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Stormtrooper (Star Wars)

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"Imperial Stormtroopers" redirects here. For other uses, see Stormtrooper (disambiguation).
Imperial Stormtrooper / First Order Stormtrooper
Star Wars character
Elf Fantasy Fair 2010 Stormtrooper.jpg
Stormtrooper at the Elf Fantasy Fair
First appearance Star Wars (1977)
Last appearance The Force Awakens (2015)
Created by George Lucas
Species Human
Gender Male & Female
Occupation Foot soldier
Affiliation Galactic Empire & First Order

The Imperial Stormtroopers are soldiers from George Lucas' Star Wars universe. They are the main ground-force of the Galactic Empire, under the leadership of Emperor Palpatine and his commanders, most notably Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. The order of battle of the Stormtrooper Corps is unspecified in the Star Wars universe, but its numbers are far fewer than those of the Imperial Army's regular troopers. Despite this, the apparently high combat effectiveness of the Stormtroopers as well as their harsh reputation serve as the main reasons for deploying them almost exclusively in most of the military engagements of the Galactic Empire.

They are shown in collective groups of varying organizational sizes ranging from squads to legions, and for some, their armor and training is modified for special operations and environments.


In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the first troopers were cloned from bounty hunter Jango Fett, to be the Army of the Republic in the Clone Wars. In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the Clone troopers executed Order 66 under the command of Chancellor Palpatine, slaying their Jedi generals.

Initially, the stormtroopers serve as the army of the Galactic Empire, putting down revolts and establishing Imperial authority. They are the back bone of the Empire.[1] The Stormtrooper Corps swell in size after Palpatine allows the addition of recruits and conscripts alongside the clones, though the replacement of clones by natural beings lowered the effectiveness of the Empire's famed soldiers.

With the Empire firmly stabilized and an Imperial Army/Imperial Navy established, the stormtroopers were integrated into Palpatine's personal army and were stationed on Imperial bases and cruisers, as well as on the Death Star.

After Palpatine's death, the stormtroopers continued to serve under the factions that broke apart from the Empire. With redesigned armor, they eventually served under the leadership of the First Order.[2]

Stormtrooper armor[edit]

The troopers' most distinctive equipment is their white battle armor, inherited from their time as clone troopers. The complete armor set completely encases the body and typically has no individually distinguishing marking (in contrast to the clone trooper armor, which typically had various colorings to denote rank or unit, Stormtrooper armor has no rank affiliation).[citation needed] Liz Moore and Nick Pemberton sculpted designs for the helmet. Their designs were based on conceptual drawings by Ralph McQuarrie. The armor pieces of the costume were also designed from conceptual drawings by Ralph McQuarrie. Brian Muir, who was also responsible for sculpting Darth Vader, sculpted armor pieces for the stormtrooper costume in the Art Department at Elstree Studios. The suit was moulded and initially cast in plaster. Then Muir sharpened the detail at the plaster stage. The plaster casts were then remolded and cast in fibreglass to use as the "tools" for vacuum forming process. Suits were produced in house by Tashy Baines, the resident vacuum former, but then a problem developed with the machine.[citation needed]

As Shepperton Design Studios had already been used to vacuum form the helmets, the fiberglass molds for the armor were then sent to them for vacuum forming the suits.[citation needed]

By the end of production, two different helmets were produced; one for the common stunt trooper and a second design for close-ups. Fifty stunt helmets were produced in white-painted HDPE and six hero helmets were produced in white ABS plastic. Besides the material used, the two designs can be differentiated by differences in the eyes, the ears, and the mouth area.[citation needed]

The armor has also been the subject of light humor for years regarding its functionality. This is due to it making its wearer easy to be seen, restricting his movement and range of vision, and seeming to offer no real protection from blaster fire. One possible explanation for its continued use is that its purpose is to protect against projectile weapons (i.e. automatic guns) which have a much greater speed and rate of fire than blasters; because such weapons would be ineffective against the armor, they are never used.[citation needed]

The copyright status of the armor design has undergone legal challenges.[3] In the US it has been ruled to be under copyright. However a 2011 UK court decisions considered it to be industrial design, which is only protected for 15 years, and thus the armor design is now in the public domain at least in the UK (and probably throughout the European Union).[3]

Specialized stormtroopers[edit]

Shadow Trooper at Dragon Con

Within the original Star Wars trilogy, a number of specialized Stormtrooper units are seen. These include:

Within the Star Wars expanded universe media such as games and comics, a number of specialized stormtrooper units are seen. The Marvel-produced comics of the late 1970s and early 1980s featured Shadow Troopers. Other specialists have included commandos and troopers equipped to work in the vacuum of outer space, such as the zero gravity Spacetroopers depicted engaging in extra vehicular battle in the 1991 novel Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, and its 1995 Dark Horse Comics adaptation.

Others, such as the Beach Troopers, are for comical effect. Appearing only briefly in Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, they are clad in a Speedo and the trademark stormtrooper helmet. In Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, they are also wearing life jackets. Shadowtroopers appear in Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast wearing black armor made from a lightsaber-resistant metal called cortosis. This armor has a green synthetic gem set into the breastplate which gives the wearer Force powers. Their armor can also render them near invisible, with only a small area of blue discoloration giving them away, they use this ability to lie in wait and ambush the prey, most often the game's protagonist, Kyle Katarn. Shadow Stormtroopers appear in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and wear exactly the same type of Phase III armor as normal stormtroopers but not white in color, it is a mixture of silver, grey and red detailing. These troopers also possess the invisible feature and use this tactic to ambush their enemies, but only if stormtrooper officers call out for support.

Cultural impact[edit]

Stormtrooper standing guard outside the London Star Wars exhibition

In 2015, a stormtrooper helmet from The Empire Strikes Back was expected to sell at auction for possibly $92,000.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Star Wars Battlefront II, LucasArts
  2. ^ Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  3. ^ a b Jackson, Peter (27 July 2011). "Lucas loses Star Wars copyright case at Supreme Court". BBC News. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Rare 'Trek,' 'Star Wars' and 'Who' props up for auction (pictures) - CNET". CNET. Retrieved 2015-08-30. 

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