- "What I remember about the rise of the Empire is… is how quiet it was."
- ―Retired clone trooper
The retired clone trooper was a clone trooper who served with the 501st Legion from the first battle of the Clone Wars to the Battle of Hoth in the Galactic Civil War. As one of millions of clones bred from the genetic template of Jango Fett, the trooper was created to serve the Galactic Republic as a soldier in the Grand Army of the Republic. By the end of the Clone Wars, however, the clone army betrayed their Jedi generals and supported Darth Sidious' rise to power as Emperor of the Galactic Empire. As a result, the Grand Army was reorganized into the Stormtrooper Corps, making the trooper and his brethren the first generation of Imperial stormtroopers.
The trooper continued to serve in the 501st Legion—led by the Sith Lord Darth Vader—over the course of the Emperor's reign. By the time of his retirement, the trooper recorded his recollections of various missions in a journal dedicated to the history of the 501st. His entries included confidential information pertaining to the final years of the Republic and the subsequent era of the Empire.
Fall of the RepublicEdit
- "During the waning hours of the Clone Wars, the 501st Legion was discreetly transferred back to Coruscant. It was a silent trip. We all knew what was about to happen, what we were about to do. Did we have any doubts? Any private traitorous thoughts? Perhaps, but no one said a word. Not on the flight back to Coruscant, not when Order 66 came down, and not when we marched into the Jedi Temple. Not a word."
- ―Retired clone trooper about Operation: Knightfall
By 3 ABY, just before the Battle of Endor a year later, a retired stormtrooper—a first generation clone of the bounty hunter Jango Fett—had authored a private journal which detailed his life experiences as a soldier of the Imperial 501st Legion. The trooper, along with many other clones of the same genetic template, was engineered in the Kamino cloning facilities for the sole purpose of becoming a soldier of the Galactic Republic. He was one of the first combat-ready units who composed the newly-formed Grand Army of the Republic in 22 BBY. Soon after surviving the first battle of the Clone Wars, the trooper joined the ranks of the 501st Legion, an elite division of clone soldiers commissioned by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
The following three years resulted in an escalating civil war between the Galactic Republic and the Separatist rebellion. The trooper and a contingent of the 501st was often rotated from one battlefield to another during the Outer Rim campaign. His service record included missions on Mygeeto, Felucia, Kashyyyk, and Utapau. He also served as a pilot in the Battle of Coruscant. Throughout these final battles of the Clone Wars, the trooper served under the command of several Jedi officers, such as General Ki-Adi-Mundi, General Yoda, and General Obi-Wan Kenobi. Just prior to the end of the Clone Wars, however, Chancellor Palpatine issued Order 66, the contingency directive that instructed all clone troopers to kill their Jedi officers in the event of a "Jedi rebellion."
The clone trooper and the rest of the 501st were tasked with executing a mission, codenamed Operation: Knightfall, to terminate everyone inside the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Led by the Sith Lord Darth Vader, the trooper and his comrades killed numerous Jedi students and Temple guards, including three Jedi Masters who ultimately fell defending the Temple. Afterward, Palpatine was proclaimed Emperor of the first Galactic Empire; the remaining Fett clones were rechristened as the first stormtroopers of the New Order.
Rise of the EmpireEdit
- "With the fall of Coruscant and the elimination of the traitorous Jedi, Palpatine's rise to power was complete. In recognition of our service and loyalty to the Emperor, the 501st were placed under the direct command of Lord Vader."
- ―Retired clone trooper
Under the Empire, the former clone trooper participated in many covert operations that were personally handled by the 501st, which by then became known as "Vader's Fist" due to their ruthless efficiency and unique status as Darth Vader's personal legion. Over the next decade, they defeated insurrectionists on Naboo, destroyed one of the last Separatist holdouts on Mustafar, and was even forced to exterminate an army of rogue clone troopers that had been bred by a Kaminoan resistance faction.
The trooper's final years as a soldier were marked by the outbreak of a new rebellion, formed by a growing organization known as the Alliance to Restore the Republic. In 0 BBY, a Jedi prisoner led a group of Rebel and Wookiee captives in an uprising on the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, codenamed "Death Star." The trooper and a contingent of the 501st responded by putting down the prison riot, but ultimately failed to prevent the Rebels from beaming the battlestation's schematic readouts to the Alliance's Polis Massa base. As a result of their failure, the 501st was reassigned to track and retrieve the stolen plans before the Rebels could discern any vital weaknesses in the Death Star's design. After surviving a difficult skirmish against Alliance soldiers on Polis Massa, the trooper participated in an assault on the Tantive IV, capturing Alderaan Senator Leia Organa in the process.
After the Battle of Yavin resulted in the destruction of the Death Star, the trooper and other surviving members of the 501st regrouped with other Imperial units in a major counterattack against the Rebel Alliance. They successfully drove the remaining Rebel forces away from Yavin 4, although the trooper considered it to be a hollow victory due to the loss of the Death Star, countless Imperial lives, and two thirds of the 501st's total strength.
