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Dafydd

The Imperial Army, having seen Rogue One and Rebels [spoilers for both]

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I'm not really into nitpicking details in Star Wars, that's a bad path to go down if you don't want to drive yourself nuts, it's all a big inconsistent mess. Just trying to understand the general direction Disney seem to be taking the franchise with the new media they're producing, which doesn't seem to prop up the idea of Stormtroopers as elite military as well as the EU did.

 

I mean, the OT does plenty of work towards showing how incompetent the Stormtroopers are as well so I wouldn't call it the most consistent source ever.

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Aren't all those guys we see in black helmets the Imperial Army or Navy regulars?  Sure, they are usually operating stuff rather than going around shooting stuff but then in most militaries nowadays the vast majority of people serving in the military don't just shoot nowadays either.  The Stormtroopers are the first response units which is why they are always the first to arrive on scene but there are a couple of scenes I recall seeing two black-helmet guys walking alongside prisoners and the like, like Princess Leia on the Death Star.

 

Take a look at the scene of the Emperor arriving on the Death Star in Return of the Jedi, you see not only regiments of black-helmets but also a regiment of green-helmet guys!

 

Here's a pic of them, they are on the far right.

 

maxresdefault.jpg

 

There's not many of them there, but then it is a navy installation anyway so the army presence would be minimal anyway.  There's also the black-helmets on the left, I envision they are basic security types in the navy, most probably work as seamen in some other capacity.  You do see them operating controls, but then most people in the navy do other things rather than just shoot things, and if you watch the scene where Han gets the Shield Generator doors opened by calling for reinforcements you see not only Stormtroopers storming out but also black-helmets with them! 

 

Most of the battles we see involve the navy and navy installations, which makes sense as this is a Galactic Empire as opposed to a planetary one and so it will be the navy that first gets anywhere, and they will deploy the marines (Stormtroopers).  The army will require the navy to move from planet to planet, so I suspect they are used to fortify already secured worlds, places where they have supply lines already established.  It also wouldn't surprise me that the army was relatively underfunded compared to the navy.

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Just checked, looks like they are!  Nice spot.  Guess it then means are the black helmet guys the army or are they all naval.  I'm guessing the latter, and it makes sense to me, most of the fighting occurs on the outer parts of the Empire, where I suspect the navy would be the ones most able to respond.

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Aren't those the troops who pilot walkers?

The green helmets?  Thought those were the black helmets, but I'll go look it up.

 

 

You've got two different types of black-helmets on the left - the ones whose faces you can see are the Navy combat troops, the others are gunners. The green-helmets on the right are the same as the ones who piloted the AT-STs on Endor. That uniform and helmet has been suggested as the standard Army kit, based on General Veers wearing something similar on during the attack on Echo Base, although the crew of his AT-AT we wearing something that looked a lot like TIE pilot gear but in white and grey.

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Aren't those the troops who pilot walkers?

The green helmets?  Thought those were the black helmets, but I'll go look it up.

 

 

You've got two different types of black-helmets on the left - the ones whose faces you can see are the Navy combat troops, the others are gunners. The green-helmets on the right are the same as the ones who piloted the AT-STs on Endor. That uniform and helmet has been suggested as the standard Army kit, based on General Veers wearing something similar on during the attack on Echo Base, although the crew of his AT-AT we wearing something that looked a lot like TIE pilot gear but in white and grey.

 

Makes sense, it looks to me that most of the military in Star Wars is mechanised, except for the Stormtroopers, with most working as drivers or gunners rather than operating on foot.  At least when it comes to assaults.

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This is what I mean by the black helmets, apparently they were called "Death Star trooper".  

 

 

Review_DeathStarTrooperPOTF2FF_still.jpg

bc1691c9c3cbd334860d1e19b0517434.jpg

 

They were only seen aboard the Death Stars in the original trilogy, but we never saw any combat aboard other Navy vessels so it's been extrapolated that they're representative of security and boarding troops found on most Navy ships.

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I'm not sure if you can really trust a bitter old clone's opinions 100%, but nothing in Rebels seems to prop up the image of Stormtroopers being elite military.

 

Obi-wan was sarcastic then in Episode 4 when telling Luke at the destroyed sandcrawler that only stormtroopers can be so accurate... ;)

Considering they seem to only be that accurate off camera... ;-)

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This is what I mean by the black helmets, apparently they were called "Death Star trooper".  

 

 

Review_DeathStarTrooperPOTF2FF_still.jpg

bc1691c9c3cbd334860d1e19b0517434.jpg

 

They were only seen aboard the Death Stars in the original trilogy, but we never saw any combat aboard other Navy vessels so it's been extrapolated that they're representative of security and boarding troops found on most Navy ships.

 

Makes sense, I would extrapolate from that and assume that Imperial Army are similarly equipped except with rifles and perhaps a Veers chestplate.  At least, that's what I would do for my games anyway.

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This is what I mean by the black helmets, apparently they were called "Death Star trooper".  

