Over the years, there has been a lot of discussion about the Stormtroopers in the Star Wars franchise and just how incompetent these guys are as soldiers. Most of the time, the focus has been on the quality of their marksmanship, or lack thereof, but there’s been some interesting theories put forth to explain why they appear to be such bad shots, such as having orders that restrict them from “shooting to kill.” We don’t want to beat that dead horse, though that might be a neat exercise for a later date. What we want to talk about today is just how easily some of these guys die.
So here’s the thing. Since we can’t check the pulses of downed Stormtroopers, we have to assume that if they fall and stop moving, they’re dead. We’ve gone through and picked out the Stormtroopers who die in the most embarrassing fashion, whether it’s taking a shot or a strike in a non-fatal area or maybe just giving themselves up too easily. In terms of will to live, this list should show us which 15 Stormtroopers have none. To make it easier on ourselves and the average reader, we’ve only dealt with films in the main seven films (that means we have not included Rogue One to avoid spoilers as well). Without any further delay, let’s get it started.
Here are 15 Times Stormtroopers Were Killed Way Too Easily.
15. Mos Eisley Stormtroopers
The first entry on the list comes from A New Hope on the planet of Mos Eisley. Han Solo, fresh off of murdering Greedo in cold blood, is showing off the Millennium Falcon to Luke Skywalker and Ben Kenobi. Luke takes one look at Solo’s ship and calls it a piece of junk, which is about the rudest thing he could have said. Smartly, Solo decides a fistfight with Luke isn’t worth it, so he asks them to get on board. Before the guys are able to lift off, however, several Stormtroopers show up to try and stop the ship from leaving. As Solo with his blaster and Chewbacca from the cockpit fire at the Stormtroopers, we see the first of 15 incredibly weak Stormtrooper deaths in the film franchise. When Solo shoots at a few troopers running across the screen, he misses horribly with one of his shots, which hits the wall behind the fleeing troopers. This seems to startle one weakling to death because, inexplicably, he keels over. That image above is not of a midget Stormtrooper. No. This one’s already on his knees, apparently dying from that blast you see at the top left of the screen.
14. Friendly Fire
Our next two troopers both meet their deaths in a matter of seconds, but we will try to give them each their own space. These two were part of a group of three troopers encountered in the Death Star after the Millennium Falcon has been pulled in. We’re still in A New Hope if you’re wondering and the group is fighting their way back to the Millennium Falcon. This group of three troopers are firing at Luke and Leia from up on a ledge, an ideal vantage point. This poor guy who falls first isn’t even hit by a shot. It very clearly misses high, but maybe the tiny explosion was enough to push him off. However, what happens next is the real reason why he’s been featured. As he falls to a horrible, horrible death, one of the poor guy’s pals, still standing safely up on the ledge, shoots him in the gut as he falls. It’s a shocking turn of events. Sure, you can argue that he was simply putting his friend out of his misery before the fall killed him, but the shot came pretty quickly, a little too quickly. This suggests to us that it was possibly premeditated.
13. Close Call
The second Stormtrooper to fall in this ledge group is an embarrassment to troopers everywhere. After his one companion fell off the ledge, another shot comes whizzing by. Like the shot that killed the first two entries on this list, this one, too, clearly misses over their heads, this time by about three feet (you can see the red laser where the shot is). When the shot strikes the wall above him, this Stormtrooper grabs his ears and then falls down dead. So, what happened? Maybe the sound of the blast was so deafening it exploded his brain. Perhaps he died from sheer grief after watching his one buddy blast his other buddy in mid-air. Maybe he thought his other murderous friend was going to kill him next, so he just started playing dead. It’s tough to tell for sure.
12. Shoulder Shot
You’ll notice that the shoulders of the Stormtroopers are a very vulnerable spot for them. Several die from shoulder injuries, but some could be passed off as chest shots. We’ve had to be careful in which ones we selected because of this. In this particular shoulder blow, however, it’s obvious it could not have been fatal. It happens as we’re still in the Death Star. The group is just boarding the Millenium Falcon and ready to flee. Obi Wan and Darth Vader have completed their awful saber fight; Darth won and lightly stomped the fallen Jedi knight to rub it in. As his companions yell to him to get on the ship, Luke fires one last shot at a Stormtrooper striking the assailant in the shoulder. At first, the armor of the trooper appeared to work, even deflecting the shot off to the wall behind, but it didn’t work, did it? Nope. After being hit, the Stormtrooper flailed and fell over, dead.
11. Weak in the Knees
Even more than the shoulders, Stormtroopers have very weak legs, especially their knees. There are countless leg shots in the franchise, but most of them are tough to say for certain where the blows truly landed. This example, however, comes from The Empire Strikes Back in the cloud city of Bespin. Here, Leia, Chewie, R2D2 and C-3PO are trying to flee the city. With Stormtroopers hot on their tail and blocking off every exit, the gang must shoot their way out. In the picture above, you’ll see a faint beam hitting the knee of the Stormtrooper on the right. This blow kills him instantly. Maybe a more interesting question rather than how this killed him is WHO killed him? This shot is coming from behind Chewie. There is no one there. Is it possible that one of trooper’s own shots deflected off the wall and returned to kill them with a vicious knee-shot?
10. Terrible Armor
For the next two entries, we need to travel to the moon of Endor in Return of the Jedi. While it can be easy to get sidetracked watching the cute Ewoks run amok, there are some pretty silly deaths in the ensuing battle. The first comes from a decent sized explosion. The picture above captured it and the Stormtrooper it killed, but there’s something wrong with this picture. First of all, the blast is at least 50ft away from the guy. Second, why the hell wear all that armor if it can’t even shield you from a blast like that? Sure, we can’t expect the armor to withstand a direct hit, but c’mon, there’s no reason to die from a shockwave. The very next shot kills this guy’s buddy in a similar way, so it wasn’t just a fluke. This might just be proof that Stormtrooper armor is merely a fashion statement.
