The Empire Strikes Door: the ultimate ‘Star Wars’ blooper

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The Empire Strikes Door: the ultimate ‘Star Wars’ blooper

Who was the clumsy Stormtrooper? One fan’s quest to solve the most enduring mystery in the movies

Ed Power

It’s the most famous silent “oof” in cinema history: 82 minutes and 21 seconds into the original 1977 Star Wars, a Stormtrooper bangs the top of his head walking through a door on the Death Star. The blooper is easily missed and for decades passed essentially undetected. Then along came the internet. The clumsy villain with the naughty noggin was elevated, like an X-Wing rising from a swamp, into an object of cult obsession. 

Who was this mystery man in cheap moulded plastic? Why had director George Lucas left such a glaring flub in his movie? How has a not-very-significant mishap become so fascinating to so many? 

“The Stormtrooper banging his head has become a meme classic,” says Jamie Stangroom filmmaker and Star Wars super fan (though not a super-super fan who has read all the tie-in comics and novels, he points out). His new documentary, The Empire Strikes Door, is presented as the first and last word on the incident. ..

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