Anyone who has ever seen a Star Wars movie knows one thing to be true: sand is coarse and it gets everywhere. They also know that in spite of being the Galactic Empire’s elite soldiers, stormtroopers seemingly couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a Death Star superlaser. But it’s not there fault. We have a brand new Star Wars fan theory that will explain why the finest soldiers the Empire has to offer are so chronically and woefully inaccurate. As it turns out, it’s not their fault at all–not even the one(s) who smack their head on low-hanging doors. It’s because of the Force.
This theory, crafted by our senior news producer Jesse Gill, posits that stormtroopers are so bad at their job because, as Chirrut Îmwe puts it, “All is as the Force wills it.” Think back to Chirrut’s repeated mantra from Rogue One: “I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.” It’s difficult to explain how Chirrut could walk through a non-stop barrage of blaster fire unscathed in order to help transmit the Death Star plans to the Rebellion, but the Force seems like the most reasonable explanation. While skeptics–including Baze Malbus and Han Solo–may mock this type of blind faith in an all-powerful Force controlling everything, it is difficult to fathom any other canonical answer.
After all, the stormtroopers have every incentive in the world to be top-tier marksmen. In the new Star Wars short story anthology From a Certain Point of View, it is revealed that all Imperial military personnel–including stormtroopers–had their pay adjusted to correspond with their firing accuracy. This effort was intended to dispel the myth that stormtroopers couldn’t shoot straight. On top of that, failure in the Galactic Empire is often met with a Force-fueled throat-throttling at the hands of Darth Vader. If screwing up at work meant that your future included having your larynx crushed by a moody asthmatic cyborg, then you would likely take your job more seriously than Cassian Andor takes this outerwear.If nothing else, remember Old Ben Kenobi’s words: “Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise.”
So in spite of the financial incentive and the fear of imminent death, stormtroopers can never seem to land a shot when they’re shooting at someone crucial to the goals of the Rebel Alliance. The results are always the same: miss, miss, miss. After all, if even a single stormtrooper managed to land one of their shots on our heroes, we would be cutting to credits, set against a John Williams funeral dirge with a quickness. But that’s not what happens. Chirrut Îmwe manages to get the signal out to transmit the Death Star’s plans, and Luke Skywalker destroys the superweapon, saving billions of lives in the process. (Just not the lives of anyone on Alderaan.)
On the flip side, there are countless examples of Rebel operatives–K2-SO, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker, the list goes on–pulling off seemingly impossible shots all the time. And if the Force can be responsible for directing a proton torpedo into a thermal exhaust port to destroy the Death Star, then it can easily be the reason behind the stormtroopers’ infamous inaccuracy.
What do you think of this Star Wars fan theory? Let us know in the comments below.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on December 15.
The biggest Star Wars news in our galaxy
- Every Star Wars film summed up in a single video
- Carrie Fisher secretly wrote your favorite scene in Anastasia
- The Force is strong with this The Last Jedi fashion collection
Can a lightsaber block bullets?
Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter ( @DanCasey).