Why Stormtroopers In Star Wars Are Such Terrible Shots


Stormtroopers in Star Wars are notorious for having terrible aim. But there may be a reasonable explanation in the canon of that galaxy far, far away as to why they never seem to hit their targets.

As early as 30 minutes into A New Hope, Ben Kenobi talks the Empire up, noting that the Imperial Stormtroopers are known to be “precise” shooters. Except, they miss every time they go up against our heroes for the remainder of the movie. While a running gag among fans, the issue is so wide in scale that even the in-universe media has made fun of their marksmanship every now and again. One such example was the season finale of The Mandalorian, where the two scout troopers repeatedly failed to blast something that was only several feet away.

In fact, one could argue that Palpatine could have easily crushed the Rebellion were it not for his incompetent foot soldiers. But why are they such terrible shots? Well, Star Wars has already tackled this question.

In Rebels season 2, episode 9, Kanan Jarrus and Captain Rex disguise themselves as Stormtroopers to infiltrate an Imperial base and rescue their friends. In the standoff, Kanan makes fun of Rex by saying: “Wow. You really do shoot like a stormtrooper.” Rex responds by yelling: “It’s this helmet. I can’t see!” And indeed, as soon as he takes it off, the former commander of the Grand Army starts taking out their pursuers with perfect accuracy.

This isn’t the first time the issue of helmets has come up, of course. Even Luke complained about them in A New Hope when they were on the Death Star. “I can’t see a thing in this helmet!” he said to Han and Chewbacca as they rode the elevator up to the prison cells.

Of course, another explanation would point to the fact that most of the Imperial army consisted of recruits from all over the galaxy that didn’t go through much training, unlike the clones. As such, it seems Stormtroopers were doomed from the start and never really stood a chance against any of their adversaries in the Star Wars canon, be it due to a lack of training or their flawed armor design.