Star Wars Stormtroopers are, obviously, fictional characters. But they're nevertheless some of the most familiar figures in popular culture. Their signature white armored costumes are immediately recognizable on film, and they're often imitated by cosplayers.

The iconic Stormtrooper armor has, however, changed with time. This infographic shows how the armor has evolved since the beginning of the known Star Wars history, from Star Wars: Phantom Menace to the upcoming sequel films beginning with Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.

Perhaps only diehard fans of the Star Wars franchise realized that these costumes changed throughout the years. But the armor actually started out as a much heavier version, designed by Kamino Armorers and Jango Fett. There's also a reason why the armor is white: Kaminoans only see ultraviolet light. Nevertheless, some color existed on the armor, denoting a stormtrooper's rank.

The second phase of the armor included lighter but stronger pieces, as well as padding and polarized lenses. The design became modular for easy customization, and had more colors that represented specific stormtrooper units.

With the arrival of the familiar imperial stormtroopers, armor was only customized as necessary for the role of the clone within. This armor saw colors stripped away in favor of blacks, whites and grays.

Also note that the armor in Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens looks similar to the imperial stormtrooper armor, but there are some differences. Costume designer Michael Kaplan recently explained that both Apple and the uniforms of World War II's Third Reich were inspirations for the new look.

"With the stormtroopers, it was more of a simplification, almost like, 'What would Apple do?'" said Kaplan to Vanity Fair. "J.J. wanted them to look like stormtroopers at a glance, but also be different enough to kind of wow people and get them excited about the new design."

The infographic also shows how stormtrooper weapons have changed throughout their history.

The latest installment in the Star Wars film franchise, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, hits theaters in December.

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