- "You are stormtroopers. You are the keenest weapon in the Emperor's arsenal. Do not fail him. Do not fail me."
- ―Alecia Beck
Stormtroopers (ST)—known as TK stormtroopers and as TK troopers during the early Imperial Era, Remnant Stormtroopers after the Battle of Endor, and colloquially referred to as "bucketheads"—were the infantry soldiers of the Galactic Empire. The members of the Imperial Army's Stormtrooper Corps served on the frontline as elite shock troops, and their loyalty to the Empire was absolute as a result of their training. The stormtrooper armor that they wore consisted of white plastoid plates over a black body glove, and their standard weapon was the E-11 medium blaster rifle. In addition to the standard trooper, various specialized units such as scout troopers and snowtroopers comprised the ranks of the Stormtrooper Corps.
Possibly taking their name from the "storm" of galactic history, stormtroopers served the Empire since its inception at the end of the Clone Wars when the Sith Lord Darth Sidious declared himself Galactic Emperor. The Galactic Republic was supplanted by the Empire, and the clone troopers who formed the backbone of the Grand Army of the Republic became the first generation of Imperial stormtroopers. During the early years of the Imperial Era, the cloning operation on Kamino was shut down as the Empire turned to conscription and recruitment in order to fill the stormtrooper ranks. The remaining clones were retired from service due to their rapid aging, their legacy inherited by natural-born humans who were also trained to render total allegiance to the Emperor and his New Order.
Bucketheads were spread throughout the galaxy during the Emperor's reign, from the Imperial capital of Coruscant in the Core Worlds, to occupied planets such as Lothal and Tatooine in the Outer Rim Territories. They fought many battles against the forces of the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War, including the Battle of Scarif, the Battle of Hoth, and the Battle of Endor. Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, Princess Leia Organa was captured by stormtroopers who served under the Commander-in-Chief Darth Vader. However, Organa was rescued by Luke Skywalker and Han Solo who, disguised as stormtroopers, infiltrated the first Death Star. The Emperor stationed a legion of stormtroopers on Endor to protect the shield generator of the second Death Star, although they were defeated by the Alliance's Ewok allies.
With the Emperor Palpatine's death, Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax took control of the Imperial loyalist forces which rallied to his homeworld of Jakku to make a final stand against the New Republic. After losing the Battle of Jakku, the Empire signed the Imperial Instruments of Surrender and the Galactic Concordance, and its stormtrooper forces were consequently demobilized as part of the New Republic's terms for peace. Despite this, a number of Imperial remnants continued to make use of stormtroopers as soldiers or mercenaries in the Outer Rim, including Moff Gideon's faction as well as the remnants on Morak. By the last days of the New Republic Era, a new generation of stormtroopers emerged as soldiers of the First Order.
- "The army?"
"Yes. A clone army, and I must say, one of the finest we've ever produced."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Lama Su
At the dawn of the Galactic Empire, the first generation of stormtroopers consisted of cloned soldiers who served the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. Under the leadership of the Jedi Knights, clone troopers fought the droid armies of the Confederacy of Independent Systems across the galaxy. Though they were loyal to the Jedi as well as the Republic, the clones were secretly programmed to obey Order 66, a military directive authorizing the complete liquidation of the Jedi Order.
With the exception of a handful of survivors, including Jedi Generals Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, most of the Jedi were killed by their own troops at the command of Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith who controlled the Galactic Senate through his public persona of Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine. With the Empire claiming the galaxy was brought from chaos to order during to its rule, one account of the origins of the name "stormtrooper" was that it came from the troops emerging from the "storm" of galactic history.
Soldiers of the Empire
Ending the clone trooper program
- "Surely you realize the precarious state this newly formed Empire is in. Clone troopers will be needed to maintain order throughout the galaxy."
"Indeed. A service conscription soldiers could provide at half the cost."
"The skill level and efficiency of our clones is far superior to that of any recruited body."
