Not too long after the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the Death Star, Lord Vader was bent on capturing Luke Skywalker. Emperor Palpatine allowed Vader to furiously search for the force wielder, dispatching thousands of search units across the galaxy. Vader had little faith in the capabilities of army and naval troopers, therefore secretly tasked bounty hunters, elite squadrons and a handful of the few remaining Inquisitors to pursue Skywalker. Following a lead reported by an older model probe droid on the wasteland planet Mimban, Vader summoned Sergeant Kreel to discuss the mission. Sergeant Kreel was an elite member of Vader’s 501st legion and one of the only Stormtroopers trained in lightsaber combat. Onboard the Star Destroyer Agonizer, Kreel escaped from his chambers to the bridge to accept the transmission from Vader. Kreel was assigned a squad handpicked by Vader, some of the best in the Imperial Army. The squad consisted of Officer Stylo Vane, bounty hunter 7-CEL, 501st stormtroopers and death troopers. Vader instructed Kreel to depart for Mimban with his squad and rendezvous with a band of Mudtroopers on the surface…
Kreel’s squad of troops was a bit of an oddball when looking in from the outside, although Vader knew the capabilities of each trooper.
Stylo Vane – Stylo’s father, Kanix Vane, served as one of Palpatine’s royal guards during the clone wars, and was killed during the Battle of Coruscant. A child at this time, Stylo blamed his father’s death on the Jedi, believing they betrayed the Chancellor and the Republic. Stylo grew up with his wealthy aunt and uncle, who were close with Palpatine. The former Chancellor, now Emperor, saw Stylo’s lust for revenge against the Jedi, and when he was old enough, was referred to the Imperial Purge Trooper program. As a phase 2 purge trooper, Stylo Vane served alongside Vader and the Inquisitors to hunt the remaining Jedi across the galaxy. Years passing by, and most of the Jedi eradicated, Stylo became an officer within the Imperial Security Bureau. Still regarded as one of the Empire’s finest Jedi killers, Vader endorsed Vane as a candidate for the squad.
7-CEL – 7-CEL is a LOM series protocol droid whom was originally enslaved on Kessel by the Pikes working in the spice mines. Most of the LOM series droids were a catastrophic marketing failure and became prone to malfunctioning over time. During the droid liberation on Kessel, 7-CEL’s programming was scrambled and caused it to show signs of human-like behavior. The droid’s memory and emotional stability dwindled. He was eventually recruited by the Pike Syndicate, the same group that enslaved him on Kessel. The Pike’s noticed the droid’s quirks and utilized it as a military asset for Crimson Dawn. 7-CEL performed missions and jobs for the Pikes, although the droid always kept its own agenda.
The Planet Mimban
Kreel and his unit began their hyperspace jump to the Expansion Region, where Mimban resides… Mimban has been a war-torn planet for decades. During the Clone Wars, the Republic sought to free the Mimbanese people of Separatist control, succeeding with the help of Jedi General Laan Tik and the 224th Mudjumper Division. Shortly after the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire, the 224th was again tasked with liberating the planet and its people… Although this time liberating meant conquering.
Palpatine had an extreme interest in the planet’s resources and the abundance of Jedi curios from the Clone Wars. The original invasion of Mimban was thought to be a swift victory for the empire, but ended up lasting 14 years. Many clones from the 224th were lost within the first three months, the Empire started conscripting Imperial prisoners for the war effort.
With 14 years of conflict, the swampy, forested planet was reduced to a barren wasteland on over three fourths of its surface. The remaining 224th Division have shifted their focus to furthering the acquisition of Jedi relics in the areas of Mimban that have yet to be war torn.
Rendezvous with Corporal Lexington
Landing on the foggy, damp, forested surface of Mimban, Sergeant Kreel assembles his squadron to mount up and move forward to meet with Corporal Lexington of the 224th Division. Trudging through the icy marshlands, Kreel and his troops were encapsulated in surreal peace… Not a sound of blaster fire or explosions to be heard.
Carrying on for hours, the elite squadron finally caught up with the Lexington’s 224th. The Corporal’s unit looked beat and battered; Their armored scorched, stained with ash and mud. Lexington’s unit consisted of himself, a reprogrammed Imperial RA-90 protocol droid, a sparing number of wet-weather stormtroopers and a slew of conscripted Mudtroopers. Kreel was appalled at the representation of the Empire that these troopers exuded, although this was the harsh reality for the trooper deployed in the Expansion Region of the galaxy.
Ambushed by Rebel Mimban Forces
Lexington was baffled as to why elite troopers were dispatched to Mimban. Lexington’s mission for the past tours have been to simply find treasure and survive attacks from the native Mimbanese rebels. Kreel clued Lexington in to why the elites were assigned to Mimban… Lexington was in quite terror when discovering that Kreel was hunting the man responsible for the destruction of the Death Star. Soon his horror faded and Lexington was eager to help in capturing Skywalker and avenge his fallen brothers who had been killed in the Battle of Yavin.
