Imperial Stormtroopers vs. Klingons

All too often the henchmen of our favorite sci-fi or fantasy universes go unnoticed, unloved, and unremarked-upon. But no longer, friends, for in this week's epic Versus matchup, we have two of the all-time great Henchraces to face off against each other!


The case for Stormtroopers is that their uniforms are really cool. And they're all clones, so they're all prone to the same strengths weaknesses strengths. Plus, they were awesome when they were Boba Fett. Finally, they've got Darth Vader and the Death Star backing them up, which totally doesn't suck.

When it comes to Klingons, it's all about the forehead. I mean, their weapons and savagery. Except when fighting slight, balding septuagenarian Federation Captains. Or kids. Or, really, anyone who fights back. How did they survive to conquer a sector of space again?! No no, I kid, of course. These guys are totally ferocious in battle, except for the actual fighting part.

In terms of space combat, the big advantage the Stormtroopers have over Klingons is that their Empire builds ships that can zoom around in three dimensions, while the Klingon Empire is stuck in the same one-plane, zoom up and blast away face to face paradigm that bedevils the Federation. Apparently Khan wasn't the only one limited to a pre-space mentality, Spock.

Stormtroopers can't shoot straight to save their lives, I suspect either because Jango Fett has a lazy eye or that Imperial blasters only have two settings: "Random" and "Scatter". Seriously, Luke just wanders around the hold of the Death Star during their escape, shots sprayed wildly around the entire chamber. Since he was then able to blow out the door controls with one hastily aimed attempt, I am going to go with "Lazy Eye Fett" as the explanation here. Of course, Stormtroopers are pretty much intended to be cannon fodder, so I can't really blame them for that.

Klingons have had their asses kicked by everyone in the galaxy, from the fearsome Borg to the aforementioned Jean Luc Picard. And that mean lady at the deli. Their aim seems to be a little better, and they're definitely superior when it comes to hand-to-hand combat against anyone under the age of five. If all else fails they can head-butt you with their turtle-shell faces, which is kind of a nice ace-in-the-hole.

In terms of individual combat, I'd go with Klingons over Stormtroopers.

If we're talking empire-vs-empire, I'd probably go with the Star Wars versions, as they seem to have superior technology and firepower behind them. I always felt like Federation-era spacecraft on all sides were very limited, especially compared to the freewheeling TIE fighters and massive Imperial Destroyers. Not to mention, of course, the Death Star. Which doesn't have to fear being holed by a one-time (ok, TWO time) trick shot down a handy porthole since Klingons ships only have one or two shots total to begin with.

But that's just me, who would you pick and why?

33 Responses to Imperial Stormtroopers vs. Klingons

  1. Gene says:

    Wow, after giving this considerable thought, it really just comes down to one thing.

    The Stormtroopers were beaten by teddy bears.

    So I went with the Klingons.

    They would have beaten the Ewoks, then served them up for dinner and called it somehting cool like Eh’Wok – best served live.

  2. Jeff Hebert says:

    Gah, how could I forget to mention they were beaten by teddy bears?! Good call, Gene.

  3. Doornik1142 says:

    Hard to say.

    If you go by what you actually see in the movies/tv shows Stormtroopers can’t shoot straight and Klingons seem to exist solely so that physically weaker humans can kick their asses.

    If you go by the lore of both franchises Stormtroopers and Klingons are both said to be absurdly well trained and considered some of the finest soldiers in the known universe.

    It seems my only option is to vote Stormtrooper just to stick a finger in the eye of Trekkies. Nyah ha!

  4. sean from edwards says:

    Listen to Another Point of View. It really sells Stormies as bad mo fos. Besides everyone points at the Death Star escape as to why Storm Troopers can’t shoot straight, but remember they were herding the rebels towards their escape, not trying to actually kill them. Look at Hoth, the Imps kicked butt, Bespin, the little shooting that happened there was pretty spot on. Endor, even there the Ewoks only had the advantage of surpise, knowing the land, numbers, and having set ups traps all over the place. Were it a more pitched battle the Stormies would have kicked their furyr little butts But even then if you watch the ewoks have a great number of losses, and some quick from the hip shot managed to disable R2 and the princess.

