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Assumably soon after the declaration of the Galactic Empire, the Clone trooper armors were replaced by the new Stormtrooper armors, in order to wipe away all memories and references to the former Grand Army of the Republic. But how soon were they introduced? How long would it take to re-equip an entire galactic army with new armors? When (BBY) did we see the very first Stormtrooper armors that we saw in A New Hope?

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In the legends book Kenobi, Ben noticed that the clone trooper armour was different when he sees some on Tatooine a few months after he has gone into hiding.

We don't know if this was already the stormtrooper armour that we know, or if it was some interim model.

In the Disney Canon this timeframe is not so well covered. However; by the time of Star Wars Rebels, the standard Imperial armour is well-established.

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  • Indeed, it seems rational that the change happened quite soon after the end of the Clone Wars. In Legends, when was the first time, in terms of the in-universe timeline, the standard Stormtrooper armor was shown in a comic book or other graphic product?
    – Essen
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 17:21
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According to the events of Star Wars Battlefront II, Anakin/Darth Vader's personal 501st Legion was equipped with Stormtrooper armour following Order 66:

In recognition of our loyalty and service to the Emperor, the 501st was placed under the direct command of Lord Vader. Armed with deadly new weapons, blazing new ships and shiny new armour, our presence lets the galaxy know that the days of the Old Republic are well and truly over. We were establishing a new era, an era of order and peace. - 501st Journal

The Dark Horse Comics mini-series Darth Vader and the Lost Command showed the 501st Legion in Phase II clone armour led by Darth Vader to conquer the Atoan system in late 19 BBY, the same year as the events of Revenge of the Sith.

According to Battlefront II, the 501st Legion was sent to assassinate Queen Apailana of Naboo in 18 BBY, and they were equipped in Stormtrooper armour.

As one of the Emperor's most favoured legions (considering he personally selected them after the First Battle of Geonosis to be his chosen legion to attack the Jedi Temple), they are likely to be among the first mainstream soldiers to receive the first pick of new military technology. As such, we can reasonably believe that the first batch of the finalised Stormtrooper armour was deployed into the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps by 18 BBY.

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Within a few weeks of the beginning of the Empire

The earliest mention in the Star Wars timeline of the new stormtrooper armor (that I can find) is from the Legends novel Imperial Commando: 501st:

The white-armored stormtroopers didn't scare her..."I suppose they're bored now they haven't got a proper war to fight," the Rodian said. "Nothing better to do with their time. And how much has Palpatine spent on all that new armor? What was wrong with the old style? More taxpayers' credits wasted."

p. 5

This is quote is from the first chapter of the novel, which is dated the "third week of the new era of the Empire".

Replacement of clone trooper armor started even earlier, as given in Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel:

Niner was looking hard at him. "Take your helmet off, Dar. Please? Talk to me."

Darman lifted off his bucket and set it on the table. He preferred his old Katarn rig, but if he was going to change one thing, it didn't matter if everything familiar went down the sewer.

p. 460

That novel gives the date of Order 66 as 1,089 days ABG (After the Battle of Geonosis) at 2120 hours, and the above quote is taken from a chapter dated 1,096 days ABG (i.e. just seven days after Order 66 was issued). It probably took at least a few weeks for new armor to be distributed to all the regular stormtroopers throughout the galaxy, but the change likely started by the same time the Imperial Commandos (former clone Republic Commandos) received their new armor.

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In current canon, Stormtroopers make their first appearance in an early version of their iconic armor in The Bad Batch Season 1, Episode 14: "War-Mantle". The first season takes place in the weeks or months following Revenge of the Sith, so they were around at least as early as 19 BBY. The episode identifies them as "TK troopers", which is the first time the renegade clone trooper protagonists have heard of them, and they're confirmed to be recruits rather than clones.

Image of TK troopers from The Bad Batch

The next confirmed appearance of post-clone Stormtrooper armor in canon I've been able to find is Adventures in Wild Space: The Escape, a young reader book whose cover includes Stormtroopers in their iconic helmets:

Cover of Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space: The Escape

According to Wookieepedia, this takes place earlier than Adventures in Wild Space: The Steal, in which Ezra Bridger appears as a baby. Ezra was born during the events of Revenge of the Sith, so this can't take place much more than a year after 19 BBY.

(Source: https://www.starwars.com/series/the-bad-batch/war-mantle-episode-guide)

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