Now, when the first teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens arrived a few weeks ago, it's fair to say that the whole Moviepilot team got...a little over-excited. We didn't get around to recording a reaction video, but if we had, it would have largely consisted of gawping, gasps, me giggling like a four-year-old when the X-Wings arrived, and then a butt-load of cheering when the Millennium Falcon arrived.
Can't remember what I mean? Well then, feel free to just go right ahead and watch it again. After all, it is absolutely freaking awesome, to a completely improbable degree.
For some Star Wars fans, though, the trailer wasn't just a gigantic pile of awesomeness - it was also a source of a whole lot of controversy.
The Cause of the Controversy?
And specifically, the fact that he's playing a stormtrooper.
Which, for some viewers, just doesn't make sense.
What's the Problem?
Well, the primary complaint is that stormtroopers should all look like New Zealand's Temeura Morrison (above) who played Jango Fett in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. After all, the Republic's clone army - all of whom would've looked exactly like him - were the foundation of the Empire, and so, the argument goes, all stormtroopers should look like Morrison under their helmets.
So, How Can Boyega be a Stormtrooper?
Well, the short answer is simply that, though the Clone Troopers did indeed form the basis of the Empire's stormtroopers, they weren't the only troops that saw service in the Empire. Those stormtroopers we saw in the original trilogy - the ones with a distinctly non-New Zealand accent - came from wide range of places, and weren't all clones.
Why Would the Empire Stop Making Clones, Though?
Well, we're into Expanded Universe territory here (so this may have since been ret-conned out of existence) but essentially, the Kaminoans who made the clones ended up rebelling - and though the already existing clone troopers remained loyal to the Empire and put down the uprising, the Emperor decided to diversify his army.
And, so, the modern (as of A New Hope) stormtrooper army was born.
Even if you don't trust the Expanded Universe, though...
There are Other Reasons, Too
For one thing, the fact that stormtroopers in the original trilogy don't sound like Morrison - whereas he was asked by George Lucas to over-dub Boba Fett's voice for the 2004 re-release of the original trilogy - is a pretty solid hint that they aren't all clone troopers - but there's more evidence besides.
For one thing, a long, long time has passed between the events of the Clone Wars and the Original Trilogy - and the clones have an accelerated aging process. After all, they mature to a physical state close to young adulthood by the age of 5, so it's reasonable to expect that they're not going to make it too much past 40 years old. Which, as it happens, means they'd all be dead by the time the new movies' events came around.
Now, Temuera Morrison still looks pretty bad-ass, but add another 50 years of aging on him?
You're not talking too much of a match for a gradually-strengthening rebellion.
Add in the fact that a lot of the remaining clone troopers will likely have been killed when the Death Star was destroyed, and you're talking a seriously depleted clone army.
Who Replaced Them, Though?
Well, in the original trilogy, a whole bunch of soldiers who couldn't shoot straight - which suggests raw recruits, most likely from planets with no particular history of combat. We know they were recruiting, after all - Luke Skywalker was thinking of signing up at the start of A New Hope...
And now, after several decades of civil war - which is what the world we're seeing in that trailer looks to be - those 'recruits' might well be getting increasingly involuntary. The word is that John Boyega is on the run in Episode VII, having defected from the Empire - could he have been an unwilling conscript in the first place, and be trying to make a break for it?
Whoever They Are, Though - They Probably Aren't Clones
And they probably weren't all the way back in the original trilogy, either.
What do you guys think, though?
You cool with the fact that stormtroopers aren't clone troopers anymore?