Watching Disney’s excellent Star Wars show The Mandalorian, you may have noticed that you’re immersed in a video game to uncover the latest set of horrific villains.
The Mandalorian spoilers are first.
In The Mandalorian’s Chapter 14, the evil empire chief Moffgideon sends a squad of Dark Troopers to a planet called Tyson to kidnap the poor old Baby Yoda. They succeed.
These dark troopers are menacing black droids with red eyes and appear to be made solely for the wicked. They were teased in Chapter 12, but last week’s show revealed a dark trooper about what they are: droids that appear to be sucking the dark side.
The appearance of the Dark Trooper in The Mandalorian may have rekindled the memories of some classic Star Wars video games. They were first introduced in Lucasarts’ 1995 first-person shooter, Star Wars: Dark Forces. In that game, you’ll play Kailuka Turn, a merchant who works in the Rebel Alliance to uncover the Empire’s secret Dark Trooper project. This project, led by General Rom Mohc, is about the development of a powerful new droid and a powerful armored stormtrooper. The Dark Trooper had three phases. One was a rarely used prototype, the second was a widely used one, and the third was an exoskeleton. Only one of the Phase 3 Dark Troopers was produced.
Here’s what the Dark Trooper looks like in Star Wars: Dark Force, courtesy of YouTube channel Star Wars:
Later, the Dark Troopers appeared in other video games such as Star Wars Galaxy, the original battlefront game, and Force Unleashed. These games, along with Dark Forces, are non-genuine. A Canon version of the Dark Trooper was seen in Disney’s free strategy game Star Wars Commander, which was closed in early 2020:
And Dark Troopers don’t just nod to the Mandalorian Star Wars video games. The season 2 opener was basically a Crate Dragonside quest in the Knights of the Old Republic. And to be honest, how the Mandalorian episode ends, they’re all video game side quests, right?
so! Someone at the top of The Mandalorian appears to be a fan of Star Wars video games. One of the fan theories at the end of Mandalorian Season 2 suggests that Moffgideon climbs the exoskeleton of the Dark Trooper to fight the hero. In the final boss battle of Star Wars Dark Force, Kailuka Turn fights Rommoke, who uses the only Phase 3 Dark Trooper exoskeleton that exists.