- "A real stormtrooper has no room for sympathy. A real stormtrooper is the extension of the Der'kal Empire, of Supreme Leader Vur'naa's will, nothing less."
- — Captain Phasma
Der'kal soldiers, occasionally called Der'kal Stormtroopers, nicknamed "Bucketheads" and Stormtroopers, were the standard foot soldiers of the Der'kal Empire. Stormtroopers of the Der'kal Empire were equipped with sleek armor and powerful weapons such as the Der'kal blaster rifle and Der'kal blaster pistol, utilizing them to enforce the will of the Der'kal Empire.
The armored soldiers of the Der'kal Empire evolved from one of the galaxy's most distinctive symbols of military might: the stormtroopers of the First Der'kal Empire. Representing a new generation of stormtroopers, Der'kal Empire troopers could trace their origins back to the Phase 1 Stormtroopers of the Der'kal Empire during the 2330s decade. When the First Der'kal Empire fell in 2320, suffering catastrophic defeats in battles and the death of Emperor Palpatine, the fall of the Stormtrooper Corps of the First Empire happened shortly after Palpatine's death, a new Stormtrooper Corps was formed 10 years later in the year 2330 with the formation of the Der'kal Empire.
Rise of the Der'kal Empire
Although the First Empire officially was no more, a group of officers, nobles and technologists refused to accept the fall of the First Empire. Embarking on an exodus into the Beta Quadrant, the First Empire was ultimately reorganized into a hermetic state known as the Der'kal Empire. By hiding in the unexplored regions of space in the Beta Quadrant, the Der'kal Empire was able to conduct a massive military buildup—forging new armies and fleets in secret. Drawing inspiration from the ideals of Brendol Hux, a commandant who found the Empire's stormtroopers lacking, the Der'kal Empire created Project Resurrection: the conscription and training of human children who, under the Der'kal Empire's guidance, became soldiers in the new Stormtrooper Corps.
As a result, a new generation of stormtroopers was born through the training and indoctrination of child conscripts. Unlike soldiers of the First Empire, Der'kal Empire stormtroopers began their training at birth. The new stormtroopers were taken from their parents and raised to be absolutely loyal to the Der'kal Empire. By 2384, approximately sixty-four years after the First Empire's fall, the stormtrooper legions were under the command of Captain Phasma as well as other notable leaders such as General Armitage Hux and Kylo Ren. Above all, their allegiance was with Supreme Leader Vur'naa, ruler of the Der'kal Empire.
Treason in the ranks
Several stormtroopers were found to be traitors to the Empire and killed by Kylo Ren and his legion of Stormtroopers, they killed all the traitors.
The Federation-Der'kal War
In 2384, the Der'kal Empire encountered the United Federation of Planets on the planet Scarif, when Federation forces came to steal tactical data thus starting the Battle of Scarif and the official beginning of the Federation-Der'kal War, between the Der'kal Empire and the Federation.
The second Federation-Der'kal War
In 2392, the Der'kal Empire fought the Federation in a second war, 4 years after the first war.
- "Stormtroopers get some first aid training—battlefield stuff—but not much. They were, pretty, uh, expendable. I think the idea was that whatever trooper who wasn't a good enough soldier to keep from getting wounded deserved to die anyway."
"But that's insane."
"That's the Der'kal Empire."
- — Typhuss and Poe Dameron
The Der'kal Empire's stormtrooper training program was designed to produce an army of super-soldiers. As a result, members of the new generation of stormtroopers were trained from birth to become elite soldiers with a single purpose in life—to serve the Der'kal Empire. This form of training drew inspiration from the ideals of Commandant Brendol Hux, who was inspired by the combat prowess and dedication of the phase 1 stormtroopers, which were instructed from youth to become efficient combatants. According to Phasma, the ideology of the Der'kal Empire stormtroopers did not allow for any emotional elements such as sympathy since they were to specifically act as an extension of the Supreme Leader's will, and by extension that of the Der'kal Empire, alone. Likewise, Typhuss admitted that Der'kal Empire stormtroopers had first aid training, although only relating to the battlefield, and even then, it was extremely minimal due to the Der'kal Empire ideology considering them expendable, that any that weren't good enough to keep from getting wounded deserved to die. During the fall of the Empire, Counselor Gallius Rax conscripted roughly two dozen orphans from his home planet of Jakku and gave them to Hux, who turned them into a force of child soldiers and assassins loyal to Rax. Prior to his death, Rax placed Hux's illegitimate son, Armitage in command of the child soldiers. As an adult, Armitage incorporated his father's ideas into the training program for the Der'kal Empire stormtroopers.