- ―Lama Su and Wilhuff Tarkin
The clone troopers enforced Emperor Palpatine's reign during the early days of the Imperial Era, having become the first generation of Imperial stormtroopers. No longer beholden to the authority of Jedi officers who exercised restraint in warfare, the clones utilized brutal tactics under the leadership of Imperial officers and governors, suppressing dissent and imposing the New Order over the known galaxy. Immediately, the Empire moved to remove sedition within its legislative branch, as clones were deployed to carry out the Senatorial arrests, rounding up a total of sixty-three senators who were subsequently claimed to be Jedi sympathizers.
The end of the Clone Wars, however, fulfilled the sole purpose behind the creation of clone troopers. Although Palpatine had supported the Kaminoan government's clone trooper program during his final years as Supreme Chancellor, his priorities shifted away from the expensive cloning production after becoming the Galactic Emperor. The Prime Minister of Kamino, Lama Su, maintained that the clone troopers possessed unrivaled combat skills and discipline. In addition, Lama Su believed that his clones were critical to the security of the fledgling Empire. Despite this, Governor and Admiral Wilhuff Tarkin was confident that the Empire would be better served by a force of non-clone conscripts, which he saw as a cost-effective way to enforce order in the galaxy. In addition, the clones' accelerated aging process was further incentive for the Empire to decommission its clone units in favor of natural-born humans.
Although Governor Tarkin supported conscription over cloning, clone troopers were initially retained by the Imperial Army that replaced the Grand Army of the Republic, but rumors spread throughout the ranks that the cloning facilities on Kamino had been shut down. By the later Imperial Era, it was rumored the Stormtrooper Corps had been established within the Imperial Army by a group of former clone commandos. The ranks of the Stormtrooper Corps swelled with conscripts and volunteers who sought to carry on the legacy of the clones that had been glorified through wartime propaganda.
Introducing service conscription
- "If it's a fight you want, I hope you brought a better class of soldier than those stormtroopers."
"They serve the Empire well, and I have a great many of them."
"You're gonna need all of 'em."
- ―Rex and Alexsandr Kallus
With the development of the new Imperial war machine, the clone trooper armor was upgraded. Clone commandos were deployed as instructors to the conscripted troopers, who were assigned the designation of TK troopers. A secret training facility on Daro had fifty commandos and 1,000 TK troopers.
During the Emperor's reign, stormtroopers were used to bring any remaining Separatist worlds into line. As time passed, stormtroopers replaced Imperial Army troopers—the main infantry force of the early Empire, often consisting of local planetary defense forces conscripted into the Imperial Military—as mainline combat troops and security forces, making the white armored troopers the backbone of the Empire's ground forces.
With a lack of jobs and opportunity in the wake of the Clone Wars, posterity would later come to criticize an "aimless generation" as complicit in abetting the rapid militarization and recruitment of the Imperial war machine. Nonetheless, several clones remained in service to the Galactic Empire, with some becoming instructors in the Imperial Academy, while a smaller number remained in active duty such as Sergeant "Crest" and TX-828, who was still active following the Battle of Yavin.
In his role of Commander-in-Chief, Darth Vader often coordinated the stormtroopers' operations on the field, with the shock troops addressing him by the title of Lord. As learned by the Free Ryloth Movement, the commitment the stormtroopers reserved for their superior bordered on worship. Though he enjoyed a rapport with his stormtroopers, the Emperor's Fist was still willing to execute the troops under his command as he did with many other subordinates. During Rae Sloane's time as a junior officer, a joke spread throughout the ranks that Vader only kept stormtroopers on the bridge of his starships to drag out the bodies of those he executed. However, the joke lost all humor quickly, as the wrath of the Dark Lord of the Sith became all too real for many standard personnel.
Galactic Civil War
- "We follow orders. It's the sum and extend of our existence. Say kill, and we will. Say die, and our arms fly up and take the blasterfire on full. Watch our pointless existence extinguished on command."
