- "A real stormtrooper has no room for sympathy. A real stormtrooper is the extension of the First Order, of Supreme Leader Snoke's will, nothing less."
- ―Captain Phasma
Stormtroopers, also referred to as First Order stormtroopers, were the military infantry units of the First Order. Like their predecessors, the original stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire, the First Order's troopers were equipped with stark white body armor; its design reminiscent of the Imperial style as well as the version worn by the clone troopers of the Galactic Republic. Additionally, the First Order provided its soldiers with the F-11D blaster rifle—the successor of the Imperial E-11 blaster rifle—and SE-44C blaster pistol as their standard weapons.
The new generation of stormtroopers was composed of human conscripts, trained from birth and given unit designations instead of personal names. This form of training, combined with years of Imperial-inspired propaganda, worked to produce an army of elite soldiers who were personally loyal to the First Order and Supreme Leader Snoke. During the cold war between the First Order and the Resistance, the training of stormtroopers was overseen by Captain Phasma, a veteran officer and member of the First Order's commanding triumvirate along with General Armitage Hux and Kylo Ren. By promoting ruthlessness, yet also improvisation on the battlefield, Phasma endeavored to turn her trainees into the finest soldiers in the galaxy. As a result of her relentless training program, First Order stormtroopers were considered more dangerous than their Imperial precursors.
After the fall of the New Republic and the subsequent destruction of Starkiller Base, the First Order moved to seize control of the galaxy through the vast military resources at its disposal. However, while pursuing the Resistance to the remote world of Crait, Snoke was assassinated by Kylo Ren while Phasma and a large number of stormtroopers perished during an attack on the Supremacy. With the rest of the First Order unaware of his involvement in Snoke's death, Ren succeeded his slain master as the new Supreme Leader. At his command, the stormtroopers participated in a direct attack against the Resistance base on Crait, and although the battle concluded in victory for the First Order, several members of the Resistance managed to escape.
- "How capable are your soldiers, General?"
"I won't have you question my methods!"
"They're obviously skilled at committing high treason. Perhaps Leader Snoke should consider using a clone army."
- ―Kylo Ren and General Armitage Hux
Once the dominant power in the galaxy, the Galactic Empire suffered a catastrophic defeat in the Battle of Endor, resulting in the deaths of its two leading figures—Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. The victorious Rebel Alliance, now known as the New Republic, ultimately forced the shattered Imperial remnants to sign the Galactic Concordance, a formal peace treaty between the ascendant Republic and the fallen Empire. As a result of the accord, the Empire was reduced to a rump state, deprived of its once-vast military and economic resources due to severe disarmament treaties and war reparations.
Unwilling to accept the outcome of the Galactic Civil War, a group of former Imperial officers, nobles and technologists endeavored to restore the Empire to power. In the Unknown Regions of space they established a military junta known as the First Order; from there they began violating the Empire's treaties with the Republic by conducting a vast rearmament program, resulting in the secret creation of new fleets and armies. Through this policy emerged a new generation of stormtroopers; an army of soldiers inspired by their clone and Imperial predecessors, they were taken from their parents at birth and raised to be absolutely loyal to the First Order. Thirty standard years after the Battle of Endor, the First Order's stormtrooper legions were led by Captain Phasma in addition to other notable leaders such as General Armitage Hux and the dark warrior Kylo Ren.
Around this time, the First Order was engaged in a conflict with the Resistance—a private military group founded and led by the Rebel hero Leia Organa, the Resistance fought to prevent the First Order from restoring Imperial rule to the galaxy. In addition to the First Order's goals, which included the destruction of the New Republic and the Resistance, it also supported Kylo Ren's quest to destroy the last Jedi, Luke Skywalker. To that end, Phasma and an armed force of stormtroopers conducted an assault on Tuanul, a village on the planet Jakku where Ren hoped to gain information pertaining to Skywalker's hidden location. After executing the village leader, Lor San Tekka for refusing to cooperate, Ren directed Phasma and the stormtroopers to exterminate the village's entire population. All but one trooper—FN-2187—complied with Ren's order, firing into the crowd until the last villager was dead. The experience of witnessing the First Order's brutality and the deaths of his comrades influenced FN-2187's decision to commit desertion by abandoning his life as a stormtrooper.
