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Star Wars Finally Explains Sith Troopers (Two Years After TRoS)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker features the last iteration of Palpatine’s minions, the Sith Troopers, who have several notable differences from their predecessors, the Stormtroopers. The most iconic iteration of the Stormtroopers were Imperial soldiers. An elite group within the Imperial Army (as opposed to a completely separate military division, like in Legends), Imperial Stormtroopers were found throughout the galaxy, enforcing the will of The Emperor with ruthless brutality. The Empire’s successor state, the First Order, featured a newer and deadlier iteration of the Stormtrooper, but even they paled in comparison to the gear and training of the Sith Eternal’s deadly Sith Troopers.

The Galactic Republic’s heroic Clone Troopers were brainwashed into the service of the Sith and the Empire during Order 66. Clone production was quickly decommissioned in the earliest days and the Empire, and the brainwashed clones helped train TK Troopers, Imperial recruited soldiers that evolved into the Empire’s enlisted Stormtroopers. The First Order Stormtroopers were kidnapped at infancy, being trained and indoctrinated since birth. Though Stormtrooper gear paled in comparison to the blasters and armor of the Clone Troopers, Stormtrooper armor was highly protective against melee attacks, hostile environments, and non-armor piercing blasters.

Related: Star Wars: Why The First Order Didn't Use Clone Troopers

Star Wars: The Secrets of the Sith delves into the history and culture of the Sith, including Palpatine’s Exegol-based backup faction, the Sith Eternal, and their Sith Troopers. Described as the most elite military unit in the Sith Eternal military, the Sith Troopers are designed to be bereft of free will, which the Clone Troopers often exhibited and Stormtroopers occasionally. Sith Troopers were, like First Order Stormtroopers, raised for their military purpose, receiving significantly more intense flash-imprinting and mental conditioning than the clones or either generation of Stormtrooper. This left each Sith Trooper completely obedient and eliminated any chance of rebellion among their ranks.

Sith Troopers used far superior gear to their Stormtrooper predecessors, with armor and weapons that rivaled that of the Clone Troopers. Sith Trooper armor offered the wearer enhanced blaster bolt resistance, which served to deflect glancing blows to the suit. They also wielded rapid-fire blasters with modified Wookiee Bowcaster technology for some additional firepower. The Sith Troopers only engaged in one known battle - the Battle of Exegol - but they more than proved their deadliness in combat against the Resistance.

Based on the template of Jango Fett, Clone Troopers were some of the galaxy’s most formidable soldiers, but even their brainwashing inhibitor chip implants couldn’t suppress their free will forever. Many clones turned against the Empire, becoming a liability to Palpatine’s regime. Both generations of Stormtroopers were far more obedient, but there were still instances of treason within their ranks, such as FN-2187 (Finn), who joined the Resistance and became one of their most heroes. Sith Troopers may have used superior gear to the Stormtroopers, but it’s their focus on absolute loyalty that separates them from their predecessors.

Palpatine never got a chance to unleash his Sith Troopers on the galaxy, since the combined forces of the Resistance and scores of ordinary citizens clashed with the Final Order on Exegol. Sith Troopers had relatively little screentime in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but the elite soldiers performed exactly as Palpatine intended. With brutality and absolute loyalty to the Sith Order, the Sith Troopers demonstrated that they were a cut above the Stormtroopers that preceded them.

Next: Star Wars: Every Sith Lord Referenced In The Rise of Skywalker

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