- ―Stormtrooper TD-7556
The Battle of Scarif was the first major rebel victory of the Galactic Civil War, between the Galactic Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Following the Rebel victory at Scarif, Lord Vader commanded a battalion of stormtroopers, who served him loyally, to capture Princess Leia Organa's Alderaanian corvette Tantive IV over Tatooine. Additionally, Stormtroopers were also used to arrest dissidents on numerous worlds including Akiva and Zeitooine, while they were also deployed to other conflicts the Empire found itself in; stormtroopers and Imperial machines quickly put down a long-lasting uprising on Koshaga, fought on the frontlines of the Mandalorian Civil War, engaged the Dreamers and their man-eating pets, and combated members of the Grysk Hegemony during the Imperial–Grysk conflict.
Although desertion from the Stormtrooper Corps was rare, the actions the Empire carried out during a mission on Aleen were so horrifying three stormtroopers deserted the Imperial Army. For service in the Galactic Civil War, stormtroopers saw action against the Rebellion forces during engagements like the Battle of Garel, the Battle of Atollon, the Battle of Hoth, the Mid Rim Retreat, and the battle on Ab Dalis. Stormtroopers who served under Admiral Gratloe joined their officer's rogue faction of the Empire in the Kudo system, only for their faction to come into conflict with the 204th Imperial Fighter Wing. Around the same time, an entire legion of Palpatine's best soldiers, many stormtroopers among them, later served in the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY. As stormtroopers fought on the ground of the forest moon against Rebels and Ewoks, others were stationed aboard the DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station before it was destroyed.
In the immediate aftermath of the battle, Rebel General Han Solo led an assault against a surviving Endor outpost staffed by stormtroopers, while stormtroopers on Imperial capital world of Coruscant fought in the planet's civil war that began directly after the deaths of Palpatine and Vader at Endor. At some point, a stormtrooper was consumed by the Sarlacc in the Great Pit of Carkoon on Tatooine, leaving the soldier to be digested within the same stomach wherein the bounty hunter Boba Fett was eventually imprisoned. The trooper was vital for Fett's escape, as he used a breathing apparatus from the soldier's armor for oxygen before escaping. Although disorganized in the wake of the Rebel victory at Endor, Imperial loyalists rallied around high-ranking officials such as Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax. The Alliance, having declared itself the New Republic, deployed armed forces to root out the remaining Imperial strongholds on distant worlds like Uyter, Naalol, and Akiva.
During the Iron Blockade, stormtroopers in the Anoat sector suppressed any knowledge of Palpatine's death, only to be met by an Uprising that sought to liberate the sector. During the conflict, Joval Rykk was a ten-year veteran of the Stormtrooper Corps, though he felt no loyalty to the Empire. By this time, stormtroopers were taken out of Academy training early to fill up Imperial ranks. As the war continued, many stormtroopers were captured and sent to the New Republic capital of Chandrila as prisoners of war. On one occasion, the New Republic public relations official Olia Choko personally stopped New Republic soldiers from parading stormtrooper prisoners through the streets of Hanna City. Later, stormtroopers fought during the liberation of Kashyyyk and the Battle of Jakku, the Empire's final stand in 5 ABY.
- "The Empire fell. With it fell order. With it fell law. They're never coming back. It's taken me a while to realize that—I think I was grieving. I've accepted it now, though. I know what it means. I can do anything I want."
- ―Terex, abandoning his life as a stormtrooper
The Empire formally capitulated to the New Republic after the defeat of its loyalist forces on Jakku. With the death of Counselor Rax and Sloane's escape to the Unknown Regions, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda represented the Empire at the signing of the Galactic Concordance. The terms of the peace treaty included the end of hostilities between the Empire and the New Republic, the dissolution of the Imperial government, and the prohibition of the recruitment and training of stormtroopers. Additionally, the Empire was forced to dismantle its network of Imperial Academies.
