Stormtrooper vs. Clone Trooper: What’s The Difference?


Storm vs Clone

In the Star Wars franchise, it’s pretty easy to tell who the bad guy minions are. They’re the guys who wear the funky uniforms, carry guns and tend to be seen chasing after heroes in large quantities. They’re often called “stormtroopers” or “clone troopers” by people in the film.

These two names aren’t for the same type of soldier, though. What are the differences between stormtroopers and clone troopers? It all has to do with the genetics of the person who is underneath the uniform. Stormtroopers could be anyone who wants to fight Jedi; clone troopers are all clones of the same person. 

For casual Star Wars fans, the different types might seem nearly identical. But, the more you look at their differences, the more you’ll realize they are extremely different from one another. Here’s the scoop. 

Are Stormtroopers And Clone Troopers The Same?

Absolutely not! They are actually very different and have extremely different storylines and lives. That’s a Padawan mistake.

What’s The Difference Between Stormtroopers And Clone Troopers?

There are many differences between the two, but the most important difference is the person underneath the uniform. Anyone can be a stormtrooper, but clone troopers are exclusively clones of Jango Fett, who are altered for combat. 

This means that all clone troopers will look the exact same when their uniforms are removed. Stormtroopers, on the other hand, are individual people who enlisted of their own free will. Underneath their uniforms are people, who look different from one another.

That being said, there are other subtler differences between the two, including:

  • Uniforms. Their uniforms are slightly different.
  • Recruitment. Clone troopers are born into their fate, stormtroopers aren’t. 
  • Why They Were Made. Both types of soldier have different origin stories. 
  • Fighting Ability. You can thank Jango Fett’s stock for this. 
  • The Movies They’re In. This is more of a cinematic and plotline issue. 
  • Their Motivations. Though this is up for debate, a lot of fans tend to see the way they act and what motivates them differently. 
  • What Happens To Them. The fates of standard stormtroopers and clone troopers greatly diverge after the Clone Wars saga. 

So, let’s talk about the differences a little bit, just so we can get a better understanding of what’s going on in the Star Wars universe.

What Are The Differences Between Stormtrooper And Clone Trooper Uniforms?

Stormtrooper uniforms are what most people recognize as classic Star Wars minion gear. They’re all white, have “ski visor” styled glasses, and helmets that are similar in style to Darth Vader’s black helmet. Stormtroopers are very uniform in appearance throughout the franchise.

Clone troopers, on the other hand, have a different array of uniforms depending on what point in the Star Wars franchise they’re in. For the most part, their helmets have narrower vision windows, have less bulky helmet designs, and also tend to have some color markings on their uniform. 

Stormtrooper Uniform Versions

Stormtrooper uniforms have been, for the most part, fairly constant. However, there have been variations over the years. The two most common variations are as follows:

  • Imperial Stormtrooper. These are what most people would consider to be the “classic look” of stormtroopers in The Empire Strikes Back and other similar older movies. They’re iconic in their own right. 
  • First Order Stormtrooper. These uniforms were only really seen after the Battle of Endor and have a smoother, more stylized appearance to them. 
  • Corsucant Guards. There were plenty of troopers who were assigned to Corsucant, and their uniforms are fairly well-known among fans of the franchise. What makes their looks different are the large splashes of red markings that can be found throughout their armors’ bodies. 

That being said, there are a plethora of specialized stormtrooper uniforms that have appeared in the Star Wars franchise. For the sake of this article, we’re going to ignore specialty uniforms since they aren’t necessarily “full stormtroopers” compared to their Imperial counterparts.

Clone Troopers And Uniform Versions

While stormtroopers’ uniforms stayed the same throughout the Star Wars franchise, clone trooper uniforms varied greatly depending on the saga the troopers were featured in. This is a quick run-through of some of the more well-known clone trooper uniforms below:

  • Phase I. These are known as the most recognizable clone trooper uniforms and often came in all white huges. That said, these uniforms also came with color codings based on the troopers’ ranks. They had the classic “slit eye” look and were developed by Jango Fett himself.
  • Phase II. Made with a deeper understanding of clone anatomy, these uniforms look similar to stormtroopers. They have larger visors, two respirators, and were made to be more lightweight than their original forms. 
  • Clone Assassins. These were clone troopers that were part of an elite sect of fighters, and their armor showed it with light purple-grey markings throughout their bodies. 
  • Special Ops Clone Trooper. If a clone trooper displayed exceptional fighting abilities, they were placed into a special operations sector of their ranks. Their grey uniforms and yellow accents are what mark them as elites. 
  • Clone Shadow Troopers. As their name suggests, the clone shadow trooper sect were another exceptional crowd of fighters. Their uniforms were all dark grey. 

