Star Wars: Stormtroopers explained

Of all the faceless Star Wars characters, we probably know the least about the Stormtroopers, so we're here to unmask the Empire's soldiers for you

Star Wars: Stormtroopers explained

What are the Stormtroopers in Star Wars all about, exactly? Throughout the vast history of Star Wars movies and TV series, we learn an awful lot about the various Star Wars characters on both sides of the fight between the Rebellion and the Galactic Empire. But what about the Stormtroopers?

They may not be as fascinating as the Jedi or the Sith, or have the personality of the various Star Wars droids in the galaxy, but that sleek, white armour has been present from the very beginning in Star Wars and the Stormtrooper is one of the most iconic images from the science fiction movie franchise.

So, where do the Stormtroopers come from? Who do they serve? And what kind of skills and weapons do they possess? We’ve got everything you need to know in our Stormtroopers explained guide.

What are Stormtroopers?

Stormtroopers are essentially soldiers who serve the Empire, doing much of the dirty work across the galaxy such as policing territories, capturing prisoners, and generally carrying out military duty.

In the grand scheme of things, Stormtroopers do the bidding of Emperor Palpatine, but they also report in to the likes of Darth Vader and various other high-ranking officers in the Imperial regime such as Admiral Thrawn and Admiral Yularen.

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To put it simply, Stormtroopers are cannon fodder. They are not exactly what you would call free thinkers, and at times it seems like most of them don’t think at all for that matter. They are merely an expendable tool for the Empire to tighten its grip on the galaxy.

After the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of both the Death Stars, Stormtroopers became rather redundant, for a while. But, with the emergence of the First Order and the Star Wars villain Supreme Leader Snoke, a new breed of Stormtroopers was put into action.

Star Wars: Stormtroopers explained

Where do Stormtroopers come from?

The first mass of Stormtroopers was formed of an army of clones who were created on the planet Kamino during the fall of the Republic and the early days of the Imperial era.

As depicted in the 2000s movie Attack of the Clones, this army was put in place by Sheev Palpatine, who would later use the clones to execute Order 66 and eradicate the galaxy of the Jedi. The clones were created using DNA from the Star Wars bounty hunter Jango Fett, so they all looked like him under their helmets.

When the cloning process was prohibited, the Empire would turn its attention to conscription and volunteers to don the white armour for them and replace the rapidly-ageing clones. For the First Order, more sinister methods were employed to fill their ranks, with many children being taken from their families and indoctrinated, just like the Star Wars character Finn in the Sequel Trilogy.

Star Wars: Stormtroopers explained

What can Stormtroopers do?

Honestly, Stormtroopers are pretty useless most of the time and are famously known to be terrible at hitting their targets with their blaster guns.

It’s a well-documented and long-running joke that Stormtroopers couldn’t hit a womp rat from two yards, but they are at least enthusiastic servants. They come equipped with blaster guns and protective armour as standard, but have also been known to carry shields, batons, and some even have jet-packs that help them fly temporarily.

Stormtroopers in Star Wars

If you want something doing, though, you’re probably best off calling in the Death troopers instead, who are far more efficient and brutal than the standard Stormtroopers. At least that way you won’t have to worry about your soldier smashing their head on a low doorway.

For more from a galaxy far, far away, check out our list of the best Star Wars scenes and the best Star Wars cameos. Or, for something more specific, dive into our guide to the Andor season 2 release date and find out more about the Andor cast.