- "A real stormtrooper has no room for sympathy. A real stormtrooper is the extension of the First Order, of Supreme Leader Snoke's will, nothing less."
Stormtroopers, also referred to as First Order stormtroopers or "Bucketheads," were elite infantry units in the armed forces of the First Order. Belonging to a legacy of armored soldiers, First Order stormtroopers were, by the time of the New Republic Era, the latest evolution of one of the galaxy's most distinctive symbols of military might. The fact that stormtroopers were in the First Order's ranks—operating as an independent branch with close ties to the First Order army—was known to the New Republic, even though they were banned by the Galactic Concordance. They were not just a defense force, however, but in fact an invasion army that the First Order mobilized for the purpose of galactic conquest. For the young men and women who were chosen to wear stormtrooper armor, the war for the galaxy was their moment in history, having trained a lifetime to bring order to chaos in the name of the First Order's absolute ruler, Supreme Leader Snoke.
The training, weapons, and stark white armor of First Order stormtroopers was inspired by their forerunners—the original stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire, who evolved from the clone troopers that served the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. Although the Empire was ultimately defeated by the New Republic in the Galactic Civil War, Emperor Palpatine's Contingency ensured that a select group of Imperial officers escaped to the Unknown Regions where the principles of the New Order would endure, while the Republic strove to restore democracy in the known galaxy. Commandant Brendol Hux was one such officer; admiring the discipline and combat skills of the clones in the Grand Army of the Republic, Hux devised a training program that would ultimately forge an army of super-soldiers. As a result, human children were taken from worlds conquered by the First Order, the Empire's successor in all but name, and inducted into the military as conscripts. Like the clone troopers that inspired their generation, First Order stormtroopers were trained from birth, given alphanumeric designations instead of names, and subjected to years of mental conditioning to ensure absolute loyalty. Unlike the Empire, which opted for numbing routine, the First Order encouraged improvisation on the battlefield through its training simulations and live-fire drills, making this new generation of stormtroopers more dangerous than their Imperial predecessors.
The stormtrooper training regimen was taken over by General Armitage Hux after his father Brendol's death, as well as Captain Phasma, who endeavored to turn her troops into ruthless killers in contrast to the ideals of Captain Cardinal. During the last days of the cold war, a contingent of stormtroopers accompanied the dark warrior Kylo Ren on his mission to the frontier world of Jakku, where they slaughtered a village of unarmed prisoners on Ren's orders in 34 ABY. However, the massacre of civilians awakened the conscience of one stormtrooper, FN-2187, who became a deserter and defected to the Resistance. To prevent further acts of disloyalty, word of FN-2187's treason was suppressed by the First Order, and therefore not all stormtroopers were aware of his betrayal. Ultimately, the renegade trooper provided vital intelligence to General Leia Organa's organization, allowing Resistance forces to destroy the First Order's superweapon, Starkiller Base, but not before its destructive firepower caused the annihilation of the New Republic capital of Hosnian Prime. By the time of the Battle of Crait, Ren had usurped the title of Supreme Leader by assassinating his dark master Snoke, thereby gaining control over the First Order and its stormtrooper forces.
The armored soldiers of the First Order evolved from one of the galaxy's most distinctive symbols of military might: the stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire. Representing a new generation of stormtroopers, First Order troopers could trace their origins even further back to the clone troopers who fought for the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. When the Empire fell, suffering catastrophic defeats at Endor and Jakku, the New Republic crafted a peace treaty that ended the Galactic Civil War, yet also reduced the Empire to a rump state through the enforcement of strict disarmament treaties and punishing war reparations. By then, several leading figures in the Empire were dead, including Emperor Palpatine, the Sith Lord Darth Vader, and Counselor Gallius Rax. Under the leadership of Grand Vizier Mas Amedda, the Empire was forced to disband the Stormtrooper Corps as part of the terms outlined in the Galactic Concordance, which forbade the recruitment and training of stormtroopers.
