storm trooper


noun

a member of the storm troops.
a member of the Sturmabteilung of Nazi Germany.

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Origin of storm trooper

First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

ABOUT THIS WORD

What else does storm trooper mean?

In Star Wars, stormtroopers (spelled as one word) are soldiers for the evil Empire. An iconic part of Star Wars, they are clad, head to tie, in white armor, and are armed with ray guns (called blasters) that they are notoriously bad at aiming.

Over the following decades, storm troopers would appear in numerous Star Wars media and merchandise, and became one of the most recognizable elements of the Star Wars universe—and in science fiction.

What are some other words related to storm trooper?

wookiee
Jedi
droid
Baby Yoda
storm troops
shock troops
Nazi
Sturmabteilung
Brownshirts

Where does storm trooper come from?

Stormtroopers first appear as the soldiers of the Galactic Empire in George Lucas’s 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope. They serve as the main infantry of the Empire, and figure as antagonistic henchmen in a great number of Star Wars media.

The name stormtrooper comes from the real-life storm troopers (often spelled as two words) of the German military in the 20th century. A storm trooper is a member of storm troops, also called shock troops, which are trained for sudden assaults. They carried out attacks in World War I and in World War II, and they were a politica militia of the Nazi party (see Sturmabteilung or Brownshirts). The English storm troops is a direct translation of the German Sturmtruppen. Yep, the Star Wars Empire is intentionally modeled after the Nazis.

Star Wars stormtroopers were the brainchild of director George Lucas, and their appearance was designed by concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, who designed many of the now-iconic Star Wars characters. Stormtroopers’ distinctive white armor was manufactured by movie prop maker Andrew Ainsworth, who collaborated with Star Wars costume designer John Mollo. The armor was intended to make them look identical and as if they were born with it on—replaceable, mindless soldiers.

How is storm trooper used in real life?

Darth Vader, droids, light sabers, Chewbacca, Han Solo, Yoda, stormtroopersstormtroopers are part of the very fiber of Star Wars. They are featured in numerous Star Wars films, books, video games, toys, Halloween costumes, and every other conceivable kind of Star Wars merchandise. They will likely continue in their beloved role as the many and disposable foot soldiers in the Star Wars universe—though the color of the signature white armor has changed in various installments of the franchise.

Among Star Wars fans, one long-running joke is that stormtroopers have terrible aim. It’s so bad, in fact, that it’s even joked about in official Star Wars media itself, such as in the 2019 TV series The Mandalorian.

More examples of storm trooper:

“Lethbridge police are being investigated by an outside force after handcuffing a woman in a stormtrooper costume outside a Star Wars-themed business earlier this week.”
—Rachel Ward, CBC News, May 2020

“… the official ‘Star Wars’ site released the first images of ‘Sith Troopers,’ the newest incarnation of the franchise’s iconic Empire soldiers. Distinguished from ordinary ‘Star Wars’ stormtroopers by their bright red color instead of white, they also feature intricately detailed armor rather than mainly smooth curves.
—Ross A. Lincoln, The Wrap, July 2019

British Dictionary definitions for storm-trooper

storm trooper

noun

a member of the Nazi SA
a member of a force of shock troops
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012