 

 

Review_DeathStarTrooperPOTF2FF_still.jpg

bc1691c9c3cbd334860d1e19b0517434.jpg

 

They were only seen aboard the Death Stars in the original trilogy, but we never saw any combat aboard other Navy vessels so it's been extrapolated that they're representative of security and boarding troops found on most Navy ships.

Negative, they are also seen pulling security on the Executor in ESB. You see a pair of them haul off Needa's carcass.

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Yes, even in current canon, there's an Imperial Army that's separate from the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps much like there's a separate United States Army and United States Marine Corps.

 

In real life, if your country is invaded by the United States military, you're more likely to come face to face with marines than soldiers because marines, as a whole, receive more intense training in infantry and combat tactics than US Army soldiers. In the marines, there are specialties such as EOD and journalism, but everyone is considered a rifleman (every Marine Corps Hollywood training montage sequence involves drill sergeants and enlisted screaming about being killers). The US Army has a broader swath of career options ranging from infantry to piloting helicopters to driving armor to construction to medicine and dentistry. The US Army has a lot more officers as the Army has more technical positions that require academy/college-level training. The Marine Corps does have a small cadre of pilots and tank drivers - I believe we saw open-top tanks in Rogue One - but they operate in support of Marine Corps operations, rather than broader, cross-service military operations.

 

US Marines also handle a lot of base security roles - the US President's helicopter is Marine One after all - so it makes sense that the Imperial ground forces at Scariff would be stormtroopers.

This isn't actually right. 

 

The US Army has an inner branch called The National Guard. They are the equivalent of a militia, as well as getting deployed when needed. If we were invaded, they would be on the Home Front. The Marines are actually quite a bit smaller than the army. If fact, they are actually the second smallest branch, only bigger than the Coast Guard. They don't do as many missions because of their size, and they are no more elite than any other group. In fact, they don't have the Elite training groups that the Army or Navy does. The Army has Delta Force, Green Berets (Rangers who go through airborne school and then some. Many don't know what they are, just that they exist), Sniper schools, normal Rangers, Airborne regiments, and so on. The Navy has the infamous Navy SEALS among other things. While the Marine does have a few elite groups, (Sniper school and a few others) They don't have as many. 

 

I am not saying this to say the Army is better than the Marines, they just serve a different Purpose. 

 

Anyway, you would be more likely to see a Soldier from the Army defending home turf than a Marine simply because every state has its own National Guard and the Army is far larger, though they would undoubtedly be working side-by-side (hard to imagine, I know) to push out the invaders.

 

As for the star wars part of this thread, I would say they are the same. while I would like to say they are different, I have heard of or seen no cannon stating otherwise. The Imperial Army includes it all, AT-AT drivers to Stormtroopers. 

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Also note that the US Air Force has their own ground troops, and if they were considered to be an “Army”, they would be the fourth largest army in the world. The purpose for these ground troops is primarily to provide security services at and near air bases around the world.

IMO, Air Force Recon Rangers are second only to Navy Seals and Delta Force, in terms of being seriously **** scary elite fighters.

So, if you wanted to, you could certainly adopt a similar pattern in your Star Wars game.

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My reading of the canon sources, is that the Imperial Army is dominated by the Stormtrooper Corps. The heavier armor and artillery would be a different corp, but Stormtrooper corp also has its own internal vehicle units and drivers. The regular army infantry would be a third (or set of more) and "smaller" corps in presence. Essentially relegated to detail where numbers are needed but less equipment, experience, or expectation of combat. So in large facilities they fill out the ranks, and in "civilized" but less important core worlds as a sort of National Guard/Territorial Army role. These forces are not elite, and may even be part time service members.

 

The stormtroopers are sort of like the marines, but I think the idea is closer to the German stormtroopers taken to a larger extreme, and a lot of what we would consider as army in the US would instead fall under the stormtroopers in the Empire. The Empire needed/wanted a greater force of elite soldiers in the conditions that formed up in the early Empire. This led to little integration of previous regional/sector, planetary, and security forces into the Imperial Army, instead seeing mostly disbandment. The programming/training of the stormtroopers is elite but still able to produce in large numbers. They can still be of lesser quality than the clone troopers, while still being a relatively elite force as far as the galaxy is concerned. Stormtroopers always in laminate armor is a major level elite versus most other forces we see in the galaxy. Rebel soldiers were mostly in heavy clothing, adverse environment gear, or padded clothing. Stormtrooper armor would also likely have the attachments Vacuum Sealed, Helmet Comlink (I would use the stats of the DH77 Headcom form FiB), and either Enhanced Optics Suite. Those attachments would

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So, in the light of all this, where do you stand?

No joke, I stand in the shower and think about things like this.

Since Star Wars is fiction, retained canon depicts both possibilities, and we're on an RPG forum — I'd say you can interpret Imperial organization however you like, and then come to an agreement with players at a given table when and if it's relevant.

