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'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' fan theory suggests Sith Troopers might be working for Emperor Palpatine

Last week, StarWars.com announced the creation of a new toy for 'Rise of Skywalker' called the Sith Trooper. Is this a sign of Emperor Palpatine's newest plan?

Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) fills Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) with stories of power beyond belief.
Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) fills Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) with stories of power beyond belief.
Lucasfilm Ltd.

SALT LAKE CITY — There may be more to the Sith Trooper than meets the eye when it comes to “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

Context: Last week, StarWars.com announced the creation of a new toy for “Rise of Skywalker” called the Sith Trooper, according to the Deseret News. The figure resembles a normal Stormtrooper, only painted in red. The trooper is reportedly “the latest version of the First Order stormtroopers, but instead of their traditional white and black uniforms, they’re wearing red,” according to BBC News.

The toy version of the character will include “a wicked little short sword, a short-barreled blaster carbine with an adjustable stock, and what looks very much to be a handheld flamethrower,” according to Polygon.

Theory: But there might be more than meets the eye with this character. A new Reddit fan theory suggests that the Sith Trooper might be a soldier for Emperor Sheev Palpatine — and might a symbol of the villain’s new evil plan.

  • The user DaTruestEva suggested that Palpatine will appear in “Rise of Skywalker” and won’t hide his connection to the Sith. Rather, he’ll be up front about it and declare a new charge to build a Sith Empire rather than a Galactic Empire.
  • “It’s interesting that they are being called Sith Troopers, being up front about it,” the user wrote. “I think this is gonna play into Palpatine’s plan/goal. I think this time around Palpatine intends to be up front about being a Sith. He’s not gonna have a Galactic Empire like he did last time, he’s gonna bring back the Sith Empire, improved and far worse than the Galactic Empire.”

Why it makes sense: According to Inverse, it wouldn’t make much sense for Palpatine to run it back and build a new superweapon like he did in the original trilogy. Rather, he might seek a brand new army to take on the galaxy.

  • “Considering that the Galactic Empire’s evil plan hinged on destroying entire planets with the Death Star, you can probably expect something even worse from Palpatine in ‘Rise of Skywalker,’” according to Inverse. “Could that mean the total enslavement of the entire galaxy? The complete destruction of the Jedi? Anything seems possible as the Skywalker saga comes to a close.

However: We’re not even totally sure Palpatine will appear in “Rise of Skywalker.” Yes, sure, the first trailer for "Rise of Skywalker" hinted that Palpatine would return (his laugh can be heard after Luke Skywalker says, ‘No one’s really ever gone'). And yes, Ian McDiarmid appeared at the release of the trailer. But the laugh heard in the trailer wasn’t new footage, according to a Deseret News report, and there are rumors another character could play Palpatine.