First off, I have only seen the seven episodic films in the Star Wars franchise. I am aware of vast amounts of other canon and non-canon sources available. Much of the fun I have on this Stack Exchange site is reading the about some of these questions.

From reading here and following links to Wikipedia or Wookieepedia I have seen that once the events of Episode I to III are completed, the Empire switched from clones to regular humans prior to the events of Episode IV. This system seems to be in place through Episode VI. When we get to Episode VII humans are still being used.

From what I understand from the troops in Episodes IV - VI the humans are recruited, conscripted, or volunteer for service in the Empire (hence Luke mentioning wanting to go to the Academy). This would mean they some (if not many) Stormtroopers have a family of sorts. However, by the events of Episode VII it seems that the First Order is stealing/kidnapping (?) children to train them to be soldiers (Finn's comments on the matter suggest this).

So, to get to my question, I assume that clones (I-III) and kidnapped children (VII) would probably not need to be paid. The recruits/volunteers from Episodes IV-VI would be the most likely to be paid/rewarded. As we see with armies here on Earth, a soldier is paid even when drafted (formal armies like the US anyway). I would think there is something similar in place for the Empire or there would be no talk of an Academy or recruits, the Empire would just conscript their soldiers. Do we see any instances of Stormtroopers being paid/rewarded for their service?

Disney canon is preferred, but Legends are acceptable.

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    I imagine payment goes something like this: “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.”
    – Molag Bal
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 14:09
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    @amaretto This deal gets worse all the time. Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 15:09
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    the turks kidnapped children in the balkans and forced them to fight. they rose to ranks to command armies and got paid well. What makes you think they would be treated any differently than other soldiers? Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 15:52
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    When Luke mentions going to the Academy, I don't take that to mean that he would enlist with the Empire, particularly considering that he is in the presence of the rebellion at the time and seems to know some of them quite well. Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 19:49
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    They gotta get paid or there'd be a nasty revolt on their hands .It's like "let's see you force-choke all 10 million of us. "
    – coburne
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 19:40

3 Answers 3


According to the new (and canon) short story Born in the Storm, Stormtroopers are indeed paid.

We learn that their pay is subject to sanction along with other disciplinary measures if they fail to complete incident forms correctly.

And remember, failure to comply with proper Imperial military protocol can result in disciplinary action including docked pay, loss of equipment, expulsion, and/or summary execution. Remember also that this is an official imperial document and any discrepancy between what you write and what actually occurred is an infraction of the Imperial military protocol. Thank you for your service!

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    That is written like it came from the game Paranoia!
    – ShadoCat
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 17:44

In the new canon book "Battlefront: Twilight Company" - we follow the story of a female volunteer Stormtrooper on Sullust named Thara Nyende.

In Chapter 3 we see:

She'd joined with the intention of serving one tour of duty, making more money than she possibly could elsewhere

We later see her distributing extra credits, supplies, and rations to her family and friends, so she appears to be receiving some manner of legitimate compensation

from Kindle version, page 121

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    Unless i'm wrong, Kindle's page numbers depend on your screen size. You'd be better off quoting the location instead. Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 15:35
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    You are sort of wrong @AayushAgrawal - newer books do include page numbers that are different from the relative location identifier (this also depends on the publisher I believe) - macworld.com/article/1157919/kindle_app_real_pages.html
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 15:51

Stormtroopers apparently have some kind of low-paying pension scheme:

Dr. Aphra holding a device and saying, "The Imperial stormtrooper pension scheme isn't exactly market leading, Bossk. They're not letting anyone with anything other than a program in their head anywhere near the rich stuff. Get ready..."

(Darth Vader #8, Disney canon)


The Imperial stormtrooper pension scheme isn't exactly market leading, Bossk. They're not letting anyone with anything other than a program in their head anywhere near the rich stuff. Get ready...

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    Maybe include a transcription of the text for people whose computers can't load all images. The words are so tiny in the image. :)
    – RedCaio
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 9:46
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    And additionaly maybe note what this is exactly expressing?!
    – Zaibis
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 11:11
  • @Zaibis To be honest, I'm not completely sure whether I understand it myself. The panel is from the beginning of a comic where Dr. Aphra (the character pictured here) is trying to steal a bunch of Imperial loot, but I don't get how stormtroopers not making very much money when retired is related to the security around the loot.
    – Milo P
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 17:51
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    @MiloPrice maybe that minimum wage guards are more likely to either pilfer the loot themselves, or run away when attacked. So they guard the good stuff with the better-paid elite guards?
    – gbjbaanb
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 15:01
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    Not just "elite guards" but those either robotic and following strict priorities without choice (literally programmed) or fervently loyal to the death (figuratively programmed). @gbjbaanb
    – Nij
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 1:03

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