- "What a disgrace to the heritage and legacy of a once truly incredible fighting force."
- ―Commander Cody
The Stormtrooper Corps was an independent military branch that operated alongside the Imperial Army and Navy of the Galactic Empire. Though they functioned under their own command structure, Imperial stormtroopers ultimately answered directly to Emperor Palpatine, the architect of the New Order that incorporated most of the known galaxy under Imperial rule. Regarded as elite shock troopers of the Empire, the Corps also functioned as Palpatine's chief enforcers—both within the military ranks and the galactic populace alike—due to their uncompromising loyalty to Palpatine.
The first stormtroopers were Republic clone troopers that the Empire inherited after the Clone Wars. However, the Stormtrooper Corps gradually expanded its ranks to include cloned soldiers from different genetic sources. Further changes in policy led to the recruitment of birth-born Humans as enlisted troopers. Before long, the original clones of the Jango Fett line were reduced to the status of a minority within the army that they once held as their exclusive province.
Although their ranks were numerous and well-armed with advanced weaponry and armor, stormtroopers were generally less respected as soldiers—at least in comparison to their clone trooper predecessors—by the Empire's adversaries and even some within the Corps itself. Commander Cody, one of the last clones who remained in service years after the formation of the Empire, noted that the operational effectiveness of the Stormtrooper Corps had been severely diminished over time, a setback that he blamed on the infusion of Human recruits into the stormtrooper ranks.
With few exceptions, the Corps was predominantly Human throughout the existence of the first Galactic Empire. Under the Empire's successor states, however, non-Humans were permitted to serve as stormtroopers in the Empire of the Hand, the Imperial Remnant, Roan Fel's revived Empire and Darth Krayt's Sith Empire.
- "Since the Empire has redirected the clone trooper program to other pursuits and stepped up recruiting inferior humans from the Outer Rim, the operational effectiveness of this army has declined significantly."
- ―Commander Cody
The Stormtrooper Corps was formed in the year 19 BBY at the same time as the Clone Wars, a galaxy-wide civil war between the Galactic Republic and the Separatist Alliance, came to an end. In Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's historic speech addressed to the Senate and citizenry of the Republic, the old political establishment was reformed into the New Order; a Galactic Empire under the rule of the self-appointed Emperor Palpatine. The same speech detailed a number of reforms that emphasized the policy of Imperialization, including the renaming of all clone troopers as Imperial stormtroopers. Hence, the first stormtroopers were all clones of Jango Fett, the template of the Republic Clone Army.
Throughout the reign of Emperor Palpatine, various reforms to the Imperial Military steadily diminished the Empire's reliance on clone soldiers. Such changes were also intended to further distance the Empire's image from its past as the old Republic. Even before the introduction of stormtrooper armor, the Empire's preference for uniformity and obedience brought an end to the Grand Army's tradition of unit markings and armor customization, and thus restored the Phase II battle armor to a blank white appearance. The clone trooper's DC-15A blaster rifle was deemed obsolete in favor of the stormtrooper's E-11 blaster rifle. The clones' use of nicknames, which they had developed under the encouragement of their Jedi officers, fell out of style as Imperial officers referred to them by number designations. Whereas the Jedi Order had taken a keen interest in fostering individuality and creativity within the clone troopers, the Stormtrooper Corps instilled the clones with the doctrine of absolute loyalty and conformity to the New Order.
Stormtroopers were an integral part to Emperor Palpatine's efforts to consolidate the fledgling Empire. Revolts were spread across the galaxy, ranging from the Emperor's home planet of Naboo to the Outer Rim world of Mustafar. The Stormtrooper Corps not only contended with various planetary insurrections, but also the scattered remnants of the former Separatist Alliance. Order 66, the contingency directive that instructed all clone troopers to summarily execute their Jedi leaders, also remained in effect throughout the Great Jedi Purge, thus requiring the stormtroopers to kill any Jedi on sight.
The introduction of new clone lines and Human recruits to the stormtrooper ranks was the direct result of a new policy influenced by the highly classified Kaminoan Uprising, a clone rebellion on Kamino where the original clone troopers were conceived. Until then, most stormtroopers still consisted of the same genetic makeup, the modified template of Jango Fett. One exception was the experimental GeNode clone line, composed of clones created from several different templates. The GeNodes proved unreliable, however, and were prone to cases of Clone Madness. By and large, clone stormtroopers were bred from the same gene pool, grown and trained through Kaminoan and Arkanian Micro methods. When the Kaminoans created their own secret army of renegade clone troopers, the Emperor deemed the Fett line to be compromised. The insurrection was thwarted and the Empire regained control of Kamino's cloning facilities, but the Stormtrooper Corps became increasingly diverse with an influx of clones from a variety of templates.
Clones remained an essential factor to the Stormtrooper Corps, but their importance continued to diminish over time as the ranks became increasingly filled with enlisted troopers; birth-born Humans recruited to serve the Empire as Imperial stormtroopers. Both numerous throughout the galaxy and the dominant species of the Empire, Humans were regarded as the solution to the dilemma of cloning. Arkanian processes created subpar troopers, and the Kaminoan method was considered too slow and expensive. From the perspective of the Fett clones, the Stormtrooper Corps had lost the purity that defined the old Clone Army of the Republic. The few remaining clones of the Fett line, such as a veteran of the 501st Legion and Commander Cody, regarded the new clones and enlisted personnel as unwelcome outsiders. Cody especially loathed Human recruits, deeming them to be inferior to clone troopers and the reason behind the significant decrease in the operational effectiveness of the Stormtrooper Corps. Throughout the decade before the Battle of Yavin in 0 BBY, the percentage of clone soldiers had been reduced to roughly a third of the overall Stormtrooper Corps.
