The truth behind TR-8R, ‘The Force Awakens’ stormtrooper who turned into a meme

Star Wars The Force Awakens TR-8R StormtrooperImage Source: StarWars.com

Of all the unanswered mysteries that Star Wars: The Force Awakens left audiences with, one stands out above the rest: who is the stormtrooper that calls Finn a traitor during the battle on the surface of Takodana?

[Warning: Minor spoilers for The Force Awakens follow]

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You’ve probably seen the stormtrooper, affectionately nicknamed TR-8R (as in “traitor”), in countless memes, videos, GIFs and images around the internet. He became a phenomenon within days of the movie’s premiere, but up until now, we could only guess at the true identity of the stormtrooper who appeared to know Finn.

As it turns out, the guesses were correct — TR-8R is actually a stormtrooper with the call sign FN-2199. If you read our previous post on the subject, you already know that FN-2199 was a character in Greg Rucka’s book, Before the Awakening.

FN-2199

This was a companion piece to the “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” novels. In it, we meet a squad of First Order stormtroopers which just happens to include both FN-2187 (Finn) and FN-2199 (Nines).

“Nines trained and served on a squad with Finn (then FN-2187) in the First Order,” StarWars.com explains. “That explains why he seems just a little extra angry upon seeing Finn during the attack on Maz’s Castle.”

As for why he gets to use that awesome lightsaber-blocking baton (which is actually called a Z6 baton): “He’s riot control, and part of an elite squad that enforces order or squashes uprisings. While their weapons are non-lethal in theory, the Z6 can definitely cause harm or kill an opponent when used with brute force. Look, if a lightsaber can’t cut it, you know it ain’t good news.”

So there you have it. One mystery solved.

Now if we could just fill in all the other blanks left by The Force Awakens.

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