- "Soldiers of the Rebel Alliance, this is our most desperate hour. You are our only hope."
- ―Gial Ackbar
Rebel troopers, also known as Rebel soldiers or Alliance troopers, were the front-line soldiers of both the early rebel movement and later, the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War. Initially formed from loosely connected resistance cells, the leadership of Mon Mothma saw them become an impressively armed and trained galaxy-spanning infantry.
With the proclamation of the New Order 19 years before the Battle of Yavin, discontinued military equipment from the former Grand Army of the Republic often wound up in the hands of rebelling factions in a variety of star systems. With many resenting Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine's expansionist policies into the galaxy's periphery, many came to form loose, unorganized cells against the Emperor's reign. Cham Syndulla's Free Ryloth Movement epitomized the ferocity of early resistance movements four years into Imperial rule, while smaller actions orchestrated by groups such as Berch Teller's rebel cell and the Corellian Resistance continued to prove a nuisance to Imperial authorities well into the Age of the Empire.
At least five years before the Battle of Yavin, a loose rebel network came into existence that opposed the Galactic Empire on a near galactic scale. However, it was unorganized, with many groups not knowing the existence of one another in order to ensure each group's individual survival in case one was compromised. One group known as Phoenix Cell utilized CR90 corvettes and a Republic-era Pelta-class frigate along with RZ-1 A-wing interceptors that would continue to be used by Rebel forces well into the Galactic Civil War, while soldiers wore uniforms that were visually similar to those worn by later resistance fighters.
With the formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Rebel troopers would see wide use and variations in armor and equipment. They were deployed on worlds as far flung as Sullust, Coyerti, and Haidoral Prime, as well as in major battles such as the Battle of Hoth and the Battle of Endor. Following the establishment of the New Republic, Rebel troops were transitioned into the role of New Republic soldiers.
Rebel troopers were organized into various units such as fire teams of two individuals or squads of four when necessary, and were often put under the command of Generals such as Crix Madine or Carlist Rieekan. Grand strategy was dictated by Alliance High Command, which had the final say in all joint military operations. Troopers could be placed under infantry units such as the Twenty-First or Thirty-Second Infantry, the aquatic Sixty-Eighth Infantry or vanguard 61st Mobile Infantry. The Rebel Alliance Special Forces, including the Pathfinders, were composed of the best soldiers in the Rebellion often pulled from the Rebel trooper ranks, and were utilized and regarded as highly trained and organized commandos.
Uniforms and Equipment
Being deployed on numerous worlds across the galaxy, the standard Rebel trooper's uniform and equipment varied depending on the environment and mission. Unable to finance a standard uniform for the entire army, the Alliance devised a standard look for troopers to identify themselves and improve unit cohesion and morale. Many Rebel troops adopted the uniform of Alderaanian consular security, wearing blue shirts, black combat vests, grey trousers and black calf length boots, along with a distinctive white helmet with a visor above the forehead. This uniform appeared at outposts such as Base One, while a variant was utilized by support crew on Yavin 4, with a similar white helmet design but instead wearing a light brown jumpsuit instead of combat vest and shirt. Officers wore a similar uniform to their trooper counterpart, but instead sported a light brown jacket, shirt and pants along with a brown belt. Those in the Rebel Honor Guard wore dark green, buttoned down jackets with pockets, matching pants and black boots, but had a similar helmet to those of consular security.
Troopers on Hoth wore a white or beige shirt and pants, along with matching tan and white caps with ear flaps, and could carry goggles when necessary. Troopers in the field and not in the safety of Echo Base often wore a similar variant as those in the hangar but instead had more of a white and grey coloring, along with white Alliance Cold Weather Backpacks.
Troopers assigned to forest, desert and volcanic worlds often but not always wore a uniform resembling those used by the strike team assembled to take down the Death Star II's shield generator on the forest moon of Endor, with camouflaged green and brown jackets and pants, along with backpacks similar to those worn by troopers on cold worlds but camouflaged green or grey. They could also carry brown sacks, and had a green metal rim circling their helmets. Pathfinders were commandos who utilized this same outfit. Troopers assigned to desert worlds could also wear uniforms similar to troopers on the Tantive IV. Bantha Riders rode banthas and utilized a tan shirt and brown jacket along with a similar helmet worn by troopers on the Tantive IV.
