Blaster pistol, blaster rifle, repeating blaster
Imperial landing craft, Imperial patrol skimmer, dewback
Galactic Empire, stormtrooper
The Empire encompassed thousands of worlds, with countless climate and terrain challenges. Their stormtrooper ranks reflected this through specialized units trained and equipped to operate in specific environments.
The sandtrooper is a desert terrain stormtrooper equipped with modified armor and gear to better withstand missions in harsh, arid locales like Tatooine. While their armor is superficially similar to that of the standard stormtrooper, advanced cooling systems in both their helmets and suits offer these troopers protection from the relentless heat.
The stormtrooper detachment dispatched by Lord Darth Vader to investigate a crashed escape pod on Tatooine just prior to the Battle of Yavin consisted of sandtroopers. They had heavy weapons, survival gear, and shoulder pauldrons denoting rank.
Sandtroopers are largely identical to standard stormtroopers except they have additional training in specialized areas. Their armor consists of an 18-piece anti-blaster cocoon shell with heat-reflective coating worn over a temperature-control body glove. The sandtrooper helmet features automatic polarized lenses, a built-in comlink and breathing filters.
Though a desert is, by technical definition, any area devoid of significant moisture, these stormtroopers are specifically designed for high temperature environments. As such, these soldiers have also been dispatched to hot, wet, tropical terrain operations since their cooling units and sealed water systems are easily modified to cope with such areas.
Instead of depending on machinery that may not function in hostile environments, sandtroopers make use of local creatures for transportation.
The specific detachment dispatched to Tatooine was the Desert Sands unit, led by senior officer DSS-0956. These elite soldiers had training that emphasized independent thinking. All Desert Sands stormtroopers carried heavy blaster rifles, long-range comlinks, and food and water packs.
Sandtroopers wear colored pauldrons as a designation of rank. A stormtrooper sergeant's pauldron is white while an enlisted stormtrooper's pauldron is all black. Squad leaders, who lead units of seven troopers, wear orange shoulder pauldrons.
Though many guides list this armor as specifically used by desert stormtroopers, several sources depict the backpack and shoulder pauldrons on high-ranking members of regular stormtrooper units.