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Star Wars: A New Hope - Who Was The Stormtrooper Who Hit His Head?

As beloved as "Star Wars: A New Hope" is for its rich attention to detail, it, like every movie, is not immune to making mistakes. Whether you notice the accidental crew cameo on the Millennium Falcon or Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) accidentally calling Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) by the name of her actress, there are plenty of little hiccups to notice here and there. Obviously none of these flubs take away from the movie and can even enhance the viewing experience by showing the human hand that went into the iconic movie's creation. 

Possibly the most iconic of these hiccups, however, is the infamous head-bumping stormtrooper. Appearing with a squadron of other stormtroopers who infiltrate the gantry office where C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) are hiding, the unfortunate soldier can be seen and heard clunking his head on the top of the doorway as he enters. The goof has become amongst the most noteworthy in "Star Wars" history, with director George Lucas even recreating the mistake with Jango Fett in "Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones" over 20 years later. But perhaps even more interesting than the mistake itself is the person who took the hilarious hit — as no one's for sure who did. 

Two people identify as the head-bumping stormtrooper

While the accidental stormtrooper head bump in "Star Wars: A New Hope"  lives in infamy as one of the greatest movie blunders of all time, it's hard to know who to give credit to for the memorable moment. Over the years, two actors have claimed credit for the scene. The first is late "Doctor Who" and "EastEnders" actor Michael Leader, who claimed to be the head-bumping stormtrooper prior to his death in 2016. 

Making a similar claim is actor Laurie Goode. Goode recalls what occurred the day of the incident to The Hollywood Reporter, where he remembers having an upset stomach on the shooting day. "I felt the need to rush back to the gents' toilets, but I was placed in [the] shot," he comments. "On about the fourth take, as I shuffled along, I felt my stomach rumbling, and 'bang,' I hit my head!" Thinking that the take would go unused, Goode was shocked to see the moment in the theater. "I thought: 'OMG, that's me!,'" he tells the Reporter. 

Yet, Laurie doesn't disregard other accounts from the film's cast, saying in a 2010 interview, "I'm not going say it was definitely me, and I can't see how others can undeniably claim it was them." We may never know who made the clunk heard around the world, but that doesn't stop the scene from being any less entertaining for "Star Wars" fans to this day.