The Imperial Academy

I have been wondering about the Imperial Academy lately. Is there a reference book that outlines what was offered at the Academy, the different branches of the Imperial Military, and the corresponding ranks and duties therein? — Michelle

Unfortunately, information about the Imperial Academy is rare and not very in depth. None of the references which I own discuss it at all. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia is supposed to have entries on the Imperial Academy, however; unfortunately its cost of $78 with the Amazon discount discourages me from buying it.

The planet Carida
The planet Carida

According to the Wookieepedia, there are various branches of the Academy, the one I am familiar with being at Carida. Corulag Academy, Coruscanti Pilot Institute, Prefsbelt Fleet Camp, Raithal Academy, and Vensenor Flight Academy being the others. One of their sources establishing these as locations, however, is The Imperial Sourcebook, a roleplaying game guide, and I myself have always taken RPG data with a grain of salt where canonicty is concerned.

More easily acceptable books, these being actual novels, describe the Academy at Carida, or at least discuss it in some level of detail. The Dark Forces trilogy, particularly Soldier for the Empire, include some of Dean Williams’ gorgeous paintings of the Academy. Dark Apprentice and Champions of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson also touch on Carida, right before it is destroyed, but be warned that both books are dripping with bias. Han Solo, expelled from one academy, thinks about his experiences in A. C. Crispin’s The Hutt Gambit, but in flashbacks only. Michael A. Stackpole’s Isard’s Revenge also goes to the Academy, but I have not read that one yet and can’t say in what capacity.

The Darklighter comics offer some information, but this depends on how canonical you want to make graphic novels. My answer is “not at all, for the most part,” so that’s that. The Academy trained Stormtroopers on a variety of planets, as well as training for officers, probably much like any Earth military training program. Flight schools for TIE pilots took place on Destroyers and were supplementary to academy education.

So the short answer is, no, there is really very little information to be had on the procedures for training Stormtroopers and Imperial officers. And it’s just possible that with the amount of prejudice held against the Empire, the little that can be found is not necessarily accurate, using the Emperor’s personal evil to paint with a broad brush all the adherents to the system.

If you’d like to drop $80 and send me that Encyclopedia, though, I would so be all over finding out more for you ;)

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