Look, we all love stormtroopers. How could we not? They are one of the most beloved costumes of our time, and the symbol of the Galactic Empire. You can't even think of the term "Star Wars" without picturing stormtroopers in the background, whether they're the sandtroopers seen everywhere from Tatooine to the Battle of Jakku or the Cavetroopers of the Hidden Depths RPG game. They are as varied as they are useful and the Empire wouldn't have gotten half as far as it did without the aid of the seemingly infinite amount of stormtroopers at their disposal.
Like any good villain, stormtroopers are flawed, but here's the thing: stormtroopers are heavily flawed. While it makes sense that an army made up of a diverse array of soldiers, from clones to stolen babies to recruits, would have a pretty wide range of flaws, many of them still don't make much sense when they're examined beneath a microscope. Many are technologically-related while others simply defy expectations or prove major characters wrong, prompting us to ask, "Just what i the make of a stormtrooper?" Sometimes the scope is so wide that even the most hardcore fans have to argue it out.
From their heavily-debated aim to their questionable weapons, their uneven range of skills and training to their so-ridiculous-they-are-awesome uniforms, there's plenty to critique when it comes to a standard stormtrooper.
We certainly don't expect perfection, even from Star Wars. Nevertheless, we have to point out these 25 Things That Make No Sense About Stormtroopers.
25 Their Awful Aim
It's one of the most highly contested debates within the Star Wars fandom, but the proof is in the pudding: stormtroopers have awful aim. Let's disregard any theories about whether or not they were "supposed" to let certain people go or not; without being privy to that information directly, the assumption should be made that they were aiming for their targets down completely straight hallways and still totally missed. They do that a lot.
If anything needs to be done to upgrade stormtroopers, it's probably getting them to a firing range, stat.
Maybe throw in some clay pigeons while you're at it, First Order.
24 They Age And Expire Prematurely
The clone stormtroopers had plenty of flaws to render them worth tabling following the Republic's indiscriminate use, but one of their biggest issues was that they age and expire prematurely. What good is it to manufacture so many soldiers if they're all going to burn out and waste away faster than a typical solider in the first place?
Of course, that doesn't mean they should never be used, or that this issue couldn't be resolved with proper study and experimentation, but as it is, the clone troopers just don't make sense.
23 They Fought With Double-edged Lightsabers
The original plan was to give the stormtroopers some lightsabers, but that was abandoned in order to keep the Jedis looking cool and exclusive.
Why revamp the original idea by giving stormtroopers two-edged lightsaber swords to swing around?
In the Star Wars Legends series, Darth Vader trained these very clone soldiers with red, double-edge lightsaber swords. It seems to defeat the purpose by giving the stormtroopers a much more interesting look than intended. That said, it's also quite cool-- if only it remained canon.
22 Big Names Played Very Minor StormTrooper Roles
While it's understandable that everyone wants their spot in a franchise like Star Wars, even for a brief moment, it's weird that so many people played teeny, tiny nameless stormtroopers as their claim to fame in the series--especially those with names that are already widely-known across the globe, like Daniel Craig, William, and Harry. Kevin Smith and Tom Hardy have been stormtroopers, and Freddie Prinze Jr. voiced an animated stormtrooper.
It's kind of like how South Park uses celebrities to voice non-speaking roles, like dogs. It's funny to some but it seems like a waste.
21 Their Armor Doesn't Work
When it comes to stormtrooper armor, the iconic look means that fans love to dress up in it for Halloween and cosplay in it for comic-cons.
As fun as it is to play in and look at, it doesn't really work in any battle situation.
Argue that their numbers remain endless all you want, but we've seen them taken out by Ewoks and rocks, for Pete's sake. If your shiny white helmet isn't protecting your noggin, you need a new helmet.
20 Their Armor Is Also Cumbersome And Poorly-Designed
In addition to simply failing at its main job of protecting the stormtroopers, stormtrooper armor is incredibly cumbersome, rendering each soldier a clunky, awkward-looking fighter who could really use some sleek, bendy armor that might suit, you know, the time and place.
There's no peripheral vision capabilities in those helmets, and the range of motion in the uniform is pretty much nonexistent.
Vision and basic physical articulation seem like important qualities in an armed force. No wonder they're such awful fighters.
19 Riot Batons Are Stupid Weapons
Riot batons as weapons for stormtroopers make absolutely zero sense. It's like bringing a morning star to a fight with a lightsaber-wielding Jedi: sure, it looks cool, but between the wide-range weapons and, you know, technological advances of the time, your weapon really doesn't warrant much use in a fight.
We get that they were once supposed to have lightsabers and that didn't pan out, but a baton really isn't a consolation prize. Stick to the blasters and their upgrades, stormtroopers.
