Some exciting Star Wars news dropped yesterday, as the Star Wars Show officially revealed the new Sith Troopers, who will appear in The Rise of Skywalker.
At San Diego Comic Con next week, Lucasfilm is showcasing the history of the stormtrooper design with an exhibit featuring nine different screen-used costumes of stormtrooper variants, including the Sith Trooper. And of course, there will be plenty of merchandise available for those in attendance to buy.
According to the official release, this is “the next evolution in Imperial/First Order soldiers… It’s a modern and more menacing look befitting its namesake.”
Like Lucasfilm always does so well, the design of the Sith Trooper looks really, really cool. The armor looks like it has some elements of several variations of troopers, dating back to the Clone troopers to the Imperial stormtroopers to the First Order stormtroopers. I think that’s pretty cool, and obviously, the red armor makes me think of Cardinal. When we were introduced to Cardinal in the novel “Phasma”, he was the only First Order trooper to wear red armor – a special sign of status. But now, it seems a whole force of troopers wear red armor, and obviously Cardinal is no longer with the First Order.
The question is how much the Sith Troopers are actually with the First Order. The name is very provocative, because the idea of Sith Troopers creates a number of questions story-wise. Kylo Ren isn’t a Sith in the sequel trilogy, and neither is Snoke. In fact, Kylo wanted to let the Sith die in The Last Jedi. Unless something has drastically changed in the year or so in-between films, Kylo Ren isn’t a Sith. So having a force of troopers called Sith Troopers serving in Kylo Ren’s First Order is very interesting and curious. The most logical next step to take, then, is that the Sith Troopers have some sort of connection to Palpatine, and since Palpatine will return in some way in TROS, the Sith Troopers may factor into things.
As you can see in the above image, next to the name “Sith Trooper” there is a logo that I don’t believe we’ve seen before. But thanks to a leaked image from an upcoming book that was posted on Reddit, it looks like it’s the Sith symbol. And while the design of the Sith Trooper is obviously very much in line with the First Order stormtroopers, there’s nothing besides that to immediately suggest that this is a First Order trooper. I actually think it’d be pretty cool to see these troopers as part of Palpatine’s contingency plan (remember, Palpatine’s Couruscant Guard wore red, his royal guards wore red, and his sentinels wore red), ultimately loyal to him. They could serve Kylo Ren until Kylo’s motivations contradict with Palpatine’s, or until Palpatine returns, or something like that. I think that would make for an interesting storyline.
But the official release said that this is the next iteration of the Imperial and First Order troopers, so I think we have to assume that these troopers have at least some loyalty to the First Order. But most concretely of all, Making Star Wars’s Jason Ward – who has been all over this report, saying long ago that there would be red Sith Troopers in Episode IX – wrote that, “One of the more concrete elements I had heard about the troopers is that they only answer to Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren in the film and that this has some plot significance.”
So there you go. It seems that these troopers report only to Kylo Ren as the First Order’s Supreme Leader and his Knights of Ren. And as to what significance that might have to the plot? I wonder if it could have something to do with divided alliances at some point in the film. What if General Hux decides to attempt a coup against Kylo, and the Sith Troopers stay loyal to Kylo against Hux’s forces? Or what if the Knights of Ren turn on Kylo, perhaps taking the Sith Troopers with them? I think there are plenty of possibilities.
I can’t wait to figure out what these Sith Troopers are all about, but we now officially know about them and have seen our first look!