It may sound cliche, but it feels like it was only yesterday when The Force Awakens released, now here we are at the end of the new saga of Star Wars. I had some issues across the new trilogy but really enjoyed the last two films. The conclusion with The Rise of Skywalker continues those problems then adds some on top to make for an anticlimactic finale, leaving a sour taste in my mouth despite all of its delightful qualities.
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) now knows Emporer Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) lives on, so he must go on a quest to gain that power. Meanwhile, the resistance continues the fight against the new fashion of the Empire, The First Order, and Rey (Daisy Ridley) must continue her training to lead her movement into victory while battling her internal struggle due to her mysterious past. After some recycling old ideas and pandering to the audience, the same story is told with a sprinkling of fresh elements to brighten up this dusty narrative.
Bringing back Palpatine felt unnecessary, but out of the unneeded return of characters from the original trilogy, this one ended up being much better than expected. It is far better than going back to previously visited planets or bringing people like Lando (Billy Dee Williams) into the story to get a cheer from viewers.
I know Rey is virtually lady Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) is the new young stud rebel like Han Solo (Harrison Ford), but I still love the new heroes. Finn (John Boyega), Rey, and Poe all match up wonderfully with some great chemistry during the darkest and happiest moments of their battle against the space Nazis. To heighten the characters, everyone’s performance continues to wow me to make these personalities come alive on the big screen.
Kylo will always be far from the best of the villains in Star Wars, but he is not close to the blandest. I did not understand the choices made for his personality traits in Force Awakens, but I ended up loving to hate him in The Last Jedi. Sadly, Abrams and his team of writers decided to take his arc in a direction that felt as shoehorned in as much of the plot of this damn movie. All I will say is that by the end, I internally oy veyed and rolled my eyes, tilting my head way back in my seat.
With that said, I still think Driver is one of the best actors in the industry right now. I may not like these decisions for his emotional wanna-be Darth Vader, but he executed that arc the best he could without letting the writing hold him down to perform.
The pacing initially felt off. Things moved rather too quickly for the sake of checking things off a list. Eventually, the film mellowed out to a light jog that worked better than its weird speed in the first chunk.
The action had a classic Star Wars aesthetic with stormtroopers who cannot aim and heroes blasting away until they needed to be stopped for the convenience of the plot. It may get overdone, but seeing ships soar through the sky, Rey and Kylo dueling with their lightsabers, and seeing the protagonists pulverize the white and black-suited army always entertains.
The editing has sloppy moments. The opening feels awkward, yet badass as Kylo Ren destroys some aliens that are in his way. A few scenes randomly cut into something else before going back in to finish out what happened seconds before, causing a disruption in the flow of the movie.
All of the wrongs that have been done to this universe gets partially made up with the eye and ear candy that is the visuals and sound design. The classic TIE fighters have the iconic audio of flying past, lasers getting shot, and the lightsaber trigger always pleases the nostalgia hungry part of my brain. If the new trilogy does one thing better than previous entries in the franchise, and miles superior to most blockbusters, is its special effects to bring this universe to life.
John Williams continues to impress as he always does across his long career. His leitmotifs and traditional sound that he crafted for these movies, the classic score, or the new tunes created will live on forever. This man knows how to make timeless music that makes even the worst moments much more tolerable.
The Rise of Skywalker is no magical ending to the new trilogy as it maintains many of the previous issues and instills new ones across its run time. Nostalgia is its worst enemy, but the attempts at surprises come to no positive effect. Episode nine is an enjoyable experience to stream on Disney+ and not one to spend money on at the theater.
We are so close to the end of the latest trilogy of Star Wars. The universe is chock-full of fascinating lore and eye candy with its iconic designs of ships and characters. No fictitious army looks cooler than the stormtroopers, the seemingly endless of minions controlled by the Empire. If you ever wondered about these soldiers who can only kill nonimportant people, then we will go through each one and give an explanation behind each of their purposes and designs.
Before going in, I should say this will only be an overview of troopers introduced in the movies, so the shows and games will not count.
Imperial Stormtrooper – The Galactic Empire (Star Wars: A New Hope)
The initial idea behind this design for the original stormtroopers came from Lucas wanting a distinctive look to the Empire’s army. The black and white give them an ominous and frightening look, which was meant to be similar to a skeleton. The helmet you can really see this detail where it is meant to look like a skull with a touch of a mechanical aesthetic to it.