Rise of the First OrderEdit
Although the Empire officially capitulated to the Republic, a group of Imperial officers, nobles and technologists refused to accept the outcome of the war. Embarking on an exodus into the Unknown Regions, the Imperial remnant was ultimately reorganized into a hermetic state known as the First Order. By hiding in the unexplored regions of galactic space, the First Order was able to conduct a massive military buildup—forging new armies and fleets in secret—in violation of the Galactic Concordance. Although the New Republic was fully aware of the ranking system of the Stormtroopers as well as their existence, they believed that the unit existed solely as a defense force for the fledgling group, while only the Resistance suspected the Stormtroopers' true role. Drawing inspiration from the ideals of Brendol Hux, a former Republic officer and Imperial commandant who found the Empire's stormtroopers lacking, the First Order created Project Resurrection: the conscription and training of human children who, under the First Order's guidance, became soldiers in the new Stormtrooper Corps.
As a result, a new generation of stormtroopers was born through the training and indoctrination of child conscripts. Unlike soldiers of the Empire, First Order stormtroopers began their training at birth, much like the Republic clone troopers or Jedi Knights who preceded them. The new stormtroopers were taken from their parents and raised to be absolutely loyal to the First Order. By 34 ABY, approximately thirty years after the Empire's defeat at Endor, the stormtrooper legions were under the command of Captain Phasma as well as other notable leaders such as General Armitage Hux and Kylo Ren. Above all, their allegiance was with Supreme Leader Snoke, ruler of the First Order.
Treason in the ranksEdit
- "Perhaps Leader Snoke should consider using a clone army."
"My men are exceptionally trained. Programmed from birth."
- ―Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux
During the cold war, the First Order was opposed by the Resistance—a private military group founded and led by the Rebel hero Leia Organa, the Resistance fought to prevent the First Order from restoring Imperial rule to the galaxy. In addition to the First Order's goals, which included the destruction of the New Republic and the Resistance, they also supported Kylo Ren's quest to destroy the last Jedi, Luke Skywalker. To that end, Phasma and an armed force of stormtroopers conducted an assault on Tuanul, a village located on the planet Jakku where Ren hoped to gain information pertaining to Skywalker's hidden location. After executing the village leader, Lor San Tekka for refusing to cooperate, Ren directed Phasma and the stormtroopers to exterminate the village's entire population. With the exception of FN-2187, every trooper complied with Ren's order, firing into the crowd until the last villager was dead. The experience of witnessing the First Order's brutality and the deaths of his comrades influenced FN-2187's decision to commit desertion by abandoning his life as a stormtrooper.
With the completion of the First Order superweapon, Starkiller Base, General Hux declared the end of the New Republic's reign to a large assembly of stormtroopers and other military personnel. Saluting their general, the stormtroopers witnessed the activation of the superweapon, resulting in the utter destruction of Hosnian Prime along with the Galactic Senate and a substantial portion of the New Republic Defense Fleet. Meanwhile, the hunt for Skywalker led Kylo Ren and an armed force of stormtroopers to the planet Takodana where the dark warrior attempted to capture BB-8, a Resistance astromech droid that contained part of the information regarding the last Jedi's location. The stormtroopers assaulted a castle belonging to Maz Kanata during their search for the BB unit, then pursued BB-8 and Rey into the forest where several troopers were killed before Ren apprehended the scavenger. During the battle, FN-2199 confronted the traitor FN-2187, who now referred to himself as "Finn." After a brief duel FN-2199 defeated Finn in single combat, only to be shot by the smuggler Han Solo. The remaining stormtroopers ultimately withdrew from the battle on Ren's orders, the dark warrior having discovered that Rey already accessed the information he wanted from BB-8.
