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For other uses, see Commander (disambiguation).
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Darth Vader: "You will destroy the attackers. You will teach them the meaning of Empire. I will show you how."
A magma trooper: "For Vader!"
A Stormtrooper Commander: "For the Empire!"
―Amidst a Mustafarian onslaught at Fortress Vader, magma troopers led by a Stormtrooper Commander are rallied by Darth Vader[src]

Stormtrooper Commander was a position in the Galactic Empire's Stormtrooper Corps. Stormtroopers with the position were commanding officers, and ranking military officers with the position were distinguished from other troopers with pauldrons that signified their military rank by color. For example, squad leaders, who were Stormtrooper Commanders, wore red or orange pauldrons. A Stormtrooper Commander's field of responsibility ranged from squads of men to an entire Star Destroyer's stormtrooper attachment.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Role[edit | edit source]

Tactics[edit | edit source]

"Do you dance?"
"I'm an academy graduate. I've experience, but I do not think…"
"Shush captain. This is Shu-Torun. We are an intensely courtly culture. To survive on Shu-Torun, you must dance."
―Trios and a Stormtrooper Commander discuss dancing[src]

Stormtroopers with the position of Stormtrooper Commander were commanding officers,[1] with some, such as the stormtrooper captain who was assigned by Darth Vader to act as a military advisor to Queen Trios of Shu-Torun, being Imperial Academy graduates.[7] Advancing ahead of subordinates and employing simple commands such as "forward" with brisk hand gestures,[9] Commanders were knowledgeable in strategy and various weapons, thereby allowing them to co-ordinate group maneuvers of other troopers and launch lethal strikes on behalf of the Galactic Empire.[1] Commanders also reported to and received orders from superiors on behalf of stormtrooper forces,[10] and in turn, Stormtrooper Commanders shouted orders such as "hands up" to civilians and rebels.[9]

However, some Stormtrooper Commanders were not as stringent. At the time of the Spectres' mission to Agamar two years into the Galactic Civil War, a commander from the Imperial detachment nearest to Agamar engaged in a casual conversation with another trooper while confronting a group of Separatist battle droids, providing insight that in the rare instance where one found such droids, there was usually "a bunch of them." Afterwards, the Stormtrooper Commander simply said to his troopers "alright, you know the drill," allowing them to destroy the battle droids. Nevertheless, the Stormtrooper Commander raised his fist to instruct his men to stop firing.[11]

Positions[edit | edit source]

Major Ayer, the Stormtrooper Commander of the Star Destroyer Chimaera, served as the commanding officer of the capital ship's Stormtrooper Corps attachment[2] of 9,700 men[12] under Commodore Mitth'raw'nuruodo.[2] Commander Kimmund led Darth Vader's personal stormtrooper legion, the First Legion.[13] Stormtrooper Commander Atty served as the field commander of Imperial forces pacifying Ontotho, fighting alongside other stormtroopers on the front lines.[14] A Stormtrooper Commander served as a deck officer at the Lothal Depot, commanding a scanning crew to protect Princess Leia Organa's corvettes under Lieutenant Yogar Lyste.[15] As a Stormtrooper Commander, a trooper with the rank of sergeant is referred to simply as "Commander" by subordinates.[16] Similarly, captains also served as Stormtrooper Commanders.[7]

Similar to the Stormtrooper Commander, the Purge Trooper Commander was a commanding officer of other Purge Troopers. Purge Trooper Commanders were trained in a variety of weapons and tactics, and mainly used shock grenades alongside a DC-15LE blaster rifle.[1]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Gear[edit | edit source]

"They're here, all right. The rebel ship is inside."
"Keep them contained. I want them alive."
―A Stormtrooper Commander reports his findings to the Grand Inquisitor[src]

A Stormtrooper Commander leads the Grand Inquisitor's forces on PM-1203.