18 No Women Could Serve On The Death Star
Captain Phasma is one of the coolest-looking stormtroopers in history, but she's the only woman we know by name. There are women who serve as stormtroopers and seemingly always have been, without any major rule changes, but there are some really wacky rules surrounding women who do serve.
There was a rule that no women were able to serve on the Death Star, for example. Also, no more than three female stormtroopers could serve in the same legion at the same time. The rules obviously don't make sense and wouldn't hold much water if they were tested in the modern films.
17 They Have Awful Combat Skills
They're supposed to be these elite fighters, but we're not so sure. Have you seen stormtroopers fight in hand-to-hand combat?
These soldiers are impressive for three reasons: their uniforms, their blasters, and their sheer force in numbers.
Their combat skills leaves much to be desire. It's really no surprise given their cool but bulky, impractical uniforms. Even if Syrio Forel, Master Yoda, and Pai Mei all trained the soldiers together, they'd probably still have that much trouble maneuvering around in those suits.
16 They Don't Clone The Best Of The Best
While we know that cloning technology exists, we also know that the First Order, like the Galactic Empire before it, cut it from their tactics, preferring humans to work for them instead of the clones the Republic favored. While we can see pros and cons to this, why not use the cloning technology and improve upon it by copying the best soldiers and sending those clones out to fight?
Why introduce such cool technology and a seemingly endless buffet of soldiers only to abandon it later? While we've been given several drawback explanations, there are still plenty of ways the First Order could improve upon cloning methods.
15 They Waste Time Recording And Viewing Every Conversation
Every conversation that stormtroopers have is seemingly recorded and possibly reviewed, wasting who knows how many valuable man hours. Maybe the First Order kept some clones around to do this job.
The idea is to use the stormtroopers' helmet comlinks to ensure there's no wasteful talking going on, whatever that means.
It's one thing to make sure your troops are being efficient, but seriously if they've got sentry duty in a remote area, they're bound to talk away some of the boredom, right? This practice just seems really wasteful in terms of time and resources.
14 They Aren't Allowed To Cool Off
Just sweat it out. That's basically what stormtroopers are told if they get hot. They are strictly forbidden from utilizing their cooling systems in all of that armor unless they are in a highly critical situation when the systems might be needed for the good of the mission.
This is the dumbest protocol possible. Not only would it surely cause damage and even loss of life on planets with desert environments, but it would also simply cause general sluggishness among the ranks. No matter how well-trained an army is, that much armor gets cumbersome after a while.
13 Their Helmets Only Filter Smoke
Why on earth would anyone design a filtration system that only works for smoke, especially when you're fighting in space on multiple planets with various atmospheres, harmful gases, and other unknown elements as a threat? This far into the future, they should not only have designer filtration systems in every mask, but in the water, too.
It might make sense for this futuristic amenity to vary depending on the planet for various life forms and their economies, but the First Order should definitely be styling some first-class helmets.
12 They're Almost All Left-Handed
"They're clones," some fans argue. Sure, that would make sense for all Republic stormtroopers to be left-handed, but why are so many left-handed across the board? Sure, many are clones, but any fan knows that stormtroopers come from other sources, too-- like screaming parents who don't want to give up their little kids or young people who hope to join the armed forces instead of wasting away as scavengers or slaves.
Not all stormtroopers are clones, so not all of them should be left-handed.
Only ten percent of the population is left-handed, so that's about how often we should see it in the movies.
11 Wearing Uniforms At All Times Seems Wasteful
It's a very rare moment when we catch a stormtrooper out of uniform. That makes sense during combat, but when we're checking out Empire facilities, why is every stormtrooper dressed in complete battle attire all of the time?
It seems like a complete waste of energy to run their power systems rather than conserving them for actual combat.
It might make sense to have select squads rotate uniforms, taking turns to be on duty as needed, but we've seen so many in complete uniform at all times. Maybe if they didn't have to be restrained in uniform all the time they'd be better fighters.
10 They Haven't Evolved Much After Decades Of Movies
It's been decades since we witnessed the first stormtroopers order our heroes to "Halt!", yet they haven't really evolved much since then. They continue to make the same mistakes and present the same flaws as they did in 1977. Sure, the weapons have improved a bit, and we've seen all kinds of different types of stormtroopers in action, but there hasn't been any real evolution among them, even a generation later.
No laser eyes, cool formations, or improved uniforms-- what gives?
9 The First Order Continues To Use Them
The fact that the stormtroopers haven't really evolved makes them seem a bit outdated for First Order use. The First Order is, in some ways, creepier and more modern than the Empire, and it should reflect that down to the lowest foot soldier. Why aren't there many more soldiers, for example, like the Elite Praetorian Guard?
