For months, there have been reports of chromed Stormtroopers in J.J. Abrams' [Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158), but those closest to the production have been extremely tight-lipped in regards to this new variant. But today, I was given an EXCLUSIVE glimpse of this new armor’s look:
That looks badass, right? I'd been worried that the chrome armor was going to be a clear gimmick, but as it turns out this is the most imposing of the new Stormtrooper designs we've seen.
It's refreshing to see that he's not simply a shiny black metal version of the standard-issue Episode VII Stormtrooper. While the overall contours are again in line with the classic design, this helmet has clearly evolved on a different path - a nice balance between classic and a modern update.
Rather than squared tubes along the cheeks, the bottom of this helmet flares out into a fairly sharp-edged arc. Where those contours end at the front of the helmet, there does not appear to be an aerator or vent on either side.
Once again, we see the appearance of a connected band across the eyes. This is a complex shape, flaring downward at the cheeks and back up towards the temples at the ends.
There's a seam edge similar to the Episode VII TIE pilots and Forest/Snowtroopers along the mouth. If any of these faceplates are actually removed in the film, it will be interesting to see if they are a window to the character's face or an access panel for maintenance - the first images of the Stormtroopers also showed this.
Fans of the original trilogy trooper design will be glad to see that this helmet appears to retain the classic proportions. It's wide, where the new white troopers have a surprisingly narrow face when seen from the front (in line with Ralph McQuarrie's design sketches for ANH). The Chrome Trooper also includes the classic Stormtrooper frown instead of a floating nose plate.
The Chrome Troopers do not actually wear a hood or covering in the film. The metal collar stands up from the torso armor and curves up on the sides before dipping down again at the back.
Here's another look, this one a little more battered:
I'll never post rumors as genuine news or fact here, but I love nothing more than to speculate with you! Let's take a few leaps and try to guess how this guy may fit in: A couple sources have expressed that the Chrome Troopers are a private security force for Adam Driver's rumored villain character - think silver mercenary rent-a-cops rather than true Imperial Forces. While we've not heard this from anyone directly, the most persisent rumor about Driver is that he's a wealthy aristocrat with an interest in Sith artifacts. While this production seems eager to distance themselves from the prequel era, of all the films' props this design shares DNA most closely with the Naboo ships. The chrome finish and elegant curves fit in with that established aesthetic perfectly. Might JJ try to make lemonade out of lemons with Padme's home planet? Could our Sith-obsessed aristocrat hail from the same planet/society as Vader's wife? Or is this just a natural result of bringing the prequels' Doug Chiang back as a production designer?