Star Wars has always been a little heavy-handed with the Nazi imagery of its villains, from Darth Vader’s helmet to the big rally in The Force Awakens, and it makes the amount of villain-branded merchandise seem a little strange at first. Of course, Star Wars villains always look really cool, so it’s totally understandable that a kid would want Kylo Ren or Grand Moff Tarkin on their lunchbox. It’s sort of a weird disconnect, since we know those guys are evil because they look and act like Nazis, but they’re not really Nazis, so we don’t have a problem ignoring it.
Now, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story coming later this year, we’re getting a whole new batch of villains whose merchandise we can feel temporarily conflicted about. One such villain is the Death Trooper, those Stormtrooper-like guys in the black armor who popped up for a second in the Rogue One trailer back in April. According to TMZ, Lucasfilm and Disney have filed the necessary paperwork in Europe to sell “clothing, footwear, toys, games, birthday party paper hats and favors,” and even “Christmas tree stands” featuring the Death Troopers. We don’t know anything about them other than that they look intimidating and that they’re called Death Troopers, but come on. This is Star Wars, and that’s enough to know that they’re gonna be pretty evil dudes, and those evil dudes will now be appearing on party hats and Christmas tree stands.
Granted, there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of that, but the idea of a kid saying “I want a Death Trooper-themed birthday!” might be a little alarming to parents who aren’t hip to the names of the various Star Wars baddies. Luckily, this is a total non-issue for most Star Wars fans, who are just adults buying toys and stuff for themselves. Much like all of that Force Awakens merchandise featuring the shining visage of Captain Phasma, the adult fans will probably be grabbing up all of the Death Trooper stuff before the kids can anyway.