- Stormtroopers are iconic characters in Star Wars, with various types existing throughout the timeline, each serving unique combat purposes.
- From Imperial to First Order variants, every type of stormtrooper brings something unique to the Star Wars universe, from armor for different environments to enhanced weaponry.
- The diverse range of stormtroopers includes snowtroopers, Sith troopers, coastal defender stormtroopers, flametroopers, scout troopers, and many more, each playing a distinct role in the ongoing battles and conflicts within the Star Wars galaxy.
Stormtroopers are some of the most popular characters in Star Wars, but there have been different types across the Star Wars canon timeline. As the elite soldiers of the Galactic Empire, stormtroopers served as frontline assault forces and were a pillar of the Imperial Military. Stormtroopers first appeared in A New Hope and have since become an essential part of the franchise, known for their iconic white armor (earning the nickname “bucket heads” because of it) and their less-than-ideal aim.
However, countless stormtrooper variants existed to threaten the Rebel Alliance, each trained for unique combat situations. The First Order replaced the Empire, creating a new generation of deadlier stormtroopers with additional skilled variants. From the first Imperial troopers to the emergence of the Final Order, every type of stormtrooper in the Star Wars movies, TV shows, and beyond has brought something unique to the franchise.
The most common type of stormtrooper in Star Wars
The standard Imperial stormtroopers wore white armor with E-11 blaster rifles. Those in higher positions were distinguished from the other troopers with pauldrons that showed their military rank by color, as was the case of stormtrooper commanders. Among the different categories of stormtroopers were specialized ones like swamptroopers, experts in amphibious warfare, and wet-weather gear stormtroopers, who had heavily customized armor to survive harsh environments. Spacetroopers were equipped to operate in Zero-G environments with a rebreather pack, seatroopers specialized in aquatic environments, and stormtrooper chargers carried stun batons in addition to the standard armor.
Stormtroopers equipped for cold weather
Snowtroopers were one of the specialized units of the Empire and First Order stormtroopers, wearing different armor from those of the regular stormtroopers. Snowtroopers wore insulated armor and helmets designed for cold weather, fighting in harsh environments like Orto Plutonia, Rhen Var, and Toola. The First Order’s snowtroopers were deployed to Hays Minor, stationed on Starkiller Base, and others were sent to occupy Kijimi. Snowtroopers were also present at the Battle of Crait, which had similar enough properties to require the assistance of these special troopers.
The army of the Sith Eternal on Exegol
These were the elite soldiers of the Sith Eternal army and were raised on Exegol, and while they carried “Sith” in their names, they were not imbued with the power of the dark side. While similar to that of the First Order stormtroopers, Sith trooper armor was quadruple-layered, highly impact-resistant, and red like Sith lightsaber blades. They also had specialized troops, such as Sith jet troopers, Sith trooper officers, and sovereign protectors.
Stormtroopers with special helmets to see in the dark
Cave troopers were another type of specialized stormtrooper who wore scout trooper armor, carried blaster carbines, used oversized vibroknives, and had low-light vision gear to help them see in the dark. These troopers were first mentioned in canon in the 2019 roleplaying game supplement Allies and Adversaries, but they had their origin in the Star Wars Legends continuity.
Coastal Defender Stormtroopers
Stormtrooper variant stationed on Scarif
Also known as “shoretroopers” and “Scarif stormtroopers” as they were stationed in Scarif, the coastal defender stormtroopers were a specialized variant of the Empire’s troopers trained and equipped for combat in tropical environments. They wielded E-11 and E-22 blaster rifles, carried a thermal imploder and a highly explosive grenade, and wore sand-colored armor with a red band around their right arm and a white stripe around their left shoulder guard. Like regular stormtroopers, they also had ranks identified by different colors.
Crimson Stormtroopers, Magma Stormtroopers, & Lava Troopers
Stormtroopers equipped for volcanic environments
Crimson stormtroopers were trained to operate in the heat of volcanic areas and stood out thanks to their red armor. In Legends, they were also known as Magma stormtroopers, but in canon, another category of troopers was known by that name. While Crimson troopers worked in the heat of volcanic areas, Magma troopers were used to crush revolts on volcanic mining worlds. They wore white stormtrooper armor designed to resist extremely high temperatures, with extra armor on the legs, black rank pauldrons, and a respirator connected to a backpack. Lava troopers wore black armor with red lines and were stationed on Mustafar.
The elite combat stormtroopers
Death troopers were designed for stealth, espionage, and lethal force, serving as bodyguards for high-ranking Imperial officers and members of the Tarkin Initiative. They wore all-black armor with special helmets with vocal scramblers, micro-motion sensors, and heads-up displays with data they used on the battlefield. They were a dangerous variant of troopers, trained in unarmed combat, heavy weapons, demolitions, and more, and were experts at covering their tracks. They first appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and have since appeared in other canon media, notably Star Wars Rebels.
