- "The might of the Final Order will soon be ready."
- ―Darth Sidious
Sith troopers were elite soldiers in an army raised on the planet Exegol by the Sith Eternal—Sith cultists who revered the dark side of the Force and were devoted to the Sith religion. Though they were not imbued with the power of the Force, Sith troopers nonetheless shared the name of the revived sect of the dark side, drawing inspiration from a dark and ancient legacy. As such, their red armor was reminiscent of Sith lightsaber blades and the Imperial elite, evoking an aura of fear and death. They were the culmination of an elaborate contingency meant to ensure the eternal reign of a new Sith Empire, returning the galaxy to a dark age of a thousand years past.
In addition to their namesake, Sith troopers drew inspiration from one of the most enduring symbols of military might: armored infantry units. During the Clone Wars, the image of endless legions of white-armored clone troopers symbolized hope to the citizens of the Galactic Republic. The Galactic Empire and the First Order appropriated this heritage in turn, transforming a symbol of defense into a faceless icon of fascist rule. The Empire spent decades attempting to strip individuality from Imperial stormtroopers, whereas First Order stormtroopers were trained from childhood to be even more loyal and effective. Sith troopers were fanatically loyal to the Sith cause, surpassing their predecessors in allegiance and obedience as a result of methods built upon and advanced beyond the Kaminoan procedures that trained the Republic's clone army. The best of the Sith troopers were elevated to the rank of Sovereign Protector, forming a cohort of royal guards stationed in the Sith Citadel and the amphitheater housing the Throne of the Sith.
The Sith troopers were awaiting deployment during the final days of the First Order–Resistance war. The Sith Lord Darth Sidious, having returned long after his demise at Endor, established the Final Order and declared himself Galactic Emperor once more. However, the Sith troopers were defeated in their first battle against the Resistance, leaving Allegiant General Enric Pryde's flagship, the Steadfast, vulnerable to sabotage by the former stormtroopers FN-2187 and TZ-1719. The Sith Eternal was ultimately destroyed in the Unknown Regions along with the Sith troopers and their Emperor, and with their destruction the rest of the galaxy was inspired to rise up against the Final Order's remaining forces.
- "They are totally obedient, taking any order without question."
- ―Lama Su, on clone troopers
Though named for the Sith, a sect devoted to the dark side of the Force, Sith troopers were heirs to a military heritage dating back to the final years of the Galactic Republic. When the Confederacy of Independent Systems signaled its intent to secede from the Republic, the clone troopers of Kamino were organized into the Grand Army of the Republic. At the time of their introduction, these armored infantry units represented the future of galactic warfare. They were modeled on the genetic template of Jango Fett, a human bounty hunter, and designed to be superior to battle droids. So symbolic were they of the times, the galaxy-wide conflict that marked their debut came to be known as the Clone Wars.
For three years, the Grand Army battled against the Separatist Droid Army across the galaxy. Under the leadership of the Jedi Knights, an order of peacekeepers united by their faith in the light side of the Force, clone troopers became a symbol of honor and defense, representing salvation to the citizens of a war-torn galaxy. The clones were, however, unwitting participants in a Sith conspiracy. Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord who accumulated political power in his guise as Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, issued Order 66 in the waning hours of the Clone Wars—calling for the immediate liquidation of the Jedi Order. As a result, the clones turned against their Jedi General, executing them as enemies of the state across worlds and inside the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. With the clone troopers under his command and the Jedi all but extinct, Sidious assumed absolute power as Emperor of the First Galactic Empire.
The subsequent Imperial Era witnessed the termination of the Kaminoan cloning facilities overseen by Prime Minister Lama Su. Human volunteers and conscripts supplanted clones in all branches of the Imperial Military, including the elite ranks of the stormtroopers. The image of endless legions of white-armored soldiers that once represented galactic salvation had become a faceless icon of fascism. However, Commandant Brendol Hux was less than impressed by the clones' successors. As a veteran of the Clone Wars and an instructor at the Imperial Academy on Arkanis, Hux admired the discipline and fighting prowess of clone troopers as well as their Jedi officers, deeming both groups as a superior class of soldier than the Imperial stormtroopers. Dissatisfied with the caliber of troops in the Imperial Army, Hux conceived the idea of training stormtrooper cadets from birth, believing that a lifetime of military instruction and indoctrination produced the most excellent and loyal soldiers.
