Why can’t the stormtroopers in Star Wars shoot straight?

Everyone knows the Galactic Empire’s plastic-looking soldiers can’t aim for toffee. But there’s a perfectly good explanation …

In the Guide’s weekly Solved! column, we look into a crucial pop-culture question you’ve been burning to know the answer to – and settle it, once and for all

Regardless of where you sit on the Star-Wars-Fan-Ometer TM – from bored mum to die-hard duvet-owner – everyone knows: stormtroopers, AKA the Galactic Empire’s plastic-looking soldiers, can’t shoot for toffee. This is made clear as early as Episode IV: A New Hope, when Luke and Han rescue Leia from the evil clutches of (dunn, dunn d-dunn) Darth Vader and blast their way back through the Death Star corridors to the Millennium Falcon. Wave upon wave of stormtroopers lie at every corner yet none can land a single shot and they topple like dominoes. Luke, Han and Leia use pilfered stormtrooper E-11 rifles, so Vader’s minions can’t even blame their tools. So why are they such a horrible aim?

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