However, not all of the Imperial remnants adhered to the treaty's conditions. Though some stormtroopers such as Terex and Corlac deserted their posts, the remaining Imperial forces on Jakku continued to fight for several months, refusing to accept the Empire's defeat. Terex only abandoned his life as a stormtrooper because he felt that, when the Empire had fallen, order had fallen, so he needed to adapt, which led to him becoming the crime lord of the Ranc gang. Another trooper, Sentinel, refused to accept the defeat of his regime and thus continued to fight.
In the years that followed the civil war's conclusion, all that seemingly remained of the former Galactic Empire were the mercenaries many stormtroopers had become—known as "Remnant Stormtroopers"—and the warlords they served under, clinging to the last vestiges of Imperial power in the Outer Rim Territories where the New Republic held little influence. Despite the restrictions that the New Republic imposed on the defeated Empire, stormtroopers retained their battle-worn armor, making them look like an undisciplined mercenary force. Nevertheless, some of these mercenary troopers worked alongside more pristine stormtroopers in remnants of the fallen Empire. In particular, stormtroopers served with Imperial remnants like Moff Gideon's faction or the outpost on Morak.
By 9 ABY, Gideon's remnant controlled an Imperial base on the planet Nevarro that was staffed by stormtroopers and other Imperials. A mercenary group of Remnant Stormtroopers also acted as security for an Imperial Remnant safe house in Nevarro City, where they also served as bodyguards for "the Client" and Doctor Pershing. The Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin killed many stormtroopers while rescuing the Force-sensitive foundling Grogu.
In the aftermath of the engagement, Djarin's Mandalorian tribe was nearly wiped out by the Imperial remnant, which also occupied the city with its stormtroopers. When Djarin returned to Nevarro with his allies to kill the Client, the Imperial and his personal stormtrooper guard were instead killed when Gideon ordered his personal guard of death troopers to fire into the city's cantina, wiping out the entire stormtrooper squad. Gideon was then reinforced by a battalion of stormtroopers from the Imperial base to recapture the Child from Djarin. Though the Mandalorian and his allies were forced into the sewers, they ultimately triumphed over the stormtroopers, though their victory came at the cost of the Ugnaught Kuiil and IG-series assassin droid IG-11, the latter having sacrificed himself to take out a stormtrooper platoon.
Although he had lost control of Nevarro, Gideon escaped the planet to lead his remnant from his Class 546 Cruiser, aboard which many stormtroopers and Imperial officers were stationed. They also maintained control of Nevarro's Imperial base until Djarin returned for repairs to his ship, the Razor Crest. The Mandalorian and his allies infiltrated the base to detonate it, fighting past the stormtroopers to escape in time. As he fled with his jetpack to protect Grogu, his allies, Magistrate Greef Karga, former shock trooper Cara Dune, and "the Mythrol," escaped from scout troopers and Outland TIE fighters aboard a Trexler 906 Armored Marauder, taking out all but two of the starfighters until Djarin arrived in the Razor Crest. After Djarin took out the two fighters, he and Grogu departed for Tython.
- Ranzar Malk: "Yeah, well, Mayfeld, he's… He's one of the best triggermen I've ever seen. Former Imperial sharpshooter."
- Din Djarin: "That's not saying much."
- Migs Mayfeld: "I wasn't a stormtrooper, wiseass."
- ―Ranzar Malk, Din Djarin, and Migs Mayfeld
Opinions on the combat skills of stormtroopers and their overall quality varied considerably both during the Empire's reign and after it collapsed. Commander Alecia Beck praised the stormtroopers, calling them the Empire's "keenest weapon," and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi once noted the accuracy in their precision skills. Agent Alexsandr Kallus defended the stormtroopers for their allegiance to the Empire, wheras Clone Captain Rex took the opportunity to disparage them as an inferior class of soldier compared to the clone troopers they replaced. Din Djarin also held stormtroopers in low regard, being unimpressed by Migs Mayfeld's military background despite Ranzar Malk's assurance that the Imperial veteran was skilled in marksmanship. Mayfeld, an ex-sniper who participated in Operation: Cinder, retorted that he was not a stormtrooper. Axe Woves, a Mandalorian who supported Bo-Katan Kryze, mocked the stormtroopers whom he saw as lacking in marksmanship.
