Star Wars: Are the Imperial stormtroopers really that ‘accurate’?

The stormtrooper. A loyal, fearless soldier of the Empire. Highly trained troopers who were feared across the galaxy, almost as much as Darth Vader himself. So why were they so bad at shooting people? Let’s take a look at their record in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

When traveling to Anchorhead, or wherever Luke was taking Obi-Wan, the pair come across a Sandcrawler with many a dead Jawa surrounding it. Luke believed it was the Tusken Raiders that had slaughtered the Jawas, but Ben tells him that “these blast points are too accurate for sand people,” and that “only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise.” Really, Ben? Really?

On the battle on Tantive IV, Rebels and stormtroopers engage in battle and at one point, both are at opposite ends of a corridor when Artoo and C-3PO inexplicably decide to walk across the battle scene. Not one of the stormtroopers hit any of the droids, if only to get them out of the way to shoot the Rebels — or just to see how many parts they can scatter two droids into.

In Docking Bay 94, seven troopers turned up to stop Han and co. leaving the planet, and they all had opportunities to shoot the cocky pilot, who was standing right out in the open — yet every single one missed. Then (despite Han shooting at least one), when the Falcon took off, there were around nine troopers all firing at the ship. It seems like you shoot one trooper, and two take his place!

In the detention block, Leia decided that it was a good time to have a go at the person rescuing her as the stormtroopers blocked off their only escape route. Yet despite the heroes standing in the middle of the corridor and paying no attention to the attackers, the stormtroopers managed to miss all four of them. Then, for some reason, they stopped shooting as Leia and Chewie stood up to dive down the garbage chute. They then carried on firing after the heroes had jumped!

A short while later, a platoon of troops stumble upon the four, but instead of firing, one trooper says “it’s them, blast them.” The whole group proceed to run away, then regroup. But not one of the dozens of troops stood there can hit Solo. Just a thought as well while I’m on the subject, what on Earth were all those stormtroopers doing there anyway? They were just stood around like they’ve nothing better to do.

But the miss of the film comes in the very next scene. Luke and Leia are in plain view, and the stormtroopers take at least eight shots at them, yet they all miss. So much for being precise! Luke blasts the controls, but the stormtroopers find a way to edge it open. But while they do that, another group from above has a golden chance to eliminate the pair, yet again, they don’t take it. What is wrong with these troopers? How did they pass tactical shooting in combat situations?

The troopers behind Luke and Leia then open the door slightly. It’s not enough to get through, but they could shoot them both in the Achilles’ heel. It won’t kill them, but they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon — yet they just wait a moment until they’re across the drop before firing. Who said stormtroopers don’t like a challenge?

Their final attempt to kill the quartet came in the hangar bay when Luke gives away their position after seeing Obi-Wan die at Vader’s hands. Luke just stands there, yet five troopers can’t hit him? Luke himself could have been a stormtrooper as he couldn’t hit a six-foot-tall guy dressed in all white, yet can hit a 12-inch red box on the wall behind the people he’s trying to shoot?

Obi-Wan may have been a wise Jedi Master, but it seems he gave the stormtroopers a little too much credit for their shooting abilities!

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