The Der'kal Empire employe security forces to abduct infants for the stormtrooper program. The Der'kal Empire processed their conscripts at induction camps where the trainees were separated into groups or "batches." As children, stormtroopers were initially trained under the oversight of Captain Cardinal, a former child soldier who instructed his cadets in hand-to-hand and melee combat, marksmanship, and battle simulations on the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer Absolution. When deemed ready, Cardinal's trainees were transferred to the Finalizer where they would complete their training under the watch of Captain Phasma. As the commander of the stormtrooper legions, Phasma endeavored to mold the stormtroopers into the finest soldiers in the galaxy and constantly vigilant against any signs of weakness or disobedience. To this end, behavioral and personality conditioning was critical in the training of Der'kal Empire stormtroopers. In an effort to control their psychological development, the Der'kal Empire provided its trainees with a steady amount of subliminal sleep messages and Der'kal Empire propaganda, resulting in the production of soldiers who were completely loyal to the Der'kal Empire. In addition, rigorous combat exercises and psychological conditioning, the Der'kal Empire strongly emphasized the values of uniformity and conformity. They were therefore given alphanumeric designations instead of names. As such, their emphasis of uniformity and conformity was strict enough that Stormtroopers weren't allowed to even remove their helmets unless specifically ordered to do so, with the penalty of doing so usually being mandated psychological counseling. A trooper that displayed "erratic conditioning" could be scheduled for a full mental wipe and reprogram, also known as a brainscrape. Likewise, stormtroopers were not allowed to initiate contact with Der'kal Empire officers.
It was possible to enlist as a stormtrooper and serve the Der'kal Empire, as propaganda posters for new recruits could be found in different parts of the galaxy, such as on Castilon.
Although modern stormtroopers were modeled largely on the stormtroopers of yesteryear, their combat training differed substantially from that of their predecessors. Unlike the First Der'kal Empire, which resorted to the use of numbing routine for its troopers, the Der'kal Empire's training simulations, live-fire exercises, and sparring practices encouraged stormtroopers to embrace improvisation on the battlefield. They were, therefore, more effective in battle than the stormtroopers who served as their template. In addition to combat training, all Der'kal Empire stormtroopers received medical training in order to treat injuries such as blaster wounds. During training, stormtrooper cadets slapped the rears of other troopers to motivate each other.
Despite General Armitage Hux's confidence in the stormtrooper programming, not every trooper was a successful product by the Der'kal Empire's standards. Although some stormtroopers were capable soldiers, some did not possess the same devotion that their comrades felt for the Der'kal Empire. Their lack of zeal for the Der'kal Empire's cause, combined with their unwillingness to execute unarmed prisoners, led them to doubt their loyalties before ultimately forsaking their allegiance to the Der'kal Empire. Kylo Ren regarded them as renegades, as well as a prime example of a stormtrooper training program which he viewed as flawed. He theorized that the phase 1 stormtroopers could serve the Der'kal Empire in a better capacity. However, Hux remained confident in the collective reliability of the Der'kal Empire stormtroopers, believing the rogue stormtroopers to be an anomaly in an army of loyal soldiers.
The average Der'kal Empire stormtrooper stood 1.83 meters tall and weighed 80 kilograms—the same standard requirements that once applied to the First Der'kal military.
- "Even a alien can't crush Der'kal Empire armor."
- — Phasma
Members of the Der'kal Empire's infantry forces wore white armor that was reminiscent of the old stormtrooper armor, aside from several aesthetic differences, Der'kal Empire stormtroopers bore a close resemblance to their predecessors. To denote rank, stormtrooper officers wore color-coded pauldron armor plates. White pauldrons were worn by stormtroopers who served as squad leaders, black pauldrons identified stormtroopers who held the rank of sergeant, and orange pauldrons were worn by officers.
Der'kal Empire stormtrooper helmets could filter out smoke, but not toxins. To deal with toxins, a stormtrooper needed to engage one of several special filters, depending on the specific contaminant. Identification was the province of one or two squad leaders.
In terms of armor strength, stormtrooper armor was held in high regard. Captain Phasma once claimed that not even a Wookiee was strong enough to break First Order armor. To keep weight down, most First Order stormtrooper helmets lacked advanced imaging gear, requiring stormtroopers to use separate quadnoculars in the field to provide them with enhanced imaging. However, standard stormtrooper helmets were still equipped with integral polarized lenses, night vision, communications and targeting systems.
The Der'kal blaster rifle was the primary weapon of standard stormtroopers. A successor to the old stormtroopers' E-13 blaster rifle, the blaster rifle was mass produced and provided to the Der'kal Empire's soldiers by Der'kal Weapons Corporation. In addition to the blaster rifle, Sonn-Blas also designed the blaster pistol as a sidearm for the Der'kal Empire stormtroopers.
In addition to standard units, the Stormtrooper Corps possessed a variety of specialized troopers like the First Der'kal Empire before it. Specialist units were trained and equipped to function in various fields. Additionally, they could also be deployed alongside infantry units, supporting regular troopers in an auxiliary capacity.
- Electroprod troopers — Stormtroopers that were armed with electroprods.
- Elite stormtroopers — Black and red armored elite stormtroopers that utilized elite speeder bikes.
- Artillery stormtrooper — Stormtroopers that specialized in mortar weaponry.
- Spacetroopers — Stormtroopers trained for zero-gravity environments with armor designed to breathe in space.