The Imperial remnants that retreated to the Unknown Regions reorganized themselves as the First Order, achieving one of the Emperor's objectives—to destroy the Empire and then rebuild it—under the Contingency. Defying the Galactic Concordance, the First Order recruited and mobilized new stormtroopers. The new stormtroopers were influenced by the ideas of Brendol Hux, a former commandant at the Arkanis Academy. The First Order's stormtroopers were equipped with sleeker armor and powerful weaponry. Among the Order's agents was Terex, who had served as an Imperial stormtrooper. The former Imperial Stormtrooper Commander Ruthford, who had been at the disposal of the Emperor's Fist during a battle against the Benathy, served as a captain in the First Order. Captain Ruthford would find himself seeing the Benathy once again, although this time he served under the grandson of Lord Vader, the warlord Kylo Ren.
- "Cadets, you entered this facility as children. And in a few short weeks, you will leave as soldiers. By the time you complete your training, you will be prepared to serve your Emperor."
- ―Cumberlayne Aresko
Unlike their predecessors, the majority of stormtroopers were non-clone recruits. Imperial cadets were shipped off to Imperial Academies, and subjected to rigorous training programs in order to produce highly trained shock troopers fiercely loyal to the Empire. Cadets could be as young as thirteen standard years. Stormtroopers were trained to disregard fallen comrades in battle, and to press on, no matter the cost, even when the odds were stacked against them.
Although they were a rare sight, women were not prohibited from serving in the ranks of the stormtroopers. During training, female cadets were placed in all-female units. Unit Forn was an all-female unit at the Academy for Young Imperials on Lothal.
Those who were selected for stormtrooper training had to undergo extra reconditioning. This has the effect of dehumanizing the cadets, who came to refer to themselves by their operating numbers rather than their names. One such cadet was Ames Bunkle, an acquaintance of Zare Leonis.
Among other things, cadets would train to fire blasters, and Imperial specialist Ralsius Paldora noted that stormtroopers hit 77 percent of their targets. Cadets also learned to pilot Imperial walkers and the ruthlessness it took to become a stormtrooper. Cadets who attended Imperial Academies also underwent simulated obstacle courses in the Well, which were designed to test their strength, agility, reflexes and intelligence. Such courses and tests of skill became increasingly difficult over time, and accountability for losses were harsh.
While cadets attended the academy, they wore white uniforms and specialized helmets, similar to the standard stormtrooper or pilot gear. Aside from their basic training, many cadets were also assigned other non-combat duties on base. Such duties offered cadets the opportunity to gain experience over their peers, and were often presented as rewards for excellent performance during training exercises.
As cadets were being evaluated, the officers in charge were often instructed to take note of performance that might denote an affinity for the Force, and report it to one of their superiors. Cadets who met this special criteria were taken by the Grand Inquisitor and forcibly inducted into Project Harvester, a top secret Imperial program based on Arkanis. Cadet Zare's older sister Dhara Leonis was one known subject of Project Harvester. Another prospective subject was Jai Kell, who managed to escape due to the help of Ezra Bridger.
Stormtrooper and other Imperial cadets also assisted in law enforcement operations. Following a spate of rebel activity on Lothal, Imperial cadets there were used to search homes and streets for illegal activities, detain the children of fugitives, and to raid smugglers. During these law enforcements operations, some cadets like Nazhros Oleg came to flout their new-found powers; a trait that was encouraged by some officers like Captain Piers Roddance. Some prospective officer cadets like Leonis and Oleg were also given the chance to lead adult stormtroopers in these raids. Cadets also had their backgrounds investigated for any sign of criminal connections and other subversive activities.
