The Imperial Stormtrooper is immensely popular. He enjoys the largest fan club in the world! Though he is nearly forty years old his popularity has never waned. His success is amazing; especially when you consider that he is a lowly, anonymous and expendable henchman.
The Imperial Stormtrooper wears a full suit of useless armor and is notorious for poor marksmanship. He is known for bumping his head or falling off of ledges. Heroes readily slaughter him with remorseless impunity. He lost an entire legion to a primitive tribe of little teddy bears. Why is this hapless goon so interesting? He has a catchy name, a sleek look and a dramatic story.
The faceless Stormtrooper can be anyone, male or female. Because he (or she) is a “villain” he (or she) is uninhibited. Because he (or she) is meant to die he (or she) need not fret the petty things. Because his (or her) name and face are that of the Imperial Stormtrooper he (or she) is immortal so long as there are Imperial Stormtroopers.
The least is indeed the greatest and the greatest least. The Imperial Stormtrooper inspired the world’s greatest fan club by being the inept and hapless foot soldier of villainy. His poor aim (when targeting heroes) and the uselessness of his armor are indispensable qualities of his distinct appeal. He is loved for being the easy victim of heroic violence. The Imperial Stormtrooper is a Keystone Cop of gritty action scenes.
The “useless henchman” is the plentiful, anonymous and expendable foot soldier of villainy. His purpose in adventure fiction is to be a readily available goon to be commanded by bosses and fought by heroes. He is the victim of choice for the silencing the sentry and hero versus throngs scenarios. Because his niche is inglorious by design he is seldom made interesting. The Imperial Stormtrooper is an example of how such a typically unsung type can be a wonder in his own right should his creator bother to craft him.