- "What I unveil today will mark a new era for the Empire. We will be able to decimate the Rebels just as we did the Jedi Knights. At last the Emperor's war will be filled only with the glory and beauty of decisive victory."
- ―Rom Mohc
The Dark Trooper Project was a program run by General Rom Mohc of the Galactic Empire, funded by Emperor Palpatine, to develop what would have become next generation stormtroopers/battle droids, the dark troopers.
The factory ship Arc Hammer served as the main production facility of the battle droids.
Dark Trooper Phase Zero Project
The Dark Trooper Phase Zero project was implemented in the early years of the Empire to deal with a shortage of experienced troops. To return veterans of the Clone Wars to peak condition, their limbs and organs were removed and replaced with cybernetics using much of the same technology used to transform Darth Vader into a cyborg. In some cases, over 70% of a clone's body was replaced. With their years of combat experience and cybernetic enhancements, the units that did make it onto the field were undeniably effective. However, as the subjects were forcibly recruited into the project, many Phase Zero Dark Troopers could not cope with the state of being more machine than man and attempted suicide. The project was eventually shut down as the Empire grew in power and the recruitment rate of non-clones rose.
The Dark Trooper Project was the brainchild of General Rom Mohc who drew from his experiences helping TaggeCo develop the Z-X3 experimental droid trooper, as well as the Dark Trooper Phase Zero Project he oversaw in the earlier years of the Empire. General Mohc, working with the Imperial Department of Military Research, requisitioned the Arc Hammer to both construct, house, and transport his new little army. However, not everyone in the Empire supported the project. Several officers and politicians had reservations about droids dating from the Clone Wars experiences. Notably Grand Vizier Sate Pestage never thought the project would work.
The project was divided into three phases: phases I, II, and III. While the Phase I dark troopers were little more than skeletal prototypes they were put into some use early on by General Rom Mohc guarding installations. A peculiarity of the Phase I when compared to the later stages is that instead of a blaster rifle, or some other projectile weapon, it was equipped with a retractable vibrosword and a blast shield.
- "Dark trooper: release."
- ―Rom Mohc
Success for the project was ultimately achieved with Phase II. After initial production of the Phase II dark troopers, an attack was launched on Talay Tak Base. The attack proved the capabilities of Phase II dark troopers; the base was completely wiped out in minutes. These battle droids were larger, bulkier, and equipped with armor of similar design to that of stormtroopers. This armor was made of phrik, a dense and durable alloy that was difficult for even lightsabers to cut through. The Phase II carried a weapon capable of firing both plasma shells and explosive rockets.
Not content with the modest success of the Phase II, Rom Mohc went on to develop the Phase III. To General Mohc the Phase III would be the ultimate battle droid. However, it also served as an exosuit for living soldiers. Only one unit was ever constructed of the most devastating of the dark troopers. General Mohc utilized this droid to defend himself and the Arc Hammer from Kyle Katarn.
- "I told you it would never work."
- ―Sate Pestage
Under orders from Mon Mothma, Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors continually sabotaged the production facilities. Kyle Katarn quickly infilitrated and sabotaged a number of key facilities including the phrik mines on Gromas 16 and the phrik refining facility and Phase II factory on Anteevy. Eventually the mercenary infiltrated the Arc Hammer, where Mohc and Katarn had their final showdown. Mohc was killed in the skirmish, and the Arc Hammer was destroyed by thermal detonator charges.
Furious at the time and credits wasted on the project, Palpatine ended all productions of the dark troopers and even went so far as to withdraw funding for all Imperial battle droids being developed at that time. Despite the failure of the project and the loss of Mohc, Vader kept the few remaining dark troopers and used them as guards for his castle on Vjun.
- Star Wars Gamemaster Screen, Revised
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Essential Guide to Droids
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Dark Forces Saga
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- Kyle Katarn's Tale
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Squadrons Over Corellia (Card: Exogen-Class Dark Trooper)
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 11
- Galaxy at War
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 30
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 32
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Heroes and Legends (Card: The Dark Trooper Project)
- Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook
- Strongholds of Resistance