STAR WARS Stormtroopers:
From A New Hope to NO Hope.
onsidering the crass ineffectualness of the Empire’s military troops, we wonder whether Lucas called them stormtroopers to conjure foreboding images of the well-oiled Nazi war machine – or to poke satirical fun at the Nazis. One step to the left and they’d be Keystone Cops. (Rescind that order: if they take one step to the left, they’re liable to trip over like dominoes.)
The only mob of troglodytes more ineffectual than the bargain-basement Imperial Stormtroopers would be those inept pointy-headed droids from Episodes I, II and III.
As much as I denigrate the American army for being a clutch of bull-headed, Aryan man-droids, they are trained and inculcated to Live But To Serve so solidly that they are a chillingly efficient killing machine. (The fact that they kill without personal or political discretion, and the fact that most of them become the genocidal outlaws they are ostensibly trying to eradicate, is another talking point entirely.)
But if (as Wookieepedia informs us) “stormtroopers served as reminders of the Emperor’s power, extensions of his will, and a method of keeping the Empire’s thousands of star systems in line through fear” (snigger until snot comes out nose), does it count when in Episode IV – A New Hope stormtroopers break into the Death Star control room searching for C-3PO and R2-D2 and one of them clanks his head on the lowered door?Fear like Jerry Lewis.
Does it count as “fear tactics” when stormtroopers, watching Obi-Wan battle Vader with Luke firing on them, run INTO the line of fire just so one of them could get shot and fall into the pit like an ass? Ever heard of “taking cover”?
These guys could blanket-laser a gang of rebels running down a ten-foot wide corridor and never hit anything except the corridor.
When they report to Vader, they are the only ones who have no fear at all that Vader will kill them for their inefficiency – because even Vader knows that in any given upcoming battle, they’re going to die anyway, either by blaster fire or by tripping on a twig or being pushed by a girl.
Is it any wonder the Rebels are winning?
STORMTROOPER TRAINING MANUAL
(Excerpts) Compiled by his High Lord Darth Egregious Slapstick.
Directive # 1: Come to the Dark Side of The Force.
Directive # 2: Serve the Empire without question. There’s shiny. And there’s stormtrooper shiny.
Directive # 17: Keep your suit well-ventilated.
(Note: When a Rebel scum knocks you out and wears your armor to infiltrate Our security sectors, We do not want reports of smelly suits.)
Directive # 18: Keep your eye-shields clean. The last time an infiltrator stole a stormtrooper suit, there were complaints that “I can’t see a thing in this helmet.” (The stormtrooper whose suit was stolen was reprimanded and assigned to Traffic Control on Tattooine.)
Directive # 145: Thou shalt not kill.
(Note: This directive does not pertain to choice or free will, but was an addendum to the Training Manual when it was discovered that stormtroopers couldn’t kill anything even if they TRIED to. The stormtrooper who killed the single Ewok in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was severely reprimanded and demoted to Guard Duty on Tractor Beams. When the Ewok was found alive, working in a fish n’ chips shop in East London, the stormtrooper was reinstated to full duty as a Forest Sentinel.
BATTLE TRAINING TACTICS:
Besides general hand-to-hand combat, which focuses on how to fall correctly when thrown into another stormtrooper, your battle training will involve:
Running Blindly in Any Direction:
To be used when startled by Rebel scum on the Death Star, or during surprise surround attacks on the forest moon of Endor. Marshalling your forces in a coordinated military stratagem is not encouraged as this may give the Rebel scum ideas.
You’ll be doing it soon.
Practice Falling Into Pits:
Subduing an Antagonist up to Half your Strength:
Forget it. It can’t be done.
Firing On an Enemy:
Stand anywhere, in any position when firing on an enemy. Hold blasters in right or left hand, at any height. Fire away. Do not aim. Do not seek cover. Do not form a phalanx of coordinated firepower, and especially do not hit anything, as per Directive # 145.
1) pushed into another stormtrooper and getting knocked unconscious earns you the rank of Captain.
2) pushed into another stormtrooper and NOT getting knocked unconscious means you get to go home early.
3) If an Ewok does the pushing, you get danger money, so please be sure to note this on your time card accordingly. (Please see Ewok Pushing for further training.)
4) Falling down WITHOUT being pushed will see you brought up in front of the Darth Slapstickus Commission for a state dinner and award ceremony.
FIGHTER PILOT TRAINING:
TIE-FIGHTERS (Twin Ion Engine) are specifically designed by the Empire to make a noise which resembles hand-held Dustbusters in the vacuum of space; aerodynamically designed to hit anything head-on and disintegrate for maximum safety, the Imperial TIE-Fighter is an extension of the stormtroopers’ fear tactics: the galaxy fears property destruction whenever they hear that familiar Dustbuster noise and it’s not cleaning day – fear that We’ll crash near them and explode on them. (It matters not why they fear Us – fear is fear.)
