Jeremy hopes the Force is with him as he pursues a forensics career in the swamps of Louisiana.
Stormtrooper Variants in Star Wars
Despite being largely mindless soldiers often outwitted by the protagonists, stormtroopers became some of the most recognizable cinema figures with their iconic white armor. Composed both of leftover clones and human recruits, stormtroopers form the backbone of the Imperial army.
While not immune to blaster fire, their armor does provide some benefits, and specialized groups represent the pinnacle of the Empire's military—which squads reign supreme? These are the Empire's ten best stormtrooper corps in Star Wars!
10. Terror Trooper
Seen in: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2
Used as assassins, Terror Troopers lack ranged weaponry but compensate with partial cloaking capabilities and almost inhuman agility. Fast enough to pressure even Force-users, their masks were modeled after General Grievous's to maximize their fearsome appearance.
9. Shock Trooper
Seen in: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Sometimes called droppers, these guys were initially clones the Republic employed to fight the Separatists, later transitioning into the Empire's ranks. Marked by their distinctive red coloring, shock troopers are elite soldiers outfitted with heavy weaponry, replacing standard E-11 rifles with heavy blasters or rocket launchers.
8. Storm Commando
Seen in: Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game
Resembling the infamous scout troopers in armor, commandos receive special missions. Emphasizing stealth, they quell uprisings on Imperial worlds, instigate rebellions on enemy planets, and support frontline troops where necessary. Some commandos utilize special black armor made with advanced light-distorting reflec material, which warps light to make its bearer almost invisible.
7. Death Trooper
Seen in: Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Like commandos, death troopers don special reflec black armor designed to maximize both stealth and protection. But where the commandos avoid combat where possible, death troopers embrace their role as guerrilla warriors, sneaking in to vulnerable enemy positions to wreak havoc with repeating blasters, thermal detonators, etc.
Death trooper armor also features various upgrades, like an encryption that prevents anyone except fellow troopers from understanding their communications.
Seen in: Thrawn: Treason
Spacetroopers, also called Zero-G assault stormtroopers, specialize in assaulting enemy starcraft. Their unique, oversized armor propels them through space to their targets, where heavy blasters and grenade launchers quickly create an insertion point. Even Princess Leia begrudgingly admits that a single spacetrooper is effectively as dangerous as a spacecraft.
5. Range Trooper
Seen in: Solo: A Star Wars Story
Snowtroopers bear special armor to withstand freezing climates, but range troopers take it a step further with their heavily plated gear, making them some of the most well-shielded warriors in the military. They also wear magnetic boots that adheres to metal surfaces, letting them fight on moving transports without fear of falling.
4. Shadow EVO Trooper
Seen in: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Combining the cloaking technology of shadow troopers with the environment-shielding protection of EVO troopers, shadows get the best of both worlds.
Though they excel at stealth, their FA-3 flechette launchers make them challenging for Force-users to battle, as the gun fires metal shards that are much harder for lightsabers to deflect. In fact, the guns were initially used by the clone troopers who invaded the Jedi Temple during Order 66.
3. Royal Guard
Seen in: Star Wars Episode 6: Return of the Jedi
Easily distinguished by their crimson red cloaks, Royal Guards are the cream of the crop, extraordinary troopers tasked with guarding Emperor Palpatine. One of the final tests to joining the Guard involves a fight to the death, meaning each member had to kill another potential candidate to earn their position.
Most carry heavy blaster pistols for ranged combat, but more often use Force pikes that let stand up to Jedi. Although we don't see the Royal Guardsmen battle in ROTJ, we see their First Order successors put up a fierce fight against Rey and Kylo Ren in Episode 8: The Last Jedi.
2. Cuis Clone/Reborn Shadow Trooper
Seen In: Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Both Cuis clones and Reborn Shadow Troopers wield Force powers and red lightsabers, making them far deadlier than regular soldiers. That said, both have some caveats. Only six Cuis clones ever existed, copied using the genetic template of Dark Jedi Sa Cuis, and while powerful, they lacked the loyalty of their template, forcing Darth Vader to ultimately execute them.
Many years later, in the legends timeline, Luke's fallen pupil Desann sends several of his stormtroopers to the Valley of the Jedi, a mystical location that enhances Force powers, sculpting Desann's mildly Force-sensitive troops into lethal warriors. Stealthy and Force-infused, the reborn shadow troopers can hold theirs against fully trained Jedi like Kyle Katarn. Their biggest weakness is lacking experience, having been granted Force prowess rather than earning it.
1. Shadow Guard
Seen in: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Trained by Darth Vader himself, the Shadow Guard are elite soldiers wearing black versions of royal guard armor. What sets them apart is their Force sensitivity, as their ranks are exclusively taken from fallen Jedi or former sun guard (a renowned mercenary group) members.
Taking orders from Palpatine himself, the shadow are entrusted with perhaps the one thing more important to Palpatine than protecting himself—hunting down Jedi to make sure none can threaten the Empire.
How Skilled Are Regular Stormtroopers?
Despite Obi-Wan's remarks on their precision, fans often ridicule stormtroopers for their supposed poor aim, and to be fair, sometimes they don't seem like the elite soldiers they're made out to be. But some of their poor marksmanship can be explained by orders not to kill, and when they get serious, even grunts can be deadly threats.
Vader's 501st Legion showcases a particularly strong batch, but for now, vote for your favorite troopers, and I'll see you at our next Star Wars countdown!
© 2021 Jeremy Gill