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Click here for Wookieepedia's article on the Canon version of this subject.  This article covers the Legends version of this subject. 
For other uses, see Academy.
"Imperial Military Academy at Cliffside" redirects here. For the Cliffside cantina of Ando Prime, see Cliffside.

"Life at the Carida Academy was full of changes. Some changes were startling, and some were expected. Some studies I did not take to, while others suited me just fine. Obedience, discipline, and loyalty were always drilled into us."
Soontir Fel[src]

The Academy of Carida was a private, and later state-supported, comprehensive military institution. It formed a triumvirate of elite military institutions along with the academies of Anaxes and Corulag. The institution was known by a variety of names such as Caridan Military Academy, Carida Academy, and Academy at Carida. It was located on the Spinara Plateau. It was considered a fairly prestigious Imperial military academy, and the planet's high gravity was used to train tougher, more resilient stormtroopers.


"Cowards die a thousand deaths."
―Motto carved into the mantel in the ceremonial dining room fireplace[src]

Imperial parade-grounds on Carida.

The Academy of Carida existed around 5000 BBY, at which time its logo was inscribed in the Mascot Moon. Senatorial mandate around 220 BBY established it as a centralized training ground for Planetary Security Forces that maintained order across the Republic, as well as Judicial ground forces. The Academy was also responsible for training the Republic Army during the penultimate military conflicts of the Galactic Republic.

Known then as the Republic Defense Academy, its influence waned in tandem with the Republic's faltering military capability and shift towards increased reliance on the Jedi Order. When the Separatist Crisis threatened to divide the Republic, the Academy's administrators and its Caridan governors supported the Militarist senators attempting to pass the Military Creation Act, hoping to regain the prestige it once held. The role of the Academy during the Clone Wars was training non-clone warriors to supplement the Kaminoan-trained clone troopers and elite clone trooper commanders.

As Palpatine's Galactic Empire assumed the functions of the fallen Republic, a large scale military build-up brought the Academy under state control. Renamed the Imperial Military Academy, the Academy became best known as the central training facility for the Emperor's fearsome stormtroopers of the Stormtrooper Corps, a continuation of its earlier mission during the Clone Wars. As the Imperial war machine accelerated, the compound was expanded to include several other training programs for various branches of the Imperial Service, including the development of a training center for clones that, similar to the Republic's ARC troopers, were bred for greater independence and leadership. Such training included live training supplementing lessons learned through flash instruction. The Academy eventually opened the stormtrooper ranks to non-clones, with a two-year stormtrooper training program well known for its brutality, and thus drawing only the best and bravest army cadets.

The 501st Legion had a special training facility at the Academy.

The reputation of Carida became so strong that it became synonymous with military education and was known by many as simply "the Imperial Academy", despite the existence of several major and hundreds of minor state-operated Imperial academies. By the peak of the Empire, it was uncommon for any officer or specialized soldier to have not spent at least one semester at the Academy. Although Carida was first and foremost the training center for those aspiring to become members of the Stormtrooper Corps, various officers in both the Army and Navy branches of the Imperial Military nonetheless accepted recruits from Carida that didn't make it into the Stormtrooper Corps.[1]

During the Imperial years, the Carida Academy's staff and students numbered over 150,000 total. A full four-year course at the Academy would give the Empire an average of 500,000 credits per student.

Before the Battle of Endor, the Academy was target of an attack coordinated by Rebel pilots. Only four of them survived the assault, including Telsij.[2]

The Academy was destroyed in 11 ABY when Kyp Durron launched the Sun Crusher's resonance torpedoes into the heart of the Carida system's primary star. The resulting shockwave incinerated all planetary life, with the follow up cracking the planetary shell. Within the two-hour warning period Durron provided, it is believed that many of the Imperials escaped with much of their equipment.


The Academy.

"A metal railing separated downward bound pedestrians from those coming up. Consistent with the Emperor's disdain for other sentient species, and his not-so-subtle discrimination against women, most were both human and male. The Imperial Military Training Base on Carida was home to more than one hundred and fifty thousand recruits, cadets, and instructors. The Military Academy, also known as Cliffside due to the dropoff along the east side of the parade ground, took up less than one-tenth of the sprawling base, but produced a high percentage of the Empire's officer corps."
―Kyle Katarn's description of Carida's academy, as he exits a local hospital.[src]

The central focus of the Academy was its training of stormtroopers. While other branches and sister facilities were tied into the stormtrooper training program, every trainee that passed through the gates of the Academy participated in the basic training and field exercises of the Stormtrooper Corps before moving on to their more specialized training.

Due to the very high standards of the Stormtrooper Corps, the turnout rate for recruit training in Carida is fairly low, due to most applicants failing to meet the posted physical requirements, while others wash out during training. In large part because of the exceedingly merciless standards, those who do pass is considered a point of honor among the ranks of the Corps. Nonetheless, even those who either fail to meet the physical requirements or wash out are considered viable recruits to both the Imperial Army and Navy.[1]

Live fire field exercises provided practical experience as well as the means to test new weapons in combat situations. In fact, every major military equipment firm built facilities on Carida to allow for easier testing and development.

Carida academy prior to the planet's destruction.

Facilities included:

In addition, aside from experimental weapons testing,[1] prospective stormtrooper officer candidates undergo lessons in:

  • Wilderness survival;[1]
  • Desert warfare simulations;[1]
  • Underwater battle tactics;[1]
  • Flash-memory instruction in military history;[1]
  • Self-discipline through emotional suppression;[1]
  • Education in the principles of the Emperor's New Order[1]


A cadet looking at one of the giant statues of the Academy of Carida.

Centered at Spinara Plateau and surrounded by dagger-like mountains, the Academy was composed of several impressive buildings that acted as living and dining space, training areas, as well as administrative and Caridan government offices. At the center of the campus was a large citadel[3] with architecture designed to echo the ancient buildings of Coruscant and Raithal, despite its relative youth. Enormous turrets and minarets dotted the upper walls of the citadel[3]; the southernmost turret housed the Academy's private HoloNet transceiver.

The campus itself contained facilities for both basic and advanced training. Numerous outbuildings, drill fields, rifle ranges, and storage and training facilities surrounded the main quadrangles. Decommissioned Imperial walkers were placed along major promenades as imposing reminders of the Emperor's might. Decorations included an immense statue of Palpatine.

The Academy Dean resided in the Dean's Residence.

Faculty and staff[]

Notable students[]

Cliffside graduation ceremony

Behind the scenes[]

Prior to the development of the Academy of Carida in the Jedi Academy Trilogy, the Raithal Academy was established as the most prestigious branch of the Imperial Academy.



Notes and references[]