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Every Stormtrooper Variant And Their Role In The Empire (Part 1)

The Keenest Weapon In The Emperor's Arsenal

By Culture SlatePublished about a year ago 10 min read
Image credit: WDW News Today

Stormtroopers are some of the most iconic soldiers in pop culture. Variants of stormtroopers have appeared in almost every Star Wars film to date. Their design is immediately recognizable. They are the primary military force for the Empire, and they are supposed to be the most elite soldiers in the galaxy. Each stormtrooper has a role in the Empire as well. There are dozens of stormtrooper variants with their own special skills and jobs, and every variant plays a part in the massive Galactic Empire.

Before delving into this massive list, there are a few important things to clarify. Outside of the first few entries on the list, the majority of the variants will be in alphabetical order for simplicities sake. That means earlier entries may reference later entries on the list. Secondly, the list will only include canon stormtrooper variants. The Legends stormtrooper variants could make an entire list on their own. Also if a variant appears in both Legends and canon, the canon information will be referenced in the list. This is because Legends has a tendency to contradict the current Star Wars canon. With all of that out of the way, these are the stormtroopers that make up the Empire.

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Clone Troopers

It feels a little odd starting a list about stormtroopers with clone troopers. However, it felt odder not to include them at all since they were technically the first stormtroopers. Basically, Jedi Master Sifo Dyas believed the Republic would soon need an army, so he secretly commissioned the cloners of Kamino to create a clone army. Unfortunately, he was betrayed and killed by Count Dooku. Essentially, the clones were sabotaged by the Sith to eventually overthrow the Republic with Order 66. After that, the majority of clone troopers would become the Empire’s first stormtroopers. Due to the rapid aging of the clones, however, they were eventually all decommissioned and replaced by recruits. However, some of the older clones were kept to train the new recruits before decommissioning.


Stormtroopers are the famous soldiers that the entire list revolves around. They were the soldiers that fans fell in love with in the original Star Wars film in 1977. As stated above, they are the prime fighting force of the Empire. Stormtroopers are not necessarily the grunts of the Empire, but they are the ones that would be doing the majority of the Empire’s dirty work. They are primarily the ones in the trenches fighting battles. Their armor is slightly more advanced than typical armor, so it did offer a little more protection. Although it is hard to tell when watching the films. Not all Imperial cadets automatically made stormtroopers either. Only a select few will be chosen for the stormtrooper training program where they would receive extra training to help them in combat. However, they are the base all future variants would be built on.

Stormtrooper Commanders

As their name would imply, stormtrooper commanders, are stormtroopers who have been promoted to the rank of commander. They are stormtroopers that possess high knowledge of strategy, weaponry, and soldiers, and they are great at military tactics. This made them perfect for executing coordinated strikes for the Empire and leading soldiers into battle. There appear to be different ranks of commanders that would determine how many troopers were under their command, but the ranking system is left mostly vague. In some cases, a captain has even taken on the responsibilities of a commander. The only thing that denotes a commander is their pauldron, which is usually an orange color. Regardless, commanders are the ones that the soldiers would look to for orders and leadership on the battlefield.

Arctic Jumptroopers

At last, it is time to delve into the actual trooper variants. Arctic jumptroopers are pretty self-explanatory. They are a specialized set of jumptrooper that operates specifically in arctic environments. Jumptroopers themselves are a specialized set of stormtroopers who utilize jetpacks among other things, which will be covered in their own entry later in the list. Basically, arctic jumptroopers are the ones who operate in frigid climates like on Hoth.

Artillery Stormtroopers

Artillery stormtroopers are a special set of stormtroopers who specialize in indirect firepower like mortars. They are specially trained to be able to fire explosives at specific coordinates accurately. Artillery stormtroopers largely carry the same equipment as stormtroopers. However, they are also equipped with a military backpack filled with explosives. Their armor also looks slightly different from regular stormtroopers. Instead of the regular white armor, artillery stormtroopers’ armor has yellow markings across it to differentiate them from regular stormtroopers.

Cave Troopers

Cave troopers are a variant of the scout trooper (who also have their own entry in the list) that are designed for combat and exploration in caves. They sport the basic scout trooper armor with a slight color alteration. Cave troopers are equipped with a blaster carbine, large vibroknives, and repelling cables, and their helmets were equipped with low-light vision gear. These help them to operate more efficiently in caves, and make traversal, exploration, and combat much easier.

Coastal Defender Stormtroopers

Coastal defender stormtroopers are more commonly known as “shoretroopers.” They are stormtroopers who are trained to operate in tropical environments and on beaches. Shoretroopers are actually in short supply compared to most other stormtrooper variants. The Empire did not control that many planets that had tropical environments, so there were few places to train or station shoretroopers. Scarif is one of the few places they operate on. Shoretrooper have their own special ranking though, which are denoted by different markings on their armor. Their armor also features a sand color as opposed to the normal white. Also, the shoretrooper does not include upper-leg armor to allow them to swim and move in water easier. Their weaponry would also vary depending on where they are stationed.

