Sunday, March 12, 2017

Can Storm Troopers Hit Anything?

It's been a running gag for decades that the Storm Troopers in Star Wars can't hit anything. This is most on display in the original movie. I've seen a defense of this on YouTube trying to save the Storm Trooper's honor. I'm not buying it.

The first argument is that Ben makes a comment on how precise some blast marks are which shows that they could only be from Imperial Storm Troopers. Keep in mind that, at this point, Ben's been in hiding for nearly twenty years. We never learned if the original of clones that were the original Storm Troopers was still in use or if they'd been replaced or augmented. If they were the originals then they were getting up there in years. Regardless, his experience was out of date.

Note - the fact that an expeditionary force left blast marks indicating precise aim proves little about the Storm Troopers in general. We didn't see the attack so we have very little to go on.

The main exposure to Storm Troopers was inside the Death Star.

The theory is that the troopers in the Death Star had been instructed to allow Leia and company to escape in order to follow her to the rebel base. It sounds good until you examine it.

Luke and company weren't expecting to find Leia or the Death Star. She was captured near Tatooine and transported to the Death Star then it moved to Alderaan which it blew up. Luke and Ben were just trying to get R2D2 to the proper people. They had no intention of trying to rescue Leia. This part is important.

The Death Star scooped up the Falcon, not having any idea who was in it or why. The exception to this was that Darth Vader sensed that Ben was near. Ben went to disable the tractor beam so they could escape. While waiting, the others discovered that Leia was on teh Death Star and decided to mount a rescue.

That's the big problem with the "they let them escape" theory. At what point did the high command realize that a rescue attempt was underway and how did they manage to let ALL of the Storm Troopers know that they should fire to miss while not letting Luke or Han (who were wearing Storm Trooper equipment) know?

Possibly Vader guessed (incorrectly) that Ben was there to rescue Leia but at that point he was still portrayed as a flunky, similar to the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John in Robin Hood. He wasn't exactly in a position to order that.

The truth is that it's a flaw in the script instead of a cunning master plan. The script needed the troopers to shoot a lot but miss then Lukas needed some way for the Death Star to threaten the rebel base so George Lucas added a throw-away line that the Empire let them get away and had a tracker. She probably meant that was why they only sent a few TIE fighters.

So, I'm afraid to say, the Storm Troopers are poor shots.

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