With the addition of being equipped with grenades, Stormtrooper Commanders, as with other stormtroopers, wore stormtrooper armor[1] and were generally armed with E-11 blaster rifles,[17] although some used DLT-19 heavy blaster rifles[6] or T-21 light repeating blasters instead.[12][18] When not in armor, stormtrooper officers wore a black uniform.[17]

The Stormtrooper Commander serving under the Grand Inquisitor on PM-1203 carried a white, handheld box device. With it, the squad leader confirmed the presence of the ship of the Grand Inquisitor's Jedi quarry, Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger.[19]

Pauldrons[edit | edit source]

Whereas non-ranking Stormtrooper Commanders[20] and cold weather assault stormtrooper commanders did not sport a pauldron,[8] Ranking military officers who held the position of stormtrooper commanding officer were distinguished by a pauldron worn on their armor,[1] although a black pauldron was a standard accessory for various stormtrooper specializations, including the Recon Stormtrooper,[21] the sandtrooper, and the magma trooper. Stormtrooper Commanders of the latter two wore an orange pauldron in place of black ones.[3][12] In addition, an orange or dark blue pauldron with a stylized depiction of a chimaera was worn by stormtroopers stationed aboard the Star Destroyer Chimaera.[16] For ranking Stormtrooper Commanders, their pauldrons varied in color that were specific to their rank. Pauldron colors included black and[22] white,[4] which signified corporal[15] or enlisted trooper and sergeant respectively.[12] Additionally, a stormtrooper with an orange pauldron held the position of unit leader[12] or squad leader,[23] which fell under the position of Stormtrooper Commander.[24] A stormtrooper with the rank of captain also wore an orange pauldron.[25] Those with a red pauldron were squad leaders,[19] although rocket launcher troopers[1] and stormtrooper grenadiers and also wore a red pauldron.[26] Sergeant Kreel, Stormtrooper Commander of the Special Commando Advanced Recon Trooper squad Task Force 99, wore an orange pauldron with the Imperial crest emblazon upon it.[27]

Specializations[edit | edit source]

"I was dispatched to translate by the Scout Commander, but they ceased transmitting moments ago."
―An Imperial RA-7 protocol droid who was sent to translate for a Wookiee prisoner[src]

Scout Commanders were skilled in melee combat.

As with other stormtroopers, Stormtrooper Commanders could serve as a part of specialized units of the Stormtrooper Corps such as the scout trooper and[1] the sandtrooper.[28] As a scout trooper commanding officer, a stormtrooper was referred to as a Scout Trooper Commander, and led squads of troopers specially-trained in melee combat. Scout Commanders also had a roll of zipline on the back of their utility belt as well as an electro riot baton, with which they were able to employ specialized techniques against a lightsaber-wielding opponent.[1] Similarly, as a sandtrooper commanding officer, a stormtrooper was referred to as a Sandtrooper Commander.[28]

History[edit | edit source]

Reign of the Empire[edit | edit source]

"Airlock 8 is clear. Listen to that water dripping. Hey stormtrooper, how do you handle that? I'd be running to the 'fresher every couple minutes."
―A Scout Trooper Commander at Airlock 8[src]

Stormtrooper Commanders existed by the time of Jedi Padawan and Purge survivor Cal Kestis' secret mission to rebuild the Jedi Order[1] around 14 BBY.[29] Stationed on Bogano, the Scout Trooper Commander Krabe made a tactical report on the planet's fauna before encountering Kestis there, where he was killed.[1]

Some years into the Imperial Era,[30] Darth Vader led a group of stormtroopers to inspect the wreckage of the Venator-class Star Destroyer[31] Tribunal,[32] which had departed Mandalore for Coruscant shortly before the execution of Order 66[31] in 19 BBY.[33] At the time, carrying the renegade Sith Lord Maul, clone troopers CT-7567 "Rex" and CT-5597 "Jesse," as well as the Republic advisor and Force-Sensitive Outcast Ahsoka Tano, the Star Destroyer crashed on a rocky moon after its hyperdrive was destroyed by Maul. When Vader arrived at the crash site, the landscape was being searched by Viper probe droids, stormtroopers, and snowtroopers, amongst them several Stormtrooper Commanders, each with a fully white pauldron and a backpack[31] similar to those worn by sandtroopers.[6] Some Stormtrooper Commanders held a box device, with one of them wearing a kama.[31]

