Known for their ruthless precision, unwavering loyalty, and terrifying ubiquity, Imperial stormtroopers are the relentless scourge of the galaxy. The white and black legions of The Empire pervade countless systems, imposing the will of The Emperor, and crushing all opposition that stands against them. Highly trained for every sort of combat situation in every kind of environment, their success lies in the fact that more will just keep coming.
Stormtroopers are instantly recognizable in their black and white suits of armor, so much so that they have infiltrated pop culture beyond their existence in the Star Wars Saga. A stormtrooper helmet is as synonymous with the Star Wars franchise just as much as the totalitarian regime of The Empire. Their legacy of fear lives on in a different incarnation in the sequel trilogy as part of the First Order, as terrifying a symbol of dictatorship as when they first appeared in the original trilogy. Here are 10 things you didn't know about stormtrooper suits.
10 THEIR ARMOR IS EXTREMELY RESILIENT
Stormtrooper armor is supposed to be manufactured to an exacting standard. Every component of a stormtrooper's armor and subsequent equipment is made to the highest standards of the Empire. It's built impervious to blaster fire, as well as shrapnel from projectile weapons.
Not only does it deflect glancing bolts from blasters, bolts fired are often absorbed into the armor itself. This means that though a stormtrooper may get knocked off their feet by a blast, they will not be mortally injured. Armor has been found in near perfect condition half-buried at decades old sites of battle.
9 THEIR SUIT CAN SURVIVE IN SPACE
The body glove of the stormtrooper, beneath the gleaming white armor, provides environmental insulation for the soldier inside. A power pack, as well as a pressurized gas system, located in the armor backplate ensures that a stormtrooper can survive even in the vacuum of space.
This means that even if a trooper is blasted out of an airlock or on the side of a ship, they can survive for a brief amount of time until they can get to safety or are rescued. If they're going to be exposed to deep space for long periods of time, they can wear special backpacks with extended life-support equipment inside.
8 THEIR UTILITY BELTS HOUSE A VARIETY OF TOOLS
Though a stormtrooper's armor is important for protection and military efficacy, it's their utility belts that can mean the difference between life and death in certain scenarios. Standard issue utility belts often house specific tools and gadgets that help a stormtrooper navigate extreme environments or hostile situations.
Within the utility belt, each stormtrooper carries a power pack, energy rations, as well as a compact tool kit for making basic repairs. The belt has the capacity to carry additional gear, such as a comlink, macrobinoculars, handcuff binders, a grappling hook, power cells for their blaster, or a combat de-ionizer.
7 THEY COME WITH A STANDARD ISSUE SIDEARM
No stormtrooper can leave home without their E-11 BlasTech Standard Imperial Sidearm, which combines lethal firepower with excellent range in a design that's both compact and built for rugged combat. The power cells along a stormtrooper's utility belt will give their rifle 100 shots.
Plasma gas cartridges can also be fitted into the blaster rifle, which last for over 500 shots. The E-11 features an advanced cooling system, which prevents the weapon from overheating during rapid fire bursts. A folding stock with three positions converts it to its rifle configuration for continuous long distance firing.
6 IT WAS DESIGNED FOR ANONYMITY
The fact that every single stormtrooper is outfitted with the same body glove and plastoid composite armor isn't just for military efficacy - it's also designed for anonymity. The individuality of the stormtrooper doesn't matter, because it's their overwhelming numbers that are intended to strike fear into the hearts of those that would oppose The Empire.
Stormtroopers are paraded and deployed in overwhelming numbers, with the intent to psychologically overload opponents that end up cowering before their legions. The eerie anonymity of so many gleaming black and white troops is only heightened by the thought that their numbers will never stop coming.
5 IT ALLOWED FOR EASE OF MOVEMENT
While stormtrooper armor itself may look cumbersome, the body glove beneath it allowed for a surprising amount of maneuverability. Troopers could kneel with ease, allowing them to take up sniper positions, as well as crouch down to place thermal detonators during skirmishes.
During a battle, stormtroopers were disciplined enough to ignore casualties within their own ranks. If stormtroopers fell, their comrades in arms simply stepped over and around them to continuously press the attack. Notice of fallen brethren was only taken from a purely tactical standpoint. They were specifically trained to avoid emotional responses in the heat of battle.
4 THEY ARE DISTINGUISHED FROM STORMTROOPER OFFICERS
While Imperial stormtroopers wear the distinct white armor and black body glove, stormtrooper officers in non-combat situations wear black tunics and caps. This is to distinguish them from not only stormtroopers that are combat ready units, but also from other Imperial officers who wear olive tunics and caps.
They have the same insignia (officer's discs, rank plaques, and code cylinders) as the rest of the Imperial Navy. They have the same access to secure areas and computer terminals, with the added distinction of being proven soldiers in battle. Officers wear shoulder pauldrons with high-visibility colors on them to denote their rank.
3 THEIR HELMETS OFFER MORE THAN PROTECTION
Stormtrooper helmets are often chided for providing low visibility during conflict, given the height and shape of their visors. In reality, enhanced optical equipment inside them creates holographic images of surrounding terrain, shielding a soldier's eyes from excessive brightness in the field, and allowing them to navigate through dimly lit areas.
Not only do they offer reinforced protection for a trooper's head as well as advanced optical components, they also are outfitted with atmospheric processors, which keep a soldier continuously fanned with cool circulated air, allowing them to succeed in their missions at peak efficiency.
2 THEY CAN BE OUTFITTED WITH EXTRA BACKPACKS
A stormtrooper may not know what mission he'll be sent on or what new frontier he'll face, but he can be confident that The Empire has taken every precaution to ensure he's ready for the challenges to come. Stormtrooper backpacks can include boosted field communication sets, mortar launchers, and equipment for establishing necessary security parameters.
They also carry power cells, which are power packs that plug into everything from a trooper's helmet, to his backplate, and his communication sets. These power cells can boost the high-powered communications gear in a trooper's pack to even allow them to communicate with Star Destroyers orbiting an occupied planet.
1 THEY HAVE DIFFERENT VARIANTS
From comlinks to improve the transmitters and receivers in their helmets, to grappling hooks, and finally to thermal detonators, a trooper's suit comes equipped with everything they need to survive in the many different hostile environments. Snowtroopers are utilized in places like the ice planet of Hoth, while forest troopers are used to patrol the Forest Moon of Endor.
Their suits will change to accommodate mission-specific gear, such as miniature vaporators so Desertroopers can gather moisture on inhospitably dry worlds like Tatooine, as well as augmented cooling modules, and a wide variety of field gear to build a basecamp anywhere that's needed.