Anghus Houvouras on the First Order Stormtrooper…
There are some topics that feel far too ridiculous to write a column about. This is one of them.
The Star Wars franchise has been taking licks like a crack filled Tootsie Pop. Everybody’s stumbling over one another to give their perspective on the state of a galaxy far, far away. This is new territory for Star Wars. The prequels put fans into a crisis they had never encountered: Star Wars movies that people just didn’t like. Disney is dealing with Star Wars movies audiences don’t like AND losing money. George Lucas never had that problem. Just saying.
But while everyone debates Kathleen Kennedy’s method of career execution and whether or not Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a masterpiece or a piece of shit, I’d like to debate something that actually matters:
The awful First Order Stormtrooper re-design.
The original Stormtrooper design is a piece of draconian perfection. It’s the perfect uniform for the faceless stooges of an intergalactic empire. Sure, your typical Stormtrooper is an unreliable foot soldier incapable of hitting an enemy with a blaster at point-blank range. But the look is iconic and like much of the Original Trilogy, a brilliant bit of design.
Much like the new movies, the new Stormtrooper design borrows heavily from the original films but manages to screw everything up at a molecular level. The classic Stormtrooper helmet features a number of interesting design choices. The perpetual scowl. the air vents chin/testicle neck sculpt that elongated the face making the helmet look both fear-inducing and functional.
The First Order Stormtrooper goes to great lengths to smooth out the lines and what we end up with is something that looks like a giant face. The extended mouth lines now cut all the way across to make it look like every Stormtrooper has a massive, boney jaw. The perpetual scowl now has upward lines that make it look like a poorly conceived puppet head. It also has the unintended side effect of making the head look gigantic, shrinking the body and making every one of the Empire’s soldiers look short and stout. How am I supposed to be intimidated by an army of killers with comically large, amphibian like faces?
Disney needs to get to work in order to fix these busted-up Star Wars movies. The first order of business (tee hee) should be chucking this awful Stormtrooper design.