- "We never really got used to the new guys..."
- ―Anonymous 501st Legion trooper
The Imperial Stormtrooper Corps was a branch of the Imperial Military operating alongside the Imperial Army, Imperial Navy, and Imperial Intelligence, though it operated independently of all of those other branches. Like the Emperor's Royal Guard, it was under the direct control of the Emperor, and was commanded by Stormtrooper Command.
- "Those blasted Stormtroopers grind my gears down to nothing!"
- ―Unidentified Mos Eisley Salvage Yard security droid referring to the local stormtrooper platoon's treatment of him
The Stormtrooper Corps was the successor of the Grand Army of the Republic of the Galactic Republic. During the time of the Republic, clone shock troopers were already being referred to as "stormtroopers," and the usage was passed on to several other high-ranking clone units, notably the 501st Legion, immediately after the Declaration of a New Order. Another notable unit of the Corps was the 105th Stormtrooper Platoon.
For approximately ten years after the birth of the New Order, the Empire's elite Stormtrooper Corps remained as the exclusive province of Jango Fett's clone progeny. But after the "unofficial" events of the Battle of Kamino, in which a special detachment of the Imperial 501st was required to annihilate an army of rogue clones (referred to as Anti-troopers), the ranks of the stormtroopers would start including new clones from different genetic templates and even non-clone recruits/conscripts. By the time the first Death Star was complete, the Fett clones had become a minority in the very army they once filled as a whole.
Members of the Corps were chosen for their dedication, bravery, and intelligence, becoming indoctrinated in the tenets of the New Order and becoming graduates of difficult and prestigious military academies such as the Academy of Carida. Others were specially-trained clones. The Corps suffered heavy losses during the Galactic Civil War, to the point of them being incredibly rare by 22 ABY.
By 130 ABY, the Corps had apparently been disbanded, with the stormtroopers becoming part of the Imperial Army hierarchy. However, the individual stormtrooper units (such as the 501st and the 407th Stormtrooper Division) remained in existence and were still considered elite shock units by the Fel and Sith Empires.
Order of battle
- Squad—9 units: 8 troopers, including a corporal, led by a sergeant.
- Platoon—38 units: 4 squads (36 units: 32 troopers and 4 officers) led by a lieutenant and a sergeant major.
- Company—153 units: 4 platoons (152 units: 128 troopers and 24 officers) led by a captain.
- Battalion—613 units: 4 companies (612 units: 512 troopers and 100 officers) led by a major.
- Regiment—2453 units: 4 battalions (2452 units: 2,048 troopers and 404 officers) led by a lieutenant colonel.
- Legion—9813 units: 4 regiments (9812 units: 8,192 troopers and 1620 officers) led by a high colonel.
Behind the scenes
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.
- Imperial Sourcebook
- Imperial Sourcebook, Second Edition
- Wretched Hives of Scum & Villainy
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
- Scum and Villainy
- Galaxy at War
- The Essential Guide to Warfare