Novatroopers, also known as Nova-class Stormtroopers, were stormtrooper honor guards who were assigned to historically significant locations such as Emperor Palpatine's birthworld of Naboo, as well as to captured enemy starships. Novatroopers were somewhat better trained than the average stormtrooper, but they were similarly equipped. Elite Novatroopers were distinguished by their black and gold colored reinforced stormtrooper armor, but different Novatrooper variants existed. Novatrooper Medics wore black and red armor, and other Novatroopers wore all black armor, doubling in their duties as shadow stormtroopers. Although Novatroopers at times participated in patrols to crackdown on Rebel Alliance activity, and were involved in a number of invasions, they were rarely encountered outside of official Imperial ceremonies.
- "Imperial forces are known to have captured many Alliance corvettes. Highly trained Novatroopers are the primary Imperial troops used to board and take control of Rebel starships. Infiltrate an Imperial controlled Corellian corvette and defeat four Elite Novatrooper Commanders."
- ―An unidentified voice, instructing a Force-sensitive individual
By 0 BBY, Novatroopers, also known as Nova-class Stormtroopers, served as stormtrooper honor guards in the Galactic Empire, and were listed in the Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide, an official guidebook for strategies, branches, units, philosophy, and history for the Imperial Military. Novatroopers were typically assigned to historically significant locations such as Emperor Palpatine's birthworld of Naboo. For the most part, Novatroopers were rarely encountered outside of official Imperial ceremonies, such as the semi-annual awarding of the Medal of Valor and the Emperor's public address to the citizens of Coruscant at the start of New Year's Fete Week. However, due to a surge in Rebel Alliance activity after their victory at the Battle of Yavin, Elite Novatroopers were deployed to support crackdowns on illegal activity. After successful operations, the Imperial Novatroopers were subsequently relieved of their duties. Regardless, Novatroopers continued to ocasionally patrol other areas across the galaxy during the course of the Galactic Civil War. Novatroopers also guarded captured enemy starships, including a number of CR90 corvettes. In one diabolically crafted political maneuver, the Empire stole a Rebel Corellian corvette and filled it with explosives. Their intention was to send the craft hurtling into Centerpoint Station near Corellia. This false flag attack was intended to make the Rebels look both foolish and dangerous. Novatroopers were responsible for securing the inner corridors of the corvette, while the Empire spent time rigging the ship with explosives.
They were thwarted, however, by the efforts of Master Sergeant Crowley, who dispatched a team of Rebels to board the craft and destroy it before it could carry out its mission. In another dastardly plot, Novatroopers led by a ruthless Imperial Inquisitor overtook a Rebel blockade runner, eliminated the entire crew, and planned to crash the ship into a suspected Rebel city on the surface of Tralus. They were again stopped, this time by the efforts of a team of Rebels sent by Mon Calamari Pashna Starkiller. The Empire also used Novatroopers to seize control of a corvette belonging to the Corellian Security Force. Using the craft as a prisoner transport, Novatroopers remained onboard to guard Gabriel Ian, a highly-decorated Alliance pilot that CorSec officers arrested under suspicion of terrorist activities. However, the Novatroopers failed to adequately guard their prisoner. Adar Tallon of the Rebel Alliance successfully oversaw a mission to board the vessel and rescue Ian before he could be transported to the Imperial Prison on Dathomir. During the time of the Galactic Civil War, a Force-sensitive individual training in the ways of the light side of the Force meditated at a Force shrine. In the course of doing so, the Force wielder heard an unidentified voice instructing the individual to infiltrate an Imperial controlled Corellian corvette and kill four Elite Novatrooper Commanders. When Rebel forces besieged the cities of Bestine, Dearic, and Keren in the years leading up to 3 ABY, Elite Novatrooper Commanders were involved in both defending the cities from Rebel invasions, and driving out enemy occupiers.
Specially trained and equipped for difficult assaults, Novatroopers were among the best of the Empire’s ground soldiers. The most skilled within their ranks were regarded as truly terrifying in action. Predominantly comprised of Human males, Novatroopers belonged to the Stormtrooper Corps, a military branch which supported both the Imperial Army and Navy. However, a number of Novatroopers also doubled as shadow stormtroopers, specialized stormtroopers which served in Imperial Intelligence under Director Cronal. Novatrooper operating numbers were preceded by either TK, GK, RK, LK, or VK. They were also segmented into varying ranks and positions. Standard Novatroopers, Novatrooper Cadets, Novatrooper Ensigns, and Novatrooper Squad Leaders were among those who doubled as shadow stormtroopers, as indicated by their entirely black armor. However, Novatrooper Captains and Commanders also wore all black armor, but they did not double as such. Likewise, Elite Novatroopers and Elite Novatrooper Commanders, who were distinguished by their gold markings, were not designated as shadow troopers. Novatrooper Medics were unique, in that they wore black armor with red markings. They were also assigned to captured CR90 corvettes and wilderness patrol areas in limited numbers. Dark Novatroopers were a type of dark trooper which bore the Novatrooper name, deadly next-generation battle droids used by the Galactic Empire. These Dark Novatrooper droids accompanied their Human counterparts aboard captured vessels, as well as during the sieges of Bestine, Dearic, and Keren. Nova Trooper Commandos were another variant, however, they donned entirely different equipment.