The trooper's last recorded entry in his journal detailed his thoughts on the Battle of Hoth and its aftermath. In 3 ABY, Darth Vader and the Imperial Navy discovered the Alliance's hidden base on Hoth. The trooper was dispatched to the planet's surface with a large assault force consisting of snowtroopers and several All Terrain Armored Transports. After destroying the planet's shield generator, the 501st—led by Darth Vader in person—stormed the Alliance base and engaged the remaining Rebels in a firefight outside of the main hangar. They managed to plant a homing beacon beneath one of the last GR-75 medium transports, thus enabling an Imperial Star Destroyer to destroy the transport from orbit. The trooper and other soldiers of the 501st gathered around the burning remains of the fallen Rebel starship and celebrated what they believed was a symbol of the Rebellion's final destruction.
By the time of his discharge after many years of active service, the retired trooper was a veteran of the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War. He reminisced about the Rebel Alliance's defeat at the Battle of Hoth, an event which he also believed to be responsible for the restoration of order throughout the galaxy. Knowing that a new and larger Death Star was under construction, the former trooper felt secured in the belief that the Galactic Empire had prevailed once more, an achievement which he credited to the clone soldiers of Darth Vader's 501st Legion. His confidence in the Empire's ultimate victory, however, was proven false. A year after the Battle of Hoth, the Alliance won a decisive victory at the Battle of Endor, hence resulting in the fragmentation of the Empire and the dissolution of the 501st Legion.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Though the 501st itself remained pure, the rest of the Imperial Army gradually became more and more diverse. We never really got used to the new guys."
- ―Retired clone trooper
The clone trooper was a fiercely loyal soldier who believed in what he and his brethren were created to be: an army of soldiers designed to be highly efficient and highly obedient. As a young clone, he was initially unsure of his readiness for war, admitting how years of training on Kamino did not compare to a real battlefield. However, the Republic's first victory on Geonosis reinforced the trooper's morale, believing himself battle-hardened and ready to serve the Republic in the Clone Wars.
In several entries of his journal, the trooper conveyed feelings of respect and even admiration for some members of the Jedi Order, particularly Aayla Secura, whom he credited for single-handedly saving the 501st during its mission on Felucia. The clone also held Yoda's fighting prowess in high regard, given that the trooper acknowledged how the Jedi Grand Master's presence on Kashyyyk all but guaranteed the Republic's success against a Separatist invasion force.
Despite his unyielding loyalty to the Republic, the trooper privately questioned some of his orders on occasion, particularly the ones that he did not understand or even agree with. Although he later developed a new-found sense of appreciation for the combat skills of the Wookiee warriors, the trooper was initially dismayed at the thought of so many clones dying for a race he dismissed as a "bunch of walking carpets." After Order 66 was initiated, the trooper quietly lamented the death of Secura, hoping that she was at least granted a quick death. During Operation: Knightfall, he concealed his own misgivings about the order to execute every member of the Jedi Order. Nevertheless, he remained focused on his duty, which he carried out with the same silence and cold determination that had overtaken the 501st Legion as they invaded the Jedi Temple.
Afterward, the clone adapted well to his new life as an Imperial stormtrooper. He staunchly supported the ideals of the New Order and obediently enforced Emperor Palpatine's rule through the brutal tactics that earned the 501st its nickname as "Vader's fist." When remnants of the former Separatist movement threatened to cause another outbreak of civil war, the trooper expressed utter hatred and contempt for the clones' battle droid counterparts. He could not bear the thought of fighting against more of his enemies from the Clone Wars, all of whom he bitterly referred to as "gearheads."
His loyalty to the Empire was so complete to the point where he had no reservations for fighting against his own kind, specifically an entire generation of Fett clones that had been engineered to take up arms against the Empire. Yet despite his subservient nature, the trooper did not approve of the Emperor's decision to marginalize Jango Fett's progeny with additional clones based on different templates. As the years went by, the trooper lamented on how the Imperial Army steadily became more diverse, much to the chagrin of the Fett clones.
The trooper, like many of his fellow Clone Wars veterans, secretly enjoyed stamping out local insurrections, simply because they gave the stormtroopers something to do in a time when very few were willing to oppose the Empire's military might. When the Rebel Alliance declared war against the Empire, the trooper complimented how the Rebellion was organized and growing in number. After the Death Star's destruction, the trooper was filled with hatred for the Rebels, all of whom he blamed for the deaths of so many Imperial soldiers, including two thirds of the 501st, some of whom he had served with since the beginning of the Clone Wars. Thus he came to regard the Rebellion as a dangerous threat, not just to the Empire, but also to the peace and security of the galaxy.
- "Armed with deadly new weapons, blazing new ships, and shiny new armor, our presence let the galaxy know that the days of the Old Republic were well and truly over."
- ―Retired clone trooper
The trooper was originally outfitted with the standard equipment of rank-and-file clone troopers, specifically the Phase I battle armor, the DC-15A blaster rifle, the DC-15S, and thermal grenades. Near the end of the Clone Wars, his armor was replaced with its more advanced Phase II successor, which incorporated the distinctive blue markings of the 501st Legion.
When the Republic was reorganized into the Empire, the trooper upgraded to the standard stormtrooper armor. His primary and secondary weapons were switched to the E-11 blaster rifle and the SE-14r light repeating blaster, respectively.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Star Wars: Battlefront II (First appearance)