Star Wars officially revealed the Sith Troopers last week, but we still have no idea what their role will be in Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. You can probably expect some new information later this week when the new stormtrooper outfits are on display at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, but in the meantime, one Lucasfilm executive may have tweeted a huge hint about the Sith Troopers and their importance to the plot of Rise of Skywalker.
Warning: Possible spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead.
Here’s what we do know about the Sith Troopers: They wear red armor with a Clone Wars-inspired design. They also have the word “Sith” in their name, but don’t expect them to be actual Sith who can use the Force. Oh, and Making Star Wars reports that they will only take orders from Kylo and the Knights of Ren.
That’s it. But according to Matt Martin, a Creative Executive at Lucasfilm Story Group, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will provide some much-needed context for the Sith Troopers. That’s not exactly a surprise (of course the full movie will reveal more), but it’s the context of Martin’s tweet that really has our interest piqued.
As @DaveWilliam24 notes, the idea of Kylo Ren commanding an army of Sith Troopers doesn’t really make sense after Adam Driver’s character renounced both the Sith and the Jedi in Episode VIII. Of course, that attitude could change as Rey comes into her own as a Jedi Master, but the more likely scenario is that something else will influence the creation of the Sith Troopers. Something like Emperor Palpatine.
We know the Emperor will play some sort of role in The Rise of Skywalker, and it will probably be a big one. With the return of a true Sith Lord into the Star Wars universe, is it really a surprise that we’ll also get an entire “Sith” army too?
It’s easy enough to imagine a scenario where Palpatine arrises and claims control of the First Order (or just a part of it). That may have even been his plan all along, similar to the way he took control of the clone army in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
As we previously noted, the fact that these soldiers will explicitly be called “Sith Troopers” rather than something else like Imperial stormtroopers feels significant. In the past, the Emperor always attempted to hide his true Sith nature from everyone, even when he commanded the galaxy. So assuming that the Sith Troopers are connected to Palpatine’s return, we could be looking at an even more dangerous version of the long-time Star Wars villain in The Rise of Skywalker.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.