New Stormtrooper classes are a staple of Star Wars. Whether it's the core films, with unique uniforms for TIE fighter pilots or troopers with flamethrowers, or shows like Star Wars: The Clone Wars where new armor variants for the Clone troopers happened practically monthly, variation is key, providing the right suit for the job (and fun for costumers and cosplayers who like to create the new looks). Star Wars: The Force Awakens tweaked the Stormtroopers for the new era with the First Order. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story adds in the new Shoretroopers and Death Troopers, giving us further variants.
It should be no surprise, then, that a rumor about Star Wars: Episode VIII has emerged with new Stormtrooper variants, as reported by MakingStarWars. Possible spoilers follow.
According to the report, we'll see a new First Order variant on the red-suited Imperial Guards. Their suits include a new visor and some changes to sleeves and armor under their robes, as described by MSW. But those elite soldiers aren't the only special redesign we'll see in Episode VIII. The standard First Order Stormtroopers will have a slight alteration to their helmets, giving them a mouth piece slightly closer to the original trilogy armor of the Empire.
But after FN-2199 aka "TR-8R" broke out into the public consciousness with one line and a super cool twirling baton, another Stormtrooper will get the spotlight in Episode VIII. He's rumored to be referred to as "The Executioner," and he has a standard uniform, aside from the black streak across half his helmet. He uses a weapon similar to FN-2199, the electrified baton, but even crazier - now it has three spinning blades attached to the end of the baton.
Stormtroopers have long been the butt of Star Wars fan jokes, specifically for their lack of actual killing power. The idea that this ultra-powerful Empire somehow held together the galaxy with a bunch of foot soldiers who can't hit the broad side of a B-wing was hard for some fans to take - or at least made for a good punchline. That's changing in the modern era of Star Wars though, with deadly shooters seen in the opening scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, followed by the now-infamoust 2199 nearly killing Finn - wielding a lightsaber - in one-on-one combat.
In the pages of Marvel Comics' Star Wars series, a new elite squad of Stormtroopers was introduced, including one that uses a lightsaber better than Luke and one that can go hand-to-hand with Chewbacca. Rogue One, meanwhile, will introduce the aforementioned Death Troopers, another elite squad, tasked as bodyguards for Director Orson Krennic, who is in charge of the Death Star project for the Empire.
So you don't have to wait for Episode VIII on December 15, 2017 to see another badass Stormtrooper, but it looks like that movie will have another character for fans to rally behind, even if he's fighting for the wrong side.