There are new Stormtroopers coming to Star Wars – as it was revealed on the Star Wars Show that in The Rise of Skywalker, a new army of foot soldiers called Sith Troopers will be involved, and they've got a menacing new armour.
If there is one thing we can take away from the title reveal for the forthcoming – and final entry into the Star Wars trilogy of trilogies – is that if Skywalker must rise, then the Sith is gonna have to fall. Though to get to the top and defeat Darth Sidious, otherwise known as Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), you've got to get through his merry band of faceless, inhuman foot soldiers – and we've since learnt that they now come in a brand new colour: red.
Following a teaser trailer at the Star Wars Celebration, where we became aware of Palpatine's return, we now know that he'll be joined by Sith Troopers – equipped with a new design; a crimson battle outfit. But what does this actually mean for the J.J. Abrams production? And why are we suddenly so excited?
Lucasfilm archivist Madlyn Burkert said of the new attire, “It has some really unique aesthetics to it, and some subtle ties to previous Stormtrooper designs which I think fans will enjoy discovering”.
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With that in mind you can't help but draw parallels to the Imperial Royal Guard from Return of the Jedi – another elite unite of armed forces task with protecting Palpatine, also in a red uniform. They came with the added advantage of being force sensitive. Uh-oh.
Some fans do seem perturbed that enough hasn't been done to update the Stormtroopers however, as it appears a change of colour is the only alteration. But perhaps sticking to what we know could be seen as a good thing. After all, we're set to head to familiar territory in planets like Yavin 4 – while we're also excited about the return of Billy Dee Williams's Lando Calrissian, not to mention our heroic trio of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac).
Though they're going to have their work cut out, because if these new Sith troopers are fighting for Palpatine you can't help but wonder how long he's been lying in wait – and whether he's been orchestrating the whole thing from behind the shadows... Guess we'll find out in 161 days. Not that we're counting.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out on 19 December.