With the falling of the Old Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Clone Troopers were rechristened as Imperial Stormtroopers or were replaced by them. Without the guidance of their Jedi officers, Stormtroopers were "cut loose" to brutally enforce the new Imperial doctrine, to which they quickly built a reputation as merciless, uncompromising soldiers indoctrinated with unconditional loyalty to Emperor Palpatine. As the Empire went on, many races feared these troopers, and were threatened to be arrested or killed on sight if anyone dared tried to mess with them or fight back. Alternatively, these troopers where noticeably less combat efficient than their counterparts from the Clone Wars, and relied more on weaponry and masses to achieve victory. They were also similarly disposable and expendable as the Clone Troopers.
The Stormtroopers are loyal and obedient, and they never question orders from high-ranking officials. They are also very merciless in battle.
Though many Stormtroopers are quite inaccurate at shooting their targets (mostly new recruits or inexperienced individuals), certain divisions, such as the Death Troopers and the Special Commando Advanced Recon (SCAR) troopers were exceedingly formidable, being able to gun down almost any opponent in combat. Some like Sergeant Kreel and his SCAR trooper squad (introduced in Marvel Comics' Star Wars series) were even capable of and specialized in using lightsabers, sniper rifles, melee weapons, martial arts, demolition equipment, and heavy artillery. However, the most feared Stormtroopers were the unit known as the 501st Legion, commonly sporting the moniker of "Vader's Fist". They served directly under Darth Vader himself, and often accompanied the Sith Lord on his most important missions, including the Battle of Hoth.
Marksmanship: Stormtroopers are trained at very young ages to be skilled in utilizing blaster pistols and blaster rifles. Despite this, many stormtroopers are terrible at shooting their targets, as they miss every single one of them, even at point-blank range.
Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Stormtroopers are trained at very young ages to be skilled hand-to-hand combatants. Despite this, many stormtroopers are not very effective in unarmed combat, as they rely more on weaponry to achieve victory.
Stormtrooper armor: Stormtroopers utilize armor to protect them from enemies in battle. However, the armor is largely ineffective, and a blaster shot to the chest can still easily prove fatal.
The Stormtroopers made their debut appearance in the original Star Wars movie A New Hope, originally titled Star Wars back in 1977 until it was renamed in later releases.
A New Hope
The Stormtroopers were involved in search of the plans for the Death Star which were stolen by Rebel spies, when it was assumed that the princess hidden them in a escape pod that crashed landed on the planet Tatooine, a group of troopers were sent down to search for them and soon realized they were also looking for two droids known as R2-D2 and C-3PO. The Stormtroopers tracked down the same Jawas that sold off the two droids and traced where they sold too, Owen Lars. They slaughtered both the Jawas, Owen Lars, and Beru Lars after they were unable to find the droids, but they would later spread their search to Mos Eisley where they found and attempted to stop Luke, Ben, and the two droids from escaping aboard a ship known as the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Han Solo and Chewbacca.
When the Millennium Falcon was captured by the Death Star, Stormtroopers aboard the station were put on patrol and two of them were taken out by Luke and Han and stripped of their uniforms. When Luke, Han, and Chewbacca made an attempt to rescue Princess Leia, the Stormtroopers ambushed them in Detention Block AA23, until they escaped down the garbage chute.
The Stormtroopers would soon catch up with Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewbacca and attempted to capture or kill them. Han chased a few Stormtroopers down a corridor but soon ran away after he became face-to-face with millions of Stormtroopers. The Stormtroopers chasing Leia and Luke were trapped and unable to extend a bridge to get to the other side of the endless drop below them. However, they were able to jam the door behind them for a while and swing across to the other side. Their attempt to capture both the intruders would be in vain as they managed. The troopers who were stationed on the Death Star were later all killed along with the station's destruction.
The Empire Strikes Back
The Stormtroopers fought in the Battle of Hoth, and later accompanied Darth Vader in capturing the Rebels Han, Leia, and Chewbacca on Cloud City on Bespin. For unknown reasons, they tortured Han and later had him put in place for carbon freezing. After giving Han to the bounty hunter Boba Fett, the Stormtroopers escorted Leia and Chewbacca to Vader's ship but thanks to Lando Calrissian, they were captured, stripped of their weapons and sent to the security area quietly.
