Anything Left-Handed > Famous > Why are Stormtroopers no longer left handed?

Why are Stormtroopers no longer left handed?

Have you seen the new Star Wars film yet? We have, and we noticed one very interesting fact – the Stormtroopers are no longer left-handed!

Use this link to see a picture of the original left-handed stormtroopers from Return of the Jedi in 1977

So what’s happened to Stormtroopers in the intervening years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens? Sadly, it isn’t down to some intergalactic conspiracy, and instead it’s down to a quirk of props.

In the original 1977 film, most of the Stormtroopers held their grip of their weapons in their left hands because of how the weapons are constructed. The original Stormtrooper blasters are based on a real weapon, essentially the Sterling L2A3 9mm SMG (sub-machine gun), a military weapon developed in the late 1940s in the UK and adopted by the British and Canadian Armies in the 1950s.

This weapon had the magazine on the left hand side, as did the original design of the Stormtroopers rifles.

Unfortunately, this construction caused the magazine to keep hitting the actors in the chest. Therefore they had to switch grip of the weapon, which made them appear left handed.

Full credit, however, to George Lucas for the Star Wars prequels where the Clone Troopers (the original versions of the Stormtroopers) still hold their weapons in their left hands:

In the world of the films, all Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers are clones, so it makes sense that they should all be lefties!

So what about The Force Awakens? Why are these new troopers not left-handed as well? As it turns out, these new Stormtroopers are just normal soldiers rather than clones, so assuming the Star Wars universe works like our one, the majority of them are probably going to be right-handed.

Have you spotted any left-handed characters in any films recently? Let us know in the comments below:

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25 comments on “Why are Stormtroopers no longer left handed?
  1. Brian Ciesicki says:

    Technically, two-handed isn’t left handed if the hands are symmetrical, like on a steering wheel.

    And some things are ambiguous as to whether they are left-or-right handed.

    Like video game joystick. Most of us are right handed, and we did better in Street Fighter with what most people would call a left handed joystick (stick on left, buttons on right). To read about this story, visit

  2. David B Forse says:

    Was Bobby Fisher a lefty

  3. Jim says:

    From my understanding, Lucasfilm revealed that the Stormtroopers were not clones-part of the reason being that clones have accelerated aging. The Star Wars Visual Dictionary seems to imply that At least not-all the stormtroopers were clones. Also, only the original clones were from Jango Fett. This makes it even weirder from a plot point of view, in both cases.

    I may have a mild trivia obsession.

  4. WakandaMan says:

    Baron Zemo has traditionally been a left handed character in Marvel comics (whenever artists remember this fact). He will be appearing in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, so I am really hoping that he will be left handed in the film!

  5. Julie L. Sudler says:

    Do we really want to continue to connect left-handedness with evil? The Stormtroopers are the ‘bad guys’. I do like the idea of movie characters being left-handed, though.

  6. Ham says:

    Never noticed that, and I consider myself a Star Wars junkie. I did note however that the troopers became better shots in The Force Awakens. :p

    Perhaps that must be why they were so poor shots in the original trilogy: They had to fire left-handed despite being naturally right-handed.

  7. Rajiv Beepath says:

    I like this new concept of informing us lefties with articles such as this. Keep up the good work. Didn’t know David Bowie was a lefty either. Good stuff….

  8. Andrew says:

    Hawkeye from the Avenger movies, played by Jeremy Renner, shoots his bow left handed. And that movie hero Bruce Willis (Die Hard) is also LH.

  9. Carol says:

    Coraline from the movie Coraline is left handed

  10. leftie anne says:

    saw some 1909 footage of the author Mark Twain last night and he appeared to be left handed

  11. Terri Daugherty says:

    Sorry I might be changing the subject but,has anyone noticed how many of the kids on these new cooking shows are left handed it’s amazing.

    • Jim says:

      I haven’t noticed, but I have seen that the number of left handed children seems to be going up. A lot of my class at school are left handed.
      Perhaps it may be because of less anti-left handed stigma? Also, cookery is quite a creative skill-perhaps that’s why.

  12. Sebastian says:

    I noticed in Paddington, Nicole Kidman is left-handed!

  13. craig says:

    putting keys on a key ring always seem to be right handed.

  14. Lisa Erter says:

    Don’t watch too many movies, but I notice an EXTREME amount of lefties in television commercials. I wonder if this is also a ‘prop’ for the sake of filming, camera angle, etc?? Anyone know?

  15. JP says:

    Riley of the film Inside Out is left-handed!

  16. Andre says:

    Keanu Reeves is left handed. Seen especially in John Wick

  17. Nev says:

    This is something I look for. In the movie universe, because characters are actors from our universe, there are far more lefties than normal. This is because lefties tend towards creative jobs, including acting.

  18. Emma says:

    I think that the storm troopers are no longer left handed because they are no longer clones ,but if this is the case there should still be a few left handers. Puzzled am I, as Yoda would say! 🙂

    • Phil Cooper says:

      Good point. However, since the First Order is an oppressive, Nazi-like, imperialist fascist regime, they may not be too keen on equality or diversity (even though they obviously allow black people to be stormtroopers).

  19. Phil Cooper says:

    Stormtroopers being left-handed could be the explanation for why they hardly ever hit their target.

  20. Richard Foinette says:

    Interestingly, the SA80 UK Infantry weapon can only be fired right-handed, I believe. The ejected cartridges would hit you in the face, if fired left-handed. Even worse, the cocking bolt was liable to knock your front teeth out. Unlike other infantry weapons, it was not capable of reversal.

    • Morti says:

      There are a few left handed version of the sa80, I was lucky to be issued with one when I was in the RAF Regt and then in RAuxAF Regt.