Imperial stormtroopers

The old jedi warrior and retired general Obi van Kenobi says that “only imperial stormtroopers are so precise”. He bolsters up their combat reputation in the beginnign of the first ever made Star Wars movie. It seems a plausible comment after their first appearance in the movie, when they stormed and conquered a rebel ship with apparent ease.  Yet in later parts it seems they are everything, but precise. Why?

Do imperial stormtroopers have bad morale, so that their fighting prowess simply does not reflect their superior armament and training? Are they aware they are on the “evil” side?

In many movies the evil henchmen are anonymous and easily killed by the heroes, but in few movies as much as in Star Wars. The masked soldiers fighting for the great empire are perfectly anonymous enemies. This propably lowers the rebel treshold of killing them. And maybe it lowers the treshold of us as an audience to stop and think of them as human. Other thing that lowers that treshold is of course the evil things they do. Is it their anonymity that leads them to do obvious war atrocities? Or are they just simply following orders? Is it easier for them to commit war crimes, when they know the victims (if they even survive) can not possibly recognize the troopers?

Are imperial stormtroopers clones or are they recruited? Does it make a difference? The empire was founded with a clone army. Maybe the imperial stormtroopers are just clones. Are the clones less human? They never had a choise. They were cloned, raised, educated, trained and pressed for war for the empire. If the imperial stormtroopers were later recruited rather than cloned did they understand what they were sent to fight for? What lies about order in the universe, were told to them to make them recruit? What lies about exiting adventure were told to them? Maybe it is a way to get to a university or other proper education for the poor in the Galactic Empire to join and serve. Maybe they were told that the rebels harbour weapons of mass destruction on Alderaan and that is why the entire planet had to be wiped out. It will be wery difficult to werify if Alderaan ever actually had such devices, because the planet simply does not exist any more.

Could a peasant boy on some remote world or a city kid on Coruscant have any idea that they would be sent to kill Jawa smuglers on some distant world covered in sand and mountains? Were the stormtroopers that killed Luke Skywalkers aunt and uncle stressed by a threatening situation? Or were they simply cynical, psycothic murderers? Did they enjoy what they did, or simply follow orders? Were they affraid for their own safety? The safety that seems to be more dependant of their rapid triggerfingers than the confines of their scarsely helpfull bodyarmour.

What do you think the stormtroopers feel patrolling the narrow alleyways of Mos Eisley, when a smugler, a scoundrell, a ganster and a rebel could be behind every corner.  A strange and hardly understandable culture is all around them. People wear weird clothes and speak in many strange and alien languages. And the stormtroopers are there to keep some status quo, as if it was peace, when it actually is an obvious war. The local government is run by known criminals and corruption is open wide for any to see.

Maybe the fact that the stormtroopers shoot so much and hit so little is due to their weaponry. It is quite often the case, that large bureaucratical governments, such as the Galactic Empire, buy crappy weapons simply because it is a good busines for someone. They may have a lot of propaganda about their superiority, but eventually the professional trooper sees the realities of life.

If the stormtroopers survive long enough, they must see the truth about their poor weapons, the atrocities they are ordered to commit and the lies they have been told when they joined the imperial forces. Even so, we humans are most often such creatures that we keep our loyalties to the bitter end.

Do the stormtroopers have pension? They do grow old, even if a great number of them are killed by the rebels, smuglers and gansters. Some must reach an age where they are not able to stand straight for the honour guard and can not run fast enough to be called “stormtroopers”. If they retire from the battlefronts, where do they end up? How do they fit in the society after serving on hellish battlefronts and committing atrocities on other worlds? What kind of traumas they suffer and bring back to their families and communities? Do they commit murder more easily than an average citizen of the Empire? Is it easy for them to find a job after having served the Empire? Do they wake up in the middle of the night sweaty and horrified?

The stormtrooper armour does not seem to stop a straight hit from a blaster, but maybe it saves lives however. Maybe stormtroopers that go down so easily after a hit are actually only wounded and not killed. It is possible that this is the sole purpose of the armour. It may even be that the armour has greatly decreased the number of stormtroopers killed on the field and increased the quota of injured veterans. If they are wounded and disabled, do all of them get extensive and expensive prostethics or are they simply dumped as beggars to the lower city streets of some enormous metropol? How many of the homeless in the entire Empire are actually ex-stormtroopers? Two thirds, maybe?

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