Star Wars' infamous clumsy stormtrooper - aka Michael Leader - has died

Fans of Star Wars: A New Hope will no doubt remember a certain scene in which a clumsy stormtrooper bangs his head on a Death Star doorway, a moment which has since gone on to become one of the most infamous movie mistakes of all time. Sadly Michael Leader - who played said stormtrooper in addition to having small roles on shows like Doctor Who - passed away earlier this week. 

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Leader's mistake became so iconic that not only did George Lucas add a line of dialogue in re-releases ("see to him"), Jango Fett - the genetic source of the Clone army - was later revealed to be just as graceless in Attack of the Clones: "I thought, 'Wouldn’t it be funny if that’s a trait that Jango has?', Lucas noted on the DVD commentary. "When he puts his helmet on he can’t really see that well, so he’s constantly bumping his head – and that trait gets cloned into all the stormtroopers".

There was even a homage to the moment in Star Wars Battlefront (see video below), so here's hoping Leader's legacy continues in future Star Wars films.

Images: Disney/Lucasfilm

Amon Warmann

Amon is a contributing editor and columnist for Empire magazine, but is also a Film and TV writer for GamesRadar+, Total Film, and others. He has also written for NME, Composer Mag, and more, along with being a film critic for TalkSport. He is also the co-host of the Fade to Black Podcast, and a video mashup creator. Can also do a pretty good Bane impersonation.