How Are Stormtroopers And Clone Troopers Recruited?

Appearances aside, there’s a world of difference between how stormtroopers and clone troopers are recruited. How they recruit each soldier makes a huge impact on how they behave and why they fight. 

How Stormtroopers Are Recruited

Stormtroopers are generally viewed as a tool of the Dark Side, and rightfully so. People start seeking out potential stormtroopers right out of school, selecting them by looking at their bullying records from school. 

The Imperial order chose students who were bullies because they were the type of people who didn’t think for themselves. They worked well with authoritarian behavior, in a “might makes right” type of environment. 

In order for a person to become a stormtrooper, they have to trade in their name for a number. That alone speaks volumes about how recruits view individuality. They are not about being people or caring for the individual–and that’s what the Empire seems to enjoy about them. 

How Clone Troopers Are Recruited

Clone troopers were genetically engineered using Jango Fett’s DNA, and were originally built for fighting. Most of them also have modifications that make them better fighters. Clone troopers were given top quality training and were expected to serve in the Clone Wars. 

The Clone Troopers were originally made to help the Republic and Jedi Knights fight in the Clone Wars. However, they also became unwitting traitors due to Sith planning. This led to them being cast out from society after the war occurred. 

After they were used by Sith forces to exterminate the Jedi, the clone troopers were phased out of commission. Those who survived the war often found themselves unable to make ends meet, which eventually forced them into minimalist lives.

Why Were Stormtroopers And Clone Troopers Made?

The reasons why the Sith made these soldiers is still fairly similar, despite the many differences they had. Both stormtroopers and clone troopers were made to serve Sith leaders in war and to protect their interests–even if they weren’t always aware of why they were made. 

That being said, the two trooper groups have distinctly different reasons why they were made:

  • Stormtroopers were (and still are) considered to be general foot soldiers for the Sith and their interests. They were not given special training, nor were they made for any specific purpose. They are generic as can be.
  • Clone troopers were specially created for the Clone Wars. The reason they were made is because the Republic felt they were faced with an existential threat. They were created to be top of the line soldiers, and even received training by Jango Fett himself. 

These two major differences made a huge impact on how the Star Wars franchise evolved, giving the stories an exceptionally in depth arc. 

How Are Stormtroopers Made?

Stormtroopers aren’t “made” per se, but they definitely undergo a unique training period and recruitment period. Imperial forces tend to seek out people who are bullies and authoritarian in nature for their ranks. 

So, technically, stormtroopers are made in school. They’re school bullies who decide that being a baddie minion is their best career opportunity. Some clone troopers also lived out the rest of their lives as stormtroopers after the Clone Wars, though that is rather rare from what Star Wars lore suggests. 

How Are Clone Troopers Made?

Unlike stormtroopers, who had a natural birth and were never augmented, clone troopers were literally made as large batch clones. They were created on Kamino, by the manipulations of Darth Sidious, in order to be a more efficient killing squad than standard stormtroopers were. 

One of the things that set apart clone troopers from stormtroopers was a rather dark aspect of their creation. Along with having rapid aging, clone troopers were all outfitted with chips that would eventually activate and force them to turn against the Jedi Knights. 

This darker aspect of clone trooper design made them a perfect killing machine for Darth Sidious. However, the Sith weren’t expecting clone troopers to become individuals. As a result, after Order 66 was completed, the entire order of clone troopers was retired. 

Are All Clone Troopers Totally Identical?

For the most part, all clone troopers will look nearly identical to Jango Fett. However, there were aberrations that popped up during the making of clone batches. These aberrations occasionally would give clone troopers some of the following traits:

  • Different Eye Color. This was the most common aberration seen among clone troopers, by a long shot. 
  • Differing Facial Feature. Some clones had higher cheekbones, others had larger eyes, while even more had different jawlines than Jango Fett. Most of these facial feature differences weren’t very noticeable. 
  • Mental Illness. A good example of this type of aberration occurred with the “Mad Clone of Kakielius,” who ended up killing his batcher under the belief that everyone around him had been replaced with droids.

According to lore, around 3.5% of all clones had aberrations. Those whose differences were too stark would allegedly find themselves to be exterminated by batchers. That being said, the movies never openly say these clones where killed, but only used a euphemism to address it.

Who Created Stormtroopers And Clone Troopers?

