“New” Stormtroopers in Star Wars: Rogue One

Unless you live under a rock (or you’re just not into scifi or Star Wars, which is inexcusable) you’ve probably seen the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There was this whole post about it on an awesome blog too, with lots of screenshots. Seeing classic Imperial Stormtroopers running around in all their doofy, plastic glory and getting punched in the face was amazing.

Trooper Fight 1trooperPUNCH

I haven’t done much in-depth research yet; and I can’t wait to see what exact version(s) of the classic stormtrooper kit Rogue One is going with. There were multiple versions of the armor in the original trilogy, and even differences within the same film (sandtrooper and stormtrooper armor in Episode IV has a lot of minor differences)! The fact that the filmmakers put an Episode IV style Star Destroyer in this movie rather than the more widely known Empire and Jedi versions (check the hull and “radar tower” on that ISD in the trailer!) shows that they paid close attention to details like this. I’ll be sure to do a detailed analysis as we get more screenshots from Rogue One, but this post is not about the classic redshirt goons we all know and love. Today we’re going to take a look at the newest members of the stormtrooper corps family.

Shadowtrooper2

A friend of mine complained about the trailer throwing out all these new trooper types that we never during the trilogy, but I don’t see the problem. Sandtroopers, snowtroopers, and scout troopers each appear in just one out of three movies, after all. The Stormtrooper Corps is the Galactic Empire’s Swiss Army Knife, with specialized divisions for diverse environments/mission types throughout the galaxy.

First let’s check out this cool tank crew:

troopertank

The troops manning this hover(?)tank appear to have a retractable eye-shield, and the lower part of the helmet looks like it has less detail then the regular stormtrooper facemask (but that could be distance/smoke obscuring it). Perhaps the whole mask is  heavily armored, which would make sense for the crew of a vehicle who are around heavy weaponry and sit in exposed positions.

Who they remind me of:

AT-TEgunner

“AT-TE Tank Gunners;” clones who were…AT-TE tank gunners. I don’t think these guys appeared in Revenge of the Sith, and I’m not sure whether they come from concept art or are an original Hasbro creation. But they fulfill a similar role to these new mystery troopers and also have extra armor on their helmets.

Next up we have Imperial Transit Cops:

Subway2

These beige-armored guys are visible in what appears to be an Imperial subway station located on…the Death Star? Coruscant? The New Jersey Meadowlands? You can get a closer view of their helmet at the top of this article. They have an eyeshield (?) similar to the troopers in the tank, and their vertical mouthpiece is almost identical to the scout troopers seen on Endor in Return of the Jedi (as is their lack of thigh armor). Are these an earlier iteration of scout trooper, or perhaps a division related to the security of the Death Star’s construction site?

Who they remind me of:

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The well-known scout troopers from Return of the Jedi, as well as the early version of that armor seen in Revenge of the Sith. The clones who piloted AT-RTs in that movie also spring to mind.

Man, the CGI on those clonetroopers…woof.

Finally, we have the coolest new stormtroopers visible in the trailer:

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These guys wear black armor and a modified helmet, otherwise their gear appears similar to standard stromtroopers (though I’m not positive about the accuracy of that full body picture, it may be a fan creation). They appear to be heavily involved in the hunt for these Rebels who boosted the Death Star plans, maybe they work for an Imperial intelligence agency? The caped, white suited Imperial officer in the trailer may be their leader; if you go by Expanded Universe lore he could be a member of the Imperial Security Bureau.

Who they remind me of:

mQ-cylons

This Ralph McQuarrie concept painting from the early developmental stages of Star Wars…psych! That’s a painting of some Cylon Centurions (and the traitorous Count Baltar) from the pre-production of Battlestar Galactica, sucker. The incredible Mr. McQuarrie is best known for his Star Wars concept art but also contributed to BSG*. The “machine face” helmets in the Rogue One trailer immediately made me think of this painting, I’d be extremely surprised if they weren’t an influence.

I can’t wait to see all these new trooper types in action! Leave me a comment if you’ve got any cool theories or new pictures!

*McQ’s work can be seen most clearly in the starships of the original Battlestar Galactica show, but I recently learned that the final design of the Cylon Centurion came from Andrew Probert! Probert also worked on Star Trek: The Motion Picture and The Next Generation (most notably designing the refit USS Enterprise and Picard’s Enterprise-D) and defined the look of post-original series Trek.

 

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