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Honor on the Death Star

stormtrooper478 words

Do Imperial Stormtroopers have honor?

They are organized in fighting teams. They are expected to show strength and courage, and to demonstrate mastery of weaponry and fighting tactics. Many are killed or wounded in action. As there is evidence of rank, Stormtroopers who demonstrate loyalty and bravery are surely rewarded or promoted. If there is anything human about them, Stormtroopers would probably mourn and eulogize their dead comrades, though admittedly I can recall no evidence of this.*

While soldiers of the Galactic Empire are viewed as evil enemies by members of the Rebel Alliance, and they are the “bad guys” in the Star Wars films, it seems likely that they would have the same sort of internal honor culture found in any military organization. They may be employed by an “evil” empire, but Stormtroopers would not be “evil” to each other.

Within the context of their organization, we can reasonably assume that Stormtroopers have honor.

It is only when we attempt to judge their actions or their mission from the Rebel perspective or according to some universal (or specific) idea of morality external to their organization that their “moral honor” comes into question.

“Well, whatever you do, however terrible, however hurtful, it all makes sense, doesn’t it, in your head. You never meet anybody that thinks they’re a bad person.”

— The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Stormtroopers are fictional characters, but contemplating their honor culture is a useful exercise. Most men are familiar with Stormtroopers, but have no profound emotional connection to them.

stormtrooper2To better understand the concept of honor, apply this exercise to soldiers in real armies anywhere, and at any time.

The idea of honor comes up frequently in discussions about what soldiers do around the world today.

A soldier’s honor can only be judged fairly within the context of his organization. If he is loyal and brave and respected by others within the context of that organization, he is honorable in that context. He may be your enemy, or he may fight for an organization which you consider to be immoral, or he may take actions on behalf of that organization that you consider to be immoral or contrary to your interests. This is an inaccurate and biased way of assessing his honor.

A fighting man, by definition, cannot be a friend to all mankind.

No man can, really.

A man who is a friend to everyone has no real friends.

Loyalty is preference; it requires discrimination.


* For the purposes of this essay, I’m sticking to what you can see in the Star Wars films. If you look up Stormtroopers on Wookieepedia, there are all kinds of storylines and specifics for advanced Star Wars nerds. I picked Stormtroopers here because almost everyone has seen the Star Wars movies, and can identify the men in white armor as soldiers of an “evil” empire.



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  1. David
    Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    If I personally choose to let other organizations determine what’s honorable in my mind….then those organizations will obviously declare themselves and all of their own kind “honorable”. Who doesn’t want to be thought of as an honorable badass?

    In other words, the Galactic Empire would always claim that their own soldiers are honorable (and those soldiers would declare each other honorable) for the same reason that businesses declare their employees as all being friendly and competent. These organizations will always define themselves in a positive light: soldiers are always “honorable”, a parents’ children always “good boys” and “sweet girls”, employees always a “friendly and knowledgeable sales staff”, etc., etc.

    The most egregious example of these organizations declaring themselves all brave and honorable are right here in America’s colossal, bullying police and military. They never tire of celebrating their supposed bravery….despite the fact that their “heroism” comes in “wars” in which their survival is all but guaranteed (save for when they murder each other and claim Arabs did it) and demanding that we celebrate them, too. (I’ll never forget attending my first baseball game since childhood back in 2006. It came time to stand for the 7th Inning Stretch which I recalled fondly….NOPE! Instead of the traditional folk song, a bunch of “honorable heroes” from the military pranced onto the field in their camo and everybody had to remove their hats and prostrate themselves before them.)

    The Stormtroopers were shown as bullying stooges of a colossal entity that required no heroism to serve, as it was the Goliath. I’d say they’re toadies, not heroes. We have to use our own brains on a case-by-case basis, and that’s what my brain says about Stormtroopers. (Although there is now a Zionist-produced Star Wars cartoon which indeed celebrates a re-branded Stormtroopers….but don’t get me started on that!)

    (And, as always….where is the celebration of the great men in the private sector who actually build things and advance civilization? A commercial fisherman feeds us and is in far, far more danger than “our troops”, and yet who sings songs for him? Who weeps for the ironworker who gets killed on the job? Who puts their flag at half mast for the farmer horifically sliced to death by a rototiller while creating food? Nobody. Creepy American men only want to bend over to armed “heroes” with power….because they’re afraid of them, and because that’s what they’re taught by TV.)

  2. Posted February 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    The stormtroopers were actually *good* in the prequels, before the Republic became the Empire. On the Star Wars cartoon, there are a few storylines built around individual members of the clone army and sacrifices they make in key battles, etc…. They are simply programmed to follow orders– they are genetically-engineered battle clones, after all.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      I never understood the idea that a clone of a human was something less than human. A clone is just an identical twin. Are identical twins somehow less than human?

      • David
        Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink


        In ‘Attack of the Clones’ it is clearly stated that these aren’t merely twins of the genetic source (Jango Fett). They were genetically modified to be “TOTALLY obedient” and “more docile” than their host – i.e., the automaton killing machine Stormtroopers of pop culture lore.

        Again, though, the Expanded Universe (the comics, novels, and most especially the Jew-produced cartoon) have retconned all of this away. And now the clones are indeed meant to be unique souls with distinctive traits and all of that crap. They took a very cool sci-fi concept and whitewashed it to fit their military-worshiping new age motif.

    • David
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink


      Please note that the portrayal of the Clones as heroic and good is 100% an E.U. retcon. In the actual Prequels – and particularly in the screenplay’s wording of the Clones – they’re the same faceless thugs as they were in the Original Trilogy. Lucas modeled the Clone reveal at the end of ‘Attack of the Clones’ explicitly after ‘Triumph of the Will’, and he didn’t intend that in a favorable manner. (There were actually several deleted scenes from the Clones massacre of the Jedi in “Order 66” in ROTS which drove the point home even further still.)

      The stupid Clone Wars cartoon is masterminded by a Zionist Jew and has had flagrant neocon propaganda through the whole series. They’ve retconned so many elements of the SW universe I had to make a firm decision to never watch it because it was bothering me so much.

      All of this retconning of these wonderful Star Wars characters came about because effeminate, pathetic American men now love prostrating themselves before the military.

      • Greg Johnson
        Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Why not write an article on this?

      • David
        Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink


        Thanks for the compliment, but there are a few reasons that I’d rather not get into it beyond a comments section. First and foremost, I gave up on ALL Star Wars after I made my documentary. It was one of those things where I knew that I was too indulgent of my nostalgia, and I knew I’d exhausted my true interest and curiosity on the subject. Star Wars had stopped serving me any purpose beyond being a distraction. It was one of many things I forcibly let go of in my life as part of becoming a man. (‘Though I’ll still watch the Hoth scenes of ‘Empire Strikes Back’ on a snowy day!)

        Then there’s the issue of time, the fact that there’s so much darn existing documentation about the history of ‘Star Wars’ that it almost all feels redundant, and I suppose a lack of will power on my own end. But if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

        (There’s one other thing, too: ‘Star Wars’ is now so far removed from the movies – even the Prequels – that most modern fans don’t even really care about the actual movies, believe it or not!)

  3. Crowley
    Posted February 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    “Well, whatever you do, however terrible, however hurtful, it all makes sense, doesn’t it, in your head. You never meet anybody that thinks they’re a bad person.”

    Minor point, but it certainly isn’t true that there aren’t people who consider themselves “bad people”. Such negative self opinions are wide spread in the more intelligent races of man, especially Whites, who have a sort of Achille’s heel of guilt.

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