The storm commandos, also known as Imperial commandos or shadow scouts, were the Special forces of the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps. One task for storm commandos was to instill uprisings on enemy systems or to subdue insurrections on Imperial-held worlds. They also served as second-wave attackers in the battlefield, tasked with holding territory won by the first wave.
These commando forces were created with the intention of performing specific tasks that regular soldiers were incapable of accomplishing. As such, they were considered an elite unit within the Imperial Military and operated within small forces with an emphasis on stealth as well as covert operations over brute force. The members of the Storm Commandos were trained to perform covert assaults, precision strikes and sabotage operations against enemy forces. They were typically deployed into squads that consisted between three to six commandos. However, in certain missions that were considered suicide, squads consisted only of one or two individuals. They were normally deployed on operations against enemy leaders ranging from assassination to capture missions as well as destroying any important facilities used by their foes. They were even known to take part in assassination missions against a target.
Ultimately, the Storm Commandos were created in response to the effectiveness of guerrilla tactics used by the Rebel Alliance. As such, they were trained to make use of the tactics and use them against Rebel forces. When formed, their ranks consisted of only the best and finest members of the Stormtrooper Corps. The aim of the unit meant that they were experts in guerrilla tactics and had a reputation for being ferocious in combat to the point that they exceeded those of other divisions of the stormtroopers. Storm commandos were trained especially for counter-insurgency missions with a priority placed on Rebel targets and were often involved in missions such as siege breaking, sabotage, extractions and even in Base Delta Zero operations against hard targets. Other missions involved causing uprisings on target systems against governments that were hostile to the Empire. In addition, they also were used against uprisings that were within Imperial control. To further their skills, each commando was an expert pilot and were quite capable in operating vehicles. A unit could range from 4 to 40 commandos in strength.
The development of the storm commandos was overseen by Grand Moff Tanniel in response to the guerrilla tactics of the Rebel Alliance during the early days of the Galactic Civil War. Tanniel placed Crix Madine in charge of the first unit of storm commandos deployed. Despite Madine's later defection to the Alliance, the commando training program continued. Only the best Imperial stormtroopers received this training and they were in rare, limited numbers by the end of the war.
Galactic Civil War
Storm commandos, along with representatives from every specialized stormtrooper corps, were assigned to Darth Vader's personal Death Squadron. Important tasks of the commandos included acquiring new technology for the Empire by capturing scientists. In 0 ABY, they engineered the Battle of Ralltiir to abduct a group of cowering scientists. Rebel pilot Sarkli defected from the Alliance during this battle; he later became a Captain within the Storm Commandos. After the destruction of the Death Star, Emperor Palpatine ordered a renewed offensive against the Rebel threat which was spearheaded by Admiral Victor Strang who led a detachment of Imperial Storm Commandos onboard the Conqueror. This special forces team came into conflict with the Rebel Alliance's Renegade Squadron.
Captain Sarkli flew a modified escort carrier with an improved hyperdrive, in which he abducted Rebel scientists during the Raid on Bakura in 3 ABY. He later fled to Geonosis, where Wedge Antilles shot his craft down, beginning a battle in orbit and on the surface of the planet. Wedge Antilles piloting an A-wing during the Mission to Destrillion encountered a carrier containing about 24 TIE Hunters, which he managed to destroy. Imperial escort carriers were known to have guarded the Fondor construction yards, and fought during the Fondor shipyard assault.
In 4 ABY, Captain Sarkli was was present on the Second Death Star during Emperor Palpatine's visit. He was reassigned from the Death Star to the shield bunker on Endor, commanding a storm commando sentry unit. During the Battle of Endor, he attempted to block Han Solo's escape from the burning bunker, but backed away when Solo tried to move past him. Firing his rifle, Sarkli backed away from Solo all the way to the entrance. He received a fatal wound from Solo's blaster, and fell to the floor, dead. His body was destroyed when the shield bunker exploded.
One week after the Battle of Endor, a force of storm commandos led by General Weir attacked Coronet City on Corellia from their base on Tralus. The attack was meant to instill fear upon the Corellian population, despite the defeat of the Galactic Empire and the death of the Emperor at the Battle of Endor, that there was still an Imperial presence in the system. Weir discovered a small Rebel Alliance force consisting of Luke Skywalker and Rogue Squadron pilots Wedge Antilles, Tycho Celchu, and Wes Janson, as well as Ten Numb of Blue Squadron. Despite not capturing the Rebel forces, Weir ordered his commandos to withdraw to awaiting transport vessels. Ten Numb was captured personally by Weir while withdrawing and taken back to Tralus.
Ten Numb was tortured by General Weir until he broke, giving the General the information he required. The Sullustan later died from injuries sustained as part of the interrogation. Luke Skywalker and Rogue Squadron found the hidden Imperial base on Tralus with the help of Lady Leyli and R2-D2. Weir ordered his storm commandos to attack the Rebels while he escaped the planet in a TIE Interceptor. Sunspot Squadron was scrambled in response to an attack by Wedge Antilles and Tycho Celchu in stolen TIE fighters. Wedges Antilles shot down Weir, in his TIE fighter. Unable to flee due to injuries sustained in the crash, Weir was arrested by Antilles. Weir was extradited to Sullust and interrogated by Rebel officers.
Equipment and vehicles
Their armor was based on the scout trooper's light armor, though the black color most commonly seen earned them the nickname "shadow scouts"; it was enhanced with a coating of an advanced polymer called reflec, which deflected light and sensor energy. This made the wearers virtually invisible to all but the most determined of scans. The armor was designed by Dr. Nashiak Llalik. To support their mission profile, storm commando armor included a small generator that created a sound-dampening field, numerous concealed weapons, and a thermal detonator that a commando could detonate if faced with capture. They were sometimes known to make use of Evasive-226-R field disruptors. For weaponry storm commandos wielded E-11 blaster rifle as their primary rifle. Storm commandos also made use of Oppressor flamethrower during certain operations as well as the Imperial long-range rocket rifle. The storm commandos sometimes wore a different variant of their armor with a helmet that resembled Darth Vader's helmet, as well as red stripes on the shoulder pads, as evidenced by the storm commandos involved in the attempted arrest of Tycho Celchu on Dantooine. They also sometimes wear painted versions of Imperial shock trooper armor.
Storm commandos used modified 74-Z speeder bikes to aid them in missions of deep infiltration where they uncovered plots and dug up deadly secrets that could be used to force enemies to cooperate. Their speeder bikes were designed for silence and speed, with a trideflective energy shield that prevented detection.
Storm commandos were also trained to fly commando-exclusive TIE Hunters, generally operating from Imperial escort carriers. These carriers would be under their direct command and control. In addition, in certain special forces operations, they made use of Imperial Troop Drop Pods.
Notable Storm Commandos
Behind the scenes
In Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, the escape pods from Captain Sarkli's escort carrier on Geonosis contain soldiers in normal white stormtrooper armor. Whether or not these were storm commandos in standard stormtrooper armor is unknown.
Notes and references
- ↑ Rules of Engagement: The Rebel SpecForce Handbook
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Rebellion Era Sourcebook
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- ↑ Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim
- ↑ Rules of Engagement: The Rebel SpecForce Handbook
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 X-wing: Rogue Leader
- ↑ Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
- ↑ Threat of the Conqueror
- ↑ Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
- ↑ Alliance Intelligence Reports
- ↑ "Combat Moon"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 9