The tiniest morsel of background information for the story behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens can be found scrawled across the official packaging for the “First Order Stormtrooper” action figure, which will be available at the San Diego Comic-Con in July. Most of the film’s merchandise won’t be available until September, but anyone attending SDCC 2015 will have the chance to get in on the action early.
The description reads:
Shock troopers clad in white armor first appeared on the galactic stage during the opening battles of the Clone Wars. Clone Trooper armor became iconic almost immediately; its stark white design stood for hope that peace and stability might be restored to a galaxy at war. But this dream of peace died with the Republic, and the Empire that rose to take its place imposed order by any means necessary. Soldiers within the grand army of the Republic were given a new name: Stormtroopers. As these former protectors of galactic peace mercilessly crushed resistance across the galaxy, their white armor came to symbolize oppression and the indomitable power of the Emperor’s will. Yet the tyranny of imperial rule sparked rebellion, and the Stormtrooper legions were scattered in the aftermath of the Empire’s fall. Now, the rise of the First Order ushers in the next chapter in the Stormtrooper’s legacy as a new era of ruthless brutality begins.
What, exactly, is the First Order? Since the film won’t hit theaters until December, we can only rely on brief snippets such as this toy’s description for clues. But it sounds an awful lot like a very simple segue for the fallen Emperor’s engines of imperial might. I mean, just because he was destroyed in Return of the Jedi doesn’t mean that all of his minions suddenly decided to throw down their weapons and pull the ol’ Nuremberg “I was just following orders” defense.