On Tatooine after the Jawa traders are attacked Luke mentions that it must have been sand people who had done it. Ben Kenobi corrects him by saying that they were only made to think it was sand people and mentions the accuracy of the laser blasts saying, "only Imperial storm troopers are so precise."

Yet, in several scenes after this it appears as though the storm troopers are terrible shots. For example, the scene where Luke and Leia are gearing up to swing to the other side of a chasm in the Death Star, they're being shot at by several storm troopers, all of whom miss Luke and Leia (while Leia manages to take out a couple of them). There's also the scene where Han charges into a large group of troopers, again, all of whom miss him as he runs away. If they're as highly trained as we're led to believe, then episode 4 would have been the last movie in the series due to the storm troopers dusting off all the heroes.

So was the accuracy they showed during the attack on the jawa traders just a fluke or were those small group of troopers just the best shots of all the storm troopers in the whole galaxy?

In summary, are there examples in the non-movie canon that shows how accurate storm troopers really are? It seems like they were made bumbling for the movie to make the heroes look better, as is often the case in films.

  • 1
    It's because they've attended the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy Sep 11, 2014 at 17:01
  • The scary thing is if stormtroopers are "precise", how much worse can the marksmanship of the Tusken Raiders be?
    – Null
    Sep 11, 2014 at 17:32
  • 2
    @Null read the top answer to the question I linked. Most of the bad aim we see is deliberate, because they've been ordered to let Luke and his friends escape. One of the best answers on this entire site, imho.
    – Beofett
    Sep 11, 2014 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


I am with TD-0013 on this. Vader convinced Moff Tarkin to let Princess Leia escape so they could track her back to the rebel base. They were in a moon-sized space station with no map and killing them would have ruined the plan and protected the secret of the rebel base. So the stormtroopers were herding them back to the Millennium Falcon. You will notice they never had to go through a group of stormtroopers to get to the docking bay, and the only time they ran into them were at paths that may not have taken them to the docking bay. The one time they were blocked by stormtroopers they were numerically matched, and even then those troopers probably had instructions to let most of them escape. Also, on a station that can launch dozens of TIE fighters at a moments notice they only dispatched 4 to make chase.

As Leia said, "That was too easy".

We also see this "herding" in Empire Strikes Back, with the stormtroopers herding Luke to the carbonite chamber and the confrontation with Vader.


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