- "They trained us to treat that armor like it was part of us."
The clone troopers who survived the Clone Wars continued to wear the Phase II clone trooper armor after becoming the first generation of stormtroopers. The armor consisted of white plastoid plates attached to a black body glove, no longer featuring the various color patterns that the clones had adopted after growing more individualistic under the Jedi Order's influence, although some units such as the Imperial shock troopers still wore their armor with the distinctive red markings of the Coruscant Guard.
The first non-clone stormtroopers, designated as TK troopers, were given an updated version of the Phase II armor as the Galactic Empire shifted toward conscripted personnel at the expense of clone soldiers. Like its template, the TK trooper armor was a set of white armor pieces worn over a black body glove. In addition to various aesthetic differences between the two armors, the TK helmet lacked the T-shaped visor of its Phase II predecessor and the earlier Phase I clone trooper armor.
Phase II was ultimately phased out after the creation of stormtrooper armor, causing large stocks of clone armor to be recycled as most clones entered retirement, having been replaced by natural-born soldiers. Stormtrooper armor was a common sight throughout the galaxy; its stark white appearance served as a symbol of the New Order in contrast to the clone armor that represented honor and defense during the Clone Wars.
Stormtrooper armor was a distinctive set of white armor that was intended to instill fear in the Empire's subjects, while also providing the soldiers with an extended range of survival equipment and temperature controls. It also gave limited protection against blaster fire; in certain cases, stormtroopers continued to breathe after being shot by an E-11 medium blaster rifle. Stormtrooper armor was not without its faults, however. The plates made running harder and offered little protection against large scale pulse detonations and blunt weapons. Stormtroopers also had a utility belt and a grappling hook attached to it.[source?]
The helmet provided cranial protection, filtered air, and contained enhanced vision, communication systems and an effective HUD (heads up display) that could help locate threats, aid in navigation, and to help alert the wearer.
Rank was determined by a color coded pauldron worn over the right shoulder, with orange or red representing the rank of commander, black indicating an enlisted trooper, and white representing a sergeant. Sometimes on the pauldrons they had specific symbols distinguishing who they were serving, exemplified by Grand Admiral Thrawn's troops, who had a stylized chimaera symbol on their pauldrons.
The E-11 blaster rifle was the standard weapon of stormtroopers, although the first generations—primarily clone troopers and TK troopers—used Clone War-era weapons such as the DC-15A blaster carbine. Stormtrooper also occasionally utilized the DLT-20A blaster rifle, the T-21 light repeating blaster, the RT-97C heavy blaster rifle, the E-22 reciprocating double-barreled blaster rifle, or the DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle, especially for long range engagements.[source?] They could also use scatter guns, and MPL-57 grenade launchers. Some stormtroopers were trained to handle HH-12 rocket launchers or the T-7 ion disruptor rifle.
By 28 ABY, stormtrooper helmets and armor were collected by individuals like the New Republic senator Ransolm Casterfo, who had an interest in Imperial "artifacts." Several of Casterfo's Centrist senators including Ormes Apolin and Fatil also admired and collected Imperial uniforms and armor. In addition, Imperial armor and other artifacts also sold at markets on Chrome Citadel.
Outside of combat and security details, stormtrooper officers wore black dress tunics, caps, and boots, as well as code cylinders, rank insignia plaques, officer's disks conform to the standards of the Imperial Navy.
In addition to the standard stormtroopers, the Empire had specialized stormtrooper forces assembled to operate in different environments or roles. Once a trooper was specialized to their role, their physiological conditioning was so strong that one would rarely want to change what division they were in. Clone troopers served as the first wave of stormtroopers, followed by TK troopers.
- Cave troopers: Stormtroopers that were equipped with scout trooper armor, blaster carbines, as well as oversized vibroknives. Cave troopers were also equipped with low-light vision gear to help them see in the darkness and had rappelling cables.
