The Sith troopers in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker could be the remnants of Revan's carbonite army, which could tie into the First Order's origins in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Wars movie is one of the last major opportunities Lucasfilm has to reintroduce specific parts of Sith history from Legends into Star Wars canon because it's not only the last installment in the Skywalker saga but also the first in the sequel trilogy to include the Sith.
It was revealed at the end of the first Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer that Palpatine was coming back. Since he's been presumed dead for decades - thanks to the destruction of the second Death Star (as well as Darth Vader tossing him down the reactor) - him returning to the fold is one of the most intriguing aspects of The Rise of Skywalker. Plus, it marked the first instance of the Sith playing a prominent role in the sequel trilogy; it was no longer about the First Order just being the next stage of an evil rule.
After that, Lucasfilm unveiled the First Order's Sith troopers prior to the Stormtroopers being showcased at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. While details on the Sith troopers and their involvement haven't been revealed yet, their armor is clearly an evolution of the standard First Order Stormtrooper armor set, and their weapon appears to be an enhanced version of the F-11D blaster rifle that the First Order's army uses. But what if there's more to them than only being elite soldiers in the First Order? What if their story dates back thousands of years to the Old Republic?
Sith Troopers Are From Knights Of The Old Republic
In the Star Wars movies, there has never been a Sith empire, at least overtly. Emperor Palpatine's Galactic Empire was the closest thing to it since it had two Dark Lords of the Sith in charge of it all. But regardless of that fact, the Stormtroopers that operated in the Imperial army weren't members of the Sith Order nor were they trained in any version of the Force. That seems to be changing, at least on some level, due to the fact that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has Stormtroopers that are specifically called Sith troopers. But the thing is, Sith troopers aren't actually new to the Star Wars franchise; they just hadn't been introduced into canon until now.
Sith troopers first appeared in BioWare's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game on the planet of Taris. When the game released, it was said to take place thousands of years before the Galactic Civil War (the events of the original Star Wars trilogy), and so, it was in a time where there really was a full-fledged Sith Empire. First led by Revan and then later by Darth Malak, the Sith troopers were the official soldiers of the Sith Empire. Sith troopers reappeared in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, but then they vanished - that is, until they returned prior to the completion of the first Death Star.
Revan Froze An Army In Carbonite
Knights of the Old Republic fans are keenly aware of Revan's story during the Jedi Civil War, but the thing is, as with many characters in the Star Wars franchise, his story didn't end there. It was expanded upon in novels and other video games, like Star Wars: The Old Republic. At some point in the Star Wars timeline, a section of the Sith Empire detracted from the Order's teachings and established the Order of Revan, in order to follow the principles that Revan had set forth during his reign.
Some of the members of the Order of Revan were ultimately tasked with creating an Infinite Army - a battalion of cyborg-esque soldiers created by infusing Rakatan technology (science developed by an ancient yet advanced species that lived tens of thousands of years before the events of the original trilogy) with living beings so that they could essentially never die, either through injury or time. But the development of this Infinite Army (of Sith troopers) was believed to have been halted. However, it's possible that they were created and did survive the Old Republic.
In the Forces of Corruption expansion for the video game Star Wars: Empire at War, the Nightsister Silri decoded a Sith holocron obtained from Jabba the Hutt, which contained coordinates for an unknown system. Once she reached the planet, she uncovered a Sith tomb filled with a Sith army that had been frozen in carbonite. What's more, a Sith master was present among them, also frozen in carbonite. Although never explicitly confirmed, it's been long believed that this army was Revan's Infinite Army, and the Sith master was Revan himself.
Theory: Kylo Ren Found Revan's Army
Ever since Star Wars: The Force Awakens released, it's been stated by Lucasfilm that Supreme Leader Snoke and Kylo Ren aren't Sith, despite the fact that they practice the dark side of the Force. So then, why would the First Order, which Snoke created and Kylo Ren now leads, suddenly absorb the Sith's name (and possibly, teachings) into this military-based dictatorship? It doesn't make sense, at least at this moment. What's possible is that Kylo Ren becomes a Sith by learning from Palpatine, who may very well be looking for a new apprentice since his last one had betrayed him.
But aside from that particular possibility, it's also possible that, once Kylo Ren became the Supreme Leader, he sought out the teachings of the Sith himself and uncovered a Sith holocron (which is already part of Star Wars canon) that ultimately him to a planet in the Unknown Regions. The First Order hails from the Unknown Regions, so it wouldn't be far-fetched to have the new Supreme Leader return to that part of the Star Wars galaxy in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Kylo Ren could easily uncover Revan's carbonite army - thereby bringing Revan himself into canon, albeit indirectly, even if he doesn't show up in the movie - and use that army as his own personal guards. It's been rumored that the Sith troopers only answer to Kylo Ren (via MakingStarWars), so if he were to discover the Infinite Army himself, he could assimilate them into the First Order as his own personal version of the Praetorian Guard. That would also explain why they're colored red, beyond red being the go-to color for dark side Force users. A lot can happen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but having Kylo Ren uncover Revan's carbonite Sith trooper army would certainly be on the most intriguing elements of the film.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019