  5. Joshua says:

    Two points to consider:

    1. Klingons take NO prisoners. They’re ruthless, cunning warriors who masochistically prepare themselves for combat, even during times of [relative] peace. They can be somewhat likened to the USMC– give ’em a plate of rusty nails and shards of glass, they’ll eat it and demand seconds.

    2. Here’s one of the ultimate clinchers of why Star Trek tech is vastly superior to Star Wars: transporters. Luke needed to Force to accurately fire two torpedoes into the first Death Star’s trench. With Trek, you have a supercomputer that’ll calculate the coordinates and beam a bomb into the core for you. While you’re miles away. Safe and comfortably lounging in a padded, oh-so-snug Captain’s chair.

    Mind you, that would be so if you’re the Federation. With the Klinks, their hailing frequencies are open so they can deliver your eulogy complete with insults and ownage.

  6. Myro says:

    I’m going to employ a bit of fuzzy logic on this one, but…

    Working on the following premises:

    1. Klingons, despite being physically stronger and having cool cloaking devices on their ships, regularly get their asses handed to them by the Federation.
    2. The Federation is made up largely of Humans.
    3. Stormtroopers are humans (albeit cloned ones).

    Now this last part is going to take a bit of explanation:

    4a: Stormtroopers were beaten by Ewoks, essentially a race of teddy bears.
    4b: Clone Troopers, the forebears of Stormtroopers, conquered the Wookie planet of Kashyyyk. Wookies are a technologically modern (compared to the rest of the galaxy) race of giant rage beasts that can rip someone’s arm out of their socket.
    4c: We can therefore assume that Stormtroopers become less incompetent when facing a greater threat.

    Working back into premise 1, we can assume that the Stormtroopers will start overachieving against what will be, at least on paper, a superior foe.

    Conclusion: Stormtroopers win this one hands down.

  7. Hammerknight says:

    Clone Troopers over Klingons yes, but the question was about Stormtroopers not Clone Troopers. Once the Clone Troopers were turned into Stormtroopers they lost their edge. Clones no longer made up the full ranks, the Empire began to recruit and/or enslave troopers from the planets they conquered. This weaken the Stormtroopers greatly. And if you remember right once the Klingons joined the Federation they became mighty warriors once again. They had fewer numbers but were a proud race once more.

  8. Sutter_Kaine says:

    Point of clarification. Klingons never got their butts kicked by humans on a regular basis. They get their butts kicked by the MAIN CHARACTERS on a regular basis. And since EVERYBODY gets their butts kicked by the main characters, the relative merits of the race/class/species in question should be judged based on their general reputations rather than what happened during a specific incident. It’s the same with the Enterprise taking out a Borg cube. Or Stormtroopers getting beaten by Ewoks for that matter. Based on that, I’d have to go with Klingons. You’re talking about a warrior race built by nature to take a beating (unless fighting bald Frenchmen with English accents, of course) and armed with advanced technology against human(ish) soldiers armed with arguably superior technology (I say arguably because I think teleportation and replication technology trump just about everything) but who’ve had nothing to do but sit on their hands for a couple of decades, at least until the Rebel Alliance went public. I think one of the reasons the rebellion was a success is because the Stormtroopers weren’t used to actually having to fight anybody. Klingons, on the other hand, are always ready to fight somebody.

  9. C. Baize says:

    Sutter Kaine’s got the gist of it.
    Klingons have their reputation for a reason. They’re bad mo-fos.
    Kirk is just a badder mo-fo.
    So… out of the entire Federation of Planets, there’s a single human who can hold his own against Klingons hand-to-hand.
    Since the Troopers are not cloned from Kirk, I have to give it to the Klingons.

  10. Phatchick says:

    The Klingons got their asses handed to them by James T. Kirk and his superior crew. There is no shame in losing to a better opponent, provided you learn from the experience. The Stormtroopers got their asses handed to them by the primitive ancestors of the CareBears. “Nuff said.

  11. Worf says:

    @Sutter_Kaine(8), C. Baize(9) & Phatchick(10): You guys have said it all for me. So I’m just gonna compute my vote for my Klingon brethren and move on.

    ps. I particularly liked the “Since the Troopers are not cloned from Kirk…” comment. Hilarious!

