This article is about the Imperial project. You may be looking for the episode of The Bad Batch.

"These new troopers, what do you mean they're our replacements?"
"Well, we clones are soldiers of a Republic that doesn't exist. These recruits come from all over the galaxy. They swear loyalty to the Empire. They're not as skilled, but there's an endless supply of 'em."
Echo and Gregor[4]

Project War-Mantle,[3] also known as simply War-Mantle,[9] War Mantle,[10] stormtrooper program,[11] and Stormtrooper initiative,[12] was an initiative of the Galactic Empire enacted soon after its founding that sought to fill out the ranks of the burgeoning Imperial Army with conscripted and willingly recruited human soldiers, a departure from the clone army of the Galactic Republic.[6] The project was also the clandestine code name for the creation of barracks, facilities, training programs, and gear for non-clone troopers.[13]

Many Imperial officials were concerned over the cost of creating new clone troopers, as well as the clones' accelerated aging and limited shelf life.[2] Furthermore, the clone troopers had been created for the Republic, which the Empire had replaced. Therefore, the project would eventually replace the soldiers who had originally sworn themselves to the Republic with those who had sworn themselves solely to the Empire.[4] While the clones displayed great loyalty to the Empire during the early Imperial Era, much of this loyalty was enforced by their behavioral modification biochips.[2] The project ultimately culminated in the passing of the Imperial Defense Recruitment Bill, which allowed the Imperial Military to legally begin the mass mobilization of non-clone soldiers.[14]

The project[]

"With more time and training, our forces will be unlike anything the galaxy has seen."
"Then I leave this project in your capable hands, Admiral."
―Edmon Rampart and Wilhuff Tarkin[6]

The first soldiers recruited under Project War-Mantle were the Elite Squad Troopers, who served in the Elite Squad led by Clone Commander CT-9904, previously known as "Crosshair," a former member of Clone Force 99. The project was part of Vice Admiral Edmon Rampart's vision for the Empire, and he received support from Governor Wilhuff Tarkin.[6]

After the Elite Squad's initial success,[6] the project continued with the training of the first "TK stormtroopers" at an installation on the planet Daro in the Outer Rim Territories. The first thousand recruits on Daro were trained by a group of fifty clone commandos, although one of the instructors, Captain CC-5576-39, nicknamed "Gregor," defected from the Empire not long afterwards with the assistance of the remaining members of Clone Force 99.[4]

As time went on, Vice Admiral Rampart proposed the Imperial Defense Recruitment Bill to the Imperial Senate, which would formalize the Imperial Military's transition from a clone army to a recruitment-based force. Though some senators opposed the bill, chiefly Pantoran senator Riyo Chuchi, it was eventually passed at the behest of Emperor Palpatine. In secret,[14] the Empire had already started assigning recruited stormtroopers to missions instead of clone troopers before the bill was even passed.[15] Before the bill's passage,[15][16] recruited troops were seen on Desix,[15] Thabeska, and Raada.[17]

Plans for the initiative were contained with similar top-secret projects covered by the Tarkin Initiative at the Citadel Tower on Scarif, along with those of the Death Star and Stellar Sphere. When he learned of a rebel incursion at Scarif, Tarkin thought it would be a special pity to see War-Mantle set back, though he also noted it would hardly be a major blow to the galactic timetable, particularly with the Death Star now online.[9] At one point, rebel technician Tenzigo Weems found a mention of it in an intercepted data packet that was pulled from the Balmorra relay and reported it to Davits Draven.[10]

Behind the scenes[]

War-Mantle was first mentioned in the 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story[7] and its adaptations,[9] but would not be seen on screen until the third episode of the 2021 Disney+ series Star Wars: The Bad Batch, where it was revealed to focus on the Empire's recruitment of conscripted soldiers.[6]



Notes and references[]