- "Flank left and from above."
"Sir, there's too much fire!"
"Flank them, you idiot!"
- ―A Stormtrooper Commander giving orders
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. Additionally, the term Stormtrooper Commander was the title referring to the Imperial officer of an entire Star Destroyer's stormtrooper attachment, similar to a Starfighter Commander who served as the Star Destroyer's starfighter commanding officer.
- "Regroup. Our orders are to bring in the engineer. Find the cyborg and kill him!"
- ―A Stormtrooper Commander
Stormtroopers with the position of Stormtrooper Commander were commanding officers, 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. Advancing ahead of subordinates and employing simple commands such as "forward" with brisk hand gestures, Commanders were knowledgeable in strategy and various weapons, thereby allowing them to coordinate group maneuvers of other troopers and launch lethal strikes on behalf of the Galactic Empire. Commanders also reported to and received orders from superiors on behalf of stormtrooper forces, and in turn, Stormtrooper Commanders shouted orders such as "hands up" to civilians and rebels.
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.
In one definition, the title of Stormtrooper Commander referred to the Imperial officer in command of a Star Destroyer's stormtrooper detachment, similar to the role of a Star Destroyer's Starfighter Commander. Major Ayer served as the Stormtrooper Commander of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Chimaera under Commodore Mitth'raw'nuruodo.
Stormtrooper Commanders could have a multitude of ranks and roles. Commander Kimmund led a detachment of stormtroopers from the 1st Legion. Commander Atty served as the Field Commander of Imperial forces pacifying Ontotho, fighting alongside other stormtroopers on the front lines. A Stormtrooper Commander served as a deck officer at the Lothal Depot, commanding a scanning crew to protect Princess Leia Organa's Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvettes under Lieutenant Yogar Lyste. As a Stormtrooper Commander, a trooper with the rank of sergeant was at times referred to simply as "Commander" by subordinates. Similarly, captains also served as Stormtrooper Commanders.
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.
- "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
With the addition of being equipped with grenades, Stormtrooper Commanders, as with other stormtroopers, wore stormtrooper armor and were generally armed with E-11 blaster rifles, although some used DLT-19 heavy blaster rifles or T-21 light repeating blasters instead. When not in armor, stormtrooper officers wore a black uniform.
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.
Whereas non-ranking Stormtrooper Commanders and cold weather assault stormtrooper commanders did not sport a pauldron, Ranking military officers who held the position of stormtrooper commanding officer were distinguished by a pauldron worn on their armor, although a black pauldron was a standard accessory for various stormtrooper specializations, including the Recon Stormtrooper, the sandtrooper, and the magma trooper. Stormtrooper Commanders of the latter two wore an orange pauldron in place of black ones. 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.
For ranking Stormtrooper Commanders, their pauldrons varied in color that were specific to their rank. Pauldron colors included black and white, which signified corporal or enlisted trooper and sergeant respectively. Additionally, a stormtrooper with an orange pauldron held the position of unit leader or squad leader, which fell under the position of Stormtrooper Commander. A stormtrooper with the rank of captain also wore an orange pauldron. Those with a red pauldron were squad leaders, although rocket launcher troopers and stormtrooper grenadiers and also wore a red pauldron. 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.
As with other stormtroopers, Stormtrooper Commanders could serve as a part of specialized units of the Stormtrooper Corps such as the scout trooper and the desert stormtrooper. 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. Similarly, as a sandtrooper commanding officer, a stormtrooper was referred to as a Sandtrooper Commander.
Shadow trooper commanders wore a black pauldron, while Lava Trooper officers wore either a red pauldron or a black pauldron with red lining. Purge Trooper Commanders wore a red pauldron as well, differentiating them from subordinates that wore black pauldrons. Additionally, some Purge Troopers wore a black pauldron with red lining. Death trooper officers, such as Commander DT-F16 and "Death Squad Leader" wore black pauldrons, as did death trooper specialists.
Reign of the Empire
- "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
Stormtrooper Commanders existed by the time of Jedi Padawan and Purge survivor Cal Kestis' secret mission to rebuild the Jedi Order around 14 BBY. 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.
Some years into the Imperial Era, Darth Vader led a group of stormtroopers to inspect the wreckage of the Venator-class Star Destroyer Tribunal, which had departed Mandalore for Coruscant shortly before the execution of Order 66 in 19 BBY. 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 similar to those worn by sandtroopers. Some Stormtrooper Commanders held a box device, with one of them wearing a kama.
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.
Increased fighting of the Galactic Civil War
Aside from being commanding officers of other stormtroopers, Stormtrooper Commanders performed various additional tasks for the Galactic Empire. In 0 BBY, 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.
During the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY, 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. However, despite the ensuing rebel defeat, the rebel leaders escaped from the Empire on Hoth.
- "Captain. You are the only soldier left alive from the last battle here."
- ―Kylo Ren and Captain Ruthford
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.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "A Hero Discovered" (as Stormtrooper Sergeant)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (as Stormtrooper Sergeant and Stormtrooper Commander)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: Build Your Own R2-D2 6 (Building the Galaxy: Filming R2-D2, Part 3) (Picture only)
- Star Wars: Where's the Wookiee? 2 (Picture only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 51 (Helmets: The Grand Inquisitor) (Picture only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 65 (Weapons & Uniforms: Inhabitants of Jedha) (Picture only)
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: Making of Season Two
Notes and references
- Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 14: The Tragedy"
- "Two Sides to Every Sortie"—Empire Ascendant 1
- Darth Vader (2015) 19
- Star Wars Rebels – "Droids in Distress"
- Vader - Dark Visions 5
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Last Battle"
- Thrawn: Alliances
- Jedi Fallen Order - Dark Temple 1
- Star Wars Rebels – "A Princess on Lothal"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Through Imperial Eyes"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Gathering Forces"
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars Rebels – "Crawler Commandeers"
- "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.
- "Tales of Villainy: Invasion of Echo Base"—Star Wars Adventures (2020) 1
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- Darth Vader (2017) 24
- Star Wars Rebels – "An Inside Man"
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- (Slide 3)
- Star Wars: A New Hope junior novelization
- Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions
- Star Wars (2015) 21
- Chewbacca 5
- Star Wars: Commander
- Crimson Reign 4
- Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader's Castle 5
- Darth Vader (2017) 16
- Star Wars Rebels – "In the Name of the Rebellion"
- Star Wars: Force Arena
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- 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.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Victory and Death"
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Rogue One Adaptation 1
- 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.
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Age of Resistance - Kylo Ren 1