  12. Chisoph says:

    “Plus, they were awesome when they were Boba Fett.”
    They were never Boba, they were Jango.
    And Stormtroopers win, hands down. I actually thought it would be Klingons, but whatever.

  13. Jeff Hebert says:

    Not to get all nerdticular on you, but Chisoph, I thought Boba Fett was a personally-raised clone of Jango Fett, while Stormtroopers were industrially-raised clones of Jango Fett. Or do I have that wrong?

    Also, Klingons were roughed up not only by Kirk & Company, but Picard and his crew of tree huggers as well. I bet even Wesley would toss Worf around the hologym from time to time.

  14. McKnight57 says:

    Because I’m in the middle of Finals week, I can’t get into doing all of this. Suffice it to say that my vote went to the Storm Troopers. Also, Wars/Trek issue is not one I will ever claim to be an expert on, so have at it folks. See ya next time.

    Actually, I think i’ll make some more suggestions for Poll Positions.
    Grifter – Punisher
    Spartan (WildCATs) – Iron Man
    Spartan (WildCATs) – Master Chief
    Maul (WildCATs) – Hulk (Planet Hulk version)
    Warblade (WildCATs) – Lady Deathstrike
    Cyborg (Flashpoint/DCnU) – Cable

  15. Sir James says:

    Kling-to-the-effin-Ons all the way! Ever seen a Stormtrooper hit anything it aims at? No. That shot on Leia was a lucky blast… But I bet you’ve seen a Klingon rip someone a new one with a bat’leth! Throw in some cloaking devices and transporters… and you have a lot of red armor (that used to be white).

  16. Shade2075 says:

    I will make one point ‘trebles’ the cute furry nuisances that Klingons fear, where a storm trooper would probably just kill it. Ewoks I find to be a less embarrassing defeat because of this.

  17. McKnight57 says:

    By the way, thought I’d just share this for all of the “Goddamn Batman” fans out there.

  18. Joshua says:

    @McKnight57– Strange, but I’m redirected to a Disney site. I think you may have gotten your “Goddamn Batman” link mixed-up with that “Goddam Disney” one.


  19. Abraxas says:

    This one is tougher than it first seems. Since this is set up as Storm Troopers vs. Klingons, not the Empire vs. the Klingon Empire I will assume we are limiting this to ground forces. Unfortunately, we really don’t know all that much about Klingon ground forces. Due to the nature of Star Trek, the vast majority of combat we see involves space forces. What we do see of Klingons isn’t overly impressive. From what we have seen, we could reasonably expect them to carry disruptor rifles. Of what we have seen of other direct energy weapon rifles from major races (Federation, Cardassian (DS9:Return to Grace)) 4-5 Megajoules would seem a likely range for an approximate yield for the Klingon equivalent, or, put another way, roughly two sticks of dynamite per shot at maximum. Seems a little high at first, but when you think about Riker indicating it could vaporize half a large building (TNG: Frame of Mind), Data vaporizing all the water in an aqueduct for what appears to be several miles (TNG: Ensigns of Command), or breaking almost every molecular bond in a human body (numerous), it kind of fits. On the flip side, the E-11 Blaster Rifle and counterparts are never shown to be particularly powerful, even the E-Web blaster never showed particularly severe firepower, even though it was considered a heavy weapon and was crew operated. Further, the fact they used it at all on Hoth probably indicates the standard blaster rifle is incapable of that level of relatively mediocre firepower (SW:ESB).

    However, the level of firepower is pretty much irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, neither side seems to have any armor capable of stopping the weapons of the other. Theoretically a phaser or disruptor on wide beam should be able to clear huge sections of a battlefield or clear a hall, the fact they don’t use them that way is likewise good evidence they cannot or have some strong reason not to.

    Tactics wise, Stormtroopers seem superior based on on screen evidence. We see them use cover, suppression fire, scouts, etc. Klingons as a matter of routine seem to charge in and get themselves killed in large numbers due to a nonsensical reliance on melee weapons (DS9: Nor the Battle to the Strong).