FIREPOWER: The Empire is not exactly sure how to measure firepower in a TIE-Fighter, as most of it is shot wildly into space and hits everything except enemy spaceships. The frequency of destroying one X-Wing Rebel scum fighter to every thirty-thousand TIE-Fighters and ten star-destroyers means that the Empire requires consultants to advise Us on how to bureaucratically report this fact.
PERIPHERAL VISION: The TIE-Fighter is designed for close proximity combat, therefore the Empire has strategically removed ALL peripheral vision (and most of your direct vision up to a 70-degree angle in every direction) by installing two large hexagonal solar panels on either side of the cockpit, to encourage pilots to use The Dark Side of The Force while dogfighting.
Many strategic combat designers advised that the solar panels would be better suited on long-range cruisers or medical frigates and that small fighters that required maneuverability and needed to take evasive action at a second’s notice would be better served with power engines and all-round visibility like the Rebel scum’s X-Wings. The Empire killed those designers for their insolence. Why pay lip service to a Dark Religion if We can’t show the Rebel scum that We mean it?
Also, the solar panel contractor told Us that without the panels, the ships can’t fly, and it was either that or join the Navy. Since there are no oceans in space, the Empire was not fooled and bought the solar panels instead.
SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: Easily the most popular course in TIE-Fighter training, invented by Our Great Lord Darth Vader Himself at the Battle for the Death Star (circa, a long time ago), this fanciful maneuver can be effected by the merest touch of the “Spinning Out of Control” button on the control panel right, clearly marked for easy access, especially during dogfights with Rebel scum, or while waiting for your hamburger at the drive-thru. After all, Spinning Out of Control means nothing in the 360-degree gravity-less vacuum of space – unless an incompetent director (I didn’t say “George Lucas” out loud, did I?) places a spinning camera in your cockpit to make it seem like Spinning Out of Control is actually disorienting you.
DISCHARGES: Stormtrooper pilots who do not hit an asteroid, a landing bay or another TIE-Fighter within their first 100 hours flying time are assigned infantry jobs.
For Tractor Beams:
Involves standing lazily in the general area of a tractor beam and not paying attention to it in case someone is sneaking around behind it.
For Captured Spaceships:
Just stand there idly at the spaceship’s entrance ramp. Do not stand at attention, as this may cause a bad back. If a scanning crew asks for help from inside a suspicious ship, there can’t possibly be any chance of a trap, so saunter inside with your guard completely down.
For Forest Sentinels:
At the first sign of trouble, get on your anti-grav bike and flee. No sense in trying to help your fellow stormtrooper – if he’s worth his salt as a stormtrooper, he’s already dead from being punched by someone of below-average strength.
For Traffic Control:
Stormtroopers stationed on planets searching for refugees are a breed apart. (Case in point: that business on Tattooine – “These aren’t the droids we’re looking for… Move along.”) The Empire specifically assigns its p.f.c. Academy Trainees to the task, so that any mind-probing by Jedi Masters does not mentally damage Our more salient troops, who are reserved for patrolling the corridors of Death Stars and Star Destroyers. Empire critics take issue with this practice, citing the growing number of refugees with merely nominal Jedi mind tricks slipping past the weak-minded patrol-troopers. The Imperial solution to this problem is to weed out these critics and have them psychically strangled by the resident Darth Lord.
While On Alert For Droids:
When the alert is out for “two droids” and you break into a control room and find two droids, stand guard at the door, but let them pass if the shiny one asks nicely.
While Actively Seeking Droids:
Standard Operating Procedure for sweeping suburban dwellings seeking droids:
1) Knock on the door.
2) If the door is locked, try the next one.
3) If someone answers the door, ask to do a search – while doing a search, remember to “spread fear” by knocking over a lamp or something.
Upon signing up for Blaster Training Academy, the Empire will determine firstly whether you can shoot a blaster. If you can’t – continue with the course. If you DO hit anything, you will be dishonorably discharged from the Academy, as it is not your place to go embarrassing the veteran stormtroopers who have never hit anything except background props their entire lives.
LASER BLASTER CONTROL SETTINGS:
It should be obvious what this setting can do, but it has never been discovered whether this setting works because, historically, stormtroopers are the only military troops of any faction in any galaxy who have never hit anything ever. A study was done in the pre-Clone era of corridors and control panels that were hit by random blaster crossfire and it was discovered that this setting would in fact, kill an organism up to the size of a baby Ultimbaya (if its head was tilted to the side).