Stormtroopers equipped for desert environments
Sandtroopers operated on desert worlds, so their armor was augmented with cooling fans and a helmet sand filter and looked a lot like regular stormtrooper armor. Many of them were dispatched to the surface of Tatooine, where they used the native dewbacks as mounts, earning the name “Dewback troopers.” The sandtroopers later participated in the Battle of Jakku at the end of the Galactic Civil War.
Flametroopers & Incinerator Troopers
Stormtroopers equipped with flamethrowers
Flametroopers were equipped with incendiary weapons, carrying a black backpack attached to their signature flamethrower and wearing a fabric that extended from their goggles over the mouth. They were deployed to Kashyyyk and Agaris to defend Imperial facilities from attacks of the native fauna and were also used in assaults on enemy positions. They were first mentioned in the young adult novel Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray and appeared in the junior novel Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space – The Rescue by Tom Huddleston.
Incinerator troopers also wielded powerful flamethrowers and were regarded as one of the most devastating stormtrooper variants, as they would set enemies and their fortifications on fire. They wore the standard stormtrooper armor with red markings, a pauldron, and a backpack, and their armor was resistant to heat. They debuted in The Mandalorian season 1, episode 8 “Chapter 8: Redemption”.
Jumptroopers & Rocket Stormtroopers
Stormtroopers with jetpacks and heavy weaponry
Also known as Imperial Jump Troopers or rocket troopers, Imperial jumptroopers stood out for using jetpacks, allowing them to fly over walls to attack enemy fortifications. Other jumptrooper variants specialized in different planetary environments, such as arctic jumptroopers, desert jumptroopers, and forest jumptroopers. Rocket stormtroopers were equipped with large, shoulder-fired missile launchers that allowed them to damage vehicles and buildings from a great distance. Their armor was that of a regular stormtrooper, but some had a pauldron with a red symbol on their right shoulder. They debuted in the mobile game Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions.
Imperial Shock Troopers
Elite stormtroopers that served in the Coruscant Guard
Imperial shock troopers served as elite troopers on the front lines of combat and as security for the Imperial Center and Emperor Palpatine. They wore stormtrooper armor with red markings on the helmet, spaulders, shin guards, and utility belts, and specialized in heavy weapons on the battlefield. Their first appearance was in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and have since appeared in other media, primarily Star Wars comics.
Stormtroopers charged with specialized weaponry
Mortar stormtroopers were specialized in mortar weaponry, and their armor had yellow markings (identical to the red ones of incinerator troopers), a yellow pauldron, and a military backpack. They first appeared in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 6 “Chapter 14: The Tragedy”.
Scout Troopers & Patrol Troopers
Stormtroopers who performed recon on speeders
Scout troopers wore lighter armor than the classic stormtroopers, which gave them better mobility for reconnaissance missions. The design of their helmets allowed faster reaction times when piloting speeder bikes and could be retracted, showing the wearer’s face. Patrol troopers were a specialized variant tasked with acting as a rapid response policing force within urban environments. Their armor had various advanced measures, such as their helmets having an enlarged dome that allowed them access to enhanced imaging electronics, and the overall armor design was similar to that of scout troopers. They were created for Solo: A Star Wars Story and appeared in other media related to the movie.
Stormtroopers who guarded shipments
Another type of stormtrooper created for Solo: A Star Wars Story was the Range trooper, who wore helmets similar to those of the coastal defender stormtroopers, heavy armor with fur and a chest plate like that of cold weather assault stormtroopers, and magnetic gription boots that allowed sure footing atop fast-moving vehicles.
Shadow troopers wore all-black suits of experimental armor with portable cloaking devices, making them nearly invisible and highly suited for stealth missions. They used a wide range of weapons, including heavy blasters, flash grenades, jetpacks, and the typical E-11 blaster rifles.
Imperial Army Trooper
Standard infantry soldiers
Imperial Army troopers were standard infantry soldiers who fought on the front lines, and most were young conscripts who received less training than regular stormtroopers. They wore simple battle armor and helmets that did not cover the face, carrying the same E-11 blaster rifles as stormtroopers.
First Order Stormtroopers
The most common stormtrooper variant of the First Order
Like the Imperial stormtroopers that preceded them, First Order stormtroopers were the most common type of soldier in their respective military. First Order stormtroopers also served as cannon fodder, primarily overwhelming an enemy through numbers, but they did display more skill than Imperial stormtroopers.
First Order stormtroopers tasked to carry out a death sentence
Any First Order stormtrooper could be randomly selected to execute a prisoner at any time. They were created for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and carried a Laser axe designed to make an execution as painful as possible.
Undead stormtroopers who answered to Grand Admiral Thrawn
The Night Troopers spent almost ten years in exile on Peridea, hardening themselves to survive and developing absolute loyalty to Grand Admiral Thrawn. Nightsister magic could bring Night Troopers back from the dead and give them unnatural levels of persistence, granting Thrawn an unstoppable army for his galactic invasion.
Troopers who served the Imperial Inquisitors
Purge troopers answered directly to the Imperial Inquisitors tasked with hunting down surviving Jedi and other Force-sensitives. They were used as special forces and death squads, killing Jedi and any bystanders who would defend them, and some were equipped with electrostaffs.