If you thought they were bad with blasters, then you’ll be even more terrified with this news as the original mock-up for Star Wars’ stormtroopers had them wielding lightsabers. Known for their shoddy work as marksmen, we can only imagine that this would’ve resulted in accidental amputations galore. Oh – and they also had shields to deflect their attackers. Like many other things, this would get changed over the constant draft pennings from George Lucas and the rest of his team.
Can They Swing Better Than They Aim?
Not only did those early renditions of Star Wars have the stormtroopers carrying lightsabers but it was also a weapon used by Harrison Ford’s iconic space adventurer, Han Solo. Like the Imperial Army’s gang of uniform soldiers, Han Solo is a character synonymous with a blaster permanently affixed to his holster, so imagining him in any other light simply blows our minds. We can thank legendary concept artist Ralph McQuarrie for these early musings of stormtroopers and Han Solo as he was the man behind the ideas, a visionary also attached to other classic pieces of sci-fi including the original Battlestar Galactica series and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
While Star Wars introduced audiences to a galaxy torn apart by war, where vibrant aliens drink in lively cantinas and stormtroopers monitor the daily ongoings of every planet under the Empire’s grip, it was in no way on its own. George Lucas drew inspiration for his space saga from genre books of the time including Frank Herbert’s Dune and many of Isaac Asimov’s writings. It was in between the pages of these stories that Lucas found epic cosmic battles with many of its heroes and villains wielding swords and shields.
Trading Lightsabers For Blasters
With this taken into account, it’s no surprise that George Lucas, Ralph McQuarrie, and the rest of the team molding Star Wars stuck to what they knew best, giving stormtroopers and just about everyone else the power of the lightsaber. As we know, eventually the tide would shift, with the Jedi being the only characters in the galaxy lucky enough to carry a lightsaber into battle. As for the stormtroopers, they were given their blasters for better or for worse.
We know that from these early days, Star Wars would grow into a sprawling franchise with characters like the Stormtroopers, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and more entering the popular lexicon. As the stories have continued and spawned into separate projects and tales, one very lucky stormtrooper was given the chance to brandish a lightsaber in 2015’s Star Wars Marvel comic book by Jason Aaron and Stuart Immonen. In the comic, readers met Sergeant Kreel, one of the more competent stormtroopers who took it upon himself to steal a lightsaber from a Hutt’s Jedi collection and use it in battle against Luke Skywalker.
You Never Know
With Taika Waititi working on his own chapter in the never-ending galaxy of Star Wars and John Favreau revealing his plans to move forward with a film that will focus on the Mandalorian and Grogu, there’s always a possibility that a stormtrooper or other character will get a lightsaber upgrade. For now, we’re just happy that they stuck with the blasters – it’s a safety concern!