...? Where was that confirmed? I thought that was one of those Han-shot-first moments...
It wasn't really confirmed anywhere that it was protect anymore than it was the armor on his suit, but the ladder made much more sense to me, since his hand under that glove is made of solid durasteel (or whatever they call it) and his hands continue to smoke after the shots impact. If he absorbed or deflected them with the force, there wouldn't be any smoke or sparks.
As for the Stun/Destroy Droid power, I always figured that was unnecessary to have, since it looks the same as lightning (and I don't see why lightning wouldn't have the same effects).