The First OrderEdit
- "Perhaps Leader Snoke should consider using a clone army."
"My men are exceptionally trained. Programmed from birth."
- ―Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux
Within a generation of the Empire's downfall, the First Order evolved from a remnant of the old regime, creating a smaller yet disciplined and well armed military. Like the Empire, the First Order appropriated the clone troopers' legacy by creating their own version of white-armored soldiers. Utilizing mass conscription and the training regimen pioneered by Brendol Hux, human younglings were taken from their conquered homeworlds in the Unknown Regions and trained as members of the next generation of stormtroopers. Where the Empire opted from numbing routine, the First Order's training simulations and live-fire exercises encouraged improvisation on the battlefield, making their troopers more dangerous than their Imperial predecessors.
The First Order's stormtrooper program continued to develop after Hux's death, falling under the supervision of his son General Armitage Hux and Captain Phasma. The younger Hux had complete confidence in his father's legacy despite FN-2187's betrayal during the last remaining days of the cold war. Kylo Ren, the apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke, believed the deserter's treachery indicated a flaw that was systemic to the entire First Order army. Having spent his life refining the First Order's training methods, Hux believed the aberrant trooper was an isolated case and therefore rejected the Knight of Ren's suggestion that their master would be better served by an army of clones.
The Final OrderEdit
- "The Resistance is dead. The Sith flame will burn. All worlds surrender or die. The Final Order begins."
- ―Darth Sidious
Information within the Final Order was extremely compartmentalized; even high-ranking First Order officers were unaware of the true scope of their forces. With Ren usurping his master's throne, the veils of secrecy that surrounded Snoke and his plan dissipated, revealing the existence of an invasion force developed on the hidden Sith world of Exegol. Having overthrown the New Republic, certain elements within the Final Order prepared to deploy a fleet of new-generation Star Destroyers along with an army of elite soldiers. The thousands of Sith personnel were raised as the children of the Sith Eternal—cultists devoted to the preservation of the Sith religion—who taught them to revere the power of the dark side. Many Sith troopers had originally been conscripted by the First Order as children, but, due to their potential, spies culled and "disappeared" them, allowing them to become soldiers of the Sith Eternal.
In its ultimate push toward galactic conquest, the Final Order readied an army of Sith troopers whose existence was unknown even to most within the regime. The structure of the Sith Eternal force was analagous to that of the First Order, both having been patterned on an Imperial template. Sith troopers were therefore organized into legions of five-thousand soldiers; at their most basic level were trooper squads consisting of ten soldiers, divided into a trio or triad of three-trooper fire teams—two corporals and a lance corporal—led by a sergeant. Whereas the variant Sith jet troopers were organized into their own separate squads, such as the Lanvorak Squad, the Parang Squad and the Warblade Squad, the 105th Battalion was by comprised both Sith infantry units and their jet trooper counterparts. Though Sith troopers resembled the standard troopers of the First Order, their armor and weapons were finished in the striking red colors of the Sith Eternal forces, and were made of denser multi-layered composites providing additional protection from small-arms fire. The crucial difference came in the discipline, ferocity, and loyalty to a resilient cause, which instilled these crimson warriors and their variant counterparts with a fearless aggression.
While they were not imbued with powers derived from the Force, Sith troopers nonetheless derived their name from the dark and ancient legacy of the Sith. Most galactic citizens were unaware that two Sith Lords—Darth Sidious and Darth Vader—occupied positions of power and as such they believed that the Empire's extreme militarization and authoritarian rule stemmed from a desire for security. These measures were in fact fueled by a dark agenda over a thousand years old, culminating in an elaborate contingency designed to ensure the perpetual reign of a Sith Empire, returning the galaxy to a time unseen since the dark age of the Old Republic.
