How Bad Is Stormtrooper Aim? A Statistical Analysis
A frame-by-frame examination of the existing canonical Star Wars films yields a true assessment of what comically poor aim the stormtroopers really have. We went through all of the Star Wars movies in which stormtroopers appear and compared their shots fired to their number of actual hits. While we have included stormtrooper variants snowtroopers (The Empire Strikes Back), scout troopers (Return of the Jedi), and shoretroopers (Rogue One), this analysis does not include any data from The Last Jedi because that movie just came out last night. (Stormtroopers do appear in the trailer!)
The Imperial Broke-Ass Galactic Empire decrees in its analysis of on-screen combat that stormtroopers hit their target only 4.16% of the time. But this result depends on the methodology used. We count only Imperial stormtroopers on the dark side, under the command of Darth Vader, Gran Moff Tarkin, Emperor Palpatine, or Kylo Ren (e.g., bad guys). We did not include clone troopers (Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith), for they are under the command of Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi (e.g., good guys), and they are bred from the superior genes of Boba Fett’s dad as opposed to just being “people in armor.”
There is another school of thought that says offscreen killings should be included in the total (e.g. the murder of Luke Skywalker’s aunt and uncle), but the Broke-Ass Galactic Alliance cannot confirm who committed said killings so we do not include them. A fourth more insane but totally credible theory postures that the stormtroopers were intentionally missing their targets during the Death Star battle scenes in Episode IV: A New Hope because they wanted Leia and company to escape so they could the locate the Rebels’ headquarters. But this analysis considers a stormtrooper shot to be a stormtrooper shot.
STORMTROOPER ACCURACY: ‘STAR WARS (A NEW HOPE)’
These delightfully hilarious, high-speed, chipmunk-voice videos from Talkin’ Tuskens provide the basis for this analysis. Each Episode IV: A New Hope stormtrooper shot is shown and tallied above, giving the stormtroopers a 2.47% accuracy rate in that film.
If you subscribe to the “intentional misses” theory that Darth Vader wanted the gang to escape so he could locate the Rebel base and tell Luke he was his father and all that destiny shit, a separate stormtrooper aim analysis from the Logical Misery blog adjusts that accuracy rate to much more impressive, unstormtrooper-like 63.5% for that film.
STORMTROOPER ACCURACY: ‘EMPIRE STRIKES BACK’ AND ‘RETURN OF THE JEDI’
Stormtroopers shoot far worse in The Empire Strikes Back (0.96%), but far better in Return of the Jedi (9.09%). This brings their adjusted hit rate for the original “big three” Star Wars trilogy films to an overall 4.17%.
STORMTROOPER ACCURACY: ‘ROGUE ONE’
Rogue One sees the introduction of death troopers, who are far more badass and have exponentially better aim than standard stormtroopers. This of course begs the logic problem of “If the Empire had better stormtroopers, why didn’t they just use those guys all along?,” but that is a late-night bong-rip debate for another time.
Counting only stormtroopers, the accuracy rate in Rogue One is 5%. The death troopers shot a far more deadly 25.25% in that film, for a combined “trooper total” of 9.92%. But we are only counting the stormtroopers’ shots.
STORMTROOPER ACCURACY: ‘THE FORCE AWAKENS’
Bringing the series into the current “sequel trilogy” era, The Force Awakens takes place thirty years after Return of the Jedi but does not show significant improvement in stormtrooper aim. The stormtroopers shoot with 3.26% accuracy in The Force Awakens.
For comparison purposes, the above screenshot shows the stormtrooper accuracy rates all five canonical Star Wars films, excluding The Last Jedi which we haven’t seen yet but we hear it’s the shit. Averaging the “stormtroopers only” total from Rogue One (5%), A New Hope (2.47%) Empire Strikes Back (0.96%), Return of the Jedi (9.09%), and The Force Awakens (3.26%), we get an aggregated stormtrooper aim figure of 4.16%.