My strong personal preference is that Stormtroopers are an exception to the rule of Army and Navy, and none but the unluckiest or most rebellious galactic citizens will see one on a regular basis.

That said — Disney's depiction, for example, is a movie thing with very practical justifications. Current audiences are in a different place with the franchise, and ubiquitous Stormtroopers make for brand consistency. The moviemakers themselves are different, too. On this site (a wonderfully fun resource for those interested in speculative Imperial organization), whether or not one John Mollo is to receive most of the credit, it's clear that costumiers in the original trilogy had enough resources and free rein to illustrate a very systematic military. That simply may not be a priority among the technical staff at today's Lucasfilm.

So, on the generalities we're all right. I like shades of gray and institutional rivalries; others will have perfectly valid reasons for black-and-white.

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Since Star Wars is fiction, retained canon depicts both possibilities, and we're on an RPG forum — I'd say you can interpret Imperial organization however you like, and then come to an agreement with players at a given table when and if it's relevant.

 

Completely agree with this. I've been on both sides of this argument many times. You've got evidence to back you up whichever way you go. So, pick the side you like the best.

 

It's still fun debating it though. :)

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Here's how I see things:

The Stormtroopers are the fighting arm of the Imperial Ground Forces (IGF for short). The infantry riflemen, if you will.
Then there are other units that are part of the IGF, but do mainly other things than fight.
Those are the "Army" soldiers, if you will. They're the ones who have the funny-looking helmets and no armour.
They do all the stuff that Stormtroopers don't. They do technical maintenance, man artillery, drive vehicles, all that kind of stuff.
They have some basic military training, and they carry weapons, but they are generally not used as a fighting force.
They're still employed for guard duty on bases and such, but only for internal guard duty... they won't "man the walls" or patrol on the outside.
That's for the "proper" soldiers to do, ie. the Stormtroopers.
Also, some of the more "exposed" vehicles are manned by specialised stormtroopers (like the ones we see driving the tank in Rogue One), who are still stormtroopers, but with specialist training and sometimes special armour suited for that vehicle.

The Officers of the IGF that are not part of the Stormtrooper core, wear basically what General Veers wore during the attack on Hoth, namely the officers uniform and if they're in a combat situation, a Helmet and a chestplate (similar to the snowtroopers).
The Stormtrooper Officers wear either Stormtrooper armour if they're in combat, or just the storm trooper Officers uniform if they're in more formal circumstances.

But like I said, this is just how I view it.

I also think that the overall standard of Stormtroopers is pretty high (pretty high meaning some of the top military training you can get, but still as cheaply and quickly as possible), but those who have been stationed on backwater planets for a long time tend to decline in quality, while those who have been battle proven tend to have a higher quality.
The ones we get on the statcard are the bog-standard ones. The ones with the good training but only a bit of combat under their belt.
I add or subtract to their stats depending on what category they fall into.

 

Edited by OddballE8

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While that's true, Rebels is primarily a children's show with relatively simple storytelling. I wouldn't put too much stock in its portrayal of any character or group.

 

Which is why I hate that it counts as 100% canon.

 

 

When I started seeing some crazy stuff in Clone Wars, I started viewing the cartoons as more of a serialized version of true, canon events.

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While that's true, Rebels is primarily a children's show with relatively simple storytelling. I wouldn't put too much stock in its portrayal of any character or group.

 

Which is why I hate that it counts as 100% canon.

 

 

When I started seeing some crazy stuff in Clone Wars, I started viewing the cartoons as more of a serialized version of true, canon events.

 

Sure, we can view it like that, but it still counts as 100% canon.

Whether we like it or not.

I've grown to hate Dave Filloni over the years.

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This is what I mean by the black helmets, apparently they were called "Death Star trooper".  

 

 

Review_DeathStarTrooperPOTF2FF_still.jpg

bc1691c9c3cbd334860d1e19b0517434.jpg

 

They were only seen aboard the Death Stars in the original trilogy, but we never saw any combat aboard other Navy vessels so it's been extrapolated that they're representative of security and boarding troops found on most Navy ships.

Negative, they are also seen pulling security on the Executor in ESB. You see a pair of them haul off Needa's carcass.

 

 

I forgot about that, good catch.

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This is what I mean by the black helmets, apparently they were called "Death Star trooper".  

 

 

Review_DeathStarTrooperPOTF2FF_still.jpg

bc1691c9c3cbd334860d1e19b0517434.jpg

 

They were only seen aboard the Death Stars in the original trilogy, but we never saw any combat aboard other Navy vessels so it's been extrapolated that they're representative of security and boarding troops found on most Navy ships.

Negative, they are also seen pulling security on the Executor in ESB. You see a pair of them haul off Needa's carcass.

 

 

I forgot about that, good catch.

 

Indeed, excellent catch!  First catch of the day! *ba-dum tish*

 

So we can assume this makes it clear they are ship security at least.  From this, then, I can see the argument regarding Imperial Army and Stormtroopers going either way really.

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