Imperial Sandtrooper – The Galactic Empire (Star Wars: A New Hope)
The first this variant comes in is on Tatooine. Overall, they are the same design as the stormtroopers with slight modifications to fit the intense heat of the desert planet. A large backpack and a pauldron were fitted to set them apart from other members of the Empire.
Imperial Spacetrooper – The Galactic Empire (Star Wars: A New Hope)
At first glance, it appears to be a standard stormtrooper, except for a few slight differences to adjust for being in space. A breathing apparatus on the helmet can be seen along with a backpack for ammunition, even though everyone in the universe shoots lasers and not bullets.
Imperial Fighter Pilot – The Galactic Empire (Star Wars: A New Hope)
Now we are stepping into new territory with this black-suited pilot. The zero-G outfit has a large breathing apparatus that connects to a device on their chests.
Imperial AT-AT Pilot – The Galactic Empire (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)
A mix of both the TIE fighter pilot and the standard stormtrooper. The helmet is significantly larger, similar to the fighter pilots. The components for breathing have shifted in placement, but hold the same purpose and connection to a piece on the center of the chest.
Imperial Snowtrooper – The Galactic Empire (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)
These troopers have more padding to protect against the cold weather found on Hoth. The helmet has a long cloak coming down the face with hard armor pieces attached along with the softer pieces meant for warmth. A backpack is attached but appears smaller than other variants.
Imperial Royal Guard – The Galactic Empire (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
These red-cloaked villains come in during the final entry in the original trilogy. They are the guards for the Emporer
The cherry red is meant for two purposes. One, it creates a contrast against the set’s background. The other reason comes from a personal note from Lucas. He loves hot rods and chose this color as a nod to some of his favorite cars.
Imperial Scout Trooper – The Galactic Empire (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
A more comfortable design was chosen to fit the forest environment, especially when needing to quickly hop on a speeder bike. These troopers are the first to have a sidearm holstered on the boot. The most unique aspect of these characters comes from the helmet, which leans into real biker gear while making it easier for the actors to look in the right direction for the camera.
Clone Trooper – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones)
The design is heavily influenced by both the stormtroopers and Boba Fett. The detail comes out most from the helmet’s visor, resembling the iconic bounty hunter and the Empire’s soldiers.
The different colors for different clones depict their ranks. Red is captain, yellow is a pilot and commander, green is for sergeants, and blue is for the lieutenants.
Clone Troopers (Phase Two) – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
Order 66 is the turn in which the Empire is rising as Palpatine executes his ultimate plan to seize power. Not only do the Jedi get wiped out, we see a visual representation of the different armor that the clones are wearing. More personality is given with even more color and armor variants even with some named characters like Commander Cody, who was a reference to an old show George Lucas loved as a child called Commando Cody.
Clone Trooper Pilot – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
This is a mix of the open helmets seen from the rebellion with elements of the stormtrooper pilots later on. The apparent connection between the two costumes comes from the breathing apparatus connecting to that chest piece from before.
Biker Advanced Recon Trooper – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
While they may seem like any other clone, the helmet is what gives it away. No mouthpiece with a thin visor for vision gives them a unique look, unlike most other troopers.
AT-RT Driver – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
The camouflaged drivers blend into the environment as they pilot their loud and large AT-RTs.
The vehicle itself does standout too by how it marks the evolution that would become the AT-ST. The only difference is that this earlier model is smaller than the iconic machine from the original trilogy.
Elite Corps Clone Troopers – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
Essentially a higher ranking scout trooper that has a camouflaged aesthetic.
Galactic Marine – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
You can see how this takes from the snowtroopers from Empire Strikes Back based on the cloak with a pinkish tinge to add some brightness to the outfit.
501st Special Ops – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
These blue and white troopers were a special task force to accompany Anakin on taking out Jedi.
Imperial Shock Trooper – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
These red and white troopers were Palpatine’s guards during Revenge of the Sith. The high ranking soldiers were more than just guards, but that was the primary use of them on the big screen.
Utapau Airborne Clone Trooper – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
These heavy-duty soldiers carry a large machine gun. The airborne part of their name comes from a special parachute and equipment meant to handle high altitudes.
The 327th Star Corps – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
These yellow and white characters consist of a pouldron and a skirt with their armor to set them apart from many of the other clones and stormtroopers discussed so far.
Coruscant Clone Trooper – The Galactic Republic (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
Coruscant clones guard coruscant, pretty simple, and straight to the point with their name. No numbers and fancy names here with the exception of their white and red color scheme.
