It's the kind of 'Star Wars' secret normally kept under lock and key, but the new "Shadow Trooper" just got exposed by Lucasfilm's need to make big money merchandising the character.
Lucasfilm filed docs to lock up the trademark to manufacture and sell all things "Shadow Trooper" -- such as clothing, footwear, toys, gymnastic and sporting articles, electronic games, Christmas stockings, Christmas tree ornaments, snow globes ... pretty much everything under Tatooine's 2 suns.
Shadow has already been introduced to the 'Star Wars' universe via video games, but hasn't been in any of the movies. This move is a strong sign that's about to change. 'Star Wars' geeks have speculated a debut in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" ... which comes out in December.
Lucasfilm filed similar docs for Kylo Ren, BB-8 and Poe Dameron long before 'The Force Awakens' was released.