At Starkiller Base, Kylo Ren interrogated Rey in an attempt to get the map out of her, but his efforts were in vain, as Rey resisted him and revealed herself to be Force-sensitive. Ren went to inform his Master, Supreme Leader Snoke, about his discovery and left FN-1824 to keep watch over Rey. After two failed attempts, Rey managed to perform a mind trick on the stormtrooper, forcing him to to free her. When Ren returned and found that Rey had escaped, he angrily called the guards and destroyed the interrogation chair with his lightsaber, prompting two passing stormtroopers to quickly turn and walk away to avoid confrontation.
Shortly after, the Resistance attacked Starkiller Base, resulting in a large dogfight in the air as the First Order scrambled a defense force to protect the base. On the ground, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Finn, and Rey headed to the oscillator to destroy it, engaging multiple stormtroopers along the way. As Solo and Chewbacca planted the explosives, Ren and a squad of stormtroopers arrived at the oscillator to find them. The stormtroopers aimed their blasters at Solo when he confronted Ren out in the open, hoping to convince his son to abandon the First Order and return home. Ren was shot by Chewbacca after the First Order warlord struck down his father, causing the stormtroopers to open fire on the Wookiee warrior. Despite their efforts, the troopers failed to stop Chewbacca from detonating the explosives, killing the remaining soldiers and damaging the oscillator. As a result, the X-wing pilot Poe Dameron was able to fly in and destroy it. With the oscillator destroyed, Starkiller Base soon collapsed into a star, killing all remaining stormtroopers on the planet.
The new warEdit
- "Get all our forces down to that Resistance base. Let's finish this."
"Finish this? Who do you think you're talking to? You presume to command my army?"
- ―Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux
Despite the loss of Starkiller Base, the First Order moved to impose its rule over the galaxy through military force, having removed the New Republic as an obstacle. Simultaneously, the First Order endeavored to destroy the Resistance once and for all, forcing Organa and her followers to abandon their base on D'Qar. Hoping to disrupt the First Order's ability to track the Resistance fleet's movements through hyperspace, Finn and Rose Tico infiltrated the Supremacy—the flagship of Supreme Leader Snoke—but were ultimately captured by Phasma and her stormtroopers. After bringing the prisoners to a hangar containing a large gathering of stormtroopers, Phasma sentenced Finn and Tico both to summary execution. Just as the stormtrooper executioners moved to carry out the death sentence, the Resistance flagship Raddus crashed into the Supremacy at lightspeed. The act served to split the Mega-class Star Dreadnought in half, leaving a huge gap open to space where many crew members and stormtroopers perished.
By then, Snoke had been assassinated by his apprentice, Kylo Ren, who then defeated the slain leader's Elite Praetorian Guards with the help of Rey. Their alliance was short-lived, however. Rey rejected Ren's proposal that they rule the galaxy together, causing the dark side warrior to blame Snoke's death on the former scavenger. Seizing control of the First Order as the new Supreme Leader, his first act in power was to deploy the First Order's forces, including an army of snowtroopers, to the planet Crait where he intended to annihilate the remaining members of the Resistance. During the Battle of Crait, the First Order overwhelmed the Resistance's defenses and stormed the outpost where they hid, although a small group of survivors managed to escape aboard the Millennium Falcon due to Rey's intervention.
- "Stormtroopers get some first aid training—battlefield stuff—but not much. We were, pretty, uh, expendable. I think the idea was that whatever trooper who wasn't a good enough soldier to keep from getting wounded deserved to die anyway."
"But that's insane."
"Welcome to the First Order."
- ―Finn and Poe Dameron
The First Order's stormtrooper training program was designed to produce an army of super-soldiers. As a result, members of the new generation of stormtroopers were trained from birth to become elite soldiers with a single purpose in life—to serve the First Order. This form of training drew inspiration from the ideals of Commandant Brendol Hux, who was inspired by the combat prowess and dedication of the Jedi Knights and Republic clone troopers, both of which were instructed from youth to become efficient combatants. According to Phasma, the ideology of the First Order stormtroopers did not allow for any emotional elements such as sympathy since they were to specifically act as an extension of the Supreme Leader's will, and by extension that of the First Order, alone. Likewise, Finn admitted that First Order stormtroopers had first aid training, although only relating to the battlefield, and even then, it was extremely minimal due to the First Order ideology considering them expendable, that any that weren't good enough to keep from getting wounded deserved to die. During the fall of the Empire, Counselor Gallius Rax conscripted roughly two dozen orphans from his home planet of Jakku and gave them to Hux, who turned them into a force of child soldiers and assassins loyal to Rax. Prior to his death, Rax placed Hux's illegitimate son, Armitage in command of the child soldiers. As an adult, Armitage incorporated his father's ideas into the training program for the First Order stormtroopers.
