Star Wars Lore – Shadow Troopers (Legends)
From clone soldiers to stormtrooper-dark Jedi hybrids, shadow trooper was a moniker used time and time again to classify highly skilled stealth operatives. In fact, the Legends universe alone was home to four different variants. But why were there so many classifications? And what made one unit unique from the next? Well, let's find out...
The Clone Wars
First deployed during the troublesome years of the Clone Wars, shadow troopers began life as the brainchild of Armand Isard, who sought to combat the dwindling numbers of Advanced Recon Commandos with a division of highly skilled clones. And so, clone shadow troopers became proficient in reconnaissance and stealth. These two skills were greatly bolstered by their incredibly unique armour, as pre-installed magseals allowed them to don the colours of any criminal gang, while omni-directional jammers maintained their “invisibility”. With such advantages, each soldier could infiltrate facilities and gather information with relative ease.
As the Clone Wars reached its conclusion, the role of shadow trooper expanded beyond infiltration and reconnaissance. Of course, some were still deployed to install jamming devices in strategic cities before full-scale Republic assaults – although most others became proficient in the art of sniping. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's Declaration of a New Order, however, altered their role once more. Instead of infiltrating facilities, shadow troopers were tasked with the exact opposite. And rather than dropping targets from hundreds of metres away, shadow troopers were tasked with, you guessed it, the exact opposite. Indeed, the highly skilled clones merely became guards for buildings and individuals alike. Yet this failed to prevent the creation of several variants during the Imperial Era, such as the storm commandos and shadow stormtroopers.
Rise of the Galactic Empire
Not to be confused with a branch of Imperial shock troopers deployed under the command of the Emperor's Shadow Guard, shadow stormtroopers operated as pawns of Agent Blackhole. In doing so, they were often referred to as “blackhole stormtroopers”. Such a moniker became only more fitting upon realising the material used for their unforgettable, all-black-armour. You see, the stygian-triprismatic polymer material used during the production process warped and trapped any nearby light. So, somewhat literally, each set of armour acted as a black hole in and of itself.
Shadow stormtroopers underwent extensive specialised training in infiltration and ambush tactics – just like their clone predecessors. In fact, aside from also serving as bodyguards, each and every soldier could also be controlled completely at will. Lord Shadowspawn, for example, led legions of shadow stormtroopers against New Republic forces primarily through their unyielding loyalty.
A New Republic
The final incarnation of shadow troopers existed during the New Republic Era as creations of Dark Jedi Desann, who used the Valley of the Jedi to imbue stormtroopers with Force powers. This resulted in lightsaber-wielding, stealth-trained warriors who could somewhat competently wield Force grip and Force lightning. Even more impressive than that was their cortosis armour – cortosis of course being a lightsaber-resistant material. All of these traits combined made shadow troopers an unwavering nightmare for Jedi across the galaxy...
Now it's time for this week's question: which of today's discussed shadow troopers do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!