As everyone began to evacuate the Cloud City before more Imperials arrive, few Stormtroopers chased after Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO as they made their way back to the Millennium Falcon. Again their attempts to capture them were in vain as they were able to successfully escape.
Return of the Jedi
The Stormtroopers are first seen in this film when they flank Darth Vader's arrival on the second Death Star, and later the Emperor himself. The Emperor had his best Troops stationed on the forest moon of Endor guarding the shield generator that was protecting the second Death Star. As part of the Emperor's plan to rid of the Rebellion, he allowed a small group of Rebels to find the shield generator where a squadron of Stormtroopers ambushed them and were captured. However they were not expecting to face the Ewoks that inhabited the planet and engaged them in a battle throughout the forest. Even though the Troopers had the upper hand in weaponry, they were easily defeated and the Rebels succeeded in destroying the shield generator allowing Lando Calrissian and his fighter squadron to enter the second Death Star and destroy it.
The Stormtroopers appear in Rogue One (set immediately before the original film) which introduces three new kinds of Stormtroopers: Death Troopers, Tank Troopers, and Shoretroopers. Here, even the normal variety of Stormtrooper are shown to be quite formidable fighters, as the Stormtroopers wipe out most of the Rebel forces during the Battle of Scarif.
The normal stormtroopers appear in Solo along with several new variations: Mudtroopers, which are simply normal stormtroopers with waterproof capes, looser armor, and extra attachments on their helmets; Range Troopers, which have magnetic boots to allow them to walk on upside-down surfaces; and Patrol Troopers, which are essentially an urban version of the Scout Troopers. Early in the film, Han is shown serving as a non-stormtrooper soldier known as an Imperial Army Trooper. As the Empire has a relatively minor role in Solo, the stormtroopers are mostly prominent in the first act of the film.
The Stormtroopers appear in the Disney XD series, Star Wars Rebels. Set five years before the events of A New Hope, they fight against the growing Rebellion, led by Jedi-Cowboy Kanan Jarrus. In the series they are commonly nicknamed "Bucketheads" by the Rebels, because of their bucket-shaped helmets. Even in greater numbers, they always get outwitted and defeated by the elusive Rebels. They are often used as comic relief, much like the battle droids in The Clone Wars.
In the early production of the original Star Wars film, the Stormtroopers were to wield lightsabers and hand-held shields instead of blasters. Some of the First Order stormtroopers do use energy baton and hand-held shields, most notably FN-2199.
Curiously, the stormtroopers are completely silent in The Empire Strikes Back except for the single offscreen trooper who questions and subsequently shoots C-3PO.
No Imperial stormtrooper's face has ever been shown on-screen. The original trilogy, Rogue One, Solo, The Mandalorian, and Star Wars Rebels have all carefully avoided showing their faces even in instances where their helmets are removed, usually cutting away or obscuring their faces via camera tricks. However, a few First Order stormtroopers have been shown helmetless, notably Finn and CS-515 from Star Wars Resistance, while various others (both Imperial and First Order) have had their faces shown in illustrations.
This is done to dehumanize them and solidify the fact that they are evil, hence why exceptions are made for sympathetic characters like Finn and CS-515.
It is shown in The Mandalorian episode "The Believer" that they do not even remove their helmets to eat.
Despite what many people think, only the initial batch and a few, specialized legions of Stormtroopers were clones. Soon after the Clone Wars, most clones were decommissioned and replaced with recruits.
Despite their fierce reputation, the Stormtroopers have usually been depicted as being rather slow, dim, and incompetent; they have been easily outwitted many times, and their skills in firearms is rather poor despite being described at one point as being 'so precise'. First Order Stormtroopers have none of these weaknesses.
The armor of the Stormtroopers is much weaker than that of a Clone Trooper. According to Rex (one of the only people to have worn both), it is also more uncomfortable.