They’re baaaaaack! J.J. Abrams stunned fandom when he unveiled the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at Star Wars Celebration. That teaser concluded with the revelation that Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, aka Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid, whose appearance at Celebration brought the crowd to its feet), would return for the final installment in the Skywalker Saga.
But he’s not the only Sith in the mix. A battalion of crimson-plated Sith troopers is set to challenge our ragtag trio of Resistance fighters: Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) as they attempt to bring balance back to their corner of the far, far away galaxy. And this new division of the classic Star Wars stormtroopers let their uniforms do the talking about where their allegiances lie: it’s no accident that those blood-red battle suits recall the Imperial Royal Guard in Return of the Jedi.
First official look at the Sith Trooper from 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'. The toy will appear at San Diego Comic-Con. pic.twitter.com/BBAe4Qf4jI— Lights, Camera, Pod (@LightsCameraPod) July 10, 2019
The Sith trooper reveal provides the latest evidence that Abrams is approaching The Rise of Skywalker as a grand culmination to a story that has played out across four decades and nine saga-specific films. He’s doing that by bringing elements of all three trilogies together via a road trip-style narrative that sends Rey and her friends on a galaxy-traversing adventure. They’ll potentially be visiting some familiar planets (like Yavin 4) and definitely encountering some familiar faces, most notably that charming caped rogue, Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams).
No matter what their initial mission is, though, all roads eventually lead to Palpatine and his Sith troopers. After all, if Skywalker is to rise, the Sith must fall ... right? Speaking with StarWars.com, Lucasfilm archivist Madlyn Burket — who will be co-producing a stormtrooper specific exhibit at San Diego Comic-Con — calls attention to the “unique aesthetics” of the new armor. “It has some subtle ties to previous stormtrooper designs, which I think fans will enjoy discovering,” she adds, teasingly.
You can bet dollars to druggats that Star Wars fans are already doing deep dive dissections into the story behind these Sith troopers.
@missingwords Sith Trooper? Is it just a subtle nod to the fact that Sith are coming back in TROS?— Wojciech M. (@mossar_pl) July 10, 2019
They won’t go down as one of my favorite Trooper designs, but the Sith Troopers are another fine addition to the ever growing list of cool looking Troopers in #StarWars! But the thing that actually has me most excited about them, is the fact that they are called Sith Troopers. pic.twitter.com/n0iKPoKa45— Tim Geraci (@TimG311) July 10, 2019
Certainly their presence raises some interesting questions for the future of the Star Wars universe. Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi already revealed that Force sensitivity isn’t exclusive to the Jedi Order: even the daughter of junk traders or a Canto Bight stablehand can reach out and touch the Force. Does that mean that these Sith troopers are similarly Force-enabled?
“Sith Trooper” Hrm...— Jaclyn: The Lesbian Jedi (@Jbandos) July 10, 2019
Are they force sensitive and trained to use the Dark Side or is Kylo just trying to be as edgy as possible when he names his most elite soldiers? (So much for letting the past die Ben lmao) pic.twitter.com/vX3CsXwHeD
Sith Troopers revealed!— Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Archive (@sw_archive) July 10, 2019
Will they use the Force? pic.twitter.com/7bbq7iuFHD
One thing to note is the Sith trooper’s vibro blade, so they’re skilled in sword combat—a jack of all trades with these four weapons.— Friends of the Force - A Star Wars Podcast (@FriendsOfForce) July 10, 2019
Feeling a lightsaber fight with these baddies is due. pic.twitter.com/vGeOtMDgi8
Maybe these new Sith Troopers can channel the force and actually aim their blasters correctly to hit their targets.— Captain SAM-Vel (@animal2nd) July 10, 2019
This could seriously be a new ballgame here folks. 🤭🤫
And then there’s the Kylo Ren of it all. Has young Ben Solo christened himself a Sith? And if so, how does his granddaddy’s old boss feel about that?
I surmise that instead of Kylo Ren using these new Troopers (as the author says), they are related to Emperor Palpatine, somehow. “Star Wars Reveals New Sith Trooper Design.” #StarWars #riseofskywalker https://t.co/pmn88h0JuK— Xavier -I (@xarmanno) July 10, 2019
For all of #KyloRen's talk of 'killing the past', he's still completely trapped by it. That's the entire point of TLJ's final act in regards to his character. So yes, it's quite possible he named the Sith troopers. #TheRiseofSkywalker— robotical712🔆 (@robotical712) July 10, 2019
WAIT: Didn't Kylo Ren say he wanted the Sith to die? Since when is he so keen on Sith Troopers? pic.twitter.com/ovOTmANFtT— Meredith Loftus (@MeredithLoftus) July 10, 2019
#ColliderJediCouncil with the announcement of Sith Troopers appearing in TROS, who do you think they will be serving? Will it be Kylo Ren or Darth Sidious? Hmm...— Sith Lord Thrash (@sithlordthrash) July 10, 2019
And finally, if these troopers are Palpatine’s minions, how long have they been lying in wait to execute his orders?
palpatine’s sentinel messenger droids in bf ii share the same sharp, glossy red colouring as the sith troopers.— hikikomori povich (@SarahSahim) July 10, 2019
i’m starting to think the presence of red in the sequel trilogy is meant to make us connect palpatine’s direct influence to whatever’s being carried out onscreen. pic.twitter.com/M4ZPXFNcyu
Can I go off the gd rails here to wonder who the SITH Troopers are? If they are Palpatine’s I suspect they are clones...— Star Warship (@StarWarshipper) July 10, 2019
Could they be clones of REY?? Could she be a terfed Palpatine clone? pic.twitter.com/pEZRjr7Ojw
The battlefront 2 story makes so much sense now... remember that Palpatine talking to Versio? Resurrection? The base on Jakku? It’s all connected. I’m telling you those sith troopers were sent by Sidious, even though they only listen to kylo/the knights of ren. Sidious’s plan?— Sinead ✨ Star Crossed 💫 (@Reylo_Revan) July 10, 2019
It's looking like with the red stormtroopers being officially named "Sith Troopers" that we're going to find out Palpatine really has been orchestrating this whole thing from the shadows...over 30 years after his "death"— hoob (@LightofLothal) July 10, 2019
I mean, that's just my opinion. We'll see what happens.
Here’s the only question we have: do we really have to wait until December to see these super troopers in action? C’mon J.J.—there’s no time like Comic-Con to drop another trailer.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on Dec. 20. Watch J.J. Abrams tease the new film:
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