The pursuit of Skywalker led Kylo Ren and an armed force of stormtroopers to the planet Takodana where the dark warrior attempted to capture BB-8, a Resistance astromech droid that contained part of the information regarding the last Jedi's location. The stormtroopers assaulted a castle belonging to Maz Kanata during their search for the BB unit, then pursued BB-8 and Rey into the forest where several troopers were killed before Ren apprehended the scavenger. During the battle, FN-2199 confronted the traitor FN-2187, now referring to himself as "Finn." After a brief duel FN-2199 defeated Finn in single combat, only to be shot by the smuggler Han Solo. The remaining stormtroopers ultimately withdrew from the battle on Ren's orders, the dark warrior having discovered that Rey already accessed the information he wanted from BB-8.
At Starkiller Base, Kylo Ren interrogated Rey in an attempt to get the map out of her, but his efforts were in vain, as Rey resisted him and revealed herself to be Force-sensitive. Ren went to inform his master, Supreme Leader Snoke, about his discovery and left a stormtrooper to keep watch over Rey. After two failed attempts, Rey managed to perform a mind trick on the stormtrooper, forcing him to to free her. When Ren returned and found that Rey had escaped, he angrily called the guards and destroyed the interrogation chair with his lightsaber, prompting two passing stormtroopers to quickly turn and walk away to avoid confrontation.
Shortly after, the Resistance launched an assault on Starkiller Base, and the First Order responded with a counterattack, resulting in a large dogfight in the air. On the ground, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Finn and Rey headed to the oscillator to destroy it, engaging multiple stormtroopers along the way. As Solo and Chewbacca planted the explosives, Ren and a squad of stormtroopers headed to the oscillator to find them. When Solo confronted Ren, the stormtroopers aimed their blasters at him. Solo tried to convince Ren to return to him and his mother, but the dark side had consumed him too much and so he killed Solo. Enraged, Chewbacca shot Ren and his stormtroopers before detonating the explosives, killing the remaining soldiers and blasting a hole in the oscillator. As a result, the X-wing pilot Poe Dameron was able to fly in and destroy it. With the oscillator destroyed, the planet soon collapsed into a star, killing all remaining stormtroopers on the planet.
Despite the loss of Starkiller Base, the First Order moved to impose its rule over the galaxy through military force, having removed the New Republic as an obstacle. Simultaneously, the First Order endeavored to destroy the Resistance once and for all, forcing Organa and her followers to abandon their base on D'Qar. Hoping to disrupt the First Order's ability to track the Resistance fleet's movements through hyperspace, Finn and Rose Tico infiltrated the Supremacy—the flagship of Supreme Leader Snoke—but were ultimately captured by Phasma and her stormtroopers. After bringing the prisoners to a hangar containing a large gathering of stormtroopers, Phasma sentenced Finn and Tico both to summary execution. Just as the stormtrooper executioners moved to carry out the death sentence, the Resistance flagship Raddus jumped to hyperspace while facing in the direction of Supremacy. The act served to split the Mega-class Star Dreadnought in half, leaving a huge gap open to space where many crewmembers and stormtroopers perished, including Phasma.
By then, Snoke had been assassinated by his apprentice, Kylo Ren, who then defeated the slain leader's Elite Praetorian Guards with the help of Rey. When she rejected his offer to rule the galaxy with her by his side, Ren blamed Snoke's death on Rey and assumed control of the First Order along with its stormtrooper legions as the new Supreme Leader. As his act, he commanded Hux to send their forces to the planet Crait where he intended to annihilate the Resistance in a direct assault on their new headquarters. Although the Battle of Crait concluded in victory for the First Order, a small group of survivors managed to escape aboard the Millennium Falcon.