Rebel troopers often utilized the DH-17 blaster pistol and DL-18 blaster pistol, as well as the A280 blaster rifle or its modified variant the A280C blaster rifle, while the E-17d sniper rifle was used by Rebel marksmen. Rebel Vanguards wore a white shirt and black jacket, along with brown pants and black boots, and utilized PLX-1s to take out heavy targets. Alliance troops also utilized the personal energy shield technology stolen from the Empire to minimize damage from enemy blaster bolts. Often being deployed in the field with limited supplies and armaments, Rebel troopers modified their weapons into multi-purpose weapons, with the development of an insert that allowed soldiers to fire charged ion bolts for a limited time. When Merr-Sonn Munitions, Inc. sought to increase its market share, it developed the widely used MPL-57, popular for its versatility and capability for firing a wide range of ammunition.
Specialized Rebel troopers
The Rebel Alliance possessed a variety of specialized troopers that were trained to defend Alliance leaders on countless worlds and during many operations, changing uniforms and tactics to meet each challenge.
- Bantha Riders— Rebel troopers who rode trained Banthas to strike down enemy defenses.
- Cold-weather Soldiers— Rebel troopers that operated in arctic conditions.
- Cold-weather Heavy Soldiers - a variation of Cold-weather soldiers and Heavy Soldiers that were trained for combat in sub-zero conditions and wielded Z-6 rotary blaster cannons and wore light armor to maintain mobility.
- Tauntaun Riders— Rebel Alliance soldiers that rode Tauntauns, creatures indigenous to Hoth. Tauntaun Riders specialized in scouting and missions in sub-zero temperatures, and the Tauntauns were also specially trained to ram enemies and, at times, fortifications.
- Combat engineers— Rebel troopers who specialized in engineering.
- Desert Soldiers— Rebel troopers that operated in desert environments.
- Drabatan Saboteurs— Drabatan Rebel troopers that specialized in sabotage operations.
- Fleet troopers— Rebel troopers stationed aboard the starships of the Alliance Fleet.
- Gigoran Fighters— Gigoran mercenaries that served in the Rebel Alliance.
- Heavy Soldiers— Rebel troopers equipped with Z-6 rotary blaster cannons.
- Iakaru Warriors— Warriors from Iakar that served in the Rebel Alliance. They had keen eyesight and strong spatial awareness, allowing them to effectively attack enemy defenses.
- Ithorian Infiltrators— Ithorian commandos employed by the Alliance to Restore the Republic that specialized in infiltration tactics while using a personal energy shield and modified ion blaster to get close to deflector shield generators and disable them.
- Jetpack Troopers— Recruited from the most dauntless of Rebel soldiers, Jetpack Troopers were specialized troopers that were equipped with jetpacks.
- Arctic Jetpack Troopers— a variation of both Cold weather soldiers and Jetpack troopers that were equipped modified jetpacks, allowing them to have the means to move quickly and deal more damage in extremely cold environments.
- Desert Jetpack Troopers— a variation of both Desert and Jetpack Troopers that were equipped with modified jetpacks, allowing them to move quickly and deal more damage in extremely hot and dry conditions.
- Forest Jetpack Troopers— a variation of Jetpack troopers that were equipped with modified jetpacks allowing to achieve greater agility, speed, and damage needed for combat in dense forest and jungle environments.
- Ishi Tib Jetpack Troopers— a variation of Jetpack troopers and were made of Ishi Tib soldiers and were equipped with jetpacks, personal energy shields, and blasters.
- Pathfinders— An elite group of commandos that served as a special forces unit in the Rebel Alliance. They were trained in recon, infiltration, sabotage and tactics for hit-and-run raids.
- Quarren Heavy Gunners— A group of Quarren soldiers that served in the Rebel Alliance as heavy frontline infantry and were equipped with heavy blaster rifles.
- Rebel Honor Guard— A squad of Rebel Alliance soldiers that swore to defend and protect key members of the Rebel Alliance with their lives.
- Rebel Marines— A group of soldiers that served as a special forces unit.
- Rebel Marksmans— a group of soldiers that served as snipers in the Rebel Alliance.
- Rebel Vanguards— an elite group of soldiers that served in the Rebel Alliance and carried PLX-1 missile launchers.
- Rocket-jumpers— an Infantry unit that served in the Rebel Alliance. They were equipped with Jump Packs and Smart Rockets.
- Rodian Snipers— a group of Rodian soldiers that served in the Rebel Alliance and specialized in the usage of long range weapons and were also equipped with smoke grenades.
- Shock troopers— an infantry unit of the Rebel Alliance.
- Special-weapons flamethrowers— a group of Rebel Alliance soldiers that carried Flamethrowers. They were normally in the center of a squad and worked in conjunction with combat engineers to take down fortifications.
- Sullustan Demolition— a group of Sullustan soldiers that served in the Rebel Alliance and specialized in the usage of Smart Rockets and explosives.
- Sullustan Recon Sharpshooters— a group of Sullustan that served in the ground forces of the Rebel Alliance.
- Wookiee warriors— a group of Wookiees that served in the Rebel Alliance.
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