In both cases, these trooper orders were created by the Sith forces. They were inventions of Emperor Palpatine and were both made in order to protect their top-level ranks. In this respect, stormtroopers and clone troopers are fairly similar. 

How Do Stormtroopers And Clone Troopers Differ In Fighting Strength? 

A major difference between the two trooper types is their fighting abilities, especially when time passes. The subtleties between the two really start to stand out when you take a look at the following issues:

  • Weaponry
  • Training
  • Physical Health
  • Aging

Stormtroopers In Combat

When it comes to combat, stormtroopers are considered to be fairly standard. They’re given standard-issue weapons, trained in basic combat, and also are generally seen as the norm as far as fighting goes. 

While stormtroopers can be dangerous and deadly, they generally aren’t that great at the battle. After all, you don’t really hear about famous stormtroopers in any of the Star Wars trilogies, do you? 

Clone Troopers In Combat

Clone troopers, on the other hand, were considered to be premium-grade soldiers when they were first made. They weren’t just made from one of the top bounty hunters of all time; they were also equipped with high-end weapons and top tier training. 

Because they were better outfitted and had more intense training, clone troopers were generally more dangerous than stormtroopers were. There also were famous clone troopers in the Star Wars universe, including Fives. 

Clone Trooper Combat Training

As far as their combat training goes, clone troopers were given an unusually strong training program in order to whip them into shape. The person who trained them was also the very same one they were all based on Jango Fett. 

Because they were given training by the top bounty hunter in the galaxy, clone troopers naturally had more skill than typical stormtroopers did. This gave them an extremely solid reputation among soldiers of all rankings, at least when it came to their fighting abilities. 

Stormtrooper vs. Clone Trooper Health And Aging

The biggest difference between stormtroopers and clone troopers in terms of their fighting strength dealt with their health. Stormtroopers were regular human beings who aged normally and had to be trained the old fashioned way. Clone troopers simply weren’t. 

Clone troopers were all made by cloning Jango Fett, then modifying them to age faster–just in time for the Clone Wars. This made them formidable fighters for a couple of years, but after a while, their premature aging started to catch up with them. 

After 10 years of their initial fighting time, most clone troopers started to see their strength fail. This led to them being less capable on the battleground than stormtroopers who were the same age as them. 

Which Movies Did Stormtroopers And Clone Troopers Get Featured In?

Another major difference between stormtroopers and clone troopers deals with the cinematic aspect of the films. More specifically, stormtroopers and clone troopers weren’t always featured in the same movies or the same TV shows. 

Stormtrooper Movies

Stormtroopers were a part of Star Wars lore ever since the movies first started off. They were featured in almost (if not every) movie that ever came out of the Star Wars franchise, and are considered to be a cornerstone of the franchise. 

Because of how pervasive stormtroopers are in Star Wars culture, they are considered to be iconic in their own right. Everyone recognizes a stormtrooper outfit, even if they aren’t fans of Star Wars. 

Clone Trooper Movies

Clone troopers weren’t actually a part of the original Star Wars franchise, and are a relatively new staple in it. These troopers only really started to appear in the Star Wars world during the Clone Wars series. 

Since most clone troopers aged very quickly, their time in the Star Wars franchise was limited and will remain somewhat limited. Though they were popular in their own right, their time window in Star Wars history made it impossible for them to really catch up to their stormtrooper counterparts in terms of appearance. 

Most of the appearances of clone troopers in the Star Wars franchise takes place during the Clone Wars series. Aside from that, you won’t really see much of them throughout the franchise. 

What Motivates Stormtroopers And Clone Troopers? 

Another major issue that makes these two trooper types deviate is their inner motivations. What drives them to fight made a huge difference in movies as well as the passion they have for the causes they fight for. 

What Motivates Stormtroopers?

Stormtroopers are generally people who want to bully others, and that’s even been mentioned in Star Wars canon. They are, simply put, bullies who love the idea of conformity and authoritarianism a little too much. 

These are people who genuinely dislike individuality and live to serve the Dark Side in their own way. If you have ever dealt with someone who lashed out at others who were different from them, then you’ve seen stormtrooper behavior in real life. 

That being said, there haven’t really been any monologues between stormtroopers discussing their unique inner motivations for joining the ranks. So, while there is a lot of discussion about recruitment, there really isn’t a single individual stormtrooper who explained what makes them tick on screen. 

Why Stormtroopers Didn’t Care About Their Names

With most movie villains, there’s something to be said about the motivation of having their name live in infamy. Ego is usually a common driver in mainstream movie villains, right alongside power. 

