The Death Squad is coming! Perhaps in an ode to one of the original 12 Star Wars action figures based on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope that arrived in 1978, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is introducing an elite team of black stormtroopers called the Death Squad. Though, they do not look like the helmeted unnamed man in the grey jumpsuit whose action figure was later rebranded Star Destroyer Commander. It is not known if the name is just a coincidence, or if director Gareth Edwards has decided to pay direct homage to this toy.
The Death Squad is reportedly an army of black stormtroopers. Thus far, there have been two different kinds of Black Stormtroopers spotted on set. The helmet of one variant was teased by star Donnie Yen. It has a longer face on the helmet and resembles the concept art of Ralph McQuarrie, who designed the original look and feel of the Star Wars universe before it was perfected by creator George Lucas and his team. This is believed to be the Death Squad trooper. This is different from the Death Trooper, which is the classic black armored Stormtrooper. This particular variant has the classic Stormtrooper mask first introduced in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope back in 1977. The one distinction is that it has green glowing lights around the microphone area of the onyx colored mask.
The Empire is playing a heavy role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. And it is set to feature quite a few new looks for the classic Stormtrooper. You can see three of the examples below. Along with the classic Trooper, Death Trooper, Death Squad, and Shark Yellow trooper, we will also be seeing something called the 'Pinnacle Trooper'. Though, MakingStarWars has no point of reference for this particular design. There is also a soldier called the Scarab Trooper.
It was earlier reported that the Death Squad Stormtroopers would be featured as the logo on all the new Hasbro merchandise and toys being unleashed in stores this September as part of Force Friday. It sounds like that rumor was a little misleading. It is now being reported that the toys will actually feature a Darth Vader logo. The packaging has the Rebel heroes standing in a V shape group pose with the title of the movie beneath them. Darth's helmet is situated above the heroes. And there is one unidentified male character, believed to be the new villain, dressed in all white with a flowing cape. He stands in the lower right section beneath the group shot. Truth be told, this sounds rather busy for Star Wars toy packaging. Especially since the Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys only contained a Kylo Ren logo.
It was announced that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is getting its own Force Friday on September 30, 2016. This will be the first time that toys and other merchandise for the spinoff are released into stores before the movie debuts in December. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story revolves around a group of rebel soldiers who go on an impossible mission to steal plans for the original Death Star. No further confirmed details have been released. At this time, there is absolutely no idea when the first trailer will drop. Until then, take a look at what is believed to be the Death Squad helmet in the photo below, accompanied by the classic Trooper and the Shark Yellow trooper.