoke can signify enemy targets and identify landing areas for aircraft.

While flares can be defensive countermeasures, which can be seen in the clip below of a CV-22 Osprey military helicopter testing their flare defense system.