With the birth of the Galactic Empire, the Emperor would need a group of soldiers to do his bidding and carry out his plans for total domination. After all, you need more than two Sith Lords to reign in an entire universe full of planets. This necessitated an army to maintain control and enforce the new Empire’s laws, and this time, an aging battalion of clones just wasn’t going to cut it…
Enter the Imperial Stormtroopers.
After the Clone Wars and the execution of Order 66, the very first Imperial Stormtroopers were in fact the remaining clones who had survived. They were given a new style of armor (one specifically designed to induce fear) and a new purpose – to enforce the will of the Emperor no matter the cost. However, due to their accelerated aging, the clones very quickly grew older and lost the skills they had in their prime. Additionally, with the death of Jango Fett, it became increasingly difficult to create new clones without the original template.
To combat this, the Empire opened new military academies to recruit non-clone volunteers and conscripts from the citizens suppressed under its thumb, using a combination of fear and propaganda to drum up the numbers. While some clones continued to serve the empire proudly, it wasn’t long before the majority of the military was made up of these new enlisted recruits.
Pros and Cons
Basic training for the new Stormtroopers was intense and many of them would go on to be quite skilled warriors. However their training was nowhere near the level of the original clones. Clones literally trained their entire lives to be perfect soldiers, from the day they crawled out of their birthing pods until they were combat ready for battle 10 years later.
But what the new Stormtroopers lacked in genetic enhancement and innate skill, they made up for in sheer numbers and loyalty. The Imperial academies used advanced mental conditioning to teach their new recruits that each one of them was completely expendable, to the point where Troopers would ignore their fallen comrades in battle, and keep fighting no matter the odds. This same conditioning also made the Troopers fiercely devoted to the Emperor and the Empire.
Like the Clones before them, there was a Stormtrooper to fit every occasion. Got a battle on the icy planet Hoth? No problem, because we have Snow Troopers in special thermal armor. Need troops who know how to navigate the wooded areas of the Endor moon on super-fast speeder bikes? The Scout Troopers got you covered. What about an elite squad of soldiers who can protect a very important imperial officer? Death Troopers are there for that protection, but probably wouldn’t mind a search and destroy mission to go alongside with it.
The highest honor for a Stormtrooper with unwavering loyalty and superb fighting skills would be to become one of the red-robed Royal Imperial Guard. These select few were hand chosen by Emperor Palpatine himself to be his elite bodyguards, and were among the most feared of all the Empire’s soldiers.
What are some of your favorite types of Stormtroopers? Any particular one we missed that deserves a spotlight? Let Your Geek SideShow and tell us in the comments below!
If you missed Part One of the Evolution- Clone Troopers- click HERE!
See Part Three of the Evolution- First Order Troopers- HERE!
Next time, in our final installment, we will look at the transition of Stormtroopers from the fall of the Galactic Empire to the subsequent rise of the First Order.
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