In the Rogue One film, during the fight scene between Chirrut Îmwe and the stormtroopers at Jedha, Chirrut kicks up some sand towards a stormtrooper, the stormtrooper flinches and as a result gets knocked down a moment later.

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Why did this stormtrooper flinch from a tiny bit of sand/dust while he was wearing his helmet? Was he scared and was this his reaction to possibly being hit with something?

  • 4
    I should imagine that it was purely instinctive.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 10:01
  • 1
    So that he'd be distinct enough to have a special action figure made for him.
    – Paul
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 11:39
  • 3
    This whole ridiculous combat scene didn't work for me. I found myself sympathizing with the stormtroopers, who were incredibly getting beat up by a blind guy with a staff.
    – RobertF
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 14:11
  • 7
    Because it's coarse and it gets everywhere? Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 15:17
  • 1
    See the title text of xkcd.com/1670 "Laws of Physics"
    – b_jonas
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


I dare say that it was just pure and utter defensive instinct. You can observe it time and again also in real life. Whenever something comes at you with high velocity your instincts and reflexes kick in when you become aware of it. And if you are not trained otherwise the first reflex is to protect yourself, which is just what the stormtrooper tries there...despite having a helmet. So it is a purely human reaction there.

On another note...a combat droid would have fared better there (example B1s) as they usually don't have that self preservation instinct that leads to one trying to shield oneself from harm and damage.

  • 1
    I've ducked from a butterfly that "suddenly" entered my peripheral vision 10+ yards away before.
    – DariM
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 22:33
  • Partially related note: I almost crashed my car once because a bird flew straight at the windscreen and tucked up just in time to go over the roof. Whereas I flinched, covered my face and ducked below the steering wheel!
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 15:19
  • @TheLethalCoder yepp good reflexes can be something good (if the bird had flown straight and no windshield there) and something hampering like in your case where they almost caused an accident.
    – Thomas
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 15:30
  • It's almost like this military force has zero training of any kind
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 22:59

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