We already have a decent grasp on what most characters will be doing in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but the Sith Troopers’ role remains a big mystery. Speculation has run rampant over whether they’ll be loyal to Kylo Ren and the First Order or grandpappy Palpatine. Now, an official Episode IX preview from Star Wars Insider magazine may have revealed an unexpected detail about the new red-armored soldiers.
Warning! Speculative spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Prior to his demise, Emperor Sheev Palpatine hid his Sith affiliation from everyone throughout the original trilogy and its prequels. However, the reveal of the Sith Troopers has led some fans to speculate that Palps could position himself as the ruler of a new Sith Empire in Episode IX.
That’s right, forget the Galactic Empire. Palpatine may want to bring back the ancient Sith Empire instead and the first order of business would be to instate the Sith Troopers above the First Order. It may sound ridiculous, but one detail in particular from the pages of Star Wars Insider seems to suggest the Sith Troopers could be even more menacing that we thought.
“The Sith troopers are an elite force of stormtroopers that draw inspiration and power from a dark and ancient legacy,” the description reads.
Does that mean the Sith Troopers might have Force-adjacent powers? Short answer: yes. Even their name implies that these stormtroopers are loyal to the Dark side. It’s possible they studied and trained in the Force while under Palpatine’s guidance prior to his death in Return of the Jedi. After all, these are not simple fighters like the rest of the stormtroopers and the “ancient legacy” detail may be the biggest clue that they’re not clones at all, but ancient Sith warriors devoted to Palpatine.
Now, it’s best to remember that Palpatine revealed his intentions to explore the unknown regions in the Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic books. So it’s possible Palps finally found the unknown region and sent the Sith troopers there until he could return. Either that or they’ve secretly continued their Sith training until they could finally assemble in The Rise of Skywalker.
Finally, the description also says the Sith Troopers are well-trained in unarmed combat, meaning they could very well have the power of the Force at their disposal should their weapons no longer come in handy. Whether or not they have Force powers, though, the Sith Troopers look like they’re ready to cause some trouble.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters December 20.