Cold Weather Assault Stormtroopers

Also called “snowtroopers,” cold weather assault stormtroopers are stormtroopers who are trained to work in arctic environments. They are the base that the arctic jumptrooper stems from, and they are also the troopers seen fighting the Rebels on Hoth. Snowtroopers wear armor that has been insulated head-to-toe to keep them safe and warm while in sub-zero temperatures. The troopers are also equipped with tools like snow goggles, ice boots, grappling hooks, ion flares, and homing beacons to help them operate efficiently in the frigid weather.

Crimson Stormtroopers

Crimson stormtroopers are elite stormtroopers who are trained to work and fight volcanic areas with high temperatures. They are easily recognizable due to their crimson red armor, which is likely where their name comes from. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of canon information on them. Presumably, crimson stormtroopers have heat-resistant armor and special gear to help them better operate in the high temperatures of these areas, but there is no official information confirming this.

Death Troopers

Death troopers are kind of like the Navy SEALs of the Empire. They are highly trained stormtroopers that specialized in espionage, coordinated commando missions, and the occasional protection of high-ranking Imperials. Operating in small squads in which each member has a specific skill set, Death troopers are a part of Imperial Intelligence and even have a role in the Tarkin Initiative. They are trained in close combat, heavy weapons, improvised weapons, demolitions, marksmanship, and guerilla warfare. They are experts at conducting covert missions and covering their tracks, which made them a ghost-like threat. Their equipment makes them even more formidable. Death trooper’s armor is covered in a polymer called reflec, which gives the armor an entirely black finish. It also hides their electromagnetic signals from sensor arrays, making them perfect for stealth missions. Their helmets also modulate their voices to both conceal their real voices and encrypt their voices, so they could communicate to the other members of the squad without anyone hearing. The soldiers themselves are often exposed to genetic alteration, which gives them an advantage over normal stormtroopers. They are truly some of the most deadly troops in the Empire.

Demolition Troopers

Demolition troopers are stormtroopers that specialize in heavy weaponry like smart rockets. They wear the standard stormtrooper armor set. However, most demolition troopers do not wear their helmet. This is likely to help with aiming since weapons like the smart rocket will automatically target the nearest vehicle or large weapon. It could be dummy fired, but the demolition trooper is needed for precision firing.

Desert Jumptroopers

Just like the arctic jumptrooper, the desert jumptrooper is a variant of a desert trooper that utilizes a jetpack. Most of the information on the arctic jumptrooper applies here, but desert jumptroopers do have modified jetpacks that make them better equipped for movement in arid environments.

Desert Stormtroopers

Desert stormtroopers, as their name implies, are stormtroopers that are specially trained and equipped to operate in desert environments. They are also known as “sandtroopers.” Their equipment consists mostly of standard stormtrooper weapons and gear. However, they do also carry a military backpack that contains extra rations of food and water. The armor they wear is also modified with fans and coolant as well as sand filters in the helmet. It helps them keep cool and prevents the coarse, rough sand from getting everywhere.


Flametroopers are stormtroopers that specialize in the use of incendiary weapons like flamethrowers. They are designed to combat and defend from attacks of the native fauna of certain planets. That’s right, some planets have plants that will attack. The incendiary weapons are also likely to win conflicts on heavily forested planets like Kashyyyk. Flametroopers wear armor similar to snowtroopers with padding to help stave off the heat and cut down on burns, but this has not been confirmed. Some flametroopers also have maroon markings to signify their specialty.

Forest Jumptroopers

It is back to the jumptroopers! Forest jumptroopers (as one might expect) are jumptroopers who have modified equipment to operate in dense forests. Their jetpacks have more efficient power routing which allows them to move quickly in thick woods without major risk. Also, their armor resembles shoretroopers.

Forest Troopers

Once again, forest troopers are stormtroopers who are trained to operate in dense forests and woods. They don’t get any special equipment though, so there are not many differences between them and normal stormtroopers. Their armor is camouflaged so they can hide slightly better at least.

Heavy Weapons Stormtroopers

Heavy weapons stormtroopers (also called "heavies") are stormtroopers who are specially trained to use large rapid-fire blasters or heavy blaster rifles. They usually wear basic stormtrooper armor, but most would have armor augmentations to reinforce themselves against the kickback of the heavy weapons. Some also carry military backpacks with additional ammo and supplies. The heavy weapons stormtroopers are also usually the ones seen on the frontlines of battles. They also have their own specific variants with the heavy shoretrooper, heavy snowtrooper, and heavy sandtrooper. Those variants are the exact same as the regular heavy troopers with the additional training or supplies they receive based on which variant they are. All in all, there are no major differences, so they will not have their own entries on the list.

Imperial Cadets

Imperial cadets are already briefly mentioned on this list. Cadets are the ones who are recruited into the Imperial service after the Empire stopped using clones for their soldiers. The cadets could enter the academy at a young age, some as young as 13, and they would be taught a variety of subjects much like a regular school. Although, the classes would be “Empire friendly” courses. After they finish classes they could return to normal life outside the academy but still in the Empire, or they could continue to become a stormtrooper or take a position in one of the Empire’s governmental services. All of the cadets, however, are put through training similar to that of army courses, and they would use pretty standard blaster rifles, albeit extremely low powered.

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Written By Alex Lenzini

Source(s): Wookieepedia

Syndicated From Culture Slate

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