    What really clinches it though, is the one area the Empire is indisputably superior, mechanized forces. As best I can tell from on screen evidence, the Klingons have no concept of things like “Tank” or “APC”, relying solely on shuttles/drop ships and orbital bombardment for covering fire and artillery effect. Reference is made once to an assault vehicle used by the Klingons but nothing is known about it other than it comes equipped with a targ scoop and thus seemingly flimsy enough to be damaged by striking a targ. While it seems enormously unlikely the Klingons do not have armored vehicles, that we do not see them may indicate they rarely use them due to maintenance or logistical issues related to interstellar ground warfare, but, in either case, without evidence we can’t really admit Klingon military vehicles into the fight.

    The Empire, however, has armor in spades, and not just the abysmally designed AT-AT and AT-STs either. The A6 Juggernaut, TIE Mauler, or the XR-85 Tank Droid, for example, would be more than effective against unsupported infantry, not to mention the superior air and hover support from speeders and atmospheric capable fighters. The one major advantage the Klingons have, transporters being able to insert them wherever they want to be, simply is insufficient to overcome the Empire’s armor and mechanized infantry capabilities in open combat in a terrain like a planet’s surface. However, in a setting where those advantages are nullified, such as on a starship, in an installation, or caves for example, where vehicles are too large to fit, transporters would give Klingons the initiative in the majority of encounters. However, Klingon honor prevents them from using them to full effect, as since they won’t shoot an opponent in the back, they probably won’t beam them into space either.

    I’m going to give this one to the Stormtroopers as they would win 5/5 ground battles and probably 2/5 boarding actions, but really, this one is highly dependent on the battlefield being fought upon.

  20. McKnight57 says:

    Joshua (18): Yeah, it did that to me too the first time I looked at it, I’ll repost the photo here.

  21. Abraxas says:

    The site you are posting is configured to redirect any external links, just copy and paste the url directly into the address bar and you’ll get to the picture instead of the Disney page.

  22. hyperanthropos says:

    This is a tough choice, but I think the Klingons would win the battle.
    Sure, the Stormtroppers have Darth Vader and the Imperator, but even they can’t be everywhere at once. With the exception of the Death Star, the Klingons’ Birds of Prey are equally lethal in interstellar warfare as the ships of the imperial fleet. Plus, the Klingons would have the advantage of transporter technology.
    On a terrain battlefield, the situation might be different. While I know from the star wars movies a lot about the tactics and the machinery that the empire uses for ground warfare, I have never seen a large Klingon army on the battlefield in the Star Trek Universe. However, since the Klingons are a race advanced enough for interstellar space travel, who have conquered several worlds, I would presume they have efficient technology for ground battle.
    Also, it seems to me, that the stormtropper tactics relie too heavily on their blasters, the strengh of their body armours and the power of their phalanx. Efficient, but there lies a weakness. The average Klingon warrior knows how to use explosives and long range weapons (phasers), but he or she doesn’t depend on them. Klingons have shown excellent martial arts skills, agility and superior physical strength (not to mention the savagery). So I believe that a company of Klingons would turn a troop of Imperial Stormtroppers to tin can food in close combat.

  23. spidercow2010 says:

    Well, I’m not going to try to follow that, but I’d like to point out for the consideration of others that, as Sutter_Kaine, doornik1142 and sean from edwards have more-or-less implied, instances where either of these guys get beaten are meant to convey the awesomeness of their opponents rather than the incompetence of the warriors in question. No one would be impressed by the heroes beating an army of wimpoids, but if it’s previously established/accepted that the Stormies/Klingons are bad mofos, then their defeat MEANS something. It’s unfair to hold defeats against the bad guys if they’re doing what the bad guys are there for.

  24. TOOL says:

    Storm Trooper : Are a bunch of clones ( for ones who didn’t make that link from episode 3 ). Seemed to be cooler and more high tech in past ( newer movies ) then present/future ( older movies ). Get shot by one blast anywhere on your useless but cool looking armor and you die. I’m betting they don’t get a Union break or benefits LOL. Weak minded, but cool utility belts. These are not the boobs your looking for, move along! (.)(.)

    Klingons and not those things you get in the bathroom after taking the politicians to the pool: Have high tech but act like a bunch or gorillas. Wear cool leather armor like a space biker gang. Cool blades. Suppose to be strong and tough in many ways but have had it handed to them on several occasions. Wemon are freaks in the bed but look like they fell out the f-up’d tree and hit every branch on the way down.

