When The Force Awakens hit theaters in 2015, it brought along a new kind of Stormtrooper. The armor, while retaining the classic look from the 1977 original Star Wars, had been given an upgrade, they appeared to be the same old Troopers. And they still couldn’t hit a target to save their life. Some complained that they looked like they’d been manufactured by Apple. But these iTroopers aren’t just wearing slightly modified chest protectors. There is a big difference in the way they act, as well. Some might say they’ve been given a Millennial twist. But Millennials would never say that, cause they hate that term and being labeled. There lies your answer. These Stormtroopers are individuals. As we’ve clearly noticed with the AWOL Finn, who has since become a big deal in the Resistance. Now, we have a better understanding of the mindset behind these soldiers who work exclusively for Supreme Leader Snoke.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters this December. And the First Order Stormtroopers will return, with the Judicial being announced as the latest upgrade. The Judicial Stormtrooper is judge, jury and executioner when it comes to dealing with Stormtroopers who disobey their directive. And it sounds like they are much needed in this landscape of individualistic ideals and personalities.
Actor Sam Witwer, who has voiced Darth Maul, Emperor Palpatine, and Starkiller in different animated projects including Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, is the first to note some of the big differences between the Imperial Stormtroopers of old and the new Troopers working under General Hux and Kylo Ren. As ComicBook.com points out, Witwer voiced some of the Stormtroopers in The Force Awakens and their original counterparts in Rogue One. Asked if he would be returning for Star Wars 8, the actor wouldn’t give a direct answer. But he did go onto say this about the difference between the old and new Troops.
“I cannot confirm nor deny whether I’ve done any voice work for The Last Jedi. Having said that, I will say this: First Order Stormtroopers are different than Episode IV, V, and VI Troopers. They are very different. They’re younger, they’re a little bit more emotionally available…they actually scream at each other and stuff like that, whereas [Original Trilogy] Stormtroopers never get really beyond a five or a six in terms of excitement. They could be in the middle of a giant firefight, and they’re like, ‘Hold it right there, freeze,’ you know, in the middle of like a BIG firefight. The Rebels could be all screaming, the Stormtrooper’s like, ‘Blast ’em!’ They just don’t get that excited, except when they get killed, then they freak out, they go, ‘AHHHHHH!!’ They lose it when they get killed, have amazing death screams. But Episode VII Troopers yell at each other more. They’re a little bit more younger, more excitable type folks.”
And this may all have to do with Snoke’s recruitment program. It’s still not clear where Finn came from or who his parents really are. But it’s clear that the First Order abducted him from a Space Mall at a very young age, and raised him to be a solider. Each of the new Troopers, who number in the tens of thousands, have an individual story. And it doesn’t sound like any of them volunteered to be here. Witwer went onto talk about the original Stormtrooper voice actors, and how they approached their characters.
“In Episode IV they were a bunch of DJ, disk jockeys from Northern California, you know (laughs), who were not actors, but they had that very disk jockey voice. When you put them through the filter, they suddenly sound like Stormtroopers. And so I try to bring that to Rogue One.”
It’s believed that The Last Jedi will serve to introduce a few more Stormtroopers with their own unique personality, just like Finn. And it’s believed that there will be a few Trooper surprises along the way. Perhaps a Stormtrooper will actually hit its target this time out? The new movie opens on December 15, and it is poised to be the biggest movie of the year.