- Star Wars fans noticed an asymmetrical detail in stormtrooper armor, specifically the knees. It turns out that the design is for easier firing from a kneeling position.
- The actors playing stormtroopers found it more comfortable to hold their blasters left-handed, which explains why most stormtroopers are depicted as lefties.
- The cog device on the right leg of stormtrooper armor contains auxiliary power cells, used to power the suit’s oxygen tank and operate other features like the IFF circuitry and code resonator.
If there’s one thing Star Wars fans are good at, it’s complaining. But another thing they can do is notice seemingly insignificant details that most people would never even pick up on. One Redditor employed that glorious supernerd ability to figure out something interesting about the classic armor of the aiming-impaired Imperial Stormtroopers.
Star Wars is a franchise just chock full of insane details in corners that only those with true dedication would ever notice. This includes everything from classic Easter eggs to subtle musical details in the latest Star Wars video game. But looking at more mundane aspects of that vast galaxy can also be fun. In this case, the delightful hyperfixation of the day involves Stormtrooper armor. Specifically, it focuses on a particular asymmetrical oddity shared by each of the nameless soldiers.
Reddit user Emotional-Sea9384 recently took notice of the knees on Stormtrooper armor and pointed out this obscure tidbit. “Am i the only one who never noticed how asymmetrical the stormtrooper leg is?” they asked on the official Star Wars subreddit. It’s worth noting that they were referring to the classic Stormtrooper design as seen in the original Star Wars trilogy, as the sequels did away with that particular element of the armor. Luckily, they were surrounded by like-minded fans who scarcely go a day without discussing their passion for the franchise, and answers quickly began flowing in. It seems the knee armor is designed that way for a surprisingly practical purpose.
Several fans pointed out that this particular part of the stormtrooper armor seems made for the wearer to more easily take a knee for a more secure firing position. That seems like a perfect answer, but others questioned why each armor was in the same configuration since it only favors left-handed firing. Naturally, there was an answer for that as well, and this one seems to indicate that the actors playing the stormtroopers may be a big reason why they’re all the same.
“My favorite fun fact about the stormtroopers is that we typically see them holding their blasters left handed like this because the actors in the suits found it more comfortable doing so because if they held their rifles right handed, the sideways protruding magazine of their E-11 (based on the real world Sterling SMG which had a horizontal magazine rather than a vertical one) would keep catching on the edges of their armor plates. Holding it right handed pointed the magazine at their bodies, left handed pointed it away from them. So at some point the Stormtrooper actors just decided to hold it left handed for their own comfort on set and thus most Stormtroopers come off as being lefties.”
However, that wasn’t the only theory conjured up from the depths of fandom. Many have wondered why most stormtroopers don’t remove their helmets, and many others seem to think it has something to do with life support. Well, maybe it’s life support and also the fact that only the main characters get to remove their helmets. Another user admitted the left leg plate made sense but wasn’t sure what purpose the “cog” device on the right leg served. Naturally, an answer came flying at muzzle velocity.
“Per the Legends page for Stormtrooper armor on Wookiepedia, the cog contains the suit’s auxiliary power cells. This was probably to power or help extend the 20 minute lifespan of the suit’s back mounted oxygen tank; if the trooper was exposed to a vacuum in space or hazardous breathing conditions. As well as the IFF circuitry embedded in the suit and the code resonator that allowed for stormtroopers to open secure doors.”
Helpfully, that last answer can also clarify things for those curious about the little pop-can-sized cylinders on the back of each suit. Yep, they’re oxygen tanks. It makes sense that such things would be easily accessible from a standing or kneeling position. Plus, with everyone being left-handed out of necessity, all that stormtrooper training to use the devices must have been easier to streamline. That’s several more mysteries solved that were surely keeping several people awake for minutes on end.
Of course, these are all mostly fan theories extrapolated from some official information, so they shouldn’t necessarily be considered gospel. Even some of the official stuff may not be so official anymore, given how the explanation for the “cog” contraption came from the now non-canon Star Wars Legends continuity. But that also doesn’t mean it’s definitely untrue. Remember, Thrawn was a Legends character, and now he’s back to being everybody’s favorite big blue fascist. So there’s always hope.
The Star Wars saga is available on Disney Plus.
Star Wars is a multimedia franchise originally created by George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd with the 1977 motion picture. The science fiction franchise follows the adventures of characters (both humanoid and alien) in outer space including those who can wield a mystical power known as the Force. Since the release of the original trilogy movies, the franchise has expanded to include multiple films and branched out to other mediums like comics, video games, tv shows, theme park attractions, and more. The IP and Lucasfilm were sold to Disney in 2012.
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Source: Star Wars/Reddit