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Author Topic: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?  (Read 1002 times)

Joey2k

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Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« on: June 01, 2021, 03:43:47 PM »
I'm putting together a WEG Star Wars campaign where the PCs are Imperial stormtroopers and other operatives in a special anti-crime/anti-terror task force (mainly going after smugglers, pirates, criminal syndicates...thought it might be a interesting change of pace). 

Is there anything in the canon regarding non-human stormtroopers? I know they were originally clones of JF, but later became recruits/conscripts.
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Charon's Little Helper

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2021, 03:49:49 PM »
I believe that The Empire was largely xenophobic - hence their entire military being human. Not just the stormtroopers, but also the officers.

Premier

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2021, 03:59:23 PM »
Having said that, the Star Wars universe is a big, big place, and you're the DM.

There's no reason why the Empire in your campaign might make use of alien auxiliary troops similarly to how the Romans used to.
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Charon's Little Helper

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2021, 04:05:41 PM »
There's no reason why the Empire in your campaign might make use of alien auxiliary troops similarly to how the Romans used to.

Oh yeah - while I wouldn't make them stormtroopers specifically, The Empire could easily use local mercenaries to fill out their ranks, especially in the outer systems. Heck - when Vader recruited a bunch of bounty hunters, several of them weren't human. That lizard guy and a droid off the top of my head. (I remember the droid being a boss fight in the N64 Star Wars game. IG-17?)

Ghostmaker

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2021, 04:07:41 PM »
There's no reason why the Empire in your campaign might make use of alien auxiliary troops similarly to how the Romans used to.

Oh yeah - while I wouldn't make them stormtroopers specifically, The Empire could easily use local mercenaries to fill out their ranks, especially in the outer systems. Heck - when Vader recruited a bunch of bounty hunters, several of them weren't human. That lizard guy and a droid off the top of my head. (I remember the droid being a boss fight in the N64 Star Wars game. IG-17?)
IG-88, you plebian :)

But yeah, auxiliaries or hired guns would definitely work.

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2021, 04:55:13 PM »
I believe that The Empire was largely xenophobic - hence their entire military being human. Not just the stormtroopers, but also the officers.

  Yes, you have to be very, very good--as in Thrawn--to make it as a nonhuman in the Empire under Palpatine and his immediate successors. Legacy-era Empire (140 years post-Jedi) got rid of this.

Aglondir

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2021, 05:22:02 PM »
I believe that The Empire was largely xenophobic - hence their entire military being human. Not just the stormtroopers, but also the officers.

Is this canon?  I don't see any evidence if it in the movies, other than the death star officers were all human. But we didn't see that many of them, and it might have been for budgetary reasons more than story. On the other hand, we see the Emperor has non-human advisors in ROTJ and the prequels. Perhaps he is secretly racist? Yet he took a non-human as his apprentice. 

The "Empire was racist" trope probably got it's start in the WEG's books in the 90's.

Oh wait, that can't be right. All role-playing was evil and racist back then.
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Mishihari

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2021, 05:33:49 PM »
I believe that The Empire was largely xenophobic - hence their entire military being human. Not just the stormtroopers, but also the officers.

Is this canon?  I don't see any evidence if it in the movies, other than the death star officers were all human. But we didn't see that many of them, and it might have been for budgetary reasons more than story. On the other hand, we see the Emperor has non-human advisors in ROTJ and the prequels. Perhaps he is secretly racist? Yet he took a non-human as his apprentice. 

The "Empire was racist" trope probably got it's start in the WEG's books in the 90's.

Oh wait, that can't be right. All role-playing was evil and racist back then.


It was earlier than that.  I remember reading from authoritative sources back in the 80s that the reason Chewbacca didn't get a medals with the others was that even the Alliance had racism against non-humans, and they're a lot more tolerant than the Empire.

Ratman_tf

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2021, 05:48:33 PM »
I believe that The Empire was largely xenophobic - hence their entire military being human. Not just the stormtroopers, but also the officers.

Is this canon? 

I can't remember a point in the OT or prequels where the Empire is outright racist in it's policies.