Why not use cloning technology on each guard to form a super Order?
The fact that the First Order has been able to get this far at all proves that they're using a powerful military, but it just doesn't match up with the stormtroopers as we know them.
8 Clones Have More Autonomy Than Human Recruits
When comparing the Republic clone stormtroopers to the human recruits, it's pretty weird how the clones have more personal freedom than their human counterparts. While they, too, went by numbers rather than official names, they did give themselves nicknames as well as other defining characteristics, like distinct personalities and even facial tattoos.
What's more, clones acted even more human toward one another, referring to each other as "brother." It's pretty messed up that human recruits were the ones who behaved more like mindless robots. The Galactic Empire and First Order have no room for humanity and have since wiped out individual expression.
7 They don't use their Thermal Detonators
Remember the little cylinder that rests in the small of the back of each stormtrooper? If you thought that was where they kept their futuristic lunch, you're wrong: these canisters are actually thermal detonators that are not only button and code-protected, ensuring use by stormtroopers alone, but that also vary in their range capabilities, making them much more effective than mere bombs.
They seem like a pretty sound strategy for many a tricky situation in which we've seen stormtroopers kick the bucket.
Why don't we ever see these bad babies in action?
6 Luke And Han's Stormtrooper Helmets Look Different
If you noticed that the stormtrooper helmets that Luke and Han wore in disguise in A New Hope were a bit snazzier than the helmets the rest of the stormtroopers were wearing, you're not wrong.
Their uniforms were purposefully shinier to be more noticeable on screen, helping viewers keep up with the story and not mistake their heroes for villains.
The only trouble with this, of course, is that it makes no sense in the story for any of the stormtroopers to have such fancy uniforms on, let alone for the random stormtroopers that Luke and Han encountered be wearing them in the first place.
5 They Never Seem To Win Anything
For such foreboding opponents, the stormtroopers don't seem to rack up many victories. They routinely disappoint Darth Vader & co. and are severely punished for it, or they fail miserably before our eyes and that's the last we see of them as they, once again, let our heroes slip through their fingers, miss an obvious noise, or otherwise blunder through a scene.
Stormtroopers are kind of like ants: a colony of them could definitely wipe out a bigger bug, but it's pretty easy to squish a few on their own.
4 They let Han escape in Solo
The latest Star Wars standalone movie Solo may not have experienced the success of its predecessors, but it was certainly a fun and exciting movie. One of its problems, however, was at its beginning, when Han Solo escapes beyond the terminal and Qi'ra remains separated and stranded on Corellia, changing their fates forever and ensuring that we'd eventually have Kylo Ren to worry about.
Why don't the stormtroopers chase Solo once he's escaped through the terminal?
It only makes sense because we need it to happen for the movie to progress.
3 With "Blaster Protocol," Most Stormtroopers Should Be Eliminated
Stormtroopers must adhere to blaster protocol, which simply means that their blasters must be inspected. In The Force Awakens, we learn that blasters are inspected to ensure that stormtroopers fired and followed orders whenever they were given, which was a problem for FN-2187, aka Finn. After he refused to shoot anyone in the Jakku village, he knew that he'd be called out for his insubordination.
The thing is, we've already established that the stormtroopers aren't hitting anything, so shouldn't they be removed from duty as a result? Their blasters should reveal their incompetency during inspection.
2 Finn Acts Like He's Had Zero Military Training
Finn's been a stormtrooper for basically his whole life, so why doesn't he act like it? Although he was abducted and raised in Brendol Hux’s Stormtrooper training program, he lacks any kind of discipline, even abandoning Rey at one point, and his fighting really isn't all that impressive. Rey, who's had zero military training, easily bests him.
We get that Finn's major was Sanitation, but anyone in a stormtrooper uniform should exhibit some basic fighting competency.
It makes sense for him to freeze up during his first entry into combat, but it makes none for him to have zero piloting or orienteering skills.
1 They Are Super Ditzy
The Empire is pretty indiscriminate when it comes to acquiring stormtroopers, and with good reason: plenty of them are just pawns, whether they are sacrificed during missions or one of Darth Vader's temper tantrums. We get that there's no IQ test requirement to join the ranks. You don't need to be Galen Erso to sign up.
Even so, we might expect stormtroopers to have a little common sense. They seem super ditzy when they remark "Don't worry about it" over a patrol issue they certainly should've checked out in A New Hope, not to mention when they just stand there while a Wampa grabs at their face on Hoth.
What else doesn't make sense about Stormtroopers in Star Wars? Let us know in the comments!