Stormtroopers are not poor soldiers. Let's consider the situations in which they find themselves:
A New Hope: Stormtroopers led by Vader seize a Blockade Runner, suffering some losses. Soldiers on Tatooine are susceptible to Force Persuasion, and are slow to break out the big guns to stop a freighter from escaping. Stormtroopers on the Death Star show poor ...
Why, because it's part of the on-duty uniform.
The helmet isn't a hat and it doesn't just protect the head, it has many functions including communication and sensors.
From the Wikia
Its reinforced combat helmet featured an integrated comlink, audio pick-up, two artificial air-supply hoses, and a broadband communications antenna powered by a single power ...
In the new canon book "Battlefront: Twilight Company" - we follow the story of a female volunteer Stormtrooper on Sullust named Thara Nyende.
In Chapter 3 we see:
She'd joined with the intention of serving one tour of duty, making
more money than she possibly could elsewhere
We later see her distributing extra credits, supplies, and rations to her ...
Out of universe:
It is an example of the faceless goon trope (warning tvtropes link)
The reasons for this trope are largely matters of convenience. Most obviously, the faceless goon does not display emotion; hence, he does not display humanity. It's much easier to accept characters as evil (and by extension, feel no tug of sympathy as wave after wave of ...
No, they're worse.
Those represent, according to Palpatine, who should know : "an entire legion of my best troops"
"As is your Rebel fleet! It was I who
allowed the Alliance to know the
location of the shield generator. It
is quite safe from your pitiful little
band. An entire legion of my best
troops awaits them."
We can assume the rest are ...
Clones were phased out of the Stormtrooper Corps and replaced with non-clone volunteers.
Star Wars Rebels (out-of-universe confirmation)
Pablo Hidalgo has confirmed that the stormtroopers are not clones but are instead volunteers, as of the events in Star Wars Rebels (which occur 5 years before the events of Episode IV). The explanation ...
Sanitation is a low-level duty. Basically you do it while you're a cadet, long before you get to go out and shoot people.
After years of training, FN-2187 had itched for some real action. Like
other stormtrooper cadets, he’d rotated through several lower-level
duties, including a janitorial assignment, but he hadn’t seen any real
live-fire action ...
"Every direct hit from a laser seemed to kill a storm-trooper outright, "
Not necessarily true. We see troopers being hit by laser fire and falling, but we don't follow any of them to learn their actual fates.
As Wookieepedia explains in greater detail, some of the basic protections the armor affords includes:
The armor and body glove worn beneath were ...
The Star Wars Visual Dictionary tells us the answer:
The left knee plate is a "Sniper position knee protector plate" and the ridges on the right thigh are "Suit systems power cells."
The Legends entry on Wookieepedia backs this up, citing Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide as their source:
The lower right leg segment contained the ...
Since you've asked for any medium, the most unambiguous way to confirm that stormtroopers used their sights is using a video game.
Here's a gif (taken from 2:14 of this Youtube video) of a cold weather assault stormtrooper (snowtrooper) using the sight on his E-11 to get headshots on Rebel soldiers at the Battle of Hoth (from Star Wars: Battlefront II):
They were retconned identified as such at Celebration Anaheim 2015, and got a collectible toy release from Hot Toys; quoting from their description:
The Spacetroopers are assigned to operate in Zero-G environments, and true Star Wars fans will see these troopers making their appearance when the Millennium Falcon was first captured ...
On the one hand this is such lazy writing as to be a common trope, sometimes called the principle of evil marksmanship - basically they can't be any good, as the heroes have to constantly be close to being caught/shot and yet always get away. I think the problem might be universal though - hardly anyone in the universe can shoot straight. Just look at Greedo ...
They were initially all clones (of Jango Fett), but to them other clones and enlisted humans - soon considered largely inferior - were later added. See more in the Wookiepedia: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Stormtrooper
We don't know if those stormtroopers are Jango Fett clones, but if they are, the clones had their mind tampered to make them more docile. From Attack of the Clones Script.
LAMA SU: You'll find they are totally obedient, taking any
order without question. We modified their genetic structure
to make them less independent than the original host.
Logic would state that yes, the average citizen knew that many stormtroopers were* clones.
*Exactly what percentage of current Stormtroopers were clones after The Empire was officially formed is up for discussion.
Consider the fact that there was a huge conflict actually called "The Clone War".
Dubbed this by Yoda at the Battle of Geonosis,
Stormtrooper armor was indeed good armor.. it just wasn't up to fully turning aside a blaster bolt. It would, however, reduce the impact a bit, per the The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology.
It was meant to be comparable to RL Kevlar armor; good, but not insurmountable.
Let's not undersell it, thought.
A kinetic dampener, that would ...
As mentioned elsewhere, these are spacetroopers. There are all sorts of threats that could be spotted outside a space station, “in the cold vacuum of space,” and potentially effectively combated by stormtroopers:
Spacefaring animals, such as the purrgil. These probably wouldn’t pose an existential threat to a station as big as the Death Star, but could ...
No. There is no canon explanation why helmeted soldiers with limited vision would be able to make use of a scope on a rifle they mostly hip fire anyway. There is one example of a stormtrooper raising their rifle to fire, but in this example it cannot be made out whether the stormtrooper is using their scope or merely raising their rifle to brace for recoil (...
This scene is taken wholesale from the Ralph McQuarrie concept art seen below:
In the concept art, troopers in black armor, presumably pressurized space suits similar to those of Darth Vader and TIE Pilots, stand in for the Stormtroopers / Spacetroopers seen in the final film.
Perhaps Stormtrooper extras were easier to source when filming.
Stormtroopers apparently have some kind of low-paying pension scheme:
(Darth Vader #8, Disney canon)
The Imperial stormtrooper pension scheme isn't exactly market leading, Bossk. They're not letting anyone with anything other than a program in their head anywhere near the rich stuff. Get ready...
You are confusing stormtroopers of the First Order with stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire.
Star Wars Rebels is set five years before the events of the original trilogy, so these stormtroopers serve the Galactic Empire (the one ruled by Emperor Palpatine). The Galactic Empire phased out clones from the Stormtrooper Corps at the end of the Clone Wars and ...
Short answer is that it isn't always white. We do see in episodes I, II and III that other colors were used to better blend with other environments.
However, white was the primary color as listed at Wookieepedia.
"having acquired its color from the austere tastes of its Kaminoan creators"
Wookieepedia - Stormtrooper armor
Additionally on the ...
UPDATE2: For those who have concerns about novelization being canon yet way different, the WGA film script confirms that other stormtroopers have different designation prefixes:
Don't move! TK-338, we have targets in custody!
UPDATE: it seems to just be a "corps" number.
It was the start of FN-2187’s own streak, however. The next ...
The door was securely locked and bolted. Given that droids are not (usually) in the habit of being sneaky or underhanded, this simple ruse was sufficient to fool the trooper, especially given that he was distracted and overworked.
One paused to check a door, only to discover it tightly locked and
bolted. A sand-encrusted human shambling nearby visited a ...
The stormtroopers are not clones but are instead volunteers.
Out-of-universe, this has been confirmed by Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm Story Group in charge of canon. The explanation given is that the production of clones has been phased out, and since the clones age at twice the rate of normal humans they are too old to serve as stormtroopers. They have ...
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......
There are a number of sources for the Stormtroopers becoming primarily recruits:
Star Wars: Battlefront II (Video Game: C-canon) tells how after the Battle of Kamino, clones were no longer viewed favorably. But it is notable that it says cloned from a variety of templates, implying that clones were still heavily in use
The bounty hunter left after the ...