The Sith Eternal, having secretly groomed Ren as heir apparent to the Sith legacy, prepared their forces for his ascension to ultimate power, believing the grandson of Vader would fulfill the mandate of returning the galaxy to Sith rule. To ensure that there were no remaining Jedi to oppose Ren's claim as heir to the Force, the Supreme Leader was bidden to destroy the Padawan Rey by her grandfather Sidious. Despite his demise at Endor, the phantom Dark Lord of the Sith returned to oversee the final stage of his contingency plans, which would culminate in Ren's reign over the entire galaxy as the new Emperor. To that end, Sidious offered the young dark side warrior control of the Sith Star Destroyers and the fantatically loyal Sith troopers, both of which were crucial to the Final Order's transformation into a true Empire.
The discovery of the Sith troopers along with the rest of Exegol's untapped military assets bolstered the Supreme Council's support for Ren's leadership. Allegiant General Enric Pryde was particularly supportive of the alliance between his former Emperor and the Supreme Leader, believing that these additional forces would greatly expand the First Order's range in power, thereby offsetting the disastrous destruction of Starkiller Base. While the Sith Eternal's military forces were created to fight for the First Order, they ultimately remained loyal to Sidious, who threatened to turn them against Ren if he did not succeed in his task to kill Rey. In the end, Sidious' plans for Ren foundered due to the death of Princess Leia Organa, who sacrificed herself in hopes of facilitating her fallen son Ben Solo's return to the light side. Pryde, a former Imperial officer who served the Emperor during the Galactic Civil War, pledge fealty to his once-and-future liege, thereby transferring the First Order to Sidious' direct control in 35 ABY.
Notwithstanding the simmering tension between the First Order's well-regimented military and the Sith Eternal cultists from the Unknown Regions, the coupling of both organizations produced a New Empire, known as the Final Order. At the Emperor's command, a single Xyston-class Star Destroyer was deployed to the occupied world of Kijimi. The Xyston was fitted with efficient automation systems to cut down on crew requirements; in addition to its Sith Eternal officers and fleet technicians, the new warship carried a force of Sith troopers, who were present on the bridge of the Derriphan when its commanding officer, Captain Chesille Sabrond, ordered Kijimi's annihilation with a single shot from her destroyer's axial superlaser cannon.
Ruthlessly demonstrating the power of the reinforced First Order did not cripple the Resistance's resolve, as the Emperor intended. Knowing the consequences of the unchallenged emergence of a New Empire, the Resistance fleet launched a desperate strike on the secluded world of Exegol, where the Sith Star Destroyers were most vulnerable to attack. The Resistance force faced overwhelming odds in the form of hundreds of warships, guarded by thousands of Sith troopers. The battle of a generation—one that would decide the fate of the galaxy—ensued between the Final Order and the Resistance, during which a contingent of Sith troopers and jet troopers served aboard the General Pryde's flagship, the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer Steadfast.
The renegade stormtroopers FN-2187 and TZ-1719 boarded the Steadfast along with the Resistance army's assault team, attempting to disable the command ship before it could guide the Sith Eternal forces to a safe altitude. The Sith troopers launched an immediate counterattack, engaging the enemy's troops directly on the surface of the First Order Star Destroyer. Though they killed numerous Resistance troopers in the process, too many Sith troopers perished while defending the Steadfast, leaving the flagship vulnerable to sabotage as thousands of starships from across the galaxy arrived to fight alongside the Resistance. Meanwhile, a cadre of Sovereign Protectors—the best of the Sith troopers, stationed in the Sith Citadel's amphitheater housing the Throne of the Sith—were slain in battle by the combined power of the Jedi Solo and Rey.
