The Mandalorian trailer is finally here and it features a lot of stormtroopers. Let’s explore why stormtroopers are still out and about after the fall of the Empire in the new Star Wars live-action series.
Brimming with intriguing images, The Mandalorian trailer demands numerous viewings. The Star Wars series trailer opens with a shot of stormtrooper helmets in the sand while other helmets are impaled for all to see.
Later on, the trailer showcases a menacing group of death troopers, an elite variant of stormtroopers introduced in Rogue One. The death trooper are seen on their own, and also flanking Giancarlo Esposito’s character. Stormtroopers with their traditional armor design are also seen confronting the Mandalorian himself.
It’s thrilling to see the Mandalorian facing these familiar foes, but it’s worth asking why they’re in this story in the first place. The show is confirmed to take place a few years after Return of the Jedi. While canon has shown the Empire survived beyond Return of the Jedi and the Battle of Endor, the Empire was officially defeated roughly a year later at the Battle of Jakku.
What remained of the Empire then fled to the Unknown Regions and eventually became the First Order. According to this narrative, any surviving Imperial soldiers should be dead or hiding in the Unknown Regions at this point in the timeline, not openly fighting on Mandalore.
While there’s no official explanation yet, there are a few ways it makes sense without contradicting what’s already been established in canon.
Just because the Empire is gone doesn’t mean that there are no longer Imperial sympathizers. At the time of The Mandalorian, the Empire has only been gone for a couple years. There are still plenty who would sympathize with the old regime and be happy to unofficially carry on the Empire’s work.
It’s mainly the surviving bigwigs–officers like Brendol Hux–who escaped the Battle of Jakku and fled to the Unknown Regions. Many of the everyday soldiers were probably left behind. With no place to go, they could flock to Imperial sympathizers and serve them.
It’s also possible that these are not stormtroopers who served with the Empire, but are just people wearing the Imperial armor and outfitted with Imperial weapons, both of which could’ve been purchased or scavenged in the time after the Empire’s fall. There’s an association with the Empire that makes the facade of stormtroopers and death troopers more convincing, even if they’re people who never served the Empire.
Bloodline–a canon novel that’s supposed to take place 24 years after Return of the Jedi and the Battle of Endor–shows that many in the galaxy are still fascinated by the Empire. Artifacts from the Empire fetch a handsome price from the right buyer. If that’s the case more than two decades after the fall of the Empire, it can certainly be the case during The Mandalorian, with Imperial sympathizers flaunting stormtroopers and using them as they see fit.
Whether the answer to the stormtrooper question is revealed in the coming months or not until the show debuts on Disney Plus, we can’t wait to get to the bottom of this. For now, though, we’ll just re-watch the trailer on repeat.
What’s your theory on the stormtroopers in The Mandalorian trailer? Let us know in the comments!