Yesterday, Indie Revolver leaked possible designs for the Stormtrooper helmets in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars movie. The helmets have the classic look that we’ve come to expect but stylized a bit differently. They basically look the way you would expect them to look 30 years after the fall of the Empire.
While some may see these helmets and not give them that much thought, they’ve inspired the Star Wars geek within me to ask a few questions and ponder some things. While these images are leaked and could very well not be real, let’s assume that they are for the purposes of this editorial. Also keep in mind that I am using the original saga as references and not any of the expanded universe lore which is being (mostly) done away with for the upcoming films.
The main question I have is: Why are there still Stormtroopers in the galaxy 30 years after the Empire fell? The Clone Army was originally created by Palpatine and they served him throughout the Clone Wars and during the age of the Empire. With his death, why are these guys still around? It’s the equivalent of having Nazi Stormtroopers around 30 years after the fall of the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler’s death. What is their purpose? There are several reasons for them being in the upcoming films besides the obvious fact that people want to see Stormtroopers in the next movie.
Before I get into why there are clone troopers in these movies, my questions about their presence in the films, and what they mean for the upcoming trilogy, I want to talk about how they will be handled.
First and foremost, I want to see how the movie will address what happened to the clones after the war was over. Those who were fans of the Clone Wars TV series (myself included) got to see what Clone Troopers did when not engaged in battles. Some of them have forsaken war and found peaceful, normal lives. I would hope that the movies tell us what happened to all of these men. Theoretically, there should be thousands, if not millions, of clones spread throughout the galaxy. It would be nice to not only hear about what became of them but to see them in the background living out their lives as cooks, merchants, drivers or any other profession. It would help to give the world a sense of realism for sure to see what the former troopers are up to.
The troopers in this movie will obviously be soldiers and I can see why some would continue in that profession. As in the real world, those who have known nothing but conflict their entire lives may want to continue fighting, war or no war. It’s possible that some troopers became mercenaries who either work alone or who work as members of private military companies. I would actually be very surprised if this isn’t exactly what ended up happening with the untold number of clones in the galaxy who were created specifically for combat.
We don’t know the full details of this movie but it’s possible that the troopers are the main force of whoever the movie’s main villain is. It could even be that there have been no Stormtroopers in the galaxy for decades but they’ve made a resurgence thanks to the mystery bad guy. If this person resurrects the clone army then it’s possible that they may want bring the Empire back. Or perhaps, they just want to use the symbolism of the Stormtroopers to instill terror into their enemies.
Conversely, it’s entirely possible that the Stormtroopers are on the side of the protagonists. Back during the Clone Wars, the troopers were seen as heroes of the Republic so they could be on the side of the good guys once more. Perhaps in this movie they serve the new Republic. It’s also possible that both sides could employ their own trooper armies. It would be pretty awesome to see different trooper armies engaging in combat against one another.
The last thing I wanted to bring up is about the clones themselves. Clones are artificially grown but once they reach a certain age they are allowed to age normally. There can’t be a bunch of geriatric troopers running around so it’s obvious that these are young guys in these suits. Are they clones or are they just regular people now? If they are clones, are the Kaminoans still growing them? If so, who is paying them to do so? It could be either a very wealthy person who wants to either bring back the Empire or to undermine the new Republic. It could also be the new Republic itself who needs the clones to protect their government against its enemies.
I know that some may not think too much about the Stormtroopers in the upcoming Star Wars movies but they are an integral part of the mythos. This is why I spurred to write this editorial in the first place. Those images raised a lot of questions for me. I’m hoping that the new movies do a good job of addressing what became of them after the war and why they are back now. The movies just can’t have troopers in them without explaining WHY they are are. I guess we’ll see how they handle this once we get more information and of course, when we see the movies for ourselves.