The Dark Troopers were a set of extremely advanced battle droids which utilized incredibly strong exoskeletons and were protected by heavy plating that resembled the standard armor of a stormtrooper. These Dark troopers carried very powerful weapons and even jump packs, which allowed them to leap high into the air with ease.
So with the Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 4 (CHAPTER 12) confirming that Moff Gideon is creating an army of Dark Trooper soldiers, I’m going to break down exactly what the Dark Troopers are and every single variant of them that we currently know.
The Dark Trooper Project was created during the time of the Empire, by highly esteemed General Rom Mohc. During the Clone wars, Rom Mohc served in the Galactic Republic army as a non-clone officer, and while there he began to develop an obsession with cybernetics and hand to hand combat. Because of his love for hand to hand combat and respect for discipline, he absolutely despised superweapons like the Death Star, and instead began to work on on a project that would later be known as the Dark Trooper Project, inside of his customized starship, called the ARC Hammer.
This project actually had four main phases, so I’ll break them all down.
Phase zero of the project began, when Mohc put his cybernetics skills to use, turning veteran clones from the Clone Wars into gruesome and horrible cyborgs, with their bodies mangled and disfigured into the perfect, cybernetically enhanced soldiers. This part of the Imperial Dark Trooper project wasn’t officially authorised our funded by Imperial leadership and therefore known as the Phase Zero dark troopers. Phase Zero was the first and last phase of the project to use biological life forms.
As the empire began to phase the Clone Troopers out the ranks of the imperial army not long after the Clone Wars, Phase Zero Dark Troopers began to become far less common, and the entire project was eventually shut down. Despite no new Phase zero dark troopers being created, many of them still served in the Imperial army, and it became pretty clear to Imperial leadership that the efficiency of these soldiers was a step above anything the Rebel alliance could come up against.
The Phase Zero soldiers were usually equipped with a simple blast cannons or Modified E-11 blaster rifles known as ARC Casters. On top of this, they used a SE-14r light repeating blaster as a side arm, and carried a large supply of thermal detonators with them also.
Eventually, the Phase Zero troopers continued to be used on the battlefields all the way until shortly before the Battle of Yavin.
Some years later, the Dark Trooper project was finally greenlit and funded by Imperial leadership, allowing Phase 1 of the operation to begin. The main goal of the project this time was to create the next generation of Stormtroopers, who were stronger, faster and more agile than the human born soldiers.