- Coastal defender stormtroopers: Stormtroopers more commonly known as shoretroopers that were trained and equipped to operate in coastal and tropical regions. They were notably deployed on Scarif.
- Cold weather assault stormtroopers: Stormtroopers more commonly known as snowtroopers that were trained for frozen environments and wore a special mask and a kama that both resembled the equipment worn by the 21st Nova Corps on Mygeeto during the Clone Wars.
- Crimson stormtroopers: stormtroopers also trained to operate in extremely volcanic environments.
- Forest troopers: Stormtroopers trained to operate in forested environments.
- Lava troopers: Stormtroopers that were equipped with black armor and respiration tubes that were charged with defending Fortress Vader on Mustafar.
- Magma troopers: Stormtroopers that were equipped to operate in extremely high temperatures, and were trained to fight on volcanic worlds like Sullust. They were equipped with reinforced leg armor, black pauldrons, and respirators connected to a backpack.
- Seatroopers: Stormtroopers trained and equipped to operate in aquatic environments and wore white armor.
- Desert stormtroopers: Stormtroopers with armor modified to operate on desert worlds like Tatooine. Dewback troopers, or Dewback riders, were sandtroopers that utilized dewbacks as mounts.
- Spacetroopers: Stormtroopers trained for zero-gravity environments with armor designed to breathe in space. Spacetroopers were used to patrol parts of the first Death Star.
- Swamptrooper: Stormtroopers trained for amphibious combat.
- Wet-weather gear stormtroopers: Stormtroopers that wore waterproof capes and additional armor and equipment. Notably deployed on Mimban.
- Artillery stormtrooper: Stormtroopers that specialized in mortar weaponry.
- Demolition Troopers: Stormtroopers that wore standard armor and were equipped with Smart Rockets and SE-14C blaster pistols. They sometimes were not equipped with helmets.
- Flametroopers: Stormtroopers equipped with incendiary weapons.
- Heavy Weapons Stormtroopers: Specialized stormtroopers that wielded large rotary blaster cannons and were equipped with black pauldrons. There were also heavy sandtroopers for desert operations, heavy shoretroopers for coastal and tropical regions, and heavy snowtroopers for cold weather environments. Heavy snowtroopers were sometimes also equipped with small black pauldrons.
- Imperial Heavy Troopers: Stormtroopers that were equipped with heavy combat armor and electrostaffs.
- Incinerator troopers: An elite specialized class of stormtrooper that wielded flamethrowers.
- Jumptroopers: Also known as Rocket troopers, were stormtroopers equipped with Jump Packs or jetpacks. One variant of jumptrooper was equipped with standard stormtrooper armor and a jump pack, while another variant used specialized armor equipped with jetpacks and respirator tubes. The officers of this variant maintained an orange left shoulder pad to indicate rank. There was also another variant of jumptrooper with more sophisticated armor, consisting of a control panel on the chest, respirator tubes, and black markings. There also existed arctic, desert, and forest jumptrooper variations.
- Patrol troopers: Stormtroopers that utilized C-PH patrol speeder bikes to police the city streets of occupied worlds.
- Range troopers: A branch of the Stormtrooper Corps that was harshly trained and were considered to be one of the toughest branches of Imperial Military. They were equipped with snowtrooper-like armor, as well as fur and magnetic boots. They were assigned to protect various Imperial cargo, and were deployed to combat zones.
- Recon Stormtroopers: A variant that wears a pauldron and carries thermal detonators.
- Riot control stormtroopers: Stormtroopers that were equipped with standard armor and batons. They took down their opponents with extreme ferocity.
- Rocket stormtroopers were specialized stormtroopers equipped with missile launchers and wore a red emblem on their shoulder pads.
- Scout troopers: Stormtroopers that wore lighter armor and used speeder bikes to patrol the perimeter of the Imperial garrisons they were assigned to. They were equipped for long periods of time without support and high maneuverability. Scout troopers were also conditioned to operate with a partner whenever they could.