9. Look Out for that Tree
We’re not mad at this next guy for dying. After all, he took a pretty solid blow. What we’re questioning here is whether or not this hoverbiking madman was going to die in that moment even if he didn’t get shot. For one, he’s absolutely flying through the forest, which can’t be safe, and he doesn’t appear to notice that there is a downed tree in his path. Yeah, he gets shot and then hits the tree, flipping spectacularly to his death, but we’d like to propose that he hits that tree and dies either way. Look at the impact, the blast from the shot hits him at almost the same time that he smashes into the tree. So the question really is: what killed him, the shot or the tree?
8. The Worst Way to Go
For the next few entries, we need to move forward in time, but backward in the numbered films to Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. In one quick sequence we see the Jedi padawan Jett Jukassa (played by Jett Lucas—George’s son) take down several Jedi before being killed himself. The first to go down is the one who gets it the worst. After Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) arrives at the flaming Temple, Jukassa flips in and starts flailing his lightsaber around like child possessed. As you’ll see, this little guy goes for some true low blows on his opponents as well. His very first strike is a slice right across a clone trooper’s groin. We’re not even mad that this guy died from the blow, it’s just sad how it happened.
7. Cut Down At The Knees
After he chopped the first Clone Trooper’s manhood off, Jett Jukassa swings at the next guy and cuts his friggin’ legs off. Now, this would almost certainly kill him if he didn’t get proper medical treatment afterward, but he’s still holding a blaster; shoot the damn kid before you bleed out. There’s even a chance that lightsabers would instantly cauterize the wound, so he might have just received a clean amputation. But, we know just how weak troopers of any kind are in the knees. Any blow to the knee is an instant death, so having your legs sliced right off would definitely do the trick.
6. Breaking Ankles
You might be sick of Jett Jukassa, but this little bugger wasn’t done after cutting down two foes. Remember he slashed the one guy in the groin and then chopped off his pal’s legs, but the very next saber strike is the most questionable of all of them. Staying low, Jukassa takes down the next Clone Trooper by cutting at his ankles. No joke. He basically leg sweeps the trooper with a lightsaber and it kills him. Just a ridiculous way to go and one of the silliest in the entire franchise by far. Oh, and before you start thinking that Jukassa only kills people from the waist down, right after he humiliated these three clowns, he turned and sliced the next guy’s bloody throat. Just a malicious attack.
5. Sore Feet
For this entry, we come to The Force Awakens. In the film’s first battle on the planet of Jakku, Stormtroopers are running everywhere and shots are flying through the air. In the above photo, see that guy who’s feet are all lit up. Yeah, he’s dying in that moment. Sure, the shot does look pretty big, but it’s basically an illusion. The shot hit his damn foot and he died. It’s even worse that this is basically the first death in the film too. After watching him go down so easily, you’d think the rest would be just as weak, but they weren’t. This fool was an anomaly in the film really, but Jesus, pull yourself together man.
4. No Looker
Han Solo is about the coolest dude in the galaxy, but if you get hit and killed no look shot, like the idiot in this shot, even if it was shot from Han Salo’s blaster, you deserve the death you got. Solo is just horsing around and this noob Stormtrooper is standing around begging to be shot. Take cover, bud. Solo has a way of humiliating his enemies, but this is bad, even by his standards. You have to wonder though, what if an innocent bystander was there and Han no-look shot them? It’s pretty irresponsible that he’s just shooting blindly. Yeah, he probably just knew the trooper was there, but still Han, we expect better blaster etiquette from you.
3. Damn Rocks
This one brings us back to questioning the durability of the Stormtrooper armor. In the picture above, you’ll see a trooper flying through the air on the left of the shot. We’ll sidestep the fact that this idiot was basically walking toward and directly into an explosion, but it all happened so fast. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. But what about the suit? The blast didn’t scald him or even generate that much force that it would kill him, so how’d he die? From rocks, by the looks of it. The guys up in the front took the major force of that blast, so we expect them to die. But this guy in the left was way behind the action. He looks like he just gave up.
We aren’t wondering how this guy died. He took a massive crossbow blast directly to the chest. That he wasn’t blown into tiny bits is the only doubt we have. Yet, the manner of his death is just sad. We have Finn, Han Solo and Chewie wandering through the halls. This poor Stormtrooper spots them, blaster still holstered, and yells, “Hey!” Chewie then promptly sends him to his maker. But we gotta ask, what did the trooper expect? You see armed assailants inside your evil lair while you’re in the middle of a battle and you’re going to stop them with your words? My God man, draw your blaster and fire first, ask questions second. Not only that, he yells at them when he has no cover and is standing in plain sight.
1. Shoulder Shot Number Two
Maybe you thought the original shoulder shot in A New Hope was a fluke, but it turns out that shoulders are true weaknesses in Stormtroopers. Here’s another trooper, one of Han Solo’s last kills, that takes a shot directly to the shoulder and dies instantly. There’s a chance that the blaster causes far greater internal damage than it appears, but this shot is almost entirely on the shoulder blade. Yeah, that would hurt like hell and he might be out of commission for a while, but straight to dead? We don’t buy it. As we saw with Finn, there are some issues with the conditioning program that the Stormtroopers are put through. Might it be that many of these guys, potentially several or all the troopers on this list, don’t believe in what they’re fighting for and would rather just die? Maybe as soon as they feel any force, they just fall over and play dead. That would certainly explain why there are so many inexplicable fatalities.