During the Battle of Fortress Vader, when Darth Vader gave Captain Junus' Imperial troops a morale boost by personally leading them against a large-scale Mustafarian assault, a magma trooper gave a rallying cry for the Sith Lord, which a Stormtrooper Commander followed suit by raising his fist and shouting "for the Empire!" before his men.[3]

Increased fighting of the Galactic Civil War[edit | edit source]

Aside from being commanding officers of other stormtroopers, Stormtrooper Commanders performed various additional tasks for the Galactic Empire.[5] In 0 BBY,[34] such included collecting kyber crystals into crates at Jedha City, and overseeing HCVw A9 turbo tank prisoner transfers on the Imperial penal world of Wobani.[5]

During the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY,[33] two stormtrooper commanders led a group of other snowtroopers alongside Darth Vader. The group made landing on Hoth aboard a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle, and were armed with three different models of blaster rifles, including the E-11. A commander was first ordered by Vader to push through the Rebel Alliance defenses of Echo Base and find access to its command center. A captain, who wielded a missile launcher, was then ordered by the Sith Lord to detain the rebel leadership, specifically General Carlist Rieekan, Princess Leia Organa, the smuggler Han Solo, and of utmost priority, the pilot Luke Skywalker.[8] However, despite the ensuing rebel defeat, the rebel leaders escaped from the Empire on Hoth.[35]

The retired officer[edit | edit source]

"Captain. You are the only soldier left alive from the last battle here."
"Yes.""
―Kylo Ren and Captain Ruthford[src]

For their confrontation with the Benathy people, the Empire's successor state, the First Order, employed the former Stormtrooper Commander and the last surviving soldier from Darth Vader's battle against the Benathy, Ruthford, as the warlord Kylo Ren's advisor with the rank of captain. Although new First Order stormtrooper armor was available, Ruthford insisted on returning to his old Imperial armor, complete with an orange, worn out pauldron. Despite Captain Ruthford's advise not to waste more lives as Vader did on a Zillo Beast, which the former Imperial stormtrooper thought was unbreakable, Ren killed the Benathy's god where Vader failed and earned the old soldier's respect.[36]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

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Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Thrawn
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 24
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Rogue One Adaptation 1
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Darth Vader 19
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 IDWStarWarsAdventuresLogoSmaller.png "Tales of Villainy: Invasion of Echo Base"—Star Wars Adventures 1
  9. 9.0 9.1 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Droids in Distress"
  10. Vader - Dark Visions 5
  11. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "The Last Battle"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Ultimate Star Wars
  13. Thrawn: Alliances
  14. Jedi Fallen Order - Dark Temple 1
  15. 15.0 15.1 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "A Princess on Lothal"
  16. 16.0 16.1 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Through Imperial Eyes"
  17. 17.0 17.1 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  18. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Crawler Commandeers"
  19. 19.0 19.1 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Gathering Forces"
  20. "The Bucket"—From a Certain Point of View establishes a stormtrooper appearing in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope without a pauldron as a Stormtrooper Commander.
  21. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
  22. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "An Inside Man"
  23. Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
  24. StarWars.com Gathering Forces Concept Art Gallery on StarWars.com (backup link) (Slide 3)
  25. Star Wars: A New Hope junior novelization
  26. Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions
  27. Star Wars 21
  28. 28.0 28.1 Star Wars: Commander
  29. The events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order take place about five years after the end of the Clone Wars, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY. Therefore, it can be deduced that the events of Fallen Order take place around 14 BBY.
  30. StarWars.com "Victory and Death" Episode Guide on StarWars.com (backup link)
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Victory and Death"
  32. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia: Join the battle! on Amazon.co.uk (backup link)
  33. 33.0 33.1 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  34. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which corresponds with those of the Star Wars: Rogue One comic adaptation, to 0 BBY.
  35. Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  36. Age of Resistance - Kylo Ren 1
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