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The Stormtroopers have been the foot soldiers of the Empire and they continue this function with the First Order. But this new encarnation of the evil in the galaxy has made certain modifications to the main resource for terrorizing planets and enforcing their will. This new movie showed not only a modernized Stormtrooper, but several variations of the basic armor.
Continue after the break to read about the different types of First Order Stormtroopers.
The Stormtroopers have their real origins during the Clone Wars. The Clone Trooper armor evolved rapidly during the many years of the Clone Wars, and ranks were shown with colors and special modifications. They also had specific equipment for the different specialties and jobs the Clone Troopers performed. Palpatine's regime reduced the armor usage to a more simple design. Although the armor was modified (to what we know as the classic Stormtrooper), the Empire didn't allow any personalization of it. The First Order continues with this "tradition" of suppressing any type of modifications that shows any sign individuality since this will take their minds off their duties and total obedience to their organization. This goes as far as denying all Stormtroopers of any kind of identification beyond their serial numbers. Troop leaders are allowed to wear shoulder pads to show their ranks. The only special armor showed so far in The Force Awakens, has been the chrome armor used by Captain Phasma.
Under the First Order regime, the basic First Order Stormtrooper armor has three variations (this doesn't include either the Flame Trooper or the Snow Trooper). These variations, depending on their equipment, are: the classic (basic) armor, the riot control armor, and the heavy gunner armor.
Although the New Republic forbade the use and mobilization of Stormtrooper forces, the First Order kept on training Stormtroopers. The basic armor has an improved joint design in the knees that allows greater flexibility than the imperial-era armor. Their helmets, made of composite betaplast, lack advanced electronics for imaging and scouting. This was done to reduce the helmets weight to allow more mobility in the field. They also possess a limited filtration system and an integrated communicator.
Their basic arsenal consist of a SONN-BLAS SE 44C blaster pistol and a SONN-BLAS F-11D blaster rifle with removable parts to make it more convenient for battle. FN-2187 or Finn is a good example of a classic Stormtrooper with a basic armor.
Their training is mostly focused on improvisation in the battle field and guerrilla tactics.
Riot Control Stormtrooper
The First Order doesn't possess the military power that the Empire once did. Their Stormtroopers ranks are smaller. Because of this, The First Order realized that they needed to train specialized forces to deal with specific situations like crowd control and counter-insurgency operations.
The Riot Control Stormtrooper utilizes a basic armor and carries a SONN-BLAS F-11D blaster rifle for when lethal force is needed. It also carries two non-lethal weapons to suppress unruly citizens into submission:
Heavy Gunner Stormtrooper
This specialized Stormtrooper is used in extreme situations. It's main weapon is a SONN_BLAS FWMB-10 repeating blaster, also known by the Stormtroopers as a Megablaster. They carry a web gear that holds extra ammunition.
To help them in the battlefield, the First Order Stormtroopers' weaponry boasts precision manufacture, rugged designs, and efficient energy cells for greater accuracy in battle.