Bad shots, bad armor, murky backstory—will Stormtroopers ever be competent?
I love the world of Star Wars. There's so much fun and deep mythology that provides the opportunity to tell exciting and new stories. But across all Star Wars, there is one thing that continually drives me a little crazy.
Stormtroopers suck at their jobs.
They have bad aim, they never make the right decisions, they're easily fooled, and outside of the emergence of Finn in Force Awakens, have they ever been used in any interesting way?
Well, this week's Mandalorian episode finally gave us a glimpse of an interesting Stormtrooper... and then ripped them away from us.
Let's dig into these characters to see what's going on.
Spoilers for The Mandalorian below.
Why Are Stormtroopers Always Kind of Dumb?
If you watched the Season Two finale of The Mandalorian this week, you were probably shocked by the same thing as me. Yes, that competent Terminator robot that was a new Stormtrooper was awesome.
All black with red eyes, it felt ominous as it beat the complete crap out of Mando. Its armor was impenetrable, and you had to really outsmart it to kill it. I have to admit that while I was watching, I was actually excited about this development.
I love Star Wars so much. Even the lesser films have so much heart and so many ideas in them that I cannot help but revisit them and enjoy them. The only thing that truly bugs me about the universe is the Stormtroopers. Every time I see a transport full of them, I know it's going to be an easy mission.
When this last episode of Mando hit, I was actually worried for the characters. These new troopers were scary, and we had already seen them steal Grogu. When it came time for Mando to fight an entire legion of them, he just pressed a button and shot them out into space.
This didn't feel like Indiana Jones shooting someone with a gun or even like Alien. It kind of felt cheap to me. And maybe not just me.
Nick Venable on Cinema Blend said, "On the outset, the humanity-free army of Dark Troopers truly looked like they could become the most dangerous threat in the galaxy, especially with Giancarlo Esposito's clever and dominating Moff Gideon being responsible for deploying them. Yet, in the end, the Dark Trooper army did essentially nothing to stop Mando's and the others from achieving #SquadGoals aplenty. At first, I felt only remorse thinking about how much more impactful the Dark Troopers could have been, but then I realized their whole existence is basically just riffing on a classic Star Wars trope."
This got me thinking, the most I have ever been excited when a Stormtrooper was on screen was the conversion of Finn in Force Awakens and then his backstory through the new trilogy. While that story fell by the wayside, is it time Star Wars reinvents the Stormtrooper?
Just seeing the black Terminator body felt fresh to me, and knowing they were actually scary, even for a brief moment, changed the context of where I thought Star Wars could go.
I'm no development exec or studio head, but with the advent of all these Star Wars shows and moving coming, I think it's time to drastically reinvent what we know about these characters. Like could we tell the story about a Stormtrooper sniper or just one that was scary and good at their job?
I would love to see a deeper dive into a character like Finn who is rebelling within the system. Or a story of these recruits.
No matter what, I think the brand has sort of run out of ways to use modern troopers. We can change their uniforms and have scary scenes, but in the end, if they are just disposable and easily beatable, what creativity is being brought to this galaxy far, far away?
Let us know what you think in the comments!