One noticeable thing about the Star Wars shows that occur during the New Republic era is that the Imperial remnants want to be quite unique in terms of their army, as we saw Moff Gideon’s Purge Troopers and Armored Commandos. The same thing happened in the ‘Ahsoka’ series when we saw Grand Admiral Thrawn showing off the might of his army as he led Stormtroopers that were called the Night Troopers. But what exactly are the Night Troopers?
The Night Troopers are the Stormtroopers that Grand Admiral Thrawn gathered on Peridea in preparation for his eventual return to the known galaxy. These troopers were likely remnants of his troops when he was banished and replenished by locals. The Night Troopers wear standard Stormtrooper armor outlined with gold.
The fact that the Night Troopers have gold-outlined armor makes them quite unique, as there’s a good reason why Thrawn chose to give them that look. Of course, we are yet to see just how strong the Night Troopers are, but we know that they are going to be a threat to the known galaxy as Thrawn is set to return from his long exile.
Thrawn’s personal Stormtroopers
Undoubtedly, all of the Empire’s commanders relied on the Stormtroopers as their ground soldiers, as these troops were specifically trained for many different types of warfare. That means that Grand Admiral Thrawn and other military leaders relied heavily on these soldiers when hunting down the Rebels.
But while that may be true, we also know that the individual Imperial warlords who survived the fall of the Empire also operated on their own but still by the contingency plan of the Emperor. Some of those warlords created their own private armies, as was the case for Moff Gideon, who had Purge Troopers and special Armored Commandos. And even Thrawn followed suit with his own personal army of Stormtroopers.
Unlike the other personal troopers we’ve seen under the leadership of the different Imperial warlords during the New Republic era, Thrawn’s Stormtroopers aren’t exactly very different from the regular Stormtroopers because they wear the same armor that’s outlined with gold in the individual cracks that were formed. Thrawn calls them the Night Troopers, meaning there must be something different about these soldiers.
Of course, the man leading the Night Troopers as their captain is Enoch, who wears the same uniform that the Night Troopers wear except for the fact that his helmet has a gold face instead of the standard Stormtrooper façade. From what we’ve seen in the series, it is clear that Thrawn was able to amass a huge army that would threaten the safety and security of the New Republic.
Nightsister Magick might be in play
As mentioned, there aren’t a lot of differences between the standard Stormtroopers and Thrawn’s Night Troopers. This isn’t the same as Moff Gideon’s troopers, who have special weapons and armor that Stormtroopers don’t have. So, if that’s the case, there must be a reason why these troopers have a different name.
This leads us to the possibility that Nightsister Magick is in play here. As we all know, Thrawn has allied himself with the Great Mothers of Peridea and has relied on their Dark Magick’s power. It is even possible that the Great Mothers were the ones who revived Marrok and sent him to become one of Morgan Elsbeth’s loyal soldiers. And that’s because the Nightsisters wield a power that allows them to bring the dead back to life as the undead.
As mentioned, Thrawn was able to amass a huge army of Night Troopers. We know that he has been in exile for around ten years. Of course, when he and Ezra were banished from the known galaxy, all of the soldiers that he had in the Chimaera were also banished. But it is unlikely that all of those soldiers survived for ten years in a galaxy that was foreign to them.
As such, some of the Night Troopers may have been created by the Great Mothers using their magick, as we all know that they can bring the dead back to life. This allowed Thrawn to maintain a massive army despite the lack of resources, as the undead don’t necessarily need to eat, drink, or even sleep to sustain their bodies.
Of course, there’s also a good chance that these soldiers were natives of the galaxy, either dead or alive. That’s because Enoch used an alien language to order them when they were first shown onscreen. This opens up the possibility that they were from that galaxy, not the known galaxy. And there’s also a good chance that those Night Troopers were also undead as well.
The undead theory is bolstered by Thrawn telling Elsbeth that he didn’t have enough men to spare when he sent a few soldiers after Baylan and Shin went out to look for Sabine and Ezra. Resources were thin then, and Thrawn must have realized that he didn’t want to waste good undead soldiers to go after the Force wielders.
The “Kintsugi” inspiration
Another thing that we were able to notice from Thrawn’s Night Troopers was the fact that they wore standard Stormtrooper armor but were outlined by gold in the cracks and damages of their armor. The Japanese tradition of Kintsugi obviously inspired this, as we all know that many elements in Star Wars were inspired by Japanese culture.
Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken pottery using gold. This gives the pottery a more refined appearance after being repaired. In many ways, the Japanese also regard the repaired object as better than the original one. This practice philosophically embraces the beauty in flaws and imperfections that we can see in many different aspects of life.
In that regard, using Kintsugi in the armor of the Night Troopers applies to how these soldiers were basically “reborn” either metaphorically or literally (if the undead theory holds true). Spending around a decade in an entirely different galaxy broke Thrawn and his soldiers. Nevertheless, the experience eventually hardened and strengthened them as they were reborn.
Thrawn must have also learned how to embrace his imperfections after ten years of exile in a different galaxy. He understood that his imperfections led to his defeat all those years ago, and he realized the importance of embracing his imperfections so that he could come back stronger and better. He and his Night Troopers are now looking to return to the known galaxy to take back what they believe was always rightfully theirs.
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