- "My men are exceptionally trained, programmed from birth!"
- ―General Armitage Hux, referring to the training program for First Order stormtroopers
The First Order's stormtrooper training program was designed to produce an army of super-soldiers. As a result, members of the new generation of stormtroopers were trained from birth to become elite soldiers with a single purpose in life—to serve the First Order. This form of training drew inspiration from the ideals of Commandant Brendol Hux, who was inspired by the combat prowess and dedication of the Jedi Knights and Republic clone troopers, both of which were instructed from youth to become efficient combatants. According to Phasma, the ideology of the First Order stormtroopers did not allow for any emotional elements such as sympathy, since they were to specifically act as an extension of the Supreme Leader's will, and by extension that of the First Order, alone. During the fall of the Empire, Counselor Gallius Rax conscripted roughly two dozen orphans from his home planet of Jakku and gave them to Hux, who turned them into a force of child soldiers and assassins loyal to Rax. Prior to his death, Rax placed Hux's illegitimate son, Armitage in command of the child soldiers. As an adult, Armitage incorporated his father's ideals into the training program for the First Order stormtroopers.
The First Order employed Jinata Security to kidnap young children and babies for the Stormtrooper program.. As children, stormtroopers were initially trained under the oversight of Captain Cardinal, a former child soldier who instructed his cadets in hand-to-hand and melee combat, marksmanship, and battle simulations on the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer Absolution. When deemed ready, Cardinal's trainees were transferred to the Finalizer where they would complete their training under the watch of Captain Phasma. As the commander of the stormtrooper legions, Phasma endeavored to mold the stormtroopers into the finest soldiers in the galaxy and constantly vigilant against any signs of weakness of disobedience. To this end, behavioral and personality conditioning was critical in the training of First Order stormtroopers. In an effort to control their psychological development, the First Order provided its trainees with a steady amount of subliminal sleep messages and First Order propaganda, resulting in the production of soldiers who possessed absolute loyalty to the First Order. In addition rigorous combat exercises and psychological conditioning, the First Order strongly emphasized the values of uniformity and conformity. They were therefore given alphanumeric designations instead of names. As such, their emphasis of uniformity and conformity was strict enough that Stormtroopers weren't allowed to even remove their helmets unless specifically ordered to do so, with the penalty of doing so usually being mandated psychological counseling. Likewise, stormtroopers were not allowed to initiate contact with First Order officers.
Although modern stormtroopers were modeled largely on the stormtroopers of yesteryear, their combat training differed substantially from that of their Imperial predecessors. Unlike the Empire, which resorted to the use of numbing routine for its troopers, the First Order's training simulations, live-fire exercises, and sparring practices encouraged stormtroopers to embrace improvisation on the battlefield. They were therefore more effective in battle than the stormtroopers who served as their template. In addition to combat training, all First Order stormtroopers received medical training in order to treat injuries such as blaster wounds. During training, stormtrooper cadets slapped the rears of other troopers to motivate each other.
Despite General Armitage Hux's confidence in the stormtrooper programming, not every trooper was a successful product by the First Order's standards. Although FN-2187 was a capable soldier, he did not possess the same devotion that his comrades felt for the First Order. His lack of zeal for the First Order's cause, combined with his unwillingness to execute unarmed prisoners, led him to doubt his loyalties before ultimately forsaking his allegiance to the First Order. Kylo Ren regarded FN-2187 as a renegade, as well as a prime example of a stormtrooper training program which he viewed as flawed. He theorized that a clone army could serve the First Order in a better capacity. However, Hux remained confident in the collective reliability of the First Order stormtroopers, believing the rogue FN-2187 to be an anomaly in an army of loyal soldiers.
- "Even a Wookiee can't crush First Order armor."
