As far as disposable movie henchmen go, Imperial stormtroopers are the most imposing. The faceless executioners of the Galactic Empire have (until The Force Awakens) been been an anonymous symbol for evil, as striking as they are intimidating.
As uniforms go, the heavily armored attire has been Wilhelm screaming "way ahead of trend" since 1977's A New Hope, and wouldn't look out of place on military catwalks (I've been reliably informed they are a thing), New York fashion week or the glossy cover of an intergalactic edition of Vogue.
Appearances aside, how effective is the classic outfit? Aptly named Reddit user, stormtrooper1701, has concisely demonstrated the extent of protection the armor offers those inside. The heavily researched post has trawled the depths of the Star Wars universe to reveal insight that will strike fear into rebels.
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Stormtrooper Armor Is Out Of This World
The argument centers around the power of the commonly used weapon of choice, the blaster. These are weapons firing plasma energy, in the form of colorful beams of light. Such jolts of energy can have destructive results, from completely destroying concrete from distance, to creating significant craters in tough metal surfaces, as seen in the clip below:
In the wider #StarWars universe, blasters have demonstrated devastating capability. In Clone Wars episode "Revival," a group of rebels use blasters to cause a structure to collapse, blocking the path of Darth Maul — a tactic also used by clone troopers.
Furthermore, droids are often seen completely obliterated by sheer force:
While even if a target is missed, the collateral impact from one of these weapons is enough to throw a droid (or a human) completely off their feet:
What Do You Get When You Cross A Stormtrooper With A Blaster?
Due to the blasters power, Stormtrooper1701 likens the weapon to an anti-materiel rifle, a high-grade military weapon that is specifically used to destroy military equipment, rather than targeting soldiers. So with all that in mind, a rebel strike should be bad, bad news for a #stormtrooper, right?
Wrong. Despite the immense power, when a stormtrooper is hit, they seem to merely lose balance. No craters. No obliteration. The below still shows the minimal impact following a hit:
Although non-canon, a Verizon commercial, aired shortly before the release of The Force Awakens, seems to show even more evidence of the ability to diffuse a shot from a blaster. Here, Chewbecca hits a stormtrooper, only for them to recover quickly thanks to their suit:
The stormtrooper armor is regarded as some of the best in the Empire, a claim which isn't marketing spin if the above evidence is anything to go by. Introduced some time after the Clone Wars, the special uniform has the ability to disperse energy — a useful defence against blasters.
All hope isn't lost, though. There are vulnerabilities from direct shots, something a rebel marksman with a good aim can expose. Let's hope the likes of Rey, Finn, and Poe get some much needed target practice before Star Wars 8 arrives...
Are Stormtroopers your favorite fictional henchman?