When the once all-clone Stormtrooper Corps opened its ranks to Human recruits, the Imperial Academy System was utilized for stormtrooper training. Most enlisted troopers graduated from the academies on Corulag and Raithal, but the most exceptional stormtrooper cadets were assigned to the Academy of Carida. During the Clone Wars, Carida was a training center for non-clone officers who led clone divisions, and continued to do so with the Stormtrooper Corps. Under the Empire, Carida gained a reputation for producing the best and bravest cadets. Clones bred with greater independence were also stationed at Carida where they developed their leadership skills with a combination of flash instruction and live training.
Stormtrooper training consisted of two years of grueling exercises—both physically and mentally—that produced elite soldiers, heavily indoctrinated in the tenets of the New Order. Their personal loyalty to Emperor Palpatine was well-known throughout the Empire; few stormtroopers could be bribed, blackmailed, or seduced into renouncing their allegiance to the Galactic Empire.
The Battle of Endor not only marked a turning point in the Galactic Civil War for the Rebel Alliance, but also a sharp and steady decline for the Galactic Empire. While both Emperor Palpatine and the Sith Lord Darth Vader perished aboard the second Death Star during the space battle above Endor, the stormtroopers suffered a devastating defeat against a Rebel strike team and the Ewoks, a primitive race indigenous to the forest moon. Due to the sudden vacuum of power created by the Emperor's death, the leaderless Empire fractured into numerous factions, fragmenting the Stormtrooper Corps between various warlords and claimants to the Imperial throne.
In the decades after the Galactic Civil War concluded with victory for the New Republic, the Stormtrooper Corps continued to exist, although in a heavily reduced state, mirroring the Empire's devolution into the Imperial Remnant. The Empire of the Hand, a state loosely based on Palpatine's Empire, retained stormtroopers as an elite force, but also permitted non-Humans to enter military service. The same policy was also adopted by the Remnant, and retained after its transition into the Fel Empire. At some point prior to 130 ABY the corps stopped being an independent military branch and were made part of the Imperial Army. In 137 ABY, a new civil war divided the resurgent Empire once more, forcing the stormtroopers to fight amongst themselves in the conflict between Darth Krayt's Sith Empire and Roan Fel's loyalist faction.
Organization and structureEdit
- "The Empire has a legion of loyal soldiers that are in endless supply."
- ―Darth Vader
The Stormtrooper Corps was organized by a system, known as the Order of Battle, that mirrored the Imperial Army's lower-level structure. Unlike the Army, the legion was the highest level in the stormtroopers' command structure. In addition, stormtrooper units did not include support personnel.
Order of BattleEdit
- Legion—9,813 units: 4 regiments (9,812 units: 8,192 troopers and 1,620 officers) led by a high colonel.
- Regiment—2,453 units: 4 battalions (2,452 units: 2,048 troopers and 404 officers) led by a lieutenant colonel.
- Battalion—613 units: 4 companies (612 units: 512 troopers and 100 officers) led by a major.
- Company—153 units: 4 platoons (152 units: 128 troopers and 24 officers) led by a captain.
- Platoon—38 units: 4 squads (36 units: 32 troopers and 4 officers) led by a lieutenant and a sergeant major.
- Squad—9 units: 8 troopers, including a corporal, led by a sergeant.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Stormtrooper Corps is roughly analogous to the following real-world organizations:
- The Stormtroopers (in German Stoßtruppen, "shock troops") were specialist soldiers of the German Army in World War I, who operated in companies of Sturmtruppen ("assault troops", more often and less exactly Storm Troops).
- The U.S. Marine Corps is a semi-autonomous force that fights alongside the other branches of the armed forces, responsible for strategic amphibious assaults and boarding actions.
- The later Legacy-era stormtrooper forces are more comparable to the real-world U.S. Army Rangers in that they have become an elite form of infantry as an integral and subordinate part of the Imperial Army command structure. The 501st, on the other hand, was more semi-autonomous, similar to the U.S. Marine Corps functioning as the Emperor's praetorian guard alongside the Imperial Knights.
All sources, in which Stormtroopers appear.
- Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, First Edition
- Imperial Sourcebook, First Edition
- Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, First Edition
- Imperial Sourcebook, Second Edition
- Wretched Hives of Scum & Villainy
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
- Scum and Villainy
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Galaxy at War
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
- Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Allegiance
- ↑ Legacy Era Campaign Guide
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
- ↑ Vision of the Future
- ↑ The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ Dark Empire
- ↑ Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
- ↑ X-Wing: Iron Fist
- ↑ Crimson Empire III: Empire Lost 2
- ↑ Star Wars: Legacy: Broken
- ↑ Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:24
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Star Wars: Battlefront II
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Databank
- ↑ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- ↑ Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim
- ↑ Slave Ship