Star Wars TFA - How the Stormtroopers stole the show

21 Dec

Star Wars The Force Awakens

If you haven't watched the latest Star Wars stop reading now. If you have then you like me probably feel that it was possibly the most perfect sequel that ever was rivalling even the perfection of the Toy Story franchise. Hell it blows that franchise out of the water.

There are literally books that could be written about any number of subjects from this latest instalment of the legendary series of films but I have decided to concentrate on one particular aspect that I believe made the film stand out among the rest of the Star Wars universe. The Stormtroopers.

Design

The design of the new First Order stormtrooper was led by costume designer Michael Kaplan who has had a pretty amazing career working on a number of high profile films. Vanity Fair actually ran an article on how he went about designing the new costumes for the film and it's a truly interesting read how he, J.J and co came up with what eventually made it into the film. The main thinking behind the change in how the stormtroopers looked is that 30 years had passed so the requirements of the troopers would have changed from what they were back then as well as the fashion.

Stormtroopers costumes

Most people will hopefully have noticed that the helmets while still retaining the iconic look have been tweaked slightly. Not only that has changed however, the body of the costumes have changed from vacuformed pieces to more heavy duty ones that could cope with the strain of action without cracking which is great!

I think the best thing about how they went about the design is that they wanted to change it but not so much that people didn't recognise it.

J.J. wanted them to look like stormtroopers at a glance but also be different enough to kind of wow people and get them excited about the new design.

Michael Kaplan via Vanity Fair

Captain Phasma

As expected there was clear thought put into how they could differentiate Captain Phasma and other leaders from the regular grunts. Plasma's silver outfit although having very little screen time so far is already iconic. This is not unlike Boba Fett and his iconic green.

Finn

Finn (originally designated FN-2187) played by John Boyega starts off as a First Order stormtrooper and before unwittingly joining the fight against them.

Finn

His antics as a storm trooper are only for a minor portion of the film but from the get go you can tell that he's meant to stand out. If that wasn't clear to the audience from his unique gait (let's call it swagger) they pointed out the fact that he was important even more by having a dying trooper wipe a bloody streak on his mask.

Finn is probably never going to lose the stigma with the other stormtroopers as being the traitor to the First Order which will make how he continues in the future films interesting as a possible bounty will get put out on him and have his former captain (Phasma) coming after him. This is pure speculation but it will be interesting to see.

What's really interesting about Finn however is that he's the first ever black stormtrooper and not only that but it introduces the fact that the First Order has turned away from using clones in the 30 years since we last saw Vader. Taken as a child he only knew the first order, not even his name.

He probably did know one thing however which is how to install a toilet main as it's revealed late in the film that he worked in sanitation and only seen battle once before defecting from the First Order. This is clearly a reference to Clerks which is beyond genius and leads me on to the final section of how the stormtroopers stole the show.

Clerks

Comedy

If you didn't like the action in the film (which I highly doubt anyone could complain about), you will at least have liked the comedic aspect of it.

Finn sets the tone from the start with the way he acts in the battle and then how he escapes but the rest of the stormtroopers don't slouch in the comedy department either.

This is clearly a case of J.J. taking notes on what worked and what didn't work with the rest of the films and making best of use of it to satisfy the fans.

Knowing that fans loved the stormtroopers being sometimes ineffective he used this in Finn being unable to shoot properly his first time but then getting into the swing of things when he hits his first target (big moment for stormtroopers every where).

The scene when Kylo Ren is throwing a shit fit and two stormtroopers walking around a corner only to slowly back away is sure to be talked about because of the genius of it. I'd say it's probably going to be made into a meme/gif as soon as good footage is available online.

But Daniel Craig (yes James Bond was in it) playing the stormtrooper who get's tricked into releasing Rey's cuffs and then dropping the gun too will probably go down to be as legendary as the "These are not the droids you're looking for" scene.


Without a doubt the stormtroopers will be one of the most talked about things of The Force Awakens because they stole the show just as much as the loveable BB-8.

Think any different let me know.


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Trevor Price

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