Stormtroopers from
Return of the Jedi
and the Special Edition's

For Return of the Jedi, Made 1981/82, the Lucasfilm needed a significant number of Stormtroopers for the Death Star and Endor scenes - far more than were left over from ESB (themselves hand-me-down's from ANH). They therefore produced 50 or so new Stormtrooper helmets and Armor sets, basing the design on effectively a "recast" of an earlier ANH/ESB helmet and armor. Because of this recasting process - the RotJ versions made in 1981/82 look significantly different from their ANH/ESB counterparts. The design was amended quite significantly by the prop makers in London from the ANH/ESB look (although partly so by accident) and it features a taller, almost squashed or streamlined look with thinner ears. The majority of the helmets had green bubble lenses. Thanks to Veedox for the pic above.

It appears there were two slightly different versions of the helmets, with the majority of them featuring rounded black frowns, Aluminium Mic tips, new RotJ Decals and Hard hat liners (left). However there are also a smaller amount that were finished differently, and these feature squared off frown-ends, resin recast Hovi-Mix mic tips, ESB-Style decals and foam lining (right).

Update October 2009 - We've added a section detailing these two different versions, and whether the Squared Frown version (above right) could have been used in ESB here....


This section is now split into three parts.....

bulletIn-depth Photo Review of an Original RotJ Stormtrooper and Armor Click Here
bulletIn-depth Photo Review of a Restored Original RotJ Stormtrooper Helmet Click Here
bulletOr just continue and read on for the Background Info below....


Rather than use the few remaining sets of helmets and armor produced for ANH in 1976, new moulds were made (cast from an existing suit) but adapted quite significantly giving the RotJ trooper helmets a more "squashed" look. However the recasting process was not without its problems and the right hand side of the face gave way as the mould was being made further accentuating the asymmetrical appearance.

Above, a superb-looking RotJ helmet from the Lucasfilm Archives. Cast off an original ANH helmet it has the tell-tale asymmetry of its parent - and this is especially apparent when you look at the different size/shape cheek tubes. 

Interesting the VERY SAME helmet is featured in the following photos sent to me by Brinn '71 who has some other photos lower down. Brinn worked for LFL in the 90's so was able to don the suit himself on a number of occasions! These shots were taken in 1994/1995.

His name is written on the inside of it, along with another 2 chaps. He also found a pair of riding boots with the name "Harrison Ford" on the inside too! This next photo below is good as it shows how the RotJ armor had a lip running around the major areas like the chest piece.

Also note the design of the hand plates, which are much like the ESB's. The shoulder bells which have a more "pinched" look. Note also that the detailing on the Ab section is upside down! Again many thanks to Brinn 71 for sharing these unique images.

..and below thanks to an anonymous contributor to this site of an original RotJ helmet which looks to be in superb condition when this photo was taken.

Below,these images are of David Oliver's original UK-Studio RotJ trooper helmet. The history of this helmet is very alarming. It spent most of it's life in Blackpool (UK seaside resort near Liverpool) and belonged to an extra from Jedi.

This item was in mint condition until the late 90's when (gasp) the original owner allowed his kids to play with it and run around the house with it on! (Noooooooooooooooo!!!!). The eye lenses have been replaced with replacement green bubble lenses.

Interestingly, this helmet was up for auction on April 10th 2003 at Cooper-Owen here in the UK but didnt reach its reserve: The following is the description from Cooper-Owen: A production used Imperial Stormtrooper helmet, of off-white painted vacu-formed plastic with rubber edging details. The crown and sides are a single unit, and the face panel is an inset panel. With attached ear unit on right hand (left hand side is missing). Inside the helmet is a piece of 'petal' shaped foam padding. Condition: well worn, and some restoration (full details on request) Measures approx. 13 inch (33 cm) high, 12 inch (30 cm) at widest point at base.

Despite its condition, its still a great piece of Star Wars history, so many thanks to the owner for the photo's and info, as well as the update from Cooper Owen.

