In Star Wars, George Lucas introduced audiences to the Stormtroopers. Faceless, uniformed goons who accept their (literal) marching orders from their unseen overlord without question. When we first see them board the Tantive IV, they’re presented in overwhelming numbers and, since they’re accompanied by Vader, seem pretty terrifying. Over time, however, they’ve become so well-known in pop culture for their ineptitude (especially when it comes to shooting) that they were the butt of a meta joke in an episode of The Mandalorian. Whatever Lucas’s original plans, Stormtroopers have become weak-minded canon fodder for the heroes of the Star Wars universe, falling for every trick in the book and only mildly threatening because there seems to be no end to how many of them can be marched out.
Whether intentionally or by happy accident, Marvel Studios newest Disney Plus streaming series, Hawkeye, has introduced a group of similarly buffoonish foot soldiers to the MCU in the Tracksuit Mafia and, over the first two episodes, the delivers HEAVY Stormtrooper vibes. The parallels are astounding. Similar to the Stormtroopers, they explode onto the scene in a terrifying fashion as they rob the basement black market auction…and they do so as faceless, uniformed goons. Even in large numbers, the Tracksuits can’t handle Kate Bishop and are only successful in their quest for the enigmatic watch by accident-and that doesn’t even go well for them. Their next attempt to catch Kate ends with them taking another ass-beating at the hands of both Bishop and Barton but it’s not until their Molotov assault on Kate’s loft that we see their ineptitude on full display and it only gets worse from there. Clint’s conversation with the Bros following his “capture” reveals that much like the Stormtroopers, they’re none to bright, much to the frustration of Hawkeye.
Through two episodes, the Tracksuits have accomplished absolutely nothing of note…other than to become absolutely loveable for their stupidity. Hats off to the group of actors, led by Aleks Paunovic, Piotr Adamczyk and Carlos Navarro, for bringing the Tracksuits to the screen straight from the pages of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s epic run. Their interactions with the Hawkeyes and each other, both during the fire bombing and “interrogation” scenes, deliver an ignorance-is-bliss type of humor that will continue to be low-hanging fruit for the remainder of the series. As they botch their jobs and argue among themselves in their matchy-matchy tracksuits, the lack of indistinct personalities, which Barton mentions himself as he’s begging to talk to their boss, only strengthens them as Stormtrooper analogues: it doesn’t matter who is who, bro, they are all equally as useless as the next one.
Thankfully, it seems we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with these loveable idiots. Trailers and TV spots have show that a future episode will bring the iconic car chase from the comic run to life, meaning we’ll get to see Kate unleash all manner of trick arrows on the Tracksuits and we’ll never know which ones are getting flipped off a bridge or crashing into concrete. And at no point in time will anyone ever believe Clint and Kate are in any real danger. One after another, the legion of Tracksuits will serve as cannon fodder for the Hawkeyes, only to be replaced by another Bro as they follow the marching orders of their unseen overlord. And let’s be honest, that’s who we’re really hoping to see anyway. Until then, here’s to the Tracksuits, Bro, the Stormtroopers of the MCU, Bro.