The Mandalorian: Are Dark Troopers Droids or Stormtroopers?

The new season of Star Wars: The Mandalorian has created a lot of speculation for fans of the popular Disney+ series, especially when it comes to the fate of the Jedi and Baby Yoda AKA Grogu, as well as the machinations of the Imperial warlord Moff Gideon. The former governor-turned-intergalactic-mob-boss has turned his attention toward learning more about Grogu and his connection with the Force, discovering details about midichlorians in hopes of harnessing those powers for his own nefarious gains. But what does this have to do with his newly-introduced squad of Dark Troopers?

We've seen many upgrades for the Imperial Stormtroopers in recent years. From the Sith Troopers in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to the Death Troopers of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, there have been many upgrades to the terrible shooters fans have come to recognize over the last few years. But now is the time for the Dark Troopers...

For fans who aren't aware of the villainous origins for these specialized Stormtroopers, the characters first appeared in the cult-classic video game series Star Wars: Dark Forces. This first-person shooter eventually spawned the fan-favorite Star Wars: Jedi Knight franchise, focusing on lead character Kyle Katarn.

In the video game series, Dark Troopers were droids — a change from the established canon of clones or kidnapped and indoctrinated children or humanoids recruited throughout the galaxy. Based on what we saw in The Mandalorian, these new versions of the Dark Troopers are also droids, with mechanical limbs and advanced tech proficiencies that seem to stretch beyond the realm of advanced armors in the Star Wars galaxy.


The Dark Troopers in The Mandalorian move with precision and technical prowess, making it clear that they are far from human — though we don't know if they're full droids just yet. As Moff Gideon's experiments indicate, he's obviously dealing with cloning procedures with the hopes of taking Grogu's midichlorian-laced blood for some Force-enhanced purposes. But we've yet to receive confirmation that these cloning experiments and the Dark Troopers stem from the same tree.

It seems likely that these Dark Troopers are also droids, though Gideon's experiments could be yielding in some Force-imbued abilities that droids have not been able to wield — until now. Will Star Wars: The Mandalorian change the game for droids and their relationship to the Force? Stay tuned to and watch new episodes of the series on Disney+.