The First Order employed Jinata Security to abduct infants for the stormtrooper program. The First Order processed their conscripts at induction camps where the trainees were separated into groups or "batches." Prior to becoming fully-trained stormtroopers, FN-2187 and trooper 926 were members of Batch Eight. As children, stormtroopers were initially trained under the oversight of Captain Cardinal, a former child soldier who instructed his cadets in hand-to-hand and melee combat, marksmanship, and battle simulations on the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer Absolution. When deemed ready, Cardinal's trainees were transferred to the Finalizer where they would complete their training under the watch of Captain Phasma. As the commander of the stormtrooper legions, Phasma endeavored to mold the stormtroopers into the finest soldiers in the galaxy and constantly vigilant against any signs of weakness or disobedience. To this end, behavioral and personality conditioning was critical in the training of First Order stormtroopers. In an effort to control their psychological development, the First Order provided its trainees with a steady amount of subliminal sleep messages and First Order propaganda, resulting in the production of soldiers who were completely loyal to the First Order. In addition, rigorous combat exercises and psychological conditioning, the First Order strongly emphasized the values of uniformity and conformity. They were therefore given alphanumeric designations instead of names. As such, their emphasis of uniformity and conformity was strict enough that Stormtroopers weren't allowed to even remove their helmets unless specifically ordered to do so, with the penalty of doing so usually being mandated psychological counseling. A trooper that displayed "erratic conditioning" could be scheduled for a full mental wipe and reprogram, also known as a brainscrape. Likewise, stormtroopers were not allowed to initiate contact with First Order officers.
Although modern stormtroopers were modeled largely on the stormtroopers of yesteryear, their combat training differed substantially from that of their Imperial predecessors. Unlike the Empire, which resorted to the use of numbing routine for its troopers, the First Order's training simulations, live-fire exercises, and sparring practices encouraged stormtroopers to embrace improvisation on the battlefield. They were, therefore, more effective in battle than the stormtroopers who served as their template. In addition to combat training, all First Order stormtroopers received medical training in order to treat injuries such as blaster wounds. During training, stormtrooper cadets slapped the rears of other troopers to motivate each other.
Despite General Armitage Hux's confidence in the stormtrooper programming, not every trooper was a successful product by the First Order's standards. Although FN-2187 was a capable soldier, he did not possess the same devotion that his comrades felt for the First Order. His lack of zeal for the First Order's cause, combined with his unwillingness to execute unarmed prisoners, led him to doubt his loyalties before ultimately forsaking his allegiance to the First Order. Kylo Ren regarded FN-2187 as a renegade, as well as a prime example of a stormtrooper training program which he viewed as flawed. He theorized that a clone army could serve the First Order in a better capacity. However, Hux remained confident in the collective reliability of the First Order stormtroopers, believing the rogue FN-2187 to be an anomaly in an army of loyal soldiers.
- "Even a Wookiee can't crush First Order armor."
Members of the First Order's infantry forces wore white armor that was reminiscent of the Galactic Empire's stormtrooper armor, as well as the Galactic Republic's Phase I and Phase II clone trooper armors. Aside from several aesthetic differences, First Order stormtroopers bore a close resemblance to their Imperial predecessors. To denote rank, stormtrooper officers wore color-coded pauldron armor plates. White pauldrons were worn by stormtroopers who served as squad leaders, black pauldrons identified stormtroopers who held the rank of sergeant, and orange pauldrons were worn by officers.