- ―Captain Phasma
Members of the First Order's infantry forces wore white armor that was reminiscent of the Galactic Empire's stormtrooper armor, as well as the Old Republic's Phase I and Phase II clone trooper armors. Aside from some aesthetic differences, First Order stormtroopers bore a close resemblance to their Imperial predecessors. To denote rank, stormtrooper officers wore color-coded pauldron armor plates.
First Order stormtrooper helmets could filter out smoke, but not toxins. To deal with toxins, a stormtrooper needed to engage one of several special filters, depending on the specific contaminant. Identification was the province of one or two squad leaders.
In terms of armor strength, stormtrooper armor was held in high regard. Captain Phasma once claimed that not even a Wookiee was strong enough to break First Order armor. To keep weight down, most First Order stormtrooper helmets lacked advanced imaging gear, requiring stormtroopers to use separate quadnoculars in the field to provide them with enhanced imaging. However, standard stormtrooper helmets were still equipped with integral polarized lenses, night vision, communications and targeting systems.
The F-11D blaster rifle was the primary weapon of standard stormtroopers. A successor to the Imperial stormtroopers' E-11 blaster rifle, the F-11D was mass produced and provided to the First Order's soldiers by Sonn-Blas Corporation. In addition to the F-11D, Sonn-Blas also designed the SE-44C blaster pistol as a side arm for the First Order stormtroopers.
In addition to standard stormtroopers, the First Order possessed a variety of specialized troopers like the Old Empire before it. Specialist units were trained and equipped to function in various fields. Additionally, they could also be deployed alongside infantry units, supporting regular troopers in an auxiliary capacity.
- Flametroopers: Specialized stormtroopers that wielded an incendiary weapon and were equipped with specialized armor unique to their function. In combat they advanced in conjunction with the standard infantry, using the D-93 Incinerator flamethrower to force enemies out of their entrenched positions.
- Megablaster heavy assault troopers: Stormtroopers that were trained as heavy weapons specialists. Armed with the FWMB-10 repeating blaster, they also fought alongside regular stormtroopers in a support capacity.
- Riot control stormtroopers: Stormtroopers that were specialist units tasked with enforcing order on worlds within the First Order's domain. Trained in riot-control tactics, they were equipped with betaplast shields and the non-lethal Z6 riot control batons. However, they were also authorized to use lethal weapons in situations where rioters could not be contained with non-lethal equipment. Although their primary function was to serve in the military occupation of planets, riot control stormtroopers could also be dispatched on combat missions with standard infantry troopers.
- Rocket troopers: Stormtroopers that specialize in aerial combat and are equipped with Jump packs, smart rockets, SE-44C blaster pistols, and pauldrons.
- Snowtroopers: Stormtroopers specifically trained and equipped to serve in frigid environments, particularly the ice planet that housed Starkiller Base. Their specialized armor and equipment enabled them to operate effectively in freezing conditions. During the construction of the Starkiller, teams of snowtroopers patrolled the frozen world, exterminating indigenous species that were regarded as potential threats to the First Order. They can also be used in more temperate enviroments if the environments had enough similarities to an actual frigid environment as to require their presence, like with Crait.
Behind the scenes
Daniel Craig makes a cameo appearance in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens as the First Order stormtrooper who frees Rey from captivity on Starkiller Base after falling under the influence of her Jedi mind trick.
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Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Phasma
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Join the Resistance: Escape from Vodran
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Before the Awakening
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Poe Dameron: Flight Log
- ↑ Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- ↑ Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Junior Novel
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- ↑ 13.0 13.1
- ↑ 14.0 14.1
- ↑ 16.0 16.1
- ↑ Servants of the Empire: The Secret Academy
- ↑ Aftermath: Empire's End
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Star Wars Battlefront II
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens novelization
- ↑ Star Wars: The Last Jedi: A Junior Novel
- ↑ The Force Awakens: Head-to-Head
- ↑ Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ Daniel Craig's Star Wars: The Force Awakens cameo revealed. ew.com (17/12/2015). Retrieved on February 4, 2016.