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"If you sacrifice for nothing… you are nothing. Whether you live or die… the only thing that matters is victory."
―Sergeant Cordo, to his death troopers[5]

A guard unit of death troopers of the Galactic Empire was active[1] in 3 ABY[5] and led by Sergeant Cordo and later by the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader.[1] The three remaining death troopers accompanied Vader to Tatooine to the Lars moisture farm after the Duel on Cloud City against Luke Skywalker and fought against criminals, and they then traveled with Vader to Coruscant and secured Padmé's Apartment.[2]


"You've been trained to do anything and everything necessary… and that's exactly how it should be. But listen up… I've seen more stormtroopers eat it than I can count. And I've seen plenty of death troopers just like you live up to their name… by dying. But dying doesn't make you a hero of the Empire."
―Sergeant Cordo, to his death troopers[5]

As a guard unit consisting of seven death troopers, the unit was tasked with special missions.[1] Death troopers were elite stormtroopers created by the Tarkin Initiative and assigned to Imperial Intelligence, and deployed for protecting high-ranking officials of the Galactic Empire as well as undertaking covert missions.[6] The unit was initially composed of seven death troopers with Sergeant Cordo acting as the unit's commanding officer, with several death trooper specialists as characterized by their pauldron and additional equipment. When the unit was reduced to three members, they all underwent extensive cybernetic repair work.[1]

The unit, due to its actions and supreme service to the Empire, was then personally chosen by Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader to serve as his own guard unit.[1] In the end, however, their loyalty was to Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine above all. Thus, the death troopers turned on Vader during the Scourge of Coruscant on his order.[4] Of the three remaining members, only one death trooper served as a specialist.[2] During the unit's service, they utilized a TIE/rp Reaper attack lander[1] and a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle,[2] and were equipped with death trooper armor, E-11D blaster carbines, and DLT-19D heavy blaster rifles.[1]


Early service[]

"You're death troopers now. The best of the best. Or so I hear. Well… we'll see about that."
―Sergeant Cordo, to the death troopers[5]

The unit of death troopers served in the Imperial Era, as part of the Galactic Empire's Imperial Military forces[1] and were originally stormtroopers before being selected to be trained as death troopers. After rigorous training and body augmentations,[6] the unit graduated and were officially designated as death troopers, with several serving as death trooper specialists.[1]

First mission[]

"Your first official mission: Some rebels got fancy. Stole some experimental tech and built themselves a cannon."
―Sergeant Cordo, briefing the unit[5]
Cordo death troopers attack

Cordo's death troopers attack the rebels.

In 3 ABY,[5] the unit of death troopers were assigned to Sergeant Cordo aboard an Imperial-class Star Destroyer during the Galactic Civil War. Their first mission was to destroy a Rebel Alliance v-150 Planet Defender, as an Imperial admiral did not want to risk their vessel by getting too close to the cannon. After the briefing, Sergeant Cordo and the death troopers boarded a TIE/rp Reaper and travelled to the world that hosted the Rebel Alliance's cannon and landed nearby, deploying the death trooper unit.[1]

While moving forward into a tree line, the unit of death troopers was ambushed by a contingent of rebel troopers and killed at least one trooper in an explosion. A skirmish subsequently erupted in the area, with the death trooper unit sustaining several more casualties. After the initial assault, the remaining death troopers moved out of the trees and closer to the cannon, but encountered more rebel infantry. While the skirmish was occurring, Sergeant Cordo used his macrobinoculars to observe the death troopers from the Reaper, and noticed that the death troopers were moving in too close to the cannon without cover. As Cordo was criticizing the death troopers, only four were remaining as they encountered more resistance. During the skirmish in the field, one death trooper was gunned down, but then used as a shield by another.[1]

After neutralizing the infantry threat, the remaining three maneuvered closer to the cannon, with Cordo saying that they got closer than they deserved. Cordo then noticed that the cannon was targeting the death troopers. Believing that the death troopers did not heed his words, Cordo used the TIE Reaper to sacrifice himself and destroy the cannon by attacking it, but failed when he was shot down and crashed at the summit of the cannon. Barely surviving the crash by being pinned down and situated by the engines, the death troopers arrived to Cordo's location as Cordo believed they were saving him. The death troopers, however, began firing on the engines in order to detonate the wreckage of the Reaper. As Cordo stated and realized that they were in fact paying attention to his earlier advice, the craft exploded, engulfing the troopers in an explosion, killing Cordo, and destroying the cannon.[1]

Serving Darth Vader[]

Chosen by the Dark Lord[]

A lieutenant: "Terminate their life support. We don't need traitors. Ukk!"
Darth Vader: "Agreed, lieutenant."
A medical droid: "Oh my…"
Darth Vader: "Continue your repair work, droid… we need victors."
―Darth Vader kills a lieutenant and personally choses the death troopers as his guard[1]
Death troopers medical room

The surviving death troopers undergoing medical procedures.

