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Why Do Stormtroopers Even Wear Armor?

Think back to every Star Wars film you’ve seen. Have you ever witnessed a Stormtrooper take a direct hit from a blaster and not immediately crumple? The soldiers are covered head-to-toe in imposing armor that apparently doesn’t stop shots from the most common weapon in the galaxy, so why do they even wear armor in the first place? Compromise.

In my latest Because Science, I’m tackling a question that Star Wars fans have been asking since the franchise began. And I think the best way to answer it is to put yourself in the Emperor’s robes. Imagine that you have to outfit millions of soldiers in some kind of armor. What do you need that armor to be? Decent criteria would be light, effective, imposing (they are the bad guys after all), and cheap.

I think that if we consider the criteria as a whole, Stormtrooper armor, as ineffective as it appears in the movies, starts to make a lot of sense.

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