Stormtrooper – The First Order (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
The original trilogy had to create these iconic costumes with plastic while the beginning of the new movies had more advanced methods and materials like 3D printing.
The designs are much cleaner than the first set of films that started the whole franchise. The features on the helmet have more personality than before, especially with the mouth and eyes.
In The Last Jedi, the First Order’s stormtroopers will change slightly. The bridge of the nose of the latter does get more narrow in comparison.
Captain Phasma – The First Order (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
The most disappointing character in the new films happens to be one of the most striking visually. Her actual armor design is pretty much the same, but her higher ranking is shown by her unique chrome plating with a cloak strapped to her.
In the next film, The Last Jedi, Phasma’s chrome exterior will be modified to make filming easier as the reflection of the costume caused some issues.
Flametrooper – The First Order (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Basically, a stormtrooper with a giant backpack that fuels their flame throwers. They are menacing as hell when lighting things up.
Riot Control Stormtrooper – The First Order (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
This trooper carries a small shield, which looks useless, and an electric baton.
Megablaster Heavy Trooper – The First Order (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
A heavy blaster with a pack on the chest distinguishes these troopers from others.
Snowtrooper – The First Order (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
The veil and clothing are the same, but the face is more prominent compared to the older versions of the snowtroopers.
The Pilots – The First Order (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
The suit looks slightly different from the original trilogies with a simplified breathing apparatus. The big change comes from subtle red stripes that go with the TIE fighters. How cute.
Imperial Assault Tank Trooper – The Galactic Empire (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
The helmet is designed in a way to be more menacing. Pieces stick out and have clean lines while having a gritty aesthetic.
Imperial Death Trooper– The Galactic Empire (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
The black-suited troopers had a cast of people who were much taller and fit with the armor to compliment that athleticism. It is slimmer and more agile than the typical soldier. The mask has thin, yet menacing cheeks to make this even more intimidating than it already looks.
Imperial Shoretroopers – The Galactic Empire (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
The mask is quite similar to a scout trooper but is more colorful. A mix of brown, red, blueish grey, yellow, and beige gives a broader color palette to the armor.
Executioner Trooper – The First Order (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
At first glance, it is just an average stormtrooper. The distinguishing black marks set the execution apart. Black shoulder pieces and a black corner on the helmet stand out from the rest.
Their weapon of choice is an electric ax to execute their victims.
Elite Praetorian Guards – The First Order (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
These red Samurai styled guards for Snoke resemble the royal guards from Return of the Jedi. There are three helmet variants with their own weapons. They are all at the ready for battle when standing perfectly still. The cloaks and armor are both stylish and practical.
Due to the conditions of the Mimban battlefields, these stormtroopers are gritty and are covered in a mix of grey, white, and some charcoal black for camouflage. The other qualities that these troopers have are an added piece to their helmets and a cape. I do question the usefulness of the cape, but it looks stylish.
Imperial Mudtrooper– The Galactic Empire (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
Inspired by World War I, these stormtroopers get a gritty look to their armor. A gasmask is fitted, similar to pilots, with a cape and a greyish green palette to go with the environment.
Imperial Patrol Troopers– The Galactic Empire (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
What if you blended the basic troopers with the scouts? You get patrol troopers who have that thinner face while still maintaining the classic look.
Imperial Range Troopers – The Galactic Empire (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
Seen during the train heist, also known as the best scene in Solo, the range troopers are fitted with a heavy fur coat with some magnetic boots to walk across vertical surfaces.
The final film in the latest saga will introduce a jet-propelled trooper. The jetpack is a part of the armor, not an attachment. The helmet resembles an evolution from the death troopers with some fancy twists to the design.
Treadspeeder Trooper – The First Order (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)
They may look like a regular stormtrooper that rides a heavy-duty version of the speeder bikes, but its difference can barely be seen. Soft padding on the legs for maneuverability and comfort is the main change between the ordinary soldiers, scouts, and these treadspeeder riders.
Electroprod Trooper – The First Order (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)
A stormtrooper got a long, powerful cattle prod. That’s it, that’s the electroprod trooper.
Sith Troopers – The First Order (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)
It comes off like a stormtrooper looked at the fitted death troopers and the striking red armor from Snoke’s guard, so they changed up the armor slightly to be as mesmerizing. The helmet is also a nod to the clone troopers based on nose T visor.
Instead of being reminiscent of a skeleton similar purpose was from the original trilogy, it is meant to resemble muscles.
Sith Jet Troopers– The First Order (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)
A higher ranked jet trooper distinguished by a red paint job.