With the destruction of the Steadfast as well as the deaths of Pryde and Sidious, the Final Order was rendered leaderless and unable to save their remaining warships. As word of the battle's results spread throughout the stars, an uprising against the Final Order commenced throughout the galaxy, overthrowing its remaining forces on several worlds such as Bespin, Jakku, and Endor.
A merciless soldier excelling in speed and advanced weaponry to hunt down and destroy all enemies of the First Order, the Sith trooper was the culmination of generations of work dating back to the last remaining years of the Galactic Republic. Their earliest precursors, the clone troopers, were trained to be the most loyal and efficient soldiers, a process that soon after their creation and encompassed the first decade of their accelerated lives. However, Darth Sidious was dismayed by the disconcerting amount of free will exhibited disconcerting amounts by genetically engineered soldiers despite numerous alterations to their template. Doctor Nala Se, the Chief Medical Scientist of the Kaminoan government, concluded that the Jedi were the source of this divergent behavior, because they encouraged the clones to behave as individuals instead of thinking in lockstep.
After the Clone Wars, the Galactic Empire spent decades attempting to strip its stormtroopers of their individuality, making them fervently loyal extensions of Emperor Palpatine's will. Though they were not clones, stormtroopers were fanatically loyal to the Empire, yet also an inferior class of soldier according to both clone and non-clone veterans of the Clone Wars. Like the stormtroopers, Sith troopers were not cloned but born. They were natural humans, native to Exegol and conscripted in the thousands as children of the Sith Eternal cultists. They were young, around their early twenties, standing at 1.8 meters tall by the time their training was complete. Like standard stormtroopers in the First Order, Sith troopers were denied individual names. Instead, troopers like ST-I4191 and ST-A1215 were identified by their serial numbers.
Sith troopers were subjected to flash-training and loyalty conditioning built upon and advanced beyond the Kaminoan procedures of earlier generations. As a result, Sith troopers were imbued with fanatical loyalty to the Sith Eternal and their cause, becoming more obedient and droid-like than the First Order's trained-from-childhood stormtroopers. The best soldiers in their ranks were elevated beyond the elite status of Sith troopers, becoming a separate class of soldier altogether. Notwithstanding the aesthetic similarities First Order stormtroopers and their Sith Eternal counterparts, the crucial difference was in the latter's fearless aggression as well as their discipline, ferocity, and loyalty to the Sith. In close-quarters combat, Sith troopers operated in fire teams of three units, who were trained to fight in a braced firing stance for covering sixty degrees of forward arc.
As children of the Sith Eternal, Sith troopers revered the power of the dark side, having been raised by cultists to embody the beliefs of the ancient Sith religion. In drawing inspiration from the Sith's legacy, each Sith trooper legion adopted the name of an ancient Sith Lord in addition to their numerical identification. Hence, the 3rd Legion was named after Revan, the 5th Legion after Andeddu, and the 17th Legion after Darth Tanis. The 26th Legion, the 39th Legion and the 44th Legion were named after Tenebrous, Phobos and Desolous, respectively. As Sith history was hidden from the rest of the galaxy, only Sith Eternal cultists knew the significance of these otherwise forgotten Lords of the Sith.
Sith trooper armor consisted of a red gammaplast composite, quadruple-layered to a dense, highly impact-resistant finish worn over a hermetically sealed black body glove. Faceted anglular planes on the face and chest plate were designed to redirect glancing blaster bolts. The helmet's T-shaped visor was reminiscent of the clone trooper's Phase I and Phase II versions. Aside from this aesthetic callback to the clone soldiers of generations past, targeting sensors were integrated into the helmet's design, giving Sith troopers an advantage in low light or smoke-obscured conditions.
As a result, their helmets constantly broadcasted battlefield data, providing Sith trooper officers with a sweeping overview of combat conditions. A commander's helmet could calculate the outcomes of various tactics in a compressed time via computer models, which in turn provided officers with recommendations based on predefined victory conditions. This information was kept at the command level to avoid distracting the rank-and-file troopers in the midst of combat. Additional technological features included a wireless data antenna and an atmosphere filtration system.
