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Stormtrooper Corps

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"What a disgrace to the heritage and legacy of a once truly incredible fighting force."
―Commander Cody[src]

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.

HistoryEdit

"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[src]
StormtroopersDS1

Stormtroopers, elite soldiers of the Empire

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.[1] The same speech detailed a number of reforms that emphasized the policy of Imperialization, including the renaming of all clone troopers as Imperial stormtroopers.[13] Hence, the first stormtroopers were all clones of Jango Fett, the template of the Republic Clone Army.[2]

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.[2]

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.[14]

Intimitated -TCG by Zach Graves

Stormtroopers often served under Darth Vader's command.

The introduction of new clone lines[14] and Human recruits[15] 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.[16] Until then, most stormtroopers still consisted of the same genetic makeup, the modified template of Jango Fett.[14] 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.[2] 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.[14]

Clones remained an essential factor to the Stormtrooper Corps, but their importance continued to diminish over time[2] as the ranks became increasingly filled with enlisted troopers; birth-born Humans recruited to serve the Empire as Imperial stormtroopers.[15] 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.[2] 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[14] and Commander Cody,[15] regarded the new clones and enlisted personnel as unwelcome outsiders.[14] 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.[15] 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.[2]

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.[2]

VictoryOnEndor

The Battle of Endor was a major defeat for the Stormtrooper Corps.

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.[2]

The Battle of Endor[5] 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.[2] 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.[5] 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.[2]

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.[2]

Organization and structureEdit

"The Empire has a legion of loyal soldiers that are in endless supply."
―Darth Vader[src]

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.[2]

Snowtrooper Captain

Snowtroopers of the Stormtrooper Corps specialized in cold-weather operations.

Order of BattleEdit

Stormtrooper specializationsEdit

In addition to the various orders of battle, the Stormtrooper Corps. also has a variety of Stormtrooper specialiazations, each one trained in a specific role for enforcing the Emperor's Will and directly confronting any threats to the Empire.

  • Aquatic Assault Stormtrooper— Also known as "Seatroopers," they are deployed to oceanic worlds to pacify threats beneath the waves. Their armor is resistant to crushing ocean depths, and its air supply lasts for over an hour. They also possess flippered boots and a backpack propulsion unit for aiding in underwater mobility, and are armed with a modified E-11 blaster rifle that doubles as a speargun.[17]
  • Bomb Squad Trooper— Also known as "Bombtroopers," they are trained to disarm explosive devices, varying from anti-tank mines to primitive spring traps, as well as to recover the device intact for Imperial Intelligence, making them more valuable than bomb-disposal droids. They possessed specialized armor that could withstand controlled explosions and high-velocity shrapnel, and a helmet fitted with sensors for detecting chemical signatures of explosives and an automatic full muffling mode to protect the eyes and ears of the wearer at the first sign of an explosion.[17]
  • Incinerator trooper— Incinerator troopers are identified with red markings on their armor to indicate their specialty, and are trained for laying down flame and reactive chemicals. They are equipped with Oppressor flamethrowers and plasma rifles with wide-spream spreads capable of exciting molecules to the burning point, though they have at one point completed a mission only with thermobaric canisters and mortar launchers. They are most frequently used against enemy infantry and to purge local villages.[17]
  • Imperial Marine— Assigned to the Imperial Navy, the Imperial Marines are stationed on Star Destroyers and other naval warships, serving as the first wave boarding party on captured starships. They are also trained to repel hostiles if a ship's defense is breached.[17]
  • Hazard Trooper— Hazard troopers were trained and deployed to worlds with extreme planetary climates and conditions, often wearing armor that fully sealed them from acidic, electromagnetic, biochemical, and other environmental threats. Because the extreme conditions for the job, Stormtroopers selected for hazard duty undergo cyborg limb replacement to supply the strength and stamina needed to operate the armor for extended missions.[17]
  • Magma Trooper— Magma troopers, also known as "Lavatroopers," are stormtroopers specifically trained to operate in active geologic vents. They are often stationed to volcanic mines containing rare ores that are threatened by the Rebel Alliance. They are supplied with equipment directly relating to volcanic activity, including Duravlex-reinforced armor capable of withstanding extreme temperatures up to 1,900 degrees centigrade.[17]
  • Radiation trooper— Also known as "radtroopers," they are deployed to heavy radiation zones, namely those that are strategically valuable planets or battlegrounds that were rendered inhospitable due to the detonation of fission weapons. Because of this, their armor, powered by a backpack unit, is coated with silver and lined with a lead-polymer that blocks electromagnetic energy as well as guarding its wearer from outside contaminants, and also contain handheld sensors as standard equipment to determine any potential risks for any slaves that might be assigned to work in the area.[17]
  • Riot trooper— Riot troopers are stormtroopers created specifically to deal with civil unrest in various worlds to reestablish Imperial Order. Because of the important need for personal combat, they are trained at the Yinchorr academy alongside the Emperor's Royal Guard.[17]
  • Sandtrooper—Desert Stormtroopers, better known as Sandtroopers, are stationed on desert worlds, with their armor being designed specifically for use on these worlds, such as SD-48 survival backpacks.[17]
  • Skytrooper/Jumptrooper—Skytroopers and Jumptroopers are experts at air to ground attacks, being equipped with AJP-400 Hush-About personal jet packs that they use to reconnoiter battlefields, reach inaccessible areas, land undetected behind enemy lines, or gain elevation to fire on enemies.[17]
  • Snowtrooper—Cold Assault Stormtroopers, better known as Snowtroopers, are trained for operation in arctic environments.[17]
  • Swamptrooper—Wetland Assault Stormtroopers, better known as Swamptroopers, are given tinted-green lightweight armor for camouflage in forested wetlands. They are often deployed near lakes, rivers, and other waterways where settlements tend to cluster on habitable planets. Their armor also incorporates environmental sealants to keep out sevral biological perils that thrive inswamplands, such as colonies of toxic bacteria, swarms of stinging insects, amphibious carnivores, and more.[17]
  • Zero-G Assault Stormtrooper—Zero-G Assault Stormtroopers, better known as Spacetroopers, are widely considered the best soldiers in the galaxy, and specialize in assaulting and capturing starships. They serve aboard vessels in the Imperial Navy, like the Imperial Marines, although they operate best in the interstellar void. Because of the nature of their job, their varying models of armor incorporated vacuum sealing and safeguards against hyperspatial radiation, as well as a propulsion system and a small arsenal of anti-starship weaponry.[17]
  • Scout-trooper—Scout troopers, also known as biker scouts, are often used in recon-related missions including leading patrols to determine the strength of enemy forces and/or perform hit-and-fade attacks in support of a larger ground force. As such, they are experts in mobile reconnaissance, trained infiltrators, and survivalists.[17]

Classified/experimental unitsEdit

  • Shadow Stormtrooper—Shadow Stormtroopers, also known as Blackhole Stormtroopers, are stormtroopers under the direct command of Agent Blackhole the head of Imperial Intelligence, and as such their missions are considered extremely classified. However, they receive special training in infiltration and ambush tactics.[17]
  • Terror Trooper—Terror troopers are cyborg experiments conducted by the Imperial Department of Military Research. Very rare, they specialize in direct combat with sharpened, durasteel talons on their hands and feet. Because of their cyborg limbs, they possessed enhanced strength, speed, and agility, and their masks also provide augmented respiration for their organic lungs. They also continue fighting even after the loss of one or more limbs[17]
  • Dark Trooper— Dark Troopers are battle droids designed specifically to bring back personal combat, and came in three phases, Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III.[17]

Elite Stormtrooper unitsEdit

In addition, there were also several elite units within the Stormtrooper Corps., with their duties being directly tied to either defending the Emperor and the Imperial capital, or otherwise to steal technology to use against the Rebel Alliance.

  • Emperor's Royal Guard—Considered the most important unit within the Imperial Military, the Emperor's Royal Guard was charged with the personal protection of the Galactic Emperor. They are hand-picked from within the ranks of the Stormtrooper Corps., and are given extensive combat training at the Imperial Royal Guard Academy on Yinchorr. Those who survive the training, including a battle to the death, are permitted to join the ranks. They are identified by their red robes, with matching armor inspired by the Sun Guard.[17]
  • Novatrooper—The Novatroopers were stormtroopers who were selected for a place in the Emperor's honor guard. They are identified by armor glistening with black and gold ceremonial colors, and are rarely encountered outside of official Imperial ceremonies, including the semi-annual awarding of the Medal of Valor and the Emperor's public address at the start of New Year's Fete Week.[17]
  • Coruscant Guard—The Coruscant Guard maintains peace on Coruscant, and as such work in conjunction with the Coruscant police, but outrank all local law officers in numbers. They maintain security at key governmental sites, including the Imperial Palace and the Pliada di am Imperium, and escort high-ranking Imperial senators and moffs.[17]
  • Storm Commando—Storm Commandos are the special forces division of the Stormtrooper Corps, formed specifically to beat the Rebel Alliance at their own game. Their armor is similar to that of scout troopers, albeit colored matte black, leading to the nickname of shadow scouts. Their missions rely on stealth and have heavy emphasis on sabotage and assassination.[17]

DivisionsEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

StormtroopersInAction

A deleted scene of stormtroopers in action from Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi

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.

AppearancesEdit

All sources, in which Stormtroopers appear.

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit

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