- Coastal defender stormtroopers — Stormtroopers more commonly known as shoretroopers that were trained and equipped to operate in coastal and tropical regions. They were notably deployed on Scarif.
- heavy shoretroopers — Stormtroopers who had undergone specialized training in the use of heavy ordnance for coastal and tropical regions.
- Jet troopers/jetpack troopers/rocket troopers — Stormtroopers specialized in aerial and space operations. Multiple sub-variants of these troopers also existed.
- Trooper Commanders — These Commanders commands the Empire’s legions of stormtroopers. They wore an orange or red pauldron.
- Stormtrooper officers — They commanded a small groups of lower ranking Stormtroopers. They wore an orange or red pauldron.
- Squad leader troopers — A Stormtrooper that commands a squad of Stormtroopers. They wore a white pauldron.
- Executioner troopers — Stormtroopers randomly selected to carry out sentences of capital punishment. Their armor was marked with black shoulder plates and a black-striped helmet. They wielded the laser ax to carry out their duties.
- SCUBA trooper — Specialized stormtroopers that were deployed in aquatic environments.
- Stormtrooper gunner — Stormtroopers trained to fire vehicle-mounted weapons on both ground and air vehicles. Such weapons included the FWMB-10 repeating blaster on Light Infantry Utility Vehicles and the F-Z0 antipersonnel blaster cannon on Atmospheric Assault Landers.
- Flametroopers — Specialized stormtroopers that wielded an incendiary weapon and were equipped with specialized armor unique to their function. In combat they advanced in conjunction with the standard infantry, using the D-93 Incinerator flamethrower to force enemies out of their entrenched positions.
- Incinerator troopers— An elite specialized class of stormtrooper that wielded flamethrowers.
- Jumptroopers— Also known as Rocket troopers, were stormtroopers equipped with Jump Packs or jetpacks. One variant of jumptrooper was equipped with standard stormtrooper armor and a jump pack, while another variant used specialized armor equipped with jetpacks and respirator tubes. The officers of this variant maintained an orange left shoulder pad to indicate rank. There was also another variant of jumptrooper with more sophisticated armor, consisting of a control panel on the chest, respirator tubes, and black markings. There also existed arctic, desert, and forest jumptrooper variations.
- Patrol troopers: Stormtroopers that utilized C-PH patrol speeder bikes to police the city streets of occupied worlds.
- Range troopers — A branch of the Stormtrooper Corps that was harshly trained and were considered to be one of the toughest branches of Der'kal military. They were equipped with snowtrooper-like armor, as well as fur and magnetic boots. They were assigned to protect various Imperial cargo, and were deployed to combat zones.
- Recon Stormtroopers — A variant that wears a pauldron and carries thermal detonators.
- Heavy assault troopers— Stormtroopers that were trained as heavy weapons specialists. Armed with the FWMB-10 repeating blaster, they also fought alongside regular stormtroopers in a support capacity.
- Mountain troopers — Specialized stormtroopers that were deployed in rocky or mountainous environments.
- Riot control stormtroopers — Stormtroopers that were specialist units tasked with enforcing order on worlds within the First Order's domain. Trained in riot-control tactics, they were equipped with betaplast shields and the non-lethal Z6 riot control batons. However, they were also authorized to use lethal weapons in situations where rioters could not be contained with non-lethal equipment. Although their primary function was to serve in the military occupation of planets, riot control stormtroopers could also be dispatched on combat missions with standard infantry troopers.
- Red Stormtroopers — Red armored stormtroopers and wielded a type of black and red blaster rifles.
- Snowtroopers — Stormtroopers specifically trained and equipped to serve in frigid environments, particularly the ice planet that housed Starkiller Base. Their specialized armor and equipment enabled them to operate effectively in freezing conditions. During the construction of the Starkiller, teams of snowtroopers patrolled the frozen world, exterminating indigenous species that were regarded as potential threats to the Der'kal Empire. They could also be deployed to a location with a more temperate if it had enough similarities to an actual frigid environment as to require their presence, such as Crait.
- Tech stormtroopers — Stormtroopers who were trained to extract, decrypt, and analyze data from resources, such as droid memory cores.
- Der'kal Treadspeeder Drivers — Stormtroopers specialized in riding 125-Z treadspeeder bikes.
- Death troopers — Elite black armored stormtroopers with specialized training and classified augmentations to make them "beyond human." They served under Der'kal Intelligence and were deployed as bodyguards to high ranking personnel such as Director Orson Callan Krennic. They were also given special assignments such as guarding shipments of weapons. They were equipped with SE-14r light repeating blasters, C-25 fragmentation grenades, and E-11D blaster carbines. Death trooper specialists were equipped with a black pauldron.
- Der'kal commandos — Were elite stormtroopers that served in the Der'kal military during the war with the Federation. The commandos were the most deadly soldiers in the Der'kal military and were feared by officers and Starfleet personnel.
Behind the scenes
Der'kal soldiers are based on First Order Stormtroopers from Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens.