Posted on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
With a bevy of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story merchandise gearing up to hit stores on September 30th, 2016 (a marketing event called “Force Friday”, or is it “Rogue Friday?”) we are finally seeing a lot more designs for the first Star Wars standalone movie. One of the designs to be released as a toy is a Stormtrooper with a jetpack which has got some Star Wars fans wondering if we’ll be seeing Stormtroopers in flight (i.e. Jump troopers) in the new film.
Here is a look at the action figure in question:
Reddit user Toa_Quarax explains when and where the soldier could be seen in the movie:
At first, I thought it might be a figure based on the jump trooper from Star Wars Battlefront, but the figure’s just called a stormtrooper, the figure looks like a Rogue One-style stormtrooper, and the jetpack’s a different design, actually bearing more resemblance to the “custom jetpacks” used by Sky Troopers in Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. However, it’s worth noting that the E-11 the figure comes with does not seem to be the Rogue One E-11, as it lacks the Element M300A LED Mini Scout Light (EX 191) flashlight. … Also, a few websites (example) have mentioned that one of the phrases it says is “Head for the canyon,” which kinda gives us a idea of where they might appear in the film. Side note: I’m wondering if there’ll be a scene heavily featuring flashlights, since they’ve added them to a lot to blasters; the E-11, death trooper blaster, and shoretrooper blaster (maybe even the death trooper specialist blaster) all have the Element M300A, Baze Malbus’ blaster and Edrio Two Tubes’ blaster both have the Night Evolution X300U (I just identified this one myself), and the death trooper specialist blaster seems to have two flashlights.
StarWarsNewsNet theorizes that the Stormtroopers with Jetpacks could appear in an evening fight in the desert: the late-night assault on an Imperial outpost on Jedha. We’ve already witnessed an aerial component to that battle with the X-Wings in the last trailer, as well as a ground battle (with Baze Malbus sniping Stormtroopers).
Now, of course, a lot of big movies release toys for characters and vehicles that aren’t in the movie. For example, the Marvel films are notorious for releasing a bunch of Iron Man suits that don’t appear in the films themselves — they are designs created just for the action figure lines. We have yet to see any image or video of a Jetpack-equipped Stormtrooper in any of the pre-release Rogue One marketing thus far, but that doesn’t mean they won’t appear in the film.
There have been Stormtroopers with jetpacks in previous Star Wars canon and legend. The Reddit user mentions that Jetpack-equipped Stormtroopers have shown up in The Force Unleashed, the Battlefront games, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, and the ongoing Poe Dameron comic.
Jump troopers, also known as Imperial jump troopers were specialized stormtroopers skilled in the use of jetpacks and bubble shields they could activate for short time. Using similar tactics as their clone predecessors, they bound over walls to attack enemy turrets directly. They were equipped with RT-97C heavy blasters and a shield generator.
So this is not something new to the Star Wars mythos, but if a Jetpack-equipped Stormtrooper makes it on screen in Rogue One, it will be the first time we’ve seen one on the big screen.
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