    Oh I could probably go on but I won’t. I feel there are many pros and cons to both but I have to go with Klingons on this one.

  25. TOOL says:

    Hey Jeff, here’s an idea for a poll position. Old movie Conan ( the swartz ) Vs. New movie Conan ( Whats his face )?

  26. EXILE says:

    Let me make this as simple as possible.

    Klingons are mighty warriors and can kick ass.

    Stormtroopers on the other hand CAN’T SHOOT WORTH A DAMN!!!

    Klingons > Stormtroopers

  27. John says:

    Stormtroopers got their asses handed to them by Ewoks.

    Case. Closed.

  28. knight1192a says:

    Ok, you wanna talk about stormtroopers getting beat by Ewoks, let’s talk about Klingon’s thinking their worst enemy is tribbles. A softball sized ball of fluff and these big bad warriors are extremely terrified by it. At least Ewoks are understandable, their meant to reflect more the primative cultures throughout history who actually proved a threat to more modern cultures (though in most cases they eventually lost out). But all tribles do is reproduce.

  29. Gene says:

    Just to clear some things up, *Nerd Alert*
    The troopers in the prequels were clones, but they had a built in life span. The storm troopers of the original trilogy were just dudes. Either they signed up, were drafted, or conscripted into service. Most of the clones were gone by the time Luke blew up the first death star. I know this is true from the EU books, but I’m also sure it’s canon from some other sources, I just don’t remember which ones right now.

    And the tribbles were not the Klingon’s worst enemy 😐 They were an annoyance, an allergy if you will. Nothing a disruptor couldn’t turn into a mushy pile of goo in a couple of pulls of the trigger.

    A decent squad of Klingons would have marched through the Ewoks, and had a good time doing it. If the Troopers couldn’t handle them becuase of the ‘primitive tactics’ used by the fuzzy little monsters, then they probably won’t do so well against a pack of charging, enraged, bat’leh wielding Klingons.

    Klingons still get my vote, even though I’m probably more a SW fan than ST.

  30. Doornik1142 says:

    “It’s unfair to hold defeats against the bad guys if they’re doing what the bad guys are there for.”

    Maybe so, but there comes a point where an enemy has been defeated so many times that you are forced to question their alleged effectiveness in battle.

    The Klingons, for instance, are canonically stated to be several times stronger and tougher than humans. Given that most of the main Trek characters are human, you would think the instances of said characters beating a Klingon in a stand-up fight would be extremely rare. Instead, Klingons and human characters get in fistfights on a routine basis in the TNG era, and the human characters always seem to come out on top despite being canonically weaker and frailer than any Klingon.

    It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Klingons are vastly overrated as physical fighters.

  31. Doornik1142 says:

    “A decent squad of Klingons would have marched through the Ewoks, and had a good time doing it. If the Troopers couldn’t handle them becuase of the ‘primitive tactics’ used by the fuzzy little monsters, then they probably won’t do so well against a pack of charging, enraged, bat’leh wielding Klingons.”

    The “primitive tactics” of the Ewoks are still vastly superior to the typical Klingon tactic of running headlong into the gun barrels of the enemy. All the Stormtroopers would have to do is sit behind cover and pour blaster fire into the completely exposed Klingon battle lines.

    Using typical Klingon tactics, the only way the Klingons could possibly win is if they outnumbered the Stormtroopers to such an absurd degree that the Troopers ran out of ammo before the Klingons ran out of soldiers.

  32. Chris says:

    Well.. to be exact after the clone wars the Empire started to get non-clones to become stormtroopers…if you read the books you will find out that Han Solo was a stormtrooper until he helped Chewbacka escape by killing the commander that was abusing him. So not all stormtroopers were clones by the fourth movie. As far as Klingon’s .. well ..they are Klingon’s great at drinking ..yelling …and pretty much causing a ruckus. But all in all ..went with the stormtroopers

  33. Gene says:

    Klingons: Born and bred warriors with lifetime of training.
    Stormtroopers: A few months at boot camp, and given some cool armor.