Next some hi-def screen-grabs of the Rounded Frown (RF) Stormtroopers seen on-set in Elstree above and below on-location. Though it was suggested these were different helmets that's not not seen as the case - its just weathering.

..and below a couple of troopers about to be "owned" by those nice cuddly Ewoks.


Above (excuse the quality of the shots), here's a couple of images of the Helmet auctioned by Lucas, the proceeds of which went to the families of the September 11th victims. 

Above a couple of nice shots from Anson showing the slightly sleeker ROTJ helmet look.

and below shots  showing a fairly camp looking trooper from the MOM exhibition

Below, slightly showing its age it has the hallmarks of the ROTJ helmet

Brinn 71, who's been fortunate to be able to wear the original costumes (ROTJ) as well as the tour suits has said the following:

Velcro held the calves together, but that is all, except for the belt and over-the-shoulder fasteners / shoulder pads. My calves were too big so they gaffer-taped mine shut with white tape (Ed - I've had this same problem with a ROTJ copy too). The arms and thighs were glued- together NOT Velcro. The main body was held together with elastics. The boots just slipped on. 

Under the pelvis was a rubber belt (that slid between the legs) that was bolted into the back piece and clamped into the front cup with a female button on the belt, and a male bolted to the front cup. 

We never wore holsters or the thermal detonators. They were afraid people may try to take them off of us- we wouldn't have known! You really cant see much! 

A belt was worn under the suit to loop the front thigh elastics into to hold them up. I could not sit in my suit! These were made for thin 70's British guys. The gun I had was METAL. In the archives I did see resin ones but mine was always metal. 

The helmet lenses were rounded and green. There were no screen mesh in the mouth holes in the helmet- just holes. An adjustable ring like a construction worker's hat was in the top of the helmet for your head, as was a rubber strap to go under the chin. My name is written on a piece of masking tape and it is inside the helmet (to this day, I think?) along with 3 other names (worn by stunt guys and troopers from the films). I had seen other suits of armour that had wiring in it (we thought maybe for squibs??). The ST belt was bolted to the main front body and Velroed at the back. Not a very comfortable suit unlike the BIKER SCOUT which was! 

Above and below are interesting shots of an original ROTJ-style trooper from one of the UK Exhibitions. The armor's been incorrectly fitted and is therefore showing off the detail around the Ab section and its connections. Thanks to Paul A for these images he took himself. Looking at the frown and ears this could be one of the Square Frowned (SF), potential ESB helmets.
The final 3 shots have been sent to be by Jeremy Firth who's visited a number of the SW exhibitions over the years. These Lucasfilm licensed exhibitions have toured the World over the years and typically the same exhibits such as these RotJ troopers.

These two above and below are from the MOM tour in 1992 and look like a modified RotJ helmet which has had a flat lens fitted (the others missing)

The next one below from the Art of Star Wars Exhibition at the Barbican in London in 2001.

..and below a shot of a RotJ Trooper helmet as it sits in the LFL Archive.

Below a shot from a recent Lucasfilm Exhibition of a screen-used RotJ Stormtrooper helmet. It looks to me like it might be the same helmet as at the top of this page, only slightly restored. Thanks to Grant for sending this photo in.

Finally a shot of one of helmets used in filming, this ones missing its eye lenses and was used by Billy Horrigan, who did some of the stunts for the production.  It was badly damaged at the back - probably from a fall  - so really was a "Stunt" helmet!


Special Edition's and Tour suits

Although they're based on the RotJ design, we've moved the helmets used in the Star Wars Special Editions - along with the Various Tour Promotion suits to their own page.

bulletClick Here for the Special Edition and Tour Stormtroopers.


RotJ Stormtrooper Armour and more info

If you've not already done so and want to further explore the RotJ version Stormtrooper then check these sections out...
bulletIn-depth Photo Review of an Original RotJ Stormtrooper and Armor Click Here
bulletIn-depth Photo Review of a Restored Original RotJ Stormtrooper Helmet Click Here
bullet New RotJ Stormtrooper Comparison Here


To go Back to the Stormtrooper Menu Click here