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The Imperial Army, also known as the Imperial Forces or Imperial ground forces, was the land-based branch of the Galactic Empire's military. The stormtroopers, the Empire's elite shock troops were organized under the Stormtrooper Corps, which operated as part of the army.[7][8] It also depended on mechanized vehicles such as the bipedal All Terrain Scout Transport[9] and the heavier, quadrupedal All Terrain Armored Transport.[10]


We Fight We Win

An Imperial Army trooper on a recruitment poster

The Imperial Army originated from the Grand Army of the Galactic Republic, and served as the Empire's ground forces for maintaining control of the countless worlds under the New Order.[11]

Imperial consolidationEdit

In 14 BBY, Imperial Army forces were garrisoned on the Imperial protectorate of Ryloth, which was in reality under Imperial occupation. Colonel Belkor Dray served as Governor Moff Delian Mors' second-in-command and commanded the Imperial Army forces on Ryloth. The stormtroopers on Ryloth operated outside the Imperial Army command structure and answered directly to the Empire. He used his senior position within the Imperial government and military on Ryloth to spy for Cham Syndulla, the leader of the Free Ryloth movement. Other elements of the Imperial Army were stationed at the Equatorial Communications Hub, which was commanded by Major Steen Borkas. Though their base was attacked, Borkas' forces including stormtroopers assisted Moff Mors in rescuing Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader and foiling Dray and Syndulla's plot to assassinate the Empire's leadership. Following the failed assassination attempt, the Imperial authorities embarked on a crackdown on Ryloth and strengthened the stormtrooper presence on the planet.[2]

By 5 BBY, Lothal's Academy for Young Imperials was training Imperial cadets for both the Imperial Army and Stormtrooper Corps. Cadets selected for the stormtrooper program received a more rigorous program than those training for the Army track.[12] Cadets training as Imperial Army officers including Zare Leonis underwent a series of grueling training exercises including multiple sessions in a simulated combat chamber called The Well.[13] Promising Army officer cadets also underwent training at the Arkanis Academy, which was run by the charismatic Commandant Brendol Hux,[14] the architect of the First Order's stormtrooper program.[15]

Battling the RebellionEdit


Imperial AT-AT walkers during the Battle of Hoth

During both the early rebellion and the Galactic Civil War, the Imperial Army saw action against various rebel forces including the Spectres,[16] the Phoenix Squadron,[17] Saw Gerrera's Partisans, and the Alliance to Restore the Republic.[18] The Imperial Army was deployed on many worlds across the galaxy including Tatooine[19] and saw action on multiple locations including Hoth[20] and Endor.[21] During the Battle of Hoth, General Maximillian Veers commanded the Imperial ground assault on Echo Base.[20] At the Battle of Endor, Imperial Army forces and stormtroopers defended the second Death Star's shield generator. AT-ST drivers also rode AT-ST walkers. Despite dogged resistance, the Imperial forces on Endor were defeated by the rebels and their local Ewok allies.[21]

Following the death of the Emperor and Darth Vader at Endor, the Imperial Army and other branches of the Imperial Military fought against the New Republic on multiple worlds and fronts including the Wretch of Tayron[22], Naalol, Akiva, and Sevarcos.[23] By 5 ABY, elements of the Imperial Army on Kashyyyk came under the command of Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck. Several Imperial Army personnel were stationed at Lozen Tolruck's island fortress including Forest troopers. Many Imperial personnel were killed when Han Solo, Chewbacca and their associates staged a successful Wookiee slave uprising against the Empire.[24]

After Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax took control of most of the Imperial remnants, his forces on Jakku included elements of the Imperial Army and Stormtrooper Corps. The Clone Wars veteran General Hodnar Borrum commanded the Imperial ground forces during the cataclysmic Battle of Jakku, which saw the defeat of the Empire and the triumph of the New Republic. The Galactic Concordance stipulated the dissolution of the Empire including its vast military. While civilian functionaries were given conditional pardons, all Imperial officers were designated as war criminals.[25]


The remnants of the Empire subsequently relocated to the Unknown Regions where they reestablished themselves as the First Order, a military junta dedicated to restoring the "Old Empire."[15] The First Order's First Order was established from the remants of the former Imperial Army.[26] Brendol Hux's son Armitage Hux became a high-ranking general in the First Order's army. Nearly a generation later, the surface of Jakku was still littered with wreckage including Imperial Army AT-AT walkers, one of which became the home of the Force-sensitive scavenger Rey.[15]


