It’s rare that we get to peek under the helmets of the Empire’s Stormtrooper corps, but the short Star Wars fanfilm Jakku: First Wave does just that by showing the moments before one of the franchise’s biggest battles.
Jakku: First Wave follows a trio of Stormtroopers deployed to the surface of the desert planet seen in The Force Awakens. The caption that leads the film says that none of the troopers survived the initial assault, which makes this story all the more depressing. As they prepare to join the battle, they reflect on why they joined. One joined because his friends thought he couldn’t hack it, another because he liked the armor, while the third joined because his brother died on the second Death Star.
Directed by Benjamin Eck, he noted that the film was partially "inspired by real life stories from US soldiers." There is certainly a Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers vibe to the film.
There’s a handful of stories about Stormtroopers out there: Timothy Zahn’s legacy novel Allegiance and Doug Beason’s short story When the Desert Wind Turns provided their own look at the lives of the empire’s faceless soldiers, to say nothing of several episodes from The Clone Wars and Rebels. This film might not be canon, but it’s a nice, thoughtful moment amidst the galactic rebellion.