- "You will recognize an Elite Novatrooper Commander by their black armor with a golden pauldron."
- ―An unidentified voice, to a Force-sensitive individual
E-11 carbines were the primary weapon of choice used by Novatroopers, however they were also armed with DLT-20A blaster rifles, DX-2 disruptor pistols, and fragmentation grenades. Novatroopers wore black reinforced stormtrooper armor. Depending on their rank and position, the armor would be colored with certain markings or affixed with specific pauldrons. Standard Novatroopers, Novatrooper Cadets, Novatrooper Ensigns, and Novatrooper Squad Leaders wore entirely black armor, however the squad leaders were differentiated by a dark orange-colored pauldron on their right shoulder. These specific Novatroopers also doubled as shadow stormtroopers, otherwise known as Blackhole stormtroopers. Shadow stormtroopers were outfitted with stygian-triprismatic polymer armor. Novatrooper Captains and Novatrooper Commanders also wore all black armor, but they were not recognized as shadow stormtroopers. The captains were distinguished by bright orange pauldrons, while the commanders wore yellow pauldrons. Elite Novatroopers and Elite Novatrooper Commanders wore black armor, albeit with special gold markings to indicate their elite status. The Elite Novatrooper Commanders were also equipped with yellow-colored pauldrons. Like their counterparts, Novatrooper Medics wore all black armor, but with special red markings to indicate their status as medics.
Behind the scenesEdit
Novatroopers first appeared as non-player characters in the 2003 video game Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts, prior to its closure on December 15, 2011. They made their official debut on April 13, 2004 as part of the Publish 7 Droid Invasion update, which introduced a new series of instanced dungeon quests featuring the Corellian corvette. Nine quests were added in total, including three destroy missions, three assassination missions, and three rescue missions for Imperial, Rebel, and neutral players. Novatroopers were featured in the Rebel versions of the quests, where they could be found patrolling the corridors of the captured corvettes. As part of the Publish 8 Droids Rebuilt update on April 27, 2004, Elite Novatrooper NPCs were deployed as part of the ongoing "Imperial Crackdown" updates, "To support the crackdown on illegal activity." However, only a day later, on April 28, the Novatrooper NPCs were removed from the "Imperial Crackdown" operations during another update. The patch notes provided an in-universe explanation for their departure, by stating, "After successful operations, the Imperial Novatroopers have been relieved of their duties in the Imperial Crackdown." Regardless, Novatrooper NPCs could still occasionally be spotted in various areas throughout the galaxy during the course of the game's lifespan.
As part of a series of Jedi Knight trials included in the game prior to the release of the New Game Enhancements on November 15, 2005, Jedi players could receive a quest from various Force shrines to defeat four Elite Novatrooper Commanders. Following the release of the Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game Champions of the Force on August 19, 2008, an Elite Novatrooper was introduced as a game card, the artwork for which was completed by Monte Moore. When the developers overhauled the Galactic Civil War system as part of Game Update 15 on January 15, 2010, Novatroopers were once again featured. This time, players could help deploy Novatroopers in the defense of, or attacks on three designated invasion cities, including Bestine, Dearic, and Keren. Although players could refrain from participating in quests and objectives pertaining to the Novatroopers, this article assumes 100% game completion.
Curiously, some Novatroopers in the game, when examined, revealed a descriptor which read, "black hole stormtrooper." Specifically, only basic Novatroopers, Novatrooper Cadets, Novatrooper Ensigns, and Novatrooper Squad Leaders had this descriptor, while the others did not. It is unclear to what extent this should be regarded as canonical in the Star Wars Legends continuity, or if it should simply be considered a categorization error. Later sources, like the 2009 Rebellion Era Campaign Guide, and the 2014 Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide seem to regard Novatroopers and shadow stormtroopers as two distinct types of stormtroopers, without any explicit link between the two. Furthermore, shadow stormtroopers appeared elsewhere throughout Star Wars Galaxies, but none were referred to as Novatroopers.
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (First appearance)
- (Picture only)
- Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars Galaxies: The Total Experience: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Guide: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Champions of the Force (Card: Elite Novatrooper)
- Rebellion Era Campaign Guide
- (Picture only)
- (Picture only)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Gambler's World
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Rebellion Era Campaign Guide
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide
- ↑ 6.0 6.1
- ↑ 8.0 8.1
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2
- ↑ According to its opening crawl, Star Wars Galaxies was set sometime after Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. One character in the game, Ruwan Tokai, referenced the destruction of the Death Star as occurring one year earlier, placing the timeline somewhere around 1 ABY. However, the existence of other characters and quests in the game indicated a timeline of anywhere from 0 to 3 ABY.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Champions of the Force (Card: Elite Novatrooper)
- ↑ Star Wars: Dark Forces