The Imperial Army had its own infantry, distinct from the stormtroopers. These troopers were made up of a mixture of conscripts and enlistees and used to garrison planets. They were generally less committed to remaining loyal to the Empire than the stormtroopers.[2]

The Imperial Army also had Imperial combat drivers who operated its vehicles. Imperial Army officers wore identical uniforms to their naval counterparts, however when on the field they would sometimes wear a field grey chestplate similar in design to those worn by snowtroopers. They would also wear helmets similar to those worn by AT-ST drivers.[11]



The Imperial Forces on Endor



The AT-ST Mark III was an Imperial walker.





The Imperial Army also maintained numerous TIE fighters for combat use in planetary atmospheres. As a result, TIE fighter pilots in the Imperial Army were nicknamed ground-hogs unlike their Imperial Navy counterpart, the vac-heads. Since vac-heads maintained better public recognition through the HoloNet News, a bitter rivalry existed between the two branches, with each having their own anthem and bars at Imperial flight bases in order to avoid conflict. However the Bright Jewel Oversector Flight Base did not separate its bar between the branches, in one instance resulting in members of Nashtah Squadron to provoke other members of the Imperial Navy by singing the Ground-hog anthem.[45]



A propaganda poster for the Imperial Army.

Non-canon appearancesEdit


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Tarkin
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Lords of the Sith
  3. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  4. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  6. Before the Awakening
  7. 7.0 7.1 Rebel Journal by Ezra Bridger
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Star Wars: Galactic Defense
  9. Encyclopedia-Logo AT-ST walker in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link)
  10. Encyclopedia-Logo AT-AT walker in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
  12. Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy
  13. 13.0 13.1 Servants of the Empire: Rebel in the Ranks
  14. Servants of the Empire: The Secret Academy
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
  16. Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion
  17. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Legacy"
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  19. Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  21. 21.0 21.1 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  22. Shattered Empire, Part III
  23. Aftermath
  24. 24.0 24.1 Aftermath: Life Debt
  25. Aftermath: Empire's End
  26. Before the Awakening
  27. 27.00 27.01 27.02 27.03 27.04 27.05 27.06 27.07 27.08 27.09 27.10 27.11 27.12 27.13 27.14 27.15 27.16 27.17 27.18 27.19 27.20 27.21 27.22 27.23 27.24 27.25 27.26 27.27 27.28 27.29 27.30 Star Wars: Commander
  28. StarWars-DatabankII Imperial Combat Drivers in the Databank (backup link)
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
  30. Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  31. StarWars-DatabankII Imperial combat assault tank commanders in the Databank (backup link)
  32. StarWars-DatabankII Imperial combat assault tank pilots in the Databank (backup link)
  33. StarWars-DatabankII Snowtroopers in the Databank (backup link)
  34. HasbroInverted Star Wars: The Black Series (Pack: Entertainment Earth Exclusive)
  35. Star Wars Battlefront
  36. Lost Stars
  37. 37.0 37.1 The Planets of Star Wars Battlefront. (November 5, 2015). Retrieved on November 5, 2015.
  38. Star Wars: Uprising
  39. Star Wars Battlefront II
  40. StarWars-DatabankII Sandtroopers in the Databank (backup link)
  41. 41.0 41.1 StarWars-DatabankII Stormtroopers in the Databank (backup link)
  42. Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  43. Star Wars 19: Rebel Jail, Part IV
  44. 44.0 44.1 Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions
  45. 45.0 45.1 SWInsider "Last Call at the Zero Angle"—Star Wars Insider 156
  46. 46.0 46.1 Star Wars 1: Skywalker Strikes
  47. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Relics of the Old Republic"
  48. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Breaking Ranks"
  49. Darth Vader 8: Shadows and Secrets, Part II
  50. *SWInsider "Blade Squadron: Kuat"—Star Wars Insider 168
  51. Star Wars 2: Skywalker Strikes, Part II
  52. Shattered Empire, Part III
  53. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Hera's Heroes"
  54. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  55. Star Wars 3: Skywalker Strikes, Part III
  56. 56.0 56.1 Star Wars: The Rebel Files
  57. Star Wars 4: Skywalker Strikes, Part IV
  58. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Shroud of Darkness"
  59. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "The Occupation"
  60. Battlefront: Twilight Company