First Order stormtrooper helmets could filter out smoke, but not toxins. To deal with toxins, a stormtrooper needed to engage one of several special filters, depending on the specific contaminant. Identification was the province of one or two squad leaders.
In terms of armor strength, stormtrooper armor was held in high regard. Captain Phasma once claimed that not even a Wookiee was strong enough to break First Order armor. To keep weight down, most First Order stormtrooper helmets lacked advanced imaging gear, requiring stormtroopers to use separate quadnoculars in the field to provide them with enhanced imaging. However, standard stormtrooper helmets were still equipped with integral polarized lenses, night vision, communications and targeting systems.
The F-11D blaster rifle was the primary weapon of standard stormtroopers. A successor to the Imperial stormtroopers' E-11 blaster rifle, the F-11D was mass produced and provided to the First Order's soldiers by Sonn-Blas Corporation. In addition to the F-11D, Sonn-Blas also designed the SE-44C blaster pistol as a sidearm for the First Order stormtroopers.
In addition to standard units, the Stormtrooper Corps possessed a variety of specialized troopers like the Old Empire before it. Specialist units were trained and equipped to function in various fields. Additionally, they could also be deployed alongside infantry units, supporting regular troopers in an auxiliary capacity.
- Elite stormtroopers — Black armored elite stormtroopers that utilized elite speeder bikes.
- Executioner troopers — Stormtroopers randomly selected to carry out sentences of capital punishment. Their armor was marked with black shoulder plates and a black-striped helmet. They wielded the laser ax to carry out their duties.
- First Order SCUBA troopers — Specialized stormtroopers that were deployed in aquatic environments.
- First Order stormtrooper gunners — Stormtroopers trained to fire vehicle-mounted weapons on both ground and air vehicles. Such weapons included the FWMB-10 repeating blaster on Light Infantry Utility Vehicles and the F-Z0 antipersonnel blaster cannon on Atmospheric Assault Landers.
- Flametroopers — Specialized stormtroopers that wielded an incendiary weapon and were equipped with specialized armor unique to their function. In combat they advanced in conjunction with the standard infantry, using the D-93 Incinerator flamethrower to force enemies out of their entrenched positions.
- Megablaster heavy assault troopers— Stormtroopers that were trained as heavy weapons specialists. Armed with the FWMB-10 repeating blaster, they also fought alongside regular stormtroopers in a support capacity.
- Mountain troopers — Specialized stormtroopers that were deployed in rocky or mountainous environments.
- Riot control stormtroopers — Stormtroopers that were specialist units tasked with enforcing order on worlds within the First Order's domain. Trained in riot-control tactics, they were equipped with betaplast shields and the non-lethal Z6 riot control batons. However, they were also authorized to use lethal weapons in situations where rioters could not be contained with non-lethal equipment. Although their primary function was to serve in the military occupation of planets, riot control stormtroopers could also be dispatched on combat missions with standard infantry troopers.
- Rocket troopers — Stormtroopers that specialized in aerial and space combat and were equipped with Jump packs, smart rockets, SE-44C blaster pistols, and pauldrons.
- Sith troopers: Red armored stormtroopers named after the Sith, an ancient order of Force-users devoted to the dark side of the Force.
- Snowtroopers — Stormtroopers specifically trained and equipped to serve in frigid environments, particularly the ice planet that housed Starkiller Base. Their specialized armor and equipment enabled them to operate effectively in freezing conditions. During the construction of the Starkiller, teams of snowtroopers patrolled the frozen world, exterminating indigenous species that were regarded as potential threats to the First Order. They could also be deployed to a location with a more temperate if it had enough similarities to an actual frigid environment as to require their presence, such as Crait.
Behind the scenesEdit
The stormtroopers of the First Order first appeared in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens.
Their design, a sleeker version of the original armor, was partially inspired by headphones for Apple products.