Fatherly writer Ryan Britt recently penned an article calling for Star Wars’ Stormtrooper costumes for children to be cancelled following Ivanka Trump’s viral tweet.
Ivanka Trump recently tweeted at the end of September, “The Force is strong in my family.” It captioned a photo of her family with one of her sons dressed up as a First Order Stormtrooper.
The Force is strong in my family. ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/oT0jFfy5Lb
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) September 29, 2019
In response to this photo, Britt wrote an article for Fatherly that was picked up by Yahoo! Lifestyle. In the article titled, “Let’s Cancel the Kids’ Star Wars Stormtrooper Costume,” Britt argues, “Having kids dressing up as Star Wars Stormtroopers for Halloween is icky, mostly because Stormtroopers have horrific counterparts both in history and in everyday headlines.”
While Britt bemoans the origin of the word Stormtrooper describing World War I German soldiers, one of his real contentions is the popularity of the costumes in comparison to other Star Wars costumes.
Britt writes, “But the popularity of these costumes relative to other Star Wars costumes is a little unsettling. I mean, basically, these guys look like they’re wearing space-age riot gear.” He does not provide any evidence on whether or not Stormtrooper costumes are more popular than any other Star Wars costumes. And it appears his assumption is completely wrong as well. Shocking, I know.
A quick check of Amazon notes that Rubies Star Wars Classic Child’s Deluxe Jedi Knight Costume is much more popular than Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens Deluxe Child’s Stormtrooper Costume and Mask.
The Jedi costume is ranked #2,027 in Toys & Games, while the Stormtrooper costume is ranked #3,637. His argument regarding the popularity of the costume based on this simple comparison appears to be false.
However, Britt would quickly move on from this talking point. He would then take issue with what he believes the Stormtroopers represent in Star Wars, but not before he notes it’s simply a costume.
Britt writes, “When you boil this down to just “playing pretend” a kid dressing up as a Stormtrooper might be no more or less damaging than a kid dressing up as a fairy princess.”
He then details why he takes issue with the Stormtrooper costume. He writes, “In the narrative of Star Wars, Stormtroopers (with very rare exceptions) are people who blindly follow orders, and their orders are always about mass-execution.”
“They represent a police state, and in that world, following orders is the only way to live. Stormtroopers kill people with (laser) guns who challenge the status quo. That is their narrative function and that is the message that they send when you see them.”
As Gary Beuchler notes in his breakdown of Britt’s article, Britt is a “fake geek.”
And Gary is right. I’m going to guess that Britt did not watch Solo: A Star Wars Story. If he did, he would realize that many people enlisted to become Stormtroopers and joined the Galactic Empire in order to escape poverty. It’s exactly what Han Solo did after he escaped Corellia.
In fact, Britt shows his ignorance about Star Wars and his lack of research for the article when he writes, “It actually took the Star Wars franchise 38 years to give us a Stormtrooper with a conscience. In 2015’s The Force Awakens, when Finn decides he won’t kill for the First Order, he takes off his Stormtrooper helmet and becomes a real person.”
He most definitely did not watch The Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels. Clone Trooper “Fives” discovered the control chips that would have the clones turn on the Jedi in The Clone Wars. After making his discovery he would even attempt to assassinate Chancellor Palpatine after discovering his role in placing the Order 66 chips into each and every clone.
Fives would be executed by a number of other clones after discovering Palpatine’s plot and detailing it to Anakin Skywalker, who believed he was delusional at the time.
In Star Wars Rebels, it was revealed that a number of clones including Rex, Gregor, and Wolffe were able to remove their chips thus disobeying Order 66 and Emperor Palpatine.
And if you really want to get into the weeds of Star Wars, some Stormtroopers believed in the righteousness of the Empire. They believed in the pursuit of order and that the Empire could restore peace.
They believed they were the rightful heirs to the galaxy. Sergeant Kreel makes that very clear in Star Wars #37, when he states, “Because we are that rightful order. It’s written in our blood and the blood of our brothers and sisters.”
Despite most of Britt’s arguments being outright falsehoods disproven by actual Star Wars canon, he would continue with his argument. He would state that it’s okay for kids to dress up as Darth Vader and Kylo Ren because they are individuals and “scary characters.” He writes, “Having kids dress-up as monsters on Halloween is kind of what Halloween is all about.”
But somehow Stormtroopers are an exception because “having kids dress-up as thinly veiled police-state executioners is something else.” But as I’ve shown above, there are a number of Stormtroopers who are not police-state executioners. In fact, Stormtroopers are primarily infantry units, and in some cases act as Marines like Kreel.
But Britt was not done. He somehow turns his article calling for the rid of Stormtrooper costumes into an anti-gun rally. Britt writes:
“I happen to believe that, for the most part, Star Wars is a fairly anti-gun series of films, despite the fact that several gun-like weapons are brandished all the time. Overall, the message of these movies is against gun violence, instead of glorifying it.
And yet, what would a Stormtrooper on Halloween be without a blaster? The answer? Much less scary.”
So there real reason for calling Stormtrooper costumes to be banned is because you don’t want kids playing with plastic space guns? This is just complete and utter lunacy. And it proves once again that people with Britt’s mindset have one goal in mind: the destruction of fun.