One thing that never motivated stormtroopers was the hope that their names would live on in infamy. The first step of being a stormtrooper, after all, is giving up your name in exchange for a number. Needless to say, fame didn’t motivate stormtroopers at all. 

A lot of fans would say that this is an extension of stormtroopers’ dislike of individuality, or that it could be part of just being indoctrinated into the world of being a stormtrooper. Either way, it’s an interesting aspect of Star Wars lore to think about. 

What Motivates Clone Troopers?

Clone troopers are vastly different from stormtroopers when it comes to their inner workings and mentalities. When they were first made, they were given a respectable position with the Jedi Knights. They were given a cause to fight for, and it was one they very much believed in.

When they first started out, clone troopers were viewed as a band of brothers who were fighting for a cause. They really, truly wanted to be a part of the greater good. That made them more passionate fighters and also made them more focused on their goals. 

That’s not all that motivated them. Though their idea of fighting for a cause mattered to most clone troopers, there was one motivating factor that really changed the way clone troopers behaved compared to a typical stormtrooper…

The Importance Of Clone Trooper Names

Clone troopers, again, tend to show their individuality far more than stormtroopers do–despite their cloned bodies. Among clone troopers, there’s a very deep-seated desire to be unique in their own right. 

This tends to translate into many clone troopers showing a strong desire for people to remember them by their names. This could be seen with Fives, the clone trooper who was caught in the center of several stories in The Clone Wars

The more you actually look at how clone troopers behave, the more you will start to see their yearning for individuality. It’s a stark contrast to stormtroopers, who were all born different from one another but ceded their differences to become uniform. 

What Were The Fates Of Stormtroopers And Clone Troopers?

Another major plot point that makes stormtroopers and clone troopers different is what happens to them throughout the Star Wars sagas. Once again, their making and their differing treatment tend to add to the overall lore surrounding their reputation. 

What Happens To Stormtroopers In The Star Wars Universe?

For the most part, employment among stormtroopers stayed relatively stable. They still remained a major part of the series and are still being employed by the people who made them. Their uniforms, though, may shift from time to time. 

That being said, it’s important to remember that many clone troopers eventually were made into storm troopers. For a while, this gave the stormtroopers a specialized quality that made them more powerful. As clones died off or retired, the quality of stormtroopers began to shrivel. 

Many superfans note that the drop in quality explains why stormtroopers were so mighty in prequels but behaved like inept dropouts during the original trilogy. At one point in Rebels, clone commander Rex bemoaned the quality change in stormtroopers after clones were phased out. 

What Happened To Clone Troopers After The Clone Wars?

The fate of clone troopers after the Clone Wars was truly a tragedy in the Star Wars franchise. After the Clone Wars ended and Order 66 was sent out, the clones were phased out of commission in favor of human soldiers.

Though a large portion of the reasoning behind clone trooper decommissioning had to do with their individuality, there was also another reason. Simply put, they couldn’t keep re-cloning using Jango Fett’s DNA. As a result, they had to start recruiting humans regardless of their interest in keeping the program going. 

With no real clone trooper careers to go to, many of the clones ended up joining stormtrooper ranks simply because they couldn’t really find any other type of employment. Many others ended up doing odd jobs or even performing agricultural tasks throughout the galaxy. 

In terms of societal treatment, clone troopers were basically treated like pariahs by most other people. Due to their forced betrayal of the Jedis, they almost always ended up on the fringes of society after their time as troopers. 

Did All Clone Troopers Betray The Jedis?

The vast majority of clone troopers did, but only because the chips inside their heads forced them to. However, there were a small handful clone troopers who were able to successfully remove the chips inside their heads before the order to exterminate Jedi was issued out. 

Those who were able to remove the chips stayed loyal to their Jedi comrades. Those who didn’t didn’t. 

Who Would Win Between A Stormtrooper And A Clone Trooper?

Due to their extensive training and genetic augmentations, it’s pretty clear that a clone trooper would win. The only time stormtroopers would have a chance against the clones would be if they were significantly aged.

Will Clone Troopers Come Back?

This all depends on what fans mean by “coming back.” 

Clone troopers that were modeled after Jango Fett and were trained by him will probably not see a comeback in movies and shows that happened long after the Clone Wars occurred. The technology available just simply doesn’t have what it takes to resurrect this order of trooper, period. 

However, if you were wondering about clone troopers making appearances in new Star Wars movies, comics, and shows, don’t worry. This line of troops became exceptionally popular among fans, which encouraged writers and producers to focus on them in future stories. 

Brad

Sci-fi lover and Tech Nerd.

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