Desert Sands was an Imperial stormtrooper unit that served during the Galactic Civil War. The unit was a specialized desert stormtrooper variant with modified armor and equipment to withstand the harsh climates of desert planets like Tatooine, along with heavy weapons, survival gear, and shoulder pauldrons denoting rank. The unit included mounted Dewback troopers with its regular contingent.
Desert Sands was stationed aboard Darth Vader's flagship - the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Devastator. The unit was headed by Captain Mod Terrik, with his second in command being Senior Officer DSS-0956.
In 0 BBY, the unit was ordered to land on Tatooine in a Sentinel-class landing craft, tasked with locating Tantive IV's ejected escape pod to recover the stolen Death Star plans. They were split into Alvien, Drax and Zeta Squadrons; accompanied by troops of Captain Kosh's local garrison.
When Desert Sands located and searched the escape pod, the plans were gone. They did however discover a trail leading away from the crashed pod, as well as evidence that the pod's occupants were droids. The troopers followed the trail through the desert, and discovered that one droid had been intercepted by a Jawa sandcrawler. They eventually tracked down the sandcrawler, where they learned that the droids had been sold to moisture farmers. Desert Sands then attacked the sandcrawler, leaving no survivors. Desert Sands proceeded on to the moisture farm that had purchased the droids. On arrival, the unit failed to find the droids yet again. They blasted the homestead, and murdered its only inhabitants - Owen and Beru Lars.
Led by Captain Kosh, the unit attempted to apprehend the droid fugitives in Mos Eisley, without success. Once the droids escaped the planet in the Millennium Falcon, Desert Sands was left on Tatooine to perform clean-up operations.
Soon after the crew of the Falcon escaped, Desert Sands managed to secure Mos Eisley and wipe the rebel presence and their black market operations out of the system.
- Star Wars: Battlefront
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope junior novel
- Star Wars 1
- When the Desert Wind Turns: The Stormtrooper's Tale
- Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope (First identified as Desert Sands)
- The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook
- Star Wars Screen Entertainment
- Star Wars Miniatures Battles Companion
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – A New Hope Limited (Card: Imperial Squad Leader)
- The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology (As Burning Sands)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- C-3PO: Tales of the Golden Droid
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 10 (HUN1–4, The Hunt for the Droids)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 11 (GAR4, Garindan)
- Star Wars PocketModel TCG: Scum and Villainy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia