In Empire, when C-3PO wanders into a machinery closet after hearing what sounds like an R2 unit, he becomes the first of the group to learn about the presence of the Empire but gets shot to pieces right away by the Stormtrooper already in the closet*. Ignoring for the moment the debate about whether stormtroopers are or aren't idiots, why was C-3PO shot right away instead of being captured and questioned? Surely Threepio wasn't a credible threat to a the trooper, who should have realized either (a) that the droid had accidentally wandered in there and just needed to be shooed out or (b) that he held important information and should be captured. (Of course, given how bad he is at keeping his mouth shut, I suppose it turned out just as well that he wasn't functioning and able to give away his friends. That could have turned out very badly.)

*The shooter is never shown onscreen, but we know it's a Stormtrooper from the comments C-3PO makes as he's being reassembled by Chewbacca later in the movie.

2 Answers 2


I like to think "Itchy Trigger Finger Syndrome."

But beyond that I would think that the storm troopers didn't see a need to interrogate C-3PO because they weren't after him, and knew who and where their target was due to the betrayal by Lando.

in reference to..

(a) that the droid had accidentally wandered in there and just needed to be shooed out

Its a generally well known fact in the Star Wars universe that protocol droids have big and annoying mouths, so regardless of it possibly just needing "shooing", they couldn't shoo him away due to the fact he might inadvertently alert their target about their presence.

in reference to

(b) that he held important information and should be captured.

The storm troopers had no way of knowing that C-3PO wasn't just another of the many random protocol droids already on the station, so had no reason to think he needed interrogation.

  • Good point with (a). After thinking about it, I realized that in the movie, from those comments 3PO makes as he's being reassembled (which was what he was thinking right before being shot), he says something about "I have to warn the others!" So yeah, that Stormtrooper was smart to make sure that he didn't get a chance to leave that closet.
    – Bob
    Dec 6, 2016 at 16:16

What about the idea that it was Boba Fett in the room with the stormtroopers. Boba Fett is who led the imperials to Bespin, and as a bounty hunter he would both know the full complement of his target, as well as be less disciplined than a traditional storm trooper both making the shoot first, ask questions later reaction more plausible and the gruff voice that’s not as clear as a traditional storm trooper voice.

I always thought it was just a group of stormtroopers, but the voice never made sense. Just had this thought today while watching again with my son.

  • 4
    This seems like a pure guess. Can you offer any evidence to back it up?
    – Valorum
    Jun 16, 2018 at 23:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.