Thursday, November 7, 2013

Star Wars Non-Retcons Part 4: Imperial Armor Really Does Suck

Imperial Armor Really Does Suck

Anyone who’s into the 501st cosplay may disagree, but the fact is, Imperial Armor doesn’t do squat against blaster technology in the Star Wars universe. There’s no disputing this: they have no decent targeting system (or we’d see more confirmed kills, more often), their tactics are only slight better than subpar AI in a video game and usually one or two blaster hits smokes your average Stormtrooper.(EDIT: Stu Rat pointed out yesterday the stormtrooper armor is basically "second chance" armor, and that's certainly fact it got me to thinking that for all we know most stormtroopers we see drop may only be stunned, wounded and unconscious, unless they also fell off a bridge when they were hit!)

It didn’t always work like this, however. Clearly the Clone Troopers of the prequel series were on average more competent; highly trained soldiers bred from birth to kill, and obey unerringly (i.e. Order 66), and there is evidence throughout the prequels that their armor is a bit more tactical and effective than their descendants. So what changed?

There’s an obvious reason for this, one which is never addressed in the movies but which can readily be implied: storm troopers are trained (or bred) and outfitted by the lowest cost contractors with an emphasis on numbers over competence. Palpatine needed competent troops in the Clone era because he had plans to exterminate the Jedi. Later on he needed a wopping huge volumes of thugs….everyone under the sun who could serve in any sort of militia working for him and not any seditionists in the Empire era. He needed the appearance of endless armies, essentially….and who cares if they can shoot straight or take a blaster hit when you’ve got billions of trained soldiers at your command?

We'll save the whole ewoks vs. stormtroopers debate for another day....


  1. Quite enjoying this series :-)

    If I might ask... one or more posts that address the retcons built into WEG Star Wars specifically would be grand. Though you may have already contemplated such.

    1. That's a good idea. Let me see if I can compile a few this weekend. There's a surprising number of retcons in the game and fiction that, when studied, don't really seem necessary.