- Stormtrooper grenadiers: Stormtroopers that wielded grenade launchers and wore a red pauldron along with a black bandolier across their chest.
- Stormtrooper snipers: Stormtroopers that were pulled from standard stormtrooper ranks which wore a blue pauldron over their shoulder, had a visor attached to their helmet, and had a black bandolier across their chest plate.
- Death troopers: Elite black armored stormtroopers with specialized training and classified augmentations to make them "beyond human." They served under Imperial Intelligence and were deployed as bodyguards to high ranking personnel such as Director Orson Callan Krennic and Grand Admiral Thrawn. They were also given special assignments such as guarding shipments of large kyber crystals. They were equipped with SE-14r light repeating blasters, C-25 fragmentation grenades, and E-11D blaster carbines. Death trooper specialists were equipped with a black pauldron.
- Elite Squad Troopers: Well-trained stormtroopers who served during the early years of the Empire.
- Imperial shock troopers: Stormtroopers that were armed with heavy weaponry and wore stormtrooper armor with distinctive red markings, similar to those of Republic clone troopers who served as in the Coruscant Guard during the Clone Wars. It was not uncommon for Imperial shock troopers to be equipped with Clone Wars era shock trooper armor.
- Purge Troopers (Anoat sector): Elite stormtroopers in black heavy armor that helped enforce Imperial law in the Anoat sector. They were lead by the formidable Commander Bragh during the Iron Blockade.
- Purge Troopers (Inquisitorius): Stormtroopers that assisted the acting Commander-in-Chief Darth Vader and the Inquisitors in hunting down Jedi survivors after Order 66. Trained as expendable death squads, they were activated after the Great Jedi Purge.
- Shadow troopers: Elite stormtroopers in black armor that were also equipped with cloaking devices and used deadly T-21 light repeating blasters.
- Special Commando Advanced Recon Troopers: elite stormtroopers in the Imperial Special Forces division also known as SCAR troopers.
- Storm Commandos: Elite stormtroopers that were part of the special forces of the Stormtrooper Corps, and were trained to deal with extreme combat situations.
Stormtroopers in mechanized battle armor armed with heavy handheld cannon were present at the Battle of Sevarcos. Thirty years after the Battle of Endor, variants of the former Galactic Empire's armed forces would exist under the auspices of a new organization known as the First Order. It utilized new stormtroopers, and variants such as the megablaster heavy assault troopers, riot control stormtroopers, snowtroopers, and flametroopers.
Behind the scenes
- "My dad keeps telling me that the stormtroopers are the good guys. Are they really?"
"The stormtroopers are the good guys, it's just that they take orders from a very bad man."
- ―A Celebration III audience member and George Lucas
Stormtroopers, as depicted in the early drafts of Star Wars and envisioned by Ralph McQuarrie, were to wield lightsabers and hand-held shields. George Lucas, when composing background information for licensees in 1977, stated that females did exist in the Stormtrooper Corps, although there were few stationed on the Death Star. He suggested that they were numerous in other units.
In Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, an actor playing a stormtrooper accidentally hit his head on a doorway. In the Star Wars Special Editions, a sound was added for the purpose of comedy. Over the years the accident turned into a tradition by making actors hit their heads on doors in the Star Wars films.
Stormtroopers share a name with Imperial German Sturmtruppen, which in English translated to Stormtroopers, special troops who were tasked in the last year of World War I with mounting fierce infantry assaults on Allied trenches in an attempt to break the stalemate on the Western Front.
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- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: Return of the Jedi
- LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars – "Dealing with Lando/Han and Chewie Strike Back"
- "Even a Mandalorian Needs Help"
- Fortnite X Star Wars
- The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special
- Star Wars: Visions – "THE TWINS" (Ambiguous canonicity)
- Star Wars: Visions – "T0-B1" (Ambiguous canonicity)
- Star Wars: Visions – "Lop & Ochō" (Ambiguous canonicity)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga