This year's Star Wars Celebration was Disney's biggest and greatest opportunity to showcase what's in store for fans of the space opera when they see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016. Along with a comprehensive panel featuring director Gareth Edwards, Felicity Jones and her fellow rebel co-stars, Star Wars Celebration displayed a selection of exciting new stormtrooper designs seen in Rogue One — and they have a lot to say about the upcoming movie.
With this in mind, let's take a look at the selection on display at Star Wars Celebration, what their accompanying text said about each design, and what this all means for the very first Star Wars anthology movie.
1. Rogue One Will Offer Further Insight Into A Stormtrooper's Psyche
First up, the Imperial Stormtroopers are back! This should be no surprise to fans, as the film takes place immediately before Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. However, the most interesting thing about this display was the accompanying text:
Imperial Stormtroopers are a faceless legion of soldiers serving the galactic Empire. Encased in white armor, stormtroopers are loyal Imperials who undergo rigorous training that strips them of any sense of individuality.
Notably, this was the only text to mention the psychology of the troopers, suggesting that their psyche may be explored in more depth than ever before. As a presumably "forceless" outing, it makes sense that we'll get to know more about the Imperial Stormtroopers in Rogue One. The movie is widely known as a war film first and foremost, the best of which are known to show the psychology behind military training and explore war mentality, such as Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now. This also adds further meaning to Gerrera's dialogue in the Rogue One trailer:
"What will you do when they catch you? What will you do when they break you? If you continue to fight, what will you become?"
In regards to the design, these are exactly the same troopers seen in A New Hope, but with equipment better suited to the surroundings seen in Rogue One. The Imperial Troopers are following the same trend as the new AT-ATs, where the general rule has been to feature familiar designs with addition features. While these are iconic designs, we'll be sure to see how they adapt to new functions, such as much larger AT-ATs used for shifting cargo, and new landscapes that require the heavy duty gear seen above.
2. Shoretroopers Patrol Scarif, The Planet With A Secret Facility Likely Hosting The Death Star Plans
The introduction of Scarif is without a doubt the biggest nugget of information we got from both the Rogue One panel and the costume display seen above. Firstly, I have to point out just how incredible the design of these troopers are, and give credit to the Rogue One team for creating new troopers that are unique and yet 100 percent Star Wars. Here's what the accompanying text said about the Shoretroopers:
Specialist stormtroopers stationed at the top secret Imperial military headquarters on Scarif, Shoretroopers patrol the beaches and bunkers of the planetary facility.
Remember that unforgettable shot we saw in the Rogue One trailer where Jyn Erso and her team are running across the beaches (presumably of Scarif) as AT-ATs fire in their general direction? Well, the latest featurette shown at Star Wars Celebration showed Erso holding some type of McGuffin, highly likely to be the Death Star plans. So, these Shoretroopers have a pretty important job in Rogue One.
What's also interesting about the Shoretroopers is that their suits seem to be personalized to some degree. The three Shoretroopers on display at Star Wars Celebration all had various markings of red, blue and yellow on their armor, while other Shoretroopers seen in Rogue One footage have also shown green markings:
I would say that this is simply an aesthetic choice, if the costume display hadn't made a point of how Imperial Stormtroopers have been stripped of their individuality. Perhaps this signifies that these troopers have more independent thought, making them more capable as they patrol Scarif's bunkers and beaches. Interestingly, the personalization of Shoretroopers doesn't end there.
3. Shoretroopers (And Perhaps The Scarif Facility As A Whole) Is Significant Enough To Have Its Own Insignia
Strengthening the point that these Shoretroopers are more important than we know, each trooper fashions the insignia seen above on their helmets. I believe that the difference between the type of troopers will be a tool to help fans understand who is responsible for each regiment in the movie, which may be useful when multiple antagonists are ordering troops. Otherwise, it may get a little confused as to when troopers are acting under Director Krennic, and when they're acting under Darth Vader, which leads me nicely onto our next new piece of information:
4. Imperial Death Troopers Are Director Krennic's Personal Bodyguards: When You See Them, Krennic Will be Close By!
The elite soldiers of imperial intelligence, Death troopers are encased in specialized stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam. These soldiers serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic, a highly placed officer within the Advanced Weapons Research division of the Empire.
Imperial Death Troopers were one of the first new designs to catch the attention of fans back when we had our first glimpse at Rogue One. Thanks to Star Wars Celebration, we now know that they serve specifically as bodyguards to Director Krennic, the white-caped antagonist played by Ben Mendelsohn.
The term "bodyguards and enforcers" tell us that they'll be used specifically to show the difference between a task carried out by Imperial stormtroopers and the top secret endeavors of Director Krennic and his entourage. It's likely that the Imperial Death Troopers will also be used as a way of telling the audience when Krennic is close to the action, in the same way the Emperor's guards were used in the original trilogy to suggest that the Emperor is about to enter the scene.
If you can't wait to see Krennic surrounded by his gang of Imperial Death Troopers, there was a small glimpse during the Star Wars Celebration featurette.
Death Troopers were likely inspired by the book of the same name by Joe Schreiber, a novel that also takes place just before A New Hope. The new designs have lit-up mouthpieces that glow green, and while there's not much to say about that, it looks exceptionally cool!
So, that's everything we can gather from the incredible costume display at this year's Star Wars Celebration. I'd love to hear from you think about these ideas, or if you noticed something the rest of us missed. Let us know by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below!
Rogue One is in theatres on December 16th, 2016.