A xenophobic Empire made up of non-humans doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Palpatine had non-humans in his cabinet. I imagine the reason most characers in SW were human was due to budget more than any story reason. Technically, none of the species in the Republic were "alien". They were all part of the big cosmic community.

Having said that, I like the idea that Stormtroopers are clones. You don't get to join the Stormtroopers, they're made in vats. Having non-human auxiliaries in the Imperial Army sounds like a neat idea to me, and a way to have clones and non-humans working together in a squad.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2021, 05:50:16 PM by Ratman_tf »
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HappyDaze

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2021, 06:00:23 PM »
When the Empire switched from Clone Troopers to Stormtroopers, they still had a huge amount of war materiel (gear, training methods, medical support) that was optimized for humans (specifically Jango Fett's biology, but probably much easier to adapt to other humans than to non-humans). Sticking with humans--which are plentiful in the SW galaxy--at the start was a sensible cost-saving measure.

KingCheops

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2021, 06:27:27 PM »
I'm putting together a WEG Star Wars campaign where the PCs are Imperial stormtroopers and other operatives in a special anti-crime/anti-terror task force (mainly going after smugglers, pirates, criminal syndicates...thought it might be a interesting change of pace). 

Is there anything in the canon regarding non-human stormtroopers? I know they were originally clones of JF, but later became recruits/conscripts.

As a Stormtrooper I'd say no.  But I could see near-humans making up big parts of the Imperial Army especially from the Mid-Rim and outwards.  But that's all IMO.  As others have said its a big universe and this is largely not discussed apart from the New Order's human supremacist stance.

Premier

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2021, 06:40:35 PM »
It was earlier than that.  I remember reading from authoritative sources back in the 80s that the reason Chewbacca didn't get a medals with the others was that even the Alliance had racism against non-humans, and they're a lot more tolerant than the Empire.

I don't know what you consider "authoritative sources", but the official in-universe explanation actually is (and AFAIK always has been) that Wookiee culture just doesn't care about awards, medals and decorations, and there was a separate Wookiee-appropriate ceremony later on. In terms of movie-making decisions, it's probably because the size difference between Carrie Fisher and Peter Mayhew would have made any solution look a bit ridiculous and would have harmed the emotional impact of the scene. Bathos was not yet the cinematographic cancer it is today back in '77.
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Zelen

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2021, 09:09:23 PM »
Canon is a pretty nebulous concept. To be really strict, I wouldn't consider anything outside of the original 3 movies to be canonical.

Some of the novels are arguably worth including in canon, and a lot of people might go so far to include even the prequel movies.

Based on the Star Wars stuff I've watched and read over the years I don't recall there being a major element of human supremacy in the Empire. The concept of "human" may not even exist in Star Wars. Sure, the majority of people that appear in the films are human, but that is just practical for films on many levels.

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2021, 09:14:50 PM »
I can't remember a point in the OT or prequels where the Empire is outright racist in it's policies.

  It's something that came out of the Expanded Universe, perhaps to reinforce the Nazi parallels, perhaps as 'cheap heat', perhaps because we see Fringe and Rebel nonhumans but never any Imperials in the Original Trilogy. Like a lot of the EU, it suffers cracks in the wake of the Prequels, but nothing insurmountable.

Aglondir

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Re: Star Wars: Non-human stormtroopers?
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2021, 11:17:47 PM »
Found this in the Xenophobia entry on Wookiepedia:

Quote
The idea of a xenophobic Galactic Empire was explored in Star Wars Legends literature and media. According to Jason Fry, the Lucasfilm Story Group had worked out that the Galactic Empire in the new canon universe was not "openly or uniformly" xenophobic. However, he reasoned many staunch Imperials like the Servants of the Empire antagonist Janus Fhurek were also committed xenophobes.

https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Xenophobia#cite_note-Wired_for_the_Classics-52

Legends = EU stuff, Non-canon

Lucasfilm Story Group = a division of Lucasfilm Ltd. responsible for keeping track of Star Wars canon in order to assist writers and directors in the development of new stories.



But Lucas is pretty cool with people playing in the sandbox. I could see a xenophobic, Nazi-like empire. I could also see one that was just a huge military machine. Whatever works for your campaign is the key.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2021, 11:22:07 PM by Aglondir »
And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion