Stormtrooper (Star Wars)

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Imperial Stormtrooper / First Order Stormtrooper
Star Wars characters
Elf Fantasy Fair 2010 Stormtrooper.jpg
A person in a Stormtrooper costume at the Elf Fantasy Fair
First appearance Star Wars (1977)
Last appearance Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Created by George Lucas
Portrayed by Daniel Craig (Episode VII)
Species Human
Gender Male & Female
Occupation Soldiers
Affiliation Galactic Empire
First Order

The stormtroopers are soldiers in the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. Introduced in Star Wars (1977), 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. In The Force Awakens (2015), the stormtroopers serve the First Order, under the leadership of Supreme Leader Snoke and his commanders, most notably Kylo Ren and General Hux.

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.


Introduced in Star Wars (1977), the stormtroopers serve as the army of the Galactic Empire, establishing Imperial authority and putting down any revolts.

In the prequel film Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) , the first clone troopers are 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 (2005), Chancellor Palpatine orders them to slay their Jedi generals in the Great Jedi Purge. The 501st Legion of clones become the first stormtroopers, while most other clones are discontinued.[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 lowers the effectiveness of the Empire's famed soldiers. With the Empire firmly stabilized and an Imperial Army/Imperial Navy established, the stormtroopers are integrated into Palpatine's personal army and stationed on Imperial bases and cruisers, as well as on the Death Star.

As established in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), after Palpatine's death the stormtroopers continue to serve under the factions that broke apart from the Empire. With redesigned armor, they eventually serve under the leadership of the First Order.[2]


Stormtrooper armor

Stormtrooper Ranking
The rank system for Galactic Empire's stormtroopers[citation needed]

The troopers' most distinctive equipment is their white battle armor, inherited from their predecessors, the 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, the stormtrooper ranking with in the Galactic Empire is on the ear plate of their helmet.

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 decision 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]

The helmet was redesigned for the 2015 filmStar Wars: The Force Awakens.[citation needed]

Specialized stormtroopers

Shadow Trooper at Dragon Con

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

In Star Wars Legends expanded universe media, such as games and comics, show a number of specialized stormtrooper units. 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.

Hi, I'm Earl Scheib, and I'll paint any stormtrooper for just $19.95

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 stormtrooper helmet. In Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, they also wear 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 enemy, 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 [clarification needed] 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.

In films

Stormtooper performers have generally been uncredited in the film series. However, in The Force Awakens, John Boyega stars as Finn, the former Stormtrooper FN-2187 who defects from the First Order and joins the Resistance.[4] Gwendoline Christie portrays Captain Phasma, commander of the First Order's stormtroopers.[5] Daniel Craig has a small uncredited role as a stormtrooper whom Rey compels using the Jedi mind trick to let her escape from captivity.[6][7][8] Director J. J. Abrams also cast Alias and Lost composer Michael Giacchino as FN-3181, and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich as FN-9330.[6]

Cultural impact

Stormtoopers have become cultural icons, and a widely recognized element of the Star Wars franchise.[9] In 2015, an Imperial stormtrooper helmet from The Empire Strikes Back, expected to sell at auction for $92,000,[10] sold for $120,000.[11]

See also


  1. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jackson, Peter (27 July 2011). "Lucas loses Star Wars copyright case at Supreme Court". BBC News. Retrieved 28 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Freer, Ian (December 17, 2015). "FN-2187: why John Boyega's stormtrooper number holds the key to Star Wars". The Telegraph. Retrieved December 19, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Robinson, Joanna (May 4, 2015). "First Official Look at Game of Thrones Star Gwendoline Christie in Star Wars: The Force Awakens". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on December 28, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Robinson, Joanna (December 20, 2015). "24 Delightful Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cameos You Might Have Missed". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 12, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Pehanick, Maggie (December 17, 2015). "Daniel Craig's Star Wars: The Force Awakens cameo revealed! Here's Who He Plays". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 12, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Confirmed: Daniel Craig's cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens". The Sun. January 4, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Phillips, Jevon (December 4, 2015). "How a faceless force of Stormtroopers and the 501st Legion do good". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 12, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Rare Trek, Star Wars and Who props up for auction (pictures)". CNET. August 27, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Holmes, Mannie (October 8, 2015). "Empire Strikes Back Stormtrooper Helmet Fetches $120,000 at Auction". Variety. Retrieved January 13, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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