Brand new starships, weapons, and suits of armor are a #StarWars staple for each new installment, and The Last Jedi looks set to expand the armory more so than any other movie in the saga. The latest leaks from #TheLastJedi showcase some incredibly expressive concept art focusing heavily on the Dark Side, showing off new troopers and a look at the First Order's new walker.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Last Jedi.
Star Wars News picked up the leaks and apparently verified them with a reputable source, claiming that these are promotional images for The Last Jedi merchandise yet to be released. The first of four images shows a red First Order Guard, similar to the Emperor's Royal Guards from Return of the Jedi.
Red Is The New White: The Last Jedi Promises Hand-To-Hand Combat
The dramatic artwork suggests that these guards will get into the thick of the action. This will make a nice change from the aforementioned Imperial Guard, who were resplendent and ineffectual in the final confrontation between Luke and the Emperor.
According to earlier leaks, Supreme Leader Snoke's guards are clad in black, while Kylo Renn obviously has his eponymous Knights working closest to him. These dynamic new guards aren't likely to be alongside the Force-using villains, and are more likely an elite variant of First Order Stormtroopers. This also means they may be able to levy those nasty-looking polearms against Resistance fighters without being overshadowed by the presence of the new installment's pseudo-Sith.
The Force Awakens already proved that interesting new aesthetics can be used for fan-favorite moments, with the now-legendary Stormtrooper FN-2199 (more commonly known as TR8R) going toe-to-toe with a lightsaber using an electric baton.
The surprising resilience of TR8R's baton made for a unique battle, stripping the elegance from combat in a way that Star Wars duels rarely do. The next image shows how the First Order have doubled down on this technique, equipping stormtroopers with even more melee capabilities.
Red trimmings on First Order troops have, up until this point, been used to signify ranking officers, with several sporting a single red pauldron in The Force Awakens. The red details on this new design could suggest that this is a rank above that, but it's also worth noting that a thumbnail of this design is grouped next to Captain Phasma in the bottom left of the image.
Recent information on Gwendoline Christie's character suggests that she'll be equipped with a spear in The Last Jedi, and these new soldiers seem to be adopting a hand-to-hand approach for future conflicts with the Resistance. Given the immense popularity of TR8R's battle sequence, the hammer-like weapon could be similar to the aforementioned baton from The Force Awakens.
All in all though, it seems as if the bucketheads of the Galaxy have finally realized that blasters are uncivilized and rarely work against a Jedi. With Rey threatening to lure Luke out of hiding, the Stormtroopers seem to be preparing to fight fire with fire.
That being said, it looks as though the First Order will also be making some impressive adjustments to their heavy artillery for the upcoming Star Wars flick.
They're Gonna' Need A Bigger Tow Cable!
The leaked designs not only focus on the First Order's brutal new weapons, but also give an intricate look at the anticipated variation on the classic AT-AT first seen in The Empire Strikes Back.
The AT-M6, also known as the "Gorilla Walker", is an adaptation of the clumsy AT-ATs, boasting versatile forelegs and an extra canon mounted above the cockpit.
This new design looks a lot more sturdy, making the vehicle much harder to bring down with a tow cable. So, while the First Order didn't seem to learn from the Empire's mistakes regarding Starkiller Base, they finally seem to be taking notes on past defeats.
What do you think of the new designs? Are you hoping to see Luke and Rey go head-to-head with spear-wielding Stormtroopers? Sound off below!