We knew J.J. Abrams was going back to the beginning with some of Ralph McQuarrie’s original designs and sketches to hone the look of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and this first look at a new collectible is the perfect mashup of new and old — along with what could be an intriguing story-related detail.
Minor potential spoiler alert here, but the first promo concept art for Sideshow Collectible’s new Star Wars Ralph McQuarrie Artist Series Stormtrooper statue has been revealed. What do we see? A stormtrooper chasing figures in the distance ... and he’s carrying a blue lightsaber. As any fan can tell you, that isn’t typical gear for a stormtrooper. Hmm.
There's been some speculation bouncing around the ol' Interwebs that this is actually John Boyega’s mysterious stormtrooper character, Finn, who we first met running through the desert in the debut teaser trailer. There’ve been rumors to the effect that he could be a Jedi in training, and the shot above of a ‘trooper holding a lightsaber is definitely a change from what’s come before that would jibe with that.
The new in-continuity animated series Star Wars: Rebels has already shown Rebel forces going undercover in the Empire as stormtroopers in an effort to infiltrate the enemy and glean intel, so it stands to reason that could also be what we’re seeing here. There's definitely a (recent) precedent. Or, heck, maybe the Empire has traded in its guns for laser swords this time around.
All that said, however, it should be noted that Ralph McQuarrie's original concept art did include stormtroopers wielding lightsabers, so this could just be another case of Internet fanpeople (ourselves, included) starving for every little bit of The Force Awakens detail making something out of nothing.
What do you think of the figure (which will be available for preorder soon)? Who is this mysterious stormtrooper, and why does he have a lightsaber?