Only during the Stun setting can stormtroopers hit anything, as the switch in this position balances the blaster correctly and allows for wind direction. (Special Dispensation: When firing on ersatz Princesses, on the off-chance that you hit one, Amendment VII to the Galactic Battle Code informs that you must always remind your troops that “She’ll be alright!” in a sing-song voice like a freakin’ dummy.)
Nothing In Particular:
Most Imperial stormtroopers are issued blasters with this default setting. Due to insufficient training, many of them cannot figure how to get the switch to any of the other various settings on this versatile machine.
Some troops accidentally leave their blasters on this setting, which accounts for those embarrassing times when they’ve been ten feet away from their targets without a hope in the world of hitting them. (To whit: when C-3PO and R2D2 walk across a ten-foot wide corridor through crossfire; when rescuing the princess in a five-foot wide cell-block tunnel; when Han chases stormtroopers around a corner; when Luke is at the lip of the precipice before the door slams down.) Some of the more rascally troops like to apply this setting name to female nymphomaniac stormtroopers who are assigned the single rear position in marching formations. (see: Synchronized Jogging.)
Miss On Purpose:
This is a very assertive setting on the blaster and in no way compromises the sharpshooter talent of some stormtroopers, who opt for this setting to take the stress out of all that goal-oriented “aiming” like the Rebel scum.
The safety switch on blasters takes three full Bespin minutes to turn off, which accounts for why many stormtroopers, surprised by the sudden appearance of Rebel scum, do not immediately raise their blasters and fire. The need for safety switches was identified when too many stormtroopers were shooting each other by accident, due to their ineptness at weapons handling, before stringent training methods (such as this Manual) were implemented. Now the Empire can safely claim that stormtroopers only shoot each other by accident on purpose.
When chasing droids, Wookiees or actors on a higher pay scale, adopt a slow canter, with no urgency, blasters at the ready, set to Kill or Miss Continuously. Firing blasters into the background props is greatly encouraged.
If Rebel scum turn around to fire on YOU, do not seek cover, as your armor should be more than enough protection against the – UPDATE STOP PRESS UPDATE – Due to new tests on stormtrooper armor proving how ineffective it is against Rebel scum blasters, the Empire has been informed by Our consultants to issue this new press release regarding Article 2 in Chase Scenes:
If Rebel scum turn around to fire on YOU, do not seek cover, [incriminating passage on armor-protection redacted to avoid litigation]
MARCHING IN FORMATION:
Marching in formation means walking in the same direction. Do not try to match your stride to the stormtrooper next to you. That would be redundant in a highly-trained military unit such as this.
When given the order to “Go that way!” run in the general direction that the captain points; do not pause to consider asking where your destination is or what you are “going that way” to look for. Live But To Serve. Again, We stress, do not run in lockstep as this may confuse the Rebel scum into thinking the Empire is efficient and cause them to stop rebelling, which would of course mean the loss of Our jobs.
Firstly, synchronized jogging should not be synchronized; in-step or out-of-step, it doesn’t really matter. Just run in the same direction please. Run in groups of two, with one stormtrooper bringing up the rear, and running like a girl. (See diagram.) (Also refer to Miss Continuously setting on Blaster.)
A synchronized slow jog INTO enemy blaster fire earns you a Congressional Medal of Honor. If you fall down without even being hit by blaster fire, you get a special commendation. (See also: Being Pushed, Clause 4)
Ewoks, being the savage species they are, engage in pushing over stormtroopers in myriad ways. Swinging from trees is a favorite way to uproot the unwary stormtrooper in a slow jog/chase (see diagram) and is a terrifying shock to the Empire troops caught in the cross-swing of a brutally vicious Ewok push. Most stormtroopers ravaged by the ferocious Ewok species are sent to recuperate on the oasis world of Goomby-Toomby-Boomby and are attended by specialists in P.T.E.P. (Post Traumatic Ewok Pushing.)
When patrolling or repulsing Rebel scum on the forest moon of Endor, be on the lookout for these other methods by which the mighty Ewoks bring down our deadly efficient Imperial stormtrooper units:
> swinging logs
> making a noise and confusing us
> using small branches to poke us, up to medium-sized branches and some branches with the leaves still on them.
> pushing hard
> pushing VERY hard
> sneaking up behind us when we’re not looking
> using concerted attacks of three or more of them ganging up on one stormtrooper, which is very unfair
> using rocks as big as my sister’s fist.
When pushed by an Ewok, the most sensible battle strategy is to scream “aagh” and fall down in the soft grass. Roll a couple of times for effect and then allow yourself to be hit by small clubs that shouldn’t technically even be felt under your armor. So don’t forget to wear your armor. (See Armor Disclaimer on page 438 of your Imperial Contract.)