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It's been asked on this site what kind of material the Stormtrooper armor are made of because they seem to offer no damage resistance at all to blasters and whatnot.

What I'm interested in is why the First Order hasn't improve their Stormtrooper armor at all? The First Order is a group who wants to do everything bigger and better. They built Starkiller Base to be far bigger than the Death Star. They have massive amounts of armies and troops to use, and as implied in one cutscene in the movie, they are not using a clone army, but personally trained soldiers from birth.

So from this approach, if their armies are made up of men who they have trained for years, then why would they risk them by giving them armor from ages ago, that hasn't been improved upon at all, after all, the amount of Stormtrooper deaths in the movie is still quite plentiful, with most dying after one shot from a laser blaster or any other weapon.

So, the First Order has been trying to make everything bigger, badder, and better. However, their army's equipment has been far from favorable. They clearly have access to vast amount of resources; how else could they build Starkiller Base and the weapon to destroy their enemies.

Has the technology just not shifted at all in the many years since Luke triumphed over Darth Vader? Why would the Stormtrooper armor still remain the same after so many decades?

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Your claim is incorrect. First Order Stormtrooper armour is improved compared to Imperial Stormtrooper armour. Technical details can be found in the Wookiepedia articles for the armour and for the Stormtroopers (references provided within). Of note is this statement by Captain Phasma in the novelisation:

"Even a Wookiee can't crush First Order armor."

This is perhaps the most explicit statement made about First Order armour that gives us an idea of what improvements had been made combat-wise - consider that during the Galactic Civil War, Wookies had a reputation of tearing Stormtrooper limbs out.

It should be noted that when new technology is said to be more advanced than older technology, it does not imply that it is better in every single aspect. It only means that it is better in ways that matter - in engineering, virtually every design decision involves trade-offs. In this case, I believe the key design concern is to improve mobility, due to the following changes stated in sources:

  • Updated joint design to improve flexibility of movement.
  • Trade-off of removing advanced imaging gear in order to reduce helmet weight.

This suggests that to the First Order, mobility and agility appears to take precedence over direct damage absorption by heavy armour. It's not unlike modern warfare in our own world (which is probably what present-day Star Wars films seek to emulate): Mobility is the order of the day, and armour is used only if the impact on mobility is tolerable or if getting hit is considered to be inevitable.

For the record, most on-screen Stormtrooper deaths in Ep. VII are due to heavy weaponry and so an instant kill is not surprising:

  • Some of the first casualties were due to the anti-personnel turret deployed from Poe's X-Wing.
  • Some were killed by lightsaber.
  • A number were killed by Poe's X-Wing's blaster cannons.
  • A few were killed by Chewbacca's bowcaster which was firing heavy explosive rounds.

All of those are either designed to kill infantry or much bigger stuff. Standard issue infantry armour aren't intended to protect against such stuff. Stormtroopers have shown themselves to be quite capable of holding their own and surviving an attack on normal blaster-wielding enemies. Look at the number of casualties sustained due to blaster fire in the first battle of the movie compared to, say, the detention block gunfight on the Death Star I or the ground Battle of Endor. A little armour is ultimately better than no armour at all (not to mention that the "armour" is originally more of an all-terrain environmental suit since the Clone Wars).

  • 1 is killed by a rifle shot by poe (to the shoulder btw........still dont get that one) – Thomas May 16 '16 at 7:02
  • @Thomas, its simply about showing all crap in the movie... they just cant hold true to novelization. Logic goes out of the window for entertainment – Abhinav May 16 '16 at 7:50
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    Poe's Rifle: 25% Base Damage. Aimed Shot: +30% Damage if hit. Hero Bonus: +20% Critical Hit Chance, do x3 Critical Hit Damage instead of x2. Total Attack Damage: 165%. Stormtrooper Armour: 50% Damage Resistance. Final Damage Dealt: Instant Kill, even if you only hit the shoulder! – thegreatjedi May 16 '16 at 10:34
  • Let's not forget that Poe was firing Plot Ammo. youtube.com/watch?v=qYQ-u9mnUGw – Paul Dec 31 '16 at 16:51

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