It’s a riddle that has perplexed the galaxy for some time – a long, long time, if you really want to get into it. But when it comes to Stars Wars fan theory, one question has stumped the finest minds since 1977. Not the identity of Boba Fett, not that whole weird Luke and Leia thing, no, turns out the big question is this: Seriously, just who was the Stormtrooper that banged his head on the Death Star in A New Hope? One British documentary maker plans to find out.
Jamie Stangroom’s The Empire Strikes Door is set for internet release on September 25 and brings a much needed bit of banter to the planet-destroying space station – probably something that would have made working there just that little bit nicer, really, making for a much better evil empire staff retention in the process, but we digress.
The identity of the man behind the iconic blooper, which in what could be the most Meta moment ever, was even referenced in the prequel trilogy (when Jango bangs his head on Slave I’s door in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones) has remained a mystery for decades, something that Stangroom will presumably get to the bottom of in the mockumentary.
Stangroom’s work has appeared on BBC 5 Live, Comedy Central and AMC and, unsurprisingly, much of it based around Star Wars. Although nothing quite on this scale. A crowdfunded project, it’s set to settle the story once and for all. Which will be good news for Laurie Goode. The British actor has claimed to be the Stormtrooper in question for years – unaware that others were claiming the role, too.
“As time marched on, people started telling me that [the late] Michael Leader was claiming the Stormtrooper blooper,” Goode explained in a 2017 interview with Variety. “It left me thinking, "How can he prove it?" That's when I decided to speak up. After a while, and feeling rather peeved, I decided to write a song about the subject. It's now out on iTunes, also on YouTube. It's called, obviously: "Who Was the Stormtrooper Who Banged His Head?"
To be fair to Goode, the guy even has his own complex backstory – and it involves going to the toilet, so he must be serious. “On the second day of filming, I developed an upset stomach. By mid-morning I had paid three to four visits to the bathroom. Having re-dressed myself and returned to the set, I felt the need to rush back to the gents' toilets, but I was placed in [the] shot. On about the fourth take, as I shuffled along, I felt my stomach rumbling, and "bang," I hit my head! As I wasn't moving too fast it was more of a scuffed bash, so it didn't hurt, but as no one shouted ‘cut’. I thought the shot wasn't wide enough for me to be in frame.”
It turns out that he – or at least somebody – certainly was.
The Empire Strikes Door is out on September 25