Kreel became reluctant that Lexington’s emotions would soil Vader’s mission, therefore made the two squadrons split up to track Skywalker. Sending two of his sparkly white Stormtroopers with Lexington, Kreel wanted them to ensure Skywalker wasn’t killed.
Splitting ways to begin the hunt, Lexington’s unit headed south-east. Walking aimlessly for clues, the environment around the squad became more and more bleak. The lush, natural ecosystem slowly turned more barren as they approached a front that had seen battle before. It appeared to be an old village, although all that remained were signs of war. Abandoned rebel tanks, rusted ion cannon shells, scrap metal thrown about, troopers half buried in the mud… None of this phased the 224th. The RA-90 droid halted, spotting a brassy colored object in the mud near one of the marooned tanks. Dead silence disturbed by the sudden scorch of blaster fire and explosions. It was a Rebel ambush.
Jedi High Noon
Little to Lexington’s knowledge, the rebel attack was not only Mimbanese locals, but the attack was spearheaded by Luke Skywalker himself. In a panicked flurry of blaster fire and lightsaber slashes, the 224th commed to Kreel that the Jedi had been found. One by one the Imperials were cut down and subdued by the rebel forces. Lexington and his men stood no match for Skywalker.
In the aftermath of the skirmish, only Skywalker remained. Lexington and his men has been crushed by the strength of the force-wielder. Tracking down the 224th’s position during the fight, Kreel and his men finally caught up. Armed to the teeth, Kreel was ready for anything Skywalker attempted.
Kreel would not fail Vader…
Seargent Kreel, Agent 5241
Born on Chagar IX, Kreel spent his youth as a combatant in fighting pits, competing in deathmatches for the pleasure of the planet’s elites. His entire life was changed when the Empire arrived on the planet. Overthrowing the warlords and freeing Kreel’s people, the Empire became the object of Kreel’s obsession and admiration. Joining the Imperial Academy, Kreel rose through the ranks before he was placed undercover on Nar Shadaa as “The Gamemaster” in Grakkus the Hutt’s arena. After arresting Grakkus with the arrival of Luke Skywalker, Kreel became the Seargent of the SCAR Squadron, a group of elite Stormtrooper specialists, dedicated to the eradication of the Rebel Alliance.
LOM Series Droids
The LOM-series protocol droid, also known as a LOM-series droid was a model of protocol droid manufactured by Industrial Automaton. They were designed with insectile features to emulate the species they were created to serve, the sentient Gand. Due to Cybot Galactica’s hold over the protocol droid market with their 3PO-series, the LOM-series was a spectacular failure when Automaton attempted to introduce it, with even Arakyd Industries’ RA-7 protocol droid selling more.
Mimban – Mudtroopers – Stormtroopers
The swamp troopers of the 224th Imperial Armored Division fought on the swamp planet of Mimban during the Mimban Campaign, which saw the Empire battle forces of the Mimbanese Liberation Army for control of the planet and its vital resources.
Longing for a life of adventure and purpose, Skywalker joined the Rebellion and began learning the ways of the Force under the guidance of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, whose first apprentice was Luke’s own father. During the Battle of Yavin in 0 BBY, Skywalker saved the Alliance from annihilation by destroying the Empire’s planet-killing superweapon, the Death Star. He continued his training in the years that followed, determined to become a Jedi Knight like his father before him, and found a new mentor in Grand Master Yoda. After his master’s death, Skywalker participated in the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, during which he confronted the Sith Lord Darth Vader, whom he learned was in fact his father, Anakin Skywalker. With Luke’s help, Anakin returned to the light side of the Force by killing Galactic Emperor Darth Sidious at the cost of his own life, fulfilling his destiny as the Chosen One.
Death troopers, also known as death soldiers, were an elite variant of stormtroopers specializing in stealth, espionage and lethality that served the Galactic Empire. Operating under Imperial Intelligence as the death trooper division, they acted as a protective detail for significant Imperial officers and members of the Tarkin Initiative, as well as special-assignment commandos. They wore black suits of body armor and specialized helmets with vocal scramblers, micro-motion sensors, and heads-up displays with data on enemy and friendly positions on the battlefield. Death troopers were trained in unarmed combat, heavy weapons, demolitions, improvised weaponry, guerrilla warfare, and marksmanship. Experts at covering their tracks, death troopers left little to no evidence of their missions. Identifiable by their distinct black armor, death troopers struck fear in the heart of anyone who crossed them.
Background and Timeline
Between the events of Star Wars A New Hope and Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back, a potention yet fiction series of events occurs within the galaxy. Not all characters within this photo narrative are Canon to the exsiting timeline and story, although the Galaxy is enormous.
For starters, this photo narrative is an expansion on work I created in 2019 for the first photography class at New England Institute of Technology. The first attempt in 2019 was a non-coherent story that simply encapsulated what is possible with photographing toys and action figures.
Jumping four years later, we were given the opportunity in our Senior class to create a project that was up to our desire. I decided to venture back into toy photography, but this time create a short narrative that went alongside the photos. I also wanted to add post-production effects to the photos I captured, to add more of a sense of realism.