In the aftermath of the mission, the three death troopers were taken to a medical bay for repair work and medical attention. A lieutenant then arrived and confirmed with the 2-1B-series medical droid if they were the troopers that killed Cordo. The droid confirmed, but stated that they also completed their mission and that the lieutenant could review the mission's tapes. The lieutenant dismissed it, and ordered the droid to terminate their life support since the Empire did not require traitors. At that moment, Lord Vader arrived at the medical bay and killed the lieutenant, confirming that the Empire did not need traitors but victors, and ordered the droid to continue its repair work, which included extensive cybernetics.[1]

Vader's mission for punishment[]

"Good. We leave at once."
―Darth Vader, to his guard once they were assembled at the hangar[2]
Vader Executor Death troopers

Darth Vader assembles his death troopers aboard the Executor.

Eventually, all three remaining death troopers made a full recovery and continued service as the personal guard of Vader.[2] By the time of the Duel on Cloud City they were headquartered on the cyborg's flagship, the Executor. Following the Millennium Falcon's escape from Cloud City and the Empire, Vader had his death trooper guard meet him in a hangar so that he could undertake a quest to find all of the individuals who hid his son, Luke Skywalker, from him.

The three death troopers then accompanied Lord Vader in a Lamdba-class shuttle to Tatooine to the Lars moisture farm. After landing at an Imperial base and being met by the local Imperial force and Lieutenant Ardo Banch, Vader ignored Banch's greetings while the death troopers menacingly rebuffed the lieutenant's attempts to speak with the Emperor's right-hand. After arriving at the moisture farm, the death troopers provided security while Vader and his crime scene analysis droid ZED-6-7 searched the area for clues. Although with the lack of progress and not being able to find anyone to unleash his anger, Banch and several stormtroopers arrived in a speeder to inform Vader that they picked up several transmissions, but were killed in an explosion. The blast engulfed the Dark Lord of the Sith but unfazed him, and soon found three starships overhead. Using the Force, Vader brought down the larger ship of the trio and killed its occupants after they opened fire. The death troopers nearby moved in atop a sand dune as the other two vessels were shot down. After the skirmish against the criminals, the death trooper guard then traveled with Vader to Coruscant and secured Padmé's Apartment while the Sith Lord and his droid investigated the building.[2]

Following this, the guard accompanied Vader to the planet Vendaxa, where they encountered Vendaxan land squid, which had attacked a group of rebel fighters. The troopers stayed outside a bunker while Vader and ZED-67 went inside, where they encountered Sabé, one of Amidala's Handmaidens.[2] There, they stood guard over the site while Sabe and ZED-67 buried the deceased fighters.[7] The handmaiden then revealed that the security recordings at amidala's apartment were hidden on the planet Naboo. The troopers were ordered to stand guard over the shuttle's landing site while Vader and ZED-67 went with Sabe. During this, the two imperials were swallowed by a Sando aqua monster summoned by Captain Tonra, who believed that Lord Vader had murdered Senator Amidala.[8] The Death troopers piloted the shuttle over the monster and fired on it using its rear-facing blaster cannon; however, the monster damaged one of the shutttle's wings and caused it to crash. The Death Troopers, emerging from the Shuttle, fired on the monster with their E-11D blaster carbines. This proved unnecessary though, as Vader (having survived being swallowed along with ZED-67) cut his way out of the beast's head and impaled its brain with his lightsaber, killing the creature. After the shuttle was repaired, the entourage travelled to Theed, the capital of Naboo, in order to 'choose the site of the battle'. However, the group were trapped in Gungan Bubble wort projectors. One of the troopers, apparently confused by the shields, attempted to fire his E-11D, but didn't following a warning from the forensics droid that firing it would merely kill himself with the ricochets. Captain Ric Olié then introduced himself, alongside the Amidalans, a group that swore to kill whoever had murdered Queen Amidala. After deeming the group of no use to him, Lord Vader used the Force to deactivate the projectors. The troopers and the Sith Lord then proceeded to kill all of the Amidalans. Following this, one of the troopers appeared to ask ZED a question, to which the droid said he could just ask Vader, adding that he wouldn't recommend it. The group then approached the Tomb of Padmé Amidala.[3]

After a battle with Amidala's handmaidens, Vader discovered that the final location he needed to travel to was the medical facility on Polis Massa. When Sabe alerted all the Amidalans of the new location, ZED advised one of the death troopers to execute the handmaidens, but Vader prevented him from doing so. The group then travelled to Polis Massa, where Vader tried to access the medical logs in the facility. However, their time was cout short with the arrival of the Amidalans. During the battle, the death troopers operated laser batteries and used them to take down several starships. Vader and the three death troopers then killed all of the Amidalans and Vader was able to access the medical logs.[9]

Han Solo's auction[]

Later on, the death troopers accompanied Lord Vader to the starship Vermillion during the Crimson Dawn's Auction for Han Solo. The troopers were instructed by him to transport the carbonised Solo to his flagship, and to kill anyone that tried to interfere. The troopers then stood guard as Lord Vader battled Lady Qi'ra, the spokesperson for Crimson Dawn.[10]



Notes and references[]