Step aside Phasma, there’s a new badass baddie in a galaxy far far away: Disney has just unveiled a crimson-coloured Sith Trooper that will appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Their role in the movie, apart from selling a bunch of new merchandise? As you’d expect, it’s a closely guarded secret. Making the announcement via YouTube, Star Wars only described the trooper as “the next evolution of the imperial First Order soldier.”
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However, the new stormtrooper still gives us plenty to ponder. Firstly, the name: Sith Trooper. In The Last Jedi, new First Order leader (RIP Snoke) Kylo Ren seemed to want to shake off connections to this evil order – “The Sith, the Jedi, the Rebels… Let it all die.”
Has Adam Driver’s character had a change of heart and effectively become the new Snoke after all? When you think about it, the Sith Troopers look a lot like the old Supreme Leader’s scarlet Praetorian Guards.
Or there’s the possibility that these new troops don’t serve Kylo, but another new leader of the First Order. After all, as the distinctive laugh in the first trailer for The Rise of Skywalker hinted, a resurrected Emperor Palpatine – a Sith Lord – may have a considerable impact on the plot.
Could the troopers be operating until the control of Palpatine? They closely resemble his royal guard from the original trilogy…
And there’s also the helmet. Doesn’t the vertical black line below the eyes of the Sith Trooper look very reminiscent of the original clone troopers, the soldiers Palpatine had a huge hand in creating?
But whether they’re warriors reporting to Kylo or The Emperor, in our books it seems likely they’ll see more action than ceremonial protectors of old. Their functional armour and projectile weaponry suggest Sith Troopers will be a force actively deployed on the battlefield, rather than held back as guards.
If so, here’s hoping they’re more mobile and better shots than previous stormtroopers – they certainly can’t rely on camouflage cover with that red armour.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in UK cinemas on 19th December 2019