Imperial gunners were recruits from the Imperial Navy's piloting program that were either still in training or washed out. They were tasked to use their skills with weapons to handle the powerful turbolasers and ion cannons of Imperial vessels, such as Star Destroyers and World Devastators.
On both Death Stars, the gunners, often called Death Star gunners, had the additional job of maintaining a careful balance of energy in the battle station's superlaser.
The most distinguishing part of the gunners was their large black helmets with a slit-like visor, designed to protect their eyes from the bright flashes of light from turbolaser and superlaser fire. Many gunners regarded this helmet as useless, as it limited peripheral vision and caused them to knock their heads into things. Their helmets remained almost exactly the same throughout the Fel Empire, while their uniforms gained more armor than before.
Imperial gunners used a ranking system similar to that of starfighter pilots, with commissioned ranks such as Captain, Major, and Colonel. Some would be deployed in ground operations as battlefield engineers, operating on damaged vehicles and wounded soldiers, and laying down defenses.
Notable Imperial gunners
Behind the scenes
In land battles in Star Wars: Battlefront II, Imperial gunners are called "Imperial engineers" and are armed with a shotgun, detpacks, ammo containers, bacta, and a fusion cutter. Industrial Light & Magic modelmakers Grant McCune and Joe Johnston played Imperial gunners in A New Hope.
- Death Star
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (First appearance)
- Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope (Non-canonical appearance)
- Star Wars: Battlefront
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
- Star Wars: X-wing
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (Helmet only)
- Dark Empire
- Dark Empire II
- Crimson Empire
- Children of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Legacy 17: Claws of the Dragon, Part 4
- "Wanted by Cracken"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 4
- "Wanted by Cracken"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 8
- Star Wars: Legacy 48: Extremes, Part 1
- Star Wars: The Power of the Force (1985)
- Imperial Sourcebook, First Edition
- The Imperial Sourcebook, Second Edition
- Death Star Technical Companion, Second Edition
- Star Wars: The Power of the Force (1995)
- Star Wars Gamemaster Screen, Revised
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – A New Hope Limited (Card: Death Star Gunner)
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Hoth Limited (Card: Imperial Gunner)
- Star Wars: The Action Figure Archive
- Battlefront II: Prima Official Game Guide
- Alliance and Empire Preview
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 15
- ↑ Battlefront II Prima Official Strategy Guide