Why CLONE TROOPER Armour Changed...
The only thing more interesting and intriguing than clone troopers themselves – yup, you guessed it – is clone trooper armour. Don't get me wrong, the galaxy far, far away has had its fair share of creative and unique costumes – from Padmé Amidala's royal gowns to Lando Calrissian's capes and scarfs. But for some reason, it's the CGI and animated white suits of the Galactic Republic's soldiers that truly catch our eye! Perhaps such fondness comes down to the sheer multitude of clone trooper variants – or maybe it's due to the customisation of each helmet, pauldron, kama and so on. Either way, clones certainly knew how to rock a trendy yet fit for purpose look. With that in mind, why exactly was clone trooper armour changed in 21 BBY? Was it purely for aesthetic purposes, or is their some kind of deeper meaning? Well, let's find out!
Contrary to popular belief, given the imminent birth of the Galactic Empire, Phase II clone trooper armour was introduced for comfort and customisation. Sure, it was important for George Lucas and company to ensure a smooth transition from clones to stormtroopers, but from an in-universe stand point, the classic white outfits were in desperate need of an upgrade. Firstly, Phase I armour was rather uncomfortable and difficult to get into – all thanks its Kaminoan creators and their unfamiliarity with the human form. Secondly, in favour of external respirators in the absence of breathable atmospheres, its successor disregarded the built-in life support system. And thirdly, Phase II armour was simply far easier to modify and specialise. Additional benefits, at least according to Star Wars Legends, included polarised lenses, further padding, stronger and lighter armour plates, more advanced air filtration systems, magnetised boots, and an annunciator to allow for more comprehensible speech.
Exact specifications to one side, the positive effects of Phase II clone trooper armour were immediately felt. Even during the prototype stage, when fielded by Advanced Recon Commandos prior to the Battle of Ryloth, no one could deny its comfort and durability. And while it was later succeeded and replaced itself, Imperial shock troopers continued to wear the new and improved body suits. So, with that in mind, which of the three aforementioned armour sets do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below!