The Sith troopers' right shoulder-mounted sensor telemetry pod emitted active signals programmed to bounce and return, providing accurate environmental data to feed back to a command center through encrypted telemetry. The right forearm gauntlet had a built-in data storage module with an access port, the armor's articulated magnatomic plates permitted the troopers' greater range in movement, and the anisotropic bands increased the surface area for radiating excess energy from impacts. The corrugated body glove that was worn under the quad-folded gammaplast armor had an internal atmosphere. The utility belt contained power cell ammunition as well as a detonite explosive charge.
The Sith troopers' primary weapon was the ST-W48 blaster. It was a heavy rifle with minaturized tech built into space-efficient frames. Slung beneath each rifle's barrel were quarrel-bolt launchers, which borrowed and updated the Wookiees' bowcaster technology for an extra explosive punch. The result was a versatile weapon capable of switching between two modes: blaster rifle and blaster carbine. The ST-W48 was strengthened to decrease its recoil; it also possessed a sight-housing and mount for improved accuracy. In its carbine mode, the stock was removed for combat in confined spaces.
Aside from the ST-W48, Sith troopers carried the larger FWMB-10B repeating blaster for additional firepower. Designed by Sonn-Blas Corporation, this repeating blaster had a collapsed monopod that could extend for support, a high-resolution electroscope, and a barrel-cooling shroud.
Specialized Sith troopersEdit
To create a versatile army capable of meeting the various demands of warfare, specialized troopers were trained and equipped to complement the Sith Eternal's infantry units. As with the Sith infantrymen, these variants resembled their counterparts in the First Order; however, their armor was painted in the striking red colors of the Sith Eternal forces.
- Sith jet trooper — Elite airborne troopers, given intense training and advanced gear, such as the NJP-900 integrated jetpack and the F-11ABA heavy blaster cannon.
- Sith trooper officer — Officers trained for command, given armor fitted with advanced sensor technology; military ranks included commander, sergeant, lance corporal, and corporal.
- Sovereign Protector — The best of the Sith troopers, elevated to the status of elite royal guards, stationed in the Sith Citadel on Exegol.
Behind the scenesEdit
Sith troopers were created and developed for the 2019 film Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, the third and final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. They were designed by concept artist Glyn Dillon, and were sculpted by Sam Williams. The Sith trooper costume was designed by costume designer Michael Kaplan. Their design drew from the death trooper and the Elite Praetorian Guard.
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- Star Wars Battlefront II (DLC)
- Resistance Heroes (First appearance, simultaneous with First Order Villains)
- First Order Villains (First appearance, simultaneous with Resistance Heroes)
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures – "The First Order vs. The Resistance"
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition audiobook
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: A Junior Novel
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: A Junior Novel audiobook
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Graphic Novel Adaptation
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary dates the events of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker to one year after the events of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of The Force Awakens to 34 ABY, the events of The Rise of Skywalker must occur in 35 ABY.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 2
- ↑ 11.0 11.1
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Servants of the Empire: The Secret Academy
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Star Wars Battlefront II
- ↑ Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization
- ↑ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Fugitive"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Relics of the Old Republic"
- ↑ Glyn Dillon's Instagram post. Glyn Dillon (July 10, 2019, 10:07 pm UTC). Retrieved on July 12, 2019, 3:00 am UTC. "The new Sith trooper I designed has been revealed (in toy form for this year's SDCC). Working with @aristotles.lantern on this was a pleasure as always." (archive copy created on July 10, 2019)
- ↑ Sam Williams's Instagram post. Sam Williams (July 11, 2019, 6:22 am UTC). Retrieved on July 12, 2019, 3:00 am UTC. "My first job on IX was sculpting these up for @glyn__dillon and Micheal Kaplan, Glyn came up with a fantastic design and it was really exciting establishing these."
- ↑ The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker